What’s My Car Worth? Using Kellys Blue Book to Determine the Value of Your Car


As the saying goes, your car is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Nevertheless you still want to get the highest amount that you can for your used car. So the trick here is to determine how to make your car more attractive to buyers and to  know the baseline amount that cars similar to yours are selling for in your local market. The best place to start your search for tips and car values is Kellys Blue Book for cars.

Kellys Blue Book for cars is a renowned automotive industry standard car appraisal guide that provides step by step guides that will help you sell your car but also gives you the “Private Party” value of your car. And the Blue Book for cars is easy to use. At the Kellys Blue Book website click the tab for used cars, then under  KBB Values type in your car’s year, make and model or simply choose the specified data from the drop down menu that appears once you click the down arrow beside the required data box. For example, if you want to sell a 2005 Ford Focus, choose 2005 from the year box, Ford from the make box and Focus from the model box.

After pressing the GO button, you will be redirected to the  Value page where you have to choose the “Private Party” Value. The Private Party Value aims to provide you with the fair market price others would be willing to pay. Then select your car’s trim or version by clicking the list that appears. For example, if your trim is Focus ZX4 S Sedan 4D, click that and go to the KBB Equipment page where you choose your car’s specific details, including transmission and mileage, and accessories. Don’t be overwhelmed with the number of selections, the standard items included on your model are already checked on the  page, you just have to revise or add more equipment as needed by simply clicking the appropriate selections. After making the appropriate selections, the final Kellys Blue Book page will appear. You have to select your car’s overall condition – whether excellent, good, fair or poor. The description on each characteristic is described in the Kellys Blue Book page so you’re not confused. But if you still can’t decide, there is always the KBB condition quiz to further help you in your choice. But beware! Be truthful and remain as unbiased as possible when making your choices on this KBB page. Don’t let your sentimental attachment to your car cloud your choice. If you do, you will get an incorrect blue book for cars appraisal value. When you’re done, you will see the KBB Private Party Value for your specific car’s condition. You can further confirm your car’s value by comparing it with other similar cars in the market by browsing through  Local Listing Search. This will show you available similar cars available in your area. Once you become satisfied that you know your car’s blue book value, you can then concentrate on making your car more attractive to buyers, so that you’ll see the green!!


Source by I Dint

Autocross Buying Guide – Select the Right Car


In my experience, autocross can be a very fun and exciting sport. I have participated in several events in my local area. I found the hobby to be very addictive as well.

Out of all my other hobbies, I think this one is the best “bang for the buck” as far as thrills go with your car. Everybody can participate. Every car (some clubs have exceptions to this though like no SUV’s, no Trucks) can race. The nice thing about this kind of race is that you are competing against others in your class usually defined by the SCCA, however, you are on the course alone so there is minimal chance of hitting other cars.

The hardest part about autocross (aside from learning how to race) in my opinion is finding the right car. Sure, you can use a daily driver, but that is not recommended if you are going to participate in several events a year. Autocross can create wear on the tires and other components very quickly and can get expensive very fast. I would recommend to get a vehicle that you can use for autocross. This can be a “trailer car” or a car that you can still drive on the road, but use only for this hobby.

There are 4 key components to consider when selecting a car for autocross:

1) What type of car to get

2) The Price of the car

3) The overall condition of the vehicle (if used)

4) Aftermarket upgrades/modifications


For autocross racing, some people would assume that the car has to be very powerful, small, 2 doors and modified. This is not entirely accurate. While that type of car would be nice, it is not required to be competitive in autocross.

Remember that most autocross events and clubs have the cars grouped in to some sort of class. The club I participate with follow the SCCA Class guidelines. The classes help group the cars so the same “level” of vehicles can remain competitive within each class.

This is done to avoid the “biggest and fastest is best” state of thought. It would be unfair to put a heavily modified Porsche GT3 up against a stock Ford Focus. This is why they do that.

