Coventon's Remarkable Progress.
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"'TITLE ANNUAL dinner of Coventon's,1 Ltd., 112a, Junction Road, Upper
Holloway, London, N.19, which was held recently, was of particular interest in view of the information contained in the after-dinner speeches regarding the progress of what was, some two years ago, considered by some people an experiment entailing some degree of risk.
Coventon's, Ltd., were founded late in 1922 to operate a transport scheme in Which 10-ton Scammell tractor-lorries were to be run on long-distance work carrying certain classes of goods, such as groceries and perishable foodstuffs, and very soon after—to be exact, two years and three months ago—two Scammelts were brought into service, these being equipped with large-capacity boxvan bodies and well-protected cabs having high side doors and hoods.
In giving the toast of "The Staff of Coventon's, Ltd.," Mr. J. Coventon Moth, the managing director of the company, pointed out that they were the pioneers of tractor-lorry transport on a large scale, and that the fleet now numbered 23, apart from two petrol-tank wagons. He also mentioned that the 'mileage in 1.924 was more than double that of 1923. So much work is being done that the fleet is being used to its utmost capacity, and it would be almost impossible to run the vehicles a further The vehicles are largely employed in carrying goods for Kearley and 3.`onge, Ltd., the well-known wholesale provision dealers, from whom he read a letter pointing out that there was no record of any delay due to the weather, in spite of the very difficult conditions sometimes prevailing—in fact, during the recent fogs, on one day some of the loaders elected to Walk 20 miles guid 834 lug the vehicles rather than cause delay by waiting for the fog to clear. Mr. Moth gave great credit to the staff for the satisfactory results achieved.
It was a happy thought to let the responses to the toast be made by a driver and loader.
The visitors were welcomed by Lieut.Colonel Scammell, D.S.O., who, incidentally, apart from being responsible for the manufacture of the fleet, is a director of the company, and, in fact, was one of the inaugurators of the scheme. He mentioned the names of several of the well-known visitors, and referred particularly to the help he had received from Mr. P. G. Hugh, his technical adviser and the designer of the Scammell.
The toast was responded to by Mr. F. Banks Warner, managing director
of the National Fuel Oil Co., Ltd., who made special mention of the Scammell tank wagons employed by his company for the carrying of petrol. These had proved a great success and were run at mach cheaper rates than could have been achieved by the railway.
Mr. J. B. Parrington, the manager of Coventon's, Ltd., said that in 1924 the fleet never missed a trip, and the mechanical breakdowns were extremely few, due to care on the part of the drivers and fitters. Every opportunity was given to the loaders to become drivers, and, actually, nine drivers had risen in this manner.
During the previous year the vehicles had made 2,020 trips, averaging 10 tons each, and with a total value of some £240,000, the claims for breakages and losses had amounted to £5 only, a remarkable figure, which would certainly have been multiplied many times if the goods had been carried by rail.
The success of this transport scheme has been such that it is probable increases will soon be made to the Beet now employed ; in fact, the company expect to bring the total to well over 30 before the year ends. Results like this should do much to encourage the use of tractor-lorries.
The toast of "The Chairman" was proposed by Mr. A. Prank, joint managing director of W. B. Dick and Co., Ltd.
Amongst those present were Messrs. S. H. Wallace, of the Texas Oil Co.; E. P. Williams, a new irector and the company's lawyer ; J. J. Ure, of the well-known firm of chartered accountants ; and W. T. Edmonds, the works manager. During the evening a very enjoyable concert was provided by talented artistes.