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OPINIONS and QUERIES "Frivolous" Summonses Brought by Police. Up 1 in 1.5 with a 30-cwt. Lorry. Why Buy

7th October 1930, Page 59
7th October 1930
Page 59
Page 60
Page 59, 7th October 1930 — OPINIONS and QUERIES "Frivolous" Summonses Brought by Police. Up 1 in 1.5 with a 30-cwt. Lorry. Why Buy
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Foreign Vehicles? Our Invaluable Tables of Operating Costs Again Praised. Against Brake Compensation. Subtle Point in Hire Work.

Why Not Costs Against the Police ?


[3209] Sir,—The police in many parts of the country are showing increased activity in bringing what can only be described as "frivolous" summonses against owners of commercial vehicles.

When such summonses are defended it frequently happens that they are dismissed by the magistrates, but as the question of costs is at the entire discretion of the magistrates they rarely, if ever, give costs against the police when such summonses are dismissed.

The costs of legal representation and witnesses usually far exceed the amount of the fine which would have been inflicted, in the event of a conviction, so that it is cheaper to allow the cases to go undefended and pay the fine than to defend and obtain a dismissal. Many of the police authorities have become aware of this fact, and I attribute their increased activity to this knowledge.

If it were the custom of the magistrates to give an order for costs against the police when a case is dismissed the whole system would be on a more sensible basis.

This subject has been apparent for a considerable time and I am not aware that any of our trade associations has taken up the subject with the competent authorities, but surely something should be done?

E. C. MARSTON, Director.

Liverpool. For M.R.S., Ltd.

A Remarkable Test of a Standard Vehicle.


[32101 Sir,—What is the steepest hill-climb, verified by witnesses, which has yet been made in this country by a standard commercial vehicle?

The question interests me, as I happen to be the caterer at events held by the Leeds Motor Club and, as a result of a challenge during a recent meeting held at Post Hill, Leeds, I attempted to climb this hill with my Morris-Commercial 30-cwt. lorry and succeeded in climbing within a very short distance of the top. • This hill varies in gradient from 1 in 2.6 to 1 in 1.5, and when half-way up the steepest portion my wagon stopped with wheel spin. I backed down to the 1 in 21 part and again set off up the hill, but stopped again in the same place.

The owner of a vehicle of foreign origin, bearing of my attempt, then challenged me to a duet as to which vehicle could climb the farthest. I accepted, and this was duly run off at the meeting of the Leeds Motor Club, Post Hill, held on August 31st. My competitor turned up with a specially prepared wagon, skid chains and two mechanics. My own vehicle was exactly as it had finished a hard week's work and, in fact, was in need of a little attention which I had no time to give. Despite this I was able to beat my challenger by two lorry lengths.

The driver of another type of 30-cwt. vehicle then said he could beat me. He, however, only climbed 6 yds. up the hill, then slid back with both wheels locked.

The worst part of an attempt is getting back to the bottom. I dared not turn around or the wagon would probably have toppled over sideways. However, I have always relied on my brakes and compression, but if anything does happen to fail me, I should not have an earthly chance of avoiding a terrible crash. No vehicle with a differential has, I believe, yet climbed the hill, or even got anywhere near where my lorry failed. Capt. Frazer Nash has climbed the hill on two occasions with a special car with a solid axle, but he has also failed several times.

Particulars of the hill are as follow :— Length, 220 yds.; height, 210 ft. Gradients: 103 ft., 1 in 20 (starting point to base of hill) ; 300 ft., 1 in 2.6; 52 ft., 1 in 2.1; 49 ft., 1 in 1.7; 72 ft., 1 in 1.9 to 1 in 1.5; 60 ft., 1 in 61. In conclusion, I may say that I purchased my vehicle in September, 1929, and I believe that it is the first of its type on the road in the north.


• . Johnson's Pure Food Table Waters. Morley.

Inefficient Servicing of Some Foreign Vehicles. • The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.

02111 Sir,—We should like you to publish this letter In The Commercial Motor for the benefit of the motor and haulage trade generally. It concerns the servicing of certain vehicles of American manufacture.

We recently had three American vehicles in for repair or had to obtain parts for them. The first is a 1930 model, only a few weeks old. Some wheel studs were required, but the maker regrets he will not be able to supply for about three weeks or so.

In the second case a crown-wheel pinion and driveshaft housing, also a drive-shaft-housing retaining ring and bush and locknut were required. In this case the maker could only supply the crown wheel and pinion and merely marked " pending " for the other items on the delivery note, which may mean any time.

The third case is a set of cylinders and head required for a six-cylinder lorry. The maker advised us that he can supply cylinders from stock at the price of £63 8s. 9d. He regretted that he cannot supply the cylinder head for some 10 or 14 days and at the price of £14 10s.

When you consider that new cylinders can be obtained for first-class British vehicles, such as Leyland or Albion, at about quarter the price, it really makes us wonder how on earth people in this country can buy foreign commercial vehicles. A. J. WATTS.

Lydney. For Watts (Factors), Ltd.

An Appreciation of Our Tables of Operating Costs.


(32121 Sir,—I have to thank you for the Tables of Operating Costs which you kindly sent me. Hauliers are indeed lucky to have such complete figures put before them, without trouble or expense.

As I am considering taking up the business I find the Tables extremely useful. Not being aware that such figures were available I was prepared to spend many (07

hours in an attempt to compile some basis -upon which to estimate the prospects of success. Upon purchasing a copy of your journal I was delighted to notice reference to the Tables, and now have confidence in starting in a small way.

The following points are, however, not quite clear to me, and I shall be much obliged if you can give me some further information at your convenience.

