Proper Care of Your Vehicle

October24

Maintaining your vehicle may seem like a big responsibility. Most individuals are not knowledgeable about auto mechanics and it can seem overwhelming to know what to do and when to care for your vehicle. Because a car is expensive, you hope that it will continue running smoothly for many years. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to extend the life of your vehicle.

1. Oil Change

Car repair shops in Bloomington IL offer oil change services. The engine oil is crucial to a properly running vehicle because clean oil reduces friction and over-heating of your engine. Luckily, it’s not a mystery how often you should change your oil. Consult your car’s owner’s manual for recommendations. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, most experts recommend every 5,000 to 7,000 miles for newer cars.

2. Fluid Check

Your vehicle has other fluids that need to be filled to the proper level. Transmission, brake, power steering and coolant fluids should be checked each month. You’ll likely need to take your vehicle to an auto shop to top off some of these fluids. If you have a fluid leak, take your vehicle to a service shop to identify which fluid is leaking and to have it repaired.

3. Tire Inspection

The tires on your vehicle also need to be inflated to the proper PSI. Check the pressure in your tires before a road trip and at least once a month. The right tire pressure ensures that the tread is worn evenly and prevents dangerous blowouts.

4. Tire Rotation

In addition to the right tire pressure, the tires need to be rotated every six months or 8,000 miles at the latest. A tire rotation involves taking all the tires off and moving them to a different location on the vehicle. This process ensures that all tires are worn evenly.

Maintaining your vehicle is essential for driver and passenger safety. Proper maintenance will also increase the life of your vehicle.  

3 Important Things Truck Drivers Should Consider

October24

Driving a truck conjures up images of the open road, freedom, taking that highway into a promising future. However, drivers of big rigs must take care of a lot of practical details before the journey can begin or continue. Here are three important things truck drivers in Michigan and every state need to consider.

Love the Lifestyle

Driving a big rig across the country is about much more than traveling from place to place. Truck drivers have a specific lifestyle. To succeed in this industry, they must work long hours. Reaching each destination takes time. Sometimes those hours are empty, arrowing down a lonesome highway at 3 a.m. Drivers should be prepared to spend a lot of time alone.

Maintain Your Rig

Trucks must be maintained regularly. Long hours on the road take their toll on parts and systems. Regular checks and servicing are imperative for the safety of drivers and everyone else on the road. Big rigs need special facilities for repairs. Not just anyone can change one of these tires, for example. Drivers should be familiar with a truck and trailer maintenance and repair shop Taylor MI and in other places along their routes. Some of these specialty service facilities even fabricate some parts onsite.

Take Care of Your Health

Sitting behind the wheel for hours at a time can take a toll on drivers’ health. They should develop routines to keep themselves physically fit. They need both active cardio exercise as well as weight lifting to maintain muscles. In addition, drivers should avoid fatty, unhealthy foods filled with processed sugar. Healthier options are easy, and they can make a big difference in drivers’ overall health.

Drivin’ Down the Highway

Truck drivers may have what seem like numerous attractive perks to their jobs, but they also must pay attention to practical considerations. They have to maintain the health of both their big rigs and their bodies, and most of all, they must love what they do. When these things come together, drivers can look to the future with joy.

What It’s Like to Be a Truck Driver

October23

Maybe you’ve heard how much money truck drivers can make, and you’re considering if the career might be right for you. Whether you want to drive an eighteen-wheeler or run a 24 hour truck service, you should be familiar with what truck drivers do all day besides hauling loads. There’s a lot more to the job than just cruising interstates and highways. You have to be willing to interact with customers and dispatchers and maintain relationships with people you drive for to ensure you continue getting their business.

Early Mornings

The first thing to know is that most truck drivers start their day before the sun comes up. It’s not uncommon to get up and accept a load at 3 or 4 a.m. if it’s far away. These are prime time spots to get heavy loads that payout the most. Waking up early also helps them to have ample time to check their truck and complete any required logs without losing valuable driving hours. They also use this time to check weather conditions and traffic updates so they can plan the quickest route to the pickup and drop off destinations.

Long Days

Driving a truck can be a tedious job, especially if you don’t like long road trips. Although some drivers have the option to only work locally, the further they haul a load the more they can get paid for it. This means some drivers will be willing to drive one or two states over to pick up cargo and deliver it to yet another state. This can lead to long days on the road and sometimes overnight trips to deliver one load. There are rules for how long a driver is allowed to operate his truck without a break, so distance deliveries can easily turn into overnight trips if you’re forced to rest after eight hours of driving.

Nights on the Road

Spending a night on the road is a little different for a trucker. Most drivers who work long hauls will have a sleep truck, which means there’s a bunk in the back of the cab where they can comfortably spend the night. These drivers might park at a truck stop to grab some food and a shower, then spend the night in their truck. Drivers without a sleeper truck would have to find places to stay along their route because trucks can rarely travel into cities on the narrow roads.

