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Factors To Consider When Choosing Options For Your New Pickup Truck

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As you start shopping for a brand new pickup truck, such as a Metro Ford, avoid falling madly in love with features you never previously considered and that add a lot more money to the sticker price. Unless you have an unlimited budget, consider your optional features carefully so you’re not scrambling to make your car payment every month. By going easy on the bells and whistles, you may be able to afford a more powerful truck or a bigger cab than you could otherwise. Two Potentially Frivolous Options  Vehicles of the 21st century have increasingly large numbers of options available, some of which once only seemed like science fiction.  Wireless Routers You can get a cheaper version of this technology from your cell phone company, and it doesn’t restrict you to using it in the truck. It’s known as a mobile hotspot device, and it lets you use wireless technology anywhere you go without having to rely on Wi-Fi. Touch-Activated Controls for Heating & Cooling These look streamlined compared with the systems that work with knobs, buttons and switches. However, the small area you need to touch can be difficult to find when you’re driving, which can be a safety issue. More Reasonable Options Instead of the flashiest accessory features, stick with the more reasonable ones that are truly useful unless you have an unlimited amount of cash to spend.  Running Boards Most trucks still don’t come standard with running boards. Even if you’re a relatively tall person who finds it easy to step up into your truck, your passengers may have a bit more difficulty. You can order your vehicle with boards or get them through an aftermarket shop.  More Towing Capacity This is important if you want to haul a big boat or camper, or a heavy vehicle on a trailer. Some pickup truck models now are available with more towing capacity than ever before.  Cameras for Better Viewing Cameras on the truck provide views that mirrors can’t give you. If you need to park in tight spaces or you love off-road adventures, you’ll appreciate 360-degree cameras.  Ambient Lighting This feature is similar to that of riding in a train when the subdued lighting comes on along the bottom of the coach and elsewhere. In a car, it’s generally on the bottom and around the center console and door handles.  Ambient lighting may seem frivolous, but research has found some advantages. For instance, drivers and passengers don’t have to use a dome light to find certain controls or other objects. Having the dome light on at night interferes with driving vision. Drivers also have better space perception and feel safer in a vehicle with ambient lighting. Safety Options Several safety features that once were optional now are mandated by law on new cars and trucks. Airbags, for example, were not standard components until the 1990s.  Today, a reverse sensor system alerts you if you get too close to an object while backing up. That option will likely become standard in the future. In addition, blind spot alerts let you know that another vehicle is alongside you when you want to change lanes or merge. These are smart features to have in a big pickup truck. Concluding Thoughts Years ago, power windows and keyless door locks were luxury...

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The Lowdown On Hauling Lumber: 3 Tips For Safely Securing And Hauling Lumber In Your Truck Bed

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

From moving to a new home to picking up new furniture to hauling equipment around for your business, the benefits of a pickup truck are easy to see. Unfortunately, you may not be familiar with the safest methods to securely load large, heavy items. Considering 25,000 crashes occur each year due to debris in the road, properly securing items is imperative. If you are a home or business owner planning a construction project that requires multiple pieces of lumber in various shapes and sizes, you may struggle loading your truck’s bed. Fortunately, using this guide, you can safely load and haul the lumber for your project. Equip Your Truck Pickup trucks vary in design and capability, so equipping your truck for frequent hauls may not be necessary. Some models include a standard liner to protect the interior, but many do not. In addition, the bed length varies according to the truck’s specific make and model. To combat these issues, these upgrades are available to equip your truck for safe and secure hauls: Liner – Bed liners protect the interior of your truck, but they also help secure your load. Constructed out of weather-resistant rubber or a durable plastic or vinyl, liners prevent cargo items from shifting during transport. Bed Extender –  While a full size truck with a long bed offers an average 8-foot length, it still may not be sufficient space for hauling large pieces of lumber. Since your tailgate is unable to handle a lot of weight, do not rest the longer pieces of lumber on top. Equipping your truck with a bed extender offers added space when you need to haul longer pieces of lumber. When not necessary, you can close up the extender to bring your bed back to its normal length. Tie-Down Points – Tie down points along the perimeter of your bed are standard in most truck models. These points allow you to anchor tie straps and tarps to the bed, which will help prevent lost, stolen, or moving cargo. If your bed does not offer them, install them before hauling any type of cargo. Secure With Supplies If you are transporting your lumber a short distance, you may feel that your cargo is safe and secure. However, securing items in your truck bed is necessary no matter what the distance. Use the following tips to ensure your lumber is secure inside the bed: Tie Downs – Rope and bungee cords prevent your lumber from moving when anchored down. If you plan on frequently hauling heavy items and lumber, invest in a quality set of heavy-duty ratchet straps. The ratchet allows you to tighten and hold heavier items to prevent any movement while in your truck bed. Wrap – When transporting multiple boards, wrap them for added protection. Use stretch cling film to wrap the ends of longer boards together. Covers – To protect other drivers on the road from flying pieces of wood and shivers, consider covering your lumber with a tarp or cargo net. The tarp or net should cover the entire portion of your bed without any excess that will flap over. Anchor the cargo cover to your tie down points. Drive Safely Hauling items can add a great deal of weight to your truck. This additional weight will change...

