Buying Bargain Trucks

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If you’re buying your spouse a truck for Christmas we’re envious. However, most of the people buying trucks at this time are businesses trying to make a year-end purchase.

A bargain truck is not a bargain if it doesn’t run and is unsuitable for your company. It’s probably not the best idea to look for bargains if you are looking for a fleet of trucks.

accident-2582430_1920If you only use trucks for one-off events, it may be better off if you hire instead of buy, in which case you will tend to pay about 20% of the costs up front and can use money from the business (hopefully) to assist with further payments.

Then again, if you’re the type of business that requires a truck it renting could cut into profits quickly.

If you are only looking for one truck rather than a whole fleet, here are some helpful hints.

  1. Don’t look for a capacity bigger than you can manage. If you are a house clearer and you only deal with small houses, there is no point in getting a large truck. It is better to make one or two trips. Sometimes a SUV or pickup is a better option, it all depends on the amount of funds you have at your disposal.
  2. If you have to borrow money to obtain the truck it is best to attempt to get the best terms. If you feel that the business it is too unstable for you to borrow money it may be better to leave it until there is more cash flow. Still, all businesses need transport, but don’t go bankrupt, it’s not worth the hassle. It’s a big thing, so seek financial advice, including talking to your tax advisor (as the truck is a taxable commodity).
  3. If you can trade in an old vehicle this will help with financing the truck.
  4. A “good deal” or saving money on a truck requires that you find a well-priced vehicle that won’t cost you more in repairs than you save. Use an inspection service to verify your vehicle before service.
  5. As with buying a car, always see the truck before handing over the money, always pay cash and inspect the vehicle in daylight. This is especially important if you are shelling out for a huge item such as truck, rather than a car.
  6. Always ask for a test drive before you buy. It’s vital that the vehicle can negotiate corners correctly, maybe there are warning sounds? Again, it is better to be safe than sorry and use an inspection service.
  7. If you are using a car to visit the truck, buy it and collect it, make sure you have some way of bringing the car home. And you should be qualified and the right age to drive the truck.
  8. It is better to deal with individuals with references who have experience in selling trucks, rather than someone on EBay or Facebook.
  9. PS if your intending to do business using “ice roads,” you will a special license. You’ll want to examine all the paperwork involved in this kind of enterprise, before selecting a vehicle.

 

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Safety Season: Features for Parents

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The Holiday Season at The Kicker is Safety Season. Every Monday we’ll post about safety and include helpful information and tips to keep you and you’re family as safe as possible on the roads. If you’d like to find helpful links to all this information and more please check out our Safety Tab on thekickerblog.com (Drive Safe, Buying a Safe Car, After Accident Action Steps).

Your kids represent your most important cargo. Here’s the top tips for finding a car that will help you protect them.

 

If you’re trading in your sports car for a new family car you should look for more than just a trunk that can fit a stroller or a back seat you can get a car seat in and out of. Those things are important considerations too, but lets talk safety features.

We assume modern cars have the latest safety features but not all features top the list for new parents. So here’s the short list.

 

Automatic Emergency Braking System

Featured vehicles: 2019 Ford Fusion and 2019 Subaru Outback

Automatic emergency braking systems, or AEBs, are quickly becoming one of the most sought-after features in new cars. These systems can sense when a forward-facing potential collision is about to occur and take preventative measures to avoid a crash, even if a driver doesn’t have enough time to react on their own. For new parents, this feature can be life-saving.

 

Lane Departure Warning System

Featured vehicles: 2019 Honda Accord and 2019 Toyota RAV4

These systems will alert you when you start drifting from the lane that you are in, without using a turn signal. While the lane departure systems will not take over the car for you to prevent a potential crash, they will give you a warning so you can regain control of your vehicle. This system is invaluable for parents who are traveling with children in the car.

