10/14/21

DRIVING SAFELY NEAR TRACKS

a train going past lowered crossing gates

Quick Tips

  • Trains and cars don't mix.
  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. 
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly.
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it's illegal and deadly. 
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. 
  • If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided, telling them about the stalled vehicle. 
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.
  • When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember it isn't safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.

10/10/21

A&T "MOBILE" HEAVY DUTY TRUCK AND TRAILER ROAD SERVICE

 24-HOURS | 7-DAYS A WEEK EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE



WHO WE ARE

A&T "Mobile" Heavy Duty Truck and Trailer Road Service is a 24-hour, 7-days a week roadside mobile truck repair service for light and medium-duty to heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers. At A&T "Mobile" Truck Road Service we like to think of ourselves as the "Ambulance Service for Trucks." If your truck is broken down, we will come to you and perform the necessary triage to get you back on the road. Now includes towing, load adjustments, and more. Not only do we provide 24 Hour Emergency service, we could come out and do light mechanical work on site to our customer's fleet and avoid the truck having to come in the shop.


10/08/21

Teen Driving School | Consumer Reports


Want your teen to become a better driver? Consumer Reports’ expert explains the driving maneuvers and safety features that will help them do it. Check out https://www.ConsumerReports.org
for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez

10/05/21

Driving Emergency - Tire Blowout


                                                         Driving Emergency - Tire Blowout

10/02/21

How to Set Trailer Brake Gain | BetterWeigh™ Mobile Towing Scale


This video describes how to use the Trailer Brake Gain feature of the CURT BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale. With this feature, you can easily set up your brake controller without the need for traditional methods of taking multiple passes and guessing at the optimal gain setting.

The CURT BetterWeigh™ #51701 is a Bluetooth-enabled OBD2 device that wirelessly syncs with your smartphone to provide a variety of vehicle and trailer weights. This includes vehicle weight, GCW, payload, tongue weight and pin weight, as well as weight distribution setup and trailer brake gain.

To begin setting up your trailer brake controller with the CURT BetterWeigh™, find a flat, open area to park your vehicle. Select the Trailer Brake Gain option from the home screen. Then, follow the screen prompts and enter your trailer weight and combined weight. Select your trailer type.

Next, calibrate your towing setup. Set the brake controller gain to 3. With the vehicle in gear and at a complete stop, fully activate the manual override on the brake controller. Then, accelerate in a straight line to 15 mph. When the progress bar fills up all the way, BetterWeigh™ will provide the optimal gain number. If wheel lockup occurs, tap the Lock-Up Occurred button and start again, adjusting the gain to the BetterWeigh™ recommendation.

If you increase the load on your trailer, enter the new trailer weight and BetterWeigh™ will automatically provide a new trailer gain number.

BetterWeigh™ is compatible with Apple and Android phones. Download the BetterWeigh™ app from Google Play or the App Store.

9/29/21

RV Towing at A & T BIG RIG TOWING SERVICES


North Bay Truck Center and A&T Road Service heavy duty towing.We think this is the most flexible and useful rig to tow the biggest trucks on the road, along with big buses, and large RV units.




Our normal service area covers the best part of the bay area and Sacramento region; however, we now have capability to tow across the country if needed. Our A&T Road Service has expanded so much that we had to add towing to make it even more effective and timely.

When you need a tow, Call 1-800-434-1205

9/25/21

Windshield Wipers 101


AAA shows you how to remove and install new windshield wiper blades plus how to add windshield washer fluid.

9/23/21

Drivetrains 101 | Consumer Reports


A car’s drivetrain is how you get power from the engine to the wheels. Consumer Reports’ expert explains the difference between front-wheel, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel, and four-wheel drive. Check out https://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez

9/20/21

Stop. Trains Can't.


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have launched a national railroad crossing safety ad campaign to increase public awareness around railroad tracks and reduce crossing deaths and injuries. Although accidents at railroad crossings are an old problem, the problem is easily avoidable. This ad is the latest in a three-year, focused effort to reverse the uptick in railroad crossing fatalities. Its message is simple: Stop. Trains can’t.

For more information, please visit: https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/rail-grade-crossing/stop-trains-cant.

9/17/21

Electric Cars 101 | Consumer Reports


Electric cars are bringing some of the biggest changes the auto industry has seen in years. Consumer Reports’ expert explains why these vehicles might not be as new-fangled as you think.

