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5 Essential Professional Trucker Health and Safety Tips

Are you someone who happens to be a professional truck driver? If so, then you already know that in order to make sure that you get from one destination to the next, it’s paramount that you practice good health and safety practices.

So, as you’re out on the road, if you’re interested in knowing what’s considered to be our top five ones, we have listed them for you. This way, every time that you get into your truck, you can be sure that you’re doing what is required for you and those sharing the road with you to feel protected and secure. Read More…

On The Road Again: 5 Ways Long Haul Truckers Can Stay Awake While Driving

When driving a truck for the long haul, a person will have a hard time staying awake. While it is not easy, a trucker can stay wide awake if he or she follows these five easy tips.

Coffee:

Of course, many opt to drink coffee while on the road. Some people do not like coffee and up drinking energy drinks or taking caffeine pills. In fact, any student of North Shore Driving School Ltd. will probably take caffeine in one form or the other as it is the easiest way to stay awake for a long time. Luckily, when finding a driving school in Vancouver or any city, one can learn other techniques that do not require copious amounts of caffeine.

Cool air:

Some truck drivers opt to open their window or blast their air conditioner. This will help the long haul driver stay awake for hours on end. Remember, when fatigue starts setting in, it is smart to take this proactive approach. In fact, when starting to get tired, a driver must crank down the window and get some fresh air.

Naps:

When driving all day, a driver will end up getting tired and will have a hard time staying awake and happy. To avoid issues, a trucker should opt to take a quick power nap. With a 45 minute nap, one can get back on the road and feel comfortable and safe. Without a doubt, with a quick power nap, one can refresh their mind and get back on the road with a lot of energy.

Meals:

When eating a lot of small meals, one will have energy throughout the day. This is the perfect proactive approach one should take when looking to stay wide awake for a long drive. With simple snacks like apples and nuts, one can get energy without having to spend too much money or take unnatural supplements.

Chat:

Most long haul truckers like to chat with their buddies on a radio. With a CB, one can stay awake and chat all day. This will help a trucker stay focused through long trips. Furthermore, with a CB, a driver can avoid police and talk about future traffic problems. One must understand that it is wise to keep the brain working, and it is easy to do so when chatting with buddies on a CB.

When working as a trucker, a person should do as much as they can to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. With these five tips, one can stay awake easily.

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Used Ford Truck

If you are one of those people who love driving big trucks, with a business built upon the rapidity with which they deliver a client’s cargo, but you cannot afford to buy a new truck, then this article will help you solve some of your problems. Have you ever wondered what would it be like to buy a used truck? Surely, it isn’t new, but it might be just as good. If you’re interested in getting a used truck, be it Ford or other brand, here are 5 reasons why you should just trust your instincts and buy it.

#1: Af-Ford-able Prices

Yes, a used Ford truck is much more affordable than a new truck. As a matter of fact, any brand of truck is cheaper if it is a second hand edition. While new trucks might seem to catch your eye, just think of it as an investment that might cost too much for the time being. Before you start delivering cargos to hundreds of clients, if your business is still small or unprofitable enough, try to limit your expenses. A used truck will do as much as a brand new one might.

#2: It Has Already Been Tested in the Long Run

Well, yes, this is great news: a used truck has a great advantage in comparison to a new one. It has already been tested in the long run. This means, it works fine, it has its miles on board. If it’s at least one or two years old, this means it survived a couple of seasons, including winters. With the right gear and engine checkups, it is good to go on the highway again.

#3: You Will Still Be the King of the Highway

Imagine that in the world of truck drivers, nobody is trying to show their new S class model car or anything. It is more about how stable the truck is, how fast can it go, how many miles per year can you confide in, how can it protect your life while also delivering the cargo, products and industry needs to the customer. No matter what, you will still rule the highways. Nobody can compare their 4-wheel tiny cars with a “monster” truck, do they?

