High Grade Trucks Will Soon be Oversold
Congestion of freight transportation facilities has already assumed a very serious aspect and this winter will experience difficulties that will surpass those of the winter of 1917. Shippers are warned to prepare now to meet the emergency.
During the congestion of 1917, the motor trucks in use hauled 1,200,000,000 tons of goods, and this year, with production greatly increased and the railroads crippled by the coal shortage, the demands upon the trucks will be many times greater.
The inability of shippers of goods to get satisfactory service from the railroads has already caused many of them to use motor trucks, and if the present demand keeps up, the production of high grade trucks to meet the demand will be impossible. It is significant to note that the sales of Mack trucks last month increased 58 per cent, over the month prevoius, and that this heavy demand is increasing steadily.
Another point that shippers should not overlook is that the railroads are pretty sure to be turned over by the government to their owners about the first part of the year, and that increased freight rates, as a result of this, are inevitable. The Esch railroad bill, which aims to give the railroads a helping hand during the period of transition, has provisions which stipulate that the railroads shall immediately apply for increased freight rates.
This certainty of increased railorad rates as well as the inadequacy of the railroads to give the kind of service that is being demanded, points to an oversold condition in the high grade truck market before very long. Business men in order to be sure that their freight will be handled should place their orders for sufficient motor transportation now, while deliveries are obtainable.
The increased demand for trucks from foreign countries will also have a big influence on conditions here. Export sales of Mack trucks last month were the biggest yet, many going to Peru, Cuba, Norway, Argentina, Holland and Mexico.
As illustrating the points made in this article note following communication:
TRUCK OWNER MAKES NEW TRANSPORTATION RECORD
What is believed to be a new record in motor truck efficiency, considering distance traveled, time taken and size of load, according to information received by the International Motor Co., of New York, was recently made by Lee B. Hawkins of Moneta, Cal., who operates a fleet of eight Mack trucks.
A seed firm near Los Angeles wanted to ship 15 tons of seed in a particular rush to another town 225 miles away. No freight car was available, so they asked Hawkins if he could make the delivery in two days. He took the consignment, and with two of his trucks, one carring ten tons and the other five, started out for the town of Calexico the next morning. At night a stop was made and the trip was resumed at dawn. Calexico was reached in thirty hours after the start.
Arrangements were then made to receive a return load of nearly 15 tons of dried milk at El Centro, 10 miles from Calexico. This was delivered at San Diego, a distance of 100 miles. There 15 tons of fish were loaded on and delivered in Los Angeles, 130 miles more.
Reaching home in Moneta at midnight, one of the trucks hooked onto a trailer and the truck and trailer delivered 17 1/2 tons of tomatoes by next morning to a cannery 25 miles away. At a town nearby, 7 1/2 tns of well casing were taken on and delivered that night at Elsinore, 100 miles away over the mountains.
Compare this performance with what would have been done by railroad transportation. No more remarkable example of truck efficiency could be asked for. There have been many instances of unusual performances of trucks that have been staged as stunts by dealers or manufacturers, but this is a case where the owner capitalized on the proved utility of his trucks. It shows what any other owner can do if he solicits return loads in a proper manner.