WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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"The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transporl at whatever points arising, as a carriage is by
the roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crozier;
That Three-mile Limit!
In the House 'of Commons Major Sir E. Fiennes asked the Home Seenetary whether he is aware that, although taxicab proprietors are not using more than their authorized allowance of petrol, they are prohibited by the three-mile limit from driving officers and men of both services from the town to camps, forts, and Btations where they are quartered', which are beyond the prescribed distance, and in many cases to which trains are not available, thereby causing inconvenience and loss of time when they are returning from leave or joining for the Brat 'time, a hardship to those officers•
and men whose only b
relaxation is otained by an occasional visit to the town; and, if so, whether an exception can be made in the case of all service men? Mr. Wardle in reply said : I am aware that some hardship has been caused in a ,few areas,. particularly in the neighbourhood of military camps, owing to the limitation of the radius of operation' of taxicabs, and I am-now causing inquiry to be made into the .circumstances in each licensing area with a view to an extension of the three-mile limit where necessary.
Private Hire-Car Problem.
In the House ef Commons, Captain Barnett asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether motorcars driven for private hire in the Metropolitan area; which had beeivadapted for coal-gas at the suggestion of the Petrol Control Board, have now been forbidden to do the work for which they have been adapted? Sir A. Stanley, in reply said: The use of private hire motorcars driven by means of gas is not prohibited, but is restricted to necessary purposes only. It is not passible to allow the use of hire cars, whether 'driven by means of gas or petrol, for pleaeure purposes. Owners of hire cars fitted with gas apparatus ordered prior to 21st December, when the notice of intention to restrict the use of gas in motor vehicles was.innounced, will be granted permits on application to run these vehicles for the purposes authorized by the'Order.'
It has recently been decided to apply to register the Motor Gas Equipment Association as a Trade Union. At the last three meetings of the Committee, discussion has taken place as to fabrics used for the hag, and varlet's members. have submitted .samples for test by the experts of the Association. In some cases tests have resulted in unsuitability being reported and an agreement has been arrived at for the adoption of certain common points of treatment of fabrics before use by all the manufacturing members, and testing arrangements for small eamples of the fabric deliveries have been made, among the testing staff retained by the Association being a qualified analytical chemist..
Deep Ploughing for Potatoes.
The suburban golf course at Perry Barr, near Birmingham, is being broken up to contribute to the nation's food supply. The area in question is of 35 acres, and the task includes-, inaddition to the ploughing of the greens, levelling bunkers, felling and stumping trees. A special point of interest is that the, land is being ploughed to a depth of 15 ins. for potatoes, and we understand that the to-eat farmers are expressing' satisfaction with the work. A 16 h.p. Mogul tractor is carrying out the work, which has been entrusted. to .Oolinore Depot, 49, John Bright Street, Birmingham, the largest house in the Provinces which specielizes in farm tractors.
Order that Effects Nothing.
Under a Board of Trade Order (made under the Defence of the Realm Regulations) the retail profit on all grades of motor spirit is now limited to 15 per cent., with a maximum price of 5d, per gallon, above the cost of the spirit to the retailer.
The price of petrol has for some time been strictly limited to 15 per cent. , aKove the wholesale price by an agreement between the importers and the Motor Traders Association, but as the wholesale price increases, the 15 per cent. without any limit, such as that fixed by the Order, tends to give an excessive profit to the retailer.
From the user's point of view the gain from the Order is small. Fivepence per gallon is the present maximum profit made by the retailer. As a large Government department has moved itself to limit the retailer's profit to that figure, one wonders if an increase of price on the wholesaler's part is contemplated.
Austrian Field Railways.
The Austrian Trade Office has recently issued the following announcement to the Vienna Trading and Industrial Body:—' The 'Imperial and Royal War Office has called the attention of the Trade Office to the improvements ob. tamed by the motorization of the field railways and the good service which these railways can yield to farmers and vital industries. 'the lack of horses and the many dieadvadhtages attending their employment for railway work led, at the eild of 1915, to the Idea of replacing them by small petrol motors. The motor service of Field Engineerrnaster Von .Schle,yer is considered' by the Wax Office to possess the following important advantages :—Foremost, a saving in attendance. If spare motors are to hand, much higher daily performances are recorded, as an unhindered night service is possible on motor railways. Forage for the horses is also saved, the latter being in need ,of rest days, and only capable of a maximum distance journey of 30 kilometres daily, As the horse must pull: alongside the 'wagon a special road must be made and maintained, whereas with the motor railway all that is needed Is 'a portion of the road the width of
the sleepers on which to build the foundations for the track. A simple arrangement has been found for the laying out of the motor railways, and the War Office states that the first trials have proved most successful. One kilometre of rails could be arranged by untrained men in an hour."
