The Car Guy Knows

Hauling At Home? 3 Tips To Safely Haul Furniture In Your Pickup Truck

Posted by on 8:25 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Buying new furniture or moving to an entirely new home can be challenging. However, owning your own pickup truck can make the process less stressful and more affordable. When you’re saving time and money by doing it yourself, it is easy to see the benefits of hauling your own furniture. Unfortunately, an estimated 25,000 crashes occur each year due to debris in the road. Due to this staggering number, it is imperative to load, secure, and haul your furniture pieces safely. Using this guide, you can transport your furniture in a safe, efficient manner. Loading While obvious to hear, most furniture is heavy and awkward to lift and carry, so working with another person is smart. However, carrying the pieces is not the only thing to consider when loading your truck. Equip your vehicle with the following features to ensure safe, secure transport of large items: Bed Liner – It may be surprising to hear that not all trucks come with a stock bed liner. Fortunately, they are inexpensive updates for your pickup. Not only does a liner protect your bed from damage, but the rubber or vinyl material helps items stay in place during transport. Bed Extender – While truck beds vary in length, a longer bed is a better option for hauling large pieces of furniture. Considering a traditional sofa averages between 6 to 8 feet long, loading it into a shorter bed can be challenging and dangerous. Installing a bed extender will increase the length of your bed to allow sufficient space for hauling couches, mattresses, and other longer pieces of furniture. Anchors – If your truck bed does not have anchors for tie-down straps, install them immediately before hauling any item. The anchors allow you secure pieces using tie-down straps and even cover your load with a tarp. Securing Many people think they’re ready to go once the furniture is inside their truck bed. Unfortunately, without securing your pieces properly, you may lose pieces on the road, which may cause an accident. Once the pieces are inside your truck, use bungee cords or ropes to secure the items to your anchors tightly. Ratchet straps are great to have as a truck owner who plans on hauling items frequently. These straps allow you to tighten heavier, bulky items securely to your bed using the ratchet control.  Invest in a quality set and store in your tool box. Using a tarp or plastic to wrap the furniture is also smart. The covers will protect other drivers in case small, loose pieces move out of the truck bed. In addition, waterproof covers will protect the furniture in case of surprise weather conditions. Driving No matter what you are hauling, the excess weight places a great deal of stress on your truck. The extra weight not only puts additional pressure on your truck’s body, tires, and engine, but it can also create problems in your truck’s handling while driving. To reduce the risk of damage to your body, tires, and engine, it is helpful to understand your truck’s maximum load capacity. In most cases, this information can be found in your vehicle’s manual. To determine your specific truck’s maximum load capacity, use the overall weight of the truck subtracted from the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR. Then, subtract...

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Tips For Hauling Heavy Equipment