So, to pick the right car for autocross, you would probably want a coupe or convertible FIRST if possible. Sedans can work well too, but some sedans are not geared for modifications, although, the sport sedans of today are really starting to take over.

Manual transmission would be recommended, however, if you have an automatic that is OK too. You may want to consider trading it for a manual in the future to remain competitive. Again, there are still “sport shift” type automatics out there that are getting better and better each day.

Ideally, you would also want a rear-wheel drive car for autocross. RWD cars typically provide better control and handling in most cases. I know some enthusiasts out there will disagree with me, but that’s OK. On the other hand, I have used several front-wheel drive cars that run with the best of them.


The price of buying a car for autocross is always the factor for me. I, like many others, cannot afford an expensive vehicle for autocross. There are, however, those that can afford it and price is still something for them to consider.

The $0-$5000 range:

This is the range most of us beginners want to start. Of course, free is GOOD, but consider the 3rd component (overall condition) when this option comes to mind. Several cars that can perform well and have a lot of upgradable options are the following:

1989-1997 Mazda Miata – Very nice power to weight ratio. It is VERY popular at autocross. 1979-1991 Mazda RX7 – Fast small car, handles well. Many upgrades available. 1989-1998 Nissan 240sx – Several aftermarket upgrades, handles very well. 1990-1999 BMW 3 Series – Very versatile car. You can find very nice models in this range now. 1988-2000 Honda Civic/CRX – I have seen several models compete well in autocross. 1984-1999 Toyota MR2 – Low center of gravity, great performance, mid engine. 1990-1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse/Eagle Talon – Many upgrades, some models Turbo AWD. 2000-2007 Ford Focus – Very competitive cars. SVT models available in price range. 1997-2003 VW Golf – Hatchbacks always like autocross. VR6 models available in range. 1990-1999 Acura Integra – Like the Civic, very competitive with many upgrades out there.

There may be a few more cars that I missed that fall under this price range. The method I use to hunt for cars can vary depending on the type I am looking for. I will use local classified ads, Craigslist. I will also use the bigger car searches and expand my general “hunting” area. I have successfully found great cars using VEHIX, AutoTrader as well as Government Auction Sites.

But what about the autocross cars above the $5000 range? Well, I am glad you are think that because I am about to list them below.

If you have some money to work with and want to get something newer, you can consider the following cars:

The $5,001-$20,000 range:

This range can include newer cars as well as pre-owned cars that are no more than a few years old. Remember, cars usually depreciate very fast, so as the years go by, some of the newer cars can be within reach for less money and are great for autocross. The cars below come to mind in this range:

1998-Current Mazda MX-5 – Still same basic car, but more power as they got newer. 2003-Current VW Golf – Even more modified than the previous versions, compete well. 1992-1997 Mazda RX7 – 3rd Gen is twin-turbo and can compete in autocross. 1992-2006 BMW M3 – M3’s are designed for racing. Some newer models will fall in this range. 1998-2003 BMW M5 – M5’s are very powerful and compete in their class well. 1994-Current Ford Mustang/Cobra – Very versatile car. Competes well in class. 1994-2002 Camaro/Firebird – Competes well in class. Many autocross upgrades. 2007-Current Mazda Mazdaspeed3 – Turbo, hatchback, competes well in autocross. 2003-2008 Nissan 350z – Great autocross car, very popular on the track. Special Autocross Kit cars such as the V6 Stalker fall in this range as well.

Now, this price range can vary in vehicles. A lot of these cars are still new and may require loans to purchase them.

The $20,001 spectrum will consist of some of the current-day models as well as the obvious “super cars” we all respect such as the Corvette, Viper, Porsche, Ferrari, Lotus and others. I will not include a list for those because if you are buying one of those for an autocross car, you did your research.


When buying a second car for autocross, treat it like when you are buying your daily driver car. You want the car to be relatively free of major problems. Autocross racing can put stress on the car’s frame, the suspension, the brakes, the tire and the overall body of the car.

