WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of trausport'at whatever points arisin9, as a carriage is by the roughness of the roads over which it T1018, "—John Beattie Crozier.
Petrol Supply and Country Tradesmen.
In the House of ConinNIS last week, Mr. Pete asked the President. of the Board of Trade whether it is proposed, in the interests of economy of petrol, to place any reetrictien upon the distances that, may be travelled in the country by petrol-driven cars belonging to tradesmen and co-operative stores soliciting orders and delivering goods? Mr. Wardle : The President of the Board of Trade has recently appointed a Road Transport Board, one function cif which will be to determine what, further measures are necessary to ensure the most economic use of road transport vehicles. The Road Transport Board, through its local officers, will investigate the questions referred to.
. Thornycroft's Report.
The report of ,L 1. Thornycroit and Co., Ltd., was submitted to the shareholders at an adjourned general meeting held at Winchester House, old Broad Street, E.C., yesterday. The report is for the period ending 31st July, 1916.
The .balance-sheet shows that a profit for the period from July, 1915, to July, 1916, including balance brought forward at the former date, and after deducting estimated liability for excess profit duty from June, 1914., income tax and mum
tions levy of .£106,542 has been made, and after making certain deductions an available balance of £73,909 is rendered available, out of which the following dividends have already been paid :—A dividend of 3 -per sent. on preference shares for six months to 30th June, 1916, which absorbed £5904, and a final dividend of 10 per cent. on ordinary shares amounting to £14,850, leaving a balance of £53,119. The directors recommended that, this sum should be allocated as follows :---Transfer • to reserve account £25,000, making a total of £125,000, and a contribution to the benevolent fend of £5000, leaving a 1144 balance to he carried forward of £23,119.
Fuel Control in France.
An association has been formed in France,under the authority of the Government, with tile object of controlling the import and sales of petrol and paraffin. The capital of the association is 30 million francs. The following firms have representatives on the first administrative council Societe Fenaille
Despanx, Paris ; Societe Desmarais Freres, Paris; Societe lea File de A. Deutsch, Paris; Cie Industrielle des Petroles, Paris; Societe Raffinerie du Midi, Paris; Societe de Lille, l3onnieres at Colombes, Paris; Cie Generale des Petroles, 'Marseille; Societe Raffinerie de Petiole du Nord, a Wasquehal.
Cost of Official Cinema • Motors.
In the House of Commons last week, Mr. P. A. Harris asked the Patronage Secretary to the Treasury whether the Ministry of Information have bought a number of motorcars' for giving cinematograph displays; if so, how many of these cars are being used for this purpose; what is the cost of the same and what is the staff employed thereon; and whether he can state the working expenses per car per week? Captain Guest (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury): The Ministry of Information owns 10 motorcars for giving cinematograph displays. These cars were purchased by the former Department of Information for use in Russia, at a cost of £13,000, inclusive of all necessary mechanism. The staff employed per car consists of a soldier driver and a soldier operator, both of a low military' grade. The working expenses per car per week are approximately £14, exclusive of the hire of films. . Since there is no present opportunity for their use in Russia, the cars have been lent to the War Aims Committee. and are under the control of their lecturers, I may add that, they have been an immertre success. Mr. Harris; Coulff,not, these cars be used at the present time to greater advantage at the war overseas? No•answer was given.
Recent tests carried out in America to determine the relative value of different reads show the resistance to tractive effort offered by unsurfaced concrete to be 30 pounds per ton, surfaced concrete 50 pounds, gravel82 pounds, and dirt roads 99 pounds.
Using a three-ton vehicle with a capacity load and a speed of 12 miles an hour over unsurfaced Concrete as standard, the vehicle will make 7.2 miles per hour over surfaced concrete, 4.8 miles per hour over gravel. and 3.6 miles over dirt roads, This mates a relative cost of $.167, $.194 and $.207. per ton-mile in the last three cases. A computation shows that if all roads travelled were gravel as compared with dirt, the annual. saving in operating America's 400,000 meter vehicles would amount to 470,200,000.: if concrete as compared with gravel, $167,400,000, and. if concrete instead of
dirt, $237,600,000. .