Posted by on 8:19 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Moving heavy equipment from one location to another is a monumental task in more ways than one. It relies on excellent planning and equally excellent execution. Without both, it would be nearly impossible to get your equipment where it needs to go. Sometimes it’s just easier to call companies like Santa Fe Tow Service. Here are a few pointers you can use to make your heavy equipment haul go smoothly: Consider the Type and Design of the Equipment Moving an excavator will be a bit different than moving a bulldozer or a grader on a trailer. Each piece of equipment has its own characteristics to consider during such a move. In order to safely and securely move your load, you must consider a wide range of its characteristics, including its weight, width, center of gravity, number of attachments installed (if any) and whether it’s a tracked or wheeled vehicle. These characteristics will have a definite bearing on the type of trailer you’ll use to transport it, how it’ll be loaded and secured and the measures that need to be taken during transit. Keep Your Load Secure Always follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s cargo securement rules, as these rules are designed to keep your load, your drivers and others around you safe from a potential load loss incident. As you ready your heavy equipment for transport, it’s important to keep the following in mind: Make sure the equipment is completely immobilized after it’s loaded onto the trailer. This includes making sure that all brakes have been properly set on the loaded vehicle. Carefully inspect tie-down straps, chains, webbing and/or wire rope for signs of wear and tear, including fraying, rips or rubbing. Always use edge protection in cases where a tie-down may be subject to abrasion, cutting or crushing forces. Be wary of unmarked tie-down and anchor points, as well as unmarked and unrated tie-down straps, chains and wires. Current FMCSA cargo securement rules don’t prohibit the use of unmarked tie-down devices or anchor points. This makes it especially important to refer to the FMCSA’s table of working load limits for further reference. Don’t forget to make sure your load is properly centered over the trailer’s center of gravity. Many trailers use a reflector to mark this location. Closely aligning your load’s center with that of the trailer ensures that your trailer remains stable throughout the trip. Keeping your trailer stable lowers your chances of fishtailing or even flipping your load. Run the Route in Advance One of the best things you can do to ensure a safe journey is to travel your planned route ahead of the actual trip. This way, you’ll be able to spot potential hazards that could interfere with the move and plan accordingly. There are plenty of unexpected hazards and challenges that you’ll want to steer clear of on your planned route, including: Toll roads Bridges with weight restrictions Heavily congested highways Roadways that are undergoing construction Narrow, winding routes Routes with sharp corners (especially when dealing with long loads) Roadways featuring bridges with inadequate height clearance It’s important to carefully plan your route to avoid as many of these hazards as possible. If your load is classified as “oversized” by local or state regulations, then you’ll need a pilot car with the appropriate...

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What To Expect In Taxis Around The World

Posted by on 10:31 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although taxis exist all over the world as an easy way for people to get around, taxi etiquette and rules vary quite differently from country-to-country. Here are just a few different examples of how to act and what to expect when getting a taxi in different countries. Beijing It’s widely accepted that no one tips in China, taxi drivers will not accept tips if you try to offer to tip them. In fact, in some areas of China it’s against the law to tip a taxi driver. In Beijing if you are looking for a taxi you should be aware that just because a taxi is on the road doesn’t mean that it is in service. Look closely at taxis for a green or red light. Flag down any taxi that has an active green light on the roof, if you notice a red light in the window that means that the taxi is unavailable. Be polite and remember to get your receipt to avoid discrepancies. Often times taxi drivers in Beijing will try to ask for an up front payment, and not clock their miles. This is not only illegal, but could end up making you spend more money than you need to for your ride, so politely decline if they try to do this. It is common for some taxis to not have working seat belts in the backseat, it is acceptable in these cases to sit in the front. Illegal taxis are quite common in Beijing, and should be avoided for your own safety. Tokyo No tipping is required in Japan, either, and tipping your driver won’t be expected as it’s not a part of their culture. Because of the technologically advanced environment of Tokyo, most taxi doors will open for you automatically, so have a little patience and don’t try to force the door open. Taxis are also more expensive in Japan than in American counterparts, including extra charges during late night shifts (normally between 11pm and 5am) so be prepared in advance. There is no bartering over the price of the fare, do not attempt to do so. Brazil Tipping is not required, but rounding up your total bill to an even number is recommended when you go to pay for your taxi in Brazil. If you are leaving from an airport and use a more expensive radio taxi, a tip is not given as you are being charged a higher price for the extra service such as transferring your luggage for you. Never slam the taxi doors as drivers in Brazil will take this as a direct insult. Watch out for company names on the side doors of the taxi, no company name could mean an illegal and unsafe driver. If you don’t speak the language, take a piece of paper with you that has the address clearly written on it and hand it to your driver. London People in London do not yell for taxis, a simple wave will suffice. When flagging a taxi, watch for the taxi light on the roof to be illuminated first. When getting off the train or waiting at the airport, watch for an already formed line where people are waiting to catch a taxi. There are usually quite a few number of people in queue waiting...

