Heavy Hauling: Why Do Roads Have Weight Limits?

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When it comes to commercial logistics, no two carriers are the same. Transportation companies often provide a number of options to meet their clients’ needs: for example, moving produce is going to require specialty food-grade logistics, and moving extremely heavy equipment (like cranes, boilers, — even the blades or turbines used in power-generated windmills) require a heavy haul vehicle that can tolerate that kind of weight.

 

Heavy Haul Defined

Have you ever driven by a large container truck that had its emergency lights flashing as it drove significantly under the speed limit in the right-hand (or even the road’s shoulder) lane? Most likely, that vehicle was a heavy haul. Heavy haul trucking is capable of handling over-dimensional or overweight shipments, which can cause unique problems for those trying to ship them. By utilizing special trucks and trailers that can carry the size of whatever needs shipping, those problems become manageable. However, most trucking companies must purchase and carry a special permit issued by the governmental agencies, provinces, or municipalities they are going to be traveling through.

 

 

What Weight Limit?

If you noticed those slow-moving vehicles, you’ve probably also picked up on road signs that state weight limits. It may have seemed odd at the time — after all, roads are meant to be driven on, so why would cars be too heavy for that singular use? Those signs are in place to prevent damage as a result of a vehicle weighing so much (or carrying something that weighs so much) that the pavement beneath it cannot withstand the pressure.

 

The maximum allowable weight for trucks on U.S. Interstate highways is 80,000lbs — this includes tractor weight, chassis, and container weight, in addition to the cargo weight. It is vital that both are determined before the shipment begins its journey so routes can be mapped out ahead of time that avoid weight-limited roads.

 

Fortunately for Canada, the Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative will be investing a monumental $2 billion towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Canada’s transportation infrastructure. This could mean an increase in roads that can handle heavy loads, or a complete overhaul and repair of the system currently in place.

4 Reasons To Drive Defensively In An 18-Wheeler

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The U.S. trucking industry transports approximately 70% of the freight in the nation. These semi-trucks are typically 53 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Taking about 40% longer to stop on average, an 18-wheeler has a higher potential for accidents than a car. Truck drivers are operating the longest, heaviest, and most dangerous vehicles on the road, which is why these drivers require extensive training. The fact is: defensive driving is incredibly important for semi-truck drivers.

While in CDL driver school most prospective truck drivers will get some form of defensive driving training. Whether you’re looking to go into truck driving school, you’ve just passed your truck driving test, or you’re an experienced truck driver, being aware of defensive driving and how it affects you will help decrease the chance of accidental injury on the road.

Why You Should Always Drive Defensively In An 18-Wheeler

  • Let’s be honest…

    There are a lot of really bad drivers on the road. And, unfortunately, many bad drivers are also really impatient when driving around a slower 18-wheeler. Unlike professional drivers, the average motorist doesn’t receive extensive training, not to mention drug screening, before getting their license. Because you can’t control the actions of other motorists, it falls on you to drive like the adult on the road. That means defensive driving.

 

  • Less nonfatal work-related injuries…

    Compared to any other industry, trucking jobs involve the most nonfatal injuries at work. Defensive driving is the first step to a safer work environment. Being aware of your truck’s limits (as well as your own!) and consciously changing the way you drive can have a huge impact. Defensive driving courses will educate you on the aspects of defensive driving that are typically overlooked, including vehicle safety inspections and emergency response training.

 

  • Save yourself a ton of money…

    Accidents caused by truck driving can cost up to $2 million dollars per incident. Though the company you work for will take the brunt of this cost, you could be held liable in some cases. One-tenth of $2 million is still $200,000. Driving defensively reduces your chances of having an accident and can even help improve your reaction to emergency situations. And, if you do get into an accident, your understanding of defensive driving tactics could help alleviate any liability you could have had in the case, depending on the situation.

 

  • Lower insurance premiums…

    Whether you’re driving a truck as an independent contractor or working full-time for a large freight carrier, insurance premiums will impact your professional career. Defensive driving training can lower your premiums if you maintain a clean driving record. In addition, a truck that is driving erratically could give the company you’re working for a bad image, which will ultimately affect your career. Lower insurance premiums and positive public image helps everyone in the end.

