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Motor Delivery for Retailers

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MOTOR DELIVERY FOR RETAILERS : The use of the motor-car for any purpose has been of comparatively recent growth, and the special development of vehicles for tradhig purposes has been delayed owing to the tendency to make the most of the new power for purposes of pleasure. For many years the motor-car was primarily designed as a vehicle for carrying passengers, and any utility it might have had for business purposes has been treated as a side issue, the idea always being that the motor-car used for trade purposes might be in sonic measure transformed into a car for private use. This point of view has in practice delayed the development of a vehicle which should serve a purely commercial purpose, and indeed its evil effects are still felt in this particular industry. It has always prevented the value of the motor-car being thoroughly realised by traders who have much work to do outside their own establishments, in delivering goods.

The use of motor vehicles for transit may be said to date back to the day when their po-sibilities were realised as a substitution for the old horse omnibus. The tendency to use them for this purpose attracted the attention of firms delivering heavy goods over wide areas, but here, again, it became difficult to disassociate the motor-car from the vehicle of the van type, calculated to carry a load of from two to three tons. The first motor vehicles were largely used for haulage purposes, and were considered practical by furniture removers and similar traders whose goods bulked largely and were distributed over a wide area. To-day, however, it is being realised that the motor vehicle capable of carrying a small load of about 25 cwt. is not only practical to the trader, particularly the trader in the retail world, but is destined to be one of the most useful methods of distributing goods at his disposal. Even a load of 25 cwt, is too high for the majority of users in retail trades, and it is only of recent years that a determined 'Alba has been made to meet the needs of the likely purchasers of cars capable of carrying about 5 cwt.

The first business men to see the value of the smaller motor-car for rapid delivery were the newspaper firms issuing many editions, the success of which depended on their rapid distribution over a small area. The bulk of their parcels for this purpose were not heavy, and what was needed was a light and rapid car which could deliver many small parcels at stated points quicker than the most rapid method known in the average large city by means of the bicycle or tricycle. The newspaper firms designed for them selves a vehicle which was not much larger than the small van used by local traders, on three wheels, propelled by pedals, and in the grea't business of distributing papers over an area of five, six, or eight miles these cars, in practice, have proved so thoroughly successful that there is no reason why this type should not be extended to suit the necessities of every local trader flIOT THE BUSINESS ENCYCLORZEDIA —the butcher, the baker, the draper, or any man sending out parcels each day ; and experience teaches that it is an economical factor in doing this very necessary work. The great advantage of these sisiall cars over the heavier vehicles of the old type is that they can be used economically for deliveries from door to door. It is impossible to make a large vehicle pay if it is to be constantly stopped and delayed every few hundred yards. The horse vehicle for this purpose is cheaper than the motor-van. The driver of the small car can stop his engine while delivering the goods, and start the machine again, and be off, and proceed to his next stopping-place without any appreciable loss of time or without any waste in running the machine. The cost of the car is also proportionately smaller, so that its value has not to be taken into account when it is lying idle at different points to which it is sent. It is also easily handled in narrow streets, unlike a heavier van, and is practical for all purposes of delivery in suburban byways.

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