Planning a Romantic UTV Ride

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Cuffing season is here, and there’s no reason a UTV ride can’t be dripping in romance. After all, the adrenaline is pumping, you have some gorgeous scenery, and with the right amount of cargo space you can pack a great romantic picnic into the mix. If you want to take your paramour on a ride to remember this Valentine’s Day, it’ll take a little bit of prep work. Consider this your ultimate love guide for UTV fans:

  • Get any upgrades done now: Whether you need a new full-tilt windshield, a heater added to your rig, more cargo space, or a roll bar, make sure your UTV is kitted out with all the accessories you want before the big day.
  • Get it clean: You should ideally clean your UTV after every muddy ride, but that doesn’t always happen. Take this time to wash it, detail the insides, and make it worthy of a great date. During this time, you can also check for any damage.
  • Safety first: Before your big date, make sure the tires are in good condition, all the lights work, and take it for a brief spin to make sure all is well. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a flat tire, unable to ride because of a faulty light, or otherwise put you and your date in danger.
  • Map the ride: There are thousands of miles of trail to explore around the country—and a good chance you haven’t seen them all. You have two choices. Go with a trail you know and love, which is a great way to introduce someone to your hobby. Alternatively, you can choose a trail that’s new to both of you and experience the first ride there together. Either way, make sure you know the rules, have any permits required and know how to get to the trail in advance.
  • Pack romance: This is where you can get really personal, so imagine what the ultimate romantic picnic involves. Don’t forget a tarp (in case the ground is wet) and a durable blanket. Be sure to include romantic foods such as fruits, bubbly, s’mores ingredients, and anything else you envision that travels well. Pack food and drinks tightly to avoid destroying them on bumpy trails.
  • Include surprises: There’s a lot you can pack into a UTV—much more than just a picnic! Bringing flowers with you or a romantic playlist can help kick the romance up a notch. Also bring an extra change of unisex clothes, such as a sweater and gloves, just in case the trails are especially wet or muddy.

Long holidays are right around the corner, making it a weekend to get out of town and indulge in some romance. Get all the upgrades you need for a lovely weekend with you and your better half (your date can come, too, of course!).

 

Common Questions About Trucking Accidents

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Getting into an auto collision is one thing. However, when you’re in a trucking accident, you’re facing an entirely new challenge. There are unique laws and rules which can apply to a trucking collision—and also some common questions that will likely pop up. Knowing the basics about trucking accidents can help prepare you for worst case scenarios.

What’s the most common cause of trucking accidents? Unsurprisingly, it’s a tired driver behind the wheel. While there are plenty of laws in place to protect truck drivers from driving fatigued, the truth is that many of them either feel pressured to deliver at a certain date or convince themselves they’re not as tired as they are. Federal guidelines require that no trucker drive over 16 hours in a 24-hour period, but that law is often broken. Driving tired is just as dangerous, if not more so, than driving drunk.

So, Who’s At Fault?

Just like any other auto accident, there’s no one size fits all answer. In fact, when a truck is involved in a collision, there are even more people who may be at fault than the two people behind the wheel. For example, the truck driver’s employer may found to be at fault if they pushed the driver to get (or stay) behind the wheel beyond federal time regulations. A full investigation is necessary in order to determine who’s at fault.

semi-trailers-534577_1920Another big question is how long a person has to file a claim post-accident. Drivers have a two year period in which to file a personal injury claim, but it’s best to do so as soon as possible. If you’re in a collision with a truck driver, that driver likely works for a company which has a team of attorneys on retainer—and their job is to get you to settle as quickly as possible for the lowest possible compensation. The odds are more in your favor if you file immediately and secure your own personal injury attorney.

Questions Everyone Should Ask

“What kind of damages can I claim?” is a question everyone should ask when in a trucking accident. There are many, and they may include lost earning capacity, lost income, medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and of course property damage. If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you may qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit as well as loss of benefits, loss of companionship, and loss of projected future income.

No matter what, remember that if you accept a settlement, you’re waiving your rights to pursue compensation in a personal injury claim. Oftentimes, settlements aren’t enough to properly compensate a victim. This is especially prevalent if you’re facing medical issues because some issues (such as whiplash) may not be apparent right away. Settling is risky business, especially if you do so without having legal counsel in your corner. Unlike “regular” accidents, dealing with trucking companies can be difficult and you might feel pressured into accepting a settlement you’re not 100 percent comfortable with taking.

 

Best of the Web: Mechanic Slang

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Courtesy of Auto Super Shoppes

Here is some common auto mechanic slang:

  • Aftermarket â€“ Parts made by companies other than the original manufacturer.
  • Baldinis â€“ Heavily worn/bald tyres.
  • Bench â€“ A heavy metal platform used to restore a car’s structural geometry to factory specifications.
  • Breathing â€“ Refers to an engine’s ability to fill its cylinders with the air-fuel mix and then expel exhaust.
  • Dive â€“ The dipping of a car’s nose when brakes are applied.
  • Dyno â€“ Short for “dynometer,” a device that measures an engine’s horsepower.
  • Gas Axe â€“ Cutting torch.
  • Grease Monkey â€“ Mechanic.
  • Hemi â€“ Term that describes any engine with hemispherical combustion chambers on its cylinder head.
  • Kickdown â€“ The downshift in an automatic transmission caused by depressing the throttle.
  • Knock â€“ High frequency vibrations caused by inefficient fuel detonation in the engine.
  • LKQ â€“ “Like Kind and Quality,” meaning a salvaged replacement part that appears to be as good as the original.
  • Menu Pricing â€“ A bundled price for a repair job that includes both parts and labour.
  • Oversquare â€“ An engine whose bore is larger than its stroke.
  • Pent-Roof â€“ A combustion chamber whose upper surface resembles a shallow peaked roof.
  • Pickle Forks â€“ Ball-joint separators.
  • Toe-In â€“ The intentional non-parallel orientation of opposite wheels.

