Truck Stops

Trick Stops began in the 1940s, though many have been rebranded as Travel Centers. Their main purpose is to provide a secure stopping off point as well as access to fuel.

Although there are supposed to be secure they don’t have the best reputation in the world, especially at night. It’s advisable to drive slow around the premises and not go against the direction of the traffic. When you park it’s best to back in and pull out.

Other pieces of advice…

  • Inspect your vehicle every time you leave
  • To watch out for potential scammers around the place – is someone offering you something which seems too amazing to be true?
  • Keep to the well-lit areas.

Although truck stops will have huge parking spaces it is vital to park your wagon in the right place. Many drivers needlessly crowd the gas station region, so don’t be one of those.

Large chains like Flying J, and Loves often have an app for truckers to help guide you along the correct roads in the truck stop.

A number of truck stops don’t have the best reputation. It’s generally agreed to commit to a specific chain. Some truckers go for places with the best value fuel, either the cheapest base price or through a cash back program.

Other Amenities

Another consideration is access to food. Some truck-drivers could look for specialty diners, especially if they have dietary requisites, while others don’t necessarily want a premium diner, preferring somewhere that is open 24/7 and passes all food hygiene specifications.

Moving onto more detailed attributes, these may include medical services, dental services, even items like churches and casinos, even a cinema. (Some of these are just a TV projector in a rest room though).

You may want someone to wash your truck or deal with repairs and there may be people at the truck stop who can do that. Some may allow you to take advantage of their free showers. As with anything it is vital to shop around.

Some drivers look for something else in their truck stop such as easy access from the freeway and cheap prices. There is something for everyone if you research a bit.

The biggest truck stop in the US is the Iowa 80 which even has things such as a gift shop, museum as well as a truck showroom. It has been in operation since 1964.

Covid Update

Note that some things have changed at truck stops since the advent of the Coronavirus, they are shutting down all but essential business here, that is food and fuel. Some restaurants may close at 9 and they have removed refillable mugs; there may be a limit to the number of customers who enter the cafe and the removal of buffets. Driver’s rooms may also be closed.

At these times you may find the toilet area is dirtier than usual due to lack of cleaners. This is why it is vital to use sanitizers and soap.

Unfortunately, a number of quarantined drivers are still working on the road. If you are still working while quarantining then it is vital that you stay away from public areas as much as possible, for instance taking advantage of drive throughs.

Stay safe and stay healthy during the pandemic—drink plenty of water, vitamin C, D, and Zinc. Get plenty of rest.

Link to article about mask requirements at Truck Stops

How to Prepare for a Road Trip: Holiday Edition

With an end to the pandemic nowhere in sight, families are turning to road trips to give themselves a break from the stress of their daily lives. Vacations involving airports and hotels are not feasible, or even considered safe at the moment. So, families are deciding to pack up their car and drive to a vacation spot that is within reach.

If going on a road trip sounds like just what your stressed out, quarantined family needs, you are in luck. Below, we discuss, in detail, everything you need to do to prepare for a road trip. All you’ll have to do is pick where you want to go (if it’s not to visit family)!

Get Your Car Checked

The first thing you’ll have to do before your road trip, and perhaps the most important, is to take your car in to get checked. Whichever car you choose to take on the trip needs to be strong and reliable. Take your car in to a shop that you trust. Make sure they change your oil and top off your fluids, rotate your tires and check your brakes. Let the mechanic checking your car know that you are going on a road trip and ask him to do a diagnostic check to make sure everything else is running smoothly. If you’re sure your car is well serviced, consider calling a mobile inspection service, who can verify there isn’t anything wrong in a place you wouldn’t normally thing to check.

On your end, make sure to check the dates that your registration and inspection expire. If they are close, consider renewing your car registration papers and getting your car inspected while you are at the shop. Additionally, you will need to make sure your car insurance is updated and active. It may also be helpful to join a roadside assistance service like AAA before you leave in case something goes wrong on the road.

