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Woman in the car she rented November 21, 2017

Common Car Rental Mistakes that Will Make You Spend More Cash

Car rentals are a convenient option for road trips and finding your way around when visiting a place. They are a better alternative to public transport or cab services. Getting a rental car is also the best way to explore new destinations.

Among the many benefits of a car rental here in Auckland is cost-efficiency. Though this is a determining factor for most renters, some ends up paying hefty rental costs.

Here are some of the common mistakes that will make you dig deeper into your pockets.

Renting Your Car from Airports

Airport car rentals might seem convenient for you especially when you have flown into a new city. This “convenience,” however, comes with airport surcharges. Airports typically charge car rentals a premium fee for renting space.

They pass these costs on to renters. Look into companies located in the city, as these are often cheaper than airport rentals.

Waiving Rental Insurance

You should purchase insurance if you are not explicitly covered by your current insurance company for rentals. There are many dangers when driving through new streets. Your safety should be your chief concern.

For your peace of mind and security, car rental insurance is an intelligent decision. It will ultimately save you a substantial amount of cash.

Paying For Unnecessary Additional Services

Any bells and whistles that come with your rental will cost you more. GPS, roadside services and upgrades might make your trip convenient, but they increase your rental price. Make sure you understand the fee structure of your company’s rental costs before you sign the contract. If you need any additional services, you can look for cheaper alternatives.

Before signing your car rental contract, understand fine details of the penalties you might incur and keep them in mind. Do a thorough homework before settling for a rental company. Failure to inspect the car thoroughly before driving off might lead to paying for damages you did not cause.

Used cars in a parking lot November 16, 2017

Why You Should Wait For at Least Two Months to Buy a Used Car

If you plan to buy a second-hand car, you may want to consider heading to a used car dealership in Bradenton, Florida, or in Houston, Texas, by December 2017.

The recent spate of hurricanes in both states affected the possibility of buying a secondhand car in good condition. An oversupply of new cars, a significant amount of incentive dollars and plenty of off-lease cars made it seem like a good idea to buy a secondhand unit, prior to the occurrence of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Here’s why you should consider buying used cars in Bradenton or Houston:

Hand-Me-Down Purchases

Higher prices for used cars also justify a decision to postpone buying a pre-owned vehicle. Combine that with a growing demand for such vehicles and a purchase seems less attractive at the moment. Wholesale automotive prices rose nearly 3% in September from August, according to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index.

If you have money to spare and you’re looking for a new driving experience, you could rent a Tesla Model 3 in Florida. However, be prepared to pay more than $160 per day to use it. Still, buying a used car seems to be the best option for most Americans.

Storms’ Impact

Harvey and Irma’s damages rendered up to 1 million vehicles useless with their value being next to nothing, aside from being likely recycled into scrap metal. The Manheim index showed that buyers should not be surprised by high prices or other market changes when they visit dealerships in Florida or Texas.

The growing retail demand for used cars buoys the strength of the wholesale market, while most of the price growth stems from the recovery after the recent hurricanes, according to the index.

Your patience will be put to the test when determining the right time to buy a secondhand car. But the bright side on this matter includes not being tricked into purchasing damaged or flooded vehicles.

October 10, 2017

Going Green with Geothermal Heating and Cooling

If you end up worrying about your energy bills every month, you might want to switch to geothermal heating in Pennsylvania. With its low operating costs and effective heating and cooling system, switching to geothermal can save you a ton of money.

How does a geothermal system offer effective heating and cooling?

The earth has insulating properties. This means that underground temperatures do not fluctuate as much as the outdoor temperatures. Temperatures a few feet below the earth are consistent all year round.  A geothermal unit consists of a system of pipes and an indoor unit that uses these constant underground temperatures to create free energy. The pipes are polyethylene-made and lie either vertically or horizontally depending on the construction site. If you live somewhere with plenty of groundwater, you can also opt for an open system.

