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Opinions from Others.

4th April 1912, Page 18
4th April 1912
Page 18
Page 18, 4th April 1912 — Opinions from Others.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Keywords : Steam Wagon, Fuels, Tire, Boiler, Coal

The Up-to-date Way of Taking Racehorses About, The Editor, THE COMmERCIAL MOTOR.

[131.9] Sir,—Mr. J. Fairfax Blakeborough, recently, had an article in "The Onlooker" showing the trials and troubles of horse-racing 60 years ago, and how animals had to be taken by road to various parts of the country before railways had become a grithron on the land. Sometimes lads would be two or three days in getting valuable horses to the locale of some races. But, to reduce the fatigue for the horses, Mr. Blakeborough proceeds to say that "the l'Ansons were perhaps the first to use a van for conveying a fancied candidate to his engagement. . . Possibly in another century, there will be motor horse-vans, which will obviate a good deal of the difficulty and inconvenience of railway travelling to-day." This peep into the future is pleasant—except for the railroad magnates, and I am influenced to write to you by one of the photographs in your strike article, We need not wait, for " another " century. The present one will assuredly bring to pass that which Mr. Blakeborough foresees. Indeed, the up-to-date way is not the railway, for in Yorkshire itself (as reported some time ago in the " C.M."), a big breeder of cattle and poultry has a van for carrying stock to shows. A precisely-similar vehicle would do for race-horses. and I want to see agents and salesmen pushing the idea.— Yours faithfully, P. M. GOOCH.

Steam or Petrol for 3i-ton Loads ?


(1520] Sir,—I do not know whether you gave the heading for the letter from "Done with Coal," which appeared in your issue of the 28th March, but I do feel that the first portion of the title is most appropriate. This correspondent is clearly "letting off steam," and doing it through some very faulty joints. I am one of the many close followers of your journal who probably believe in the survival of steam for the conveyance of 3,1-ton loads, and I only hope that some others will state their views. It does not affect the issue, that plenty of petrol wagons are being sold. The same is true of steam wagons, and I think that the rubber-tired steamer is tending to put the older and cheaper power on a level with petrol even for very long distances in a day. Let me try to answer the three principal points of attack which are advanced by "Done with Coal." (a) Solid fuel is bound to be less handy than liquid fuel, so far as feeding it to the vehicle and the generating plant is concerned, but the alleged difficulty of getting satisfactory supplies on the trunk roads is not so serious as some people may be led to think, and is a diminishing one, whilst J. challenge Done with Coal" to prove that a single steam wagon fell short of supplies during the coal strike! Coal may be dirty, sometimes, but it is not dangerous like petrol, and the storage of it in a depot or building does not double the insurance rates. (b) Any average man can be trained to drive a steam wagon in a month, and to do it well. I think that, "Done with Coal" must have been using steam wagons 10 years ago, and to have failed to keep himself informed about progress since then. Boilers are big enough for their work in wagons that are turned out from the works now, and the statements about the "art of firing and steam raising" are quite beside the mark. The boiler no longer gives any real trouble on a steam wagon, and it has ceased to do so for several years. Does "Done with Coal" suggest that there is no skill required to adjust a magneto or other tricky bits of the ignition system in a petrol wagon? (c) I know a steam wagon takes longer to get ready each day than does a petrol wagon, and that its average speed on the road is not so high. These points must tell against the steam wagon in some cases, and they no doubt account for some of the orders which "Done with Coal" remarks upon as going to the petrol people. The petrol people are no doubt glad of this help in selling their costly machines—expensive, to my mind, both in first cost and running cost. I would rather have a, steam wagon, the supply of fuel for which does not run out, in spite of strikes, to say nothing of the fact that supplies of coal are in the hands of thousands of people, and cannot therefore be "cornered."—Yours faithfully, "COAL MARES GOOD."

The Difficulty of the Tire Guarantee.


[1521] Sir,—I regret that your recent issues have contained no communications from tire manufacturers on the subject of tire guarantees. [Another aspect of this question was discussed by a correspondent "A. Tulle ' last week.—En.] I still look forward to reading some sounder reason than has yet been advanced for the proposed dropping of the guarantee or else for the whole-hearted support of the policy of continuing it. The letter from "A User" (1513) in a recent issue, whilst supporting my previous letter (1510) in your issue dated the 14th March, slyly pokes fun at my nom de plume. I can, however, assure him that each year's "lire Bill" is anything but a matter for levity and if guarantees are dropped it will assume proportions almost tragic. If he detects that I am weary, it must be due to the tire-bill worry in past years of "pay, Pay, pay." In the last paragraph of "A User's" letter I think he confuses cost and value when referring to Mr. McCormack's letter (150-4). The value of a tire-set to the user, which ran only, say, 1000 miles, may have been about 212 10s., though its cost may have approximated £120 or upwards, a very different thing. When all has been said, if a manufacturer have confidence in his production and if he be, on his own showing, compensated for the cost of giving the guarantee and anything incidental thereto, there can be no adequate excuse for dropping it. The only factor which has any objection from the standpoint view of the user is that he is generally tied to one particular make of tire for some considerable time when purchasing them under a guarantee. This is apparently with the idea of the manufacturer's recouping himself for subsequent sets should one prove not up to the guarantee.—Yours faithfully, " TIRE BIT.L."

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