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25th November 1932
Page 57
Page 58
Page 57, 25th November 1932 — OPINIONS and QUERIES
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Hauliers Must Unite to Raise Rates to a Reasonable Level. A Dictator Wanted, to Direct Road Transport Representation in Parliament. Costs for Oil and Petrol engined Vehicles Compared. Pistons and Bearings

A Call for More Co-operation in Haulage.


[3915] Sir,—A good deal has been heard lately of the Salter Conference, but little or nothing of a constructive policy for motor haulage firms, who would be the hardest hit of any user of road transport.

To say that our trade is the least organized of any is to put it very mildly; in fact, we are almost obliged to accept the rates offered by merchants and producers, who in many cases secure their business at our expense, as a consequence of which we are losing money heavily.

Hundreds of small owner-drivers are at their wits end to meet their bills, which under present conditions are exceedingly .heavy, and as long as the merchants and producers secure clearly signed tickets for their deliveries, they do not concern themselves with short deliveries, which is directly the outcome of working at losing rates, and this form of pilfering seems to be getting more general to compensate for the low rates.

Hauliers who do not allow this sort of thing are hard put to it, and their businesses are not conducted as they should be, owing to the poor prices that are being paid for the haulage of materials.

Can even owner-drivers obtain a living out of the following, which are a few examples of the rates being paid to-day? Tar macadam from Barking to Slough at 3s. 4d. per ton ; ballast from Colnbrook to Stonebridge Park and from Feltham to Edmonton at 2s. 3d. per yard; bricks (ex truck), for a journey of two miles, Including the cost of labour for unloading, 4s. per 1,000.

Associations do not yet seem to be able to help in this matter, so the haulier must take the matter into his own hands and put his house in order. Let all haulage contractors, large and small, call meetings to end once and for all this intolerable position.

W. Woon, Brentford. For Cliffords (Fulham), Ltd.

A Mussolini Wanted for Road Transport.


, [3916] Sir,—On reading your excellent journal one cannot help being struck by the fact that what the road industry needs is a man who, like Moses, can lead the tribes out of the "desert of indifference" in which nearly all the members of a great and modern movement appear to be lost.

Every week there is conference after conference, resolutions passed, committees appointed, and that's the end of the matter.

While all these things are going on, the railways, by using the strongest influence on Government procedure, and insidious propaganda, are gradually getting a strangle-hold on us which will soon mean a complete "black-out" for all concerned, with a consequential probability of 650,000 men being thrown out of work.

It is no use passing all these grand resolutions;

they are hopeless. What is required is a man, a leader, with sufficient brains, ingenuity, and loads of grit, who will stand up in the face of all odds and fight it out to a finish, who will not be tied down by the hide-bound methods of the ages, committee reports, delegates' instructions, etc., but who will, with the backing and encouragement of all, chart his own course and in no circumstances deviate from it.

It does not call for a man who at present holds some position of influence, but a man in the street, a man like myself, who has had to work around the clock to get a living, who knows all the ins and outs of the industry from a worker's point of view, who will keep up the rates and try to cut out all the pirates of the industry, who are as big a curse to us as the rails; moreover, it requires a man who will take up the cause more from the love of the game rather than its material gain ; of course, the job is worth something. H. C. FRANCE.

New Barnet.

A Suggestion for a New Political Party.


[3917] Sir,—It is to be hoped that one of the first items on the agenda of the British Road Federation will be a fight for the repeal of the Road Traffic Act, or for important changes in its operation. Widespread unemployment is caused through it, and it is administered by men whose only idea seems to be to exterminate operators in favour of the railways. The Government has done its best to ruin the eon]. industry. Are we to see the Ministry of Transport and the Salter Conference do the same to the commercial motor trade?

The British Road Federation should be given every support and encouragement by all classes of transport owner, manufacturer and union. I would like to see evolved from this organization a new political party, to be known as "The Industrialists." Only by having our own members of Parliament can we hope to get industry, and particularly the transport industry, established securely. Unless we are protected against such measures as are recommended by the members of tlie Salter Conference, we employees will have to begin all over again and learn another trade.

B. P. FISHER, Birmingham. Foreman Fitter.

Interesting Facts on Oil-engine Performance.


[3918] Sir,—Under the above heading, in your issue dated October 28, a correspondent, Mr. W. H. Goddard, gives figures which purport to show that the maintenance costs of a 10-ton petrol engined vehicle can be reduced by approximately 71 per cent. if the petrol engine in such vehicle be replaced by a certain type of oil engine. His figures are 2.82d. per mile for petrol-enginecl vehicles and 0.82d. per mile for ofiengined vehicles, all of similar type and capacity.

Mr. Goddard is either displaying a colossal ignorance of very elementary costing, or he is deliberately using certain figures extracted and isolated from governing factors in their context, to substantiate ridiculous claims, which figures considered with such governing factors, would not substantiate his argument.

• Comparison of maintenance costs as between petroland oil-engined vehicles of similar type and capacity is still a debatable point with manufacturers . and alike, and such extravagant claims as that quoted above, coming from people who neither manufacture nor operate such vehicles, can only, react tothe detriment of oil-engine progress.

To show how ridiculous comparisons can be made to appear by "using" authentic figures indiscriminately and detached from other governing factors, the following may be employed to give equally astounding results :— Three vehicles, all of similar make and capacity.

Vehicle " A."—A manufacturer's standard chassis with oil engine .fitted .(of same manufacture as those quoted by your correspondent).

