Superhero Build

This is a work in progress and a tribute to my favorite all-time superhero.

What Kind of Truck You Need if You Do a Lot Of Hauling

There’s no doubt that pickup trucks are the workhorses of modern society. They allow people to haul just about anything they want. If you speak to people who are familiar with hauling items around, they will tell you that not just any pickup truck is suitable for hauling large numbers of items. Thus, the following list includes information on understanding what kind of truck you will need to get if you are planning on hauling a lot of things.

Something With a Tough Engine

No matter how much your truck can hold, it won’t matter if it can’t move it with ease. Therefore, the first thing you need to look at in a pickup truck is its engine. The characteristics of a tough engine include one that can withstand the heavy workload placed on it. In terms of materials, don’t let the lightweight trucks fool you. The material of a truck is no longer a factor in its hauling performance. In fact, one of the most popular lightweight trucks out on the market today has a hauling capability of 12,200 pounds.

Accessories

When it comes to consistently hauling heavy items, the engine isn’t the only area you should concentrate on. Safety must always be your number one priority, not only to protect yourself and your truck but also to protect the general public on the road. According to Spyder Industries, it’s important to have a headache rack in trucks if you haul a lot of heavy cargo or anything that might slide around and slam into your rear window, or worse, through it.

Technology

Innovations in technology have allowed pickup trucks to be better suited for drivers who need to haul items constantly. Hauling items can be quite a daunting experience. Focusing on the road as well as the load in the back is very difficult. Fortunately, pickup manufacturers have listened to their customers and have designed trucks that aid this type of work. A very helpful technological feature that is now available includes integrated trailer brakes. This system puts the right amount of braking power for the load you are hauling. According to Mopar Parts, it also helps prevent collisions when decreasing speeds.

If you are having difficulties hauling your items, it can be a good indication that your pickup truck is not built to handle that sort of workload. Therefore, it is highly recommended to utilize the information above the next time you are in the market for a pickup truck that can do the job.

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How to Determine Who’s at Fault in a Car Accident

Car accidents are problematic events, especially if you do not involve the police. That is because insurance companies typically want to know who was at fault. The fault may be shared, such as when one driver turns right while another driver coming from the opposite direction turns left on a green arrow and both of you collide in the same lane.

At other times, the fault may be more or less yours, depending on the circumstances of the accident. In some states, there is no such thing as fault in a car accident because they are deemed no-fault accident states. This article discusses how you can determine fault in a car accident in a state where at-fault laws are in effect.

Right of Way

When determining fault in an accident, it helps to determine who had the right of way. For example, a four-way stop with stop signs has a very specific set of rules to follow. The person who reaches the four-way stop first is generally the person that moves first.

If two or more cars reach the four-way at the same time, it is usually the car to your right that moves first, with each car to the right moving next in a counter-clockwise maneuver. When two cars stop that are directly across from each other and no one is turning through the path of the other (i.e., both cars are going straight through the intersection), then both may go at the same time. Accidents usually occur when someone does not make a full stop or turns into the oncoming path of a vehicle that has the right of way. If your accident is caused by a right-of-way issue, the police will determine which driver moved into traffic without the right of way.

Look at Your State’s Laws

Each state has its own traffic laws that differ from neighboring and distant states. Your state’s laws will be a determining factor in who is at fault in the accident. Certain states uphold comparative fault laws that state that the two parties in an accident are assessed based on who has more responsibility for the occurrence of the accident. Comparative fault states have different rules than other states for establishing who pays what after an accident. The person who is more at fault pays the other party more based on the percentage of shared fault left after both parties’ shared percentages of fault cancel each other out.

So, in comparative fault incidences, if a driver is considered 60 percent at fault and the other driver is considered 40 percent at fault, the person with 60 percent fault is required to pay the other driver 20 percent of the losses incurred in the accident. The 40 percent fault on both sides is canceled out, leaving the driver with the higher percentage the person who has to pay. Talk to your insurance company to see if your state is a comparative fault state.

Police Reports

Involving the police after an accident is key in determining fault. The police are able to look at an accident and see things that logistically tell them who is responsible or more responsible for the accident. Their report is a vital piece in helping your insurance company decide what and who to pay in the accident.

