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Side Underride Guards: Are they worth it?

The side underride helps to stop cars from moving under a semi-trailer. We have all seen it in the movies. An epic police chase where the hero escapes on a motorcycle only to be blocked by large semi-truck. There is nowhere left to turn, the cops are right on his tail, but he still has one option. That’s right. He slides right under the moving semi, mere inches from the deadly wheels. Unfortunately, that amazing shot maybe even further removed from reality. After a recent $42 million verdict, a tragic car crash has brought massive attention to the important question regarding the necessity of underride guards on semis. A 16-year-old driver, Riley Hein was killed on the interstate in New Mexico when he was involved in an underride crash. The car was wedged underneath the trailer of the semi and dragged for half a mile before catching fire and bursting into flames. All of this, unbeknownst to the driver. HDT and the truck driver were found negligent to Riley Hein’s death and the company later emphasized their commitment to having all their trailers equipped with safety guards below. And, even though the company was found guilty of negligence, the jury ultimately “determined that Utility’s trailers were ... Read More

Landstar Awards Safe and Excellent Driving

Landstar has pledged to continue its tradition of awarding a new truck to one lucky Roadstar or Million Mile Safe Driver. The company randomly pulled from a pool of 1,086 active participants this year. The goal if this kind of initiative is to reward safe, effective, friendly driving! The winner will receive a 2020 Freightliner Cascadia 126. The brand new truck comes in a beautiful viper blue and contains a Detroit DD15, 14.8 L engine with a Detroit DT12 automated transmission. Pilot Flying J is sponsoring this year's giveaway. There are currently four finalists. How Does Landstar Pick Its Winners? To qualify, drivers must have achieved one of two huge benchmarks in their career. Firstly, a driver can reach one million or more miles safely driven. The company has three categories for this: one million miles, two million miles, and three million miles. Once a driver is a Million Mile Safe Driver, Landstar automatically enters their name. Secondly, a driver can be a Roadstar. Landstar awards the Roadstar title to owner-operators for service excellence. Roadstars are well-known for safety, productivity, and incredible customer service. In other words: this is a pretty prestigious award. ... Read More

Charging Stations Hold Key To EV Emergence

Charging stations across the country, let alone globally, are the main tipping point for the electric car revolution. In order for more consumers to make the shift, the availability of stations needs to increase. Many consumers find it difficult to make the switch due to available charging stations in their areas. For many driving upwards of 15-20 miles to simply recharge their vehicle for another 40 minutes has been a deterring factor. Charging Stations Vary By Brand For companies like Tesla, their efforts have focused primarily on heavily populated areas. The largest of this focus is Southern California. Los Angeles, San Francisco and the greater metropolitan areas, have a much easier time accessing the resources necessary to live their lives. Unfortunately, rural areas across the country lack the levels of attention that more populated areas receive. In many cases, one might purchase a Tesla to find the closest station to them is for CHAdeMO (the industry-standard charging outlet for Nissan, Toyota, and Honda). Fortunately for those who have purchased a Tesla, for an additional fee, you can have an adapter that will allow you to convert CHAdeMO to power your car. For Amer ... Read More

Oil Prices Increase After Reopening

Oil has been hit extremely hard due to the COVD-19 stay in place protocols. Now that individual states are reopening, the industry has seen a slight uptick in sales. Oil Hit Rock Bottom Prior to COVID-19 Saudi Arabia and Russia went toe-to-toe with each other. Both countries wanted to lift the current restrictions on how much oil they could produce. This sent other industries into competition mode. The results were that every big oil company was producing more oil in order to compete with the market. This worked in theory and would have continued until COVID-19 hit. When the pandemic hit the globe, countries and states were told to shelter in place to ride out the storms. This meant that extremely limited travel was suggested. Airlines were shut down, various commuter traffic halted and for the most part, not many drivers were out on the road. With the high supply and low demand, the industry took a nose dive. It was hit so hard, that even a 10% decrease in production did nothing to help either country. Oil Bounces (Kinda) Back Now that we have been 2+ months under stay-in-place, the issue is looking...still pretty ... Read More

Extended Hours For Truck Drivers

Extended hours have been granted to those in the trucking industry. Since the outbreak began in the US, the trucking industry has had to make extreme adjustments to the workforce. In order for drivers to deliver essential products to cities and towns across the US, many have had to work longer than the scheduled 8-hours per day. FMCSA Gives Extended Hours For Drivers The original plan was to have drivers working past the standard 8 hours until April 12th, that was when this whole pandemic was said to be over. As this has not been the case, many people across the country are still out of supplies like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and gloves. With the need for essential items facing a critical demand, the FMCSA has made strides in order to give truckers the ability to drive past the 8-hour limit. Truck drivers who are transporting essential items such as food, water, health equipment and even liquefied gases that are used for refrigerated transportation are all able to continue their routes and drive until the job is done. Truckers Take The Hours For many drivers, this has been a weight lifted from their shoulders. ... Read More

Electric Cars: The World Is Cleaning up!