Heating and Cooling During Winter and Summer

During winter, the fluid in the earth loop absorbs heat from the ground and transfers it indoors. The indoor unit then compresses the heat before distributing it evenly in the house. During summer, the system takes heat from the indoor space and deposits it into the aquifer for cooling. This means your geothermal system can regulate your home’s temperatures regardless of the climate.

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are environmentally friendly as they reuse the earth’s natural heat instead of burning fossil fuel to generate energy. You only need to use electricity to power the pump, fan, and compressor. Once you install this system, you can expect savings of up to 40-70% on your annual bill. Having a geothermal system not only saves you money, but it also saves the earth as well.

September 28, 2017

Utah Studies Viability of P3s for Transportation Funding

Utah’s Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force is asking if an “asset recycling” system could fund the state’s future needs for transportation infrastructure and maintenance.

The system represents one of the task force’s many initiatives since May to determine funding options for transportation.  As automotive technology continues to develop, state lawmakers have sought new ways to generate revenue aside from transportation taxes.

Revenue System

Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Marc Scribner said that the asset recycling system involves leasing or selling public infrastructure assets to private companies. These firms would then be responsible for maintaining these assets at their expenses. In turn, the state could focus on how to boost revenue for other projects.

Toll roads and express lanes comprise some of the assets under the proposed system, which has already been under review in other countries, according to Scribner. Reduced reliance on taxpayer money serves as another advantage of the scheme since private investors will be shouldering the financial risks.

Gas Tax

Scribner believes that the current revenue collection for transportation, which involves taxing fuel, could no longer be sustainable in the future. The experts at Shadetree Automotive explain that cars are becoming more efficient technologically, and though the need for a traditional Toyota or Honda service in Layton or Salt Lake City may still be relevant, there is growing interest in electric and fuel-efficient cars too.

Drivers have become more interested in using these vehicles, amid high gas prices. The cost of fuel normally increases every year during the few days before Labor Day, yet Hurricane Harvey’s impact could further contribute to expensive gas.

The new system will allow Utah to have a reliable source of revenue for maintaining roads and bridges. As cars become more efficient, the fuel tax may become a less reliable form of revenue in the future.

September 25, 2017

Must-Know Vehicle Wrap Maintenance Tips

Vehicle wraps in Houston from Rockwall Wraps are a cheap and versatile way of jazzing up your car’s exterior. Wraps come in different colors and designs that allow you to personalize your car to fit your style.

With the right maintenance, the vinyl wrap can last for years but if you notice your wrap is fading, cracking or dried, it means you are not doing something right. Below are some cleaning and maintenance tips to keep your wrap in good condition:

Spot cleaning

If you notice a small and isolated stain, gently rub it clean using isopropyl. Do not use tire dressing since it will splash and stain your wrap. After cleaning, rinse the spot using cool water.  If you spill fuel on the wrap, gently wipe it off immediately using a towel or paper towel. If you are dealing with stubborn stains, soak it in warm soapy water to loosen the contaminants. However, avoid wiping it while it’s still warm as it might distort or wrinkle the wrap.

Dealing with damaged wraps

If your wrap is damaged do not sweat it. Since wraps are applied one section at a time, it is just a simple matter of having that section replaced by a professional. The damaged area is simply removed and the patch reprinted with the original design.

Is wrap reversible?

Wrap is reversible if the original surface is in good condition when the vinyl was first applied. However, the longer the wrap has been there, the trickier it would be to remove and replace it. Make sure you consult with professionals before replacing the vinyl.

Aside from the aesthetic appeal, vinyl wraps can protect your vehicles’ body for a long time. By getting your car wrapped by experts and with a bit of maintenance work, your car can keep on looking shiny and new for years to come.

Detailed Front of a UTV September 15, 2017

Why Buy a Side-By-Side Ride for Your Farm

If you need some help on your farm, you might want to find a search and rescue UTV dealer such as Shank’s Argo for some good wheels to move you around, such as a side-by-side (SxS) vehicle.