Trucking jobs are not easy, and truck drivers face unique occupational hazards. In many cases, defensive driving training helps you become a better driver. The better the driver, the less likely the accident.

Here Are Some Basic Safety Tips For Truck Driving Beginners

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In 2013, truckers transported nearly 15 billion tons of cargo in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2040, that number is expected to increase to 18.79 billion tons. It’s no wonder that truck driving jobs are constantly growing in demand. If you’re interested in getting your CDL class license and going to truck driving school, staying safe on the road is sure to be lesson number one. Here are just a few important tips for all new truck drivers to keep in mind when navigating America’s roads and highways.

Don’t ever drive while you’re distracted.

An 18-wheeler takes about 40% longer to stop than a car. Knowing this, it makes sense that trucks are much more dangerous on the road. In fact, there are few things in life more dangerous than a distracted truck driver.

That’s why it’s critical to never drive while you’re distracted, as even a few seconds of looking away from the road could prove to have fatal consequences. In the same realm comes staying energized and awake: According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver fatigue is a factor in 13% of truck accidents, and truckers are often required to drive many hours without stopping. Don’t ever hesitate to stop and take a rest if you’re feeling groggy.

Your health should always come first

Truck drivers face unique occupational health risks — if they don’t take basic precautions to look after their health. While common health problems like back pain, obesity, and sleep apnea can cause a number of problems no matter your occupation, they are especially dangerous for drivers. As you begin your career as a driver, it’s important to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For instance, while it may be tempting to survive on a diet of fast food while on the road, your diet has a major impact on your overall health and wellbeing. A good night’s sleep and a healthy meal can make all the difference on your level of alertness on the road.

Make sure you know the exact dimensions and weight of your truck.

The average weight of a semi-truck is about 80,000 pounds, while the average car weighs around 5,000 pounds. But regardless of your truck’s exact weight, it’s important to know these metrics so that you can accurately judge the spatial and stopping distances between you and other drivers. This knowledge will also help you avoid getting your truck stuck under an overpass, which happens more often than you’d think. Of course, many truck drivers will get accustomed to the dimensions of their truck more naturally over time.

Ultimately, understanding these essential safety tips is the key to staying protected on the road and minimizing your risk of injuring other drivers as well. For more information about how to get your CDL class license and start looking for trucking jobs, contact Custom Diesel Drivers Training.

Here Comes The Sun: 5 Accessories Every Boat Needs For Summer

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You’ve protected your boat during the winter and prepped it for spring. With summer around the corner, now’s the time to gear up your boat for the summer rush.

But what exactly does your boat need for summer that you haven’t already gotten for it in spring? As it turns out, your boat needs quite a few things.

5 Summer Accessories To Take Your Boat To the Next Level

Summer is the number one season when it comes to boating. The weather’s hot, the water’s cool, and the sun is out for longer.

That said, there are five key accessories your boat needs to make this season a true summer of fun.

  1. A marine audio system. Motorcycle stereos aren’t the only audio systems to boost your summer fun. Marine audio systems can turn a day on the water into a real party. Think about installing your own audio system to make your boat the envy of everyone on the water.
  2. A wax coat. A wax coat is as important for boats as it is for cars. For vehicles, owners apply wax coats twice a year to protect the finish from contaminants. Your boat’s finish deals with contaminants like algae and UV damage. Give your boat a regular waxing this summer to help it glide through the water.
  3. A marine canvas. A canvas does more than protect your boat from the rain. It also protects it from loose debris during summer thunderstorms and curious gulls. Protect your boat with a marine canvas this summer whenever you’re not on the water.
  4. Navigational lights. You’re more likely to spend time on the water after dark during the summer. That said, it’s the law to use navigational lights after dark. These lights protect your boat and those around you from accidental collisions.
  5. A tune-up. A boating party can turn into a disaster when your boat fails on the water. If you haven’t had a tune-up yet this spring, get one this summer. Summer is the high-time of boating and a tune-up can only do you good.