Clean Before and During Your Trip

Since you will be spending a lot of time in your car, it is necessary to clean it well before embarking on your adventure. Before leaving, complete a thorough clean on your whole vehicle, inside and out. Use proper cleaning fluids to wipe down the dashboard and console, removing any little crumbs as best as you can. A different cleaner can be used to wipe down the seats of your car. The right cleaner will both clean and condition the fabric. Driving in a clean car will improve your mental health and have you feeling less overwhelmed or claustrophobic.

Consider hiring a detailer. This sounds a bit much, but they’re not busy in the winter and might be surprisingly affordable. Think of it as a practical Christmas gift to yourself given the amount of time you’ll be inside your car.

Once you get driving, it is vital to try to maintain the cleanliness of your car as much as possible. A lot of people in a confined space tend to make a mess quickly. So, do a clean out of the trash every time you stop at a rest stop or get gas. Try to remind your kids to keep their personal space tidy.  Seat back organizers are great for helping kids to keep their space organized. No matter how you figure it out, try your best to stay on top of the mess in your car. It will help keep you, and your family, sane.

Prepare A Loose Itinerary

Before leaving, take some time to come up with a loose itinerary for your trip. All of your stops do not have to be rest stops and fast-food restaurants. Take the time to do some research and find a few interesting places to stop along the way to your final destination. Beautiful scenic lookouts, delicious diners, and interesting museums my lie along your general route. Plan them into your trip to expand your experiences and give your family a more well-rounded trip.

It’s proven fact that incorporating these kinds of activities to break up the monotony of a drive can allow you to arrive fresher at your destination. As an added bonus, you can arrive at a good time instead of 10 o’clock at night when your in-laws thought you were going to make it for dinner. Just add a day to the itinerary and make each leg of the journey less hectic.

While planning can help your trip run smoothly and be more interesting, there is also a fine line between not enough planning and too much. No plan or itinerary will make your trip seem boring, but over planning and trying too hard to stick to a schedule makes your trip seem hectic and stressful. This is the opposite of what a vacation is supposed to do. So, do yourself a favor and only plan a few extra stops along the way. Keep in mind, if there are more places you’d like to stop, you can always add a few stops on your way home.

The Easiest and Most Common Mistakes

The key mistake most people make when they don’t road trip often, is planning around gas stations or not planning enough around gas stations. Figure out how far your car goes between fill-ups and locate places with gas stations near the road. Don’t plan on running your tank nearly dry because sometimes stations are closed for remodeling. No sense pushing your luck.

Final Thoughts

A road trip may be just the thing you and your family need to escape life for a few days. Often, when you live a ways from family you spend all your vacation time traveling to see them. Consider taking the scenic route to at least give yourself some time off in this high stress year.

While a road trip is less involved than flying or using other types of transportation, a little bit of planning can go a long way to make your trip a success. At the bare minimum, follow the steps above, and you will eliminate a lot of stress and anxiety from your trip to that you can enjoy yourself as much as possible.

How To Cope With Car Judders And Jolts

A car which judders and jolts is not marketable, but then again nor is one which moves in absolute silence. This explains a law in February 2018 which made it illegal for electric and hybrid cars to be silent when traveling at low speed.

Silent Cars

The legislation was needed because there is hardly any engine noise, generally the only sound you hear is the sound of tires against the road. There is still debate on whether to use a pretend engine noise or some beeping sound. Porsche went for a Sports car sound.

Ford at the time wondered if police cars could be excused from the law if they needed to creep up on suspects. Although this may help the police or security services a bit, police cars tend to have a look about them, one which not making a noise wouldn’t disguise. It is not clear who the person at Ford made this suggestion.

Noises

If you hear any noise when driving its advisable to see a mechanic as quickly as possible, but here’s a short guide.

Squeaking, especially high-pitched, when breaking, means that you should inspect the brakes as they may need to be changed.

If there is clunking, or crunching noise, then there is a problem with the suspension. Your car may also feel unstable and tires may wear quicker than usual if not fixed.

If there’s a groaning noise which gets louder and maybe higher pitched it is due to your bearings. It is best to see a mechanic as quickly as possible.

The sound of ticking is not that unusual in cold weather. However, if it continues it may be something in the engine and is worth investigating.

