OPINIONS and QUERIES
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AN OWNER-DRIVER'S PLEA FOR FREEDOM
RECENTLY I read a statement, made by Lord Leathers, on the development and co-ordination of transport, and I fail to discover in his remarks any hope for the small haulier. In my estimation, the transport problem cannot be solved by theory, but only by practical knowledge, which few Government officials possess.
, I have been in the haulage business a number of years and my experience has taught me that cOmpetition, without political interference, fully satisfies the public. The 1933 Road and Rail Traffic Act has never benefited the small haulier. It was the thin edge of the wedge put in by vested interests, and well we know the results. We have only to look round to-clay to see how the railways are getting their "Square Deal," whilst the haulier is being increasingly controlled.
Lord Leathers favours the amalgamation of the main associations, to help to solve the transport problem, but I do not altogether agree. We have seen how certain associations have taken control in the past, with little . consideration for, the small man. I know that he has had the opportunity of expressing his views, biit does he? Brain and brawn seldom go together, and the welleducated man often succeeds in gaining a high position, and then works for his own ends.
Are theassociations really working for the freedom of the industry, or simply going hand in hand with politics, or, in other words, monopolies? I suggest that a few of these gentlemen should try the practical side of transport, then theory and practice might combine to bring them enlightenment.
It is not often that an owner-driver can spare the time to express his views, but here is one who was engaged in hauling building material before the war, for builders large and small, and I am sure that thousands of other small hauliers did the same. They were hired simply because they knew all about the materials that are used to build houses, which knowledge is most essential to the builders, especially those with small capital; rates did not matter a great deal; what did was personal contact combined with good service. Do away with small hauliers, which means doing away with small business, and what do we get? Combines and monopolies, which are the curse of any country. Therefore give us back the freedom for which
our boys are fighting to-day. •G. WELLINGTON. Exeter.
AR-MY APPRECIATI ON OF " PASS-IT-0 N " SCHEME
EVER since you ,inaugurated your scheme to send (via readers) issues of "The Commercial Motor" to serving men, I have regularly dispatched my read copies to a sergeant in the Army, whose name and address you gave me. In recent correspondence he says :— " I have been very grateful for the regular gifts of the'C.M.' and miscellaneous books, all have been most useful in my technical capacity and have served in no small measure in raising me to a higher status as an instructor to potential officers.". I am certain that you will be glad to know how instructive your magazine has proved in this instance. HAMISI-I MACDOUGALL,
Secretary, The Scottish Carriers' and Haulage Contractors' Glasgow, C.2. Assoe iation M.E.F. MAN SUGGESTS CLUB
WAVING just finished reading "The Commercial "Motor for lame 4, 1943, I would like to make a suggestion to those persons or periodicals (preferably " The Commercial Motor ") campaigning for the recognition of road hauliers.
We have here thousands of drivers, who, like myself, either ran small transport concerns or worked for one of the larger road groups. We often talk amongst ourselves of forming a club after the war. There should be tremendous possibilities in this direction. I am wondering, however, whether it would not be possible to start such a body immediately, and if any of your readers have views in this connection perhaps they would send them for publication to GEN.," G.H.Q., M.E.F. That publication is read by everyone out here, and I feel sure that the people who run it would give their co-operation.
Such a club, if properly organized, could be the largest :transport association ever formed, and it would be a tremendous asset against any possibility of the railways dictating to the road people.
ItVe of the transport world were getting some raw deals before the war, low wages, long hours, overloading, etc., but these days, also, are past, and even if we havp to tear up the railway lines from Land's End to John o'Groats, there will be no recurrence.
England has the finest road and rail facilities in the world, but it takes a visit to other countries for anyone to appreciate this fact. Let us keep them that way by amending the square deal for the railways to a square
deal for all of us. F. J. RA,,,MALL. M.E.F.
IN MEMORY OF THE STEAM WAGON
LTHOUGH the " steamer " was in its heyday in 1928-30, I have many happy memories of doing my 10 miles to school late on sundry occasions because I waited to get a ride on a Paden wagon, plus a heavy load from the millers.
Clearly do I remember the healthy speed with which we used to take all hills in our stride. Yes! Many a present-day operator wishes he had his steam wagon now, but, alas, someone with the power the censor has over playwrights and players, likewise barred it from the transport stage, and the faithful few who dared and persisted to keep it on the road were eventually driven off by harsh means.
To my mind, there must have been pride in the workers seeing a new wagon leave the paint shop. It was something not as we know the mass-produced article, which may be just as good, no doubt, but the worker has not the same pride in it.
Though never having been employed by an operatorusing these vehicles, I would like to quote from illustrated literature now in front of me, a few facts in their favour regarding operating costs :—Miles per day, 164; load average, 15 tons for five days per week; engine oil, 1 gall.; coal average daily, 12i cwt. ; net running time, 121 hours; cost per ton-mile, id.
I could quote from many more actual logs before me, but let these remind us that the steamer was by no means a failure.
Even tyre mileage with these loads was something not to be over1ooked-80,000 to 40,000 with a set of solids
on a rigid six-wheeler. Later, some makers used pneumatics, and I have personally had to put my toe down in a car to pass some so equipped.
As for the motive power, it was, in some cases, only two high-pressure double-.-acting cylinders, with poppet valves, the working.parts being totally encased in an oil bath. On test, without being in any way secured or bolted down, such an engine could run at 800 r.p.rn.