Spruce up Your Home’s Exterior with These Tips

October22

As a homeowner, you’re likely always looking for new ways to keep your home in great condition. If you’re looking for ways to spruce up your home so it looks great, here are some helpful tips that will get your home looking showroom ready in no time.

Siding or Painting

A great way to spruce up your home’s exterior so that it pops is to give it a fresh new color. If your home is sided, opt to change out the siding for a bold new color that will look great and last for years to come. If your home is painted, you can hire someone to handle your house painting Baton Rouge. Don’t be afraid to choose a bold color that will stand out and give your home some personality, or to play with contrasting colors for the window trim, shutters, and doors. 

Update Landscaping

If your landscaping is beginning to look drab or dated, you can freshen it up by adding some new plants into the mix. Plan out your landscaping to see if there is anything that you want to remove and where you want to add new plants. If you want a pop of color, plant bold florals that will attract the eye. For a more subdued look, stick with shrubs, bushes, and hostas. 

Lighting

Proper lighting can offer your home a lot of interest. Purchase lighting that will illuminate your lawn, driveway, and front door so that it stands out at night. As an added bonus, having lots of lighting around your home can also deter would-be criminals from targeting your home, as there are fewer places where they can enter your home undetected. 

Making your home stand out and look great doesn’t have to be a daunting task. These projects are sure to help your home stand out as a showpiece and ensure that it looks great. 

3 Types of Commercial Trucks

September30

The Department of Transportation enforces regulations on public roads to keep drivers and passengers safe. However, accidents can still occur with a commercial motor vehicle that fails to meet proper safety standards. Since they’re larger and heavier than most vehicles, accidents involving commercial trucks are more likely to cause serious injury or death. It’s important to know the three types of commercial vehicles companies typically use to transport essential goods.

Delivery Trucks

Delivery trucks are smaller than most commercial vehicles, that fact alone doesn’t protect drivers from serious accidents. Since delivery-based businesses are on the rise, more of them hire as many drivers as possible to stay competitive by securing deliveries. However, companies that emphasize speed over safety puts motorists and pedestrians at risk. However, by training drivers how to safely operate delivery trucks, companies end up spending significantly less on property damage expenses and medical treatment.

Flatbed Trucks

Landscaping businesses use flatbed trucks to transport large timber and gardening supplies, typically bringing goods from a consumer store to a residential area. Flatbed vehicles sometimes transport natural waste to recycling services. They also carry farm commodities such as grains with tires that gain traction on muddy roads. However, mobile truck repair Dallas TX for flatbed vehicles tend to be costly.

Tanker Trucks

Tanker trucks carry a variety of liquids and gases. Although most companies exercise precaution by sending tanker trucks that transport dry goods, other organizations take the risk of sending trucks that transport hazardous chemicals. Unfortunately, in the case of an accident, there is an increased risk for fires and explosions to occur on the road. The potential widespread extent of damage can impact other drivers and passengers.

In the context of an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, identifying what type of vehicle was involved will help strengthen your credibility in the case of a lawsuit. Contacting an attorney who will help you gain adequate compensation is also an important part of the legal process.

4 Ways To Improve the Look and Performance of Your Vehicle

September26

Whether you want to spruce up your old car or turn your new one into your dream vehicle, you have a lot of options for upgrades. Consider these four ways you can improve your current ride.

1. Tint the Windows

Tinted window installation Elmont NY has more benefits than just looking cool. Tinted windows can block up to 99% of the UV radiation from sunlight, which can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Window tints also provide additional protection against flying shards of glass by helping hold the windshield together when the glass breaks. Tinting can also help keep your upholstery from fading and block some of the heat from the sun. Finally, window tinting helps reduce glare from the sun, which can make driving safer and provides the occupants of your vehicle with increased privacy.

2. Upgrade the Tires

A new set of premium wheels can be a great way to improve both the look and the performance of your vehicle. High-quality tires can improve handling, increase safety, improve fuel efficiency and provide another option for customizing the look of your ride.

3. Change the Spark Plugs

One of the best things about this upgrade is that it is easy to do yourself and inexpensive to buy the parts. Better spark plugs can translate to increased engine power and more efficient fuel usage.

4. Add a Back-Up Camera

Back-up cameras can make tricky maneuvers a breeze, including parallel parking or backing out of a space in a busy parking lot. These onboard cameras allow you to see what is behind you without turning around and usually come with graphics to help you park or back up safely.

These four upgrades can help you take advantage of new safety technology and improve the look and performance of your vehicle. Consider adding one or more of them during your next vehicle upgrade.