A petrol motor of 4 hp. is employed.
for each railway car, and the maximum speed at which each car can travel with a load amounting to two tons is about 5 'or' 6 kilometres, whilst gradients of 8 per cent, can be taekled with ease. The Army authorities are of the opinion that field motor railways erected both during the war and after peace has been declared may be handed over for agricultural and industrial service at moderate rates for their, amortization, and then turn attention to the ease with which the railways can be laid put.even by unskilled hands. The drivers of these
machines are trained men. It should be mentioned that the usefulness of these little motors is not confined to railway service, for they, are being employed as .power plant for driving agricultural machinery, generators, eta.
• French Agrimotor Trial.
.Public trials of mechanical agricultural implements will take plate at Noisy-leGrand (Seine-et-Oise) from Thursday, 4th April, to Sunday, 7th April, inclusive. The object is primarily a demonstration to farmers. All machines entered should. be, on the demonstration ground by Tuesday or Wednesday, the 2nd or 3rd April. The trials will be open to all French manufacturers and to the Allies or their representativei in France. Full particurirs can be obtained from Le Ministere de...rAgriculture et Raviteillement, Direction de l'Agriculture, 2e Bureau, 78, Rue de Varenne, Paris. Applications should be made as above not later than. 5th March.
B.I.A.A..and Excess Profits.
-The British Ignition Apparatus Association, Ltd. 29-34, Mansion House
• Chambers, Budge Row, E.C. applied to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue re Excess Profits `Duty, for an increase of the statutory percentage as regards the business of manufacturing magnetos used for ignition purposes in connection with internal-combustion engines. The Board of Referees to which the case was referred, has increased the percentage in the case of a company or other body corporate to 11 per cent,. and in other cases to 11 per cent., plus 1 per cent. or plus 2 per cent., according to accounting periods.
Grumbling straphangers in London should visit Chelmsford and ride in its local omnibuses. The services there are run by the National Co., with precisely the same buses as are familiar to travellers within the Metropolis. It is, however, no uncommon thing for 'these 34seated vehicles to carry 90 passengers, while 70 is considered a light load. Notwithstanding this, the upkeep of the fleet is remarkably low, and the repair bill is fas from being the most important item of the running costs.
A Commercial Motor Associationkhas been formed in Germany with a committee of well-known members of the trade, with a view to securing the more wide-spread employment of motor vehicles
Paris Municipal Vans.
As we reported in these pages some time ago, the Paris Municipal Authorities ordered 200 Commercial vehicles last July. We now learn that there are ;11ready 125 of these vehinles in actual use which have been distributed for the following services :—one third for the collection of domestic refuse, one third for assisting the revictualling of the city of Paris, and the remaining third for various other work. The refuse collectors are at work each day and are mostly driven by women. 'This class of work is also considered the most difficult in view of the many necessary stoppages en route. Paris has still about 400 horse vans doing similar work, but these are gradually being removed to the provinces, owing to lack of fodder. A school has been opened in connection with the above scheme at which instruction is given in all branches of the work carried out by the vehicles. First of all, the pupils are made thoroughly acquainted with the driving of a Datil lcirry, several of which have been hired from the Army for this purpose, and they are then instructed in the management of a road-sweeper. All repairs are also carried out by the same staff under expert supervision, in which women are again largely in evidence.