• Walsall Bus Difficulties. •
A court case Was recently heard in which the Birmingham and Midland Omnibus Co., Ltd., 'appealed against a conviction at Walsall for allowing their vehicles to ply for hire in that borough, :contrary to the provisions of the town's Police Clauses Acts.
Mr. Tomlin, K.C., in support of the appeal, said that the form of opinion was tint the company being proprietors of meterbuses unlawfully permitted the same to be used as hackney carriages standing and plying for hire within the+ borough of Walsall without obtaining a licenee,.and he contended that the cernpany had done none of the things which were essential to constitute a vehicle a haekney carriage. The passengers were taken up on the company's premises and therefore there was no plying for hire in fie ttreets which would bring the company within the meaning of the Act. It was stated by a responding counsel that it was desired to prevent the waste of petrol, but the ..company's counsel pointed Out that the petrol supplied had been authorized by 'tie competent
authority, It was suggested that the company had adopted an obvious device for evading the laweand that the Walsall Court in refusing to licence the vehicles had in mind the welfare of the public. After farther -di.scussirin judgment in
favour of the dismissal of the appeal was passed.
The second of a series of motor ploughing championships for the unit of 'Yolk has been completed. The ilelmsley unit has been successful on this occasion. The month's aggregate is 80 acres, and when it is said that this record was achieved on a high-country farm at llawnby which lies in an exposed position, and the soil of which is diffiettlt to cultivate, the effort put forth will be more fully appreciated. The daily average amounted to more than 4 acres.
Coal-dust From Steamers.
The report of the Street Safety .Committee of the -London "SafetyFirst" Council has recently receiyed a communication from the London awl Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers inviting attention to the danger to drivers of vehicles fro coal-dust escaping from the funnels o steam-propelled lorries, and suggesting that it should be compulsory for these funnels lii be fitted with cowls to minimize the danger. The at tentiion of the Chief Commissinner of•Police is being drawn to the suggestion.
Steamers in Yorkshire.
The copy of the following unsolicited testimonial received by Clayton and Shuttireworth, Ltd., Stamp End Works, ,Lincoln, from •Mangham Bros., Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, bears valuable evidence to the quality of manufacture and the efficiency-of running of this company's steamrivagon productions. As pointed out, the fact that this user was
able to -ECC11:0e. qualified and experienced men -for driving purposes must have Contributed largely to the splendid running. rif the wagons:— . "I herewith enclose a phofo. of our No. 3 wagon of your make loading coal, and also a few particulars of work done by our Steamers. We purchased our first wagon in. November, 1913, taking a wagon of your original design, This wagon gave us every satisfaction, carrying coal chiefly, hauling 20 tons per day, 32 miles full and empty, it has just been re-tubed and overhauled by yen, and converted to run or. rubber tyres, and is at present going better than ever. We purchased our No. 3 wagon in December, 1914, this wagon has dpne a big mileage to date, running 11,000 miles in twelve months running through the bad winter of 1916 and 1917 without losing a day; it has put up an exceptionally good performance; it is a very hilly country about here. It has regularly climbed the great Chapieltown Hill with a, full five tons in winter, and just lately this wagon ran from Bradford under load, leaving Bradford at 5 p.m. and arriving in Rotherham at 19.15, between 40 and 50 miles, most of the running in th.e dark and had weather. The chief factor in getting good results from the wagons is the drivers ; we have been fortunate in this respect, having men who understand their work. I have seen wagons ruined in a very short time by had drivers, men who ought never to be aline ed on a. Valuable 'machine at any price; a good driver (steam) always ha, and always will be worth his money, and are valuable asset to steam owners.
. "I often notice in the technical journals comparisons in running costs of petrol -and steam generally figured as about equal ; we have run both, for economy and reliability petrol is not in it."