You want to be sure that the car has not been in any major accidents. Frame repair or frame damage can be very dangerous mixture when you autocross. That is the MOST important thing to check for when buying a car for autocross. I have experienced and used the service by Experian called AutoCheck. They offer an unlimited number of VIN checks for one of their service options and the price is way better than the other services out there. I have used it when shopping and comes in very handy when you are checking the history of a vehicle.

The next important item to check on the car is major component problems such as smoke coming out of the back of the exhaust, major oil leaks (small leaks are expected on most used cars) slight/major overheating of the engine. Autocross is outside and you push the car to the limit. You want the major components to be in the best shape they can be. The mentioned problems can leave you stranded at the track if you do not look out for them.

I usually have some expectation to do minor repair or preventive repairs on my vehicles when I am buying to autocross them. As I stated above, small oil/fluid leaks are “OK” and can usually be fixed very easily. Small leaks tell us that the car is just used and may not be suffering from the leak as a result. Large/major leaks tell us the car may have been neglected by the previous owner and may carry residual problems unseen at the moment. When looking at a car, start it up, drive it around with the A/C engaged (even if it doesn’t work). When you are finished with the test drive, leave it idling while you walk around the car continuing to inspect it. If the car has an overheating problem, often this is the time it will show. This tip has helped me avoid several beautiful autocross cars that had an overheating problem.

Belts and hoses are my most frequent “preventive” repair I do, even if they are not a problem. It is always best to know when an important component has been replaced rather than to “guess” and trust the previous owner. Water pumps, too, fall in this category sometimes.

One thing people always check when buying a used car are the tires. Yes, this is important for an autocross car, but not to see how “good” the tires are, but to see if the car needs an alignment. Autocross is about handling and you need to be sure the car’s stock “handling” ability is where it should be.

Why not worry about the tires? Well, tires should be one thing to consider buying for your autocross car to begin with, so the existing tires should be removed anyway. Tires are probably the most bought wear item an autocross member will buy. A lot of autocross racers will bring a set of tires for racing, one for driving home (those who do not use a trailer) and some will even bring spares for the racing tires. This is so common that Tire Rack offers tires just for autocross. I have used them and they are the best place to get tires for this.


If you ever look into the aftermarket world of the auto industry, you know that there are literally thousands of places to look and buy. I will list a few spots that most people do not think to look, but surprisingly have things for the autocross fans.

First and foremost, autocross cars do NOT always need major upgrades to be competitive. A driver can use a stock vehicle and compete against fellow stock vehicles and remain competitive. Once you start to modify or upgrade heavily, you may start to move into different classes and compete with other cars that are equally modified. Keep that in mind when you want to change something.

Usually, I say modify the easy things first: Intake, exhaust and general tune ups. Most autocross drivers do not go far from that. These should be the first things you try to upgrade while you participate in autocross to get the most performance out of your vehicle.

If you decide to go further to be more competitive, my next recommendation would be suspension and body roll modifications. Please remember, certain upgrades in this area may change your class. Be sure to check your club or groups rules with these modifications.

Usually, the fastest upgrade to an autocross car would be front and rear strut tower bars/braces. They are usually inexpensive to buy and easy to install. They are also very modular meaning that when you buy these, they will work with other suspension components in place (usually). This modification helps stiffen the car’s suspension and frame and helps with cornering.

The next modification recommendation would then be the front and rear sway bars and links. These parts also help the body roll while cornering and handling and can sometimes be modular to the suspension system as a whole.

The final suspension upgrade is usually the most expensive: The struts (shocks/springs). This upgrade usually works well with the above items, but ads more stiffness, more response to the handling and sometimes lower the car overall for a lower center of gravity.

Once you have modified the entire suspension, my next recommendation would be to upgrade the brakes (at least the pads). This will help your stopping ability for those moments where a tap of the brake is needed during a lap. Please keep in mind that high performance brake pads usually wear much quicker than OEM.

