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Hills: How To Destroy Your Engine in SF

Hills: How To Destroy Your Engine in SF

San Fransisco has notoriously steep hills. Some of the steepest hills for driving in America, to be exact. There is a multitude of issues that can come from driving through San Fransisco hills and many residents pay their dues.

Hills Hurt Your Suspension

If you are a resident and you live on a hill, you’re putting a lot of stress on your suspension. Parking sideways on a 6% grade hill and leaving it there will wear down the suspension system. So much so, that your car might end up lop-sided. A true tip would be to alternate how your car sites. On one day, park your car nose first, and on the next, back in. this will create even wear and save yourself time and money.

A Good Way To Wear Down Your Brakes

When going down, you have to keep your foot on the brakes at all times. Even driving in a lower gear is going to require consistent braking. Purchasing higher-end brake pads are typically the way most San Fransisco residents manage. Although they are more expensive, you’ll be paying more, even in the short run, if you purchase lower quality and cheaper brake pads. Chances are, that if you live in SF, you can afford the higher quality pads anyways.

Transmission Failures

Imagine going up a hill and your RPM’s read 7000, but your miles per hour gauge says 4. If this is the case, then get ready for engine failure. If you’re going uphill, then that makes things worse. Imagine climbing Mount Everest only to find that Kilimanjaro is just after the next ridge. Car transmissions can handle low-gear acceleration, but only so much. If you are consistently driving uphill then perhaps walking or taking the trolly might be the best option to get around. If you arent careful, something is going to blow, and that can cost you more than you think.

Electric Cars: Getting Louder?

Electric Cars: Getting Louder?

Electric cars have become a staple in the auto industry. With noise pollution being a large factor in why consumers purchase these models, the industry is looking at increasing the noise, but why?

Electric Cars: A Silent Issue

Hybrid Cars have been the focus of many issues. A large factor is from pedestrians who have a hearing disability. Another is from children who are not aware of their surroundings. They make up a percentage of electric car accidents.

The Hearing Disabled.

Hybrid cars do not emit enough sound if they are traveling under 30 miles per hour. This means that in low-speed, high pedestrian areas, this can present a problem. For pedestrians who are hard of hearing, this has equated to a larger number of incidences. Typically, louder engines were a signifier that the car was on and running. Thus, A louder engine means that you can hear it coming from a distance away. With hybrid vehicles, even those without impairment have trouble hearing them.

Unaware Children

Reports of children in accidents involving hybrid vehicles have increased. This due to how silent they can be. If a child is running through the parking lot and doesn’t hear the car coming, they might think that it is safe to run out. As reports have shown, this has been the case. A large indicator that a vehicle is approaching is the sound of the engine. Parking lots are where this happens frequently. Children, being children, don’t hear the engine and they think it is safe to run into the road, but unknown to them, there is a vehicle coming, they just can’t hear it.

Electric Cars: Possible Solutions

The original idea was to cut down on the amount of noise that an automobile can produce. With hybrid/electric cars, this was an industry standard. It might seem like adding more noise is working backward from the original intent but it is the spatial awareness that is being worked on. Many industry leaders are experimenting with noise emitting technology that will alert pedestrians that a vehicle driving under 30 mph is nearby. This works perfectly for children and those hard of hearing. Typically low-speed areas are the highest at risk for these situations, so having a vehicle emit a noise that can be registered by everyone is imperative. Parking lots will be much safer for families and friends if their awareness of their surroundings is further expanded.

Some car companies have even decided to create a fake engine noise in order to make areas safer. When the vehicle is driving under 30 mph, a small speaker outside of the vehicle will be triggered and many in the surrounding area will be able to hear it.

Working Backwards

As we have mentioned before, the idea of adding noise to an electric car may seem ironic or at least moving backward, but there are solid arguments and information to state that this might not be the best-case scenario. Especially for pedestrians who have an issue with hearing a vehicle coming up to them. Adding a level of noise will help reduce injuries and accidents for many people on the road and off the road.

8 Trucker Marketing Tips

8 Trucker Marketing Tips

As a professional driver, it is important to market yourself in a way that attracts business. And, that starts with enhancing your value. Not only does a valued truck driver receive higher pay, but they are more likely to be hired by a trucking company and retained for years to come. Apart from this, a valued trucker understands that consistent work comes from being reliable, maintaining a clean record, staying current on regulations and advancing in education. So, here are 8 surefire marketing tips to make yourself more ‘marketable’ to trucking companies.