Traffic Cameras

If your accident occurs where traffic cameras are posted, this can be a huge benefit to determining fault in an accident. The camera footage may be obtained via the police department by requesting footage that’s dated and time-stamped for your accident. The footage will reveal who made the biggest traffic blunders and who is more at fault (e.g., who ran the red light, who tried to race through the yellow while someone else was turning, who was distracted and on their phones, etc.).

Witnesses

Witnesses at the scene of an accident are also helpful. They might have seen something happen from a different perspective, such as outside the vehicle (e.g., as a pedestrian) or inside their own vehicles. Many cars these days have dash cams. If a witness had a dash cam in their car, it could provide key evidence in your favor. When police are called to the scene, they are likely to stop other drivers and people on the street to ask them what they saw.

Presence of Alcohol or Drugs

All states have laws against driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, it doesn’t necessarily stop people from doing this. If the accident is the result of the other person driving drunk or driving under the influence of drugs, the accident is almost always the impaired driver’s fault.

As you can see, it can be a challenge to determine fault in an accident. However, when you know what tools are used to determine fault in your state, you can use those tools to find out if the other driver owes you anything. What you decide to do then is between you and your insurance company.

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8 Tips for Safe Driving With Your Dog in the Car

Going on a road trip with your dog? You need to keep them safe and comfortable just as you would do for your child. Dogs will naturally get nervous when riding in a car for the first time. Even if it’s not their first time, they’ll still get too excited that they can distract you from driving safely. Apart from putting yourself at risk, the nervousness or the excitement can also put the dog at risk. Ensure both of you are safe and comfortable throughout the ride by practicing these simple tips.

Keep Them Contained

Just like you buy safety car seats for your toddlers, dogs also need such kind of security. You need to consider buying them a comfortable barrier ahead of your travel. If you have a small dog, a comfortable pet carrier will work well for you. Crates allow dogs and puppies to feel secure, especially in a potentially scary environment for your furry friend. Crates or carriers will keep them contained in one place so that they don’t interfere with your driving by running from one seat to another and barking at other cars through the window. Containing your dog in a carrier also protects them from injuries in case you suffer an accident.

Get Them Used to the Car

Getting your dog used to the car is a good strategy of ensuring they don’t get nervous or too excited when on the ride. If well-trained, dogs will not be afraid of cars; neither will they interfere with your driving. Start by getting them in the car and treating them to some dog snacks as they ride around the neighborhood. Improve this gradually by driving with them a short distance to the dog park or any other fun place. With time, your dog will start associating cars with good things such as treats and parks. They will get used to the rides in a few weeks of training. If well trained, your dogs will start enjoying the rides and will stay calm throughout a long trip.

Feed Them Lightly Before Riding

You need to ensure your dog is fed before you embark on a journey. However, don’t overfeed them because this can cause discomfort during your trip. A good rule of thumb is to feed them six hours before the trip. Minimize on water and other liquids so that you avoid a full bladder. Light feeding will help you minimize bathroom breaks. Also, don’t feed your dog on a moving vehicle because this can increase their chances of getting sick. If they get hungry in the middle of the journey, you can take breaks to feed them. This means you must carry some dry food and water.

Never Leave Them Alone in the Car

Sometimes you might want to have your bathroom breaks, take a stretch, or grab a bite. Whatever the case, don’t leave your dog in the car. First, the interior of your vehicle can get hot, especially during summer, and this can suffocate the dog. If the weather is too chilly, packed cars get extremely cold and end up freezing your dog. If you reside in states where it’s illegal to leave animals unattended, you might find yourself in trouble with authorities. Think about those instances where a Good Samaritan breaks your car window to rescue your dog. You don’t want to risk such damages.

Get Them Inside

Sometimes your dog may get too excited that they want to ride with the head or hands outside the window. You might be tempted to let them enjoy the experience, but this is risky for their safety. They can easily get scratched by other vehicles or get hit by flying objects. Sometimes they can even jump out of the window if they see something exciting or scary. Let the small ones ride in a cage and belt the bigger ones.

Let Them Ride in the Back Seat

The dog might become too playful and end up jumping from the back seat to front. They sometimes want to cuddle or sleep in your laps. This is not safe for driving and can cause accidents. Stay safe by ensuring your dog remains in the backseat throughout the journey. You can also put them in the cargo area if it’s spacious and well-ventilated. Even if you have a passenger, don’t let them ride on the laps because this can still put them in danger. Make sure they have a comfortable crate or a safety restraint if you’re driving a long distance so that they don’t jump around all over the place.