One of the last things I recommend to upgrade is the tires. Now, I’m not saying that you should not FIRST buy new tires when you autocross, but I am saying not to UPGRADE them to an autocross/race tire just yet. Most autocross enthusiasts will tell you to get used to the stock/regular tires on your car first.

Once you get used to stock type tires, modifying them to a race tire or softer tire will actually improve your lap times (that’s the theory anyway).

One last note. I recommend replacing the fluids in your car with as many synthetics as you can. Synthetic fluids have higher heat resistance and can take the intense moments you will be putting on the car during the autocross laps.


Source by Shaun Putnam

What Is The Best Used Car To Buy?


If you are like most used car buyers looking for a good deal then you are looking to spend as little as possible to get you rolling. If spending as little as possible is your main focus in buying a used car then you should be shopping with a strict set of criteria that any car must meet in order for you to consider buying it.

There are a number of factors that affect the cost of owning a car both short term as well as long term. Here are a list of factors to consider when looking to spend as little money as possible when buying a used car:

1) the car must not be too expensive to buy

2) the car must be in good mechanical overall condition

3) parts for repairs must be readily available and affordable

4) the car must meet reasonable expectations of longevity

5) the car must be economical on fuel costs

6) the car must be economical on insurance costs

These are general guidelines that are based on the cost to buy, maintain, repair, insure and drive the car. A car that meets these requirements will have the greatest likelihood of costing the least both up front, but also in the long run when you factor in the ongoing costs of driving the car.

What is the best type of car for a small budget?

If you are shopping within a tight budget but require a car that will be consistently reliable for the foreseeable future then you really should be shopping for a four cylinder car that is front wheel drive and has four doors. Additionally you do not want the vehicle to be newer than 5 years old and no older than 12-15 years old.

Vehicle Age

The age of the car you are buying will be one of the most important factors in determining the value of the car. In addition to being an attribute of the condition of the car itself, the vehicle year will also affect the insurance quotes that you will get on the car, the availability and cost of replacement parts, as well as the resale value in the future should you want to sell the car.

Buying a brand new car

Buying a brand new car is a rewarding experience to be sure but seldom a wise investment since a new car will devalue instantly as soon as you assume ownership of the car. This measurable loss in equity is a result of the car no longer being brand new and thereby losing its most valued attribute. For any person looking to buy a car on a budget a brand new car will almost always be a bad decision. If you are intent on buying a new or nearly new car, the value of your buying dollar will go much further on a car that is even six months or one year old.

Buying used cars 1-5 years old

Used cars in the category are a substantially better investment than cars that are brand new. The large depreciation of the car when it transitioned from being a new car to a used car has been experienced by the current or previous owner. A car in this age range will be less likely to experience mechanical failures than cars moderately older, which is important as replacement parts are more expensive and less available than cars which are a few years older. Additionally the insurance premiums you are quoted for newer cars is substantially higher than a car which is a few years older. This is a very important factor for any used car shopper which falls into a moderate to high risk category due to age, experience or previous claims on their insurance history.

Buying used cars 5-10 years old

Used cars in the age range of five to ten years old represent the best likelihood for a good long term car investment for a thrifty shopper. The insurance rates on these vehicles will be much lower than newer vehicles and replacement parts should be readily available and cost effective to buy. The purchase price of used cars in this age range are low and the possibility of finding an undervalued car to buy for cheap is high if you shop around enough. There is a sharp drop off in price as cars age from the five year to the ten year point. A used car that is more than ten years old will be priced according to its condition more than its age.

Buying used cars more than 10 years old

Once a car is more than a decade old it will be priced for sale according to its condition and vehicle reputation alone. It can be expected that used cars of this age will require regular maintenance and ongoing repairs for the remainder of its life. Some older cars will sill run trouble free for years while others will need repairs on a regular basis just to keep them on the road.

A used car buyer shopping in this age range must be comfortable with performing vehicle repairs and maintenance themselves or have a dedicated monthly budget to allow for ongoing repairs.