 

Backup Camera

Featured vehicles: 2019 Hyundai Elantra and 2019 Mazda CX-5

Although this feature comes standard on most new cars today, it’s one that cannot be overlooked. Rearview cameras give drivers peace of mind when they are backing up, ensuring them that there is nothing in the way. When you live in a congested neighborhood  or are so tired you forget to check your blind spots, the backup camera can help prevent an accident.

 

 

What’s News: cybertruck follow up

As much as the public compares the cybertruck design to things like a flounder, the auto industry sees only one inspiration–the DeLorean.

Brett Smith tells CNN that Musk may have a different motive in mind.

The Cybertruck will give Tesla an opportunity to establish a toehold in the segment and build credibility. But it might not be the long-term design direction for Tesla’s pickup offering. In an interview on the Recode Decode podcast with Kara Swisher last year, Musk admitted the truck might have a hard time finding a market. “You know, I actually don’t know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not, but I don’t care,” he said at the time. “If there’s only a small number of people that like that truck, I guess we’ll make a more conventional truck in the future.”

Story Link

Safety Season: DUI & DWI

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The Holiday Season at The Kicker is Safety Season. Every Monday we’ll post about safety and include helpful information and tips to keep you and you’re family as safe as possible on the roads. If you’d like to find helpful links to all this information and more please check out our Safety Tab on thekickerblog.com (Drive Safe, Buying a Safe Car, After Accident Action Steps).

DUI & DWI

Driving after drinking too much alcohol is known as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Alcohol slows your reflexes, temporarily lowers your mental acuity and can thus compromise your ability to control a vehicle and drive it safely. And yes, even “buzzed driving” is still drunk driving and can be just as dangerous.

A DUI arrest can lead to expensive consequences, including spending time in jail, a suspended driver’s license and fines. If you hit and/or kill someone while you are driving impaired, the consequences are even worse.

It’s also illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your car. If you’re transporting alcoholic beverages, they should be sealed and in the trunk.

All 50 states have now set .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for Driving Under the Influence, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For commercial drivers, it’s .04%. And if you’re under 21, it’s zero tolerance – any amount of alcohol is grounds for a DUI arrest.bodyworn-794099_1920.jpg

In some cities, law enforcement officials set up sobriety checkpoints along the road to identify and deter impaired drivers. These are typically set up during holiday weekends or on dates when there might be more drinking and driving.

If you’re stopped at a checkpoint, you’ll be asked several questions and might be asked to perform a sobriety test (like saying the ABC’s backwards, performing some physical movements or breathing into an alcohol sensor). If these tests show that you have high alcohol levels, the police may arrest you.

Safety Season: Bad Weather Driving

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The Holiday Season at The Kicker is Safety Season. Every Monday we’ll post about safety and include helpful information and tips to keep you and you’re family as safe as possible on the roads. If you’d like to find helpful links to all this information and more please check out our Safety Tab on thekickerblog.com (Drive Safe, Buying a Safe Car, After Accident Action Steps).

By Staff

If you don’t have experience driving in inclement weather its a good idea to avoid it entirely, but if you must go places try to take someone with you who does have experience and get some practice someplace where you’re not likely to hit anything.

Here are a few tips for driving in bad weather.

Snow/Ice

Step number one is not being in a rush. Just plan on taking twice as much time to get there and you won’t be tempted to push your luck, take short cuts or speed.

  •  Test out your brakes.  Ever car is different and the only way to be sure is to test your equipment at low speed to get an idea what you might be facing.
  •  Take corners slowly.  Slow before corners not during. Think–take on one problem at a time. First change speed, then direction.
  •  Accelerate gradually.  It’s not just slowing down that takes extra care. Tires without traction spin out. Don’t be a rabbit off the line when the light turns green and don’t slam on your brakes at a yellow light.
  •  Beware of black ice!  Black ice is difficult to spot. You’ll simply have to be aware that its below freezing so anything that looks wet is probably frozen. Bridges, over passes, and places that are shaded will be more icy even when the day warms up.

