The Glory of Adding an Aluminum Tool Box to the Bed of Your Pickup Truck


The truck tool box has come a long ways in 50 years. What used to roll around the bed of the truck now rests comfortably out of the way across the bed. The cross-over tool box being the most common, it stretches across the bed of the truck, resting on the bed rails on either side. Positioned up behind the cab and up off the bed floor, it is not only handy but provides maximum carrying room in the bed. The tools and stuff in the box are easy to get at. And so is what you’re hauling!

You can find these truck tool boxes made out of aluminum, steel, and heavy duty poly plastics. The steel ones, while probably the most sturdy, are also the most heavy. Aluminum is now quite sturdy and much lighter weight. This is important if you are hauling a lot of heavy gear or equipment. They also don’t rust. The hard plastic boxes are lighter weight as well, but not as sturdy I don’t think.

There are also several options for the lids providing access to the tools in the box. The single lid is okay, but you pretty much need to be in the bed of the truck to make that work. The upside is that you can see ALL of the contents, and access any longer tools easier. There are also dual lids, gull wing lids, and split lids – which open independently and are more accessible from the side of the truck.

The lighter weight aluminum tool boxes are also handy if you have need for a portable box, to haul around a job site, or to put in the back of your Van, SUV, or old station wagon. As they are lighter weight and sturdy, they are much easier to lug in and out, or around.

They are making hand held tool boxes now that are made to fit specific places in your rig. This gives you the light weight mobility of an aluminum hand-held box, with the convenience of a stationery made-to-fit box which won’t be rolling around your truck or van. There are cross-over models, as well as models that fit in the wheel wells or behind or under the seats.

Of course there are still the regular size hand held aluminum tool boxes that are made to be carried around to where ever you’re working, whether it’s your job or your weekend project. Made of aluminum makes them light weight, and so easier to carry and easier to store.


Source by JF Cost

Truck Parts For Older Pickups – Disappearing?


Truck parts prices change partly by supply and demand just like anything else. It’s been my observation that parts prices and availability for Chevy, Ford and Dodge trucks have been such that driving old trucks “forever” worked well. Sheer numbers of these trucks on the road guaranteed a supply of used truck parts plus a demand for new parts too. However with the closing of many parts plants, doesn’t it make you wonder where the parts will come from to keep older trucks on the road.

Spare parts for older trucks often were made in batches on regular production equipment and then stored until there was a call for a part. At that time the part was shipped from inventory and then at some point the inventory level triggered an order for another run of parts to be produced.

I drive a 1976 Chevy C10 with about 50,000 miles on it. Can you imagine going back just that far how many pickup part numbers have been built just for Chevrolet trucks? The number is in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. All parts must be tracked and the manufacturing data available for these parts to be produced when needed. In addition, production tooling and equipment must be ready and on hand to make parts when the existing stock drops to the reorder level.

My guess is that at some point in time some pieces of the truck parts system will just report that the parts requested are not available. Already my review of the GM online parts site shows it stops well short of the 1976 model year. That probably means a decision to drop older parts inventories and manufacturing has already been made, maybe. That may mean that after-market parts makers will step in to fill the gap. Probably only if tooling up to make parts is justified by a proven demand for a certain volume of pieces. Otherwise, the investment is not justified.

Truck parts for older American pickups have historically been relatively cheap and easy to get. That may change as the auto industry changes. That means many serviceable and valuable vehicles will die an early death from lack of affordable service parts. That surely seems like a shame.


Source by Al Bullington

3 Ways to Start an Auto Repossession Business Without a Tow Truck


With auto repossessions at an all-time high, getting into the repo business has never looked more lucrative.  And while you can make up to $500 per repo’ed car, investing in a tow truck isn’t cheap.

The good news is, you probably don’t need a tow truck to start your own repo business.  Here’s 3 ways you can get started in the repo industry on a shoestring budget:

Tip #1 – Partner With A Locksmith and Literally Drive The Repo Cars Away!

Nowadays, finance companies keep key codes on file for every car they own.  The key codes are a “blueprint” that tells locksmiths exactly how to create a key the same as the original.

Even if the bank doesn’t have the key codes, you can find companies online that will supply key codes for any domestic or foreign vehicle in less than an hour.  All you need to give them is the make, model and VIN number.

