METHODS of operation and maintenance pertaining to a small fleet of motorcoaches are described by the author, who outlines the development of this transportation service from July, 1922, when operation was begun. An inspection system was inaugurated in which due consideration was given to the type of equipment, the nature of the service performed, average loads, the speed maintained, and the nature of the roadway over which the vehicles traveled. In this manner preventive-maintenance methods were put into effect, the results being a steady increase in efficiency.
In the author's opinion, itemized costs must be kept for each unit of the fleet so that the data will be available for the month, the year to date, the last full year and, if possible, for the last several years. The figures should be embodied in a statement so that comparison can be made between similar items for each unit operated. Units differing in make or type should be grouped and averages shown for each group. Details of the inspection procedure for the different parts of the vehicle are given, these being on a mileage basis.
The author states that the regularity and thoroughness of lubrication determine largely the length of life of a motor-vehicle unit. Mechanical repairs are made by the company in its own shop, except that it has been found more economical to have shafts and pistons ground in an outside shop specially equipped for that work and for the repair of electrical units. In conclusion it is remarked that successful maintenance depends upon the operator's knowledge of his equipment and its reasonable possibilities of service, and also upon the choice of competent employes and leadership along a carefully prepared course.
In the discussion, further details are given of inspection methods, and it is stated that depreciation is calculated on the basis of a 5-year period. Some details of performance of aluminum-alloy pistons, as compared with cast-iron pistons, are given.