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30th May 1922, Page 34
30th May 1922
Page 34
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

. What He Thinks of the Value of Mechanical Haulage.

0 NE OF THE largest builders, public works centraotors and engineers in the provinces is Henry Boot and Sons (London), Ltd. of 125, Moore Street, Sheffield, who also have offices in London and Paris. This company run a miscellaneous fleet of 42 vehicles, the major portion of which is commercial vehicles. The fleet comprises IL Peerless, 4 F.W.D, 1 Thornyeroft, 1 Swias Bern:a, 1 Leticia; 1 Itala and8 other lorries, most of them being of 4-ton capacity, 7 Ford vans and ears, and 8 private) cars of Vauxhall; Armstrong-Whitworth, Studebaker and

• other makes:

The Ford-Vans. and cars are Used for general running 'aboixt, in connection with contracts in hand, whilst the heavier vehicles are engaged iii the conveyance of materials required for contracts Which are being carried out at some distance from the main centre of activities.

The class of loads which is carried in the building and allied trades is, perhaps, more varied than ire any other trade, and in the case of a concern of the size of Messrs. Boot consist of stone, sand, brick, timber and other essential materials collected from quarries, sand,. pits brickworkS and station yards, these heterogeneous loads being transported by the motor vehicles id the building sites. Special types of bodies are fitted to lorries engaged on special work, but for general work the company find that the bodies fitted with drop sides and hinged tailboards are the most serviceable. "

Messrs. Boot express the view that there are many peculiar features associated with mechanical haulage in the building trade, and we hope to be in a position to deal with this side of the subject at a later elate.

The heavier vehicles in the company's fleet cover on the average 3,050 miles per week, during which period they transport 675 tons of diversified materials, the average of the light machines is 3,128 miles per week.

Messrs. Boat have found that for their particular class of work the chain-driven vehicle has given ' the best results, although in the choice of vehicles for certain classes of duty one must take into account the fact that each building site possesses its awn peculiarities which demand individual consideration, The Peerless, F.leV.D., Thornycroft and Berne, lorries have all rendered yeoman service in their particular spheres of operation, the first two makes having [Also proved very useful when operations are being conducted over soft ground. Having now briefly dealt with the activities of a large building concern, we can take the other side of the case as represented by Thomas Weeks and Sons, Ltd., of Ashton Gate, Bedminster, Bristol, wileonly use one 'Ford ton truck in connection with their business. This machine is chiefly engaged in conveying workmen to and from jobs in the morning and evening in order to avoid paying them for the time taken in -walking to and from work. It is also used at the same time for transporting a limited quantity of materials to the job in band.

The loads which are carried beyond this usual routine include long lengths of timber and -ladders. The vehicle is adapted to carry ladders up to 45 'ft. to 50' ft. long and timber -up to 24 ft. to 30 ft. long, the body being so constructed, that the timber can be accommodated alongside the bonnet of the vehicle on each side.

The company consider that if the builder's job is some distance from the town, or there is a difficulty in obtaining the necessary materials in close proximity to the site, motor lorries are a big asset. They consider, however, that if the work ie within a radius of about two miles, horsed vehicles are much cheaper and handier. It does not pay to employ motor vehicles for short distances, in their opinion, whilst it is also inconvenieut on building jobs costing between 2,000 and £10,000 to use motors, for it is often impossible to spare the men to unload they machines at short notice.

Messrs. Weeks find it much more eonvenient to hire vehicles than to purchase them,. for it often happens that on some days three or four motor vehicles are required, whilst for two or three. days at a stretch it may not be necessary to ensploy motor vehicles at all. They say in a communication to us that "if we were investing in motor lorries we should prefer the 3-4-ton petrol vehicle for town work, but for country work the 5-ton steam wagon." .

The Ford tanner in their service averages about 35miles per day. Messrs. Weeks express great admiration for the service given by the Ford Co. and their agents, and point out that if only British manufacturers could provide eimilar facilities for obtaining spares and for getting repairs carried out, the American product would soon fail to. maintain its prominent position in the industry.

One 4-ton Daimler lorry and one 3tonner of the same make are the only two vehicles owned by the Manchester Stone

and Slate Go., Ltd., of Plymouth Grove, Longsight, Manchester, who are builders and contractors' merchants and slating, tiling and masonry contractors., although when occasion demands other vehicles are hired..

The two Daimlers are engaged on the delivery of building materials withiit an area of 50 miles from Manchester. They are zoinetimes_called upon to carry long timbers, but the lowering of the tailboard gives sufficient space for loads of this kind to he accommodated.

Each of the lorries covers an average of 250 miles. per week. The bodies are of the sided type, the sides being 2 ft. . 6 ins, high, with removable teilboaxds, which are the most serviceable.

The company are of the opinion that motor vehicles are very suitable for their class Of work, especially in their merchants' section. The vehicles enable them to give speedy delivery of materials to customers, particularly beyond a range of 10 miles, which was quite impossible with horsed vehicles. The company are modern converts to the use of motors, their stud of five horses having been replaced only two years ago. The head offices of Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons are at 50, Pall Mall,. London, S.W., but, in so far as they have branch offices in Glasgow, Manchester, Plurklersfieldl and Newcastle, a brief reference can be made to them in this article. This company have carried out extensive works in various parts of the kingdom, although in connection with these operations they have used little of their own plant for haulage and trans.. port, and haVe usually sub-let most of the work.

Messrs. Gaffe-rata and Co., of Newarkon-Trent, have not been able to make, much use of motor vehicles in the past, the reason being that the tonnage which is usually dealt with is so large that it would not be a-remunerative proposition to utilize mechanical haulage. The company are the actual manufacturers of most of the plaster and of Keene's cement used in the building trade, and the majority, of their customers are builders merchants, who take the material in full truck bade of from 4 to 6 tons at a. time. They consider that mechanical transport is a great advantage to the builders' merchant, although so far as the builders' supplies are coneerned it has apparently yet to prove its worth. We should have thooght that for loads of from 4-6 tons the motor vehicle was ideally suited.,

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