A hissing sound around the engine suggests a leak somewhere; this must be checked as soon as. A shrieking sound meanwhile in the engine may be serpent belt, which could be age?

A click clack in the wheels suggests that the constant velocity joints in the front wheels need replacing.

Hearing rattling is a common complaint, so you need more information in order to diagnose a problem. It may possibly be a combustion problem, if so, it should be heard when accelerating. If it gets worse, it becomes a hammering noise. Look too at the ignition. Try switching to the gasoline to higher octane.

A howling sound is the differential which leads to work gears.

A slapping sound is a flat tire which should be changed.

If your gear stick makes a grinding noise it suggests that it’s worn out and needs to be fixed.

A banging from an exhaust pipe is known as backfiring. It is due to unspent fuel being ejected from the valves only to ignite in the tailpipe. If you hear a similar noise in the engine it may be something burnt there, or it may be due to spark plugs.

Beware especially of any noise that occurs when you turn a corner. There’s certainly axle trouble.

No wonder every driver hates it when a sound occurs, but if you can fix it quickly then all to the good.

Insurance for Young Motorcycle Riders

OP-ED by P. Wimsett

(Note: the following contains information about insurance pricing from the customer point of view. It has not been evaluated by insurance professionals nor is it meant as insurance advice.)

For those who wish lower fuel prices and road tax a motorbike is preferable to a car, but if you are under 25 you can lose what you save in increased insurance premiums. Most people know that insurance for young motorcycle riders is expensive because they don’t have years of experience on the roads, or in life.

Age is not the only thing that means you will have to pay more for your insurance. Other factors include the make of the bike, the engine power (also known as the CC, the measurement between the bore and the stroke). The stroke refers to the rotating motion, or cycle of cylinders, which draw in fuel air mix and exhale exhaust. Engines tend to be either two stroke or four-stroke. The bore is the length of the cylinder. You will also have to pay more if you break the no claims bonus. 

A biker may ride any size of bike after passing his test. Moped users do not need any test at all, but it helps in terms in insurance.

So, ways to keep costs down include having a bike with a small engine, driving as safely as possible, keeping the bike safe and secure, and gaining advanced qualifications (check out the state laws).

Of course, wearing a helmet used to factor in insurance price, but now it’s the law pretty much everywhere. It is best to not modify your bike (which might be described as “keeping a sensible bike” – rare is the motorcyclist who doesn’t wish to change things).

Also, be certain you added yourself as a named driver; because if you don’t state yourself as a main driver the insurer can refuse to pay up if you have an accident as they have no idea if it is your bike or not.

It is debatable whether it is worth increasing your deductible. Although payments are reduced, it does mean that if you do need to claim you will pay a higher share of it.

If you carry a passenger, you will need pinion coverage, so they are covered in the event of injury. As with any insurance peace of mind is everything.

When obtaining a quote make sure you have all the details to hand, including your license number and in addition the number of your motorbike.

It is vital that you only pay for the coverage you need: should you only drive on holiday for example or alternately for test drives, you should attempt to get temporary cover–there are specialist insurers who can do this for you. It’s advisable to look at comparison websites too.

Before you attempt driving another person’s motorbike make certain that you’re covered to do so, many people do not check these things. You don’t want to fork out for a new motorcycle hoping to save money and that may be the least of your problems.

Registration Plates – Possible Problems.

Number plates differ from state to state. Colorado for instance shows the Rockies while Nevada shows the Sierra Nevadas. Many states show rural scenes. In exceptional circumstances the old plates become invalid and requiring a mass replating of the state in order to keep within the letter of the law.

You may also need validation stickers in certain states; sometimes it is shown on the plate, such as North Carolina, sometimes in the front windshield like in Texas and sometimes in rear window, such as Pennsylvania. It’s important to know how your state organizes these things.

Hawaii is a novelty as through the additional letter you can see which island the car was registered in; M means Maui, K is Kaua’i and H is Hawai’i meaning the big island.

Arkansas is especially interesting as it has a diamond logo. The state is famed for its diamond mines. Other symbols could be guessed–Florida plates have oranges for instance.