9/14/21

Fleet Drivers: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?


As more businesses resume operations, and more vehicle fleets are getting back on the road, it is important to remember that an alert fleet driver is a safe fleet driver. While no one is immune to drowsy driving, there are steps you can take to help ensure you get enough sleep.

Across North America, this week and next have been designated Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in the US and Canada respectively. A recent study by the National Safety Council revealed that almost 50% of Americans operate their vehicles while too tired to do so. This is a troubling statistic, especially considering the NSC has determined that driving with less than five hours sleep has the same accident risk as driving drunk. In other words, drowsy driving is impaired driving and half of us are driving around without enough sleep!

When you don't get enough sleep, you are more likely to make bad decisions and take more risks. The effects of drowsy driving are staggering, with an estimated 100,000 accidents and 1,500 deaths caused by drowsy driving each year. In addition to the impact on loved ones and family members, driving drowsy results in close to $13 billion in losses per year in the US alone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the problem. Many are struggling with additional stress caused by uncertainty and fear, which is preventing them from getting enough sleep. Neurologists are seeing a spike in patients with sleep disorders caused by COVID-19, and are calling this phenomenon “COVID-somnia.”

What do companies need to remember to prevent drowsy driving?

As more businesses resume operations, and more vehicle fleets are getting back on the road, it is important to remember that an alert fleet driver is a safe fleet driver. Employees may not have driven in a few months, they may be operating a different vehicle, or they may be new hires with little driving experience. Given these additional challenges, it is even more important that drivers are well-rested, alert, and fully aware of their surroundings.


Getting enough sleep is even more important depending on your work environment. Long-haul trucking with heavy loads for example, the sheer size and weight of the truck and cargo combined demands a focused, and alert driver. Similarly, getting enough sleep can be a challenge for others who work long hours, night shifts, or have a very early start time every morning.


The NSC has compiled a list of nine risk factors for driver fatigue, and a staggering 97% of drivers surveyed had at least one of these factors which include: shift work, late working hours, sleep loss, and physically or cognitively demanding work. While no one is immune to drowsy driving, there are steps you can take to help ensure you get enough sleep.

What can fleet drivers do to stay healthy and well-rested during the pandemic and in “normal” times?

The best way to ensure you are well-rested and ready to drive, is to get enough sleep. So how much is enough? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends that adults get at least between seven and eight hours of sleep every day. Our bodies crave sleep - not getting enough of it can also increase the risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease and lead to other medical problems.

Here are some great tips from NHLBI and UC Davis Health that will help you get a better sleep:

Sleep and wake at consistent times every day, including weekends. Establishing a regular sleep rhythm can make sure your body knows when to stay awake.

Maintain your daily routine when working remotely. Wake up, get dressed and eat breakfast as if you were heading to work. The same goes for after work, try to eat dinner and carry out your evening tasks on a regular schedule.

Establish one hour of quiet time before sleeping. Avoid loud music, strenuous exercise, and bright screens (e.g., smartphone, TV, laptop) and make sure your sleeping area is as dark as possible.

Stay away from heavy meals, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine right before bed. All of these things will disrupt your sleep.

Use caution with sleep aids. Over-the-counter sleep aids can leave you drowsy the next morning and prescription drugs can lead to dependence.

Stay active - exercising on a daily basis, especially outdoors, can help maintain a more regular sleep rhythm.

Don't take naps - a short nap is ok, but anything over 20 minutes will disrupt your sleep cycle.

Take a hot bath or practice relaxation techniques - such as meditating before going to bed.

If you are already on the road, and feeling a little drowsy, there are a number of things you can do to help stay alert. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:

Drive in two-hour shifts with resting stops in between. If you begin to feel drowsy while driving or find yourself dozing, pull over and park as soon as possible to take a short nap.

Drink a caffeinated beverage. While caffeine is not a substitute for sleep, a caffeinated beverage can help you feel more awake after a short nap.

Travel with a passenger who is fully awake. Having someone who can help keep you awake or alert you if you’re drowsy can help prevent an accident. If possible, drive in shifts with your passenger.