Take Breaks

You might not get tired easily because you’re probably used to the ride. However, all this is new for your furry friend. If you’re traveling for a long trip, make a point of taking regular breaks so that both of you can get fresh air. Stop at a secure location such as a gas station and stretch yourself by jogging or walking around. You can also take this opportunity to take a bathroom break or eat some snacks.

Understand the Law

Several states have laid down rules that dictate how you must handle your pets when traveling. These rules vary with state and if you intend to drive to a different state, make a point of finding out what the laws in the other state are. Understand how they differ from the ones you’re used to. Carry out a research all the rules and regulations regarding riding in a car with your dog. If the law states that your dog should be in a carrier, make sure you do that even if your dog is the calmest in the car. Just ensure you don’t fall in the wrong arm of the law because you might end up losing your furry friend or parting ways with huge fines.

Traveling with your dog will be fun if you learn to treat him like a child. The same way you ensure your comfort and needs, consider the needs of the dog as well. Understand that even well-trained dogs can get stressed on long-distance trips. Prepare for this ahead of time and carry out thorough research in everything you may need so you can both enjoy your trip.

Here’s another great article: Bad Driving Habits You Should Avoid

What to Know About Restoring a Classic Car

If you’ve always wanted to own and drive a classic car, then restoring one to mint or near mint condition may be the answer. Classic cars, once restored, can be worth thousands of dollars and offer a style of classic elegance that you simply cannot find in newer cars. Classic car restoration is not a task for the timid, but the payoff is well worth the work and effort.

Remove Paint and Rust

Choosing a car with minimal body damage is best when seeking a classic car for restoration. With the right equipment, you can remove paint and rust quickly and efficiently, but there are a few options for blasting that you must consider before you begin.

Sandblasting is an excellent way to remove primer, paint, and rust from almost any body part. Sandblasting will leave a bare metal surface that is ideal for a fresh coat of primer and paint. Consult a professional in bodywork, and research sandblasting tips and techniques for auto body repair and restoration before you begin.

Depending on what the car needs, you have a few options for blasting. The two most common besides sandblasting are soda blasting and dustless sandblasting. The type of blasting you choose will depend on the condition of the classic car, the type of metal the body is composed of, and the amount you’re willing to spend. Consult with a professional to help you decide which method is best for your project.

Finding the Right Parts

If you’ll be doing the restoration yourself, then it pays to do your homework before you begin the project or purchase a car in need of restoration. You must know everything about the car your planning on restoring so that you can be sure to find all the parts necessary. Some classic cars are so rare that it’s very difficult to find the right parts. If you need body parts, it can be almost impossible. Check with retailers that specialize in selling and finding parts for classic and vintage cars before you begin your project.

Understand Your Limits

Restoring a classic car can take years. Know what you’re in for before you start or make an investment. If you have little to no experience in car repair, then factor in the cost of using a professional for repairs you can’t do yourself. Keep in mind that no matter how small or large your restoration project is, there will most likely be some repairs that must be done by a professional.

Classic car restoration can be a fun and rewarding project for anyone willing to put in the time, energy, and dedication. If you’re a beginner, keep the project small and simple, and keep your finished goal in mind. If you’re considering restoring classic cars to earn income, then invest in books, and classes on how to restore classic cars.

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What You Can Do to Keep Your Car Running for a Long Time

Did you know that routine maintenance is the key to keeping a car in the best shape possible? Learning maintenance is a great way to keep older cars performing like newer models. These days, older cars can be found on the road running as smoothly as the day it left the dealer lot. According to the Kelley Blue Book, no car can have too much maintenance. However, it’s also best to learn about the different car parts and what should be serviced by a professional.

Service Your Vehicle Regularly

Most car owners realize getting a tune-up and oil change at least once a year can extend the life of a vehicle. Those who frequently drive their cars long distances should stay on top of service recommendations. If you bought a used vehicle with high mileage, it’s highly advisable to get routine service at least once a year. Services should include fluid check, tire rotation, and replacement of filters. Additionally, it’s important that you don’t ignore warning indicator lights when they come on to prevent serious problems.