Not all states require you to have plates on both the front and the rear. These include Alabama and Arizona.

Moving to a New State:

When a person moves to a new state, they are required by law to register all their personal vehicles. One of the exceptions is if you are with the US military who often move personnel excessively.

Foreign cars can only keep a foreign number plate for a year before it requires an alteration. This is due to a number of foreign green card workers who can legally remain in the US for a year at a time.

Exactly what happens when it comes to selling the car can vary. Sometimes the ownership of the plate goes to the new owner, the rest of the time you need a new plate.

Buying a Car:

A temporary registration is allocated to a buyer of a vehicle which lets them use the vehicle while the proper registration plate is released. This may be a form in the vehicle’s window, or a plate made of cardboard, paper or a light plastic material. It may even look exactly like a regular number plate but still needs to be removed after a few days.

In order to register the car, you will need of proof of ownership as well as proof of your identity and date of birth. You may need an emission certificate and safety inspection certificate and completed registration application form. In addition to this there is a fee to pay.

Collector Plates:

There are collector plates, such as those connected to specific universities. In addition, antique vehicles have registrations marked with “horseless carriage” or similar. Exactly what terms are used vary from state to state and it’s always best to check out the regulations!

Novelty number plates give some prestige to their owners, but some may need to be changed, such as the “NULL” plate. Unfortunately, the registration website seemed to no longer accept the novelty name and so a new registration number had to be applied for. So, beware the more confusing names!

When in doubt, do your research and hopefully your registration will go without a hitch.

A Curvaceous Road?

To negotiate a curve, you must be aware that you can lose traction and begin to slide. The difficulty with commercial and other top-heavy vehicles is the possibility of rolling over… Yes, that’s why you need to be a bit cautious.

The reason why hairpin bends are so called is because their inner angle is acute meaning you have to turn about 180o. A series of hairpin bends is known as a switchback. You’ll often see a caution sign with a picture that looks like a black snake on a field of yellow to warn you its coming.

But why are there hairpin bends on roads? For one thing it’s easier and cheaper to build following the topography of the land instead of a tunnel. As a bonus the bends cause people to slow down instead of making a direct route that could be dangerous.

Famous examples of hairpin bends include Vermont Street and Lombard Street. Both involve a deep curve to negotiate.

Vermont Street, CA

Some curves have been christened “Dead Man’s Curves” most notably the one-off Sunset Boulevard. This is the one that was featured in the song by Jan & Dean, a Californian rock group.

Should you be negotiating a curve using a motorcycle, you should be especially be aware of hazards when driving to the left. An article published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in 2012 would suggest a blind spot, where you tend to notice hazards more when driving to the right.

Is the road correctly maintained?

If the road has potholes the curve become more dangerous. Beware too, a lack of warning signs. For this reason, road repairs should be dealt with quickly. Without the warning, traffic is less likely to take evasive action.

It’s important to take the foot off the gas pedal and the brake. Keep both your hands on the steering wheel, don’t make sudden motions. Only apply the brake when it is time to do so and when it is, don’t apply it too strongly.

To help you the traffic safety people add turn arrow signs or “chevrons” just beyond each severe curve. To avoid swerving, it is vital to keep to the speed limit or just below it. A word of warning: Don’t turn the steering wheel too far when you adjust the speed otherwise you may lose control of the vehicle as discussed above.

The rule of thumb is to break going into the curve and give it a little gas coming out of the curve. With a front wheel drive car this will actually pull you into the curve.

It’s hard to regain control if the vehicle skids as the steering wheel doesn’t work as normal. Fortunately, you will be able to cope after a bit of practice.

So it’s a turn of the wheel but not by much; if it’s the curve is to the left move slightly to the left. You should pay attention and don’t attempt to change lanes. If you make a “wide” turn this could put you in danger with cars heading in the opposite direction.

It’s possible that you might start to worry you are traveling too slowly, but you shouldn’t as all vehicles are different. If there are any other vehicles nearby make sure they have enough space so that they can negotiate the curves too.

