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Isn't This a Knock-out ?

27th January 1950
Page 51
Page 52
Page 51, 27th January 1950 — Isn't This a Knock-out ?
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

THE following experience may be of interest to readers of "The Commercial Motor."

A representative using one of rny company's vehicles telephoned to me from a police station, saying that a small stone, or other object, had struck his windscreen and this, being of toughened glass,.. had " starred " and become opaque.The trouble had occurred almost outside the police station and he asked whether I could send out to tow the car into our worksliop. I said that it was usual in such circumstances to push one's elbow through, thus making a hole large enough to see to drive home.

The police informed him that he could not drive the vehicle as it was,

and if he pushed,the glass out and any dropped on the road they would consider it an offence and -take proceedings accordingly.

I spoke to the officer concerned and pointed out that such 'an occurrence was fairly frequent and that even a police car may be concerned: He replied that a police car would wait to be towed in, as it would be considered to come under the heading of an accident, and in such circumstances it could not move.

Despite my pointing out that the crystals of such glass are net dangerous and that I would send a than, with a brush, to knock in the glass and sweep up any which might drop on the road, he insisted that I must tow in the vehicle immediately.

Surely this is -a ridiculous and unnecessarilyofficious

attitude to take? A representative of an important vehicle maker was in my office at the time, and expressed this view. I wonder what the manufacturers of safety glass think of the position. ASTONISHED.. Croydon.

(Such a ridiculous and unhelpful attitude on the part of the police certainly surprises. us. An incident of this nature may occur while the vehicle is running, and the makers recommend that a hole. should immediately be punched in the screen if the " starred " glass has not already fallen out, otherwise the. sudden reduction of vision might be dangerous.. The glass pebbles resulting would not even cut a person if rolled together In the• hand, although we have.known one to work into a tyre and eventually cause a puncture, but so might any smallstone on the road. We could better understand the police attitude if it concerned the depositing of ordinary sharp glass on the road surface. We cannot believe that any reasonable magistrate would fine a driver in such circumstances if he acted in this way, particularly if he cleared theglass from the road. It seems to us that in emphasizing the danger of a penalty for pushing out this glass, the officer in question is inviting accidents by possibly causing drivers to hesitate before taking an action which requires to be almost instantaneous in some circumstances.—En.] DESIGNER CRITICIZES AN INSULATED BODY HAVING read your report on the various special bodies for meat carrying which were exhibited at the recent Smithfield Show, and which I examined there, I would like to point out an undesirable feature on a particular. body of this type.

It concerns the design of the drain pipes. These were carried straight through and were open 'to the atmosphere—in fact, daylight could be seen through them froth inside the van.

As there was a good number of these, each 1 in. in diameter and of metal, they would, in my opinion, constitute a serious reduction of the insulating efficiency by allowing heat to flow into the body. Also, dust and other matter thrown up by the vehicle, or by the wind when the vehicle is stationary, would seem to have direct ingress and thereby expose the. contents to the risk of contamination and consequent danger to "health. •

To design efficient drain pipes which would reduce any such loss or avoid this straight-through access, would seem to be a simple matter.

W. S. SARGISON. Body Designer. Rochester.


IN the issue of your journal dated December 30 you include a report on my lecture to the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (North Western Centre) on December 14.

Your reporter seems to have gained the impression that pre-war engines were designed to run exclusively on low-sulphur-Content fuels; what 1 meant to say was that, 'prior to the war, the sulphur content of the automotive Diesel fuel used in the United Kingdom was usually below 0.5 per cent. and that, in consequence, British Diesel engines were developed on fuels of this sulphur content.

There seems to be no unchallengeable evidence that. present fuels of around 0.8 per cent. sulphur have causeda significant increase in maintenance costs.

Contradictory statements have been made by various authorities on the effects of sulphur contents up to I per cent. These have been largely based on laboratory work, but I believe that the operator's experience is the only criterion. • R. J. GINN, M.B.E., A.1v1.1.Mech.E.. A.F.Inst.Pet. (For Anglo-American Oil ('o., Ltd.) London, SELL MORE WARNING DEVICES FOR LOW BRIDGES

THE letter from Selwyn Thomas, published in your issue dated 'December 30. and dealing with methods which he suggested to prevent double-deckers from crashing bridges, interested me.

I would imagine, however, that photo-electric cells would be rather expensive, and I have thought of another idea which might be more practicable.

1 suggest the use of a kerbside standard 'with an upper portion extending to 46061 the middle of the nearside track, and fitted With a spring-steel. arm projecting a few inchesLbelow.the level of the bridge against which the driVer is to be warned..

