THE TECHNICAL requirements of motor-vehicle-fleet operation are receiving increasing attention, according to the author, who analyzes two distinctly different plans for fleet organization; one, that of providing for sufficient man-power to care for all repairs, and the other, of later origin and requiring a much smaller organization, the delegation of all repairs to the specialists of the commercial repair-shops. In analyzing these plans he considers a fleet of 500 vehicles. His analysis of the latter plan has to do with a fleet organization having no shop personnel and a total of 10 or more vehicles per employe, the fundamental requirements in this case being the provision of qualified inspector-repairmen and efficient manufacturers' and commercial service-stations.
Concerning economical service life, the author states that no set rules have been found effective, but that it has been demonstrated that a critical point is reached in the life of each chassis beyond which it is uneconomical to make extensive repairs. This point is indicated when the cost of immediate repairs, plus the estimated running maintenance during the period of extended life of the unit is greater per mile, hour, ton-mile and the like, than the cost of running maintenance for the first-life period of a new chassis. In this consideration must be included the increased depreciation for the new chassis. The critical point for each class or make of chassis can be approximated from past records and, as each chassis approaches this point in service, consideration should be given to its replacement. Individual consideration of each chassis is stressed for the reason that, depending upon the driver's expertness, the territory covered and the work performed, some chassis will operate economically in excess of others, and therefore the calendar and the odometer are not conclusive evidence in chassis replacement.
Other subjects touched upon are chassis selection, body design and appearance, garaging facilities and operation, maintenance costs and quality measurement. In conclusion, the author solicits hearty cooperation between the manufacturers, the operators and the Society, so that the efficiency and utility of motor-vehicles can thereby be increased continuously.
In the discussion following the paper procedure regarding methods of accounting is outlined, as are also the practices relating to the determination of when to use solid, when to use cushion and when to use pneumatic tires. The subjects of maximum permissible gross load, records of tire performance, and the substitution of cushion, pneumatic and balloon tires on motor-trucks in place of solid tires are discussed, and methods of recording tire performance are outlined. The question as to what the manufacturers are doing to make service-station truck-repair costs more economical than in the small-fleet shop is debated.