Once you have dealt with the curve you should be able to accelerate, making sure there isn’t another curve just on the horizon.

Once you have experienced enough curves coping with them becomes second nature, which is just as well.

Power Steering

Power steering helps a vehicle turn or maneuver. If it becomes disabled, you will need a great deal of muscle to steer. It is certainly widespread-90% of all cars on the road use power steering. It is easier to turn if you go over 25mph.

The power steering works by hydraulics, so if the fluid runs out you’re in trouble. Fluid issues include (a leak, a contamination or corrosion).

Power steering uses a rotary (or round) pump which works on a belt and pulley system. A series of gates or “vanes” turn, which forces the hydraulic fluid through an outlet at high speed. It is designed only to give assistance when the driver is placing pressure on the wheel and the car is in motion.

We are aware of the power assistance to steering, but technically what we experience is a quicker steering response and a steering wheel that returns to its original position more swiftly.

Potential changes to power steering:

Hy-wire by General Motors could be the latest upgrade to power steering. It is still based around hydraulic power but works on a fuel cell stack. To put it simply a computer decides how much pressure you need to drive and does the work for you. If this seems a bit like a fighter jet, there’s a good reason for that; such planes also use the technology.

But back to talking about hydraulic fluid…

Hydraulic fluid is a bright, maybe even a shocking pink in color so it very recognizable, pushing the piston and then the steering rack. It is helped by the ECU or Electric Control Unit which monitors direction, speed and effort of the steering wheel, factoring in your actual speed to change the direction of your wheels. So, there is a good reason to change the fluid regularly, if you regularly service your vehicle then there’s no sweat.

If you think there’s a problem with the power steering then check the fluid with a dipstick. It should be pink with a light smell to it. If it goes black that is due to an increase in O 2. If you discover a full reservoir after finding you have a steering problem, there’s not much you can do apart from calling a repair truck! Let them diagnose the problem.

How do you know you have a problem?

The most obvious sign is that it’s suddenly really hard to steer. Another sign of a power steering failure is a whining noise.

There is a liability issue if you don’t fix the problem you are likely to be sued. Unfortunately, the insurance company will not be able to cover the damage. This is why checking your engine is so vital.

What to do when there is a power steering problem:

So, what happens if the fluid does run out suddenly while you’re on the road? Well if you are having difficulty you shouldn’t be afraid to honk your horn or turn on your blinkers to tell other drivers. If you can it’s advisable to drive to a mechanic. Try not to slam on your brakes unless it’s a real emergency.

Trying a Test Drive

There’s a number of things you can’t determine from a test drive, such as safety features and reliability. Many people feel guilty about taking a car on an overnight test drive, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

If you require a test drive, it may be tougher to do a private sale–dealerships are set up for a test drive. Ironically, if you want the car inspected, you may have more luck getting a private seller to let your mechanic or pre-purchase inspector look at the vehicle. We recommend prepurchase inspection and not just because one of our sponsors (tirekickers.biz) is a leading provider of car inspections. One of the largest used car dealers in the US absolutely forbids you from getting a prepurchase inspection…makes you wonder why, doesn’t it?

The challenging thing about test driving a car is trying to evaluate the value and safety of the car while also determining if it’s a good car for you. Pulling double duty here is the primary reason you should get a prepurchase inspection so you don’t have to think about anything except if the car is a good fit for you.

Before you drive the car:

Before you go on test drive you might like to check around the car for dents, rust and cracks. Check the windshield for little nicks. Kick the tires—take a close look at them. Take a flashlight with you and shine it on the brake pads. It’s your  responsibility to verify working brakes before you drive a vehicle.

After walking around the car, look under the hood. Check for obvious problems and check too, that the engine is cold. Sometimes when a seller knows the car has trouble starting cold, they’ll make sure to run the engine a bit before your scheduled to drive the car.

The engine should be quiet when it runs. Leave the hood up, start the car and get back out to close the hood. Listen for clicks and knocks that you can’t hear inside the cabin.

How easy do you find getting in and out? It’s these little things that determine a sale.