Additionally a used car in this age range can develop a problem which will be very expensive to repair such as an engine or transmission failure so the importance of being able to buy a used car that is in good condition is even more important. Rust and rot can also become a pressing issue for cars in this age range, especially in colder climate areas where road salts are used to keep the roads cleared in winter. A ten year old car that has not been maintained or rust proofed located in a cold climate could easily be rotted beyond repair on the frame or sub frame. Vehicles in this age range are likely to be the least reliable and are recommended only for those who are capable with DIY repairs on an ongoing basis and carrying a basic tool and emergency kit is a must at all times.

As you can see there is more to consider than simply the price tag when it comes time to buy a used car. There is no such thing as the best used car, only the best used car for your needs and your budget.


Source by Steve Goodale

Truck Wash Business Case Study


Often smart entrepreneurs look for out of the way businesses, things out of the mainstream but businesses, which have a good customer base and steady incomes. This is an extremely interesting story. I had always considered the mobile truck washing efforts to be very profitable and believed that fixed truck washes were a big waste of money. That was until one year when a new franchisee joined our team from Oklahoma City. I run a franchise company called the Car Wash Guys; http://www.carwashguys.com. Turns out the franchisee was formerly employed by Blue Beacon Truck Washes the largest chain of truck washes in the US. They do about $138,000,000 per year with 80 truck washes and the company is very closely held. Tim our franchisee was a truck manager for them and before buying into our franchise and started washing cars in OKC even though he knows truck washing best. He had a two-year non-compete with his old company, which we have honored in OKC. He has tons of experience and had indicated to me that the business is sound and we should really get into it. Later that year I sold a franchise to a person in WA State who owned car washes (5) and he made a deal with a truck stop on an Indian Reservation, he never started the plan, but the numbers we ran on the spreadsheet looked great and very profitable.

Even as a serial entrepreneur, I had never considered the fixed site truck wash business, as the mobile truck wash business seemed so much more efficient and so little over head; http://www.truckwashguy.com . So even with all this knowledge on the team we still did not enter that market. One of our competitors in the car washing industry bought up two

truck washing chains for a total of fourteen truck washes and proclaimed it more profitable than his other car washes by 5 times as much money. They now own nearly 100 locations of truck and car washes nationwide. After looking into it some more a franchise buyer who owned Fuel MAN, an East coast Fuel Card for fleet owners approached us in South Carolina to use the Truck Wash Guys name and develop a truck wash mid state. At that point we decided to start working on the details. Then a franchisee in OH made a deal with a truck stop between Columbus OH and Pittsburgh, to operate a 24 hour truck wash and de-ice business. He thought how easy this is and now so we have made deal in WV at a truck wash as well. Our Ohio Franchisee at the time took on another partner in WV.

Still reluctant to fully dive into the subcategory of full service truck washes we found our Ohio Franchisee going full guns to put together a deal with Pilot Truck Stops. Pilot Truck Stop has the most Truck Stops on the Planet and sells 8% of all the diesel fuel in the United States. So we planned a pilot program at pilot. Our temporary set up is a trailer unit, which sits at the truck stops and washes made sense. We then worked on plans for a building to submit them to the Building dept. for approval, meanwhile the deals in

OH and WV and SC were suddenly in the works. We figured if our deal with the truck stops worked well, the Truck Stops will get more traffic and fuel sales while we generate

revenue and a percentage of the total take for the truck stop for the privilege of working there. We are so use to washing trucks and have on our team a gentleman who sells simonize truck wash and has been in the car washing and pressure washing equipment business for 20 years. By using the fuel man fuel cards as currency on the east coast and name recognition of Pilot we figured we could move into this industry and pick up the slack.

There is a shortage of truck washes across the country and also a shortage of oil change facilities for trucks. A franchisee could be trained by our truck wash prototypes and probably on the top performing franchisee in our mobile truck wash

division; then quickly set up in their own markets. Pressure Washing companies which specialize in fleet truck washing should in fact consider this type of strategy for moving into the fixed site truck washing business.

