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Opinions from Others.

28th October 1909
Page 17
Page 18
Page 17, 28th October 1909 — Opinions from Others.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The Editor invites correspondence on all subjects connected with the use of commercial motors. Letters should .be on one side of the Paper only, and type-written by preference. The right of abbreviation is reserved, and no responstbility for the views expressed is accepted. In the case of experiences, names of towns or localities may be withheld.

The Life of Commercial Motors.


[1,046] Sir,—With reference to the paragraph in your issue of the 7th inst., respecting the subject of the life of motor vehicles, perhaps it will interest you to know that our Napier delivery van, built for us in 1901, still runs as well as ever. It has travelled over 100,000 miles, in all parts of the United Kingdom, and, as an example of the economy that can be effected in motor traffic, we believe our case to be quite unique. Our car has well earned its name of "Charley's Aunt."—Iours faithfully,

Ealing, W. J. E. SHARP AND SON.

! We illustrated this " Risin Snn Metal Polish" van on the 18th May 1905. End

A Travelling Workshop.


[1,047] Sir,-1 enclose herewith an amateur photograph of a motorvan which has been put to a somewhat-novel use. The van is a 10 h.p. Napier, and it is used to render first aid to motorists in difficulties. It is used more particularly during Newmarket race weeks, when it patrols the London-Newmarket road, where the repair-shops are 3.5 miles apart. It has been mostuseful, in assisting cars with tire and other troubles when they would have been in a bad case without its help. A precisely-similar van has been recently supplied to the Coldham Model Laundry, of Cambridge, by the East Anglian Auto Agency. Other laundries may be pleased to knoiv that it has proved most successful. carrying heavy loads at 20 m.p.h., and costing only about 2s., for a 35mile day, for oil and petrol. The agency mentioned proposes to push commercial vans and lorries in its district, and it will be pleased to receive lists, etc., from manufacturers.—Yours faithfully,

Cambridge. EDWD. T. SAINT.

The Extension of Heavy Motor Traffic.


[1,048] Sir,—The petrol tax and the use to which it is suggested that it should be put are subjects of the greatest concern to all owners of commercial-motor vehicles, and, as one who is carrying on his business by steam motor wagons, I ask permission to emphasize a few points which have occurred to me on this subject. In the first place, I think that you. Sir, deserve the thanks of all owners of commercial vehicles for the statesmanlike attitude you have adopted in the matter in your endeavour to persuade your readers that, however roughly the tax may have been promulgated, it is, nevertheless, sound in principle, and as such should be welcomed by motorists. It is because I recognized, with you, the absolute need of some such legislation, that I deprecate any senseless attack upon you, and there has been one.

Heavy-motor-wagon owners occupy, to-day, an anomalous position, and the sooner they get out of it the better for the trade all round. Firstly, the roads are unfit for our machines, and, as a consequence, we do excessive damage both to the roads and to our machines in running over them. Secondly, we have no influence which we can bring to bear to remedy this state of affairs: we are an unpopular class, and pay no taxes, and the combination is fatal to our ever receiving any serious attention. Lastly, whilst we are permitted to use the roads, we are only allowed to do so to a limited extent; otherwise, we are liable to be proceeded against for extraordinary damage to the roads, which may very well spell ruin. Such a state of affairs may have answered the purpose while motor wagons were only in an experimental stage, but, now that they have taken up a permanent position in the transport of goods, which is rapidly growing, better arrangements are urgently required.

Motor-wagon users must now have suitably-constructed roads, on which to run their machines, and they must be put into a position to enforce this right quite as. promptly as the authorities demand that they abide by the regulations pertaining to the use and construction of their machines. Moreover, all roads must be open for their unlimited use, and there must be no possibility of actions being taken for excessive damage to roads. At present, it is impossible, as your correspondent " Motor-Wagon Carrier " points out, for motor-wagon owners to take on big contracts. This embargo must be removed.

To my mind, there is but one way for these necessary alterations to come about, for it is quite evident that local authorities cannot deal with the subject, and it is not fair to ask them, in view of the fact that they may become heavily taxed for through traffic, from which they reap no benefit. The central authorities must bear the burden, and it is only reasonable that they should look to motorists to contribute to the cost. But here a very important point arises, and one which must be kept well to the front in every step taken. Any tax which is put on to users of the roads for their improvement must apply to all users of the roads: otherwise, unfair competition is set up between those who are taxed and those who are not. Ronda are essentially built for business purposes— the same as canals and railways. The railways have long ago recognized this, and they offer special terms to business men; in the same way, special terms should be offered to commercial vehicles, as compared with pleasure cars or carriages, but, whilst the burden must be graduated, every user of the road must pay something.

The chief danger of the proposed tax, to my thinking, is the tendencyto try and arrange that a user pays for the use of the road. This is unfair. The roads are provided for the use of the whole nation, and, whilst users may pay a supertax in fairness, a certain proportion must always be borne by the whole community, who, whether they use the road or not, individually are receiving a direct benefit from their existence. For example, I carry paper bags by road between two towns, and am able to effect an economy in transit by my direct service from point to point. The consignor and the consignee both benefit, together with myself, by the existence of a good road connecting the two towns, and to a certain degree they are using that road in combination with myself. It has been suggested that special motor roads should be constructed, but this is generally looked upon with disfavour, and rightly so, for it is an excellent example of what will occur if any endeavour is made to tax road users by sections.