Tip #1: Choose the right school

It is essential that you start out on the right foot. While it can be difficult for rookies without experience to land a job right away, it is a lot more challenging to secure work if your CDL comes from a less-than-reputable institution. Hence, why you should find a respectable school that incorporates a lot of drive time. As well as one that helps with employment after graduation.

Tip #2: Get Endorsements

Furthermore, obtaining CDL endorsements can increase your annual income. And, if you can continue your education, the courses added to your resume will appeal to potential companies. Keep in mind that specialized training is typically rewarded with a higher salary.

Tip #3: Maintain a clean record

Moreover, no matter how educated, or how much experience you possess, having a bad driving record makes you a liability to your company. You will not be considered a valued truck driver with a series of accidents or load violations. Not to mention, this deems you a high risk to the company’s insurance provider.

Tip #4: Stay current on laws and technology

Undoubtedly, the truck industry is ever changing. With so many new updates and tracking software, it is important that you learn how to use this new technology. A driver that can adapt to new changes is more valuable to companies.

Tip #5: Communicate

To add to the list of marketing tips, fostering good relationships is amongst the top. Establishing a workable rapport with your dispatchers and company is an assured way to becoming a valued trucker.

Tip #6: Present a professional image

This goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway…maintain your hygiene! Nobody wants to be around an ungroomed trucker. Also, be respectful to fellow drivers, staff, and whomever you interact with daily. 

Tip #7: Recognize your worth

When you understand your value, you are more prone to pursue better paying jobs. Also, you are more likely to walk away from companies that treat you poorly. Self-respect goes a long way.

Tip #8: Be dependable

Finally, and self-explanatory, reliability and a willingness to learn speaks volumes to an employer. No one wants to work with a driver they can’t trust or depend on.

Got any more marketing tips to share? Comment below.

Proactive Fleet Management

Proactive Fleet Management

Fleet management is a demanding job but rewarding at the same time. Especially, if your fleet is operating at the optimum level. However, managers with productive fleets possess a few traits that contribute to the overall success of their business.

Goal-Oriented

Fleet managers who set goals are leaders in the industry. From financial objectives, including marketing and purchases, to operational goals involving fuel management and maintenance. In order to be a proactive fleet manager, you must also set goals in other areas as well. Additionally, setting goals for safety, driver productivity, accident prevention, and the likes. In doing so, an effective fleet manager will improve the corporate mission and company culture.

Focus on the People

Moreover, successful fleet managers recognize the importance of their drivers, too. Not to mention, they also establish good, working relationships with everyone connected to the operation. Furthermore, fleet managers should have a solid understanding of the industry, therefore a supportive understanding for what drivers face. Additionally, good fleet management comes from having excellent communication, not only with drivers, but with senior managers, suppliers, and anyone who has a hand in the business. Also, they keep senior management up to date on fleet performance, budgets, new products, and programs.

Surpassing Day-to-Day Fleet Management

In addition to focusing on the people, successful fleet managers excel beyond day-to-day tasks. This means that an exceptional fleet manager will implement new policies and procedures, consequently impacting the company overall. Excellent fleet management can also save the company millions of dollars whether it be through supplies or implementing the right cost-effective solutions.

In brief, fleet managers must be goal-oriented. However, it is also important to select your goals wisely. In addition to building relationships, exceeding beyond what’s expected will undoubtably harvest success.

What makes a great fleet manager? Comment below.

Thinking About Replacing Your Truck Parts?

Thinking About Replacing Your Truck Parts?

Making sure your truck parts are in good working condition is key to a successful haul. Hours on the road is sure to cause wear and tear along the way. While we tend to focus on the bigger parts, we often lose sight of the smaller ones that are equally important. For instance, shocks are a critical component to your truck’s longevity. But, what do they do?

The function of shocks is to help your truck’s suspension by regulating the movement of the springs. Additionally, the piston and hydraulic fluid rests inside the shock absorber. The piston will collide with the hydraulic fluid and absorb the force of the piston upon impact. Therefore, preventing the truck from bouncing all around. Furthermore, shocks allow for a better handle, steering, and control of your vehicle.

Additionally, shocks will prevent hyperextension of air springs, minimize uneven tire wear, and lessen the damage to your cab and chassis.

So, When Should I Replace My Shocks?