Getting enough sleep every day is essential. It's also easier said than done, especially considering the psychological stress that COVID-19 has caused for so many of us. The best thing you can do is try and maintain a regular routine, exercise regularly, and avoid consuming stimulants before bedtime. We hope these tips will help you stay alert and focused on the road. Drive safely!

By Element Fleet Safety - 

By the Element Safety Team

Source: https://www.elementfleet.com/resources/blog/fleet-drivers-are-you-getting-enough-sleep


9/11/21

What To Keep In Your Truck or Car


Mickey shares his Truck EDC setup. Includes a medical kit from D-Dey Response Group, security best, battery jumper, proper vehicle jack, outdoor boots, snacks and much more... F150 Truck Cover by Diamondback.

by: Carry Trainer




9/08/21

Take a close look at a heavy Wrecker Truck


Before continuing work on my class 8 wrecker model project I thought I would get some good pictures of a real wrecker, especially the business end.

9/05/21

A &T Road Service NRC Quickswap & Tag Axle - We Can Tow HD Trucks, Motor Homes and Buses



A&T Road Service added Truck 32 in 2014. It was a brand new 2014 Kenworth with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.

It is outfitted with tools and parts to make minor mechanical repairs, air line repair, fuel line repairs, add fuel, and can take care of any DEF needs. It is also equipped with extra high intensity lights for more effective and efficient night work, since A&T Road Service is available 24 hours a day.

North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205, You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com

9/02/21

When to Replace Your Tires | Consumer Reports


The lifespan of a tire can range anywhere from 25,000 miles to 100,000 miles. The experts at CR show you how to check your tires so you’ll know exactly when to replace them.

8/29/21

The Real Dangers of Running Out of Gas


                                                    The Real Dangers of Running Out of Gas

8/27/21

Keeping Your Car (and Truck) Sensors Clean | Consumer Reports


Today's cars come with cutting edge technology designed to help keep you safe. Consumer Reports' expert explains how these revolutionary innovations can stop working with one simple thing: dirt.

8/24/21

Who You Gonna Call? A&T Road Service - We'll Get You Back on the Road!



At A&T "Mobile" Truck Road Service we like to think of ourselves as the "Ambulance Service for Trucks." If your truck is broken down, we will come to you and perform the necessary triage to get you back on the road. Now includes towing, load adjustments, and more.

A&T "Mobile" Heavy Duty Truck and Trailer Road Service is a 24-hour, 7-days a week roadside mobile truck repair service for light and medium-duty to heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers. A&T Road Service, a subsidiary of North Bay Truck Center.

Our fleet incudes a 2014 Kenworth (Shown in video) with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.


Not only do we provide 24 Hour Emergency service, we could come out and do light mechanical work on site to our customer's fleet and avoid the truck having to come in the shop.We will go just about anywhere for anything, at anytime. We have a wide normal service area and have been known to go beyond those boundaries by request. See our Service Area.

Below is a bullet point list of services by A&T Road Service.

 New: In-House TOWING
            Fully Equipped Mobile Repair Units
            Tire Replacement
            Load Adjustments
            Welding
            Fuel Delivery
            Lock-Outs
            Vehicle Storage
            Hydraulics
            DOT & BIT Inspections
            Crane Inspections
            Glass Replacement
            Vehicle Rentals
            Liftgate Repairs and Service
            Tens of Thousands of Parts In Stock


North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205,

You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com

8/20/21

Engine Fluids: General Tips


                                                              Engine Fluids: General Tips

8/18/21

Is There a recall on Your Vehicle?

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Every vehicle has a unique VIN. Enter a VIN to learn if a specific vehicle needs to be repaired as part of a recall.
Enter here:

What this VIN search tool will show

  • An unrepaired vehicle affected by a vehicle safety recall in the past 15 calendar years
  • Vehicle safety recalls from major light auto automakers, motorcycle manufacturers and some medium/heavy truck manufacturers

Follow this link to find recall on your vehicle: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

8/15/21

Why do Cars Get Impounded?

Impounded cars are those placed in tow yards legally before they are returned back to their owners, recycled, auctioned or completely destroyed. Impounding agencies must have a legal right before impounding a vehicle. The agents tow the vehicle once they find it in their list of automobiles for impounding.