It is fast, and it is safe enough to give you a blast whenever you need a quick visit to the poultry or to the plantation, which might take minutes when you go by foot.

Besides, it is also likely that your arms have also been complaining about the heavy load.

It is An Off-Road Vehicle

The road will never be friendly with multiple bumps on your way along with the welcoming dirt and mud. However, you have your wheels ready to take on the challenging terrain all the way. Your UTV will not let you down as soon as you put on your seat belt and hit the gas.

It is A Utility Vehicle

Oh yes, you heard it right, it is a utility vehicle that will always come in handy. Not like the typical all-terrain vehicle, a utility task vehicle has a cargo box where you can put some stuff in need of transporting from one place to another.

That means you would not have to carry a heavy load using your bare hands when you have an excellent ride to go by.

It is ROPS Safeguard

Getting a UTV can be pretty exciting and also equally challenging. You better be safe than sorry with some Roll Over Protection System on your ride.

No need to worry since most of side-by-side units in the market are built with strong components to protect the driver and the cargo from the dangers of getting turned upside down.

At the end of the day, getting your SxS would mean preparing a garage to house the vehicle and saving up for its regular maintenance. Caring for your UTV means caring for your work, too.

Successful farmer invested an equipment to the businessman September 11, 2017

5 Tips On Farming Profitably

Successful farmers know that farming is a business and treat it that way. If you’ve dreamed of becoming a farmer not just for yourself but also for your community, there are a few simple things you can do to reap the greatest benefits from the venture. Here are some of them.

Invest in equipment

If you are going to farm profitably, you can’t afford to skimp on equipment. From harrower to trowels, make a list of each item you need and buy everything as early as possible. A reliable farm machinery should have the necessary items you need, such as a v rake for sale from K-Line Ag.

Set goals

In case, you wish to go into farming for a long time, it’s crucial that you establish a vision for your farm. Break down the vision into short term goals and be sure to stick to them. Keep records to track your progress. Establish your capital and decide how you are going to use it.

Track your cash flow

It’s important that you monitor your income and expenditure. Ensure you preserve all your invoices and receipts. Keep a journal to record all the money spent on labour, seeds, equipment, fertilisers and so on. Where you use the money on more than one enterprise, keep records separately to avoid confusion.

Choose seeds smartly

While seeds that contain fewer GMO traits cost less than their counterparts, resulting plants require more management. You’ll have more weed and insect pressure. Therefore, it’s much wiser to spend more on seeds than waste more money on maintenance.

Research

Don’t like to read much? That’s got to change. There a lot of knowledge on farming out there that will prove hugely helpful for you. Do online research and invest in useful books, so you have in-depth knowledge on all the critters you intend to have on your farm.

Few ventures are ever so satisfying and lucrative as farming. However, before you start a farm, educate yourself on all you need to do so you get the most out of your investment.

Car lift in a garage September 6, 2017

Maintain Car Lifts to Prevent Workplace Injuries and OSHA Fines

Having a BenPak 4 post lift installation may be highly useful for mechanics and their auto shops, but maintenance of the lift belongs to a different matter. Although you already know that you have to maintain your auto lifts regularly, lapses in memory can make you or your employees skip the maintenance.

Unmaintained Lifts

You may expect auto shops to take care of the expensive lifts that they use, but surprisingly, many lifts have deteriorated because of lack of maintenance. You may have lifts in your own shop that are out of shape. It may be time to maintain your auto lifts if you want to keep your employees safe and prevent the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from fining you.

Impact of Disrepair

Unmaintained lifts pose as workplace hazards that can injure you or your employees. Workplace injury will cost you not just in medical fees, but also in business. Your shop will be one man short as well, reducing the productivity and capability of your business. Finally, the OSHA can fine for as much as $15,000 for the most severe cases.

Restore Your Lifts

You can bring your old BendPak 4 post lift installation back in shape. All you have to do is to continue maintenance on a monthly basis. Monthly maintenance tasks include inspection of all parts and lubrication of posts. Besides the monthly tasks, you also have to inspect and lubricate the post cables four times a year.

