luilders merchants hear about cost savings n transport
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EHE importance of a specialized study of transport requirements was stressed by [r. C. W. See at a conference in London on rednesday arranged by the organization id methods committee of the National ;Aeration of Builders and Plumbers' [erchants.
Mr. See said his company had analysed eir transport activities and found that ree types of delivery were called for daily. ractically half of the monetary value of their tal deliveries involved the daily delivery to Leh of 46 branches of a large volume of ock transfers from the central warehouse. our large attic outfits, each carrying some ) to 14 tons of light stores on collapsible eel stillages were employed. The stillages, 5 in. by 24 in. by 36 in. high, were fitted ith four swivel castors, and the system tabled the vehicle load to be assembled from rge unit packs at each branch, for the illages held from 5 to 7 cwt of stores. 11 the vehicles were run on the bus route inciple and they could be located within 5 min. at any time of the day.
Branch deliveries, said the speaker, were irrently being done by BMC 18 cwt. open acks but the new Ford Transit 25 cwt. van as a possible replacement. It could carry its roof a 20 ft. length of copper tube, ad its nearside door, operated from the avement, gave a loading height of about 4 in.
The last delivery function, Mr. See connued, involved the movement of bulk loads • construction sites and regular service ins to building sites, construction Ices and shops. He thought merchants )uld get together to produce a specificaon for a standard type of vehicle for this articular function, and he instanced the bulk archase by his company of nine Ford 300 3-ton chassis and custom cabs. His ansport manager had sought tenders from odybuilders for boxvan bodies with ectrically operated tail lifts, and the total wing by bulk purchase was over £900 on le nine vehicles.
Mr. See said he felt boxvans were worth te extra cost because they improved drivers' orale and kept the loads dry. Open trucks Aed with Abelson-Weeks demountable )(lies, complete with cranes, were also )mmended by the speaker for the tax ivings they made possible.
Heavy deliveries were dealt with by Mr. . E. Baker, who said there were definite lags in using 6/8-ton tippers with 14 ft. or 5 ft. bodies for merchants' operations. He ad found it necessary to fit a sub-frame to -event twisting and distortion of the body id this, with the tipping gear, could cost 300/£400. Unless a good deal of tipping ork was necessary Mr. Baker suggested tat hiring of a tipper as necessary was more :onomical.
Most builders merchants, said the speaker, )erated vehicles in the lower price bracket and wrote them off over a period of five years. This, he thought, was sound practice, but for long-distance, main-road work he felt a more expensive vehicle, written off over seven years. would be worthwhile.
Incentive schemes were discussed by Mr. C. N. Gandy and by Mr. B. K. Cheele.
Mr. Gandy suggested that if it was accepted that drivers should be paid, say, £16 a week for a given number of hours with average productivity, then merchants should be happy to pay a similar sum for the same amount of work carried out in a shorter time, with a bonus for extra loads, within the normal working day. So that if at present 10 loads per week were done in a 5+-day week of 50 hours then an incentive to encourage drivers to complete 15 loads in the same working time would be justified on economic grounds.
If, said Mr. Gandy, drivers delivered 15 loads a week for an additional 50s. (10s. per load) delivered tonnage naturally increased and wages cost per load was decreased.
Mr. Gandy suggested that yard staff or warehousemen should also participate in bonus awards to ensure their co-operation in quicker vehicle turn-round.
Mr. Cheele described an incentive scheme based largely on safe driving records which his firm had been impelled to introduce when insurers indicated they might wish to decline future commercial vehicle insurance business unless claims experience improved.
The original scheme, introduced 12 years ago, provided a bonus of £3 a quarter but this had now been raised to £3 15s. Od. for men with less than three years' service and £5 for longer service drivers. The gratuity was reduced by forfeits according to the seriousness of incidents. Vehicle maintenance and cleaning, damage to goods, and personal conduct of drivers were factors taken into account in assessing liability to forfeits. A driver with 10 forfeits would lose all his gratuity, but this was very rare. The firm's attitude was that they wanted every driver to have a gratuity but it must be deserved.
Mr. Cheele said that over several years insurance savings were sufficient to meet the cost of gratuities; claims experience had deteriorated somewhat of late but this was partly due to a higher percentage turnover of drivers, and repair costs were more expensive.