Opinions from Others.
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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 prefennce. The right of abbreviation is reserved, and no responsibility
for the views expressed is accepted. In the case of experiences, names of towns or localities may be withheld.
American Lorries Condemned.
The Editor, TILE COMMERCLLL MOTOR.
_1,019] Sir,—Although the paragraph under the above heading, in your issue for the 12th August, bears out to some extent my contentions respecting American commercial-vehicle design published early in this year, one is bound to admit, as you say, that the statement of "The Morning Leader's " correspondent is too sweeping to carry much weight with it. America, I take it, is suffering from the attempt to utilize the horizontal engine and the " submerged " vertical power unit in commercialvehicle design' and so, for the time being at any rate, some French and Swiss houses have been favoured with orders for lorries, etc., in a good many instances. This business, however, may not continue, as some of the leading U.S. makers are now turning out bonneted chassis with vertical engines, and others undoubtedly will follow their wise example.
Concerning our firms over here, I consider that stronger efforts on the part of British makers to effect sales in the U.S. would not go unrewarded, and, further, if capital could be raised, branch factories might be erected in America for the production of commercial chassis of British design. Whatever the Britisher is going to do in this direction, he should do quickly, as, even if the American commercial-vehicle designer is behind modern European practice, as some authorities infer, he will certainly not long remain behind.
Lastly, I would like to mention the importance of giving full publicity to sales effected with purchasers in any heavily-protected country, for I consider that to get an order from a man who is willing to pay 45 per cent. duty over and above the purchase price is a bit of a triumph for the country which produces the vehicle. I have two examples which came under my notice recently, and which throw considerable light on the dangerous apathy which seems to exist regarding such successes, whether in the commercial or pleasure branches of motoring. They are : (1)—Sale of a three-ton truck by a Scotch firm for use in America, the news of which did not reach Europe until one of the U.S. heavy papers wrote up and illustrated the machine at work.
(2)—Sale of a six-cylinder landaulet to a rich Pennsylvanian, at a cost of £1,400, on which he would, of course, pay the 45 per cent. duty.
After a good deal of what my managing director called " raving,' I got the firm to have this latter ear photographed, but the views were never made any use of, and this unrivalled example of the preference for an undeniably-fine British article passed unchronieled and unnoticd. Horrible, is it not P—Yours faithfully, ARTHUR E. A. M. TURNER.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MoTon.
[1,020] Sir,—Three very interesting letters appeared in your issue of the 12th August, upon which I should like to pass a few remarks, as they involve subjects of the first importance to motor-wagon users. The first is that of Mr. Fredk. G. Wreyford, whose letter presents a record of work done which will make most owners of motor wagons feel that they have only been playing at the game. If Mr. Wreyford has not made a miscalculation. he has. during the past 12 months, including a long spell of frosty weather, carted an average of 19 tons a day a distance of 251 miles for six days a week ; even for a comparatively-new wagon, this must surely be an exceptionally-fine performance. and one of which both the makers and owners must he justly proud. I hope, however, that, when next Mr. Wreyford travels 85 miles with a ten-ton load each way, he will be more careful about the speed limit. Such performances as he has chronicled are liable to be quoted by surveyors as showing the daily practice of motor-wagon owners, . and they create a wrong impression. A further interesting letter from the Lynton Wheel and Tyre Syndicate reminds me that only last week 1 saw a pair of these wheels, when I noticed that the rims of the wheels were rather badly dented, suggesting that the rubber pads were not deep enough to protect the rims from damage on rough roads. Referring to Mr. R. J. Williams's letter on rubbertired steam wagons, I have had some experience in contracting for brewers and can assure him that we all appreciate the undue delays which have to be endured when we are delivering goods to public houses. Publicans are too often gentlemen who are physically incapable of being in a hurry themselves, and they cannot understand that to other people it is sometimes a necessity ; they are extremely autocratic, and must be treated with great deference if friendly relations are to be maintained. As to having empties ready waiting for a wagon, that, of course, should be done as a matter of common sense, where possible, but to get the empties out of the cellars before the arrival of the wagon would in many cases involve obstructing a pavement, and in most cases involve occupying valuable space. Another point to be considered is that it is not always possible to clear out a customer's empties, owing to the composition of the load on the wagon, and, therefore, the publican usually waits for the wagon before making preparations. I cannot say I fancy the suggestion of a crane on a wagon for lowering into cellars ; in many cases, it would be altogether impractical, as the wagons' cannot in all cases draw up opposite the cellar door, which may be down a back-yard, or even inside a house.
Unfortunately, motor-wagon carriers are faced with thedouble task of trying to set their own houses in order amid surroundings in which chaos reigns. The general' public who employ carriers have in many cases vet to learn that their interests are bound up in the carrying trade, and, whilst it is often the case that a manufacturer will equip his mill with the very latest. labour-saving. machinery, he contents himself with the most primitive arrangements for receiving the raw material and dispatching the finished article. I have a case in my mind of a mill which manufactures cloth for shipment, which cloth is dispatched in a finished state. This cloth must on no account be soiled, and it must not get wet; vet the ground surrounding the loading stage is a perfect quagmire on a wet day, and the shelter against rain is so inadequate that on very wet days loading operations must be suspended until tho worst is over It sometimes takes half a day to load eight tons of cloth. In another mill, the loading place is so arranged that the cloth must be delivered from the same door out of the packing room as it enters by from the weaving shed; thus, one gang must be temporarily stopped during loading operations. Time and again the loading and unloading stages are to be found cramped for room and height and width, and placed in most inaccessible positions: a hurry should not have to perambulate round a works yard to deliver goods. Na business man would think of piecing his enquiry office at the hack of his works, and one would probably explain that, if he did not wish to accommodate his customers. he at any rate did not wish to have them wandering round his premises. The same argument should hold good with strangers who collect and deliver his goods.