The Transport department of the headquarters of the Berlin Council reports its experience after some months running of a number of steam lorries transporting heavy loads. The first steam lorries and trailers were employed in occupied Eastern regions, partly engaged in transporting road materials, and partly in the city of Warsaw. After trials of some weeks duration, the authorities sanctioned the use of similar machines in Berlin for one year, on the conditions that weak bridges were not traversed and that coke only was utilized for fuel. A steam road train consists of one locomobile of 24 b.p. The three trailers attached can accommodate a useful load of 15 tons, which can be hauled up gradients of one in forty with ease. The average daily transport capacity of these road trains
amounts to 45 tons, whilst the consumption of 450 kilos. of coke, one litre of cylinder oil, and small quantities of paraffin is recorded. The locomobiles are attended by one driver and ens stoker, and each trailer by one man, who. operates the brakes and assists in loadin& and uploading. • The results obtained in Berlin with the first steam lorry have been most successful, ro much so that two more have been placed in service.
Volunteers in "D " class possessing motorcars, who are retiring from their corps under the new restrictious, are invited to communicate with Mr. A. J.
Wilson, the representative for hospital arrangements, Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, S.W. 1.
The L.C.C. reports that it is not convinced that it is desirable to reverse the rule of the footpath.
M.T. in the Alps.
Now that, the British troops are operating on the Italian Front, readers can not fail to be interested in the nature of Alpine lines of communication and the perils which beset the men who have to carry supplies and ammunition over these roads to the troops holding positions hundreds of feet above sea level. It needs a cool head and a steady hand to pilot an ammunition lorry over a steep winding road chiselled out of the face of the cliff, with a vertical wall on one side, a sheer drop on the other, and the knowledge that the enemy, located on a commanding peak several miles away, Us watching your every movement and may be preparing to drop a shell on you. Such are the conditions our M.T. men are sharing every day with their Italian Allies. The accompanying illustrations give seine idea of the dangers of automobile transportation over the mountainous roads on the Italian , Front.
Bad Essex Roads..
Chelmsford's roads just now are auffering from a surfeit of • war economy on the part of the authorities, although there is no doubt that the shortage of labour and the difficulty of obtaining the requisite materials are having an effect also. The etrcumstance is particularly unfortunate in view of the town's growing importance as a munition centre, with a corresponding need for transport facilities, The most. noticeable deterioration is on the bus routes, which serve mainly as feeders of labour to the factories. So bad had the Billericay route become lately that the local omnibus company (The National) wentso far as to -threaten to withdraw the service unless some road mending took place. The threat had the desired result, but it is clear that further action of the same
kind will shortly be necessary on some of the other county services.
In the opinion of the Commissioner of Police the time is not propitious for the initiation of a scheme of fixed stopping places along omnibus routes.
Ready Divisible Wheel Syndicate,_ Ltd., with a capital of £6000 in 5s. shares, to be dealers in tyres, wheels, rims and other accessories, motor vehicles, etc.
John Knowles (Wednesbury), Ltd., with a capital of £30,000 in £1 shares, to take over the business carried on by B. C. Knowles and J. J. Knowles as John Knowles, Tube Fittings Manufacturer, at Wednesbury.
Lightning Fuel Marketing Co., Ltd., with a capital of £1500 in £1 shares, to be marketers of petrol substitute, dealers in petroleum and paraffin, etc. Registered office is at Finsbury Pavement House, London, E.C.
Munster Motor Co., Ltd., with a capital of £2100, to carry on the business of manufacturers, factors, builders and repairers of, and dealers in, agricultural tractors, cultivators, threshing and mowing machines, mechanical, motor and general engineers, etc. • Canonbury Engineering Co., Ltd., with a capital of £4000 in £1 shares, to be ironfounders, agricultural, electrical, constructional, motor and general engineers, motorvan and lorry builders, etc. Registered office is at 34, Northampton Street, Islington, London, N.
General Trading and. Development Co Ltd., with a capital of £5000 in £1 shares, to adopt an agreement with Gustav Teygeman, Emile F. de liflieger and Alphonse de Duve, and to carry on the business of exporters, importers, merchants, ironfounders, engineers, manufacturers of motor vehicles, aeroplanes, etc.
U.S.A: Co-operative Transport.