 

Tips for Safely Towing Your UTV

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Whether you have a CF Moto, Arctic Cat or Honda Pioneer, not all UTV owners necessarily have trucks with big enough beds to haul a UTV. Towing your UTV can be done quickly, easily and safely, but not without the right tools and know-how. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to best tow their UTV to the location where they’re going hunting, off-roading, landscaping or enjoying other activities. As a UTV owner (or hopeful owner), you may have seen dangerous towing practices on the highway ranging from illegal trailers to UTVs that seemed to magically be hanging on by a thread.

 

Bear in mind that if you need to suddenly change lanes, the weight of a UTV alone (no matter how heavy it is) will not be sufficient to keep it on a trailer. However, with the right security systems you can make sudden stops or swerve if necessary, but that should still be avoided. Take some time to ensure you have the right tools before taking your UTV on a joy ride.

Must-Have Features

winch-639703_1920Pick up some D-rings, which are very cost effective and offer additional hook points for trailers. Not all trailers come with “enough” hooks to keep a UTV optimally secured. Also, this can help prevent strap chafing on your machine, which regularly causes straps to break on individuals who haul their UTV often. Next, get a ratcheting strap—especially if you have a heavy UTV. Big ratcheting straps can keep the heaviest of UTVs on a trailer, so make sure you get the largest width possible. Otherwise, a 1,200 pound UTV doesn’t stand a chance.

One of the most important features you have is already on your UTV: The parking brake. It is a fast, simple and free move that might make the difference between a UTV staying on the trailer or not. Remember that there is no such thing as too many straps. The best number is three, and they can help immensely on bumpy roads. Criss-cross the straps to maximize “coverage”.

A Closer Inspection

trailers-1581033_1920No tool will work if it’s broken. Before pulling away, make sure the trailer brake lights are in good working order. The breakaway chains should also be double checked. These are the chains you hook up in case the hitch falters and becomes unattached from the vehicle/trailer. Ensure they are also criss-crossed to keep the trailer stable and straight on the highway.

Double check the trailer tires, lighting and gates, too. Of course, don’t forget about a safety inspection check of the UTV. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to a recreational area and finding out your UTV is in desperate need of maintenance or of a quick fix. Safety always comes first in all aspects of UTV ownership, including the towing stage.

 

Rallying

 

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How does rallying differ from something like Formula 1? Well a rally is more of a point-to-point race rather than round a circuit. The cars which take place must be built for roads, rather than using special race cars.

History:

The more famous example, and one of the first rallies, was the Monte Carlo Rally which began in 1911. Actually, there were rallies before that, the Paris-Rouen competition in 1894, you would be lucky getting a car to go all the way from Paris to Monte Carlo! After this came the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race. Then in Britain came the London-Glasgow race and Germany the Herkomer trophy, which was a 1000Km hill climb.

Alpine rally began in the 1930s, starting with the Alpenfahrt, which despite its unfortunate sounding name, continued until 1973. (It just means “Alpen travel” by the way.)

After the Second World War, every European country seemed to hold its own rally. There needed to be a way to join all these rallies together, which unfortunately didn’t happen until 1953 with the European Rally Championship.oldtimer-1615212_1920

Rally Then and Now:

You don’t need to be professional to take part in a rally but it is expensive to join. A Sydney to London will cost about the equivalent of $41,000 and just because you sign up in a number of months before the race there’s no guarantee you will get a place – it’s first come, first served.

One key component of Rally Driving is the ability to repair common mechanical issues on the fly. This was a much bigger component historically as vintage and veteran cars are more likely to break down than their modern counterparts. But even with a modern style rally you will need knowledge of mechanic repair should anything go wrong.

It seems that people want bigger challenges, preferring not to look at the small events; however this must be the place to start for anyone new to the wheel, as it were.

Dangers of Rally:

People go on about the dangers of Formula One racing, especially in its beginnings, but how dangerous is rally driving? At the time of writing Anthony Mora seems to be the last registered death in 2017 in the French Rally Cup.

However, an unnamed spectator died when Hayden Padden performed a rather large corner skid and made the car fall down an embankment in 2017. Three spectators were killed in a rally in single accident in Scotland the same year, making spectating seem more dangerous than racing.

Despite Morbid Curiosity:

As with any other racing, people do take a morbid interest in car crashes and the internet overflows with pictures of damaged cars as well as crash footage. I suppose the most interesting part of the racing are the crashes, however unsettling it might seem, the real issue is the false perception that racing is inherently dangerous.

Safety concerns are quickly addressed in the industry and the races are continuously improved. Although rally driving doesn’t produce the most deaths in motor sport, far from it, it seems that racing and death will always keep close company, whatever changes are made.