Police or private agencies have the right to impound vehicles that are violating the law and store them in their yards. The law allows them to store impounded cars until all the fees charged are paid. They are licensed to have your vehicle impounded. If not, find a lawyer to represent your case in court.
Auctioning of abandoned vehicle is often organized to assist in recovery of cash used during towing and the time the auto was stored in the yard. This is usually done if the owner of the vehicle is not found, the owner doesn’t want the car anymore or if the vehicle has overstayed in the yard.
Before retrieving your impounded vehicle, you first need to understand why it was impounded in the first place. This will allow you plan accordingly.

Reasons cars get impounded

    i. Driving with no license
    ii. Possession of a stolen car
    iii. Car was involved in an accident
    iv. The car isn’t insured
    v. Over speeding
    vi. Your car was found abandoned on the road
    vii. Driving under suspension
    viii. Outstanding fines for parking
    ix. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    x. If your car got involved in assaulting someone
    xi. If the car is not correctly parked
    xii. Your registration is expired
    xiii. If you are violating traffic rules
    xiv. Driving vehicles that are not roadworthy
    xv. If your car is exposing the public to potential health hazards or any other risks

Impounded Vehicles

Has the vehicle been impounded illegally?

In case your car gets impounded illegally, contact a criminal defense lawyer to help you fight for your lawful rights. Most people with impounded cars often make claims of ownership and get collection letters. Once at the correct impounding station, you’ll be needed to prove your identity and ownership of the car.

Sometimes, you might not be able to retrieve your car by yourself due to unavoidable circumstances. If you’d wish to send someone on your behalf, let them bring with them a letter of authorization signed by you, a copy of your driving license and an insurance certificate to prove your identity.

The cost of retrieving your vehicle

Getting your car back for free is almost impossible; there are fees that must be paid before you get your car. The police or private agencies charge you storage and towing fees. All your outstanding charges and fees must be cleared. Abandoning your vehicle because you don’t want to pay charges is not advisable.
It might result in your car being auctioned or completely destroyed. Afterward, you won’t have any claim for that car. The impounding agencies would benefit from auctioning your car. Even so, the municipal or companies you owe debts for years would still want you to pay them.
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8/12/21

BRAKES: How They Work | Science Garage


Brakes are the unsung heroes of performance. Everybody loves going fast, but slowing down is important too. There’s disk brakes, vented brakes, brembo brakes and drilled brakes-- let’s “brake” it all down! Bart talks about the principles that make your brakes work. From drums and discs, to friction and heat, we get to the nitty gritty of how Brakes systems keep you safe.

8/09/21

Under The Hood - Tire Tread and Pressure


                        Check the tread and pressure to get the best performance from your tires

8/06/21

Drivetrains 101 | Consumer Reports


A car’s drivetrain is how you get power from the engine to the wheels. Consumer Reports’ expert explains the difference between front-wheel, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel, and four-wheel drive.

8/03/21

Top 5 Safe Driving Tips


The roads can be dangerous! And, of course, we all want each other to get home safely. Here are CARFAX's Top 5 Safe Driving Tips!

7/31/21

BRAKES: How They Work | Science Garage


Brakes are the unsung heroes of performance. Everybody loves going fast, but slowing down is important too. There’s disk brakes, vented brakes, brembo brakes and drilled brakes-- let’s “brake” it all down! Bart talks about the principles that make your brakes work. From drums and discs, to friction and heat, we get to the nitty gritty of how Brakes systems keep you safe.

7/28/21

Top Car-Washing Strategies | Consumer Reports


Washing a car is pretty straight-forward, right? Consumer Reports’ expert reveals the top tips for keeping your ride sparkling clean.

7/25/21

Tire Blow Out Reaction Tips


Tires are the most important part of your vehicle and unexpected blows outs happen almost everyday! Watch this video to find out the two key steps to keep you safe in the event of a tire blow out.

7/19/21

Safe Driving Series | Ford Trucks | Pre-Driving Safety | Episode 1


Be sure to follow these steps to keep both you and your truck safe! #SharingTheLoad #FordTrucks

Be sure to follow these steps to keep both you and your truck safe! #SharingTheLoad #FordTrucks

7/16/21

Proper Inflation is Important


Whether on the court or on the road, your equipment needs to be properly inflated. Our horse mascot shows you the importance of proper inflation.

7/12/21

Automatic Emergency Braking in Large Trucks


A new IIHS study finds that automatic emergency braking systems in large trucks are reducing rear-end crashes by over 40 percent.

