Building Up RATES for BRICK HAULAGE
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S.T.R. Estimates that the Total Annual Value of Brick Traffic Exceeds • i6,600,000, and Indicates Minimum Remunerative Charges for a Variety of Leads from One to 10 miles
BRICK haulage will continne for many years to be an important branch of the road transport industry, and some assumptions may be made to show the extent of the haulage business that is likely to be done in this particular traffic. Assume that 300,000 dwelling-houses are being built of brick per annum. If I take 32,000 as being the average number of bricks in an ordinary house, that means that there are 9,600,000,000 bricks to be conveyed per annum, equalling some 22,000,000 tons to 31,000,000 tons, according to the weight per thousand. If I assume, as a modest amount, 6s. for the average rate per ton, that means that £6,600,000 to £9,300,000 worth of traffic passes per annum.
It should be noted that practically every brick has to move by road for some part of its journey from brickworks to house. Even if there be sidings beside the brickworks,-the railway companies are not in the habit of running sidings to housing sites.
In quoting the annual value of brick traffic I referred to the variation in weight per thousand. That is an important factor which is still not fully appreciated by operators. Bricks vary in weight from 2.1 tons to 3-1 tons per thousand, and in some parts of the country they are even heavier.
Wet Bricks Are Heavier Apart from the net dry weight of bricks, consideration must also be had to the fact that bricks increase in weight when they are wet—sometimes, I am told, by as much as 50 per cent. That does not mean that the weight of a load of bricks is increased by that percentage in the event of a journey having to be made in heavy rain, for obviously only the top layer of bricks would be fully soaked. It does, however, mean that a vehicle starting out with 5i tons would be carrying as much as 6 tons or even 6i tons before the end of the journey.
This factor of weight per thousand is of importance not only as regards the loading of the vehicle, but also in respect of the rate to be charged, and I note that the Road Haulage Association, in its schedule of recommended rates, adheres strictly to a charge per ton as a basis. It is unlikely, of course, that the R.H.A. will be able to persuade either brickmakers or brick hauliers to vary what has for long been the custom in the haulage of bricks, namely, to charge per thousand bricks, but the advice given by the Association that hauliers should agree upon a computed rate per thousand with each individual producer is well founded.
Most operators are aware that certain rates for brick haulage have been stipulated by the Ministry of Works.
These were made in an Order known as S.R. and 0. No. 1,457 of 1943, cited as the "Bricks (Range of Prices) No. 1 Order, 1943." This Order sets out maximum prices for bricks and prescribes the charges which the seller may make to the customer for the transport of bricks by road, rail or water. Provision is made for additions to the selling price for delivery from any place other than the brickworks.
The prices prescribed for the bricks in the Order include the cost of loading them into the vehicle at the brickworks, and no extra charge shall be made by the seller in respect of such loading. The purport of this, so far as the road haulier is concerned, is that the brickmaker is expected to provide the labour for loading, the cost of such labour not being allowed in the rates for haulage. If the haulier provides labour. for loading, he may make a charge for, it in addition to the haulage rate. Moreover, the charges for delivery, scheduled in the Order, are for delivery on the hard road at or nearest to the place at which the bricks are required. Nothing in the Order is to be read as preventing the seller from making an additional charge for delivery beyond the road.
Official Rates Inadequate I consider that the charges prescribed in the Order, even were they to be made subject to a considerable percentage increase to cover the rises in the costs of labour and materials which have taken place since 1943, are insufficient to show any haulier a reasonable profit. It has to be remembered that brick haulage is a specialized branch of the road transport industry. The work in most .eases is rough for the vehicle which has to traverse undeveloped building sites, and the "going" may be as bad as anything experienced in the 'haulage of, say, sand and ballast.
ln what follows, relating to the cost of operation, I have taken these special conditions into consideration, first as regards expectation of life of the vehicle, which I have depreciated over four years instead of five, and, second, in connection with wear and tear of the chassis, bodywork and tyres.
As a preliminary to assessing brick rates, I have drawn up a schedule of operating costs (Table I). In setting out these figures I have once again followed the example of the R.H.A. The selling price to-day of 5-ton lorries suitable for this class of work, assuming that they are supplied painted and lettered and ready for the road, varies from about £525 to £770. For my calculations I have taken a figure of £650 as being the first cost How this amount is dealt with in the first place can be seen by reference to Table I. First of all I set down the purchase price at £650 and deduct from that the price of a set of 34 in. by 7 in. tyres (£85). That gives me £565 as the net cost of the vehicle. I have assumed that after four years of this hard work the operator will get £65 for the machine, and that leaves a net figure of £500 for the calculation of depreciation.