Fog

Believe it or not dense fog is statistically known to cause more accidents than ice. Think about it, black ice aside, you know when the roads are likely to be slick from cold weather conditions. Fog can come out of nowhere and drop visibility to a few feet. If you’re driving at freeway speeds sudden blindness is a problem. Keep following in mind:

  •  Do NOT use your high-beam headlights!  Doing so will reflect light off the fog ahead of you, making it even harder to see. Instead, turn on your regular headlights, or, your fog lights, if you have them.
  •  Use the white line on the right side of the road.  This will help guide you and keep you in your lane. It will also prevent your vision from being impaired by the headlights of oncoming traffic.
  •  Maintain a longer following distance.  When the car in front of you passes an object count out at least 5 one-thousands before letting yourself pass it. Stay roughly 10 MPH below the speed limit–its better to get rear-ended than to run over a pedestrian.
  •  Use your turn signals early.  Give cars behind you plenty of notice that you’ll be slowing down to make a turn.

Rain

Replace your windshield wipers every fall. They are your first line of defense.

  • Maintain a longer following distance.  It takes longer to stop when driving in wet weather and the roads can be slick. Having to slam on your brakes results in skidding.
  •  Turn on your headlights.  They’ll not only help you see, but will make sure you’re visible to other drivers.
  •  Drive in the middle lanes.  Water is more likely to pool on the outer edges of the road.
  •  Try and avoid puddles.  Driving over puddles of water can cause your car to hydroplane out of control. It’s helpful to drive in the tracks of the car in front of you. And keep your speed below 45MPH if you see standing water on the road.

For more resources on safe and defensive driving, check out idrivesafely.com.

What’s News: Lego takes on Tesla cybertruck?

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Lego seems to have been inspired by recent events to bring its own vision fo the truck of the future to the world – behold this bold design statement in all its glory. Clearly, Lego is having a go at Elon Musk and the Tesla Cybertruck that he unveiled last week – which was… divisive in its reception, to say the least.

Original Story

Safety Season: Winter Driving

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The Holiday Season at The Kicker is Safety Season. Every Monday we’ll post about safety and include helpful information and tips to keep you and you’re family as safe as possible on the roads. If you’d like to find helpful links to all this information and more please check out our Safety Tab on thekickerblog.com (Drive Safe, Buying a Safe Car, After Accident Action Steps).

Here are some quick tips for staying safe this winter.

Winter driving tips

Winter brings all sorts of driving headaches: snow, freezing rain and slush, which all make the roads more hazardous. To handle the hassle of winter driving:

  1. First of all, buckle up. Basic car safety encourages the use of seat belts and car seats at all times. They’re one of your best defenses in a crash. And it’s the law.
  2. Use extra caution in areas that ice up quickly, especially intersections, shaded areas, bridges and overpasses.
  3. Get in the habit of regularly checking weather reports on TV or online so you can prepare for bad weather. On severe weather days, schools and workplaces might close or delay opening. Consider staying at home if you don’t need to be on the road.
  4. Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your car – including blankets, a first aid kit and jumper cables. Check out our full list of items for your emergency car kit.
  5. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and that your car always has a full tank of gas.

Best of the Web: Tesla Truck is, well…

Tesla chose to unveil this here and now because Musk loves Blade Runner. And to date, he’s made some wild claims about what it can do: out-truck a Ford F-150, outperform a Porsche 911, be “literally bulletproof” and ideally start under $50,000. It’s also “the official truck of Mars.’”
(Story Link)

Yes that’s really the new Tesla Truck and it may challenge Tesla fans loyalty. It’s ironic that it’s the official truck of Mars because Musk’s Mars rocket just blew up too. Ominous!

Compare for yourself.

With Rivian

Update:

The ugly design appears to have a function. According to Musk’s recent tweets the body material, 30x cold roll steel, is too tough for ordinary machines to shape it.

While we grieve the lack of style brought to most modern design cars the cybertruck might be a step too far. Or not, you be the judge of that.