Our Ally across the Atlantic is eXperiencing its civil transport difficulties. The Commercial. Economy Board, Council of National Defence, Wash., D.C., has investigated the subjectof cosoperative deliveries, andhas found that when such systems are properly organised and managed, savings of no mean proportions, can he effected. Extensions of co-operative delivery systems in the not far-distant future, will of necessity have to be practised, 'there as here. Hitherto it has been somewhat difficult to cause proper consideration to the subject of transportation.. Many concerns who would microscopically scrutinize production phases of their businesses have been more or less indined to, delegate the equally important transportation phase to subordinates, who always have not been fully qualified to apply exact engineering analysis in the determination of vehicle selection and operation.
It is doubtful if the average person ever considers what a large percentage of the total and ultimate cost of a commodity is represented by transportation charges. If we follow through a commodity from its raw to its finished state, and the various and extensive handlings
• it undergoes before it reaches its final destination, we find the items of cost of transportation representing a very large proportion. CansequentlY,• anything which can be 'done to eliminate unnecessary handling, and to minimize the transportation cost through the introduction of scientifically correct principles must be favourably reflected in many directions.
C.M." Staff Vacancy.
There is a vacancy on the editorial staff of Trrs COMMERCIAL MOTOR for 3 man (not liable to military service) who possesses some technical knowledge of motor engineering with a bent for journalism. Apply in writing, giving full details of experience, to the Manager, Casssiniscrai. Moron, 7-15, Rosebery Avenue, -London, E.C. 1.
A Reconstruction Problem.
Dr. Addison the Minister of Reconstruction, in the course o/ his remarks to the members of the Press who recently met him in conference, stated that a corn. mittee would be formed to go into the difficulty that must arise out of the reluctance on the part of manufacturers and traders to acquire more materials. (in readiness for the coming of peace) than will barely tide them over the contracts to which they are committed, the feeling being that, in view of the inevitable fall of prices on the cessation of munition orders it will be better to' defer purchase of materials for.making articles for stock.
This committee has now been fanned under the chairmanship of Mr. -F. C. Harrison, C.S.I., who is a retired Indian Civil Service servant, and its duty will be
toinquire and report as to any measures which could be adopted, with a view to sei'..uring that manufacturers should be financially in a position to hold stocks 'after the war, and that reasonable'safeguards should be established to prevent serious financial losses as the result of posSible depression following a period of great inflation in respect of stocks of
materials required for industry: .
Dixie and Splitdorf Repairs.
Repairs orspare parts of Dixie. and Splitdorf magnetos can be quickly and most adequately furnished by the ;direct factory representatives' the. _Ainerican Supplies Co., Ltd., of 162; Great PortlandStreet, W. 1. This firm holds good steaks of replacing parts, and, employs a staff of mechanics specially skilled in
• " Dixie" details.
The " C.M." Spare Part Bureau is maintained in operation, but the need for conserving paper compels us now and again to exclude the list of parts offered or required by our readers. The listis not included in this issue.
Harrogate-T.O. is to purchase a 31 ton electric tipping wagon.
Gower (Glamorgan) R.D.C. is considering the purchase of a steam wagon.
Chesterton R.D.C. has decided to provide a motor ambulance at a oast of £165.
A sub-committee of Bury St. Edmunds TO, is considering the desirability of purchasing a motor wagon.
Derby T.C. has accepted the tender of the General 'Vehicle Co., Ltd., at £2810 for two electric 'coal Wagons. _ . .
Rochdale T.C. is, subject-to the usual consent, to purchase three electric motor lorries for the Cleansing Department.
Marylebone Council's Highways Committee proposes to buy a small motor vehicle for the cleansing superintendent at a cost of 2225.
The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis suggests that local authorities should have by-laws ensuring that none but red lamps should be used to indicate 'roadobstructions.
,The Metropolitan Asylums Board has secured the permission of the Ministry of Munitions to purchase, without advertising for tenders, a 35 hp. Clement-: Talbot chassis and certain spare parts.
The Metropolitan Water .Board has been hiring steam wagons, but as the rate for hiring was increased they called far tenders for two end-tipping rubbertyred.five-ton steam wagons. The tender of Aveling and Porter, Ltd., was accepted for twe vehicles of the type mentioned at £974 each.
At a recent meeting of the Llandaff and Dines Powis •R:DSC. it was stated that the Petrol Control, Department had refused to grant a larger :supply of petrol for the buses running between Whits church and Cardiff. It was decided to make application for a gas permit as the company had -already had two machines converted to run on gas waiting to go into serviie.