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3 Fuel Sources Airport Shuttle Services Around The World Are Using To Go Green

Posted by on 5:38 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Airport transportation is already help out the environment by carrying several passengers at once, reducing the number of vehicles on the road. Fewer vehicles mean less pollution, so airport shuttle services are a great option for eco-friendly individuals. Some airport shuttle services are going even greener, though, by converting their vehicles to run on the below three sources of eco-friendly fuel. Rapeseed Oil A popular airport shuttle service in Sweden won the 2011 Environmental Initiative of the Year award with their efforts to lower the harmful emissions coming from their buses. How’d they do it? They converted their vehicles to run on rapeseed oil. Rapeseed oil is a vegetable-based biofuel, and it’s highly-prized because more fuel can be produced from planting rapeseed on a single unit of land than could be with other vegetable-based biofuels. Upon harvest, the seeds are crushed to extract the oil, and then the oil is filtered to remove any impurities.  What’s even greater about rapeseed as a source of fuel is there’s no waste. The shells from the seeds can be consumed by livestock or used as home heating fuel. The Swedish shuttle service responsible for converting their buses to rapeseed oil-powered rigs didn’t stop there, though. They also made an agreement with the airport that every passenger departing the airport must leave via one of these rapeseed-run buses, or by one of the company’s equally environmentally friendly taxis. Nobody’s getting out of that airport without partaking, at least a little, in saving the environment. The shuttle service has big plans for the future, too. By 2020, their vehicles are expected to produce absolutely zero carbon dioxide emissions! Clean Propane One popular airport shuttle service in New Orleans has gone all out on their efforts to help the environment. This particular agency converted every single one of their airport shuttle buses to run on clean propane fuel. Ninety percent of America’s propane is produced right in the United States, which is far better for the environment than having to import the fuel from overseas. Furthermore, a vehicle that utilizes clean propane as its fuel source will contribute 20 percent less nitrous oxide emissions and 60 percent less carbon monoxide emissions than it would if it were run on traditional gasoline or diesel fuel.  This New Orleans shuttle service transports roughly 1,000 passengers every single day; that’s a lot of yucky greenhouse gas emissions the environment is spared from. Human Waste Perhaps the most creative act of an airport shuttle service going green comes from the U.K.. There, Bristol’s major airport provides passengers with a shuttle bus that runs on nothing more than human waste.  The waste (both food scraps and sewage) is collected and then transported to a sewage treatment center where it is converted to biogas by a process called anaerobic digestion. During anaerobic digestion, the waste is locked in a chamber devoid of oxygen. Inside the chamber, microorganisms get to work eating up the organic material and turning it into a clean, renewable fuel. How effective is the waste-powered bus at fighting the pollution problem? It can convert a single person’s waste from an entire year into thirty-seven miles of good, clean, eco-friendly travel. A full tank of fuel will eat up the annual accumulation of waste produced by five people. Also,...

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Will Aluminum-Bodied Pickup Trucks Cost More To Repair?

