THE I.R.T.I TN SWEDEN
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AT Goteborg a short visit was paid to the garage of AB J.P. Bergkvists. This is a small haulage company owning 30 lorries, all Volvos, and four Fordson road tractors. Most of the former are ex-Service vehicles from the Swedish Army. What struck me most was the powerful, two-ram, hydraulic lift, which permits easy attention to .all the under-parts of vehicles.
have referred to the visit to Motorverkert, the important Ford dealer plant. This was planned in 1938 and ready in 1940, when nearly all the staff was called up. Its service section, which can take 120 vehicles at once, was used mainly after that for the conversion of vehicles to operate on producer gas. In the stores are 20,000 spare parts, even some for the Model T.
The paint-spraying booth has no door, but an interesting air curtain issues under presAure from a slot above, being sucked down through a similar slot in the floor.
Extractors in the floor of the main shop change the air 10 times an hour, and covers can be lifted to fit engineexhanst pipes into them. The managing director and owner of this exceptionally fine plant is Mr. Franklin Eck.
The host at dinner was AB FaIlenius and Leffler, one of Sweden's leading shipping and forwarding agencies. It was held at the famous Lorensberg Restaurant, and was an admirable meal to semi-starved Britons, Mr. Boyd Bowman, secretary of the I.R.T.E., expressed thanks and regretted his inability to put into words his gratitude for the magnificent manner in which the party had been welcomed and treated since its arrival. Some of the engineering members of the Swedish R.H.A. had expressed a wish to become members of the I.R.T.E. The speaker stated that such men would be welcome, as their problems are akin to those in Britain. They were practical and experienced engineers, endeavouring to give the general public the greatest value for its money.
The chairman of the Goteborg branch of S.L.F. said he was delighted to meet so many English friends. The outcome would be mutual co-operation of immense long-term value, not only to individual members, but to the betterment of the friendship between the two countries.
The president of the Mr_ G. Mackenzie hunter, said that, in common with the other members of the party, he was overwhelmed by the sincere and hospitable manner in which they had been received. That afternoon they had been shown some of the harbour facilities that one day would make the port one of the premier shipping centres of Europe.
• Mr. C. A. Faflenius had said that be would like to send some of his vehicle's. complete with their loads, to Britain and see them return laden with British goods, but Mr. Junner thought that if they were sent they might be nationalized and not return!
The present visit might conceivably lead to better international co.-operation, and be was glad to say that the' visit had the official blessing of the British Ministry of 'Transport: 'The British people appreciated the indirect but extremely vital assistance afforded to them by the Swedish people-during the war. About 500000 tons of Swedish shipping had been sunk while in OUT service, whilst M.les ftorn Britain had been loaded with essential ball and roller bearings at 1.,,ysekil and rushed hack to help our war effort.
Mr. Fallenius, who had warmly welcomed the visitors, referred to the difficulties in Swedish road transport owing to the bananas of long-distance road traffic and the obstacles placed in the way of efficient co-ordination in the carriage of goods and passengers. However, Sweden isad already obtained permits from some of the Allied Control Authorities for the direct operation of certain goods services through Germany to Czechoslovakia and Austria. He was hoping for facilities to enable such services to be instituted to Switzerland_
Mr. K. 1. Leandersson, deputychairman of the G5teborg Habour Board, stressed the need for removing unrieoessarily restrictive barriers That hindered the international operation of road transpott, militated against the growth of goodwill between neighbouring countries and ietarded the levelling up of international standards of living throughout Europe.
A night train with comfiartable sleepers took the party, to Stockholm on October 10, wbere the :first visit Was to the Ilornsbergsgarage, of the Stockholm passenger-transPort organization. The members were welcomed by the bluff and genial Maintenance engineer:. Mr.
Carl Hammarskiald, who explained the diffieulties of dealing with the constantly moving and expanding population of the capital, which numbers well over 600,000. Sweden has long„ hard winters, six months with temperatures touching 5 degrees F. During the war there were heart-breaking shortages of even the most simple parts, tools and accessories; there was an almost complete absena of fuel other than producer gas, and the barest ration of repaired tyre's. Faced with the threat of vital shortages in 1939, 170 of the older vehicles from the original fleet of 450 were disposed of, leaving 280, including 23 Leylands (15 oil-engined Tigers and eight petrol-engined machines), 30 Volvo and 222 ScaniaVabis, all 26-seater models carrying up to 46 passengers. There are now on order with Scania-Vabis 210 articulated single-deckers powered by eight cylindered. 12-litre Hesselmann-type oil engine, and with an individual capacity of 75 passengers, mostly standees.
Mr. Hammarskiald praised the performance of •the British vehicles, mentioned the excellent fuel economy obtained with the Leyland oil engines, and the satisfactory service given by the Lysholrn-Smith torque converter originally supplied by the Leyland concern, but, latterly, during the war, made by the Swedish Atlas Company. This type of converter will be standardized in the new articulated machines.
A Remarkable Bus Carage The garage, which is most simians' and modern, was erected in 1932. It also accommodates 70 trolleybuses, which supplement the city's bus fleet.
Entry to the main Aiding is effected during winter in two stages. Each vehicle is passed through a "lock." the first door of which is closed before the inner is opened, thus presenting loss of heat, the temperature in the huge garages being maintained at 50 degrees F.