7/10/21

Pro Power Onboard | Ford How-To | Ford


This easy-to-follow video will show you how to use Pro Power Onboard,* which you may have on your Ford vehicle, to provide electrical power to certain power tools and electronic devices. *See Owner’s Manual for important operating instructions. Learn more about being a Ford owner here: https://ford.to/3juU0Q8

7/06/21

What happens when a driver is forced to use a runaway truck ramp?


Steve Staeger set out to learn how often these ramps are used, and what happens after the truck goes flying up.

More local videos here: https://bit.ly/2Pa0d1l

7/03/21

How To Avoid Pothole Damage


Driving through a seemingly innocent hole in the road could result in costly car damage. Before you end up at the auto shop in need of suspension repair or wheel replacement, know the five best ways to avoid pothole damage

1. Check Tires

Frequently inspect your tires to ensure they are properly inflated and do not have significant wear. If you hit a pothole with worn or underinflated tires, there is a greater risk of wheel or suspension damage. Inflate tires according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure levels. Find this information on the door jamb sticker and in your owner’s manual. Do not use the pressure levels molded on the tire sidewall. To check the tire tread depth, insert a quarter upside down into several tread grooves. If the top of Washington’s head is visible, it’s time for new tires. How to properly check tire tread

2. Inspect Suspension

Make certain struts, shock absorbers and other suspension parts are in good condition. Changes in vehicle handling, excessive vibration or uneven tire wear can indicate damaged or worn parts. Have a certified auto service technician inspect the suspension if you suspect a problem.

3. Look Ahead

Stay alert and check the road ahead to avoid potholes. Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions. Before swerving around a pothole, check your surroundings so you do not collide with another vehicle or endanger nearby pedestrians or cyclists.

4. Slow Down

If you cannot avoid a pothole, reduce your speed safely. Check the rearview mirror before braking abruptly. Hitting a pothole at higher speeds greatly increases the chance of tire, wheel and suspension component damage. Releasing the brakes just before hitting a pothole allows the wheel and tire to roll through the depression and helps minimize potential damage.

5. Beware of Puddles

Drive cautiously through puddles as they may be deep potholes filled with water.

What to Do If You Hit a Pothole and Suspect Damage

Get a Vehicle Inspection. Hard pothole impact can knock the wheels out of alignment and affect steering, or dislodge wheel weights, damage a tire or wheel, and bend or even break suspension parts. Have a qualified mechanic check the wheel alignment if the vehicle pulls to the left or right. Have the suspension inspected if you notice any new or unusual noises or vibrations.

Article Source: https://www.aaa.com/autorepair/articles/how-to-avoid-pothole-damage

6/30/21

Need a Lift? Big or Small - A&T Road Service Gets You There!

Ever wonder how a Big Truck Breakdown gets to the Garage?


This is How!


When Trailer Tractors Break Down and Need a Tow, A & T Road Service has the equipment to get you there! A & T Road Service, the "Ambulance Service for Trucks."

Learn more at: https://www.truckmobilerepair.com/

6/28/21

Hooking up to a Conventional Trailer | Ram Heavy Duty | Know Before You Tow


Learn how to hook up a conventional trailer shown to you by towing experts, Ram Trucks and Big Tex Trailers.

6/25/21

When to Replace Your Tires | Consumer Reports


The lifespan of a tire can range anywhere from 25,000 miles to 100,000 miles. The experts at CR show you how to check your tires so you’ll know exactly when to replace them. Check out https://www.ConsumerReports.org
for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez

6/22/21

4 Tips to Drive Like a Pro | Consumer Reports


Consumer Reports' driving expert takes to the CR test track to show you how to be a safer driver. Check out https://www.ConsumerReports.org
for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez

6/19/21

Decoding Dashboard Warning Lights | Consumer Reports


You might have noticed the gallery of icons on your dashboard when you start your car. Consumer Reports’ expert explains what those warning lights mean. Check out https://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez


6/16/21

Drivin' the Big Rig

 
by Brent Peterson

To most RVers, size matters. I'm confident just about everyone would opt for that master bedroom suite, spacious kitchen, and enough interior elbow room on board their vehicles to host a campground-wide square dance if they could. After all, most of us fall into the more-is-more category, right? Of course, an abundance of square-footage comes at a price both in terms of cost and driving/towing ease. Assuming that you can reconcile the added financial burden with your accountant/checkbook-strangling spouse, that just leaves the pesky issue of how to handle that big rig before one ends up in the driveway, wrapped in a pretty red bow. Whether piloting a behemoth motor home or lugging around that monster towable, the goal is pretty much the same. How to get from point A to point B safely. Here's how.

