Monthly Archives: August 2017

Utility Vehicles

In many places all around the world, utility vehicles have become a staple for many businesses such as landscapers, contractors, painters, and other fields which require one to carry their equipment with them from one job to another. They offer a convenient means of transporting various items such as ladders comma, compressors, pipes, hoses, and a variety of other things, when they are needed for the work being performed. There are a range of accessories especially designed to enhance the functionality of these trucks.

The versatility of these vehicles is part of what makes them so attractive for contractors and individuals such as farmers, who need a way to transport their professional equipment. Fitting the truck with specialized utilities can increase the amount of usable space in the most efficient manner. These items permit one to customize the vehicle to their own unique needs and specifications.

The first item most people will purchase is a tray. This goes in the area formerly occupied by the bed of a pickup, and serves as the cargo transport surface. It differs from the traditional in that it sits above the wheel well, which makes taking equipment on and off easier by eliminating the need for bending and reaching, and provides an opportunity to add more customization for storage.

If the individual prefers, they can add drop-down sides and a tailgate to the tray to keep things inside the storage area. Steps may also be installed either along the sides, or at the rear of the vehicle. They are easily pulled down when one needs to step up into the tray, and conveniently fold up to be stored when not in use.

Another item that many people choose to have installed on the tray are tie-down hooks. These can be placed in specific locations along the edges, or they may be in the form of rails that run the full length of the bed, allowing for more versatility in where the ropes and straps may be secured. Articles of this type are very useful in preventing equipment and other cargo from sliding around during transport.

Ladder racks are yet another very common accessory chosen by individuals who use utility vehicles regularly. These custom fit items are installed directly to the tray and allow for over-sized equipment, such as pipes and tubes, to be carried above the cab of the truck. This practically doubles the amount of cargo space available.

Automation and Their Application in Autonomous Cars

In my day job, I am a First Officer on private jets. I am a professional pilot who flies all over the country to take the affluent where they need to go. One day I was flying into Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) to pick up another airplane so, as a crew, we could fly our customer to his home. The aircraft had been on the ground for about a week and a half. It didn’t make sense to keep us on-site for a week (and pay hotel, rental car, and meal expenses) so we flew home. I flew home back that morning and planned to meet my Captain at the jet, located at one of the satellite airports to BWI. I grabbed an Uber from BWI to the smaller airport and along the way my driver and I listened to the news. This day coincided with reports of yet another Tesla autopilot malfunction, pointing to the possibility of a recall of their automated systems. My Uber driver began asking about autopilot systems (since he knew I was a jet pilot) and it started me thinking.

The Aviation Industry has been dealing with the onset of automation for over 30 years. As computers and technology have become more advanced, smaller, and smarter, the level of automation has also increased. Today, modern airliners and private jets can literally takeoff and land by themselves, with as little as only weight and course information input by the pilot. However, the onset of automation also breeds an innate desire to trust the computer and disengage. The aviation industry took note of this early, and instruction in autopilot systems and knowledge has become a key part of any advanced pilot training program.

Automation was introduced into cockpits after the Korean War. One of the early tests involved a new system known as an “inertial navigation system” that was able to fly the airplane to a destination based on nothing more than measuring its inertia. In these early days, the pilot still manipulated the flight controls, but responded to a computer input that “dead reckoned” the position of the aircraft based solely on its movement. In the 1980s, computer systems and the advent of computer-controllable servos lead to the introduction of autopilot systems in aircraft. During the ensuing auto-pilot technology revolution, and the additional coupling of GPS to these systems, aircraft automation became more and more capable — but not without accidents.

Driver Tips

Distance driving is an exhausting activity to do especially if you are alone with no one to watch you or help you navigate. There are ways to stay aware during the long drive during the night, day and horrible weather.

Always have a well-rested sleep before getting into the car. Having too much or too little will leave you feeling tired and weak. This will cause you not worry much about what’s in front of you.

