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The Editor invites correspondence on all subjects connected with the use of commercial motors. Letters should be on one side of the paper only, and type-written by preference. The right of abbreviation is reserved, and no responsibility for the views expressed is accepted.
The Editor, " THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—Please accept my thanks for your paragraph re our motor wagon in your issue of 20th February. The belated paragraphs in other journals have been a constant source of trouble to me, necessitating replies to manufacturers and others, and probably now they will realise that, as my Council have only just purchased a motor, they are not in any immediate want of a further one.—Yours faithfully, H. G. KEYw000. Town Hall, Hoyland, Barnsley,
24th February, 1908.
The Cultivation of Rubber.
The Editor," THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—I am following with interest your series of articles on the " World's Tire Factories," and, as I have just received a report from a friend in Mexico of a conference of rubber planters, held in that country, I thought some of the figures therein given might be of interest to you. The originator of the convention, Mr. Olsson-Seffer, gave some
figures relating to the cultivation of rubber. In Mexico alone there are at present 120 rubber plantations, which cover an aggregate area of 95,000 acres, According to the sante authority, the total area in the world devoted to the cultivation of rubber is about 365,000 acres, which is divided among the different countries as follows o—Mexico, 95,000; Malayan Peninsula, 32,01o; Ceylon, 85,0oo; Africa, 3o,o0n; Central America, 14,000 ; Java, 10,000; India, 82,000 ; Brazil, fi,000; Venezuela, 3,400; Ecuador, 3,000; New Guinea, 2,800.
It is claimed that rubber plantations in general are quite profitable, for, as recently mentioned in the Mexican Legislature, Mexican companies have .already paid dividends of 15 per cent., whilst the plantations in Ceylon, which have been in existence for a longer time, have paid 40 to so per cent Those figures, perhaps, show why we have to pay so much for our tires—in order that the planters may " get rich
quick."—Yours faithfully, PETER Cox. Clapham, 24th February, 1908.
Concerning Running Costs.
The Editor, "Thu COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—We are very pleased to see the stand taken by your correspondent " Unvarnished" upon this very important question. We have been much struck, in reading catalogues of commercial motor firms in the past, by the very wild and absurd statements which are sometimes made as to running costs and work done in comparison with horses. We remember reading an estimate that a 2ocwt. van would do the work of in horses! Surely anybody making such a statement in cold blood must conclude that buyers of commercial motor vehicles are a pack of ignorant fools, easily to be led by any wild statements that may be made to them. Our experience has been that the intending buyer of a coinmercial motor vehicle is very much alive and is eible to form some approximate idea on the subject, and such absurd statements as this only put a man off the idea of a motor vehicle at all, because he concludes that the maker is trying to throw dust in his eyes, and he simply does not believe the statements. Our experience further teaches us that, in regard to running costs, this is really the sore ixiint with motor buyers. They do not know where they are, and they have an idea that repairs, in particular, will be excessive. They expect a large bill for repairs, and, as your correspondent says, it is extremely poor policy to fool a man in this respect. If, on the strength of one's statements, he buys a van and subsequently finds the repair account far and away beyond the figures you have given him, his after attitude towards the motorcar is that of one who has " had some," and he puts all his business friends off it. In connection with our own business, we publish as exact an estimate of costs of running as our experience up to the present time indicates, and, with your correspondent, we feel that it
is extremely poor po:Icy to depart from accuracy in this very important particular. It may succeed occasionally in securing an order, but, in such cases, at the same time makes an enemy, not only to the firm itself, but to the motor movement. —Yours faithfully,
STURMEY MOTORS, LTD.
Lotis Works, 230-250, Widdring-ton Road, Coventry.
The Editor, " THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR," Sir :—I was very much interested in your article on the subject of " The Behaviour of Glycerine in Radiators," in your last week's issue. Had some of your readers had the opportunity of reading your remarks on this subject before the arrival of the frosts last month, many breakages of cylinders might have been averted.
Provided that it is most carefully mixed with the water before it is put into the radiator, glycerine is an effective preventive against freezing, but, if it is not thoroughly mixed, it will form a coating on the inside of the tubes, and this will greatly reduce the cooling effect of the radiator. A better non-freezing mixture is a solution of denatured alcohol, for the following reasons : i. It has absolutely no corrosive action on either the metal parts of the radiator, the engine, or on the rubber tube connections.
2. There is no electrolytic action.
3. There is no danger of any acid being formed by the Ic-tion of the heat.
4. There is no danger of a film being formed on the inner faces of the water passages, and in this way decreasing the efficiency of the cooler. 5. It is clean to use, and does not readily evaporate. In practice, I have found that it has a high boiling point, and a very low freezing pciintYours faithfully, GEOFFIVe WALLACE. Richmond, 22nd February, 1908.
Slovenly Motorbus Drivers.
The Editor, "THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—1 notice in the issue of the 23rd January that you publish a letter from a gentleman signing himself " Conductor." It is perfectly true what he says with regard to the slovenly appearance of drivers, and it is, also, true that they become worse as time goes on, but he must remember that it is almost, if not quite, impossible to be contiguous to machinery without dirtying one's clothes and skin. I rather fancy that the younger drivers look upon a smudged face and greasy clothes as the insignia of their profession. The toothsome morsel in the shape of a selected piece of straw which used to rest at a rakish angle in the corner of the mouth of the top-hatted, horse-bus driver, now gives place to the stump end of a " tior de woodbine " with a possible reserve cigarette behind one ear. " Conductor " talks about the fair sex in his letter. After all, I can quite imagine that the man who looks after a bonnetful of machinery can appeal to certain of the " lady passengers " as much as the man with the whip. No. I am afraid that it is well-nigh impossible for the motorbus driver to keep himself clean. "Conductor " talks about " good black leather suits " for the men, but does he not know that most of them do clothe themselves in leather? I find more fault with the appearance of conductors. These men have no dirty work to do and yet they look, taking an average, not one whit better than the driver who has to mess about in oils and dirt, I know one or two conductors who look spick and span habitually, and take a personal pride in themselves. • Most of the work is, of course, done in the garage, but, in the event of a breakdown, the driver who is the proud possessor of a " neat coat" would have rather a saddening time of it I am afraid. I think that we must not expect too much spruceness on the part of drivers, but be content with the knowledge that they have had all the responsibility of the lives of the travellers in their hands.—Yours faithfully,