Movement of this spring ,by: a ..vehicle could be arranged to light a warning lamp or signal, and with a lime switch there would be no need to reset the device after use. Perhaps more than one steel armcould be used, so as to lessen any chance of the top of the vehicle,. even if it were too high for the bridge, failing to touch a single arm. H. I. B. RILEY. 'Warrington.

WITH regard to the letter from S. Thomas concerning vv the. use of. photo-electric cells for Warning high vehicles against low 'bridges, no doubt such a device wouldwork., but I rear that it i,vould be rather costly, taking into consideration the fairly huge number of these bridges which exists throughout the country. Also, there is the point that' many of them may be almost in the wilds, far from towns,' and it might be difficult to supply the necessary power for them.

I believe that with most of these bridges there is a small board showing plainly the height under. the arch, but it may be difficult to see these at night.

I suggest, therefore, that glass reflectors, such as are used by Franco Signs on many advertisements, could be used with such wording as "Drivers Check Your Loads; Headroom 14 ft." Such signs should be placed On the near side of the bridge, facing on-coming traffic, • or even mounted independently a few yards in front.

Glasgow K. Mc DoNOucat.


IT was with added interest that k read the letter from J. A. Birdsell, B.Sc., A.M.1.Mech.E., in your issue dated December 30, in reply to mine which was published on December 2.

Although I have the utmost respect for his opinion and for the concern he represents, I cannot concur with his comments on the subject of whether or not to lubricate leaf springs. He agrees that if a spring be* allowed to " rust up" it will give longer life.

In my opinion springs do not rust up solidly; they are not clamped together, each separate leaf being allowed to slide on its neighbour, witness the bright patches when dismantled, although the springs appear to be rusty on the exterior.

With regard to thr "harder ride" from reduced deflection. I consider that this is preferable to violent rebound Fit0 and resultant fracture. We appear to agree that springs do not fracture on deflection, and in the case of the Albions it would seem that if we had applied grease "from new" we should have been hors-de-combat from the start.

On the question of lubrication of springs in the Far East, it would have been more convincing and conclusive if we had heard that a test had been made with, say, 100 vehicles on dry springs and 100 on lubricated stirings: It is, of course, admitted that modern vehicles fitted with pneumatic tyres are naturally far less severe on suspension than the old solid-tyred models..

When I mentioned the owner of a new vehicle had in mind a 1938 Morris 8 saloon on which'the Owner' lavishly greased his springs to the extent of a dithering; bowler hat and loose dentures; this excessive vibration was definitely cured by drying off the leaves.

Shock absorbers fitted to commercial vehicles did not occur to me, as it is only recently that they have been fitted as standard to the front springs of the MorrisCommercIal..57tonner, and there must' be thousands of Well-known makes. of this tonnage turned out " post

war with ordinary standard laminated. springs. .. In reply to the letter from W. T. Searle, Tolveorth, Surrey, I consider that oiling and greasing any exterior fittings will attract dust and muck in abundance and create an ideal grinding compound. • I would suggest that the best method would be to dip the spring leaves in some good-quality anti-rust solution

,before assembly. W. L. Wodowarto. F.I.M.I.


AT 'a recent inquest in London ia which the casualty; had been trapped under a heavy lorry for SOme time,. it was established, that had a heavy-duty lack been carried on the .vehiele'in question; there would have been every possibilityof a lire. being saved.

. .

This follows the recent case' where a fire appliance had to extricate a Casualty from under a vehicle on the North Circular Road.

Surely it is time for it to be, made compulsory for every heavy-duty vehicle to carry a suitable jack. in

order to minimize suffering? G. A. %PARE,


(For Raymond Way Motors. Ltd.):

London, N.W.6.


pERHAPS, through the medium of your journal, some technical reader could supply me with certain information.

I am informed by a person who claims to be an expert on Matidslay vehicles that it is impossible to fit a David Brown gearbox to a Maudslay four-wheeled Mogul Mark II with a Maudslay rear axle having a 7:1 to 1 final-drive ratio,

I am aware that a gearbox of this make, IR conjunction .with a Kirkstall axle, is used on some Moguls and, as I see it, the bell housing, as fitted to a 7.7 A.E.C. oil engine, should allow the use of a David Brown i box where there is an existing Maudslay axle.

The only difficulty that I anticipate might be in the Hardy Spicer couplings and propeller shaft, and I do not see that it should be necessary to alter the final drive.

It may be that someone who has effected such a modification might clarify the position for me.

Hounslow W. YORATH.

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