RAILWAYS COULD HELP FREE HAULIERS I 'WAS very pleased to read the leading article in
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the June 11 issue of "The Commercial Motor,which dealt with possible road and rail interchange of traffic.
I have previously expressed the same view that if the British Transport Commission will hand all the railway "C and D" work over to the free haulier working within a 25-mile radius, this would not only very materially improve the outlook for such hauliers, but would constitute a correct division of function. It could well be accomplished within the framework of the Transport Act.
R. B. BarrrAiN, Proprietor. National Parcels and Goods Services. Great Tarpots, South Benfleet.
BEWARE OF THE WELDING 'BOTCHER" IN these days, when spare parts are unusually difficult to obtain,.welding processes are naturally utilized more and more to keep existing components in service.
Welding, however, is a craft. demanding a high degree of skill if the results are to be lastingly satisfactory. Many " botchers " abound in this trade, and in the course of our business numerous parts, such as cylinder heads and blocks, manifolds, and the like, are brought to us mutilated, distorted and often irreparably ruined by inept attention.
I have personally inspected slightly damaged components which, had they been entrusted to a skilled welder in the first place, could have been easily and economically repaired, but they have already been completely scrapped by being given to a "botcher."
This letter is intended as a warning to the unwary, and not as publicity for this concern—there are many firstrate welding specialists up and down the country.
London, S.E 1. F. R. G. SPIKINS, Chairman. (For taystall Engineering Co., Ltd.)
THE "IDEAL" BUS DESIGN SEVERELY CRITICIZED
'WITH reference to the query as to what is the ideal VY bus chassis, raised in your article of June 11, surely we cannot let the writer "get by" with the design put forward. In my view, this is out of date in many respects.
The leaf-spring suspension, with the consequent frame racking resulting in punishment to the body, does not compare favourably with independent suspension either by coil springs or rubber, especially the latter. Most of us are now aware of the happy results in the way of maintenance and in reduction in weight and cost
obtained by American designers and builders. Must we always wait and see 7' instead of taking the lead?
Why place the engine in the mid-position of the frame supports, thereby calling for heavy construction for the same frame stress, when a more forward position could achieve the results with a lighter construction? Although a matter of only small importance, I think it may be an error to use a coupling of the rubberbush type on the worm shaft. I am not aware that this form of coupling can stand the heavy torque load • at the angular displacement called for at this point. It may, of course, be quite satisfactory for engine torque with only slight angular movement, as in the case where the coupling is positioned in front of the gearbox.
Why should we not have disc brakes instead of the ordinary pattern, or have we learnt nothing from Tank design? In referring to a gearbox, is the writer not ignoring the progress that is being made in other directions?
It seems to me that the proposed design of the " ideal" bus chassis spells stagnation. It may suit those now in control of our transport industry, but if so, the fine position that we have held in the oVerseas trade may be lost. To retain it a forward design policy must be encouraged and followed. J would like, however, to pay tribute to your artist for the very excellent illustration.
T. E. C. HIRST (designer-draughtsman). Coventry.
SHOULD ENGINES BE FLEXIBLY MOUNTED?
T NOTED that your article entitled "Is This the Ideal 'Bus Chassis?" in your issue dated June 11 implies that flexible engine mountings are required to reduce the " idling " vibration of oil engines. This is quite a common idea, but is none the less false; in fact the position is quite the reverse. If comparison be made between vehicles having rigid or nearly rigid engine mountings (Bristol K and L series, Daimler CWA6, and Leyland PD1/PS1 are examples) and those with flexible mountings (such as A.E.C. Mk_ III, Albion CX, Daimler, Dennis, Guy, Foden and Leyland PD2/PS2) it is found that the former are quite steady while idling, but are in general rougher and noisier to ride in when on the move. On the other hand those with flexible mountings are prone to a certain amount of "dither " during Naturally, there are variations due to differences in design, including, incidentally, the type and mounting of the body, governor settings, etc. Broadly speaking, however, this appears to be the case. As a bus spends more time moving than idling, the second scheme would seem to be the better.
Little or no progress has been achieved during recent years in making the oil engine itself smoother in running. The smoothest-running oil engine on an almost rigid mounting that I have encountered is the Leyland 8.6-litre which first appeared about 15 years ago. It seems, therefore, that the flexible mounting is here to stay, whatever snags there may be. The only other course is to use a petrol engine, as in the Maudslay Marathon Mk. III, and a ride in such a vehicle is inclined to make one a little sorry that the oil engine was ever adapted to buses—at least from the passengers'
viewpoint. A. A. TOWNSIN. London, N.21.
[The criticisms of Mr. Hirst and Mr. Townsin are welcome, and the views of other readers are invited_ Only by a free interchange of ideas can the ultimate in design be approached.—Fo.]