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rr HE Southall round this year was again slickly organized and controlled by the sensitive and sensible rein of Mr. A. E. E. Teer, of Schweppes, and did not suffer either of the extremes of weather encountered during the last two rounds at this centre.
Only one bottleneck appeared in the organization, at the scene of the measuring of vehicles. But that was overcome by some smart on-the-spot reorganizing after which everything went very smoothly.
During the questions on the Highway Code and legal requirements of the regulations governing drivers' hours, it was evident that many drivers still do not understand how certain spells of duty affect rest periods and surprising how many were caught out on the Code.
A test that takes place at Southall which is not included at any other centre is the smoke test. It is carried out by the Dunedin Engineering Co. Ltd. and an award is made for the vehicle showing the lowest smoke reading. This was won on Sunday by a Shell-Mex and BP tanker which was said to be testing a new type of fuel. It makes you think!
I watched the smoke test being conducted and considering how quickly it was carried out, I feel sure it would not be too much of a delaying factor to include at each centre. It was surprising how many fleets were showing high readings on this test and interesting to note that the readings were common to fleets and not to makes of vehicles.
On the usual tests the standard of driving was fairly high, but a lot of performances were spoiled by the lack of attention given to the regulations. Several drivers who were doing very well in the distance-judging test failed to stop their vehicles in the correct position at the end of the section. After wrestling hard with his 42 ft. 4 in. long artic, a Silver Roadways driver stopped half way through the test, apparently thinking that he had completed it. He went on to the third test where he did not do so well after mounting the kerb with the trailer and driving wheels. The stop he made during the second test could have well cost him his place among the winners had he been luckier in the third one, and the importance of carefully reading and understanding the directions for each test cannot be emphasized too strongly.
One of the best performances of the day in Test 3 was that of D. Holdaway (Graham Adams Ltd.) His handling of a Foden lowloader was immaculate and earned him a welldeserved round of applause from all watching. He had not, unfortunately for him, fared quite so well on Test 1 and he finished fourth in his class.
Two old stagers in class H, Jim Smith and Stan Burrows, of Thomas Allen Ltd., were in there trying again and consistent driving by the former-although he made a hash of the last test-earned him the honour of retaining the Lion Cartage Trophy which he won last year. Stan Burrows, after handling Scammells for many years, found the new AEC Mandator a bit strange and he only managed to take fourth place.
Companies to the fore were Express Dairy, one of whose men, W. O'Brien, topped the overall average percentage of the next best in his class (B) by no less than 43 per cent and was the overall winner; Thomas Allen, who had two firsts; and Schweppes, who had a first, two seconds and a third.
All in all a very successful round, although the number of spectators was disappointingly low, these being made up mainly from com