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How to back up an RV / Trailer "tail swing"
The most common piece of advice that is given to new RV owners is to go out to a parking lot and practice backing up around cones. That is good and all but HOW should you setup the cones??? The maneuvers in this video are setup to teach control of the trailer, and build confidence in the driver. The best drivers are confident and relaxed. This link shows diagrams of how to setup each maneuver. Yes these are the same backing maneuvers used to test CDL drivers. If new truck drivers can parallel park a semi truck, YOU can parallel park an RV. http://bigrigcareer.com/cdl-skills-te...
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10 Things Everyone Should Know About Tires
By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist
You probably know tires are made of rubber — but how much more do you know? Here’s a run-through of some important tire-related terminology:
1) Aspect ratio
This technical-sounding term refers to the relationship between the width of a tire and the height of the tire’s sidewall. High-performance “low profile” tires have “low aspect ratios” — meaning their sidewalls are short relative to their width. This provides extra stiffness and thus better high-speed handling and grip — but also tends to result in a firmer (and sometimes, harsh) ride. “Taller” tires tend to provide a smoother ride and better traction in snow.
2) Contact Patch
As your tires rotate, only a portion of the total tread is actually in contact with the ground at any given moment. This is known as the contact patch. Think of it as your tire’s “footprint.” Sport/performance-type tires are characterized by their wider footprint — more tread is in contact with the ground — which provides extra grip, especially during hard acceleration on dry pavement and during high-speed cornering.
3) Treadwear indicators
These are narrow bands built into the tread during manufacturing that begin to show when only 1/16 of the tire’s tread remains. Also called wear bars, treadwear indicators are there to provide an obvious visual warning that it’s time to shop for new tires.
4) Speed ratings
An alpha-numeric symbol you’ll find on your tire’s sidewall that tells you the maximum sustained speed the tire is capable of safely handling. An H-rated tire, for example, is built to be safe for continuous operation at speeds up to 130 mph. Most current model year family-type cars have S (112 mph) or T (118 mph) speed ratings. High performance cars often have tires with a V (149 mph) or ZR (in excess of 149 mph) speed rating. A few ultra-performance cars have W (168 mph) and even Y (186 mph) speed-rated tires.
5) Maximum cold inflation load limit
This refers to the maximum load that can be carried in a given vehicle with a given type of tires — and the maximum air pressure needed to support that load. In your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you should be able to find the recommended cold inflation load limit. It’s important not to exceed the load limit (or over or under-inflate the tires) as this can lead to stability/handling problems and even tire failure. Always check tire pressure “cold.” Driving creates friction which creates heat; as the tires warm up, the air inside expands, increasing the pressure. Measuring air pressure after driving can give a false reading; you may actually be driving around on under-inflated tires.
6) Load index
This number corresponds to the load carrying capacity of the tire. The higher the number, the higher the load it can safely handle. As an example, a tire with a load index of 89 can safely handle 1,279 pounds — while a tire with a load rating of 100 can safely handle as much as 1,764 pounds. It’s important to stick with tires that have at least the same load rating as the tires that came originally with the vehicle — especially if it’s a truck used to haul heavy loads or pull a trailer. It’s ok to go with a tire that has a higher load rating than the original tires; just be careful to avoid tires with a lower load rating than specified for your vehicle, even if they are less expensive. Saving a few bucks on tires is not worth risking an accident caused by tire failure.
7) Radial vs. bias-ply tire
Bias-ply tires have their underlying plies laid at alternate angles less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread; radials have their plies laid at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread. That’s the technical difference. The reason radial tires are dominant today is that they help improve fuel efficiency and handling; they also tend to dissipate heat better than bias-ply tires. No modern passenger cars come with bias-ply tires these days and their use is generally not recommended. (Exceptions might include older/antique vehicles that originally came equipped with bias-ply tires. Some RVs also used bias-ply tires, etc.) It is very important never to mix radial and bias-ply tires; dangerously erratic handling may result.
8) LT and MS tires
These designations indicate “Light Truck” and “Mud/Snow” — and are commonly found on tires fitted to SUVs and pick-ups. LT-rated tires are more general purpose, built primarily for on-road use — while MS-rated tires typically have more aggressive “knobby” tread patterns designed for better off-road traction.
9) Temporary Use Only
Many modern cars come with so-called “space-saver” tires which are smaller and lighter than a standard or full-size spare tire. They are designed to leave more room in the trunk and be easier for the average person to handle when a roadside tire change becomes necessary. However, they are not designed to be used for extended (or high-speed) driving. Your car will probably not handle (or stop) as well while the Space Saver tire is on – and you should keep your speed under 55 mph and avoid driving on the tire beyond what’s absolutely necessary to find a tire repair shop where you can have your damaged tire repaired or replaced.
