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Shall There be a Haulage Trade. Association ?

9th January 1923
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Page 1, 9th January 1923 — Shall There be a Haulage Trade. Association ?
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

IS THERE the room and the need for an association of those engaged directly in the haulage trade which shall aim at the stabilization of rates, district by district (because no scale of haulage rates could be made to apply generally), throughout the country ? We think that there is.

' The Commercial 'Motor Users Association does splendid work for the industry, but it has always kept clear of the question of rate control its programme, without attempting to tackle so highly,complex (and even so disruptive!) a subject as the control of rates, being extensive and important enough as it is. The Motor Trade Association, although hardly the proper body for such a task, has helped the haulier and also the coach owner to a material extent, and, in fact, may lie said to have shown the way for a separate organization specially devoted to the interests of haulage.

.The difficulty -which presses urgently for removal is the cutting of rates. Much of this cutting occurs out of sheer ignorance, because the haulier often finds himself in a strange district, and, having deposited a load, seeks another which may profitably take him back---or, at least, help hiM. in that 'direction. Without a local hauliers' association to help him, he is at the mercy of the man who likes to drivehard bargains. And let it be. frankly admitted that often the haulier himself lacks the moral fibre to refuse an unprofitable rate ; an association would help him to acquire it. Such an association might even help ft) mitigate the evil of the competition, for return loads, of the trader's lorry.

A great deal of the difficulty which undoubtedly exists, affecting the ha u!ler and the clearing houses which are giving the hauliers a square deal, and which arises out of the fact that the-middle-man in transport is not always content to work on a commission basis, would be solved by bringing all clearing-house work under the control or supervision of the haulage association. In many. ways such an asso ciation could be of direct assistance in matters personally.and immediately affecting the driver, such as in recommending a garage or lodgings. A later development could be the provision of a suitable scheme for the insurance of IoadS and other hauliers' risks.

In our weekly feature, " Hints for Hauliers," the merits of the proposal to form a Haulage Trade Association are discussed, and it would he very interesting to have the views of hauliers upon the subject.

Support for the One-day Coach Licence Proposal.

WE HAVE already, in these columns, referred to and commended the proposal of a Leicester coach owner that consideration should be given to the possibility of issuing one-day licences to proprietors of motor coaches and buses during the close season. The Commercial Motor Users Association has now announced its policy for 1923, and we are glad to see that this is included among the " improvements " upon the present mode of taxation which the Association will press upon the Government as being desirable.

The other proposals of the C.M.U.A., which, in due course, will be laid before the Government, include monthly and quarterly licences at not more than the actual proportions of the present annual licences (we think that the word " present " should be deleted); an a.11-round reduction of ono-sixth on every annual licence ; annual licences from any date ; and facilities for the transference of a licence from any vehicle laid up to any unlicensed substitute vehicle. These are really sound suggestions, and, if they are adopted, will act in encouragement of business and need not entail much redaction in revenue.

The C.M.U.A., in defining its policy for the year, has made clearer its attitude towards the proposals to reintroduce the petrol tax in place of the present method of taxation. on the basis of horse-power, unladen weight, or seating capacity. It appears to be not;so fiercely opposed to the reintroduction of the petrol tax as to any alteration of the original basis, whereby the fuel for commercialvehicles was taxed at one-half the gallon rate. Undoubtedly this is reasonable, because any increase in the cost of transport of foodstuffs, commodities, and materials must be passed on to the consumer, and the effect is that he pays far more than is fair and reasonable, because of the -cost of financing the tax. In our opinion, however, the reason why the other motor associations are advocating a flat rate on all petrol is in order to simplify the collection of the duty by the abolition of rebates and to put a stop

to the abuses which, undoubtedly, went on in the days of a fuel tax. It would not be poSsible to colour all commercial spirit red, for example, and to give the police power to stop private cars and examine for its colour the fuel being consumed !

How to Effect Reductions in Tyre Costs.

IN THESE days of high costs and meagre returns economy is being studied at every phase of the running of a vehicle but, whilst one often comes across the r,esults of definite efforts to effect a saving in fuel costs, involving thought, intelligence, and energy, one does not find the same attention being paid to economy in tyre wear. In the States and in many of our Dominions the cost of solid tyre maintenance is almost equal to that of fuel consumption; but over the smoother, firmer surfaces provided for us by our road builders, tyre cost is generally less than fuel cost by about 40 per cent. in the case of solid tyres, whilst, in the case of pneumatic tyres, it is greater, being on a rising scale, according to the size of the vehicle.

But, whatever the type of tyre used and the cost of tyre maintenance, it is safe to say that, in a large number of cases, money could be saved by placing checks upon overloading and fast driving, upon injudicious braking, and excessive engine speed at starting. Faulty alignment of wheels, improper angles of wheel spindles, and the warping of wheels are fruitful causes of tyre wear, and they can all be avoided or remedied by careful supervision in the garages.

Slackness in steering joints leads to the formation of flats on tyres, a subject to which, last spring, we devoted a special article—one which, by the way, has been reprinted for a number of British tyre-manufacturing concerns, and which has recently been extensively reprinted on the order of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, demonstrating the earnestness of the tyre manufacturers in their efforts to secure, for the vehicle owner, the widest dissemination of knowledge in order that the greatest possible economy in tyre maintenance may be effected.

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