The main buildings are wonderful structures, planned for future development. Each is .5130 ft long and 186 ft wide, and entirety without pittats. To COMerre the heat, all the roof lights incorporate glass wool.
All buses are washed nightly with vhater at 110 degrees F. and inspected. They are lubricated and unit-inspected once weekly, the engine oil being changed fortnightly. The lased oil is centrifuged and filtered through Fuller's earth., finally being mixed with twothirds of n:sv oil. It is the engineer's intention to change entirely to heavyduty additives and detergent-type oils when they become available. Experience with these has shown remarkable results in the prevention of ring Ai:Irina and the reduction of C2.1"b011 deposit.
'High-pressure water sprays are used for "laundering," and the upholstery is cleaned by heavy-duty, commercial-type vacuum outfits. Major maintenance is performed in a well-designed workshop, with 12 drive-over pits, which open on to a 14-ft. service gangway level with the pit floors. Here are the mechanics' benches, unit stands, small machine tools, etc. In each pit an 8-ton hydraulic jack, mounted on rails and running the full length, eases the removal of heavy units, which are then picked up by a 2-ton Dentag overhead travelling crane. In addition, four plates at the sides of the pits, at ground level. which take the vehicle wheels, can be lifted by hydraulic rams, so that the %bole vehicle can rise well above the upper level of the pits.
Engine maintenance periods arc as follow, when the units mentioned are repistoed:—At 100,000 miles, complete engine 12,000 miles, cylinder head; 30,000 miles, cylinder block. The blocks are rebored in an Areftab outfit, which locates the bore.% from the crankcase base. Valve-seat inserts are screwed and pegged into the heads, which method has been found preferable to freezing in with an interference fit. Aluminium-alloy pistons are turned from semi-finished castings to suit the bores, and assembled with reconditioned rods and reground crankshafts, the last being processed by outside specialists,
Following an instructive visit to the Briinnkyrkatiallen tramcar depot and workshop, the management entertained the party to lunch at the Piperska Muren Restaurant, Director Tamen R.Astrisrn of S.L.F., being in the chair. He extended a warm welcome and said he appreciated that, under the stress of war-time conditions. British transport operators had had many difficult problems to solve, perhaps much more serious and urgent , than those in Sweden: now, with peace, we could all aim at increasing international co-operation, especially in transport. Throughout the war, copies of "The Commercial Motor" had reached Swetkst, sonsetirnes irregularly, but they laid assays proved of great informative interest. From it, said Mr. Astrom, they had learned of British struggles with producer gas; that was one big problem which was shared!
Mr. lunner, replying, said that Mr. Assaf= might well be regarded as the Lord Ashfield of Stockholm. Much had already been learned regarding the country, and members were greatly impressed by the magnificent buildings, excellently planned layouts, and the generous amenities provided for the workpeople at both the bus and tramway depots. He admired the obviously efficient and ingenious manner in which the company had solved its pressing war-time problems, and progressed later.
Major P. M. A Thomas, M.I.R.T.F1, Technical Editor of Motor Transport" and "Bus and Coach," referred to the great value which could accrue to the road transport industry from the free interchange throughout the world of commercial and technical information.
Another visit that morning was to the huge stone-breaking plant, the largest in Sweden, of the Stockhohns Kooperativa Akerifbrening (The Co-operative Lorry-owners Association of Stockholm). Here mountains of granite fed by lorries (including some British machines) from the quarries are broken up for the highways.
In the afternoon, coaches conveyed the party to the large Scania-Vabis
commercial-vehicle factory at SOdertalje, which is situated on the shores of a lake and resembles a pleasure resort rather Than a motor works. We were shown around the works by the sales manager, Mr. 1/ Larsson, and were much impressed by the splendid equipment, the latest machine tools, and the thorough way in which manufacture was conducted. Even the frames are made at the works, as also are the famous oil engines. which are tested for
eight hours at 1.200 r.p.m. We noted the use of Lockheed-operated brakes with Dewandre servo, Layrub and Hardy-Spicer joints, and Borg and Beck clutches. Later came a most remarkable demonstration of a Scania-Vabis four-wheel-drive vehicle. To ride in this over the worst test route many members had ever seem was a revelation.
The company was the host at dinner at the Stadshotell. with Mr. lausson in the chair. Following a hearty welcome from him, Mr. homer expressed himself as most impressed by the factory and the vehicle test which followed.
The Final Dinner At the farewell dinner given by the Stockholms Akerifbrening and S.L.F„ at the Grand Hotel Royal, the chair was taken by Mr. Sten Mellgren, who gave a comprehensive toast and referred to the advantages of British and Swedish engineers getting to know each other.
Mr. Kollberg, chairman of the local S.L.F., expressed his appreciation of the visit of I.R.T..E. members, and hoped that they had learned something.
Then Mr. Tryselius, of the Swedish M.O.T., gave an outline of the Swedish Traffic Act. He said that the Government's object was to allow unhampered private operation, controlled only in the interest of the public.
Mr. Boyd Bowman quoted statistics of the mileage of vehicles under the control of visiting party members_ Ile also gave an appreciation of the organizing ability of Mr. Stun Magma, who was then presented by the President. LR.T.E., with a pair of silver candlesticks and art inscribed salver.
Kansliradet Helge Berglund, of the Swedish M.O.T., spoke of the courage and cleverness of Great Britain in saving the world from Fascist domination.
Mr. Ceve Bystrorn said that, together, we shnuld make a good fight to free international road transport.