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Car Care Tips: Putting The Pieces Together After A Collision

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Whether you’ve just had your first accident, or it’s just been a long time since you needed to handle one, getting your car repaired after a collision can be somewhat of a tricky process. If you’re unfamiliar with the best practices to ensure good, affordable repairs, then it may be a good idea to brush up on the ways you can get the most out of your insurance and your mechanic. Make Your Insurance Policy Work For You After an accident, the first thing any driver does is contact his or her insurance company to make a claim, especially if one or more vehicles was damaged in the collision. Once your claim is approved, your insurance company will furnish you with a list of auto body shops or general mechanics that work with the insurance company. However, you aren’t obligated to use these shops exclusively. They’re simply recommended for their low prices, good service, or partnership with the insurance company. Depending on whether you rent or own your car, and your insurance policy, the company may simply write you a check for the value of the repairs, which means you might be able to keep a little of the money if you can find a mechanic who will work for less than the insurance-recommended auto shops. Getting multiple competitive estimates may help you to reach this end, but you should keep in mind… Estimates Aren’t Just About Prices While you may already know the financial benefits of getting multiple estimates before committing to one shop, the side bonuses of going in for many estimates are not so readily apparent. When you visit the auto shop’s office to request an estimate, you can gauge the quality of their customer service by the way they treat you. You can also take the opportunity to ask important questions, like how long repairs will potentially take, whether or not OEM parts will be used, and whether the mechanic offers any sort of guarantee or warranty on the repairs. The more estimates you request from different shops, the better your chance of finding not only a good price, but also quality service — which is why it’s important to get as many as possible. You Can Double Check Your Mechanic’s Work Many drivers feel rude looking over their car after it’s been repaired because they think it might make the mechanic feel insulted. However, from the body shop’s point of view, it’s important to catch mistakes early so as to prevent having to do free repairs on even more serious damage to your car. Make sure all repaired panels are aligned correctly and the gaps are even. Wide or misaligned gaps in panels can be a sign of misplacement, which could lead to more severe damage in the event of an accident, and may also cause worse wear and tear as panels rub together. Be sure that your car’s paint job is also satisfactory before you drive away. Sometimes, cars can have problems that aren’t readily apparent during collision repairs. Inform your mechanic if any warning lights come on when you turn on the car, or if it has any strange sounds that weren’t there before the crash. Mistakes happen, but a good auto body shop won’t rest until your repairs are complete. As...

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Brake Problems? Follow This Handy Symptom Sheet

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There’s nothing scarier than realizing your brakes aren’t functioning as they should while on the road. Issues can range from very mild to serious, so it’s always best to check them on a regular basis. If you happen to find an issue while driving or during your daily checks, this handy symptom sheet will help you better determine what’s causing the issue. Pedal Goes Right to the Floor With No Pressure This is quite common in total brake failures. Without question, you should never drive in a vehicle that does this. The most common cause for issue lies in the master cylinder. It can also mean your hydraulic system is faulty. There’s often a bit of variation with this type of issue, so you can experience mostly normal brake function with just occasional issues, or an issue that prevents use altogether.  In general, if you take your foot off of the pedal and it sinks, you have a problem that needs to be addressed by a specialist. Pedal Feels “Marshmallowy” When Pressed Often, vehicles are brought into brake specialty centers with the complaint that the pedal feels “spongy” or “marshmallowy.” The pedal itself can still be pressed but goes down much more quickly with less resistance. This is usually due to excess air in the system. You may need to bleed off some of this air if you know how. This should be done a little at a time until the right resistance is found. If you still experience sponging, double-check your brake fluid to ensure you have enough. Low brake fluid also has this symptom. Loud Squealing or Squelching When You Press the Pedal The sound of two metal parts rubbing together isn’t just bad, it’s almost as bone-chilling as nails on a chalkboard. Above all other issues, this is likely one of the most common that brings vehicle owners into the shop.  In a vast majority of cases, it happens because the brake pads themselves have simply met their match time-wise. Your brakes will often still function close to normal, but you should not drive unless you absolutely have to — total brake failure is possible in this situation, and may happen very suddenly. There’s an easy way to prevent this from happening. Change your brake pads out regularly, especially if you do a fair amount of traveling on a daily basis. Most have a wear indicator to help you tell when they’re too worn to be effective. Brake Pedal is Locked Into Place The exact opposite of a spongy brake problem, brake pedals that don’t move at all are another common symptom. Some mechanics refer to this as a “hard brake pedal” or “jammed pedal.” It can happen in the middle of driving, but is much more common in vehicles that aren’t frequently driven. For obvious reasons, this type of issue means you must call a tow truck. Never drive with a locked pedal, even if you are confident you can drive slowly on backroads or side streets. Accidents can still happen — while you may be predictable, other people, animals and objects may not. When the brake pedal jams, it can be complex to source the issue. It may be caused by: A defective brake booster check valve Lack of vacuum (required to provide pedal action)...

