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29th March 1932, Page 58
29th March 1932
Page 58
Page 59
Page 58, 29th March 1932 — OPINIONS and QUERIES
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Chassis for Oil-engine Propulsion. Passengercarrying Limits on Buses. Abolishing the Dinner I-Jour at the Docks Charges for Private-hire Work. A Club and Its Coach. Costing for a Coal Contract. A Broken Bus Window

British Chassis Specifically Designed for Oil Engines.


[3701] ,Sir,—In your issue dated March 15th Mr. F. Young gives at length his views in connection with the designation of the oil engine. The concluding paragraph contains a rather sweeping assertion anent manufacturers of oil-engined vehicles. This, in my opinion, is far from being the case, and as regards the products of John Fowler and Co. (Leeds), Ltd., at least, can be shown to be very wide of the mark.

Mr. Young expresses the view that British' vehicle makers are offering petrol-engined chassis with an oil engine substituted for the petrol engine, i.e., the oilengined models are of petrol-vehicle specification, with the exception that the power unit is, of course, different.

One needs to go no farther than the pages of The Commercial Motor to realize that this view is not, in general, a correct one. On page 46 of your issue dated February 23rd it is stated that the favourable rate of fuel consumption obtained during your test of the Fowler six-wheeler is due, amongst other things to the high gear ratios utilized, taking advantage of the unique torque characteristics of the compressionignition engine. This is a direct refutation of Mr. Young's criticism in certain respects. Further, it should be borne in mind that the Fowler vehicles have been designed ab initio as oil-engined machines, so that every part of the transmission, etc., has been given a factor of safety suited to its work—not an inheritance from a petrol-engined forerunner.

This, I think, will prove that not all British oilengined-vehicle makers deserve the strictures which Mr. Young has applied in his letter.


Excess Passengers on One-man-operated Buses.


[3702] Sir,—We run a small fleet of 20-seater oneman-operated buses. We do not employ conductors.

In these circumstances are we entitled, under the Road Traffic Act, to overload up to 25 per cent. normally, or 50 per cent. at peak or exceptional times, such as the last bus home, etc.?

If not, and provided we employed a conductor during overloading, could we then do so?


For The White Lion Motors.

[You are not entitled to carry any passenger in excess of the seating capacity except when a conductor is carried. Paragraph 14 of the Public Service Vehicles (Equipment and Use) Provisional Regulations (No. 2), 1931, which were made on July 4th, 1931, provides that, in the case of a stage carriage carrying a conductor where additional passengers not exceeding 25 per cent. of the number for which the vehicle has seating capacity, and B40

not exceeding five in number, are carried, a person shall • not be convicted of the offence of carrying more passengers than the seating capacity if he satisfies the court that the additional passengers were taken up during hours of peak traffic, or in circumstances in which undue hardship would have been caused to such passengers if they had not been carried on the vehicle. In the case of a double-deck vehicle the additional passengers are calculated by reference to the seating capacity of the lower deck, and they may only be carried on that deck.

In no case are more than 25 per cent, additional passengers to be carried. We do not know how you obtained the idea that up to 50 per cent. may be carried at peak hours. As shown above it is only at peak hours, or during exceptional times that even the 25 per cent. additional passengers are allowed to be carried.—En.]

Losses Caused by the Dinner-hour Stop at Docks and Wharves.


[3703] Sir,—Further to the article, "Reducing Congestion at Docks and Wharves," in The Commercial Motor of March 15th, 1932, page 156, "Abolition Of Dinner Hour" would have been more appropriate, for it seems to me that particular stress has not been given to this point.

Primarily, congestion is due to an abnormal call by a number of applicants at the same point, and delay in loading and unloading. The essential advantage in the abolition of the dinner hour would be the saving of the one hour in each day of the week.

All transport concerns readily appreciate the annoyance caused when applying for goods at the docks all the morning, and when the particular consignment is to hand, ex the steamers, etc., preparations to commence to load are made, but they are suddenly confronted with an hour's delay owing to the intervention of the dinner hour.

The consignment may be practically completed, but, nevertheless, it nfeans either drawing away with a partly completed load or resuming after an hour. In fact, usually more than an hour is lost.

Consequently, the disadvantage soon becomes apparent. Customers are disappointed, the market is lost, a goods train may be missed, etc. Every road transport concern is affected very badly and there is often a serious loss.

E. C. SMITH, For M. and W. Mack, Road Transport Contractors. London, W.C.2.

Commencing a Private-hire Business.


[3704] Sir,—Being a constant reader of your journal, I am desirous of seeking your valuable advice. I am thinking of setting up a private-hire business and purchasing a used Daimler car for this purpose. Could you inform me as to the best model to buy and about the price I. should give? My capital is about £90. I would like to know what I should charge per mile so as to ensure a little ni.ofit, also what a hackney carriage plate costs and how it affects the licensing of the car. How can I arrange for insurance and what would it

cost? J. H. JOHNSON. Eltham,

[I think that you had better get a 25 h.p. Daimler, but I cannot give you any useful advice as to the price to pay. A 1928 model should cost you about £150, but a great deal depends upon its condition.

Your charge to make a reasonable profit will have to be about is. per mile. I say "about," because if you do a big mileage per week you can charge a little less than that, but if your 'average be only round about 300, you

will have to charge more. •

If the vehicle be licensed as a hackney carriage it will east you £12 per annum. Licensed as an ordinary car, of course, the cost would be £25 Per annum.