Are the instruments clear to you? Can you reach the controls? How easy is it to reverse? Look at the handling-can you drive it without the need of adjustment?

It helps to find out how your children find it, if they require child seats do they fit as well as the previous one? Is there enough space for their feet? And so forth.

During the Drive:

Changing gears shouldn’t be clunky and cause a crunching sound, doing so may be sign of wear.

While driving slowly down a neighborhood road let the steering wheel go and see if the car is pulling in one direction or the other. A little probably okay since most roads aren’t level, but a lot could mean you need an alignment. Slow to 10 miles an hour and jam on the brakes. The steering should be responsive, and the brakes should only stop in a straight line.

The test drive looks at the drivability or roadworthiness of the vehicle. How simple is it to operate? How are the signals and the brakes?

Car sellers seem to get nervous when you take the car down a hill, but it’s one of those things new drivers have to check. How does the car steer while feathering the brakes.

You do need to look at how the car handles in a town road, country road and on highways, just so that aren’t any surprises. Ideally, you could see how the car handles different weather conditions, but since you only have a weekend to test drive this would be asking too much.

You should also look at low speed maneuverability and parking as this can be a problem with new cars. Does it work as well as other cars you have driven?

There is technology to help you park these days, but some cars are harder to park than others. Definitely try to park the vehicle to see how hard it is. If you know you struggle with things like parallel parking, consider eliminating cars from your list that don’t have that tech, before you ask for a test drive.

An electric car especially needs to be taken for a test drive, you may not be familiarwith how to charge it for instance. You either need to be able to drive to work on a single charge or find somewhere to charge it when you’re at work. Some employers have become used to supplying a charge station at their place of work, it depends on the demand.

In the end, the question is–does the car feel right?

Insurance for Young Motorcycle Riders

OP-ED by P. Wimsett

(Note: the following contains information about insurance pricing from the customer point of view. It has not been evaluated by insurance professionals nor is it meant as insurance advice.)

For those who wish lower fuel prices and road tax a motorbike is preferable to a car, but if you are under 25 you can lose what you save in increased insurance premiums. Most people know that insurance for young motorcycle riders is expensive because they don’t have years of experience on the roads, or in life.

Age is not the only thing that means you will have to pay more for your insurance. Other factors include the make of the bike, the engine power (also known as the CC, the measurement between the bore and the stroke). The stroke refers to the rotating motion, or cycle of cylinders, which draw in fuel air mix and exhale exhaust. Engines tend to be either two stroke or four-stroke. The bore is the length of the cylinder. You will also have to pay more if you break the no claims bonus.  

A biker may ride any size of bike after passing his test. Moped users do not need any test at all, but it helps in terms in insurance.

So, ways to keep costs down include having a bike with a small engine, driving as safely as possible, keeping the bike safe and secure, and gaining advanced qualifications (check out the state laws).

Of course, wearing a helmet use to factor in insurance price, but now it’s the law pretty much everywhere. It is best to not to modify your bike (which might be described as “keeping a sensible bike” – rare is the motorcyclist who doesn’t wish to change things).

Also, be certain you added yourself as a named driver; because if you don’t state yourself as a main driver the insurer can refuse to pay up if you have an accident as they have no idea if it is your bike or not.

It is debatable whether it is worth increasing your deductible. Although payments are reduced, it does mean that if you do need to claim you will pay a higher share of it.

If you carry a passenger, you will need pinion coverage, so they are covered in the event of injury. As with any insurance peace of mind is all.

When obtaining a quote make sure you have all the details to hand, including your license number and in addition the number of your motorbike.

It is vital that you only pay for the cover you need: should you only drive on holiday for example or alternately for test drives, you should attempt to get temporary cover–there are specialist insurers who can do this for you. It’s advisable to look at comparison websites too.

Before you attempt driving another person’s motorbike make certain that you’re covered to do so, many people do not check these things. You don’t want to fork out for a new motorcycle hoping to save money and that may be the least of your problems.

Choosing a Car Tracker

There are so many different options for car trackers that it’s hard to obtain a complete picture of the technology and application. Some of them are useful, others might be charitably described as not fit for purpose. The smarter companies have decided to niche down to one market segment so they could better represent what they do for their customers.

