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30th May 1922, Page 15
30th May 1922
Page 15
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

L N NO industry in which motor vehicles are utilized on ail extensive scale are they subjected -to a greater variety of

• work, or are they likely to encounter stricter tests of their -reliability and durability,, than in the.building trade. Anyone, however little conversant with building matters, will readily appreciate the Vastly different kinds of loads which must be transported, the materials ranging from fine sand to such cumbersome and difficult articles, from 'a transport point of view, as steel girders and concrete slabs of varying dimen sions. . . • . • , • Then, again, the task of conveying builders' materials is rendered increasingly difficult by the heavy going so often encountered on new building estates, where these inconvenient loads . must be • carried, in most cases across ordinary stretches' of fields, or at best ever partially made roads, whieh in Wet weather become exceedingly soft and make the pro gress Of heavy vehicles an exceedingly• hard task. . These facts shouldbe borne in mind by all headers—or, indeed, any person considering the aderption of the commercial vehicle for work • in connection With the building trade

br point directl: to the necessity for purChasing, at the

outset, vehicles ,which Will stand the heavy strain to which they will undoubtedly be submitted, and in no less degree the facts indicate the necessity for employing men especially qualified to undertake this exacting work. .

Why Builders Sublet Their Haulage.

Having regard to these essentials, buildersin the Newcastle district rely, not so much upon transport facilities of theft own as upon the experience of firms who specialize exclusively, or almost exclusively, in the haulage of all classes of goods pertaining to building and its closely allied industries. Such a firm is that of Messrs. H. G. Martin and Co., Ltd., of 121-127, City Road, Newca,stle, who, with a fully qualified staff of drivers, etc., have devoted themselves to a very large extent, since the very inception of the business, to catering for the transport needs of local builders and contractors, who, it might be mentioned in passing, as a general rule, own only one or, probably at most, two lighter wagons for the carrying of occasional small loads.

When a representative of The Commercial Motor called upon Mr. Martin he was able to obtain some valuable hints with reference to the operation of that company's standardized fleet of Watson vehicles, and their performances on some of the recent Government housing schemes and other building operations upon which they have been engaged over the past two years.

The fleet is composed partly of tipping wagons (which, naturally, are exception'ally useful vehicles so far as the building trade is concerned, because of the amount of time which can be savedin maIoading'as compared with performing that task by manual labour) and flat platform lorries with detack able sides. All are of four-ton capacity, -Which the firm consider is the ideal type for the b-ualding trade, as the vast majority of loads which the vehicles are called upon to move works out at either about four tons, or multiples of that quantity. For instance, a load of 1,000 bricks weighs roughly four tons, as does 1, standards of timber—a usual quantity ordered by builders—whilst most other commodities, such as send, cement, etc., are all also ordered in similar measures, or in multiples of the quantity:

For the conveyance of long lengths of timber, which are en difficult to handle and move, ..the firm have had a bolster fitted to one of the flat-bodied wagons. This bolster just clears the hood, and has horns at each side to prevent timber

from slipping -ofts . By means of this device, coupled with eXpert. „loading, the most ungainly of loads can be conveyed

over long distances without the slightest trouble. The general duties of the fleet consist of collecting

• ingmaterials of all kinds from local goods stations, brickyards, yards, tiMber yards, sand depots, etc., and delivering, in most instances, direct to the housing estate.

• . TOuching upon the advantages offered by the motor wagon to the building trade, Mr. Martin. pointed out that, in the first place, over distances exceeding two and a half miles, it was .fai: and away cheaper than horse transport. At present Owners of commercial vehicles were severely handicapped hy•the-£0,road tax and the £22 insurance per lorry. There liciever, be no question of the superiority of the corninercial 'ineter from all standpoints, particularly as compared with horse transport for long, or comparatively long, runs. Estiiiioip.g the speed of horse haulage at 4 m.p.h. and the

• motor at 12 m.p.h., the latter could travel at three times the sp'eed, 'and, in addition, could accommodates load four times as 'great, thereby effecting a particularly: -large saving, both . in the Matter of time and labour. In view of the fact that lost time in the transport of necessary materials often meat loss of time on the building job and consequent holding up of important work, this point was a vital one.

As an average estimate of the activities of his fleet, Mr. Martin said that something like 1,D00 tons to 1,400 tons of building material were moved each month, including loading and discharging, the ground covered being roughly within a 20-mile radius of the Tyneside capital. The majority of the work, however, lies within eight or nine miles of the city. Each vehicle covers approximately 200 miles per week.

Naturally, the heavy wear and tear to which the vehicles are subjected necessitate very careful garage attention, and a half-day per week is usually allowed to each vehicle, when it is thoroughly inspected and overhauled and all bolts, etc., tightened up. Particular attention 6hould also he given to lubrication and greasing, for this, added -to great care of the engine, will, es has been the case of the fleet in point, do much to minimize breakdowns and such unwelcome happenings. Indeed-, during the two years of its running, this Watson fleet has given particular satisfaction, and has proved that, just as the fourtonner is an eminently suitable vehicle for the building trade from the point of view of size, so is the Watson from the standpoint of Make by reason of its reliability and durability.


People: Martin
Locations: Newcastle

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