Signed L. MeNcerser. B27
The announcement of the British ploughing championship had recently rather an interesting sequel. Mr. 0. H. Butcher, the Governmenttractor representative for the county of Hereford, was invited by Sir Arthur Lee,
C.B.E,, M.P., to take the two winners, Mr. W. Powell, the driver, and Mr. J. C. H. Wall, the ploughman, to Chequers Court, Buckinghamshire, for the purpose of formal recognition. The presentation of the championship shield took place in the magnificent grand hall of this noble old mansion' where Sir Arthur Dee made an encouraging speech, in the course of which he said: " I asked you to come all the way here, as I felt, it was only right that in view of the great achievement you have accomplished I should express to you my personal thanks, and also the very warm appreciation of the Govern ment. . . Next to the actual fighting, there is nothing so important as the production of food, because, whether the war goes on or not, whether peace comes early or not, the food question will be just as urgent as it is now. It is therefore clear that you and those who have organized have accomplished in your county a really great work. Perhaps I may give you an impression how great it is. You have ploughed 155 acres in the course of four weeks.; if every tractor in the country had been able to accomplish as much as you have done during thue four weeks, the total acreage ploughed would have been 390,000. So you realize that it is a very exceptional performance, and it is extremely creditable to all concerned. On behalf of the Department I have therefore great pleasure in presentingthe shield to you two men of the Hereford unit to hold until the next four weeks competition is completed."
Army Lorry Parks.
One of the biggest army lorry parks, and the only one dealing with a. single make of automobile lorry, has been established by the French Army authorities at Turin in order to handle some of the one hundred lorries per day produced by the F.I.A.T. Co. The F.I.A.T. factory testers deliver the finished cars and lorries to the officer in charge of this park, 'where they are equipped for active service, formed into convoys of 18 or 20 vehicles according to their tonnage, • manned and officered, and finally sent to the French Army in Italy, or over the Alps, under their own power, to the Army in France.
B28 There are three main types of vehicles in this big park :-14-ton pneumatictyred fast lorries, generally. used by the aviation service; 3L-ton heavy lorries, and officer's cars. The total often corn . prises several hundred cars, and constitutes • the bielgest collection of automobiles of any one make to be found in the world.
What Nat To Buy.
Andrew Barton, Bros., of Beestun, have sent to as a copy of a sale bill for an auction which was held recently • at Derby. It is amusing to notice that the last item for disposal is detailed as follows:—' Darracq, 20 h.p., 4-cylinder, 5-seater motorcar, with hood, screen, H.T. Bosch magneto, and set of brass lamps, in running order ; gear-driven; would make 5-ton lorry." Mr. Barton has evidently appreciated the humour of the situation and doubtful merits of a passenger car of this type being turned to account as a commercial vehicle, and a five-tonner, mark you, at that !
To Haulage Contractors.
We learn from one of the large manufacturing concerns of the Midlands that they are desirous of fixing up haulage contracts for their goods to be taken from Leicester or Birmingham and de
livered to Bristol Or London. Any haulage concern that can deal with the business can'get into touch with the manufacturing concern by addressing a letter to B.L., care of the Editor. '
Eastbourne Buses as Dust Vans.
Obsolete. Eastbourne motorbuses, so it is said, are to be converted into motor dust-vans and watercarts. It is to be hoped that in view of The services that these buses have rendered in their more familiar role that their adoption for a new form of service will he equally successful. We have our doubts.
The British Petroleum Co. have mcived their London branch offices at 117-123, Great Portland Street, on very, short notice, to 4, 5, 6 and 7, Chiswell Street, Finsbury, London, E.G. 1, their premises having been impressed by the Government.
At a conference of the various Chau:141.s of Commerce in the North-Eastern district held at Leeds, Mr. J. W. Buckler, of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to represent the Chambers on the divisional board of the Road Transport Board.
MilitaryTransport in theAlps.
In selecting battery emplacements, artillery officers are obliged to pick out positions giving them the greatest advantages from a gunner's standpoint, with only secondary consideration to
ease of approach. In consequence of this necessity, the artillery tractor teams are called upon to work under conditions which in normal times would be considered impassible. This is particularly true on the Alpine front in Italy, where temporary roads have to be built up the mountain side, and where hazardous mule tracks have to be hastily improved to carry heavy artillery to the • top of almost inaccessible peaks.