Vehicles "B" and "C."—Manufacturer's standard chassis and petrol engines.

Accurately costed maintenance expenditure over a given period give:—

Vehicle "A," 2.0.5d. per mile.

Vehicle "B," 0.24d. per mile.

Vehicle "C,' 0.81d. per mile.

These figures prove (?) a saving in maintenance costs of approximately 80 per cent. and 60 per cent. respectively in favour of petrol-engined vehicles " B" and "C." An alternative method of " using " the same figures is that the maintenance cost for the oilengined vehicle " A " has increased by approximately 750 per cent. and 153 per cent. respectively over the petrol-engined vehicles " B " and "C."

Possibly Mr. Goddard would like to qualify his figures by the addition of certain governing factors relating to operating conditions, etc., of that fleet of 10-ton vehicles, so that prospective purchasers of oilengined vehicles may be enlightened as to the reason for such conflicting evidence OD maintenance costs being

available. If he does not, then these figures must stand to prove that there is no saving in the maintenance costs of oil-engined vehicles over those of petrolengined types, but that the oil-engined vehicle is decidedly the more expensive of the two to maintain.


Technical Pointers on Pistons and Bearings.


[3919J Sir,--Your correspondent "Maintenance, Manchester," may find the following of use :— (1) The use of nickel-chrome cast-iron pistons of modern design is a sound proposition, whether fitted to steel or duralumin connecting rods. The pistons the writer has in mind improve wear resistance, pressure tightness and general performance over long periods. All these points have been proved.

(2) The degree of tightness to avoid stretch on a I in. bolt depends upon the quality of the steel used and on the pitch of the thread, therefore no definite statement can be made upon this without knowing these things.

(3) Big-end-bearing shells cannot be retained as a perfect fit unless each big-end be brought to ordinary engine temperature before backing in the big-end brasses. In this connection, of course, steel-backed bearings are promising to become the principal proposition of the future.

In closing, may I add that I have not, within recollection, missed a single issue of your valuable paper, which I consider to be matt instructive and lip to date. E. FILDES,

Consulting Engineer and Metallurgist.

Fitting a New Coach Body to a Used,Chassis. The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.

£39201 Sir,—Could you favour me with information regarding the building of a new body on a second-hand passenger chassis? The chassis in question is a 1930 Reo which has passed all M.O.T. regulations for three years. It had a second-hand 20-seater coach body when new, but this is now almost worn out and I require a new one.

I require to know the following details, as I understand that the regulationsare not the same :—Legal height (inside), overall width, overhang from rear axle, width of exits and gangway. Please also state if the width of the rear springs governs body width as in the case of a new chassis. What firms supply bent wheel-arches? L. GUNN. Ra.ckenford.

[There are no special regulations for a new body fitted to a chassis which is second-hand or has been in service for some time. The new body must conform to the Conditions of Fitness Regulations, which may be purchased, price. 3d., from H.M. Stationery Office, Adastral House, Kingsway, London, W.C.2, or through any bookseller.

The height inside must not be less than 5 ft. 10 ins, at the centre line of the gangway. Regarding the overall width, the-side of a stage carriage must not project more than 6 ins, beyond the outer face of the outer tyre. The measurement includes all projections such as mouldings and handles. This measurement may be the determining factor. On the other hand, the body must not be more than twice the width over the springs or the wheel track, from centre to centre, less than 69 per cent. of the overall width of the body. The overhang beyond the hind axle must not exceed 7-24ths of the overall length of the vehicle.

An emergency exit must not be less than 21 ins, wide and the centre-gangway not less than 12 ins, wide up to a height of 2 ft. 6 ins, from the floor level. Above this level the minimum gangway width is 14 ins.

Bent wheel-arches may be obtained from T. Williams and Sons, Surrey Street, St. Paul's, Bristol; Georgo Hopton and Co., Ltd., Manchester Street, Argyle Square, London, W.C.1; J. Gliksten and Son, Ltd., Carpenter's Road, London, E.15; Beavan and Sons, 71 Essex Road, London, N.1.—En.]

A Criticism of Our Costs for Oil Engines.


[3921] Sir,—Your expert on oil-engine maintenance costs is a bit out in his calculations, I think. The actual cost for fuel for a 48-seater bus, proved out over 18 months' work at least, iS -0.33d. per mile, not 0.52d., which is giving people a very wrong impression. I am, of course, talking of real oil engines, not amateur efforts such as we hate had experience of in some districts.

He also gives the maintenance as 2.30d., as against 2.20d. for the petrol bus, whereas it is really the other way round.



[The answer to your criticism about fuel is embodied in your own letter, in which you refer to "amateur efforts such as we have had experience of in some places." Without venturing any opinion on the so-called amateur efforts, we must, nevertheless, point out that The Commercial Motor Tables are built up of averages of all kinds of vehicle in all kinds of • service and must therefore take account not only of the very excellent machines with which you are directly concerned, but of others possibly not so good.

There is also this further point. You do not mention the basic price of fuel used. In the Tables 6d. per gallon is assumed ; if, as is most likely, you refer to vehicle using fuel at 4d. per gallon or even less, the whole of the difference between the two Sets of figures might be accounted for.

As regards maintenance. Your views are directly opposed to those of many users of oil-engined vehicles. It may very -well be that the increased cost of maintenance, where that occurs, is due to the fact that those who are handling the engines are not so well acquainted with them as with petrol engines.—S.T.R.]

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