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Progress of Our Institute Plan

28th January 1944
Page 23
Page 23, 28th January 1944 — Progress of Our Institute Plan
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Association of Municipal Transport Engineers Unanimously Agrees to Support the Proposed Body : More Points_ Submitted by Engineers Desirous of Joining

THERE is great news this week for those many operating and maintenance engineers a-ho are interested, or likely to be so, in our proposed Institute of Road Transport' Engineers. Already we have had several favourable communications from men responsible Inc the condition of

vehicles employed in municipal transport. Shortly after the publication of our leader on this matter we received a letter from the Association of Municipal Transport Engineers, which was formed late in 1938 by a small number of people who felt the need for a body which could cater for the requirements of those engaged by local authorities in the maintenance and repair of their vehicle fleets.

So far, this Association has -made no attempt to bring within its scope 'engineers concerned with public-service vehicles, although one or two of these became members. Progress was held up by the war, and it was not until 1942 that it was able really to get going. Since then its members have been meeting regularly once a month at Holborn Hall, London, W.C.1.It is not a large body and the majority of those concerned is within the Greater London area,. although there are members so far away as Cardiff,. Wallasey and Leeds. The honorary secretary says that the Association has always taken the view that whilst it was anxious to grow, quality is better than quantity, and to be, really beneficial it must consist of only those who, by their skill, zeal and experience, are able to promote the welfare. of the municipal-transport. engineer.

At the monthly meetings papers are read by 'various members, an interchange of ideas takes place, and there are discussions on all subjects pertaining to repairs and maintenance. As a result, the members have been able to help each other in numerous .ways. We have seen some of the papers, which are most practical and interesting. .

This Association is willing to co-operate in any scheme which will assist in the formation of an institute or Association of Road Transport Engineers. Within the past few days we have received a further letter from the honorary secretary, saying that at its most recent meeting it was unanimously agreed to support the proposed formation of such an Institute as we are suggesting.

The membership of the A.M,T.E. is only 43, but with the applications of those from other sections of the industry who have expressed their wish to join, the total for the proposed Institute, on Tuesday, January 25, was 120,. if all these be eligible and accepted. We do not consider this to he unsatisfactory progress, for a proposition which was -not mooted in definite form until January 7, and it brings the idea into more practicable shape, for,no doubt, there are many others who are hesitant. . We know very well, from previous experience, that for one person who will send written approval or criticism of any particular subject, there are usually several who, whilst interested, await further and more concrete developments.

Forming the Proposed institute We are now, going into the question of tbe regulations and fees governing the formation of an institute of this nature. It costs very little to form an association, but the registration of an institute, if ia he approved by the authorities, would probably approach the sum of £100. On the other hand, its status would be far higher than that of an association and, consequently, it would, 'no doubt, prove more beneficial to its members.

It would, of course, not be for us Os a journal to take any unapproved action in this way. What we intend to do, when the applications reach a stifficient number, 1..s to call a meeting in London for as many as can attend. Probably the meeting could best follow a luncheon. We would then ask those present to elect a working committee which could deal with the details required for registration. The question would also arise as to obtaining the services of someone qualified to act as honorary secretary until the body possesses a -membership which would justify the . appointment of a salaried official, either partor wbole-time. a Here are a few more excerpts from letters received from readers:—FrOm Kent, one writes to say that he would be happy to co-operate in the formation of the proposed body. He is a. time-served engineer employed as a mechanical super-visor by an important council and responsible for the repair and maintenance of 140 vehicles.

A transport manager responsible for the maintenance and repair of a fleet of 30 vehicles -in Staffs states that he has ' followed the articles concerning this project with keen interest and Would like to express his admiration 'of the

purpose behind the idea. Most transport engineers will agree that some form of co-operation is heeded between manufacturers ; designers and themselves, and they appreciate the valuable efforts to lay the foundations of the Institute, the benefis of which everyone in the industry

may ultimately enjoy. He has had 20 years' practical experience of road transport, and during this period has witnessed a few of its ups and downs.To-day he realizes that there is a great deal of work to be done if the industry is to be developed and advanced to the position that it should hold as one of the greatest national industries, and he believes that this will be achieved only by the wholehearted and united efforts of all transport operators. He has Some doubt as to what, will be regarded as eligibility for membership and would like to be notified as to the rules and conditions immediately they become available, .

Qualifications for Membership So far as the latter remarks are concerned this will be a matter for settlement by any committee which may be formed. We helieve, however, that one of the essential requirements is that a member should be in the closest contact with the practical side of vehicle maintenance. He should be either the engineer-in-charge or, in the case of the larger fleets, chief assistant to him. The closer the contact members have with the actual job, the more valuable are their views likely to be to the Institute. Another application comes from a mechanical-transport

engineer, who is an A.M.I.A.E, and A.I.Mar.E. He has .nearly 40 years' experience in motor and general engineering, possesses an all-round knowledge of the repair and oyerhaul of all types of motor vehicle, and has specialized

in heavy commercials. •

A correspondent from Yorks considers there is a great future for such an organization. He has been amember of the Hull Traffic Association and, later, of the Industrial Transport Association, but has often felt that if only the 'engineers responsible were able to discuss their difficulties and make their suggestions direct, instead of through industrial traffic managers, they would be able -to get somewhere, as many of those in charge of the general transport arrangements, and sometimes their assistants, are often office staff with little or no real knowledgeof practical engineering except what they can pick up from their service engineers. This particular man maintains ,some 80 vehicles, One who describes himself as a regular reader for a number of years, regards the formation of such an institute as the means for getting together the practical maintenanee engineers of the industry, and he hopes that the proposal receives the support deserves. He is responsible for the maintenance of heavy transport ranging from machinerycarrying low-loaders to forestry tractors and mobile cranes.

An Essex engineer welcomes the suggestion and says that his experience, which' has extended over 20 years, covers fleets of up to 200 vehicles.

From Welling a would-be member says that, in his opinion, it i5 about time such an institute was brought to life, but it is better late than never, 'Undoubtedly a body built upon 'the lines suggested would fill a most useful purpose and draw the right class of engineer to make it a success. He hopes that we shall be swamped with teplies so that we can-go ahead with it. So'far-we have not exactly been " swamped," although not a day has' passed without our receiving some applications

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