OPINIONS and QUERIES Welcome Collaboration on Road Accident Investigation.
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The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—The constant attention of the public is being directed, through the medium of the Press, both by reason of questions in Parliament and the many statistics which are frequently published and referred to by the Minister of Transport and the police, to the increasing number of road accidents.
Such figures call for grave and serious consideration by all concerned, and reference to this subject was made by our President during a luncheon at Olympia on the occasion of the Commercial Motor Exhibition. Following this my council has immediately authorized a special committee, on behalf of our members who are operators a public service vehicles, to collaborate with all other sections of the motor industry with a view to fully investigating the problem and taking such steps as may be necessary or desirable in the public interest.
F. A. WALKER, Secretary
(For The Motor Hirers and Coach Services Association, Ltd.). London, N.W.1.
P.S.V. Licences for Country Carriers' yehicles. The Editor, TEIE COMMERCIAL MOTORw
 Sir,—I have read with interest the decision in the King's Bench Division that vehicles carrying persons and their goods to market require P.S.V. and Road Service licences, and beg that you will grant me a little of your valuable space to voice a few of the difficulties and hardships that it will cause, irrespective of the licensing fees and alteration in bodywork. I have four vehicles doing this kind of work, about 20 business people being catered for, and all admit that road transport is a necessity to their business as it means a saving of, roughly, an hour every morning. The main point to remember is that the vehicles are used entirely for business—not pleasure—and the people do not care where they sit so long as they can get back to their work quickly. If these vehicles have to be fitted with seats to comply with the Road Traffic Act, there will not be room for half of the goods. We could not run to a schedule without causing considerable inconvenience, our times for leaving the market varying as much as an hour, according to the state of the sales.
It seems inevitable now that our vehicles will require the licences, and I was wondering if it would be possible for some able body to take up the matter with a view to simplifying the requirements for this particular class of vehicle. The journey takes about 2f hours each day, and it seems a farce to me that the vehicles should have to be fitted up complete with seats, lights, bells, etc., when their main work is the carriage of
goods. SMALLHOLDER. Stafford.
Thermostatic Radiator Shutter Control on Commercial Vehicles.
The Editor, ME COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 ir,---Can you enlighten me as to why the makers of commercial vehicles do not include in their specifications automatic radiator shutters, also temperature indicators in the radiator caps?
A few years ago these were unnecessary, as the old engines did not need assisted heating, but with the present-day power units the temperature is very often below what it should be.
An indicator in the radiator would also prove to be an advantage in cases where the impeller and fan are driven off the same belt, for should the belt fracture or even get slack the driver would be warned before any damage through overheating would occur. A stationary or slowly driven impeller or expeller, as the case may be, acts against the thermo-siphon system.
Few makers and operators realize the expense brought about by replacing parts, damage to which could be reduced by 75 per cent. if the driver had visible means for deteqing a sudden rise in temperature. Again the engine would warm up more quickly, ensuring better lubrication, a speedy get-away from cold and lower petrol consumption.
My experience is that with the improved carburetters equipped with hand-operated rich-mixture controls the majority of trucks is driven away in the mornings before the oil has had time to circulate, therefore heavy Cylinder wear results.
I contend that these instruments are a necessity. Perhaps your readers will be good enough to give their opinions. G.R. Perranwell, Cornwall.
Tyres for Vehicles on Active Service.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—There is an article entitled "The Progress of Military Transport" in your issue dated November 3, 1933. Reference is made in this review to at least six leading motor engineering companies, all of which it is agreed have turned out good-quality vehicles to meet the gruelling conditions of a "next war." Thousands of pounds are spent yearly on severe tests to secure the best results from these vehicles, yet many of us know how the old W.D. lorries stood up in the last war andthe work that was done by them under hard conditions such as shell fire, bombing, etc.
Despite all the brains and money spent by our big firms they have all overlooked one of the most vital and elementary factors. How on earth can a modern lorry travel over a badly shelled road, perhaps under heavy fire, with two fiat front tyres—low pressure at that. For the next war transport will mean a big thing, but the aeroplane will be a bigger advantage and will use its weapons on road transport, hence the vehicles will be "caught out." The treads of these tyres may be the last word, but the walls may not survive flying shaptiel bullets, bombs, etc. These alone might not hold up or totally disable a vehicle, but they would be more likely to if it had two oversize front tyres flopping around the rims.
One knows how a private car is disabled with a flat tyre on a smooth road, let alone conditions of a future battlefield. This I should have thought would have been the first thought of the War Department.