(a) What number of hours is generally meant by " week " and is a driver paid at ordinary or special overtime rates for the hours worked beyond a standard week?

(b) Is it fixed that a mate be employed on all vehicles over a certain tonnage? I note that most lorries on the road, over about three tons, appear to carry two men. I do not see any provision for this in the Tables, except for the very heavy vehicles. Possibly this depends upon the goods carried at the time, in which case, I presume, an additional charge would need to be added.

Borough Green. S. E. THOMAS.

[The number of hours worked per week by a driven are 48 and he is usually „paid extra for overtime at the rate of 1i to 14 his standard rate.

There is no legal necessity for a mate on any heavy vehicle. Where one is employed, as for example in order to help with loading and unloading, his wages are an additional item of expense over and above those named in the Tables.—S.T.R]

How the Scammell is Licensed.


[3213] Sir,—We note that The Commercial Motor still carries advertisements of the Scammell 25-tonner. We were under the impression that this type of vehicle was now illegal, and we should be pleased to have your opinion on same and as to how these vehicles are

licensed, registered, etc. W. Pram Wednesbury. For Price and Price.

[We would point out that the Scammell 25-tonner is not illegal. The position is as follows : The tractor portion of the Scammell can be used with either a 25-ton machinery trailer or any other trailer, such as the 12-tonner. With the lighter trailer, the machine can be licensed as a heavy motorcar, but when used with the machinery trailer it actually becomes a heavy locomotive.

We are informed, however, that providing duty is paid on the vehicle as a heavy motorcar, this duty, which is higher, will cover its use as a heavy locomotive, providing that when used as a. locomotive it conforms with the Locomotive Acts in such respects as speed, notification to the authorities of the districts through which it passes, restriction on its use where certain roads and bridges are concerned, and its liability to claims for extraordinary damage in connection with the roads.—En.]

An Argument Against Brake Compensation.


[3214] Sir,—I have noticed that on wet days, when a heavy vehicle is drawing up to the kerb with brakes hard on, the off-side rear wheel often locks and commences to slide, whilst the near-side wheel still revolves. This is due, in my opinion, to the effect that the camber of the road surface has on the centre of gravity of the vehicle. I have noticed it occurring with lorries and vans, but more particularly with the "K "-type L.G.O.C. buses. If there be this effect on wet days, surely there is the same tendency on any condition of surface, therefore I suggest that on buses running purely within urban limits any compensating mechanism be dispensed with and that the near-side brake be adjusted to cope with this tendency. I have not seen this point raised in your columns before. ,

London, S.W.2. • M. G. K. BARNES.

[We have always advocated the use of a non-compensated braking syStem, not only because it permits adjustment to the individual wheels to meet the various conditions of service, but because there is not the liability of failure of both brakes at the rear in the event of one connection giving way. A good system to employ is the fixed-compensating, in which the compensator is locked after adjustments have been made; one device of this nature was described recently in our page devoted to new patents.—En.]

Plying for Hire by Advertising.


13215] am running seven-seater saloon cars

for hire and do several journeys three days a week at stated times to the large cities within 30-miles radius. I have usually two or three vacant seats, and wish to know if I can advertise for extra passengers, to book their seats at my office, without being licensed for public service, especially after the Road Act is in operation, as I am considering going in for some new

cars at once. SCOTTY. Blackburn.

[Under the present law it would probably be held that by advertising for passengers and booking them at your office you are plying for hire and require a licence from the local authority.

When Part IV of the Road Traffic Act comes into force you will not be subject to the provisions of the Act so long as a vehicle is let as a whole, but it will remain subject to the law as now existing. If, however, you carry passengers at separate fares, except on occasions of race meetings, public gatherings and other special occasions, your car will be classed under the Act as an "Express Carriage," for which you will require a certificate of fitness, a public-service vehicle licence and a road-service licence, the meaning of which expressions will be dealt with in a series of articles which we are publishing concerning the position of motor buses and coaches under the Traffic Act, 1930.—End

Accident Liability With Hired Vehicles.


[3216] Sir,—Will you be good enough to give me your views on the following point? A number of my customers greatly appreciates having their own names displayed on my lorries, by means of detachable boards, also by painting their names permanently on the vehicles in cases where they are on contract.

Althouglf I have been doing this sort of thing for years, my insurance brokers have suddenly suggested that the fact of the customers having their names prominently displayed on my lorries entails a very real risk of their being concerned in any proceedings arising out of a third-party accident claim.

I shall be very grateful to learn your ideas about

this matter. HIRE CONTRACTOR.

London, N.W.5.

[We do not see any objection to the names of your customers being displayed on the lorries which they hire from you, as the mere fact of a name being displayed cannot affect any question of who is liable in the event of a lorry being involved in an accident.

The question of whether you or your customer would be liable for an accident which was due to the negligence of the driver of the lorry is one upon which no opinion can be expressed without knowing the facts of the particular case.

If, however, a claim were made upon you and you were satisfied that in law your customer was the person on whom any liability fell, you would naturally refer the person making the complaint to your customer, and, in the same way, your customer would refer the person to you if he were satisfied that you were liable.—En.]

Sign-posting at Newbury, Berks.


[3217] Sir,—My chamber is approaching the corporation regarding more efficient sign-posting of the borough to enable motorists to find their way more easily through the town in the desired direction. ' It would be of very considerable advantage to receive suggestions from motorists and others interested who have experience of other towns, so that The best possible system can be evolved.

Communications, which will be carefully considered and appreciated, should be addressed to me,


Newbury and District Chamber of Trade. 22, Market Place, Newbury, Berks.

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