#4: Used Trucks Might Save Some Gas along the Way

Imagine that the all new truck models are not really considerate to how much gas they “eat”. You might find yourself having to deal with too many expenses in terms of gas used for road. Remember that fuel is sometimes 80 to 90% of the operating cost, at least experts say. With new trucks comes a higher operating cost. Used trucks can reduce the overall operating costs, just like that.

#5: Some Types of Used Trucks Can Run Almost 1million Km

One million kilometers does not sound that bad. Imagine that a new truck can run about 1,2million km and use about 160,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Some used trucks, including Ford trucks can run almost 1million km throughout a truck’s lifetime if the roads are good and the engine is healthy, which is pretty impressive. This means a used truck can be used for about 3 to 5 years or even more.

Are you now convinced that used trucks provide a solid return on investment? Let us know.

Roxana is in charge of the Trucks department of Sotrex, a UK website with used trucks for sale deals and offers. She has learned all about Man, Mercedes and Ford trucks from her grandpa who was a truck driver for 20 years.

Funny Moving Stories from the Eyes of the Removalist

While moving homes can be a stressful time for all, have you ever thought about how it seems from the point of view of the removalist? After all, they’re doing this job day in and day out so it surely must be tiring! However, once you do something for so long, you eventually come across situations that are quite humorous later on.

Moving

Attack of the Cursing Nun

One story comes from a mover hired by an old lady to transport her things. After turning up at her house, he finds out there’s no truck. She tells him it’s stuck in traffic so he brings her furniture outside to be ready when the moving truck arrives. An hour passes and still there’s no truck. After this, he gets suspicious and again questions the old lady and her friends. It turns out she hadn’t even hired a moving vehicle at all!

So naturally he asks her what they’re going to load all the furniture in. At this point, her sweet personality suddenly changes and she starts swearing and attacking the man! His assistants had to break up a fight between this little old lady and the big, burly mover.

One of her friends comes up, calls her sister, and tells her to calm down. So the swearing lady was a nun as well. She refuses to release the payment (this guy had been there for several hours by now) and so he calls the police. This would be true of any team of professional removalists in Sydney or elsewhere as they deserve to be paid for their services. The cops come and say that he can press charges against her if he wishes. After this, she grudgingly accepts she needs to pay.

So he gets into his car and is about to leave when she asks if he’ll move her furniture back inside. He says no. She goes nuts again and moves her car to block the way out of her place. The police have to go and arrest her before he can leave. To top it off, at that moment a big black cloud appears, drenching her furniture in a rare, karmic display.

You’ve Packed My Daughter!

Our second story involves a crew of six movers helping a single, middle-aged woman move house. Everything was going fine and the truck was almost ready to go. Suddenly, one of his assistants runs down the stairs from her apartment and says she’s freaking out. He goes upstairs to find her frantic. “You have my daughter!” she screams and runs down to the removals vehicle.

Now the mover is sure they haven’t packed anyone in the back of the truck. His crew had been loading up boxes and furniture into the moving vehicle and there was no sign of anyone else there. After calming her down though, they find out that in fact her daughter’s ashes had been in the living room and they’d been inadvertently packed with the rest of her belongings.

Understandably, the woman was afraid that the ashes would spill out while in transit. Even though the removalist reassured her that they’d be fine, he still took the time and effort to search through the packed items and retrieve the wooden box. As promised, it was still locked and intact so this is a story that ends up better than the one above.

How about you? Do you have any funny or weird moving stories that you have to tell about your past experience as a mover? While this job can be stressful, sometimes it brings about interesting stories which we would love to hear below.

How Professional Drivers can Stay Healthy and Keep Insurance Low

Truckers are noted for their driving skills, as much as they are for their health and it often seems that problems with weight and professional drivers go hand in hand. The sedimentary nature of the job means that drives can spend 10 hours or more a day sitting in one place – something that doesn’t tend to constitute a personal trainers’ dream.