Fear Factor
It's okay to admit it. Go ahead, say it, you're nervous about getting behind the wheel of the new Class A or bulky tow vehicle. Truth is, you're a long way from that cute little Honda you've been manhandling down the highway for years. Like any new skill, maneuvering a large RV comes with its own learning curve, and apprehensive is normal. However, if thoughts of driving this big rig have you pale-faced with fear, then it might be a good idea to examine why you bought it in the first place. But I digress.

For starters, realize that it might take a while to get truly comfortable in the cockpit. And yes, you'll probably jump a curve or two in the process, a sort of right of passage for all of us. If it makes you feel any better, I recently wrapped a $300,000 Class A around a telephone pole. Personally, I think that pole had it coming. Come to think of it, maybe someone else should be dispensing advice on the subject. Nah, just kidding. We'll work out the kinks together.

The Same - Only Bigger
No matter what you're driving/towing, the basic principles of safe driving still apply. It's not like one needs to attend a special school to drive an RV. Although, there are driving schools and seminars available out there for the taking, which isn't a bad idea. The major differences mostly boil down to the realization that it will take you more time and driving discipline to do less. For instance, motor home drivers now must leave more distance for stopping. That pickup/fifth wheel combo lacks the getty-up-and-go of the family sedan; acceleration is a subjective term to most RVers. Bigger vehicles struggle up hills and backing up isn't always a thrill. Fortunately, most drivers on the road give RVers a wide berth, just one of the benefits of being at the top of the automotive food chain.

Brake Time
Learning the vehicle's limitations is probably the best place to start. Find an empty parking lot for this particular experiment and don't mind the curious gazes of passersby. Start with the brakes. How responsive are they? How much room do you need to stop from say, 30 miles per hour? Every RV must be driven differently - motorized and towables need to allow more time to brake than any vehicle you've ever driven. Notice (and honor) the difference in stopping power from an empty vehicle to one with full tanks, gear, and crew. When on the open road, anticipation is key. Give surrounding vehicles plenty of distance. Watch for the usual signs of braking situations - brake lights, road construction, merging, and the like. And don't speed, which makes the slow-down process more of a challenge.

The biggest of the big rigs benefit from a secondary braking system inside in the form of a hydraulic or exhaust brake. Towable owners will need towable breaks as well, which are a big help, especially when starring down the barrel of a deep descent. Extra braking comes in real handy when going down hills, helping you to slow without overtaxing the vehicle's brakes. Primary brakes can overheat and fail on long descents, so it's important not to overuse them. If you can actually smell your brakes, they're getting overworked.

Around the Bend
Swing wide when cornering. Remember, what's happening in back of you is nearly as important as what's going on up ahead. Take turns slow, keeping a watchful eye on what the rest of the motor home or trailer is doing. The bigger you are, the wider you'll need to go since the rear of the vehicle(s) tends to swing out as you make the turn. Take it slow and learn form the pros. Notice how the 18-wheelers get around in traffic. They've got it down to a science, wide and slow. Consider a pair of extendable side mirrors as a thoughtful vehicle add-on.

Change of Scene
Before changing lanes, ask yourself, "What's to be gained"? Are you hurried, stressed, or angry that the Cubs lost again? Emotional driving is always a poor state to be in, worsened when operating a 25,000-pound land ship cruising along at 55 mph. Sure, an open highway means the RV can go where it pleases, but I'm from the less-is-more school of driving, preferring to find a nice middle lane and staying put. If relocation is a must, give the rig and yourself plenty of time, looking for a nice fat opening in the traffic block. Flip the signals and have at it. As noted, fellow commuters are more scared of you then you know, and should work diligently to stay out of your way.