Think of the expense and valuable time it would take to change over all the W.D. transport to a specially made solid tyre with heavy tread, should a war break
out suddenly. K. D. SHORTELL. Thornton Heath, Light Van Taxation Next Year.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—In your issue dated November 24, I notice a letter (No. 9203) from Mr. Haythornthwaite, of Brierfield, who states that he is proposing to use a Bedford 2i-ton van for delivery work, and that he would like to know, amongst other things, whether the Bedford taxation is increased next year, and if so what would be a suitable make of van for this work.
Perhaps you would allow me to mention that Vauxhall Motors, Ltd., does not manufacture a 2i-fon model, and no doubt your correspondent is referring to a Bedford 2-ton van.
As the Bedford 2-ton short-wheelbase and longwheelbase delivery vans both come under 2 tons unladen, they are taxed at £25 per year at the present time, and this figure will not be changed as from January 1.
It may be, of course, that your correspondent will be using a large-capacity van on a long-wheelbase chassis, in which case the tudaden weight will be in excess of 2 tons, and in that case will be taxed at £28 now and £30 on Jantraty 1. A Loorma-Ox. London, N.W.9.
Guard Rails for Public-service Vehicles.
The Editor, TFIE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
[42171 Sir,—I shall be pleased if you will inform me as to the correct position of the above, as required by the M.O.T. At the present time in this district there is a lot of controversy as to the correct position.
In the whole of my experience in the coach-building world such guards have always been in line with the centre of the tread of the front wheels and reaching to the walls of the outside wheels at the rear.
Plympton. R. W. COL [As the Regulations specify only a maximum height of 9 ins. for guard rails, their shape is a matter for local decision. In the London area many of the guard rails entirely fill the space between the front and rear wings. With regard to shape, the front of a guard curves inwards, the centre is flat and the rear portion curves outwards. The guard is level with the inside face of the front tyre and, at the back, level with the outside face of the tyre. As a rule, the space under the bottom of the guard must not be less than 4 ins., or more than 9 ins, when the vehicle is fully laden. If the wings be not long enough to touch the
guard, then the front of the guard should not be less than 9 ins, from the front tyre or 21 ins, from the rear tyre.-
En.] Using a Goods Trailer With a Car.
The Editor, TEE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—Could you help me with a transport problem? I am a farmer and have just licensed an Overland Whippet Commerce saloon as a private car and LC. goods. I am told by the licensing officer that I cannot pull a trailer behind the car without paying an extra tax of £6 per year, as the car is designed to carry goods.
I am therefore going to change to a private ear licence and pull a trailer free. I cannot get to know what weight limit there is for a trailer, nor particulars of the braking system required by law.
Perhaps you will answer the following questions:—
Can I pull a trailer carrying my own farming goods behind a car taxed as private? Can I build a trailer of any weight I like? If not, what is the limit of weight? Must the brakes on the trailer be controlled from the car or is a self-acting brake on the trailer sufficient? Is there any likelihood in the near future of a farmer being allowed to pull a trailer free behind
a car licensed as goods and private? F. BAX_ER. Huddersfield.
[Yon can pull a trailer carrying your own farming goods, or any other goods, behind a car which is taxed as private" without having to pay the additional .£6 tax for the right to draw a trailer. That additional tax applies only when the ear which draws the trailer is constructed or adapted for the conveyance of goods or burden. There is no regulation which prescribes the maximum unladen weight of a trailer. The regulations provide that the total weight transmitted to the road surface by any two wheels of a trailer in line transversely shall not exceed eri tons. The general rule with regard to brakes on trailers is that there must be a person other than the driver on the motorcar to apply the trailer brakes, unless the driver is in a position readily to operate the brakes of the trailer as well as the brakes of the car. There is a special provision that in the case of a trailer not exceeding 1 ton in weight unladen it shall be a sufficient compliance with the above regulation if the brakes of the trailer automatically come into operation on the over-run of the trailer. We would also point out that the general rule under the Road Traffic Act, 1930, is that a second person, in addition to the driver, must be carried whenever a motor vehicle is used for drawing a trailer. This rule, however, does not apply where a trailer with not more than two wheels is drawn by a motorcar. We see no likelihood of a farmer in the near future being allowed to draw a trailer behind a motorcar without having to pay the additional tax. It appears that, as from January 1, 1934, the trailer duty will be increased from £6 to £10. We would also draw your attention to the fact that under the new Road and Rail Traffic Act it will be necessary to obtain a licence from the Commissioners to enable a trailer to be used for carrying goods in the course of business, as the expression " goods-carrying vehicle which is used in the Act includes a trailer as well as a motor vehicle. From what we have said above you will see that under the present regulations the best thing for you to do would be to have a two-wheeled trailer the weight unladen of which does not exceed 1 ton, and which is equipped with an automatic brake.—ED.]