Of course, the other side of health concerns is that it increases insurance risk and this is something that can cause significant issues on a number of levels. However, with this in mind, we’ve compiled a number of tips and pieces of advice on how to keep healthy when working behind the wheel.

Plan your Day

One of the unhealthiest things about being a trucker is that many are trying to meet a schedule and so skip out on important things that could help health. Plan your day to include stops for food, exercise and even a snack to ensure that you can fit them in and don’t end up working long hours and eating badly.

Food

Food is the fuel that drives you and allows you to drive and eating unhealthy options causes immediate and long term problems. Eating unhealthily will mean that you have peaks and troughs of energy – something that’s not ideal when you need your wits about you. In addition, it can cause long term heart, health and other problems that could cause you to crash. People with health issues tend to pay higher premiums – we know that at http://www.multiquotetruck.co.uk/truck-insurance

Learn the foods that keep your healthy and also keep an eye on portion sizes. Snacking can also be an issue for truckers, who are constantly at the wheel. Try and avoid it at all costs as it can be a significant source of empty calories. If you must snack, bring healthy snacks in the truck with you.

Water

Keeping hydrated helps with concentration and also health and you should always have some water beside you at all times and constantly sip away to keep your body clean and at its best.

Smoking

Smoking, particularly if you smoke in the cab is a terrible pastime that can be a real bane and serious health hazard. Avoid it at all costs. Many truckers chain smoke just as a way of passing the time and often end up smoking boxes of cigarettes each day. Quit smoking and you’ll instantaneously be healthier and also have more money in your back pocket.

Exercise

One of the issues a lot of truck drivers end up having, is that they find it extremely hard to fit in exercise. Walking is a great form of exercise and if you can fit in over 30 minutes a day before, during or after work it’s ideal. It helps keep you fresh, fives your heart a boost and significantly lowers the incidence of heart disease. Add it into your routine.

Rest

Of course, the other side of the coin is when you’re off work. Truckers and professional drivers tend to have to drive at all hours and this can leave them with weird sleep patterns. Try and ensure you get plenty of rest between shifts. In addition, you may need to consider multivitamins to help.

Following these tips should keep your healthy and fit and in work, while keeping your wellbeing up and health care and insurance costs down.

 

5 Affordable Gifts for New Truck Owners

The holiday season has come around and we’re all hustling and bustling to get presents for our friends and family.

No one wants to spend a fortune, but everyone wants to get something special for the people they care about. If you know someone who has recently bought a truck, here are a few gift ideas that won’t poke holes in your budget.

1. Clip Coupons

Coupons may seem like an underwhelming present, but when it comes to avoiding the expense of truck repairs, they can be welcome indeed. New truck owners will want to get their vehicles serviced and looked after frequently, and a homemade coupon book can help them get the checkups their truck needs. Many auto places offer online coupons; for example, Hackney Fleet Service offers a 10% off coupon and a free inspection coupon on their website, along with others.

2. Keep Them Safe on the Road

A tire inflating kit or a hydraulic jack are not very expensive, but these items can really come in handy in case of a flat tire. If your truck-owning friend gets a flat tire, these items will ensure that they can still get to their destination safely. Even a can of fix-a-flat will show them you care about their well-being.

3. Help Them Haul

A truck on its own is capable of hauling large items, but there are plenty of accessories that can help. Cargo nets, straps, and bars can all be extremely helpful when hauling large or oddly shaped items. Plus, your friend will think you are a very thoughtful person for getting them exactly what they need to best utilize their truck’s hauling capacity.

4. Protect Their Seats

Seat covers are inexpensive and widely customizable. You can get covers that feature your gift recipient’s favorite sports team, a branch of the military, or even sometimes TV show characters. Seat covers are a great gift because it often doesn’t occur to people to protect their truck seats until it is too late and they have become worn down over the years.

