the costing column
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• As from June 15 1970 the Construction and Use Regulations have been amended to allow a goods vehicle to tow a drawbar trailer without having to have a statutory attendant. Despite this new concession, however, the special characteristics of the particular movements of traffic involving the use of drawbar trailers may still necessitate a mate being carried.
Nevertheless, operators now have the choice of running a rigid and drawbar trailer either with a driver and mate as previously or with a driver only. But if the correct choice is to be made comparable costings are required. This also applies if the comparison is between the merits of this combination of vehicle and trailer and those of an articulated vehicle of similar overall carrying capacity.
The new edition of the Commercial Motor Tables of Operating Costs just published contains a wide range of costings for both rigid and articulated goods vehicles, particularly in Tables 3 and 5. In the last column of Table 3 the additional costs of towing a drawbar trailer behind a rigid is given in both sterling and decimal currencies.
Inevitably when this combination is operated there can be variations in the carrying capacity of both the towing vehicle and the drawbar trailer. The actual example given in Table 3 can therefore represent the likely cost of operating only one of several alternative combinations. But while the amounts may differ for the other alternatives the number and manner in which the various items of operating costs are affected will remain the same.
For the example shown in Table 3 it is assumed the drawbar trailer would cost £1,155. The five items of additional standing costs per week are given as follows (sterling currency): Licences 25s 9d; wages 481 6d; rent and rates 28s 3d: insurance 10s 3d; interest 51s; total 596s 9d (or £29.84 in decimal currency).
When the weekly average mileage is 800 the additional running costs per mile when a drawbar trailer is employed are as follows: Fuel 2.69d: lubricants 0.03d: tyres 0.98d; maintenance 0.97d; depreciation 0.71d: total 5.38d (or 2.24p in decimal currency).
These standing costs and running costs together give a total additional operating cost of 14.33d (or 5.97pI.
Commenting on these items, it should be clearly understood that these represent the additional cost of running the rigid and trailer as compared with running the rigid solo. That is not quite the same as the direct cost of running the trailer.
Obviously, the drawbar trailer incurs no fuel costs. But the fuel consumption of the towing vehicle can reasonably be expected to increase when a trailer is drawn and allowance is made for this although the cost is debited to the trailer.