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Officially Recognized by The Commercial Motor Users Association.
The Authority on all forms of Motor Transport. Largest circulation.
Conducted by EDMUND DANGERFIELD. Editor: EDWARD S. SHRAPNELL-SMITH.
The Paris Show.
French manufacturers are deserving of sympathy by reason of the several changes which have apparently been an unavoidable prelude to the inclusion, now officially announced, of a commercial-vehicle section as part of this month's Exhibition in Paris. Another note—the third—on the subject, from our Paris correspondent, will be found on page 130. He very properly points out that no representative display can be expected, but he takes the new that certain newer members of the industry in France will be glad to seize the opportunity to come before the public. They will not neglect it.
It was the custom, in the early days of the industry, going back to the year 1807, when the first heavy motor trials took place in the neighbourhood of Paris, for British manufacturers to visit the French capital in order to keep themselves apprised of developments, and for other reasons. That practice was observed. for some 12 years in all, but there has been tittle if any cause for visits of the kind during more-Necent years. Great Britain has been leading.
We shall, of course, publish a critical and descriptive article dealing with points of importance that may come under our observation, so far as regards interesting constructional features or evidences of new applications, after an inspection of such commercial models as may be in the Show.
A correspondent who is well known in heavy-motor circles draws attention, amongst our " Opinions from Others' this week, to some interesting experiences connected with the topical subject of drawbar attaehment. With the winter approaching, and with the probability of accidents and reduced loads in front of them, owners of tractors, or of steam wagons which usually draw trailers, will no doubt be interested in this communication, and will, we trust, also be inclined to contribute their own views or experiences for the assistance of other readers. It must be recognized that theoretic considerations in respect of horizontal attachment, qua efficiency of draught alone, do not by any means exhaust the points which have to be taken into account. The maintenance of the drawbar parallel with the surface over which the vehicles are running may be quite sound from one point of view, but Mr. T. C. A veling ,recalls particular experiences at and in the vicinity of Aldershot., on an occasion which we ourselves well remember, which tends to show that considerable -angularity of attachment is desirable.
We happen to know that there is an inclination on the part of haulage contractors to use the miniature traction engine more generally than they do at the present time, provided they can overcome the difficulties of skidding and sideslip when road-surfaces are in a greasy or slippery condition. It may be that the remedy lies ready to hand, and that it. is the simple one of a division of the tender or water-tank on the tractor, so that the height of attachment of the
drawbar may be adjusted, and its location brought closer to the back axle. There is no question that constructional detail can be sufficiently varied to admit the attachment of the necessary bracket.
Visible Vapour and Smoke Emission.
We recommend owners of steam_ wagons to warn their drivers in respect. of their proper reply if any of them, happen to be stopped by a police constable in respect of the emission of visible vapour or smoke from the funnels of their machines. The statutory defence, apart from the proof that the vehicle concerned is a heavy motorcar, consists in adducing proof that any such emission was due to a "temporary or accidental" cause. Drivers who find themSelves in difficulties should be instructed to remember this, and to see that the constable takes a. note at the time of facts which will bear out that contention.
The 1914 Motorvan Parade.
His Majesty the King has again graciously accorded his patronage to the annual Parade of commercial motors, in London, for the organization of which the Commercial Motor Users Association is responsible. Entries are already being received in encouraging numbers, and the prospects of a material advance on the record support that was obtained in May last are considered most promising. Everybody connected with heavy-motor traffic should welcome and assist this annual event, partly by reason of the good which it is admitted to do in the matter of urging drivers to do their best for their employers and with the vehicles under their charge, and partly because of its valuable effect in making clear to the country at large, and to the Press of the civilized world, the fact that the horse-van parade by no means has matters all its own way. The coincident reports of the other parade are of immense general effect the world over.
The writer was responsible, last week, for the publication by " The Times" of a letter over his signature which embodied practically the same text and tables as those which were published on page 101 of our issue of last week, with reference to the cost of maintenance of the main roads of Middlesex. It cannot reasonably be denied that it is the duty of a County Council to spend money on its main roads at. least in ratio with the increase of rateable value in its administrative area, and this is especially the case in regard to any of the Home counties, by reason of the fact that they derive much of their growing assessable values from proximity to the Metropolis. Some of the points which were raised have been taken up by the County Surveyor, Mr. H. T. Wakelam, and it will be observed that Mr. _Wakelam seeks to combat certain views for which, by the courtesy of the Editor of "The Times," the writer sought public consideration. This controversy ma or may not continue. For the present, we publish the first letter from Mr. Wakelam, and the reply to it.