Back It Up
I'm either smart or the world's biggest coward (or both). I back up as little as possible, and rarely pull the motor home in somewhere before I know a sure-fire way out. With that said, throwing the rig in reverse is a fact of life. As with these other skills, practice may not make perfect, but it makes the outcome a whole lot more routine than just winging it. Again, I'm a fan of the empty lot and a few test trials to fine-tune one's abilities. Practice backing up straight. Repeat. Then repeat again. When it comes down to doing the deed for real, just take it slow. Always hop out and assess the situation first, keeping a watchful eye on not only what's immediately behind you, but overhanging objects as well. Take a mental picture of where you want to end up, looking for context clues from the cockpit to inform when you're in position. For instance, notice how when the tree stump is on line with your front tire that the back end will be in place.

A good co-pilot won't need to ask if you need help - they'll already be out there, ready to do their part. (Working out a few signals in advance will keep you from running over him or her). Better yet, get some walkie-talkies or buck up for the rear observation system, to best avoid the picnic table and yellow Subaru in your path. When that crowd of fellow campers begins to poke their collective heads out, don't sweat it. Take it slow and you'll do fine.

Motor homes pulling vehicles connected to tow bars and tow dollies should never, ever attempt a back up - you will damage the connection. If there's no other way around it, unhook the towed vehicle first, and scoot it out of the way. The trickiest part of backing up a trailer is remembering to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction of where you want the trailer to go. A nice method I learned from Joe and Vicki Kieva is to place one hand on the bottom of the wheel, then move your hand in the direction of where you want the trailer to end up. In the event the trailer starts to veer one side, turn the steering wheel towards the "problem" to straighten it out again. Take your time - this is not a speed event. Or, simply grab a pull-through campsite whenever possible and forget the whole thing.

Park It
Face it, that RV of yours takes up a lot of room. I know, you know, and the entire mall parking lot knows it. The best advice? Just beach the vehicle(s) someone out of the way, where fellow autos and pedestrians are at a minimum. The extra walking required will do you good. As a rule, I never pull into any place that I don't know the way out of. Avoid back-ups when possible, particularly in crowded areas such as parking lots and gas stations.

Highway-ing
I find that sitting up high in the motor home is a major advantage throughout both city and highway driving. This catbird seat is a great for surveying the landscape much farther ahead than any auto, alerting plenty of time to react and plan moves in advance. Sadly, towable owners receive no such sight advantage, that is unless they're cruising in one of those lofty baby semis that scores of fifth-wheel owners now favor.

The best advice for highway driving is to find a lane and stay put. Provide a fat buffer between you and those around you and this should protect you from any uncertainty. Watch that speedometer, Mrs. Leadfoot. As one driving instructor once told me, if you were in such a hurry, you should have left yesterday. Sometimes, you just have to out think the traffic and use a little sense. Avoiding times of heavy gridlock and skirting metropolitan cities should ease the driving chores. If things get too congestive, take the off-ramp and find a nice spot to play a game of Hearts. The middle lane is the best bet for highways, since it lakes the speed and frequent off-ramps of the other two. Be sure to steer clear of alcohol, fatiguing medications, and Chicago between the hours of 7a.m-7 p.m. - but you knew that already, didn't you?

As our friends at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association like to say, driving is different, not difficult. I couldn't agree more, especially after a little quality time getting to know the particular quirks of the vehicle. And while the typical RV lacks much of the driving accoutrement of that flashy import, just think - it's not much fun sleeping, cooking, and lounging about in a Lexus, is it? Travel well.

Article written by Brent Peterson for the November 2008 issue of the Camp Club USA E-newsletter.

Brent is the author of the Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Brent_Peterson/352032

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2532146

6/13/21

Distracted Driving


In life you don’t get do-overs and even if you did, things may not turn out the way you expect. When you drive and use your cellphone, not only can you get a ticket, you can also cause a crash where you could die or kill someone else. U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

6/10/21

Drivetrains 101 | Consumer Reports


A car’s drivetrain is how you get power from the engine to the wheels. Consumer Reports’ expert explains the difference between front-wheel, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel, and four-wheel drive. Check out https://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez

6/07/21

The #1 and #2 Causes of Truck Breakdowns

Our Solutions:

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Michelin
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BRAKE DRUMS & ROTORS
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6/04/21

DRIVING SAFELY NEAR TRACKS

a train going past lowered crossing gates

Quick Tips

  • Trains and cars don't mix.
  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. 
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly.
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it's illegal and deadly. 
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. 
  • If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided, telling them about the stalled vehicle. 
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.
  • When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember it isn't safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.