TRANSPORT TIPS FOR TRADESMEN.
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Particularly Addressed to Those Who are Replacing Horsed Vehicles by Motors, or Contemplating So Doing.
rHERE are various ways of building up a successful retail business:, and the selection of the necessary motor delivery vehicles should be in :cordance with the general principles of the concern. ius, for instance, some firms attract custom by free bpenditure upon advertising. Others adopt an :actly opposite policy.
The Van to Suit the Business.
The former class obviously requires vans of striking pearance, which can be immediately identified at ht as being the property of that firm. These serve
moving advertisements, bringing home to the pubthat the firm in question is making deliveries in directions over a wide area, which is, in turn, proof at it is offering goods of a kind and at a price pealing to the public. There are certain other ite considerable businesses which, so to speak, get sir biggest advertisement out of the fact that they not advertise. They may not be able to adopt this arse in the carte stages, but having perhaps Dwn from small beginnings, steadily if not rapidly, ey reach a point at which they are able constantly emphasize the fact that they spend no money on bificially attracting the public. The infarence is it, saving this expenditure, they are able to give tter value for money. One could quote examples London and elsewhere in which this policy is car-, d to an extreme. For instance, the writer has in nd a very large drapery establishment flanked by :ectly competitive concerns, but noticeable in the snings from the fact that its windows, and even the erior of the premises are extraordinarily badly hted.
Vhere the Plain Vehicle Would be Favoured.
t would be consistent with this firm's policy to ploy motor vans of good quality so far as the rking machinery is concerned, but quite destitute any finish or decoration. The customers learn in experience that the goods are satisfactorily den.ed. They do not want ocular demonstration of fact. The van may be expensive, because it must tainly be reliable, but in this case it must not look ■ ensive. The trader is trying to say to his customer ?.ffect, "We never waste a penny. We are trying :my the best goods and to sell them to you at the :est prices. We cannot do that if we throw money lut on extravagant schemes of lighting or pubty. Our vans will be painted sufficiently to pro
them from the weather, but we shall not spend unnecessary penny on varnish or fancy lettering. t will benefit in getting the goods cheaper."
Where Publicity is Required.
qually, it may be the policy of another„firm to ibit its name everywhere, and this firm may ue on the following lines :—" By advertising attract business. By getting a large volume business we secure a big turnover, and bese our turnover is big and rapid, we can • better and work on a very small percentage fit. Thus, we save the customer more by making business a live one than we spend in the process, we are, consequently, able to give better value
than people who do no advertising." If this is the policy underlying the business, then the van should be thoroughly smart in appearance, arid should carry striking designs or inscriptions. It may be worth while to provide for external electric lighting to show up the vehicles after dark. It may even be worth while to use chassis of the de luxe class, known to everybody to be expensive and, therefore, conveying a general impression of great prosperity. In short, a van that would be regarded as a credit to Some establishments would be little short of a disgrace to others, and one that would be regarded as a sign of wanton extravagance in some quarters would merely be looked upon as an indication of steadily growing business in other quarters. As an example of the latter class (for, curiously enough, none of the former' class jump to our mind),. Pasquali's made quite a strong impression in London a year or two ago, when they first put on the streets their delivery van on a Rolls-Royce chassis.
Tyre maintenance is a matter which, in the delivery fleet of a large concern, is the responsibility of the departmental manager rather than the head of the firm. The comparatively small trader, however, does not possess such a full organization and must, therefore, supervise things himself unless he is to be entirely in the hands of his driver.
Excessive wear of tyres is not uncommonly due to faulty alignment of wheels. The correctness of the alignment should be tested from time to time. If it is found that the front tyres wear out rapidly while the rear tyres give good service, it is quite probable that the trouble is caused by some comparatively slight distortion resulting from bumping up against a kerb, or some such seemingly trivial cause. When the wheels are out of alignment, it follows thal one or other of them mist always be scraping its tyre on the road instead of allowing it to roll freely.
Frequent, or even occasional, overloading of a vehicle is bad for the tyres, particularly if they are not over large for their work. The effect is to depreciate the quality of the rubber, and rather rapid disintegration follows as a matter of course.
The Advantage of Driving Efficiency.
• Again, we have to consider causes of tyre wear directly connected with the efficiency of the driver. Excessive speeds, particularly in hot weather, are bad. A driver who is constantly applying his brakes suddenly, instead of declutching and slowing ,up gradually, will run up a big tyre bill. Fast driving round corners has a similar effect, and excessive speeds will damage the tyres particularly quickly if road surfaces are not good. It is, therefore, clear that it is not safe to place implicit faith in the driver's opinion that the trouble is all due to the inferior quality of the tyres themselves. Perhaps, the best moral to be drawn from the above remarks is that the extra cost of a really good and reliable driver will often be more than balanced by the resultant vying in the tyre bill alone