A further subject which receives the scantiest attenthis is the manner in which goods are made up for
delivery. Only this week we have handled sonic class "C" traffic, 129 bundles of which only weighed 4 ions 4 cwt., and these made as big a load on the wagon and trailer as it was possible to get on. It is high time that the Board of Trade stepped in on behalf of the carrying industry and saw to it that the country's money was not wasted in transporting feather weights at ridiculous prices in order that individual firms might save a few extra coppers, and, should railways ever become nationalized, the importance of my complaint would no doubt receive due recognition. I have already dealt with the subject of delays until 1 am ashamed to mention it again, and, from conversations I have had with railway traffic managers. I know something of the tremendous loss they suffer yearly from this cause alone. Cheap and rapid transport has been acknowledged to be one of the most valuable assets a country can possess; yet the transport of goods is perhaps the least developed of all our industries. Our log sheet for last week is comparatively small in proportion to recent ones, owing to holidays: earnings, £43; tonnage, 116; mileage, 540; percentage of work done, 50; coke used, 6 tons; oil used (gear), 7 gallons ; and oil used (cylinder), 5 gallons—Yours, etc.,
" Aloroa-wscox CARRIER.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL Moecia.
[1,021] Sir,--The following is a brief record of a Stnewer lorry, which I have been driving for 12 months. It was purchased, second hand, from Messrs. Martin, of Bow Bridge, in July of 1908. It has (livered over 8,000 miles during the 12 months, carrying W, to 4 tons daily, and no journey lost during the whole of that time, and the district traversed is very hilly, and roads also bad.
The following are the running costs: Petrol. £39; oil, t8 6s. 3d.: grease, £3 5s.; wages, £91: depreciation on 1:250 at 20 per cent. on capital. £50: interest at 5 per cent, on capital, £12 10s.; repairs, £10; and tires, £41 13s. 4d.
Enclosed is a photograph of the lorry.—Yours faith fully, IT. F. W. JORDAN.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
[1,022] Sir,—It might interest some of your readers to have a note of the running costs of our Sentinel wagon. It carries 10 tons, with a trailer, up hill to Yonghal Station, a distance of 31 miles for the single journey, six times a day, through a town with very narrow streets, and returns empty down hill. The wagon starts at 6 a.m., and is finished before 6 p.m. For the 17 weeks ended the 30th June, it has carried 6,120 tons, the total mileage is 3,978, and the fuel (ordinary gas coke) consumed is 28 tons 1 cwt. Tho running costs, including 20 per cent. depreciation and all charges are £113 10s. The cost per ton-mile of net load carried is 1.36d., and, if we had loads both way, this would be reduced to hi. The fuel consumption is just under 16 lb. per wagon-mile. The wagon gives no trouble whatever, and looks as though it would go on for years at this rate. It may also interest your horse-owning readers to note that the wagon is doing the work of lfhorses. We had 15 when the wagon was delivered, and now keep but one for general work. I do not know any other make of wagon that could approach these results under my conditions, and I have made a very careful study of the matters.
I will be glad to give any enquirer any further particulars.—Yours faithfully,
Fur THE YOLIGHAL AND MONARD BRICE AND TILE CO., LTD. J. R. SMYTH, Managing Director. Youghal, Co. Cork.
10ther users, we dare say, will be able to give good reports of other makes.—F.n.]
What to do with our Old Motor Wagons: A Suggestion to Motor Carriers.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
_1.023] Sir,—The suggestion from " Observer" in your issue of the 26th August (No. 1,017) is highly diverting, and it savours very much of a rescue scheme for motorwagon manufacturers who want to pass off old crocks upon an unsuspecting public. If a machine is good enough to be purchased for the purpose of town haulage by new companies, such as your correspondent imagines might be formed, why should it not be used by its present owner ? Flow can he possibly maintain that it is better for any organized undertaking to he worked with second-hand and inferior machines, especially in these days when, as you, Sir, have pointed out, depreciation is a matter of so much per mile, rather than of fashion? New wagons will pay upon the classes of town work he names just as well as any discarded second-hand wagons, which are, too often, wheezy, blowing, noisy, rattling, leaky, and generallyuneconomical contraptions, which have been damaged by rough usage, not to say by collision or their being overturned in the course of their hard lives, and which seldom work at more than 45 per cent. of their original efficiency. The cost of putting them right is heavy, and the result problematical. How, too, can " Observer " get over the known and admitted faults of steam wagons which were constructed prior to the year 1905? Or, is it that he suggests the rescue companies for machines which are not yet four years old? If the latter, his views are diametrically opposed to necessity, because a modern steam wagon of good make should run for eight or ten years, and keep in normal condition. Again, the interest on the secondhand price is only £12 10s. a. year less than on the new price, which is not much of a saving.
In conclusion, I want to know where the good steam wagons can be got at £200 each, and how your correspondent figures out that from 12s. to 15s. per day is sufficient for the new occupation in which he suggests they should be placed ? The whole proposition, to my mind, is far-fetched and impracticable, unless in a very limited number of cases.Yours faithfully, D. ROBERTS.