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Types Of Backing Up You Will Be Tested For During Your CDL Test And Tips For Execution

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So you have big dreams of buying a semi-truck and heading out on the open road with a brand new trucking career. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Before you can even think about buying your own semi and starting your career, you first have to obtain your commercial driver’s license, or CDL. Getting your CDL can be a grueling process, and you will quickly learn that driving a large semi-truck is a lot different than driving your car down the road. One of the biggest things that you will have to get used to is learning how to back up your semi-truck for the portion of the CDL that tests your skills in this area. There are a number of different back-up maneuvers that you will be tested for, as well as a few tips to help you learn to back up like a pro. Methods Of Backing Up In order to learn to back up effectively, you first need to know the different types of backing up that are commonly used by truck drivers: Straight Backing Up – This is basically what it sounds like, backing up in a straight line. For the CDL backing up test you will be required to pull forward through a line of cones, and then drive straight back without hitting the cones. This is a fairly simple maneuver, but still takes some getting used to doing with a large truck. Offset Backing Up – Offset backing up is a bit like straight backing up, only although you begin by backing up straight, you are required to back up into a different lane either on the right or left side of the main lane that you are in so that you end up straight within that lane. Alley Docking – This type of backing up is perhaps the hardest of all. For this type of backing up you must pull forward, then back into a specific spot, usually at a 90 degree angle to the left. During your CDL test, you must back into this spot that is surrounded completely by cones without knocking them over. Tips Of course, nothing will help you become a pro like constant practice, but keep this advice in mind while you are learning to help improve your learning process: Get a Feel For the Truck – Nothing will help you more than spending a lot of time driving a semi-truck for practice. The more familiar you become with a semi-truck, the easier any sort of maneuvers will be. Spending time driving a semi-truck will make you familiar with the tightness or looseness of the steering, it’s braking and accelerating thresholds, as well as its range of motion. Embrace Your Mistakes – Instead of panicking when you make mistakes and immediately removing them from your mind, embrace them. Examine your mistakes and determine what the steps were that preceded them, the conditions, and anything else that you can observe. Observing the conditions of your mistakes will help prevent you from making them in the future. Take Mental Notes of What Contributes to Success – When you do something correctly, you should also observe the conditions, just like when you make mistakes. Figure out the methods you used when you did something right. Were you sitting a certain way?...

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5 Rules For Taxi Ettiquette That Everyone Needs To Know

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Cab drivers, especially in big cities such as New York, are often believed to be finicky. There seem to be some unwritten rules of how you should comport yourself when you get into the back of a cab. If you do not ride in taxis very often, you may find yourself lost when it comes to how you should behave. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ensure that any cab you hop into will not turn into a negative experience. Here are five rules for taxi etiquette that everyone should abide by. Keep Your Musical Taste to Yourself Even if you’ve had a rough day like “The Dude,” you should probably keep your musical opinions to yourself. The iconic scene in The Big Lebowski wherein the cab driver abruptly tosses the main character out of the cab for his hatred of the music is not too far from the truth. The rule of thumb pertaining to a cab driver’s musical choice is that you never tell him to turn it off. If the music is too loud, you can politely ask for him to turn it down, but don’t expect him to comply every time. Think of it as his place of business and he can do whatever he wants. How Do You Say That? America is a melting pot of different cultures and ethnic groups, which applies heavily to the world of taxis. Many cab drivers are from all walks of life, and may have names that are difficult for your average American to pronounce. If you do not know how to say a cab driver’s name, just revert to “Sir” or “Ma’am” to get your point across. The worst thing you can possibly do in this scenario is refer to the driver as “Mr. Taxi Driver.” Not only is that insulting, but it can be denigrating. How would you feel if someone came to your work and called you “Mr. Cubicle Worker”? He’s Not Your Personal Chauffeur If you are taking a cab, you should know that it is uncouth to make a bunch of pit stops along the way. It doesn’t matter if you are stopping to pick something up or picking up a few of your buddies down the road. The taxi cab is not a clown car, and the driver is not your personal chauffeur. You’d be wise to take separate cabs. Not only does this put the driver in a spot of inconvenience, it is also illegal to have more than four people in a cab at once. Chow Down Elsewhere So, you’re slammed at work and your lunch break has been cut short. You may think that grabbing a quick bite and eating it in the cab will save you some extra time. Unbeknownst to you, this is one of the biggest pet peeves that cab drivers harbor towards their customers. The back of a cab is not your personal restaurant, so never eat any meal in the back. Rather you realize it or not, cab drivers have to clean the back seat of their cabs very frequently throughout the day. The last thing they want to see is a plethora of microscopic crumbs to get rid of before they pick up their next customer. Know How to...

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