If you study entrepreneurial companies you will in fact see that many companies fall into markets due to opportunities which present themselves, it is amazing the opportunities which exist out there and how fast companies can grow when they can handle the demand of those markets. Think on this.


Source by Lance Winslow

Truck Drivers Versus Dispatchers – A Breakdown in Communication?


Unlike the National fleet, the upside of being on a regional or local fleet is that you work, primarily, with one dispatcher. The downside is that this dispatcher might be difficult to work with. My experience in trucking has given me the opinion that the relationship between many drivers and dispatchers is often of the love/hate variety-minus the love in several cases.

I believe the main reason for the “us” versus “them” attitude stems from a lack of communication between drivers and dispatchers, and a lack of understanding of one another’s respective roles. I will be the first to admit that this consideration did not factor into my thinking early on. In many cases, an unhappy driver is simply the result of a lack of understanding of the office structure, policies, and the role of key people in the company. Two-way communication and mutual respect are imperative in a successful relationship between drivers and dispatchers, and it is necessary for the retention of experienced drivers to a company.

I failed to understand early in my trucking career that most dispatchers do not willingly aspire to villainous acts. The job of a freight dispatcher, especially in a large company, is one of the most stressful jobs in America. Not only are they juggling the scheduling and progress of multiple trucks while constantly resolving problems that emerge, they listen to the gripes, threats, and choice words of drivers on a daily basis. On top of this, precious few dispatchers are afforded proper stress management training. They are, mostly, just thrown into the fire. In general, becoming a freight dispatcher requires no further education beyond a high school diploma. It just requires the ability to use a computer, the ability to multi-task, and an extremely high tolerance for stress.

I believe the key ingredient in a driver’s success and happiness with a company starts with an understanding of, and communication with, his or her dispatcher. Nobody will have more influence over a driver’s success than a dispatcher.

Most dispatchers identify poor communication as a primary cause of stress. Many drivers are quick to identify their dispatcher as a “bonehead”, but are slow to seek two-way communication. As a driver, I know that the stresses of the road are numerous and real, and it is easy to be caught up in a self-centered mindset. I once even heard another driver comment, “The dispatcher is there to serve us… not the other way around.”

Wrong! The dispatcher is there to serve the needs of the company.

Dispatching is a sedentary job but, having worked in a sedentary job, I know that mental and emotional stress can be just as debilitating as physical stress. This stress leads many dispatchers, like drivers, to have an abysmal diet. Fast food, fried foods, and vending machine junk are often the standard fare seen in a dispatch office. At a former company, I once noticed a bulk tub of antacid tablets nestled snugly in the bottom drawer of my driver manager’s desk. I have little doubt that I caused him to gobble more than a few of them.

A dispatcher is under constant pressure from his terminal manager to move freight, and a terminal manager is under constant pressure from company executives to keep his terminal productive and running smoothly. Unfortunately, this often translates into a perception of an uncaring or unfeeling attitude in the eyes of a driver. A driver needs to educate himself on the basic operation of his company and on the roles of some of the key people in it. Nevertheless, as I said before, communication is a two-way street. The dispatchers, terminal managers, and the company as a whole needs to consider the drivers, without whom money would not come into the company.

When I was in orientation at my first company, a newly hired dispatcher was inserted into class with the drivers. When one of the drivers asked him why he was there, the new dispatcher replied, “They wanted to put me in here so I could learn what you guys go through.”

I was fresh out of CDL school, so I did not respond but, among some of the experienced drivers, a number of lower jaws collectively banged to the floor.

“If you want to learn what we go through,” inserted a shocked driver, “you need to go on the road with us. You’re not going to learn anything sitting in here.”