5. Give Them a Boost

Some trucks are just too tall! Help your friend into their new truck with a side step attachment. Like seat covers, these are also customizable and can come with a wide variety of designs embossed on them. Some can even be painted if you want to add a really personal touch. Your friend will thank you every time they don’t have to hyper-extend just to get into their truck.

Guide to Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for Moving Trucks

GVWR or GVM is very important when it comes to moving trucks. Known as the gross vehicle weight rating it is considered to be the highest weight a vehicle of this nature can operate as set out by the manufacturer. This takes into account a number of different factors including the likes of the truck’s body as well as its engine, fuel, body, cargo and even the passengers. These hosts of factors are all crucial in the vehicle’s weight. Yet the gross weight overall is referred to the actual mass of an actual truck or particular vehicle. Below you will find are there is to know regarding GVWR for moving trucks and vehicles.

white moving storage truck

Licence permits

If you decide to drive a truck or a vehicle then a regular car licence in an EU territory allows you the opportunity to drive anything with a vehicle weighting of around 8,000lbs. This includes;

  • Any licence holders who possess a UK class B permit.
  • Anyone who have passed a driving test since the beginning of 1997.
  • The ability to operate minibuses.

HGV trucks

On the other hand, those who would like the chance to drive an HGV or Heavy Goods Vehicle with a rating of more than 7.5kg needs to have a class C official permit for their truck. This can be for any given vehicle except a bus, whilst you will need to pass not to mention have to;

  • Receive a Class C permit.
  • Be aware of the fact that there might be restrictions for driving vehicles in the US which are more than 6,000lbs.

Safety

Of course it is essential to recognize the gross vehicle weight rating as a limit for your truck or as set out by the manufacturer. Nonetheless your vehicle should not under any circumstances be unnecessarily loaded up beyond the weight rating itself. In this way, safety is definitely the operative word. Some problems you may encounter with an unbalanced GVWR feature;

  • The brakes may not work properly in order to reduce your speed.
  • The suspension suddenly grinding to a halt or becoming ineffective thanks to the extra strain.
  • Tyres that are under strain coming under greater pressure from the weight thus creating more heat and leading to a possible blow out.

Be sensible

If you are moving home or looking to hire a london removals company to transport your goods, you will need to take into account an important point. In addition to this, you will have to factor in things such as passengers in the car and whether or not this is included in the overall GVW. On the other hand, if you are towing a trailer, you should consider things such as;

  • Tongue weight.
  • Finding out the gross vehicle weight which can normally be found inside the door frame of the vehicle.
  • Looking for further details on the web regarding gross vehicle weight from the manufacturers.

Security

One of the most important areas for a moving truck is that all loads should be properly secured in case of any issues. Furthermore, any items should be covered or at the very least so they don’t interfere with the overall vehicle weight rating which might alter. This is so objects do not become loose from the vehicle in question. It should also not obstruct the driver’s vision which could prove to make the truck unbalanced to a certain extent.

Personal choice

At the end of the day, it is really down to the individual when looking for the right vehicle and weight rating. You must locate the correct vehicle with a rating that will match your specific requirements. Therefore, it is imperative that you;

  • Find a vehicle or truck which has slightly more capacity.
  • Search for the tow load or tongue weight which is well within the capacity of a vehicle.
  • Take your time to find something that will be both durable and good value.

With more and more people hitting the highway in search of adventure, moving home or using trucks for work, there are a host of opportunities for people to use trucks. If you follow just a few of these simple steps, it will ensure you are more than comfortable with seeking information on gross vehicle weight ratings.

