Answers to Queries.
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The "Most Popular" Taxicab.
.:1,452] " ROCHDALE " writes I shall be glad if you
could please give me the names of the makers of the most-popular type of taxicab."
AisswEe.—It is exceedingly difficult to answer so broad a question, as you give no indication whether it refers to vehicles for use exclusively in towns or partly in the wuntry. If you are desiring to study the matter of taxicabs, you could not do better than obtain a copy of our special Motorcab Number, of which only nine copies are left. If you will put specific questions, detailed replies shall be sent. The Belize Co. is at Manchester.
Four Tons col Mineral Waters.
[1,453] " SCOT " writes :—" I should be greatly obliged if you would give me your opinion as to what you consider would be the cost per mile of running a four-ton petrol lorry, said cost to include driver's and boy's wages, tires, petrol, interest on capital, depreciation, insurance, and any other expenditure necessary to the running of such lorry, and what you think would be the cast for tires alone. The lorry would be engaged in the aeratedwater trade, and would run about '250 miles per week. It would leave home in the morning fully loaded, but for every case of full bottles it put off it would lift a ease of empties, so that when it arrived back at night it would only be about one ton less than when it left in the morning."
ANSWER.—The total cost of running such a lorry, on the mileage you mention, would be about is., inclusive of all the charges you name. The tires should cost you anything from 20. to 2.1,d. per mile run, provided a set of six, of the band type, does not cost more than £120.
Two Independent Brakes.
[1,454] " WAG& OWNER" writes :—" Can you give me the latest view as to the two-brake question on steam wagons? I have 6 wagons and 10 trailers on a biggish contract, and all going well. There is one policeman, however, who is most attentive, and he continually draws some of the drivers' attention to the necessity of two independent brakes."
ANSWER.—It has several times been accepted that the reversing gear is a brake which complies with the Act, and which is thoroughly capable of pulling up a wagon in accordance with the terms of Article 2 (4) of the Motor Car Use and Construction Order, 1904, which reads: • . of such efficiency that the application of either to the motorcar shall cause two of its wheels on the same axle to be so held that the wheels shall be effectually prevented from revolving, or shall have the same effect in stopping the motorcar as if such wheels were so held." It is the last alternative which thoroughly justifies the reckoning of the reverse motion as a brake.
London Taxicab Finance.
[1,455] "WEST END " writes:—' Referring to an article written by the Editor in 'The Motor' of 11th May headed London's Taxicabs,' while reading this I came across the following paragraph: The growth to 2,805 licensed motorcabs at 31st December last had brought average takings down to 31s. per day, and the likely growth of the total to one in excess of 5,000 threatens to require that a motorcab shall pay its way on 25s. or 26s. of gross revenue per day. It will be hard to pay on that.'
" Now, it seems to me that a private individual employing drivers, who only owns, say, two cabs, who cleans and looks after them himself, can make a fair profit on 25s. of gross revenue per day. This approximately amounts to £400 per anniim, and 25 per cent. for the driver reduces the amount to £300 (running six days in the week). A cab taking 25s. gross revenue per day runs while on hire about 10,500 miles, and adding a half of this distance while plying for hire increases the mileage to 15,750 miles per annum. From a careful compiling of the expenses of upkeep, etc., I have come to the conclusion that a cab running this distance should cost about £150 per annum, this including all outgo, such as rent, insurance, licences, tires, running expenses, overhauling, etc. At the end of the year, this leaves a profit of £150 on each cab, as I think it is not necessary to reckon on depreciation: providing a cab be not out of date, be (lone up when needed, and the wearing parts renewed when required, it will last indefinitely, as is proved by the fact that there are some cars still running well that are as much as eight or nine years old. "I had intended purchasing one or two taxicabs, but the paragraph referred to in this letter has deterred me from doing so until I shall have received your reply. Also, I should be much obliged if you could inform me whether there is an up-to-date book on the salient features of all the light cars on the market. There used to he one called ' Light Cars at a Glance,' but I do not know whether this has been revised and brought up to (late. Could you give me a list of makers who would supply the booklet on their cars, on receipt of the required sum? Sonic of them will not supply it, unless you purchase one of their cars.
" I shall be greatly helped in my later choice if you will put down in order the way you class the eight cabs of which I have made a list (enclosed)."
ANSWER.—With reference to the statement, in the special article on London's taxicabs which was published in our sister journal " The Motor " on 11th May last, the following estimate of the cost at which one or two machines might be run, if care were exercised, should enable you further to consider the proposition. Assume each cab to be in service on 300 days of the year, and that it only earns an average gross sum of 25s. per day : the total gross revenue in a twelvemonth will be £375, and 25 per cent. of that to driver will be £93 15s. The mileage in a twelvemonth will be 18000: your figures are a little too high for the mileage with fares, and much too low for empty running.
The approximate costs per mile for a cab driven, in London, by an owner who can execute small repairs should be as follow :— Fuel (90. per gallon) .42 Oils, grease, paraffin, etc. ... .15
On a basis of 25s. per day average earnings, the cab should earn 5d. per mile, to which will have to be added tips in the case of a driver who is the owner. Many cabs were averaging £2 per day during June, although the General Motor Cab Co. averaged only 37s. 10d. A fall of from Ss. to 7s. per day has been experienced since the end of July. We consider that you can make two cabs pay, but you must set aside enough to cover depreciation over, at most, a life of seven years. Prudence demands it, as eight or nine years is not an indefinite period. Expressed in lump sums, the above annual estimates show : income (exclusive of tips), £375; outgo, £289 10s. A little enterprise should keep you well above 25s. daily, and tips are not less than £36 per cab per annum.
We cannot recommend any book of general information other than " The Motor Manual (Temple Press Ltd., 7-15, Rosebery Avenue, E.C., price ls. 6d.). Our Motorcab Special number deals with other particular points. In regard to the list of cabs which you sent, we place -these in order of merit thus : 1, 7, 6, 8, 5, 2, 3, 4.