Depreciating the vehicle over four years, the charge on that account is £125 per annum. The rest of the items in Table I do not, I think, require much explanation. The result is that I have time and mileage figures of 75. 6d. per hour and 5.05d. per mile. To that I think fit to add 20 per cent. for profit, which gives charges of 9s. per hour and 6d. per mile.
Assessing Terminal Delays
Now comes the question of assessing rates for brick haulage, using those basic figures. First it is necessary to consider how much time should be allowed for loading and unloading. I have taken out cost figures for a 5-tormer and I know that operators habitually load 5-tonners with 2.500 bricks. Assuming that those bricks weigh 21 tons per thousand, the load is slightly short of 51 tons. I am advised that, given assistance, as is usual, a fair average time is /-hour for loading and the same for unloading, that is, 11 hours in all.
There may be 'some loss of time in waiting to drive to the stacks of bricks. -.Where the brick manufacturing company is a big, highly organized business, there is not, as a rule, much waiting, but at smaller factories, where there is sometimes congestion, a vehicle may have to wait an hour. I think, however,' that an allowance of 1-hour is fair as an average figure. This means that the total terminal del* average two hours per load.
In assessing the journey time I shall assume that the first 1-mile will be covered in five minutes at an average speed of 6 m.p.h.; the second 1-mile in six minutes (15 m.p.h.); the third 1-mile in 11-1. minutes (24 m.p.h.); and thereafter at 30 m.p.h. (two minutes per mile run). The first 11 miles will take 8/ minutes, as also will the last 11 miles in any journey of upwards of three miles. Travelling time equals 161 minutes for three miles of every journey, and an extra two minutes for every mile in addition to three.
For a 10-mile lead, therefore, which I propose to take as my first example, the total travelling time will be 161 minutes for three miles out of the 10, plus seven miles at two minutes per mile, which is 14 minutes; total, 301 minutes. The total time necessary, therefore, to load 2,500 bricks, convey them 10 miles, unload them and return 10 miles will be three hours, made up of two hours' terminal delays and 1-hour each way, The charge should, therefore, be for three hours at 9s. per hour, which is £1 7s., plus 20 miles at 6d. per mile, which is 10s.; total, £1 17s. Reckoning 51 tons per load, the charge is bs. 5d, per ton, or approximately 14s. 6d. per thousand bricks, reckoning 21 tons per thousand.
The above method of calculation can be used to assess rates for all lead distances. Over a one-mile lead, for example, the standing time remains as before, at two hours, and there is an addition of 10 minutes each way for travelling, so that the total is 2 hours 20 minute's per load. The charge for 2 hours 20 minutes is 21s., plus ls. for travelling (total, 22s.), representing 3s. 10d. per ton and approximately 8s. Rd. per thousand.
Figures for Short Hauls
Over a two-mile lead the time is increased by eight minutes to 2 hours 28 minutes-say, 21 hours-so that the charge must be made up of 9s. per hour for 21 hours, which is £1 2s. 6d., plus four miles at 6d. (2s.), totalling £1 4s. 6d. This sum, for 51 tons, equals practically 4s. 3d. per ton, or approximately 9s. 7d. per thousand. For a three-mile haul there is an addition of a further 21 minutes. making the time 2 hours 301 minutes, which can be still taken as 21 hours. At 9s. per hour the time charge is £1 2s. 6d.; add for six miles at 6d. (3s.), and the total is 5s. 6d. The price accordingly goes up to 4s. 5d. per ton, or, within reasonable accuracy, 10s. per thousand.
Beyond that distance the time increases by four minutes per mile, which is equivalent to 1/15 of 9s. (say, 71d.), plus two miles at 6d. (1s.); total, Is. 71-d.. or 31d. per ton and approximately 71d. to 8d. per thousand. The rates thus calculated are practically the same as those recommended by the R.H.A., which, as I have already stated, quotes rates per ton, and not per thousand.
The figures in the second column of Table II (rates per ton) are those at present recommended by the RI.I.A„ representing approximately a 5 per cent. increase on a schedule which was made public in October of last year. I have added in Table II corresponding rates per thousand for bricks varying in weight from 21 tons to 31 tons per thousand.