The following names may recall the fact that the making of steamers was indeed a business :—Allchin, Atkinson, Aveling, Burrell, Clayton, Foden, Garrett, Mann, Leyland, Robey, Sentinel, Yorkshire, etc. Sotne of these makers are still with us, and 'I will wager that they would like to make experimental super-steamers as Soon as this war is over.
I hope the B.B.C. Happidrome will allow me to misquote Mr. Lovejoy's words as I fade out "Eh! If ever a vehicle suffered "and to manya Mind 'imneees sarily. F. J. Buiii‘is BUXTON; A.I.T.A.
Penkridge. (Transport Engineer).
HELP THE QUICK TURNROUND WHILE in the Birmingham district for a few days recently, during which time my lorry was lent to the railways, I have been amazed to find the number of concerns which either do not know ofo or do not heed, the many appeals for a " quick turaround." . •
In one area, there are numerous works handling pig iron, billets of steel, manhole covers, etc., Where those who receive the material give no thought to helping in loading or unloading such awkward and heavyonaterial, nor to assisting the drivers who are struggling on their own to do this in bad weather and keen winds. The stuff is often in large consignments,, yet these concerns have no proper tackle, and often put up the plea that they have never had to help the drivers.
I wish some of the M.O.W.T. officials would look into this matter and gain experience which would help them
in making their announcements. A. J. PARRIS. Cranfield, THE VEHICLE WHICH COSTS A LITTLE MORE THE reply by S.T.R., in your issue dated January 21, to the article by Mr. A. W. Haigh, WaS most -interesting. In support of S.T.R.'s remarks, we have always found that the vehicle that is a little better is a lot better in the long run. We have vehicle of this type nine and ten years old that can within reason be made as good as new again when they are overhauled, but we have found it both impracticable and unsatisfactory to try to do this with the' cheaper massproduced types...
With regard to back axles, we have found that of the 1940-type 5-ton Bedford to be an ideal unit, for the light-type chassis, but of course–only time will tell if it will stand up to the worm-drive axles that we have in the oIdes machines. It does not seem as though. Mr. A. W. Haigh has had much maintenance experience with the various types of braking system, for whilst they may all seem the same when they are new, the difference soon appears after a few thousand miles of hard wear. I have always found the wedge-type brake, with servohydraulic operation, the most efficient of those .with which 1 have had experience. As regards shackle-pins, here again maintenance experience always proves the bigger pin to be by far the best; the same can also be said in support of more substantial spring brackets. We have proved from ,experience that the longer and Wider type of road spring is a more serviceable job and far more comfortable for riding. We have also found the larger-diameter king pins, preferably with a rollerbeating head, greatly superior to the smaller, both for thaintenance and for ease of steering.
Not Much trouble has been experienced with frame members, except for having found that the lighter type will distort very easily if it be involved in any accident.. Here the bolted-in. cross-members prove their superiority for maintenance Work. The engine mountings can also make a lot of difference to the maintenance, but we have not yet found a type that we consider ideal. Gearboxes are a very important point, and a welldesigned box with five speeds is worth quite a considerable extra cost, although I am of the opinion that we shall see the gearbox superseded by an hydraulic drive. I was glad to see that Mr. Haigh agreed with S.T.R. on the matter of wheel studs, aS here again the large type is by far the 'better, and worth any extra cost. I would like to say how much I agree with the • remark by Mr. T. G. Slater, in your issue of January 7,
• that the Oil engine is a . much better unit for the• .medium and heavy types of vehicle. Although the 'first cost may be a little more, one is soon repaid for thiS in the'economy of running, also it can be reconditioned over arid over again at quite a reasonable cost.
Melksham; A. G. SPIERS.
For W. A. and A. G. Spiers.
HAULAGE GROUPS SOLVE • MANY PROBLEMS IFOUND your notes in the issue of February 11, on the formation of a haulage group in Kent, and the . success of the recently formed Birmingham group, particularly interesting, in view of the fact that the company of which I am chairman was formed in London just a year ago.
The First Haulage Pool, Ltd.," was, I believe, one of the earliest co-operative groups of hauliers, and our
• objects and intentions are almost identical. with those of our colleagues in Kent.We felt, some 18 months ago, that the old order of antagonistic individualism in our industry was a condition which left much to be desired, and events since that time, including the formation of groups in other parts of the country, have done much to" strengthen our convictions.
At the preSerit moment 12 haulage firms are directly connected with our, company, whilst many others have received the benefits of our collaboration.
The time is rapidly approaching when co-ordination among the smaller units in our industry will be essential to continued existence, and whilst we each continue our membership of our own associations and look forward to the coming merger with hope of more powerful representation, we do feel also that a greater measure of mutual trust and friendship is to be derived from the formation of co-operative pools. • At present many of us are called upon, by participation in the M.O.W.T. Road Haulage Organization, to forgo many of -our own interests to assist in the national emergency—a duty which we loyally acknowledge., despite personalobjections—but we also realize that the cessation of hostilities will bring about many farreaching changes in the haulage world which will be shaped to our advantage only by 100 per cent. unity among the rank and file.
For this reason the first Haulage Pool, Ltd., will welcome' contact with other groups throughout the country and with other London hauliers who /have pro gressive ideas.. • A. E. DoE,, Chairman, (For First Haulage Pool, Ltd.) 294 Arch, Cambridge Heath, London, E,2.