Transportation Management System – An Introduction


A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a software that is aimed at helping business and organizations to effectively manage its logistics supply chain, it helps organizing and tracking the movements of the products and materials. A Transportation Management System also helps in managing shipping units, outbound and inbound shipment scheduling, transportation mode selection, freight bill auditing, payment and processing of loss and damage claims etc.

Some of the basic functions and advantages of a transportation management system are shipment load planning and shipment routing optimization, routing guide, execution management and carrier communication, shipment tracking, freight bill audit & payment, business intelligence and reporting, claims management, returns management, appointment scheduling etc.

The shipment load planning and routing optimization helps the shippers to plan the loading and then find a suitable and optimized routes as per their requirements. This helps to save a lot of money and time and as a results makes it easy for the shippers to manage.

The routing guide is another feature of a TMS which helps the vendors to get an idea about the inbound routing guides for better cost management. The execution management and carrier communication helps the shippers to find the tools needed to help them in selecting the right carriers along with shipping cost calculation. The TMS also helps you in getting an accurate freight bill audit and also in implementing the payment part. As with any other tools, a transportation management solution also offers business intelligence reporting, which helps you to get more idea about your business and ways to improve it.

A TMS or a logistics management system can also be used as an effective vehicle routing software which helps you in the effective utilization of vehicles used for your transportation purposes. It identifies areas where the vehicles can be utilized effectively without spending much time and money. Since the TMS identifies the shortest route, it will result in reduced fuel consumption and enhanced fleet management and utilization.

For small companies which have a remarkable small transportation operations, the use of such a tool is not recommended, as they might not have any difficulty in managing all their transportation activities manually. But for a big company with a large number of vehicles and transportation activities, it is a better idea to avail the services of a transport management system, as it will ease their management activities and help them to save a lot money.

More and more companies have started using logistic management system and hence the demand and competition have increased considerably. So the number of companies providing customized transportation management system or freight management systems has increased. Some of the software offered are not having the expected quality and one must be sure to select the right and the best transportation management system for their company. There are also many software having advanced options such as GPS vehicle tracking or GPS fleet tracking system. So while purchasing the transportation scheduling software, make sure that you have spend the money on the right tool.


Source by Jithin Dev

Common Reasons Why Vehicles Are Towed


It happens to drivers every day, all across the country. It’s such a familiar tune that you can easily relate to anyone’s story. You park your car or truck outside in a public area, walk inside a store for just a minute, and when you return, your vehicle is long gone. And the first question that pops into your head is, “Why did they tow my car?!” Well in actuality, the answer isn’t all too difficult to figure out. A simple matter of elimination will enlighten you, as soon as you can gather your thoughts and start the investigation process. Continue reading to learn some common reasons why cars are towed, and how to get yours back after the initial, involuntary panic resides.

Parking Violations

The most common, and probably the answer to your scenario, reason why civilian vehicles are towed is for parking violations. You know what these are: parking in handicap spots without a valid sticker, parking in spots that are labeled, “Reserved“, and let’s not forget fire lanes, no parking lanes, loading zones, private property parking, and abandoned vehicle parking. That last one refers to leaving your car in a public parking lot overnight. This is sometimes prohibited on certain lots and will result in property management towing. Look around for parking signs and street signs with towing information on them. Dial the number and you are sure to find your vehicle. If not, you might want to consider the next reason.

Police Impounds and Repossessions

If you are leasing or financing a vehicle, and you know you are behind in payments, a repossession is not a far reach. Your vehicle may have been towed away by the bank sponsoring your car loan, or the dealership that you are leasing from. If your car is paid for, then you might want to consider some legal possibilities. If your license plate is expired, police can tow it and impound it. Same goes for an expired registration. Also, if your vehicle is a suspected asset to a crime or something like it, it can be towed and impounded as soon as a warrant is signed by a judge. And that could very-well be during your lunch break at Apple Bees.

Suspended or Unlicensed Drivers

There are actually cases where your car can be towed without even parking it in the first place. During a routine traffic stop, if a police officer finds that your license is suspended, expired, or non-existent, they will have your vehicle towed and impounded on the spot.


Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski

Early Ford Drum Brake Conversions 1932-1948



To understand the how we must first discuss the why. Brake technology has made quite a few advances in the last 100 years, but even back in the 1940s, Ford adapted changes to the way brakes were designed, much to the resistance of Henry Ford.

Henry Ford was fond of his mechanical brakes, and his marketing touted “Solid steel from pedal to wheel”. These mechanical rod operated brakes persisted until 1939, well behind Ford’s competitors. The problem with the brakes is that they required frequent adjustment, and were just plain dangerous at speed. They featured 12 inch diameter drums that could easily put a car into a spin if one brake rod was tighter than another. High speed stops proved to be hair raising experiences, and many felt that the new hydraulic or “juice” brakes introduced in 1939 to the Ford product line was a step up in safety and performance.