This was a prime example of “Let’s watch a rodeo to understand cowboy life” thinking. You might as well watch a Three Stooges skit with Moe playing the role of Adolf Hitler to understand the nature of World War II. A true cross-familiarization program would consist of ride-alongs by dispatchers, and time spent in a dispatch office by drivers. I can only assume that most companies do not consider this to be a cost effective practice but, in adhering to this line of thinking, they fail to recognize that familiarity breeds mutual respect.

Drivers and dispatchers, by virtue of their mutual ignorance of one another’s working environment, each formulate strong opinions about the other. It doesn’t matter if these opinions are correct, but by allowing them to formulate and take hold, it often creates a negative work environment. In many cases, a negative relationship between a driver and a dispatcher is the fault of neither one of them. Rather, the company that is content to maintain a revolving door policy concerning its drivers deserves the finger of blame.

It never ceases to amaze me that many trucking companies cannot seem to grasp the simple concept that a truck driver desires to be treated like a human being rather than a truck number on a computer monitor. It is easy to forget that these numbers represent men and women who have lives and families outside of that truck, and they deserve to live them like anyone else. Do they really think that a long-haul driver can cram his personal life into four to six days a month at home?

Repeatedly, home time is cited as the number one reason why drivers quit. Recruiters often misrepresent the amount of home time that a driver will be afforded, and this dishonesty often leads to short-term employment. Nothing makes me feel more insignificant, as a driver, than a company giving me the impression that a load of freight is more important than I am.

A standard industry response for not getting a driver home when requested might be: “Freight is slow. Be flexible until the freight situation allows us to route you home.”

The person or people who provide such a response spend(s) an average of 420-480 hours per month at home with their families. A long-haul driver spends an average of 96-144 hours per month at home. How much to they expect us to “flex?” Most of us are already at the breaking point by the time our home request rolls around. If a company is unable to follow through on its promises of home time, they should not offer it as a hiring incentive. I am willing to be flexible in most areas, but when I feel that a company has little or no consideration for my need to live a personal life outside their truck, that company can summarily kiss my inflexible buttocks.

Dispatchers and trucking companies need to understand that drivers are real, live human beings rather than just a truck number. Likewise, drivers need to understand that dispatchers and managers have a specific job to do, and they are under a lot of pressure just as we are. A dispatcher has the unenviable task of piecing together a huge jigsaw puzzle, and the driver is only privy to his or her small portion of it. While communication will not resolve all issues, it will go a long way toward providing a better understanding and developing a mutual respect. It is not a matter of kissing the dispatcher’s or manager’s behind, it is just a matter of opening a line of professional communication with them.


Source by Rick L. Huffman

Turn Your Pickup Truck Into a Grocery Hauler


The thought of hauling groceries home in the back of a truck doesn’t sound appealing to most people. The mind’s eye almost immediately goes to boxes of cereal or crackers being blown about by the wind; possibly ending up on the side of the road. Heavy items are likely to completely squish and destroy items such as chips or bread.

Weather is another factor when hauling groceries in the back of the truck. Plastic shopping bags only go so far in helping protect items from rain. Boxes will become soaked through, ruining the contents quickly. The fix is actually quite simple, and inexpensive.

Install These 3 Items

Truck Bed Liner: A nonskid surface is perfect for large items like dog food or cases of bottled water. A bed liner will also keep other items in place. It will help keep all grocery items in place with the help of the next item on the list; the grocery hugger.

An added benefit of installing a bed liner is that it will protect the paint in the bed of the truck. Many times the bed is the first to become damaged and rusted because people just throw things into the back of the truck with no regard to scratching the paint. A bed liner will help protect against damaged paint and rust.

Grocery Hugger: This little device is designed to hug up to 15 bags of groceries and hold them safely in place. It works in your trunk, floorboards, or in the back of your truck. Simply place the bags where they need to be, tighten the hugger around them, and Velcro it into place.

A great grocery hugger alternative is the installation of bull rings and a grocery hammock. Just tie either side of the grocery hammock to the bull rings and your groceries will be safely in reach when you stop. A bed liner may not be required if you use a hammock, as all of your items will be resting on the hammock instead of sitting on the truck bed.