Your insurance is best taken out through a broker, but if, as I gather is the ease, you are going to purchase by instalments, you will probably find that you will have to insure with a company in whom the finance company is interested. The cost will be about £34 per, annum, that being for a full comprehensive policy, which is the kind the hire-purchase company will demand.—S.T.R.]

A Coach Run by a Club..


l3705) Sir,—Will you please inform me whether, if my club (private) were to run a 12-14-seater car (with private licence at 11 per h.p. and all seats insured) for the use of its members only, it would require a public service vehicle licence, as ordered by the Road Traffic Act? It • says in the pamphlet "purposes of agriculture, trade or business." As I understand that a club, properly registered, does not come under these headings, it is free to run a 12 or 14-seater car.

Again, as the club is private and has a private licence for a car, I presume that it is not interfered with by the hackney laws, as the car is not run for hire or reward.

I should be obliged by an answer by letter, so that I could place this before' my committee.


[It appears to us that where a club acquires a motor coach which is used only by the members of that club, the vehicle is a public service vehicle within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act, and that it is necessary to obtain a certificate of fitness and a Public service vehicle licence in respect of it. It appears that a road service licence

may also be necessary. •

Our reason for taking this view is that section 61 (2) of the Act declares that where persons are carried in a motor vehicle for any journey in consideration of payments made by them, whether to the owner of the vehicle or to any other person, the vehicle in which they are carried shall be deemed to be a vehicle carrying passengers for hire or reward at separate fares, whether the payments are solely in respect of the journey Or not.

There is no doubt but that a club vehicle is a public service vehicle where the members pay each time they are carded in it, and it appears to us that the position would be the same if the members paid a general subscription as members of the club, and as Members were allowed to travel in the club's vehicle on any occasion. In such a ease the members would be carried in the vehicle because they had made payments which entitled them, among other things, to use the vehicle.

It is true that there is a provision in tile same subsection of the Act which states that a vehicle used on a special occasion for the conveyance of a private party shall not be deemed to be a vehicle carrying passengers for hire or reward at separate fares by reason only that the members of the party have made separate payments which cover their conveyance by that vehicle on that olicasion. It is not easy to say what is a "special occasion," but the provision does not appear to be available in the case of a vehicle which is used regularly by the members of a club.

With regard to the pamphlet which you enclosed, we would point out that the footnote, after stating that the term "Private servicevehicle," includes any motor vehicle carrying passengersfor hire Or reward, except vehicles such as taxicabs which carry less than eight passengers, proceeds to point out that the definition includes any motor vehicle which is ordinarily used for the purposes of agriculture, trade or business if it is used for carrying eight or more passengers without reward other than workpeople going to or from their employment. The only reason for that footnote was to draw attention to the fact that where trade vehicles seating more than eight passengers were lent by the owners for the use of football teams, etc., public service vehicle licences were required. That requirement has now been withdrawn, but the general position, as outlined above, has not been altered.—ED.] A "Real System" of Haulage Costing.


[3706] Sir,—Would you, please, help me with the following contract? I am asked to quote for the haulage of coal a distance of approximately a mile each way. The annual tonnage would be about 5,000, and it would vary from 10 tons per day in summer to 40 tons per day in winter. The route is on average roads and all loads have to be tipped.

Would a 2-ton lorry be suitable? Competition is very keen here; but I want to quote a fair rate. I already run two 30-cwt. lorries, but they are not in full work, and I could manage the summer deliveries with one of these.

Thanks to your articles in The Commercial Motor I have been able to avoid many pitfalls; I have also adopted your system of recording revenues and operating costs—a real system, which you published in

January, 1931. M.M.F. Bolton.

[A 2-ton lorry would be suitable for the work in connection with the coal contract to which you refer. For the maximum loading you would have to use one of your 30-cwt. machines in addition during the winter months. Two vehicles should be sufficient to carry oat the work, even in the winter.

The cost would be as follows:— , One 2-tonner for 52 weeks, average 100 miles per week, £350. One 30-cwt. vehicle for 26 weeks, average 100 miles per week, £150. Total £500. (I am assuming that the 30-ewt. vehicle is engaged on other work during the rest of the year.)

Add Il.50 for establishment charges and profit in the case of the 2-tanner and £70 for the same in connection with the. 11-tonner. The total of £220 must be added to the foregoing £500 in order to arrive at your total charge, which is thus seen to' be £720.

If you quote on the basis of £750 per annum, that is equivalent to 3s. per ton.—S.T.R.] Payment Demanded for a Broken Bus Window.


[3707] Sir,—I have 'been advised to write you on the following subject :—.-Recently I was travelling on the upper deck of a ibus owned by a local company. When I got up to alight the bus stopped so abruptly that I was thrown against the side and my head went through a window.

As the injury I received was very slight I made no complaint to the company. This morning I received a letter from them, enclosing an invoice for 35s., covering the cost of a new window. Considering that I cannot see where any blame attaches to me, I do not feel prepared to pay this sum.

I should take it as a great kindness if you could tell me whether I am within my rights in refusing this 14, W. arcAS.

demand. Maids tone.

[We are more than surprised that the bus company should have sent you a bill for repairing the window.

In order to succeed in their claim it would be necessary for the company to prove that the accident was due to your negligence. To-day it could not be argued with any hope of success that it was negligence on the part of a passenger to rise from his seat before the bus had stopped.

We advise you to write to the company, returning the bill and denying that the accident was in any way due to negligence on your part. We shall be extremely surprised if you hear melt more about it.—En.1


Locations: London, Leeds

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