Drive Calmly

Even though some love to zip through traffic, or feel the need to do so, constant speeding and hard braking bring wear and tear faster. Speeding not only takes a toll on the tires but makes it easy to lose control of the vehicle. Brakes can malfunction without warning and some emergency brakes aren’t easy to access while driving. Besides getting a traffic ticket, you’re also likely to cause an accident and injure someone.

Learn How to Monitor and Remedy

While it’s inexpensive to get fluids changed by a professional, knowing how to look for leaks can save money. The same applies to low tires, squeaky wiper blades, or anything that’s relatively small. If more than one person in the home is driving, a tire inflator is economical and more reliable than the gas station air pumps.

Staying on top of auto care pays off in the long run. The best thing a car owner can have is a full-service mechanic that’s honest and reliable. Charging low prices means nothing if they don’t address other existing problems. Look around for someone who’s knowledgeable and highly recommended. If you have a foreign or specialty vehicle, make a general mechanic your back-up when the specialist is unavailable. By getting regular maintenance done and paying attention to your vehicle, it will keep running for years to come.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Get the Most Life Out of Your Car

Vehicle Considerations for College Students

Your young adult has graduated high school and they’re all ready to start their adult lives in college. As a parent, you want to put your young adult in the best position to succeed in their schooling, which might include equipping them with a new car. But what kind of car is suitable for a college student? What are some of the concerns and considerations of your young adult driving to and around the university?

Here you’ll find some of our best tips for parents of high school graduates regarding how to choose the best vehicle to suit their needs while protecting their safety.

Compact Cars

While many students may want large cars, the reality is the smaller cars are more suitable for university students for a variety of reasons. According to Budget, compact cars have great fuel economy, are easy to park in small spaces, handle the road well, and are affordable. Your young adult will likely be pinching pennies while they are in school, so the savings on gas money can go a long way towards their purchase of books and meals.

Some people assume that all smaller cars are more dangerous than larger cars, but improvements in safety standards have come a long way. Many compact cars perform exceptionally well in crash tests. Highway safety groups in the US test cars’ crash performance extensively, so you can easily review a car’s safety score before you make the purchase.

Motorcycles

The great benefit of motorcycles is that they are small (making them easy to park) and get great gas mileage. They could be a good option for getting around small areas like a college campus. Best Beginner Motorcycles claims that they are cheaper than cars, but the cost comes from their low storage capacity. It’s impossible, for example, to furnish a dorm room by taking a motorcycle to college. You will also need to consider the cost of safety gear, such as a helmet.

Scooters

Scooters aren’t the first vehicle to come to mind when you’re thinking about gifting your college student a car, but they’re a favorite among many students for several good reasons. Although they lack in horsepower and capacity, and may not be cleared for freeway travel, scooters are very fuel efficient, easy to learn how to ride, and very commute-friendly. Most of them are automatic, unlike motorcycles, so no knowledge of operating a manual transmission is needed. They’re also easier to find parking space for, which is a common college student struggle. As a benefit for you, scooters tend to be significantly more affordable than the other two options mentioned here.

When choosing the best vehicle for your college student, you should think primarily about saving money and protecting their safety. For this reason, a car with a good track record of crash test performance combined with good fuel economy is likely to be your best bet.

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Keep the Adventure Going—How to Take Care of and Maintain 3 Different Off-Roading Vehicles

One of the great things about having an off-road vehicle is that you can enjoy riding in all types of terrains and weather. Whether you have a jeep, a four-wheeler, or any other type of off-road vehicle, each must be properly cared for. Here are some things you should know when it comes to keeping your off-road vehicle in tip-top shape.

Jeep

A Jeep is not only a nice-looking vehicle in general, but it can work great for when you want an off-road adventure and need something that can handle rough terrain. Because off-roading can be really rough on your vehicle, you should prep your Jeep prior to your journey. It’s important to properly remove the hard top off your Jeep in order to avoid causing potential problems. Your hardtop is extremely fragile, as well as expensive. You don’t want to risk damaging it during a ride, so be extra careful.

Land Rover

Before you take your Land Rover out for an expedition, it is important that you check your tire pressure as well as look for any missing lugs, deep cuts, or other potential tire issues. Not only should you check all four of your tires, but you should make sure you check the spare tire as well, so it is in good shape in case you need it. Also, it is important that your brakes are in optimal working condition, so check the drums of your brakes for any leftover sand or mud. These things should be done after each ride, but also before just to make sure you haven’t missed anything the first time and are in good shape to hit the road.