Useful Hints On How To Choose The Best Tarpaulin For Your Truck

It is the trucks and their drivers we should all thank for having such a variety of choice whenever we go shopping. Trucks usually become their homes while on the road. However, there is another important part, that makes the truck reliable and sturdy – it is the tarpaulin. Finding the right tarp for your truck is essential, as tarpaulins are designed to keep the freight in place and to keep the roads safe for other passengers at the same time. It often happens that tarps are reinforced, they are durable and waterproof, therefore they can be used throughout all four seasons. Hauler tarpaulins, for instance, are especially designed for long-distance traveling, as they are the hardest, most durable and most secure type available on the market, while pick-up tarps are designed for smaller trucks and boats as they are flexible and lightweight. If you have a truck and you want to choose the best tarp for it, then here are several useful tips and hints that will help you do that:

1. Choose The Right Material
Some tarps are made from polyethylene or cotton, while others are made from steel or aluminum – the latter being designed mainly for large, heavy-duty shipments. Also, different materials have different properties: while polyethylene or cotton tarps are weatherproof and can last in the long run, they may mould or even rot after several years. Stainless steel tarp, on the other hand, are not only stain-proof and weatherproof, but they are also very durable and they are not prone to rot, rust or mould.

2. Consider The Main Features And Specifications Of The Tarps
The features are extremely important: in addition to being mildew and rot resistant, it is highly recommended to opt for truck tarps that are washable and shrink proof. There is nothing more bothersome than seeing that your tarp is starting to shrink and you can no longer lock it in securely. On the other hand, flame retardant tarps are also very sought-after these days: they are strong, heat-resistant and easy to maneuver, and they also come with flame-proof and rust-proof reinforcing grommets.

3. Thickness
The thickness of the tarp is extremely important, as it usually defines its life span – the thicker the tarp, the better. It is not uncommon for tarpaulins to measure up to 15 mm in thickness, and these ones are ideal for outdoor use especially if the tarp will be exposed to extreme and sudden weather conditions. On the other hand, for indoor use (for securing the merchandise inside the truck) it is recommended to opt for a thinner tarp. At the same time, the mesh count is also very important!

4. The Mechanism Of Action
The mechanism of action of the tarp (the tie down method) should also be taken into account, as a good truck tarp must be set up easily and it needs to secure the load in place quickly and without any fuss. You can opt for manual tarps or automatic ones, based on your needs and preferences – it often happens that automated truck tarps come in handy for larger shipments, as they are easier to lock in place.

The bottom line is that it is extremely important to choose a tough, reliable and weatherproof tarpaulin that comes with a tight and secure tie down mechanism, because only this way you can be sure that your truck load is safe and secure and that it will not get lost on the highway!

Donating Your Used Car To Charity: Pros, Cons, And Tips

used_carWe donate our used clothing and other items to charity, so why not other items that we no longer have a use for? You can make a difference in a big way by donating big ticket items like boats and cars to charitable organizations. The increase in charities accepting vehicle donations has led to a mutually beneficial and booming business, wherein the donor saves by claiming the donation on income taz returns and the charity is able to sell the vehicle and use the funds to further its cause. While this might seem like a straightforward way to do good in the world, there are some associated risks with donating your car. 

Pros

  • Many charities have started to accept vehicles as a form of donation, so you can most likely find a charity that supports your favorite cause to donate to.
  • You can claim a huge deduction on your income tax returns when you donate your car to a charity approved by the IRS.
  • You get to save yourself the hassle of trying to find a buyer for your used car.
  • Donating a car makes it much easier to make a big difference for your charity with less financial impact to you than a cash donation.

Cons

  • Intermediaries that accept your car donation and then donate the proceeds to the charity of your choice often take a substantial cut away from your chosen cause. If the charities you support don’t accept car donations directly, you may be better off finding one that does.
  • To get a tax deduction, you’ll need to follow up with the charity to get paperwork that proves the vehicle’s value. Your estimate or the fair market value probably won’t cut it if your car is worth over $500.
  • The same paperwork to get rid of the car is still necessary- if you don’t formally re-title the vehicle, you could risk parking tickets and more down the line.