Potential Purposes for Vehicle Tracking:

Why might you need a tracker? Well there are several reasons…

Assuring that a vehicle doesn’t get stolen.

  • The first thing that leaps to mind on the topic of car tracking, perhaps due to early offerings in the field like Lo-Jack.

Check that a troublesome teen is driving within the law.

  • Monitoring your teen sometimes means knowing where they are, but it can also mean monitoring how they’re driving. It’s possible to verify that your teen is driving within designated speed limits or using their vehicle within times you’ve allowed—like only during daylight on a school night. Teen

To keep tabs on an older relative.

  • Hopefully if your aging parents and grandparents aren’t able to safely operate a vehicle you or their doctor have already helped them stop driving. However, there are a number of seniors who can drive safely with a few accommodations. It could give you peace of mind to have a GPS tracking on their car so if they breakdown they can call you with their location. It’s possible that that they could suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening issue and not be able to tell you where they are. This service started with companies like OnStar, but have mostly transitioned to personal car tracking so that consumers don’t have to combine the expense of monitoring with the expense of roadside assistance.

Possibly it is used as a business investment.

  • Knowing what your employees are doing when they are out “in the field” or on delivery has become a standard. Some systems even monitor how you drive—like the ones for parents of teenagers. This is far superior to the old system of installing a governor to prevent workers from speeding in you moving van. It also lets you know if they’re actually going about the delivery rout you hired them to.
  • It’s not just about how they drive or do their job though. These monitoring systems keep track of the locations of major assets your company owns. This could be reflected in a discount on your insurance bill.

Tracking your Spouse.

  • Then there are people who wish to spy on a partner who may be having an affair or secretly taking drugs or gambling. It’s a personal choice and a tough issue to even address in a post like this, but it’s one way in which people use the technology and therefore some companies market to that purpose.

Desirable qualities in a Tracker:

Many of these systems do have some tethering, or connectivity problems. A 24 hour helpline is vital in order to deal with any difficulties – but these are common problems when you purchase a new device these days. When checking reviews, listen to what other people stay about helplines. How hard was it to get through to a person? Do they have limited hours as in they’re out of office whenever you need to locate your teen at a party they were grounded from?

In choosing a tracker look for ones who work with programs such as Google Maps, so you have a clear view where each vehicle is, from any google enabled device.

If you fear your car will be stolen and the license plate changed, opt for global coverage, in case the car gets shipped abroad.

Another feature to look for is whether you must check it or if it gives you push notifications. Spy Tec. For example, can be programmed to send you periodic updates and can be placed anywhere in the car. Marketing from the company states that the strong battery can last up to four weeks, which to be honest is a big consideration if you’re not wiring into the cars power system.

The MotoSafety Teen GPS, and Spy Tec for that matter, require a monthly subscription. If you research you maybe able to find ones that don’t have further payments once they’re installed.

The Drawback to tracking?

Using a tracker does indicate a lack of trust though. If your relative/employee/whoever needs to be tracked in this complicated way is it time to just have a tough conversation.

It’s also less expensive to do your own detective work if we are talking about a relative or a partner. In these days of mobile phone it’s getting exceedingly harder to keep things private, you might do a bit of snooping and learn the same information.

Monitoring your partner’s movements probably shouldn’t be a way of life, only a way to eliminate concerns. In a similar way, your teen is likely to move on from borrowing your car to driving their own vehicles so…do you really want to invest in buying and installing a tracker.

The most lucrative market for trackers must surely be commercial fleets. To think of it, it would be hard to run a cab business or any enterprise involving delivery vehicles without a number of tracking devices.

If you have a fear that your car will be stolen then a tracker is definitely for you but ultimately it’s all dependent on the car you drive—frankly you can just buy a car that’s less likely to be stollen.

The other difficulty with a tracker is that many you have to pay to install. Although many try a tracking device on the cheap, the easier it is to find the easier is it to dismantle.

Still it’s a developing market and if you feel your vehicle or group of vehicles need it, go for it!