With your original key in hand, you can have someone follow you to the repo site and you can drive the car away!

Tip #2 – Work From Home and Help Banks Track Down Repo Cars

You don’t need to be a repo man to earn a living in the repossession industry.  You can start out by helping banks or dealerships track down hard-to-find debtors.  This service is called skip-tracing.  And they’re willing to pay big money for it since their cars are worth thousands of dollars.

You can charge $30-$100/hour to provide skip tracing services to banks – or even other repossession companies.  Of course, you’ll need to invest time and money in good training, but it’s well worth it considering you could make $60,000 starting out – without a degree!

Tip #3 – Become A Repo Job Broker

If you don’t like working nights and dealing with confrontational people, you could setup a web site to get repossession job leads in your town, and sell those leads to other repo businesses.  Then, as you gain more experience in the repo industry, you could take on more and more jobs yourself.

While these money-making tips are no substitute for having the right repossession tools, they’ll help you make money to pay for the equipment you’ll need later on!


Source by Dirk Windler

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Truck Wash?


Many folks want to build a truck wash and then start making a business plan. They go look at a truck wash and then think to themselves, well I can build something like that cheap enough. Get a steal building, put down some concrete, buy some equipment and suddenly I am in business right? Sure, in theory.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Truck Wash? Well, down and dirty somewhere between $225K to $400K not including property. I have seen them done cheaper, but generally by the time it is completed it comes out to a heck of a lot more. And once you build a truck wash you want to be sure it makes money to pay off all those loans and the ROI on the property too. But what about the cost of the truck washing services? Well consider about $28.50 to $35.00 average ticket. Now most truck washes get a good $45 to $ 55 for a tractor trailer rig, but due to some local fleet deals, some bobtails and full price combos the average is generally lower. As the Founder of the Truck Wash Guys often new entrants into the market will ask me questions about the industry for instance this recent question;

“The truck wash model appears very compelling. Do you have any rules of thumb as to what I should expect to pay to build one, what ticket average I might look for, and how much I can expect to drop to the bottom line?”

The answer is that these costs vary by region and it is not such a simple answer. Although I do hope you learned a little bit from today’s discussions? I certainly hope this article is of interest and that is has propelled thought. The goal is simple; to help you in your quest to be the best in 2007. I thank you for reading my many articles on diverse subjects, which interest you.


Source by Lance Winslow

All About Services Offered By Tow Truck Companies


If you own a car, there are good chances of you needing towing services at some point in your life. Whether it is a flat tire, a car breakdown or your vehicle meeting with an accident, you would certainly need the help of a valuable trailer towing service. You can avail towing services for your need 24 hours a day and even on holidays as well as inclement weathers.

When looking for a tow truck, it is important to get services from a professional and reputable provider. Vehicles that are not protected well can get damaged while in transit and lead to a difficult situation. You are likely to have a bad day when you are looking for the services of a tow truck, and it makes sense not to let this terrible experience make the situation even worse. Hence, it would do well to first do your own homework on the range of services available before utilizing any of them for the safety of your car. Before selecting any towing company, you should get answers to few questions like how much would they charge for providing the services of boosting the battery service, doing tire repair, the amount they charge per tow and the distance to which they offer their tow truck service. If the reasons for getting tow truck service are due to tire fixing, car towing, or jump start, it is important to get it done by a qualified towing service. If the services provided by the towing company are not perfectly done, there are good chances of damaging your car during its tow.

If you are unsure about the type of towing service you require for your specific need, you can inform the service provider about the kind of vehicle that you want to be towed. Any professional towing service will be able to advise you if your vehicle needs a flatbed tow truck service for its transportation. You could need towing service to help you get out of emergencies. It is in these situations that the best and efficient towing companies can help you get out of the unpleasant situations the most. The helpful employees of these towing companies can provide you with advice and help in selecting the right tow trucks for your specific situation. When it comes to selecting the right two trailer towing services, you are likely to find yourself in a confused situation. But you can free yourself of worry by the right selection of specialized and reliable company and ensure saving both your money and time. Next time when you are stuck somewhere, get precious advises and skill of a reliable towing company.


