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27th November 1923
Page 69
Page 69, 27th November 1923 — THE HAULIERS' INQUIRE WITHIN.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Further Discussion of a Problem which has Arisen in Connection with a Road Repair Haulage Contract.

THE WEAK point about the method of reckoning hire charges, as discussed in my last contribution, is that the profit. gained by the haulier did not bear any real relation to the work he had to perform. We took, for the sake of argument, 5s. a day as being a fair and reasonable profit, and baged all our calculations on that.

Then, as the mileage, during a part. of the time the 'contract would be running, was so law as 32 per day, and, at another period, so much as 80 miles per day, there is manifestly something wrong in a system of payment which takes no account of the extra wear and tear, not merely of the vehicle but of the driver, too. It does, at least, seem that a haulier engaged upon such a contract should be able to make a charge which would work out in some way proportionate to the mileage covered. As a matter of fact, the trade custom is to charge for the hire of a commercial vehicle a sum per day, quoting a maxirnum.mileage, and to make an extra charge for every mile run over the figure quoted. The same principle is also adopted in connection with the hire of cars. In the case which we have be-m discussing, concerning the hire of a 30-cwt. lorry, a proper charge, on these lines, would be in the neighbourhood of £2 a day, with a maximum mileage of 40, any excess being charged for at the rate of 6d. a mile. It should here be observed that the excess mileage fee is a little more than the bare running cost per mile of the vehicle, which we have shown, in this particular case, to ,be 40. a mile. The reason for this excessive reasonableness in the matter of charges is that the standing and overhead costs for the day are have been covered already by the charge for the daily hire ; the extra mileage only adds the actual running costs, and it is, therefore, only necessary to charge this amount, plus a small profit. An exception arises in a ease where the additional distance covered involves overtime, and payment for that overtime, on the part of the driver. Provision must be made, in the excess charge, for any such expenditure.

Table I is repeated from the last article, and shows the various mileages, charges, and so on, calculated, as I have said, on a basis of a uniform profit of 5s. a day. Table II shows how the figures work out if we charge 22 a day for the lorry, assuming a maximum mileage of 4s. per day and charging 6d. a mile for each mile in excess of the maximum. The return is a little better in every section of the road except the second and third. The total returns for the contract, if we assume that this particular man's share amounted to 120 tons per section, in which case he would be 70 days on the job, would amount to 2175 159. 6d., if the charges are made, per day, in accordance with Table I, and 2179 14s. Id. if they are made as scheduled in the second table. The net profit is, in the first case, 217 10s.-30s. a week—and in the other £20 18s. Bd. In neither case is the profit sufficient, but the scales of charges aKe minimum. I always recommend that the haulier tries for a little more than is usually quoted here. I have an inquiry from a reader for complete and -to-date tables of costs and charges for a one ton ord. They are made up of:—Running costs and standing charges. The former are :—Petrol, 1.11d. ; lubricants, 0.15d. ; tyres, 1.05d.. ' maintenance, 0.75d. ; and depreciation, 0.40d. 'total, 3.46d. per mile. The standing. charges are :—Licence, 100d. ; wages, 720d. ; rent and rates, 60d. ; insurance, 66d. ; interest on first cost, 36d. Total £4 Is. 10d. a week. The table of operating costs per mile for various mileages, and for proper minimum charges, is given

as Table III herewith. THE SKOTCH.


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