ANOTHER FALLACY GONE.
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THE increasing confidence with which municipal . authorities are adopting motor vehicles for work which has hitherto been assumed to be the unassailable property of the horse is giving rise, we find, to serious misgivings on the part of many other horse-users, who, less careful and meticulous in their methods of keeping accounts than municipal officers, and, therefore, unable to prepare comparative statements of cost, are ever in doubt as to the advantages the motor vehicle Might confer. Consecpiently, the ' recerit. changes made by those whozare clearly in a better position to make such comparisons, are causing the doubters to reconsider their own position in this matter.
The ultimate choice of a means of transport is seldom decided on the question of direct cost alone. Other features have to be examined. It has, however, always been held that the horse is the inevitable choice for any work involving many or long stoppage, such as those which are inseparable• from such-employment as the collection of refuse, or for the short-distance, heavy haulage which tak..s place around d,ocks.
Any undue proportion of standing time has invariably been held to be detrimental to the use of the motor vehicle, and favourable to the employment of the horse. This, from being an unanswered argument, has becomeacceptedlas a;truism, and seemed likely to remain so until these recent developments in connection with munic*al use of motors brought it again into question, where it DOW stands, preliminary, we believe, to final and permanent
Even we, however, were at first somewhat astonished when, in conversation the other day with a farmer who uses both meter tractors and horses, he told us that, in allocating his work, he gave that to the tractor which would involve much standing about, as he could not afford to keep his horses doing nothing! There is a vast difference, of course, be B28 • tween the conditions of employment of a tractor or horses upon a farm and a motor vehicle or horses on the road, but this attitude of mind, on the part of one of those who are accustomed to make some of their money by the breeding and sale of horses was sufficiently startling to emphasize very consideiabiy the changing circumstances of the times.
It may be well if the matter be examined anew by all those who are interested in the sale ef the motor vehicle, and, as a start, we would suggest its consideration from this aspect, which we believe is, in a way, new. There are two classes of expenditure in connection with the employment, of a motor vehicle. It is debited with running costs, which increase in direct proportion to the mileage it covers, and with standing charges which, ordinarily, are invariable from week to week, being, to all intents and pnrposes, unaffected by the mileage run. To state this in another‘way: the minimum expense in connection with a motor vehicle which is in use is the standing charge; its total cost increases with its employment. the possible weekly mileage means increased usefulness, this is a reasonable condition. NforeoVer, the possible weekly mileage. of a commercial motor vehicle—that is to say, its usefulness--is, comparatively, enormous. On the other hand, all the cost of a horse is a standing charge. The expense of his upkeep varies but little, whether he be idle or working. His daily mileage is low, and there is no possible means whereby that mileage may be increased. No further expenditure upon him will add to it. His usefulness is definitely limited. That of the motor vehicle, on the other hand, can almost invariably be increased, at small additional cost, and in nearly every case at considerable extra profit. With a horse, standing-time is inevitable, notwithstanding its cost ; it cannot be reduced. In the case of the motor, the need for standing-time is not inherent in the machine itself, And it can frequently, by -a little forethought, be considerably reduced.