Friday, September 20, 2019

5 Tire Tips For A Safer Work Truck

 Work Truck Tires

Tires withstand severe environments throughout their life on a work truck. Holding up to heavy loads and traveling on a multitude of surfaces are common for work truck tires. Most of us give the tires on our work truck little thought until they are in need of replacement. While this strategy may have worked for you in the past, neglecting to regularly check the condition of your tires will eventually catch up to you and leave you stranded on the side of the road. If your truck is down, your work is down. Utilize these tips to keep your work truck off the shoulder.

1. Tread Depth

Check tread depth often utilizing the penny test (a minimum of 2/32” of tread left on the tire). Most make the mistake of checking one spot on each tire, to ensure even wear check at least three spots on each tire.
2. Tire Pressure

Keep a tire pressure gauge in each work truck and check the pressure regularly. Keep the tire pressure within the vehicle’s recommended PSI range.
3. Cracks, Checks & More

Check for cracks, punctures, tears, bulges, bumps or tread separation. If you come across any exposed strands of metal or fabric, take the truck out of the field and have the tire(s) replaced as soon as possible.
4. Alignment

Keep proper alignment of your work truck tires. If they are improperly aligned it will result in premature wear and tear on the tires.
5. Overloading

Don’t overload! Your work truck (and tires) are only rated to handle so much weight. Overloading can create a recipe for disaster on not just your tires but your entire vehicle.


Source: https://www.knapheide.com/news/blog/2018/05/5-tire-tips-for-a-safer-work-truck


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Winter Maintenance and Towing Tips for Fleets

Preparing for winter: is your fleet ready?

truck driving in winter weather
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, more than 70 percent of roads in the U.S. are located in regions that typically receive more than five inches of annual snowfall. With many commercial fleets using these snow-prone routes on a regular basis, preparing vehicles and drivers for winter conditions is a task most companies need to address.
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Saturday, September 14, 2019

5 Steps To Buying A Big Rig


When you decide to buy a truck there are some simple steps you can take to be sure you get the best bang for your buck. If you go into a truck purchase blindly, you are likely to pay too much and get much less than you hoped for.

1. Shop Around.

Truck dealers can only advertise in their own region. A truck dealership in Ohio is not allowed to advertise in California. But dealerships are allowed to sell trucks to customers in other regions if the customer contacts them. As you travel, grab some truck papers from different regions of the country and consider contacting dealers that are far from you. If you already know what make of truck you want, call around to dealers around the country.

2. Compare Apples to Apples.

If you are going to be ordering a new truck, ask for a price quote along with the specifications- this will be about 10 pages long. Compare the spec sheets from different dealers line for line. You may find that a salesman who gives you a lower price quote also skimped out on some of the options without mentioning that to you. If you find that a salesman's quote has inferior specs, tell them which ones you want changed and have them resend the specs and quote. ALWAYS read through the specs line by line- don't trust anything verbal. You may have to pay a chunk of change to receive the faxes from all these dealers, but at least you'll know you're comparing prices, not options.

3. Prioritize

If you are shopping for a used truck, it's unlikely that you will be able to find two trucks that are exactly alike. You won't be able to compare apples to apples like you would if you were buying a new truck. Make a list of the specifications that are most important to you. What make and model are you looking for? How old and roughly how many miles? What engine do you want? What transmission? What rears? Once you nail down those requirements, you may have to compromise on some of the options. Power windows, gauge packages, color. Most options can be changed if they are not to your liking. The things that matter most are the things that are permanent, but you will want to consider the less important options once you have narrowed it down to a few trucks.

4. Get a loan from your own bank.

If you have the dealership set up financing, they are likely to add "points" to your interest rate. There is nothing unethical about this- you are, after all, using their resources to secure financing and they should be compensated for the work their employees do. But you need to decide if you are willing to pay the difference over the life of the loan. The bank may give you a 10% interest rate, but the dealer sets it up for 12% and will pocket the difference with each payment you make. Generally, the dealer will not disclose this information. However, you need to be aware that you may be able to secure a lower interest rate on your own. Consider- a difference of 3% will save you hundreds of dollars each month. It's worth it to do the extra legwork on your own.

5. Make sure you can afford the truck.

There are a lot of owner-operator contracts out there. There are many more mediocre owner-operator contracts than there are lucrative ones. Before you take on the risks involved with owning a truck, make sure you have a contract that can pay for it. Will you be pouring every dime you make back into the truck? Calculate the costs of fuel and maintenance and taxes. If you are a company driver, spend a few months putting your records on paper. Look at the bottom line- what will you have left after all your expenses? If you are not yet a driver, you will want to spend a couple of years driving a truck as a company driver before you decide to buy a truck on your own. Don't buy the lie that owner-operators with rates twice as high as company drivers are making twice as much. They may not even be making the same amount once you figure in all the expenses.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Suzanne_Roquemore

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Cummins History: 1931 Coast-to-Coast with Clessie Cummins



Determined to top a coast-to-coast record held by GM's gas engine, Clessie Cummins set out with a diesel-powered cargo truck on a route from New York City to Los Angeles in August 1931.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

7 Tips for Sharing the Road with Semi-trucks

Vehicles and semi-trucks driving on an interstate

Driving near large trucks

Did you know 75 percent of commercial vehicle accidents are caused by drivers in passenger cars? While actions like distracted driving certainly play a role in some of these cases, there are likely multiple occasions that happen simply because drivers don’t understand how to safely maneuver around large vehicles.
Though sharing the road with semis is a daily task, not all motorists understand the limitations of a semi — mainly wide turning radiuses, slow stopping times and large blind spots. To help educate the general public on safe driving techniques, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) started a highway safety program called Share the Road. Using some of the ATA tips and our own, we’ve compiled a list of driving habits that will help make the road a safer place.