We relax one of our rules and on page 234 reproduce, even if it may appear elsewhere, a, picture by an Italian artist depicting the change of a battery's position in the Alps. Powerful F.I.A.T. tractors have been brought up to haul .the guns over roads which are nothing more than a narrow ledge chiselled out of the face of the cliff. There is no reassuring parapet on the outside, The drivers realize that the least miscalculation of distance, the least inattention and tractor and gun will go crashing to destruction. Work of this nature is impossible with horses, for it
is difficult to bring a sufficient number of animals to bear on the gun, and movements cannot be made with sufficient accuracy. Comparatively little attention is given by the public to the motor transport men who have to carry out work of this nature, but their hazard is as great and their role as important as that of the crews who actually fire the gun.
The Japanese people are so accustomed to the jimikisha, and the roads in many places are so narrow, that there might quite conceivably. be a good opening for trade in motor jinrikishas in Japan. A Japanese military aviator has recently invented a motor jinrikisha which has made experimental runs near Tokio. It is understood that he is applying for a patent for the invention and that a factory will probably be built near Tokio for the manufacture of these vehicles on a large scale.
An illustration of the new vehicle may be inspected by British firms interested at the Inquiry Office of the Department , of Overseas Trade (Development and Intelligence).
Bristol Re-tyring Premises.
We have been _informed by the Shrewsbury S.T. and Challiner Tyre Co., Ltd., Arekviek Green; .Manchester, that they have, for the convenience of Bristol users and their clients in the SeuthWestern counties, -recently Opened a new. depot at 9, Colston A-Venue,. Bristol, which, we are given -to.' Understand, is fully equipped with up"-to-date plant for -expeditiously carrying out the fitting of vehicle wheels of all descriptions with new tyres. The preaniSes .offer covered accommodation for vehicles, and .everything has been done to enable the -Work to be carried out quickly, for the company realize that at the present period wastage of tune can ill be afforded. Corn-Lined with the. fitting -depot is a •tyre stores, where a compreltensiVe stock is . held to cover local requirements and fer other clients in the South-Western Counties. It must be very ebvions that no arrangement of this kind, particularly at fl:te .present time, is very advantageous, hearing -in mind the existing railway transport:. difficulties and delays.
• it is a known fact to those who posECS$ ;.1. knowledge of carburation and its attendant difficulties that at varying engine speeds, and more particularly-at varying points of ignition of the gases, varying qualities of mixture are required.
The manufacturers of the I3erdea automatic carburetter control (for which Brown Bros., Ltd.-, has recently secured the sole selling-• rights) for Ford cars realized acmeyears agcr that means of regulating. the quality of the mixture autrintatic7ally would he a !boon to. users of this type Of •machine, . The Berdea control is a " simple and easily fitted attachment for operating the adjustable needle -of the standard _Ford carburetter so as to provide automatically a mixture of greater-richness at higher speeds and proportionately to reduce the-richness_ at Slow speeds, there-by effecting .a considerable saving in fuel and increasing the working efficiency of the engine.
It is claimed that this form of control
eliminates at least 50 per cent.. of "the occasions for using the low gear and facilitates to a considerable extent starting.of the engine. When taking a steep gradient, the device automatically produces plenty of fuel and enables the driver to effect a saving on the descent.
The devtce which has been well tested
puts the inexperienced. driver on a par with the expert .60 far as fuel consumption is concerned, and the factthat Brown Bros.,-Ltd., is prepated-to refUnd the cost if it does not give a,t -least five more miles per gallon of spirit consumed after a, month's trial should be substa.ntial evidence of tfie confidence which they put in the efficacy d the device. A copy of a testimonial as. sent by the Henry Frood Co., Ltd., to the selling agent, which we include ' herewith, corroborates the latter company's claims for it:— "Finding it imperative, under con.
clitions of restricted petrol sdpply, to get the maximum mileage per .gallon; w a were recommended to buy one of your. Berdea ' controls, and fit on to one of the several Ford commercial vehicles which we have in use at the workS here. The result we obtained fully justified the claims you make for this device, and resulted in our fitting two further vans and a 30-cwt. Ford lorry with Berdaa ' controls. We have no hesitation in recommending this deviee foe the purpose for which it is sold-, and despite the fact that this is very hilly country, the mileage per gallon has been increased in the region of 30 per cent. to 35 per cent.