The first and by far the most important design improvement was the change from rods to hydraulic fluid to actuate the brake shoes. Although the design was originally invented in 1924, Ford resisted utilizing the design until 1939, with the backing plates, shoes, and drum assembly that in many ways the is same design used on cars today. There were a few key design issues that took some years of production to be recognized and improved upon. Along with other idiosyncrasies, Ford’s new adopted hydraulic design was a work in progress. The brakes required more pedal effort to stop the car than our modern drum brakes, a break in period, and even in some cases machine grinding to fit correctly.

Back in the 1940’s and 1950’s our hot rodding fore-fathers had limited resources and little access to sophisticated machinery, so often a “bolt on solution” was the most popular. From the way Ford designed their cars, these brake alternatives were just that.

The second major design improvement was the way the shoes were mounted on the backing plate. The 1940 brake shoes pivoted on a pin at the bottom and where actuated by a slave cylinder at the top. This design is known as “single leading shoe” or “leading and trailing shoe brakes”. When brake force is applied, both shoes pivot at the bottom attachment bolt and press against the drum with equal pressure. Shoe contact tended to stay in one spot and the wear was uneven. Pedal effort was high because none of the rotational force was used to help make the shoes press harder to the drum surface.

Living with the 1939 Ford brakes

To improve shoe to drum contact, the 1940 design utilized a pair of cams on the shoe pivots that moved each shoe in or out to eliminate high spots. Either lock nuts on the backing plate side of the brakes, or spring tension bolts allowed for adjustments to be made.

These spring tensioned bolt adjusters tend to resist staying in place, and the situation is even more aggravated if you chemically clean the backing plates for painting. Rust tended to create a resistance to turning of these spring bolts. The lower cam bolts on the design on the right tended to loosen as well, so when using the early Ford brakes periodic inspection is a must for optimal performance. Overall the design works well but requires maintenance.

A word about brake shoe grinding:

Brake grinding was common back in the day, as everyone was well aware that a little asbestos dust never hurt anybody! Perhaps no one thought of the disadvantage of grinding off of valuable braking material was a problem either. If the brakes where not ground down, they would eventually wear to the shape of the drums, but prior to that happening, the 1939 brakes had a nasty habit of grabbing and high spotting. This caused wheel lock at inopportune times, along with unpredictable braking. These features and disadvantages make the selection of the F100 truck brakes an easy choice.

Ford F100 pickup truck brake design

The F100 brakes are what is called a “Duo-Servo” design. This design works outperforms the 1939 leading edge design because it uses the rotation of the drums to cause the brake shoes to “twist” and press against the drum lining much harder. So much better in fact that they require less pedal effort and are less sensitive to high spotting. This also has the benefit of a more even brake shoe wear and longer shoe life. Let’s look closer at why the “Duo-Servo” design works so much better than the 1939 design.

At first glance the F100 design looks much like the 1940 design, but on closer examination we see that the shoes are not mounted on a stationary pivot point, but rather “floating” on a pin and spring assembly. The floating feature allows the brake shoes to twist and wedge themselves against the drum increasing braking friction. Through this servo action the shoes transmit motion to each other, rather than just one lead shoe doing all the work.

Throughout the 1950’s there was a revolution of sorts on brake development. Some of the larger more prestigious cars came equipped with this updated design. The major distinction was that the shoes now “floated” on the backing plates and took advantage of the rotation of the drum to grip harder. Ford recognized the advantage this would have on the heavier truck they produced during the early 1950’s. The point not lost on performance enthusiasts. Even though the early brake drums were 12 inches in diameter, the 11 inch F100 and F1 design was far superior in performance.


Source by Curt Baker

About Concrete Batching Plants


Concrete, a man-made material, is used in the construction of skyscrapers, sidewalks and bridges, houses and driveways, highways and many other things. After being set and formed, concrete acts as a durable material strong enough to hold up against some of the largest natural forces. Yet, concrete is "plastic" in that it can be formed and molded into virtually any shape before it's hardened. When it does harden, the quality of the concrete depends upon its properties as a mixture.

Concrete mixing involves getting the appropriate proportions of water and cement, sand and gravel just right so that a durable concrete product can be created. Indeed, if the mixture has even the least bit of excess paste or water then the resulting concrete foundation will crack easily. Conversely, rough concrete results from concrete mixtures that do not contain enough paste or water mixture.