There are a couple of warning signs that you should heed to, such as:

  • Imbalanced Tire Wear – If you notice a significant amount of balding or tearing on one side of your tires, then this is a good indicator that your shocks are no longer balancing the weight of the truck as it should.
  • Shock Leak – Furthermore, excessive fluid around your shocks mean that they are worn out. While it is okay to have a thin layer of oil, or misting around the shock, too much is a cause for replacement.
  • Deterioration – Moreover, if your shocks have suffered damage from driving through various terrains, then you should get it inspected. However, if it is broken, then you should certainly replace it. Failing to do so could lead to worse, and more costly complications down the line.
  • Leaf Spring Replacement – Lastly, when it’s time to replace the leaf springs, it’s also recommended that you replace the shock absorbers as well.

What are other indicators that it’s time for a replacement? Comment below.

Intense Heat Can Affect Freight Drivers and the Rails

Intense Heat Can Affect Freight Drivers and the Rails

An unprecedented heat wave continues to disrupt everyday life for people in the Great Plains all the way to the Great Lakes. Temperatures exceeding normal coupled with heavy humidity will really test people in this part of the country. It is and will continue to be truly sweltering when they get outside.

These conditions should definitely be noted by carriers and shippers. In short, these type of conditions can impact driver health. Also, strangely, it can have a serious affect on trains carrying cargo.

In most of Oklahoma and Kansas, temperatures soared beyond 100 degrees. And the heat is expected to spread in all directions from there. This will include places like Oklahoma City, Wichita, Topeka, Minneapolis, Des Moines, St. Louis, Little Rock, Memphis and on and on… Records may not be set in each of these places, nevertheless, it’ll reach the 90s’ to above 100 in most of the major cities in this section of the country. Not to mention, the humidity will be so thick, it’ll feel like an article of clothing you’re actually wearing.

The heat is supposed to be so hot that it will cause some railroad tracks to warp from the pressure. This is not a joke. Railway expert, Jim Blaze, suggested that main line railway tracks, because they suffer extremes of hot and cold, they sometimes buckle. When they buckle, the warped areas are called “sun kinks.” Unfortunately, these sun kinks can result in deforming of the tracks and produce legitimate derailments. This is why track engineers account for historical heat and cold when fixing areas of the track.

Consequently, in times of heat exceeding 100 degrees, track inspectors make a point to really examine the tracks ahead of coming trains. Plus, in these conditions train operators often slow the speed of trains down to avoid in possible derailments. This, of course, then negatively impact freight schedules.

Freight Driver Health

Now, when it comes to truck driver health during these extreme hot periods, it’s critical that drivers pack extra water and wear light colored and loose-fitting clothes in case they have to step into the heat. Plus, they should take breaks in air-conditioned spaces, not outdoors. Plus, with humid, heavy air, pollutants can get trapped so it’s wise to simply avoid the outdoors. After all, it must be noted that heat is the weather condition responsible for the most deaths each year.

Everything you need to know about shocks

Everything you need to know about shocks

If you want to get into the trucking industry, you’re going to need to know all about the mechanics of a truck. Specifically, you’ll need to be able to identify important aspects of the vehicle. Moreover, this will help you learn how to maintain the vehicle so it keeps running. Also, you’ll be better equipped to make repairs or upgrades when necessary. Today, you can start the learning process by reading further for a quick breakdown on shocks.


Heavy Duty Shocks


You may not think much about shocks, but they are very important when it comes to hauling cargo in large trucks. As it turns out, shocks are crucial to supporting large trucks as they haul heavy loads of cargo, day in and day out.


Essentially, shocks help to support the truck’s suspension system. Specifically, they do this by managing the movement of the springs.


When a large truck drives over long stretches of road for days on end, the this can create wear and tear on the vehicle. Fortunately, the shocks can help the truck stay flexible on the roads to prevent damage. This is especially important in areas of rough terrain and twisty and winding roads.


More Details


Shock absorbers contain a piston and hydraulic fluid. When an impact, such as rough terrain hitting the tires, occurs, the shocks are engaged, meaning they compress. Then, the force of the piston is absorbed by the hydraulic fluid colliding into the piston. Essentially, this process absorbs impacts and prevents the truck from bouncing or moving erratically.


Therefore, shocks are incredibly important. A well-maintained shock system ensures a truck is easier to drive. Additionally, this reduces driver fatigue behind the wheel as well.

Presidential Candidate, Andrew Yang, Defends Truckers

Presidential Candidate, Andrew Yang, Defends Truckers

Campaigning in earnest for the 2020 presidential campaign has begun. The huge number of candidates are starting to separate themselves by emphasizing various talking points. Andrew Yang, a California based candidate, is using his platform to really take aim at the dangers of automation in regards to the economy. More specifically, he’s been discussing the negative impact automation could have on the trucking industry.

