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It's the Load That Counts
TT is scarcely to be expected that road users held up I at a level crossing should look with pleasure on the train that delays them, but a reader states that he was present when this occurred recently. The gates closed at an unusual time and traffic,
including a bus, piled up. After five minutes, by frequently consulted watches, a heavily laden goods train crawled into sight and growls and scowls increased, but when its load proved to be a large consignment of British tractors 'for export, everyone looked pleasant and watched its passage without further complaint.
Who Will Follow ?
THE terms in which Mr. Bernard. Winterbottom • spoke at the annual luncheon of the East Midland Area of the Road Haulage Association, list Week, ' suggested that he will not offer himself for re-eleCtion as national chairman when hisfirst year of office ends in about a month. His guidance will be sadly missed, for the quality of statesmanship which he. has displayed during the most momentous year in the Association's history has set a standard that will try the abilities of any successor.
He has had a gruelling time and no one could grudge him relief from his burden. perhaps, on the other hand, he. will pass into another sphere in which he can give even greater service to the road haulage industry.
Who will succeed him as national chairman? Mr. R. H. Farmer, who has been a vice-chairman for A26 some years and has all the qualities necessary for chairmanship, would be a popular choice. It is to be hoped that he can be persuaded to offer himself as a candidate. He has presence, histrionic ability, a perceptive mind, and that other attribute which is so important to anyone who holds public office, a sense of humour. The logic that he is able to direct upon any problem would be a great asset to the Association at a time when the road haulage industry is being rebuilt. .
Road Safety Suggestions
AWORKING party on the construction of vehicles was convened recently by the United Nations Economic ,Commission for Europe and it made a number of recommendations with the object of proMoting road safety. Ori the subject of lighting, it decided to recommend the drafting of a European agreement on headlightsand passing lights as the first .Stage towards world-wide standardization. It was considered essential that periodic inspections of headlights 'should _take place . and hoped that the various governments would agree to standardizing the testing methods.
National regulations should combine provisions for the compulsory use of marker tights to indicate the vehicle, or load, of a width exceeding the maximum figure laid down in National regulations, or where the width of a trailer exceeded that of the tractor; in the latter case there should be two white lights at the front and two red lights at the rear and not more than 40 cm. from the outer edges of the vehicle or load. Standards for brakes are under review, but it was agreed that the question was most complex. Meanwhile, regular inspection and periodic checks should be encouraged.
A question of considerable interest was that of introducing unified conditions for the approval of safety glass for windscreens, requiring that the glass would remain transparent after shock. Such a measure would be expensive but compensated for by the prevention of accidents and consequent economies.
Light Building Material
A CCORDING to The Financial Tinier, an interest' ing building material known as Zeprex which was developed in Sweden, has been introduced to America by the U.S. Plywood Corporation. Said to be one-fifth the weight of concrete and formed in slabs in lengths up to 18 ft. and 20 in. wide, it can be treated in almost every way as wood, except that it is incombustible, and suitable for extremes of
climate. It is composed of silicious material together with a proportion of cement and certain chemicals.
Chemical Aids Road Making .
SPECIAL wetting agents combined with liquid cement are helping road making in America and Australia. In the former, the whole soil base to a depth of 12-18 in. is ploughed up, treated with the penetrating cement and topped with bitumen or concrete.
For New South Wales, the method is to put down a layer of sand 141-in. thick, then cover this with 6-8 in. of screened river gravel of 1-14-in. size and level off to shape. Over this is poured a grouting mixture of water, two parts sand and one part cement with four fluid ounces of chemical penetrant for each bag of cement. No reinforcement is needed for the slurry, which quickly penetrates downwards and outwards through the gravel, filling all the interstices and embedding the pebbles in a solid matrix.