Tips

  1. Avoid 3rd parties and try to donate your car directly to the charity of your choice.
  2. Choose a charity that means a lot to you and has a big impact in its line of work. If the charities you usually support don’t accept car donations, take time to investigate alternatives instead of just picking the first charity you find. The Better Business Bureau can help you to evaluate charities whose activities you aren’t very familiar with.
  3. Make 100% sure that your chosen charity is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is qualified by the IRS for donation deduction purposes. 
  4. If you have to use a middle man, do your research to find out how much of the proceeds from the car’s sale will actually go to the charity. Do they take a percentage, or a flat fee? Using an intermediary not only limits the effectiveness of your gift, but can also have tax implications.
  5. Keep a thorough paper trail for tax purposes in order to claim the donation on your tax returns.
  6. Deliver the car to the charity yourself so they don’t have to take money out of your donation to pay someone to come pick it up.
Featured images:

Jack Lovegood is a automotive expert and a contributing blogger for Chrysler Group LLC, where you can purchase a Jeep extended warranty at a discounted rate. 

5 Essential Maintenance Tips For Your Tires

After spending good money on tires, most drivers fail to give them adequate maintenance. Tires play an important role in driving safety, so making sure they’re in road-worthy condition is essential. Below are a few tire tips and tricks to follow. Properly purchased and maintained tires will last longer than neglected ones, saving you money, and most importantly, keeping you safe.

1. Buy Quality Tires from a Reputable Brand

First and foremost, when you purchase new tires, make sure they’re from a reputable company and of premium quality. You and your car depend on them. Buying internationally known brands like Goodyear and Nokian tires ensures safety and affordability. Remember, your purchase should reflect your driving style, driving environment, and vehicle. After buying a new set of tires, try driving the vehicle initially for at least 200 miles at medium speed on dry roads.

2. Maintain the Correct Tire Pressure

Find out the right air pressure for your tires and make sure you maintain it. Check the pressure before and after long drives, during cold driving conditions, and when carrying heavy loads. Otherwise, check every month regularly on a fixed date.

Under-inflated tires can overheat, causing excessive and irregular wear from over exertion. This might even lead to a blowout. Besides, tires that have been riding around with the improper air pressure need to be replaced more often. Over-inflated ones lead to loss of proper road grip and less traction on braking, the consequences of which are obvious. Maintaining optimum tire pressure is even good for the environment as the correct pressure helps in making the vehicle more fuel efficient.

3. Select the Right Tire Tread

More tread just means more grip. Although legal limits are 1.6mm, driving with anything under 3.0mm can be risky. Do not just buy tires based on how the tire looks. Use a standard tread gauge and ensure tread depth is sufficient on all four tires. Check the inside, outside and center portions. How long tires will last with good tread in the end depends on the brand.  For example, the usual length of service for quality Nokian tires can be as long as 60,000 miles.

4. Pay Attention to Balance and Alignment

Improper wheel alignment is the main reason for premature tire wear. Poor alignment and balance issues also contribute to over-consumption of fuel and loss of road grip. Check the alignment immediately if you sense the vehicle pulling towards either side while driving or if the steering wheel shakes when driving at high speeds.

5. Stay on Top of Tire Rotation

If you’re only buying two tires, always fit the new tires in the back. Having the better tires in the back means more driving control and directional stability. Also, be sure to have your tires rotated every so often – many people like to have this done at the same time as an oil change – in order to ensure even wear. In addition, replace the valves every time you change your tires. Properly tightened and functioning values with well fitted dust caps make sure the tires remain safe. Check for tears on the side, cracks, bulges, and damage to the wheel rim. Sub-standard products damage easily, but high-quality tires will last longer.

These five tire tips are extremely important to follow, primarily because they concern the safety of the car and its passengers. On top of being a smart car owner who properly maintains his or her vehicle, remember to avoid rash driving, excessive speeds, and frequent braking. Take good care of your car and it will take good care of you!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=tires&ex=2#ai:MP900202010|

James Cash is a master mechanic and part time writer.