Electric cars have made their first move into the consumer world. Each company has rolled out their version of what they expect for the future. From hybrids to hydrogen, car companies are cleaning up their act! Each new company is rolling out a form of electric vehicle that they feel will solidify them in a new and emerging industry! Lets take a look at a couple of them. Ford Mustang Mach E After Tesla had announced its Model 3, For was extremely eager to jump into the world of electric. Tesla’s new addition to its line (the Model Y) is hitting the shelves as I type this, and Ford has unveiled its newest creation the “Mustang Mach-E”. The new addition to the Mustang line has moved pretty far from its predecessors. For starters, the Mustang is the staple in American sports cars. Developed in 1964, Ford delivered a sports car that was affordable and fast. Throughout the next decade, it would pique the interest of many who would modify cars and would spark the fire that was the “muscle car race” of the late 60’s early 70’s.  The Mach-E is a flight away from those times, delivering a different approach to power. The Model Y was developed with the family in mi ... Read More

World’s Largest Electric Vehicle?: eDumper

The EV (short for electric vehicle) has made its presence known. The automobile industry has taken a direct turn to produce its first line of cars that do not rely on fossil fuels. Of the cars that have hit the road, Tesla still reigns supreme. Many companies are following close behind. The question is, which vehicle is the biggest? Which vehicle showcases what electric energy can actually do? The answer is in Switzerland. While car companies have been the primary focus for the electric industry, countries have been working on even more practical methods. Norway has decided to cut all diesel and combustion engine sales by 2025. This is to move alongside their extensive clean energy efforts. Norway is perhaps one of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world. With their recycling program so efficient that they must import other countries' trash in order to produce power for their homes. While most countries in Europe have created a more environmentally friendly ecosystem, others have chosen different methods. Switzerland officially owns the world's largest electric vehicle. Weighing in at 45-tons, the mining dump-truck from the Swiss is the first electric vehicle of its kind. The "eDumper" Stats First of all, the larg ... Read More

VW Bus: Iconic Traveler

The VW Bus has been an iconic figurehead in the automotive world since its inception in the early '60s. Since then it has spawned a few variations as well as encapsulated the American traveler with a way to get around. With a new variation of the classic bus in development, let's take a look back at what made this such an awesome ride. 1940's Development And Release: The VW Bus Type 2 The van has its start in the mid-'40s. While Bernardus Marinus "Ben" Pon was visiting German from the Netherlands, he planned on purchasing a few loader vehicles for his company. While he was there, he saw a flatbed carrier. The flatbed was on the front while the driver was seated behind it. From there "Ben" Pon noted the potential of the cart. He quickly designed a small sketch of a van, placing the driver at the very front. The idea was to design a transporter vehicle with a towing capacity of 1,200 pounds. After the initial designs were implemented, they found that the towing capacity didn't quite have enough "oomph" to take on the necessary tasks. This delayed production, but shortly after this conclusion they decided to drop a 25 horsepower engine. Upon further research of the prototype, they found that it did not meet the aerodynamic efficiencies that other cars (such as their VW Bug) had achie ... Read More

Railway Transportation: Pros and Cons

The American railway is the first method of large-scale transportation for steam-powered engines. Developed shortly before the Civil War, the post-war conditions left America with a need to develop faster methods to rebuild towns and cities devastated by the war. Thus, the transcontinental railway was developed. The goal was to bring both the Eastern and the Western United States together. Shipping Via Railway: Pro One of the biggest benefits of shipping via railways is the higher safety rate. Shipping via train (more importantly shipping flammable liquid) via trains keeps the road a safer place. The damage that a flaming oil tanker can do to the surrounding area is immeasurable. If a fire were to happen (or an accident involving a spill) the road would be shut down until the mess is cleaned or the surrounding area is safe. This affects more than just the tanker and driver but surrounding drivers as well. Shipping flammable liquids and gas on trains can cause less severe damages to the surrounding areas. Another large factor is that there are much fewer bystanders around. Not everyone is hanging outside a train (especially when it's moving) so if an issue were to arise there will be much fewer variables for someone to get hurt. Shipping Via Rail: Cons ... Read More

Vintage Cars: Rebuilding Tips

Rebuilding vintage cars have been a staple in American culture. Many families across the country have a car that has been handed down and taken care of. For others, the project of completely restoring a vehicle is an art form of itself. Before you take on the challenge of building your favorite classic ride, make sure you follow these steps. How Deep Are You Willing To Go? The first question you have to ask yourself is how far are you willing to put your time and money for the car of your dreams? There are multiple factors that go into this. With vintage cars, even older beat up hunks can come with a price tag. Depending on the year, make, model, and condition that your project vintage car is in you may be paying a lot for something that might not even run. Vintage Cars: DIY or Paying for a Service? How you wish to go about rebuilding vintage cars is up to you. Some people will spend countless dollars rebuilding a car themselves, and others will spend more than countless dollars to have someone else do it for them. It is a dance between saving money and running time, or spending money and having more time. Most vintage car owners will tell you that the pride of rebuilding their prize auto on their own makes the best vehicle. Other people ... Read More