Source by Kris Tryber

New Year – New Truck? The Top Four Best Pickups


Ford boasts that the top seller for 2017 and the past 39 years is the F-150. The 2017 F-150’s are claimed to be the best ever in their lineup with a starting MSRP of $26,730 for the XL pickup only having 4 x 2 drive train, with estimated MPG at 18-24. The attributes are impressive torque, capability and good fuel economy. Ford is now offering tailgate and box side steps making access to the cargo box a breeze. Keep in mind everything you add jacks the price up, and if you have your heart set on these amenities right out of the gate, that gives your sales person room to work their magic by dancing you through higher priced add-on items to the basic bare bones MSRP making that monthly payment skyrocket. Make sure you know what comes standard and what does not, including the total prices of all the options tacked on. Tonneau covers, running boards etc. are usually not included in the price of even higher end models like the King Ranch, Platinum and Raptor.

Chevrolet claims fame in their proven power and performance full size pickup trucks like the Colorado and Silverado. Chevy has made some bold muscular changes to their front end on the Silverado, a more sculpted hood and signature LED lighting accents. They boast about their world class EcoTec3 engines that offer impressive V8 fuel economy. However, I believe it was noted that their claims regarding their steel truck beds vs. the Ford aluminum beds weren’t exactly tested fairly. Anyone observing their video of the competition product testing would have to see this for themselves. I personally can’t imagine any truck owner having cement cinder blocks dumped into their unprotected/unlined pickup bed. Landscape blocks such as those are usually loaded on a pallet.

All Chevy Silverado lines have phased out 6-speed transmissions and been upgraded to 8-speed automatic. They have added some new cool colors in the premium finish line like deep ocean blue and Siren red. MSRP for the 2017 Silverado 1500 is $27,585 and would obviously cost much more if you purchased it with any other options other than the bare bones items included. The estimated MPG on this Chevy mirrors the stats of the Ford F-150.

Dodge Ram 1500 Express Quad Cab 4 x 4 is very popular but has a higher MSRP of $35,795 for a V-8 automatic. Anything that is not included as standard in whatever model you are looking at will drive that price up higher than you may want to pay for what should be included for a $35,000 truck and is not. Obviously whatever you use your truck for dictates what you have to have as opposed to what you want to have. Be wise and prudent in the choices on your wish list and don’t be talked into pretty stuff you could add later at your own pace. If you plan to tow with your truck, the GVW rate on the 1500 Express is 6,800 lbs. If you want 4-corner air suspension, it will cost you another $1715 while tacking on another $27/month to your truck payment. These are all examples of things to consider.

Let’s explore a bit higher on the truck lineup. The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali premium pickup has a starting MSRP of $52,155. It’s considered a light duty truck with a full size pickup design, signature Denali accents, distinctive lighting and a sculpted front end with bold lines. It’s a beauty for sure. The maximum GVW on this one is 9,300 lbs. Price hikers include the 3.23 rear axle ratio, bed steps and tonneau cover. Obviously the larger the truck bed, the larger the price tag, so be careful not to get a huge truck bed if you won’t be hauling large amounts of cargo. All weather floor mats are a really good investment and I am pro-floor protection all the way, but are they necessary the day you drive out of the dealership? No, especially if you won’t be adding passengers right away.

Buying a new truck can be an exciting venture and so worth all the confusion and information. Do your homework and trust your salesperson if you have had successful transactions with that person or dealership in the past.


Source by Sal Falco

Things to Think About When Buying Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs)


Investing in Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) can be a very costly experience but for those in the trucking and transportation industry. Nothing is more important than having a reliable commercial fleet. Strangely, most people confuse age with reliability and only think that a new truck can be reliable. This is obviously not the case as well built, well maintained used trucks can be just as reliable as brand new ones.

HGVs by design are built to last. As their main purpose is to transport goods over long distances, they are able to easily do hundreds of thousands of miles on the same engine. Otherwise what’s the point? There are certain HGV makers that have a reputation for high quality, for example a used DAF truck should easily be able to handle 200,000 miles. This is not the only reputable HGV manufacturer of course. Iveco, Scania, Renault and Mercedes are just some of the great names in heavy good vehicle manufacturing and there are plenty more.