Chronos Specialty Auto Works has all the marine and car accessories you need to make you the envy of everyone on the road or water.

3 Reasons You Need a Roller Cabinet Tool Box In Your Garage Today

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Being able to work on your car at home is pretty awesome. You don’t have to wait for an appointment, and you don’t have to pay anyone. Every do-it-yourself car guy has a lot of tools, and he needs a place to keep them. Here are some undeniable reasons you should get yourself a roller cabinet tool box today.

Convenient
If you’ve spent a lot of time in your garage working on your car, then you know it can be hard to keep track of all of your tools sometimes. You just had that socket in your hand, and now you can’t find it. When you keep all your tools in a roller cabinet tool box, they are conveniently located in one place and are ready for when you need them. No more rigging up the wrong size wrench with a PVC pipe to get the right leverage when your breaker bar or torque wrench is lost because it won’t be lost in your toolbox.

Efficient
Your projects will be much more efficient when all of your tools are organized in your toolbox. You won’t have to rummage through all the sockets heads or drill bits to find the right size you need when they are all in place. You also won’t have to waste time making your own organization system in your garage because honestly, who has time for that?

Saferoller cabinet tool box
Lastly, all your tools will be safe and secure in your roller cabinet tool box. You can lock up the drawers so no one can get in them when you’re not around. The cabinet will also keep your tools safe and protected from damage. In case of water damage or even a fire, your tools will be safe.

The United States motor vehicle and parts retailers generated around 100 billion dollars in U.S. dollars in 2017 alone. All of your tools need a home so you can stop losing them when you’re working on your vehicles. When you’re looking for a roller cabinet tool box, you can get an OEM TOOLS tool box, a green tool cart, or a simple wrench organizer. Check out our inventory and pick out the roller cabinet tool box that will change the way you work in your garage.

4 Undeniable Reasons You Need Running Boards For Your Truck

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Running boards are truck accessories that attach to the bottom of your truck, just under the doors. Steelcraft running boards, or any other brand, make a great addition to any truck because they are versatile, functional, and they look great. Here are some reasons you need to get running boards for your truck today.

It’s easy to get in
Running boards are used to make it easier to get into your truck. They come in handy for smaller passengers, like children or shorter people. They are particularly helpful if you have a tall, lifted truck. Even if you’re a tall person, running boards can still be helpful for your knees and back as you won’t have to strain as much to get in.

They protect your truck
Running boards provide a layer of protection for your truck. Rocks, sticks, and other road debris get kicked up by your wheels and can hit and potentially damage your doors and side panels. Running boards can stop the debris from inflicting damage.

They keep your interior clean
Running boards can act as a doormat to your vehicle. When passengers have mud on their shoes, they can wipe their feet on the running boards before they get it. This stops your passengers from getting mud and dirt all over the interior of your truck.

You can customize your truck
Lastly, running boards give your truck a cool, customized look. You can get them in many different styles and colors so they can reflect exactly how you want your truck to look. They also complete the look of the truck as a whole, giving you a rugged, sturdy appeal.

The crossover sold 399,204 units between January 2017 to January 2018, making it the most popularly bought light duty truck by far. If you’re one of the many who bought one of these, or any other kind of truck, then one of the truck accessories you definitely need are running boards. Whether you want Steelcraft running boards, NFAB running boards, Dodge running boards, or anything else, we have exactly what you’re looking for. Check out our inventory today and get yourself some running boards. 

Looking To Purchase an ATV? You Should Keep These 3 Things In Mind

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quadbikeIf you’re looking to have alternative modes of transportation that are as fun as they are awesome, then look no further than ATVs. ATVs, also known as 4 wheelers for their tendency to have four wheels, are one of the most common types of alternative transportation purchased in the U.S. today. They have a variety of uses in hunting, off-roading, and exploration.

But before you head off to your local Honda ATV dealer, you should put time into thinking long and hard about which ATV is really right for your needs.

So before your choose a quadbike, consider these three factors:

The Ages of The Riders
You should think about the age of the primary rider as well as the ages of anyone else who will be riding the vehicle. Quadbikes come in all shapes, sizes, and makes, and it is important to find the right one for the rider. If the rider is young, then consider getting a smaller model instead. There are several youth-sized ATVs available on the market for children as young as six.