Allowing yourself to take bathroom breaks is extremely important. It is a fact that a full bladder will affect you more than a high alcohol intake.

Caffeine or coffee is probably the first thing that you would want to take before leaving for your trip. Caffeine is known to keep a person awake and to start the metabolism process. What you don’t want to do is overload it with sugar. If you have a higher sugar level you will end up shaking and noticing things that aren’t important. This is important during any night driving because of the darkness that has metaphorically swallowed the streets.

Make sure that you have a bottle of water whether it’s cold or temperate. You need water in your system to keep your body going and your brain aware. If the weather is extremely hot you might want to take more than one bottle. The brain uses more energy than the body so you will need to keep feeding it.

Eating before leaving keeps your energy levels up and keeps you going. You have to always give the brain fuel for thinking. Try to take fatty foods with you such as nuts or dried fruits to give you a bit more of a kick start.

Don’t allow adrenaline to take over your body. If you allow that feeling to take over your body you could end up in an accident. Take the trip slowly and calmly. Impulsiveness can be the result of your blood pumping due to anxiety.

The best idea when travelling far is to bring a person along with you. It’s never recommended to drive alone in case something happens to you. The person travelling with you could also point out road signs that you may not see because of your exhaustion.

Always make sure that your body is prepared to take on a road trip that is across the country. Stay focussed and keep your tyres on the road. Be calm and energized with the correct food and drink.

Maintain Your Car Tyres

In today’s world, maintenance and neglection can determine the life of your tyres. It’s quite tough to take care of your each & every part of your vehicle to maintain the performance or extend the life of your one of the most valuable assets. Neglecting the maintenance of your car tyres can be very costly.

Pay attention to these key areas to save on its replacement instead of keeping an eye on your vehicle’s performance and checking other parts. According to the experts, tyre maintenance is not a rocket science, it’s just a set of basic rules which are easy to follow for extending their life.

Know the inflation level: You better know the inflation level which is the biggest influence on tyre life. They are designed to run at a specific pressure. So gather the information on your exact axle load or refer to a tyre load chart. These are available online as well so that you can make the adjustments accordingly.

Join a good inflation maintenance program: It’s better if you can join a good tyre maintenance program which is quite difficult as they naturally lose air. Small punctures or valve caps may encourage the leakage. Make sure you check your tyres on a regular basis or once in a week to look if there is a rapid leak.

Reduce your driving speed: It always recommends to control your driving speed because the high speed generates more heat and accelerate tyre wear. The average speed between 55 mph to 75 mph can reduce the total treads mileage by 20% so make sure you keep the speed approx 55mph to increase the mileage.

Keep your vehicles well-aligned: Poor vehicle alignment is the major reason of the uncertain wears. Unexpected tread wear would appear on parts of the tyres if they don’t run straight ahead. The vehicle should be properly aligned so it’s better you start a serious alignment program which may increase the tyre mileage by 30%.

Mount it correctly: It’s better you watch the performance of your car tyres. You will have to watch that your tyres are mounted or match-mounted to the wheel correctly. The high spot may vary one tyre to another so watch this mark when you mount the tyres. It’s better if you take the high spot to match it to the low spot of the wheel.

Check & replace a wheel on time: You need to check the wheels and suspension components on time so that you can replace these hidden enemies of your tyres. If your wheel bearing is not torqued properly, it may cause irregular wear. Worn shock absorbers may cause depression wear on treads and an early trip to the scrap pile. Don’t wait for the suspension components to be broken or for any leakage. It’s better if you can replace shock absorbers and other suspension components.

Rotate Tyres: Intelligent tyre rotation is quite important to promote even tread wear and add a lot of extra miles in tread life. It’s better if you rotate drive tyres between forward and back positions once in a few months to even out wear. Rear tyres will wear quicker than the forward positions so, it’s better if you emphasize on intelligent tyre rotation.