ATV

If you want to ride over rocks and large mounds as easily as possible, then you will need to make sure your shocks are working as they should. Check for any leaks or dents or any form of damage to your shocks before you take your ATV out for a ride. The shocks, along with the brakes, tires, and other car parts, all work together to make off-road riding the fun experience that it is, so it is important to keep these things up to par.

Whenever you return from an off-road adventure, it is imperative that you give your vehicle a thorough cleaning. This will ensure that all mud and sand have been removed and that your vehicle is ready for the next expedition.

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What You Need to Know to Build Your Own Go-Kart

Before starting on your build, it’s wise to form a clear concept that includes a list of materials required and any tools that will be needed. For go-karts, there are resources you can go to for a detailed guide to planning your project. Next, decide on the size, shape and speed capabilities you desire from the vehicle. Although you can create your own design, there are many customizable templates available online. Many are free and offer invaluable information from experienced go-kart enthusiasts.

Your Tools

The main components will be the framework, an engine, and the drivetrain. The drivetrain includes the drive shaft, steering wheel, braking system, and pedals. In many cases, instructions on how to build a go-kart will include welding. If you’re not a welder, the welding can be outsourced. Just consider the added cost. If you choose not to weld the frame, an angle grinder plus a drill with a large bit and a hole saw will be needed to cut and shape the metal. Additionally, any build will require various wrenches, a hammer, a file, and a screwdriver. A set square will ensure precision, and a few clamps will make things easier.

Engines Are Complex

Obviously, the engine will be the main component of the vehicle, and deciding on one poses a truly a difficult set of choices. Even smaller engines can be quite complex. For instance, do you go with a gas or electric car? Each has its pros and cons. Electric engines can burn cleaner but for a shorter amount of time. Gas engines require fuel, but refilling is faster than recharging. Gas runs longer and provides more horsepower. Speaking of horsepower, engine characteristics like torque and RPMs need to be considered. You’ll also have to determine if you want your go-kart to be chain-driven or use a transmission. Will the transmission be automatic or manual with a clutch?

Repurposing an Engine

Repurposing a motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile or lawnmower engine is common in go-kart builds. Motorcycle and ATV motors provide a reverse gear that can be an advantage. Snowmobile engines are lightweight and provide plenty of power. A lawnmower engine is most often positioned to operate vertically, but in a go-kart, the engine is normally horizontal. Therefore, even though lawn mower engines are often used in go-karts, they may require extreme modifications. That will add to the project’s time and costs.

If you are convinced that you want to tackle a go-kart project, the best way is to find a template with detailed instructions. Especially if this is your first go-kart build, following a step-by-step guide is recommended. It will take some effort, but it’s nothing you can’t master.

Here’s another article you might like: Should I Fix an ATV Myself or Hire a Repair Expert?

Essential Tips for Driving in the City

Navigating the roads in large metropolitan areas poses a host of unique challenges. This can be difficult if you are not used to these types of driving and parking situations. Here are three tips to keep in mind when driving through the big city.

Dealing With Traffic

The biggest difference between driving in a large city as opposed to a more rural area is the amount of traffic that you may encounter. Avoiding driving during the busy rush hour will help to mitigate potential traffic issues. Staying in the right lane will ensure that you are driving with the slower drivers. Be sure to leave plenty of stopping distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you since sudden stops are common when driving in traffic.

Parking

Parking can also be a big hassle when driving in large urban areas. Although it may cost you more, you will likely find more plentiful and easily accessible parking in a garage. If you’re not used to parking in the city, you can try the “S” method for parallel parking for parking in tight spaces on the street. Be sure to select a space that is at least six feet longer than your vehicle so that you have plenty of room for error. Taking it slow and easy will improve your odds of success. Practicing this before you set off on your big city adventure will ensure that you feel more confident to practice the maneuvers.

Don’t Drive Distracted

While it is never a good idea to drive while distracted, this is especially important when driving in a big city. All of the variables that come with driving in the city make it essential that you remain focused at all times. This means never using your phone while behind the wheel. It also means that you need to focus on the road in front of you and not eating or trying to put on makeup or other personal hygiene habits. Using your passenger as your navigator will also help you to remain alert.

The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. It can be easy to get flustered when you run into heavy traffic or you encounter unfamiliar situations. However, being prepared for a variety of situations can help you to feel in control of the road.

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