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Car Maintenance Tips for Your Teen Driver

September19

Teen drivers must take in an overwhelming amount of information. Learning how to drive safely and follow all rules are priorities, of course. At some point, teens will likely assume responsibility for car care, either that of the family car or of one they own. As a parent, don’t let your teenage driver off the hook; make certain they learn how to maintain a car, a valuable lifelong skill, by performing the following tasks.

Drive Appropriately

Novice drivers should avoid driving aggressively, not just because doing is safe but also is mechanically advantageous. Slamming on the brakes wears them and the tires out prematurely. Accelerating hard stresses the engine and transmission, and it can lead to unnecessary flexplate or flywheel replacement Bristol RI.

Replace Essentials Routinely

If driven responsibly, your teenager’s car should need big-ticket items replaced only occasionally. Other accessories should be changed more often according to the service manual. These items include oil and oil filters, air filters and wiper blades. Additionally, they should rotate the tires as specified.

Monitor for Problems

Go over how to spot potential problems by having them do the following: First, keep an eye on tires, the most important car part because it keeps the driver safely on the road. Gauge the tread depth monthly and air pressure weekly. Second, pop the hood and examine the different components. Check fluid levels, belt play and hose pliability. Third, pay attention to dashboard warning lights. Read the owners manual section that explains what each represents.

Perform Regular Service

Have your young driver follow through on additional routine services. He or she should meet with a trusted mechanic and discuss the owners manual recommendations.

Teenage drivers will benefit from learning the basics of car maintenance early on. Doing so will ensure not only that their car will last a long time, but also not leave them stranded far from home.

 

3 Things to Know about Fair Trade Coffee

September10

Fair Trade coffee is one major way to produce coffee ethically and sustainably. The phrase gets thrown around as a blanket term for ethical consumption, but Fair Trade USA is actually a nonprofit organization dedicated to monitoring the production of certain crops and crafts to ensure fair treatment of workers, artisans and the environment.

1. Fair Trade Certification

Producers like coffee farms have to meet certain standards and regulations in order to receive Fair Trade certification. These include a commitment to sustainability, paying employees a fair wage and ethical business practices. The Fair Trade certification ensures that products are responsibly sourced and that companies are reliably committed to workers’ wellbeing.

2. Ethical Consumption and Sustainability

Fair Trade is all about educating consumers about producing goods sustainably and practicing ethical consumption. Fair Trade products always carry the Fair Trade seal to bring awareness to the effort. Finding fair trade products like coffee is pretty easy now. You can do things like purchase a Fair Trade coffee subscription so you can order online instead of going out to the store to find what you’re looking for.

Ethical consumption and sustainability incorporate a lot of different goals. Fair Trade products should be environmentally friendly and sourced from companies that actively work to improve the communities where production takes place.

3. Funding Community Needs

When a company seeks certification, Fair Trade USA sends in a team of auditors to assess the company and its factories. Once certification is granted, an audit is conducted annually to ensure continued compliance and Fair Trade USA grants something called a Premium Fund. The fund is meant to further improve the community where production takes place and includes managers and employees to figure out how best to utilize the money.

Ultimately, Fair Trade coffee allows for positive impacts on the environment, better benefits for workers and more transparent business practices.

Snail Mail and the Ballot Crisis

September10

Since the move to a digital world, the U.S. Postal Service has struggled to remain relevant to the world of communication. Emails and text messaging have taken the place of greeting cards and love letters. Though the Postal Service is still needed to help make postcard ideas for real estate agents a successful marketing strategy, many businesses rely on sending faxes, using cloud-storage, and e-documents for their business communication needs. The general services that once kept the citizens of the nation talking to each other have been deemed snail mail, and in keeping with the perceptions of cumbersome and inefficient operations, these services are under scrutiny for their potential impact on this year’s election.

A Nation in Need

In the wake of the coronavirus, many want to pursue voting by absentee ballot in order to avoid potential exposure to the virus. According to the USPS, a massive move toward voting by mail will overwhelm the system, the severity of which could prohibit millions of ballots from being counted by voting deadlines. Just as the American public has exhibited a reduced need for the agency’s services and infrastructure, it now seems to be mission-critical.

A System Without Resources

The USPS has been losing money for years, and in June, a new postmaster general was appointed to help stop the bleeding. In order to make the agency more profitable, immediate actions include cutting back on overtime and limiting late delivery trips. For the present, efficiency is the secondary goal. Profitability is the first. In an election year, this shift in operations could undermine the importance of letting every vote count. Timely mail service is what ensures that absentee ballots count, as deadlines loom and an agency is ill-fitted to address the influx of ballots.

Though the election is still several weeks away, the USPS crisis doesn’t seem to have a strategy in place to prepare for it. The only advice is to send in your ballot early, as snail mail may not get it there in time.