Here is a little more information about HGVs:

• HGVs are also known as LGVs (Large Goods Vehicles)

• In the UK HGVs are separated into categories depending on the weight they can carry. In some cases they require a special driver’s licence.

• HGV vehicles are normally manuals, with a high number of gears but you might be able to find a decent automatic HGV if you search hard enough. Having said this if you can’t drive a manual yet you might want to start looking at some lessons as you will be able to find way more vehicles with manual gear boxes.

For a small business there are many great opportunities to pick up ex-commercial vehicles from larger corporations like delivery companies or supermarket. You can attempt to contact them directly or use an online truck auction. Many large corporations use online truck auctions to quickly get rid of their used vehicles so they are great place to find a cheap reliable used truck.


Source by Brent Compton

Tips For Buying A Small Trucking Company


If you want to own your own small trucking business you have two options. You can build it from the bottom up or you can buy an already established small trucking company. Both options have their positives as well as challenges or obstacles that should be considered. If you are thinking about purchasing an existing company there are some important considerations that you need to evaluate before deciding if this is your best option.


As with most types of major purchases the selling price is going to be a major factor in determining if this is the small company for you. The problem is that with a trucking company price factors into many different aspects of the company. The asking price will be based on the equipment, land and buildings, vehicles, assets and business equipment as well as the customer or client base.

The more costly the asking price of the trucking company the more assets the purchase will include. However, the person selling the company may inflate the value of the trucks, equipment, building, land or even the customer base in their selling price determination. It is important to have a good understanding of the industry prices for comparable companies for sale in the same general geographic area so you can make an accurate offer.

It is a good idea to have small trucking company valuated by a professional if you are seriously considering a purchase. Business valuators or business appraisers typically charge a flat fee to give you an accurate assessment of the dollar value of the business in its current state. This includes reviewing the books and inventory on hand plus looking closely at the condition of the assets that are going along with the company. This valuation can also be helpful in negotiating a buying price that may be below the asking price based on an impartial third party’s report.

Assets and Equipment

It is critical to closely check out all the equipment, especially the big ticket items in the sale. This includes all your capital equipment such as trucks, loaders, trailers, buildings, computers and office equipment. The more costly the item is to replace the more carefully it should be examined to determine the actual current condition.

Small trucking companies, just like larger companies, should have some effective, accurate and efficient system for listing assets and inventory on hand. Don’t just take the database at face value, spend a few days checking to make sure the inventory and asset listing is accurate. All equipment should be in good running condition and able to pass all safety and licensing inspections. Since many people aren’t mechanics by trade, paying someone to give the trucks a thorough check is a good idea.

Customer Base and Reputation

Like the inventory and assets, information on the customer base that goes with the company should be easily accessible and readily available. Smaller companies may keep customers on the books for years even if they are not currently using the trucking service. Make sure that you check the customer base information with the financial statement to ensure that the customer list isn’t outdated or simply padded with names that are not active clients.

It is also a good idea to randomly call a few of the active clients as well as the inactive clients if available. Find out why they continue to use the trucking company or why they stopped. Buying an existing trucking company means you are also buying their reputation, which can be good or bad. Even if you re-brand the company a bad reputation is hard to shake and it could seriously impact your ability to bring back old customers until you have a few years of good business under your belt.

Building up a company with a bad or shaky reputation isn’t impossible, but it needs to be calculated in when determining the actual value of the company and how much you can anticipate earning for the next few years.

Cost Of Operation

When you reach the point of seriously considering the company you need to have full access to their financial statements or profit and loss statements. This should clearly itemize all the costs of doing business including insurance, fuel costs, salaries, mortgage or rent on the building or facility, truck payments, annual repair and service costs and so on.

These statements will be essential in determining if you can make a go of the business given that you may have to borrow money for the investment. Of course, you may have options to decrease your operating costs by switching from salaried drivers to sub-contracted drivers that may also be owner/operators. This has its advantages since you only pay the driver after they complete the contract, but it also means that you don’t have total control over the driver and the rigs that are representing your business.

Many small trucking businesses are under-insured so it is important to calculate this into your costs of doing business. The good news is that the right insurance can and will protect your business from risk in the event of an accident or injury involving one of your vehicles or drivers.

