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Opinions from Others.

8th July 1909, Page 18
8th July 1909
Page 18
Page 19
Page 18, 8th July 1909 — Opinions from Others.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The Editor invites correspondmce on all subjects intnecterl the use of commerci(I! motors. Letters should be on one side y the paper culy, and tvfe,wrillen by preference. The right y abbreviatiom is reserved, and no responsibility for the views expressed is accepted.

Users' Experiences (No. XXI).


[987] Sir,—Motor-vehicle manufacturers at the present time are often sadly worried by the inconsistent results their customers obtain from their machines: they are harassed by epidemics of failure in parts which they have every reason to believe had stood the test of time. In some cases, at any rate, there is a simple explanation for this, for there is no systematic endeavour made to keep in touch with the machines once they have left the manufacturers' hands. The interest of a maker is closely bound up in every machine he makes, up to the last moment before it is laid to rest upon the scrap heap ; his possibilities of making a profit from the machine are growing enormously every day up to that moment, and the actual profit he makes on the selling of the vehicle in the first place is a mere bagatelle compared to what it may bring to him in orders as his machine enters upon the closing stages of an honourable career. It is, therefore, to the manufacturer's interest—indeed, he would feel it to be almost a necessity if the subject ever entered his mind— to select the more-important customers, and to take steps to follow closely the progress of their fleets; general carriers would undoubtedly receive his first attention.

The history of motor-wagon carrying in the past more than bears out. the need for special supervision on the part of the makers, and the lack of it has more than once threatened their very existence. When it is pointed out to a maker that the machines he sold to " Jones " are rapidly falling to pieces, it is not sufficient for him to point to the fact that " Smith's " machines are doing correspondingly well_ Active steps should be taken to stop the rot which is taking place in " Jones's " maclines, or, as prevention is better than cure, a maker should endeavour to find means of preventing the rot from setting in.

There are two means at hand. One is to keep two or three first-class men to act as outside inspectors, their work being to go round a selected circle of customers, spending a reasonable time with each; their duties would he to watch carefully the service the wagons were doing, the manner in which the drivers were handling their machines, and the way in which -the wagons were standing up to the requirements of the customers, whilst the cost of running would also be a necessary point to obtain. The inspectors should be able to make useful suggestions for economies, and where a wagon was giving poor results, due to the carelessness of a driver, he should have sufficient influence to suggest a change; in short, the possibilities with such a man would be unlimited. On the other hand, only the very best men would be of any use at all for the discharge of these special duties; judgment, experience, and balance are essential qualities. A further means by which a manufacturer could obtain information as to the progress of his wagons, and one which would indicate to him how he could best place his inspectors, would be provided by his supplying printed forms arranged for the data required. This data would include such items as earnings, expenses, mileage, tonnage carried, driver's name, etc. A further sheet giving a rough analysis of the repairs would be a useful means of determining the weak points of a machine, and noting the experiences of customers; it would be still more valuable in pointing out where exceptionally-good results had been obtained, and the reasons for the same.

It will be stated, no doubt, that I am suggesting that the manufacturers should undertake work which legitimately should be done by the user, and it may be added that a user worth his salt will obtain all the information he requires without the intervention of a manufacturer ; but my contention is that the information is a necessity to the maker, that its real value lies in comparing the results obtained from more than one customer, and moreover that his business interest is so actively bound up in the life of his machine that he cannot afford to trust to any information his customer cares to forward from time to time. The present practice of obtaining information from drivers when the wagons are in for overhauling is futile, as a driver is only human, and will colour his statements to his own personal advantage, and take very good care to conceal his own weaknesses as far as possible.

Some such system as the one I have outlined would have an excellent effect upon the relations which exist between the makers and users of motor vehicles. It would create a feeling of co-operation, and remove a great deal of absurd misunderstanding on both sides, besides which it would undoubtedly cause a saving to the customer, and that is of importance. One decided benefit to the maker would be to impress upon the customer that he was in touch with his requirements, which would make the customer less inclined to " do his own repairs," which is very often fatal to the machine, and costly into the bargain. The best man to repair a machine is the man who builds it: there is ample scope left for the user's ingenuity successfully to kept it employed on the road.

Our log sheet for the week is as follows: earnings, £63; tonnage, 164; mileage, 830; percentage of work done, 95; coke used, 8 tons 12 cwt.; oil (gear), 131 gallons; and oil (cylinder), 41 gallons.—Yours, etc., " MOTOR-WAGON CARRIER."

Cabs for India.


[988] Sir,—The paragraph under the above heading in your issue of the 24th ulto., has caused me to look back on the past—and possibly not unknown—efforts of a friend and myself to solve the problem of supplying the large Indian towns with motorcabs. Finance for the business could not be found in this country, either in the motor trade itself or outside it, so our scheme, although practically supported by Government backing, has had to lie by. I take it from your paragraph that the Government of Bombay has simply given consent to the operation of 100 first-class and 50 second-class cabs on its city streets. which consent would have been as readily given to a concern which proposed to run British machines, so that there can be no genuine suggestion that the Bombay authorities have snubbed the home industry, or have not given British makers a chance. Just at present, there are many strange tales going about as to motorcab and commercial-motor enterprises for India, but, for some reason unknown to me, investors steer clear of them. I have in my time been promised sums varying from E50 to £250,000 for the Indian business, but these promises were all of the pie-crust order made to be broken. At times, however, things looked so promising that we made trials with different makes of ca bs, prior (very much so, as events proved) to their shipment. Was our scheme, after all, a lucky mascot as far as others' cars are concerned p—Yours faithfully, ARTHUR E. A. M. TURNER.

[We agree with this correspondent, that the Indian market is a good one. Manufacturers should not be permanently turned from it by any " false starts.--ED.1

Statements of Motorvan Costs.


[989] Sir,I attach detail of tire renewals for the 20 vans for their second year. I can hardly be expected to state tile price I pay for tires; naturally, with 45 vans to tire, and more being added every six months, I get some advantage as to price, and I always pay cash at seven days. 1 find the a rerarje life of a tire to be 13,000 miles.

We have got 19,000 miles out of tires, on both back wheels of one van, and they are still on; but these were more expensive to buy than our average tire. We got 15,000 and 16,000 miles from Sirdars and de severs, with luck, and these are both low-priced tires. The 19,000 miles quoted are Dunlops, and we have seven vans, and four more on order, fitted with Polacks, but have not used these long enough yet, to talk about mileage : I anticipate great rasults.

The tires tor our 20 vans, for second year, were:—

No. Lad. 2683 36 19 1 2684 30 1 5 3976 26 15 1

4560 27 311

4561 42 0 0 4562 40 5 0 8851 35 10 3 8852 34 11 6 8853 43 011 8854 35 4 5


29 14 10 31 7 5 59 45 12 3 549 39 17 11 650 42 6 3 651 33 10 8 552 42 1 8 553 39 16 3 554 47 6 3 555 39 9 3 Total ... 742 14 4 Average ... 37 2 8-i per van.

This does not take into account credits for scrap rubber. —Yours faithfully, LETGESTER BARWELL.

Tottenham House. W.


Organisations: Government of Bombay
Locations: Bombay

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