Maintain Your Lifts

As you restore your old auto lift, you can check its cables to see if they can still hold up to the job. When you find any damage to the cables, you can immediately have them replaced with new ones. You can easily check the cables by running the cables through a cloth. Broken wires will snag the cloth and let you know there is cable damage.

Auto lifts serve as valuable machines for auto shops. It will do you well to take good care of them even when it seems inconvenient.

Man teaching the woman the rescue training exercise August 23, 2017

Illinois, Tennessee Officials Hold Search-and-Rescue Drills

Volunteers participated in two separate search-and-rescue (SAR) training exercises in July that occurred in Greene County, Tenn., and in Marine, Ill.

Marine Exercises

Marine Police Chief Chris Singleton said that a recent SAR canine unit held training exercises in the Illinois city, where volunteers from the fire and police departments participated in several drills. Much of the mock searches involved the use of trained dogs, particularly two animals that scouted the entire fire station.

These dogs looked for other members of the team that acted as the missing persons, who hid in certain areas around the training venues. It might seem easy, but the drills made it extra challenging for the canine units by laying down distractions.

One dog, who has not been certified at the time of training, had to remain focused despite encountering a horseshoe tournament along her mission. The canine had to find the hidden member by following a scent trail across a baseball field near the fire station.

Civil Training

Aside from trained canines, a search and rescue UTV can be an efficient resource during emergency cases such as plane crashes. In Greene County, the Tennessee Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) conducted a simulated SAR drill for this type of situation.

The training involved exercises for air crew and mission base, aerial photography and ground search. Search teams on the ground play an important role by providing disaster relief and finding missing individuals, according to Col. Arlinda Bailey, who managed the drill. The CAP has been involved in previous disaster coordination efforts, including the tornado incidents in the area in 2011.

Almost 40 volunteers participated in the event, which provided insights in handling plane crashes especially in mountains, where it can be more difficult to locate the aircraft itself.

Conclusion

With the availability of several equipment resources, SAR teams should be more competent in doing their roles as lives depend on their capabilities.

Man fixing the car August 16, 2017

Under The Hood: When Is It Time To See a Car Specialist?

It is important that you know the common signs your car needs repair. It might even save you from having an engine failure in the middle of the freeway.

Here are the most common and easiest ways to spot signs that your vehicle needs to be taken to a mechanic in Arvada for an auto repair service:

Flashing Lights

One of the easiest ways to determine your car engine’s health is the check engine light. When it is flashing, it means you need to have your engine checked as soon as possible. However, when the engine-looking symbol on your dashboard is flashing, you should not delay having your engine checked, as it could cause significant damage to your car when ignored.

Too Much Smoke From The Exhaust

Anything in excess is not good, especially if it’s the smoke coming out of your tailpipe. If your car’s exhaust pipe is emitting excessive and continuous black smoke, take it to a mechanic immediately as it may indicate that you have an oil leak, blocked air filter, or carburetor problem.

Smoke or Steam Coming From Under The Hood

It’s never a good sign for smoke or steam to come out from under the hood. This is an immediate red flag and shouldn’t be ignored, as it is an indication of an overheating problem. Ignoring this issue could eventually lead to bigger and costly problems.

Leaking Fluids

Black, dark brown, pink, or red puddles under your parked car are not a good sign. The problem could either be with your engine or transmission. You should bring your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. On a side note, fresh water dripping when the air conditioner is turned on during the summer season is nothing to worry about.

Loud or Strange Noises

Is your car making funny noises while you drive? There are various reasons it does that, and they are all not good. It might be a dropping transmission, the breaks giving out, and a lot more that require immediate attention.

Having some form of engine trouble is inevitable, especially if your car is old. But whether your car will bite the dust or not will depend on how early you catch the problem and have it fixed. At the first sign of engine trouble, you should have your vehicle checked by a mechanic.