" Generally speaking, the 'vans are not driven by highly skilled drivers, and we therefore consider that the result's ob tained are very convincing. • It appears to be equally, effective whether petrol, petrol and substitute mixed, or gas only is used, and should we purchase further Ford vehicles we shall certainly fit them up with 'Berdea ' controls." A booklet giving further details of the device and its made of operation will be forwarded upon application to Brown Bros., Ltd., Great Eastern Street, E.C.
• Local Proceedings.
Alton (Staffs.) residents are raising £650 for an ambulance,
Bognor Ratepayers' Association hope to provide a• motor ambulancefor local use.
The Works Committee of he Ilford recommends the purchase of a motorcar for the surveyor.
: In view of shipping difficulties, the Ministry ef. _Munitions cannot give the Bolton Council a permit, for the purchase
of an electric vehicle.
Ilford U.P.C. is asking the Ministry of Munitions for a cer: tificate authorizing the purchase of two electric v-ehicles from the General "Vehicle Co.
The accounts of-the LariCashire C.C. include an item of 117 to meet a claim by Eastwood, Ltd., Barnsley, for damage' to one of their taxicabs when being driven along a length of scarified roadway.
Having had a report by the surveyor as to the purchase of a. second-hand steam wagon to replace the Clayton wagon commandeered by the 'Government, the Walthamstow Council's Highways Committee has authorized the purchase of a vehicle at a price not exceeding £600.
The Cambridge Scientific Instrument Co., Ltd., of Cambridge, have produced, in card form_, a conversion table for converting temperatures from Centigrade to Fahrenheit. It is printed in red and black on a stiff :varnished card' measuring 12 ins, by lq ins., and owing to the fact that the scale is-given clearly and open, so that the conversion, from one scale to the other can be made readily and correctly, the table is given in the form of a spiral chartfor ,tlie sake of compactness which is obtainable. The scale is set out from absolute Zero (minus 460 'degrees False'. =_ 278 Cent.) to 3630 degrees Fa.hr. = 2000 Cent. Conversion formal* from one scale to the other and also from either scale to Reaumur are given, as well as a Series Of useful ta.hles of standardizing points of melting arid boiling points of various elements, temperatures of saturated steam at various pressures, specific heats at normal temperatures, densities of water at various temperatures, .thermal conductivities at normal temperatures of metal,alloys. and miscellaneous solids, and proportions of mixtures for quenching and tempering baths.
We strongly recommend every works manager to obtain a copy, the' price being 6d. in stamps to cover postqge.
Commercial Motor Users.
The General Committee of the C.M.U.A. has unanimously decided to nominate Colonel R. E. B. Crompton, C.D., who has been chairman of the Association for nearly 15 years, as its first president. Major-General S. S. Long, C.B., formerly Director of Supplies and Transport, and Alderman Captain H. Lyon Thomson, A.S.C., formerly Mayor of Westminster, have been nominated the first vice-presidents of the Association. A general meeting of members will be held hi London on the 31st inst., to inaugurate the president and vice-presidents, and Colonel Crompton
has consented to deliver a presidential address entitled "The Future of Heavy Motor Transport."
The new chairman of the committee will be Mr. E. S. Shrapnell-Srnith, who has been honorary treasurer of the Association since its formation in 1903. He will have the assistance of Mr. W. G. Lohjoit, IP., and of Mr. Walter Wolsey, Junr., as an additional vice-chairnian.
Petrol Prices Up.
As from 1st inst. prices of motor spirit -were advanced -by 2id per gallon, the full retail prices now being 3s. ficl. per gallon for war spirit No. 2, and 3s. 7d. per gallon for the No:3 grade.
The St. Helens' Prosecutions.
We are pleased to bear that the North and East Lancs. C.M.U.A. has taken up the question of an appeal against the recent unfair prosecutions by the St. Helens police against two of Mr. H. H. Timberlake's drivers, who -were driving, wagons which did not, so the police asserted, consume their own smoke.
The Commanding Officer Warwickshire Motor Volunteer Corps, Thorp Streeli Barracks, Birmingham desires to hear from potential recruits. Three-ton lorries are also particularly required.