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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916

Equipment,   pp. 45-46 PDF (482.7 KB)

Page 45

  After taking an inventory of the equipment for carrying on the warden
service we found that much was lacking in the facilities for wardens in
covering their respective territories. fidht of the wardens owned auto-
mohileswhich they were using ,inder a per diem system. Two owned horses
and were receiving Day in like manner. The balance had no way of cover-
ing their territory except as they hired livery, travelled by train or on
foot. After auditing the expense accounts for a few months, we found
that a large part of their expense accounts were for transportation, and
they were by no means covering their territories adequately. It was up
to us to furnish some means of transportation for our men if we were to
expect efficient service. We informed ourselves as to what other states
were doing for equipment and found them all in about the same condition
as we were. We did find, however, that Massachusetts was using motor-
cycles in its forestry department for its rangers. They reported to us
that they were a great success in both efficiency and economy. After
gathering all of the information available, we concluded to purchase
either motorcycles or Ford cars, and proceeded to advertise for bids for
furnishing 25 motorcycles. We took the matter up with the Ford people
and they sent their field man to Madison to confer with us. His best offer
was their list price, as he said under the company's rules, they were obliged
to protect their agents and could not make an inside price even if we took
25 cars.
  Our best bid for25 motorcycles was SU975, offered by the Excelsior
Motorcycle Company, of Chicago. Our next best bid was $5,490, offered
by the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company, of Milwaukee. One
other bid was offered by the Indian Motorcycle Company, of Springfield,
Mass., their bid being $5,668.75. We placed our order with the Excelsior
people, as they were the lowest bidders and offered a machine equal to
any of the others, as pronounced by motorcycle experts. We put these
motorcycles in use on May 20 of this year, and we believe they have paid
their cost in saving of expenses. Besides, they have materially facilitated
the service. Our contract with the Excelsior people covers the overhauling
of every machine this winter, putting on new tires, rednamelling, over-
hauling the engine, replacing all worn parts with new and making the
machines as nearly as possible as good as new. The price for this over-
hauling is $30 for each machine.
  Wardens who own automobiles we are allowing4ive cents per mile for
the miles actually travelled while in the service of the state. Automobiles
are an expensive method of travel as compared with the motorcycle, but
there is a large part of Wisconsin where motorcycles are not practical,
as they are not a success on sandy roads.
  We found the department lacking in sufficient boats to properly patrol
the waters that come under our supervision, and have purchased six
additional boats and Evinrude motors, and one large boat for lake patrol.
We are still lacking in equipment for our wardens if we are to expect
efficiency and we will add from time to time until tnis necessity is supplied.
We believe that the State should own sufficient equipment for carrying on

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