The stream of traffic passing along our highways to-day comprises every form of vehicle, and must ever remain 80, and it will be to the best interests of the country that our great roadways should be open to all vehicles which can find a just cause to trade upon them.—Yours faithfully,


An Engineers Employment Register.


[1,049] Sir,—Some time ago, an employment register was instituted by this society, for the use of professional engineers seeking employment, and, in view of the utility of such an organization, it is hoped that you will render any assistance in your power by publishing this letter.

Where a vacancy is advertised, the employer is immediately inundated with hundreds of applications, the examination of which involves considerable extra work and loss of time (to say nothing of temper), but the use of this register goes far to solve the difficulty of selection from among a large number of applicants personally unknown to the advertiser. The principal features of the register are as follow :— (I) No fees of any kind are charged, the cost of management being defrayed by the Society with a view to the ultimate benefit of the profession.

(II) Qualified engineers of all grades may have their names recorded, though in making a selection from a number of equally-suitable men preference is naturally given to members of the Society, for whom the register was originally instituted.

(III) Only a few names of probably-suitable candidates are put forward for each vacancy, so as to facilitate the employer's choice as much as possible.

(IV) Every effort is made to get personal knowledge of candidates, together with full details of their qualifications, before sending in their names. A number of well-qualified men, representing the various branches of engineering work, are now available, and it is thought that if the register were better known it would be widely used and appreciated by all who require draughtsmen, inspectors, and other classes of assistants. Employers are invited to send inquiries, by telephone or in writing, to the secretary, stating their requirements as regards age, qualifications, salary, etc.—Yours faithfully, A. S. E. ACKERMANN. Society of Engineers,

17, Victoria Street, S.W.

London General Methods.


[1,050] Sir,—I have read the letter from your sorrespondent Mr. Spowart, and am quite in accord with him ; it is time they woke up, and also quite time that some of the red tape and officialism were disposed of. I am a close observer of motorbus affairs in London, and I should like to mention some of the points that have struck me:—

No. 5 Road, Hampstead to Waterloo.—This is an example of L.G.O.C. opposition, but, unfortunately, the opposition buses have been greatly underrated. Most of the red General buses, also the Union Jacks, are badly lighted, and, although some Wolseley overhauls last month were fitted with acetylene lights, this does not seem to be carried out on the later overhauls.

Endeavours should be made to retain the drivers, and not to let them go to opposition and private firms.

Endeavours should be made to amalgamate or work in agreement with G.E.L.M.O. Co.

Give conductors a card with printed fares. which can be carried in the pocket.

(Jive drivers some idea of the road to he travelled, especially when commencing a new service.

First-class mechanics are a necessity.

In concluding, I think if the directors of the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd., were to take the public into their confidence more, it would be greatly appreciated.— Yours faithfully, '' REGULAR." Water in Petrol Cans.


[1,051] Sir,--May we ask you to extend to us the courtesy of your columns to draw attention to a matter which we think is of as much, or even more, importance to users as to ourselves:. We cannot help but think that there is an increasing use being made of petrol cans for the purpose of carrying water for filling the radiators of motorvans, taxicabs, etc. Whilst we take every precaution that is humanly possible, by thoroughly rinsing all empty cans by means of our petrol-can washing machines which have been installed at every one of our filling stations, still we think that if owners, garage proprietors, etc., would make a special effort to prevent such use of petrol tins, it would materially assist towards the elimination of trouble in the carburetter.—Yours faithfully, For „BRITISH PETROLEUM CO., LTD., E. F. HINDMARSH.

22, Fenchurch Street, E.C.

The "Trolley bus."


[1,052] Sir,—I have read with great interest your excellent description of the new " trolleybus," and have no doubt that, so far as Messrs. James and Browne are concerned, it is an excellent piece of work. What I fail to understand, as one having some experience of electric road vehicles, is the excessive weight and horse-power of the motors, and also the employment of a complicated, wasteful and inefficient bevel drive. Surely, if batterydriven buses carrying 34 passengers can be propelled by two motors of 6 h.p. (nominal) each, there is no need to multiply this power fourfold in the case of a smaller vehicle's These motors weigh but 380 lb. each. I also fail to see why a bevel drive is employed at all, unless, as appears from the illustration, an attempt has been made to utilize ordinary tramcar motors, which are of too great a length to be accommodated " crosswise " in the chassis. In any case, the provision of a coupling device in the bevel-gear case is unnecessary for two reasons: firstly, the electric motor is now such a reliable piece of mechanism as to be practically immune from breakdown; and, secondly, in the event of that occurrence, the vehicle could quite well be brought home on one motor by disconnecting the faulty one. I should think that, with the drive equally distributed between both rear wheels, in the absence of a differential, the steering would be a matter of extreme difficulty, and I cannot follow the argument for employing a three-wire trolleyline, as, with a properly-designed equipment, • there is absolutely no danger of shock to passengers when only two lines are employed.

On the whole, it strikes one as an exceedingly-illthought-out scheme, and as one not likely to meet with success in its present form, quite apart from legal diffi culties.—Yours faithfully, S.D.H:


People: Spowart, Ealing
Locations: Victoria, London, Cambridge

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