Seven tips for motorists sharing roads with semis

Roadway safety is the responsibility of all drivers, but you can take certain steps to ensure you’re doing your part. When driving near or around a semi-truck, be sure to:
  1. Drive defensively
    Operating a vehicle probably comes second nature to you. But, no matter how comfortable or skilled you are behind the wheel, it’s important to remain alert at all times — especially around large trucks. Semis are bigger in size and weight, making them slower to react to avoid collisions. Pay attention to vehicle locations, traffic flow, vehicle signals and weather so you can anticipate problems and have plenty of time to safely change course if necessary.
     
  2. Keep a safe distance
    Driving close to a semi puts you at greater risk for being hurt by sudden stops, tire blowouts or roll overs caused by strong wind. So, whether you’re behind, in front or beside a large truck, leave plenty of space for merging, swerving and maneuvering. It’s best practice to keep at least a four-second following distance between you and the trailer in case of a sudden stop.
  1. Avoid blind spots
    The right side of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is the largest blind spot for a truck driver — sometimes blocking their view for three or more lanes. Other areas of concern include directly in front of the cab, behind the trailer and certain zones along the driver’s side. Avoid spending time in these zones to ensure the driver can see you.
     
  2. Pass quickly
    Passenger vehicles typically travel faster than semis, so it’s not unusual to pass a lot of trucks along your route. Practice safe passing by driving closer to the shoulder rather than the truck, and speeding up instead of lingering.
     
  3. Don’t cut a large truck off
    Semis have much longer stopping distances — up to two football fields when traveling 65 mph. To prevent a rear-end collision, make sure you can see the entire front end of the truck before merging in front of it.
     
  4. Dim the bright lights
    When traveling near or past a semi, make sure your bright headlights are dimmed. Bright lights reflecting off large truck mirrors can cause two seconds or more of temporary blindness when traveling at 55 mph. The general rule of thumb is to lower your bright lights when you’re one block (or closer) behind a semi.
     
  5. Always signal
    As mentioned, trucks require more time to react to motorists stopping, turning or merging lanes. Because of this, it’s important to signal the driver at least three seconds or more before upcoming changes. This timing allows the truck driver to slow down or move over.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Avoiding brake-related CSA citations



The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s CSA violations should be an unnecessary problem, especially since they can lead to costly delays, and unexpected downtime may cause fleets to lose customers not only because of delays.

Monday, September 2, 2019

The Need for Truck Scales

It's no secret that most of America's goods are transported by truck. Because of this, states have enacted various laws and taxes to regulate the industry. Each state has its own laws on how much a truck can weigh when transporting goods. A common standard for the weight allowed is 34,000 pounds or 15,400 kilograms. The amount of weight carried per axle is called axle weight. The gross weight is the total of all the axles of the truck. Most states receive taxes from the truck weigh stations, which goes to improving the roadways. Trucks that are overweight are subject to heavy fines, which is why there are many high quality truck scales available for companies and contractors.

Truck scales are made out of concrete and steel. They are built to handle a large amount of weight each day all year long. The scales can handle up to 80,000 pounds or 36,000 kilograms per load. The weight is calculated by sensors that receive signals from a junction box. Strain gauges, which are wires are embedded in the concrete and have an electrical current running through them. These wires will compress when pressure from the weight of the truck is sensed. The weight is then displayed on a monitor in a booth where the attendant records the weight. It is vital that these systems are reliable and functioning, because if they aren't it will directly affect their pocketbooks.

Another way that is used is called one-axle. In this instance the truck driver needs to place each axle on the truck scales one axel at a time. Once all the axles are weighed a total is given. This takes a lot of time out of the driver's schedule. One stop weighing is where the driver can place the truck on one large scale and the controller will give a gross weight. The one popular method of weighting trucks is when the truck is in motion. The truck doesn't have to stop at all. The sensors on the truck scales will pick up the weight and record it all while the truck is in motion.

Another reason that a company uses truck scales is because running an over loaded truck all the time would cause more wear on the truck. The engine would have to work harder which means you need to change your oil more often to accommodate for the extra stress. Tires would also wear out at a faster pace. Running an over weighted truck is a safety hazard as well as being illegal.

Fines for running an over weighted truck in some states have become much higher. Some fines ran 10 cents a pound for every pound you were over the weight limit, up to a fine of $500 per load. Those same states now are charging fines of 12 cents per pound with no limit to the amount of the fine. States are getting tired of truckers running loads that are overweight and ruining their roads and endangering other drivers. The heavy weight of the trucks does enough damage to the roadways at the normal weight. When to many over weighted trucks continually use their roads it causes repair needs to be done often. The taxes they collect go towards keeping the roads safe for all drivers. So we all have truck scales to thank for not only getting us our goods, but keeping us safe as well!

Troy writes about anything and everything interesting. Have any idea for an article? Pass it along!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Troy_Bassham/1147404

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6859351