You should also consider buying a cheaper model for younger riders, who might not need a ton of power at the start. You can upgrade for power and performance later down the line if need be.

Think About Terrain
In addition to thinking about the rider, you should think about where they will be taking your new ATV. Will it be hard-packed trails, fields, mud, sand, or steep hills? There are a variety of quadbikes to choose from, so talk to your local ATV dealer about the best choice for your terrain.

If you’re just going to be riding on regular trails and fields, then purchasing a simple two-wheel vehicle like a motorbike might be a better option. Likewise, golf carts may be best for paved roads and trimmed grass.

What Is Your Budget?
Consider how much you are willing to spend on a quadbike. There are ATV options that suit any pocketbook, and it is important to do research on the features available for your price range. You want to find the vehicle that suits your needs, budget, and expectations. The costs can be anywhere between $4,000 and $8,500, depending on the power, speed, and size of the machine.

If you’re looking to purchase a powerful machine for the outdoors, then a quadbike is the one for you. But you should make sure you keep these points in mind when you start looking around for the right ATV. You might find what you need is more expensive or more powerful than what you initially expected.

Simple Tips and Tricks for Applying Wire Cut Tape to Your Vehicle

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wire trim tapeThere are approximately 252.6 million vehicles on the road today in the United States, and a large portion of them are used for business purposes. Whether they’re part of a fleet of vehicles or they’re used to advertise goods and services while out on sales calls, these cars, trucks, and SUVs tend to have one thing in common: they all need to feature logos, images, and other information about the type of business they’re in.

One of the main wrapping techniques is the wire trim method. Wire trim tape is a type of edge cutting tape and works great for any project. Furthermore, wire trim tape is user-friendly, and almost anyone can operate with it, but there are a few tips to help get the most out of your wire trim cutting project.

  • Because wire trim rolls are backward-wound, they can pose problems if they are wound incorrectly. Here are a few easy steps you can take to fix the problem:
    1. Lift up the end of the tape reel exactly one inch.
    2. Separate the liner from the double-sided tape to avoid confusion.
    3. Next, hold the liner all the way down the roll of the tape. It is very important that you do not let go of the liner or the tape.
    4. For the final step, roll the double-sided tape exactly one full rotation of the spool to adjust any winding issues with your wire tape.
  • After the tape is removed, there is often adhesive left behind. Try pulling the tape a littler stronger and at a slower pace to remove all adhesives.
  • Pay attention to the adhesiveness of your cut tape. Some types are designed to withstand hot and humid summer days; others are better for use during the cold months, so the tape can remain sticky throughout the season.

One of the advantages of working with wire trim tape is that it helps to apply graphics and vinyl wraps easily. These tapes don’t need the requisite six or more hours to dry, like coats of paint. Additionally, there’s no sanding needed in order to apply a wrap; compare that to sanding a truck bed down to the metal to apply spray on bedliners, as this requires 150-grit or less sandpaper.

Mercedes Benz Owner’s Guide to Maintenance

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Car partsMercedes Benz cars owners know the benefits that come with the investment of Mercedes cars. The Mercedes brand offers the highest quality of engineering, safety features, and reliability that makes it one of the most prestigious vehicles. But like other cars, a genuine Mercedes Benz needs the occasional check up to ensure all of its Mercedes Benz parts are working correctly. Here are a few key maintenance tips that will help keep your Mercedes Benz running at top performance.

Check the Fluids
Like any car, routine checks of your Mercedes’ fluids is vital for ensuring the longest life of your vehicle. Check your car’s oil, coolant and washer fluids once a week. Check other fluids such as your power steering, brake, and transmission fuel monthly. It’s important to use the fluids recommended in the Mercedes Benz service owner manual, particularly for breaks, transmission, and steering. Many Mercedes owners switched to synthetic oils, which are more efficient and run better with the Mercedes. Your car should follow a regular oil change schedule, with a switch once every 7,500 miles, or every six months. If you choose to stick with traditional oil, the oil should be changed at least once every 5,000 miles.