The loan payment will be an additional cost of operation that the current owner may or may not have. Keep in mind this additional cost should be offset by the existing business since it is impossible to accurately predict how much new business you will get once you take over.

Buying an existing small trucking company is a great option of those that want to join the ranks of business owners. However, just like any investment, it needs to be done using information and help from professionals that are familiar with the trucking industry.


Source by Ryan Grifford

The Benefits to Running Rockwell Axles in Short Wheelbase Trucks


There are a variety of Rockwell Axle Jeeps out there in the world. The advantages to Jeeps and other short wheel based rigs using Rockwell 2.5 ton differentials is the short wheel base and the restricted turning radius of the large military rig axles. Effectively overcome in larger sized rigs with four wheel steering, smaller rides can use one steering axle. When equipping your rig, this makes things much more reasonable.

The biggest obstacle with toploader military axles and short wheel bases is similar to the issues in other trucks. You do need an additional 7 inches of clearance over conventional front loading axles. Of course the best answer to this is to relocate the front axle forward and the rear axle backwards which is easily performed with the body lines of most Jeeps.

My next Jeep Rockwell build would be a YJ based rig. I would use YJ Springs up front, with a doubled up long spring (from the rear pack) and I would build a custom front end stinger that incorporated pushing the front axle forward 6-8 inches, enabling the motor to sit behind the axle top end. I would run XJ springs in the rear, to push the axle backwards with additional axle wrap control, or 4-link the rear end, pending finances. I would run 39-42 inch Iroks with Hummer double beadlocks recentered for the rockwells.

Additional additions I would think about to keep costs low would certainly be to take advantage of the toughness of these axles. I would weld the spiders (for budget) and then run a split manual brake system using pinion brakes, with a twin sticked transfer case to independently brake the front or rear axles for front or rear digs. To run 39 inch rockwells and tires I would shave the bottom end and add a custom skid pan available from a number of vendors, or custom made from our own.

I have come across many jeep based rides with Rockwells and for good reasons. They frequent the Top Truck Challenge, and other situations where money is taken into account and you can live with a few extra hundred pounds. This is usually OK in most wheeling genre’s except for specialized areas of rock crawling or desert racing.

Overall, military axles are a great setup to base custom wheeling rigs around, especially short wheelbase rigs. Given some of the challenges that are associated with the top-loader style, you will need to go with some custom suspension which would require some fabrication beyond a off the shelf lift kit.


Source by Jason A. Rogers

Make Wheel Chocks a Standard Procedure


A wheel chock is a safety device that is intended to prevent a truck or other vehicle from accidental movement. If you’re wondering what can happen to make a truck move, just ask the person who was run over by a runaway rolling auto or truck. It probably wasn’t chocked. You can see a wheel chock in all sorts of environments including residential, construction, utility, industrial, mining and even aviation. We’re just going to address the uses in residential/utility and industrial settings.

Potential for an Accident

There are all kinds of accidents that can make a truck move accidentally, some at the fault of human error and some because of the force of gravity. Some of the causes of accidental movement of a truck include:

• A truck parked on an incline with either no parking brake or a worn out or broken parking brake.

• An over loaded vehicle may not be able to bear the weight if parked on an incline and can begin to roll without a chock.

• A large shift in the weight of truck when an item is removed or added can promote movement.

• When no parking brake is put into place, especially when the auto or truck is parked on an incline.

• When a truck or car not placed in “Park” when it is stopped.

Make it a Standard Procedure

The bottom line is that when you know to put down the chock and it’s a regular procedure for you, done by rote, you are not as much at risk. The best thing to do as an individual, if you have recently signed on with an independent company, utility or phone company, or are starting a business where a wheel chock is a good idea to follow on a regular basis, get in the rhythm and remind yourself to do it. Write down the steps and put them on your dash, and if it helps, in your employee bathroom mirror for consistent reminders:

• Put truck or vehicle in Park.

• Put on the Parking brake.

• Place wheel chocks on each side of tire – and both tires if you’re on a grade.

That is the basics of remembering to put a wheel chock in place, so when you’re in the business of delivery or maintenance and you must stop your truck frequently, put on the chocks!


Source by Kari Carson