Posted by on 5:58 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In the face of rising gas prices, many auto manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to make their full-size pickup trucks more fuel-efficient. For instance, Ford’s new F-150 pickup is slated to feature an aluminum body, a first among consumer pickup truck makers. But according to Automotive News, many insurance experts along with some potential truck buyers fear that an aluminum-bodied truck will cost more to fix than a truck with a conventional steel body. CAFE Sets the Stage for Aluminum Use in Pickup Trucks Since the mid-1980s, federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have been the driving force for many changes throughout the automotive industry. Current CAFE rules require full-size light pickup trucks to achieve an average of 25 miles per gallon by 2017 and 30 miles per gallon by 2025. At that time, the average automobile manufacturer’s entire lineup of passenger vehicles and light-duty pickup trucks must achieve a cumulative average of 54.5 miles per gallon. In light of these stringent fuel economy standards, auto manufacturers are turning to aluminum and other lightweight materials to raise fuel economy figures. The Cost of Aluminum Auto Repair By switching to lightweight aluminum, pickup truck manufacturers can shave hundreds of pounds off of their full-size vehicle curb weights. However, many are wondering if higher repair and insurance costs will accompany the move towards the lighter metal. According to a recent Reuters report, Ford claims that the repair and insurance costs of its F-150 will remain competitive with previous steel-bodied variants. The company has also claimed to have taken steps to ensure lower repair costs, including the use of modular body panels that are easier for auto body shops to remove and replace. In the meantime, truck manufacturers may be able to lower the cost of repairing and insuring aluminum-bodied pickup trucks through sheer volume. By producing large numbers of body components and further refining the production process, truck makers can make it more affordable to replace damage body panels with brand-new replacements, further driving down repair and replacement costs.   Additional Training Can Help Lower Costs While a steel body can be repaired quickly and cost-effectively, an aluminum-bodied vehicle requires greater attention and care. Not only must technicians be properly trained to perform quality repairs on the more pliable metal, but they’ll need the special facilities and equipment to go with their training. Of the estimated 35,000 auto body repair shops in the U.S., only a scant few have the tools and the training to deal with aluminum body panel repairs. However, that could change once aluminum-bodied vehicles hit the streets. It’s likely that dealerships will be first in line to receive training and certification, with independent shops following suit later on. While the initial cost of training and facilities upgrades could have an adverse impact on repair costs, it could provide a long-term benefit as more shops become better skilled at repairing aluminum-bodied trucks. What about Insurance Costs? In a recent interview with Car and Driver, Insurance Information Institute President Dr. Robert Hartwig speculated that the cost of insuring a high-volume aluminum-bodied vehicle could be slightly higher than its steel counterpart. However, such an increase would likely be unnoticeable to most drivers. Hartwig points out that increased repair costs won’t have much of an effect on premium rates, since collision coverage costs...

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From Tax Write-Offs To Financing: Five Tips For Saving Money When Buying A Commercial Truck

Posted by on 4:08 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Whether you own a flower delivery shop, an over-the-road trucking company or any other business that relies on commercial trucks to stay in the black, you will eventually face the expense of buying a new truck. In some cases, you may even need to buy a fleet of commercial trucks. This can be expensive, but with the right strategies, you can save money on this transaction. Here are five tips on keeping the cost down when buying a commercial truck: 1. Always Get Multiple Insurance Quotes Paying for the truck is just a portion of the total cost. You also need to pay for insurance. Before buying a policy, make sure that you get quotes from multiple agents so that you know you are getting the right deal. In addition to getting multiple quotes, you can save money on insurance in other ways as well. To save on commercial insurance premiums, consider increasing your deductible, enrolling your drivers in driver safety programs, or lowering the amount of coverage you get. In some cases, you can also save by getting a special policy that is designed just for fleet owners. Additionally, many insurers give you a discount if you bundle your truck insurance with your business or other policies. 2. Check out the Hummer Loophole After getting help from the insurance man, it’s time to get a bit of help from the tax man. If your trucks are being used exclusively for your business, you can write them off. However, most big purchases can’t be written off all at once. Instead, they have to be written off over several years as they depreciate. However, with big trucks, you can use the section 179 deduction. Often dubbed the Hummer Loophole, this tax law lets you write off the entire cost of a commercial truck the year that you buy it. A write-off that large can substantially lower your tax burden for the year. Best of all, you can claim this deduction whether you buy a new or a used truck. 3. Consider Buying a Used Truck Many business owners assume that they need a new truck, but it can save you money to buy a used truck. Buying used doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. Depending on how old the used truck is, it may still have a warranty on it, and even if it is just a year old, it will still be substantially cheaper than buying new. 4. Hire an Independent Mechanic to Do a Pre-Sale Inspection Unfortunately, if you are buying a used truck, it can often be hard to tell what problems it might have. So that you don’t go into this situation blind, hire an independent mechanic to do a pre-sale inspection on the vehicle. If the mechanic spots trouble, you know that you need to walk away or negotiate for a lower price. His or her effort can save you from picking up a lemon, or it could help you to spot the diamond in the rough. 5. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Leasing Compared to Buying a Truck Depending on your financial situation and objectives, either leasing or buying from places like could be the better option for you. If you decide to lease a vehicle, you don’t usually have to pay as large of...

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