At a recent forum in Stuart, Iowa, Yang wondered aloud, “What are the truck drivers going to do when the robot trucks come and start driving themselves?” Yang went on to suggest that the country needs to devise a plan in order to cope with the loss of these jobs. In fact, he asserted that truck driving was the single most common job in as many as 29 states.

The rest of Yang’s discussion on automation and trucking centered on the notion that more and more auto companies are investing in the technology. Consequently, he worries that if there isn’t a comprehensive effort to smooth the transition between automation and our current system, then at least 3 million truckers could be out of a job.

Potential Solution

This number is jarring and does demand that we take a hard look at this soon-to-problem. Yang’s idea is that we offer a universal basic income plan, he’s labeled the “Freedom Dividend.” This is meant to help offset the job loss caused by automation. The plan stipulates that $1,000 would be awarded each month to every U.S. adult up to age 64, funded somewhat by a 10 percent”  value added tax” on tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Yang makes some interesting points and his discussion digs deeper into the threat of automation. He maintains that if you take away all the truck driving jobs because they become automated, it’s not just the 3.5 million truck drivers affected. It’s also the people who work at the diners, truck stops, and motels. They will be devastated when trucks are no longer operated by people.

What do you all think? Is Yang on to something with his tax plan?

Express lanes will be added to U.S. Highway 101

Express lanes will be added to U.S. Highway 101

Express lanes will soon be added to the U.S. Highway 101 in order to alleviate the nightmarish traffic congestion between San Francisco and the Peninsula.

The project broke ground last month . It will span 22 miles from I-380 in San Bruno to the edge of Santa Clara County. The project has a budget of $513 million and is expected to be completed in 2022.

Many of the region’s large employers rely on this stretch of highway to get their employees to work. These are tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Apple.

The highway causes $5.4 billion in lost economic productivity every year, according to Rosanne Foust, president and CEO of San Mateo Country Economic Development Association.

The new express way will benefit the carpool commuters and tech buses in the region. It will provide free access to a lane designated for vehicles carrying three or more passengers. Other vehicles will eventually be able to access the lane by paying a toll via FastTrack.

Caltrans, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority and City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County spearheaded the joint project. They selected Nebraska-based Kiewit Corporation as the contractor
.

Funding

Facebook and Google funded the environmental phase. They also contributed $50 Million to the project’s construction budget, according to Foust. Both companies rely heavily on the highway to transport its employees in tech shuttles to and from its Menlo Park and Mountain View headquarters.

The California Gas Tax will account for $200 million of the project’s funding. The controversial tax rose the price of gas in the state by between 34.7 cents and 46.7 cents per gallon.

Officials project the 101 express lanes to be the most heavily used in the area. There is an expected average monthly express lane trips well above 1.2 million, according to a recent SMCTA meeting presentation.

Bill Aimed at Carbon Emissions in Trucking

Bill Aimed at Carbon Emissions in Trucking

On Friday a law that would phase out diesel trucks in the state of California was proposed. It’s part of a comprehensive effort by state legislators to rein in pollution and temper greenhouse emissions. Nevertheless, it undoubtedly will face fierce resistance from trucking companies and other corporations that depend on transporting products in semi-trucks.

Senator Nancy Skinner’s proposed bill would mandate that the Air Resources Board require a 40 percent cut in diesel emissions by 2030 and by 2050 that would increase to an 80 percent reduction. However, according to the experts, this rapid reduction wouldn’t be feasible without the complete overhaul of the trucking industry.

Currently, heavy and medium-duty buses and trucks comprise 7 percent of the vehicles out on the roads of California. However, these trucks are also pumping out 20 percent of the heat-trapping carbon emissions in our atmosphere.

This data comes courtesy of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization. Furthermore, these size trucks also create 33 percent of the state’s nitrogen oxides, which is the major ingredient in smog.

Currently, heavy and medium-duty buses and trucks comprise 7 percent of the vehicles out on the roads of California. However, these trucks are also pumping out 20 percent of the heat-trapping carbon emissions in our atmosphere.

Why the Urgency?

Senator Skinner made a point to say, “While California is a leader in climate protection, we still have dirty air.” She went on to say that asthma, lung and heart disease and other respiratory issues are on the rise in low-income communities that happen to be located near highways.

Part of the bill also appoints an undetermined amount of money to go to the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. This money would be earmarked for the development of alternate fuels and technology.

The bill is the most recent bit of maneuvering by the state to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions issue. This runs counter to President Trump’s drive to lessen fuel efficiency standards.

Truckers, and others on the front lines of the industry, are generally not on board with this bill. They are staunch defenders of diesel trucks and simply don’t think electric trucks will work.

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