Where Concrete is Mixed
To mix the concrete, a batch plant is used. The various ingredients used to make the type of concrete being used – such as sand, water, rocks and gravel – are combined in a large, mechanical and sometimes computer-aided machine, mixed and prepared for use at a job site. There are two basic types of concrete batching plants used to mix and prepare concrete. The first is a ready-mix plant, which involves combining all ingredients for the concrete except for water, which is added as the final ingredient during transportation to a job site. The second type of concrete batching is a central-mix batch plant. A central mix plant combines all ingredients for the concrete, including water, and then transported to the job site.

Ready-Mix Batch Plants
When ingredients for the concrete mixture are combined using a ready-mix concrete batch plant, the mixture is discharged into a mixing truck, which gets the concrete ready for production. There are basically three different options that you have if you're going to be using ready-mixed concrete. First, the truck mixer can be set at slow speed during transportation to the job site, at which point the speed for the mixing drum can be increased for five minutes to prepare the mixture.

Second, the concrete mixture can be mixed at the mixing yard and only slowly agitated during transportation to the job site. Finally, the concrete mixture can be turned at medium speed while inside the drum during transit so that it can be completely mixed by the time it reaches its destination.

Central-Mix Batch Plants
The second primary method of concrete batching is to use a central-mix concrete batch plant. Central-mix plants combine and mix all ingredients for the concrete before the mix is ​​discharged into a mixing truck for transportation to a job site. Central-mix plants use a fixed, plant-mounted mixer that resembles a silo in which all the ingredients are mixed. Sometimes referred to as "wet batch" concrete plants, there are actually a couple advantages to using them to mix concrete.

Central-mix plants can produce concrete mixtures faster than truck mixers. Second, using a central-mix plant does not place as much strain or wear and tear on concrete-mixing trucks. Third, you can achieve an overall consistent mixture with a central-mix plant than you can with a truck mixer.

All in all, concrete batching can be performed in a variety of ways. The method which you employ for concrete production depends on your cost, the timeline of a project and the quality of concrete product with which you'll be satisfied.


Source by Jack Haymaker

Gear Wrench Set – What It Is and Where to Use It


If you’re working on a motorcycle or other engine, then you’re probably familiar with a gear wrench set.

But if this is something new to you, or if you have a sweetheart who needs tools to work on a project in very tight quarters, then this article is going to explain some of the uses and benefits of gear wrenches.

What Is It?

A gear wrench is basically a closed end, hand held wrench. Picture a metal wrench, with a closed end on one side and an open end wrench on the other. The difference between this type of wrench and a gear wrench is that the gear wrench has a “ratchet” inside the closed end.

The closed ratchet end of the wrench allows someone to tighten or loosen a bolt or nut when space is limited. For example, when working on a motorcycle engine where there isn’t a lot of room to move, a gear wrench tool will allow you to loosen a nut even though you may only be able to move your hand a few degrees.

The ratchet lets you turn the wrench, then holds the position while you back up the wrench to take another turn. It’s just like a ratcheting socket set, only without the sockets.

Gear wrench sets come in groups, usually in metric or SAE (inches) sizes. There are generally about 10 or 12 wrenches per set in various sizes. This allows you to have a number of wrenches to choose from, since most engines and projects will require bolts, nuts and screws of differing sizes.

An additional benefit to these type of wrenches is that the ratchet prevents “rounding” of the fastener you’re working on. That means that the edges of the bolt or nut will stay sharp, allowing the wrench to grab well long into the future.

So Where Do You Use These Wrenches?

In a nutshell, anywhere!

You can use this type of wrench anyplace that you would need to use a regular wrench. Gear wrenches are typically used in places where space is tight, for example, motorcycle engines, lawnmower engines, auto and bus engine repair, and so on. One reviewer stated that he used the wrenches to change the convertible top on his Volkswagon and found them to be exactly what he needed.

Have you ever found that you needed a socket to loosen or tighten a bolt, but couldn’t fit the socket inside the space? This is precisely where a gear wrench shines!


The only caveat worth mentioning about gear wrench sets is that you don’t want to rely on these to remove rusted bolts or nuts.

These wrenches are designed to work in tight spaces, but not to torque or “whale” on fasteners that have been sitting untouched for decades. The good news, though, is that most engines and equipment are worked on regularly and so there will not usually be any occasion to have to yank on anything.

If you do find that you have a stubborn bolt or nut, you might try spraying some WD-40 or other penetrating oil on the offending part. Allow it to work its way into the threads for 15-30 minutes and then try to remove it.

Cost and Availability

Gear wrench sets can be found online and at some home improvement stores. It’s not a bad idea to look at these tools in person at a home improvement store and then shop online to get the best price. Don’t be afraid to compare prices and quality, and always check online reviews. These will give you a good idea as to what others have found after using the tools themselves.

Prices can range from about $85 to more than $180 for a good tool set.

However, it’s very likely that this will be a one-time purchase and your gear wrench set can last a lifetime.


Source by Pauline Rausch