Truck Topper: A topper gives the truck a sleek SUV-like appearance. It offers a weatherproof cover for anything that needs to be hauled in the back of a truck. A topper is the perfect solution for weatherproofing the truck bed.

Benefits of a Truck Topper

Hauling other items such as mulch or furniture is precarious in potentially bad weather. It seems we can never really trust the weather forecasters anymore; test that theory by planning a motorcycle ride or outdoor event. A shower will likely pop up at the worst possible time. A truck topper keeps all of the items in your truck bed dry and safe, no matter how hard it rains or how hard the wind blows.

Never Worry about Hauling Dry Goods Again

Those three items don’t cost a fortune, and will make carrying groceries in the truck bed a breeze. No more worrying about spilled bags when you get home; or missing or destroyed items. Keep your grocery items safely in place in the back of the truck without spending a fortune on another car or SUV.


Source by Breton Nallie

What to Look for When Buying a Dump Truck!


Dump trucks are unique conveyances due to the fact that they are the only vehicles that are capable of unloading the material they carry by tilting their load. Now while this vehicle is a one-of-a-kind piece of equipment, it does come in many different configurations depending upon its intended purpose. If looking to buy this vehicle from a dump truck sales proprietorship, the first and most important thing that must be done is to identify the specifications necessary for the job.

The specifications of this vehicle vary greatly. For example, there is a large range of difference between the biggest and smallest type of this equipment. The largest dump trucks, called earth movers, are as big as a building and are used for large quarries. On the other hand, the smallest ones are the size of a pickup truck. The reason for the wide variation in size is that certain applications require certain specifications in order for the equipment to operate efficiently and effectively. That being said, a buyer should also make a decision on which vehicle to purchase based on how it will be used.

The following are some of the important specifications that buyers need to contemplate, as they have a huge influence as to the applications for which the dump truck can be used.


Engine size is a huge factor as to how the vehicle can be used. The power output from the engines can range from 300 to 600 horsepower. Dump trucks that are on the lower end of the spectrum are perfect for light hauling on generally flat terrain, while those with massive engines are perfectly suitable for areas where operators need to haul heavy loads over steep terrain.

Matching the right engine to the job is very important. An operator would not want to be underpowered for the job; however, an owner would not want a large truck driven for frequent light hauls as the operating expense of it could be very expensive.


The type of transmission is also another important thing to consider in this dump truck sales-buying process. The transmission can either be automatic or manual. The advantage of an automatic transmission is that the vehicle is much easier to operate. The downside is that those with automatic transmissions are more expensive and costly to repair, along with the fact that there is certain performance limitations on those equipped with automatic transmissions. On the other hand, those with manual transmissions are more affordable, fuel-efficient, cheaper to repair and can operate on any type of surface since the driver can choose which gear is suitable for the terrain.

Load Volume Capacity

The load volume capacity of these vehicles is determined by the area of the dump bed and the height of the side rails. A standard body length ranges between 20 to 30 feet. The length of the body is critical as it dictates the efficiency of the vehicle. Before buying, it is important for buyers to determine how much load volume per haul the equipment will handle in order to find a dump truck that is equipped with a bed that meets the criteria.

Number of Axles

The number of axles varies depending on the equipment’s rated capacity. Small vehicles are only equipped with one rear axle while heavy-duty ones can have two rear axles along with a third drop axle that can be lowered when hauling the heaviest loads. The number of axles on a dump truck is important due to the fact that most states have regulations on the number of axles to be used for a certain load amount. Before purchasing this equipment, be sure to check in advance on the local DOT laws pertaining to weight restrictions and the number of axles required.

Be sure to check the specifications needed before purchasing this type of equipment to make sure that the vehicle being purchased meets the criteria for its intended use, and to ensure that the buyer knows what to look for when buying a dump truck!


Source by Christopher M. Hunter