Tire Care
A car is nothing without it’s tires. The tires on your Mercedes Benz car should be rotated and balanced once every six months, and inspected for wear or damage regularly. Check the tire pressure regularly, and make sure to maintain proper tired pressure. The inflation chart, which shows the proper tire pressure levels, will likely be located on the side of you car’s driver seat door. Stable tire pressure helps the life of your tires, and also increases your car’s fuel economy.

Wash Your Car
With regular use, a Mercedes car tends to pick up dirt from the road. Weather, dirt, and UV rays, are all potential enemies for your car, and can create lasting damage that may be difficult to erase. Regularly washing Mercedes will help prevent dirt and road chemicals from oxidizing and damaging paint, especially when covered with a layer of new wax. If you plan to drive your Mercedes in the winter months, be sure to wash your vehicle more frequently, as road salt can be damaging to the exterior of your car.

The best way to keep your Mercedes Benz running at top shape is to bring it to your local Mercedes Benz service shop. A Mercedes shop will give your car a complete inspection, and will give you professional suggestions on how to keep your car running smoothly.

6 Tips for Using an Ignition Interlock Device

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Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is on the rise. Every year, motor vehicle accidents that involved people who are under the influence costs nearly $60 billion. Requiring people to use an ignition interlock device does cut down on drinking and driving. These devices have been credited with a 70% reduction in arrests for this infraction. While most states set the alcohol limit at .08%, most interlock devices prevent a car from starting for people whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of much lower at .02 or .03%. Some people would like to see these devices be installed in all vehicles and that would be the level for this.

Many people have misconceptions about what will and will not set off an ignition interlock device. If you have been made to install one because of a driving under the influence or if you have decided to put one in your car or in the car you bought for your kids, keep these in mind.

  1. Your perfume, cologne and  a mouth wash will not set it off. Many every day products we use have alcohol in them. These include mouthwashes, perfumes, moisturizers, breath sprays and other items. Hand sanitizers are made up mostly of alcohol. Using these products is not the same as drinking booze and will not cause the d interlock device to read as positive for alcohol consumption. Some states recommend using a different mouthwash or waiting 15 minutes between using it and driving.
  2. Smoking cigarettes will not set it off. The interlock device is made to detect alcohol in your breath, not cigarette or other smoke from tobacco. This does not mean you should blow smoke into the device but it should not be affected by legal substances that you smoke before or while you are driving.
  3. Your car will not just stop while driving on the highway. An ignition interlock device is connected to the starter of the vehicle and is designed to prevent the car from being started. It is not set to stop the car from running once it on the road. There are settings to allow it to test while you are driving but these do not shut down the engine, if you do not take the retest, a signal is sent to report a violation but the car will not just stop.
  4. Foods will not set it off. People claim that mints, cinnamon pastries, doughnuts and other items have been blamed for problems with the ignition interlock device systems. If you eat a chocolate with alcohol and immediately blow into the unit, it may register the alcohol from the good. Wait a few minutes or drink some water (or other non-alcoholic beverage) and try again.
  5. Spicy food can cause a false positive in an ignition interlock device. When you eat spicy food it mixes with the acid in your stomach and methane is released. If the ignition interlock device is not set to specifically detect alcohol, it can register a false positive. You can always take an antacid and your problem is solved. This is not a problem for a lot of devices.
  6. The ignition interlock device will not drain the car battery. If your vehicle has a properly functioning battery and electrical system, you should have no problem with your device. If you find there is a problem caused by the device, you should probably have your car looked at.

For many people, the positives of having an ignition interlock device installed outweigh the negatives. If you are being ordered by the court to have one, the big bonus is that you get your driving privileges restored and can drive your vehicle. If you are having one put in a car for your kids, you know that whoever drives the car will be sober when they are operating the car.

If you do plan to have a car breathalyzer installed, you can get a discreet breathalyzer or interlock cup put in. These still provide society with the benefit of keeping you from drinking while under the influence of alcohol but save you some of the embarrassment of having to blow into a obvious looking machine.