10) Treadwear, Traction and Temperature ratings
Each tire has three separate ratings for Treadwear, Traction and Temperature.
Traction ratings run from AA to A to B and C — with C being the lowest on the scale. The ratings represent the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement under controlled testing conducted by the government. C-rated tires are marginal and should be avoided. Never buy a tire with a Traction rating that isn’t at least equal to the minimum rating specified by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
Temperature ratings from A to B to C — with C being the minimum allowable for any passenger car tire. The ratings correspond to a given tire’s ability to dissipate heat under load; tires with lower ratings are more prone to heat-induced failure, especially if driven at high speeds (or when overloaded). As with Traction ratings, never buy a tire with a Temperature rating that’s less than specified for your vehicle.
Treadwear ratings differ from Traction and Temperature ratings in that they aren’t a measure of a tire’s built-in safety margin. Instead, these ratings — represented by a three digit number — give you an idea of the expected useful life of the tire according to government testing. A tire with a Treadwear rating of 150, for example, can be expected to last about 1.5 times as long as a tire with a Treadwear rating of 100. These are just guides, however. Your tires may last longer (or not) depending on such factors as how you drive, whether you maintain proper inflation pressure and rotate the tires per recommendations — and so on.
Happy Thanksgiving from Northside Ford Trucks
Curt BetterWeigh™ Mobile Towing Scale Smartphone Ready
This video is about the BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale – a Bluetooth-enabled, smartphone-compatible device that plugs into any OBD-II port and weighs the vehicle, trailer, cargo, tongue weight, pin weight, weight distribution and trailer brake gain.
Equipped with TowSense™ technology, BetterWeigh™ provides real-time, live measurements to take the guesswork out of towing and hauling. With it, you can know exactly how much weight you’re towing, and whether it’s safe to tow with your vehicle.
It has virtually no installation requirements. BetterWeigh™ simply plugs into the OBD-II vehicle diagnostic port below the steering wheel, wirelessly links with your smartphone and comes with a free, downloadable app.
Unlike physical towing scales and tongue weight scales, BetterWeigh™ gives you a digital readout, sent right to your smartphone -- no more walking to the back of the vehicle to check the weight.
BetterWeigh™ also makes brake controller setup fast, easy and accurate by calculating the exact trailer brake gain needed for your particular load size.
The CURT BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale is compatible with Apple iOS and Android OS. The downloadable app is intuitive, easy to use and completely free.
BetterWeigh™ Features & Benefits
- Measures real-time vehicle-trailer weights for safer, easier towing and hauling
- Bluetooth connection provides active readouts on the driver’s smartphone
- No-install, plug-and-play setup into vehicle diagnostic port (OBD-II) below the dash
- Weighs vehicle, trailer, cargo, tongue and pin weight and weight distribution
- Provides easy brake controller setup by measuring exact trailer brake gain needed
- Wireless, compact, portable design
- Downloadable app available for Apple iOS and Android OS
- Limited lifetime warranty
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WARN VR EVO Winches
We take a closer look at the complete lineup of WARN VR EVO winches, the new standard in standard-duty.
• Available in 8,000, 10,000, and 12,000 lb. capacities with synthetic or steel rope.
• IP68 waterproof.
• Two-in-one wired/wireless controller. Best-in-class performance.
• Limited lifetime (mechanical), 7 year (electrical) warranty (North America)
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Prepare Your Equipment for Battle - Boss Plows
The forecast calls for snow! You've been waiting for this all year. Finally, your city is in the path of the storm.
Here are a few tips to help ensure that your equipment is ready for battle:
Check Your Vehicle
Whether plowing with a BOSS pickup truck plow, a BOSS UTV plow or a BOSS Box Plow, knowing that your vehicle is in running order will ensure that you are successful this winter:
Check your snow plow vehicle’s tire pressure.
Check all fluid levels including engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, radiator coolant and windshield washer fluid.
Check oil pressure, your engine will work hard this winter – oil is its lifeblood!
Make sure the battery is working properly and that terminals are tightly connected with no corrosion.
Check the condition of your wipers – operating your BOSS Snowplow
with poorly operating windshield wipers is asking for problems. While
you’re at it, make sure you defrosting system is working on snowplow
truck as well!
Check the vehicle’s headlights, brake lights and turn signals to
ensure they are all in working order – visibility is crucial both to you
and drivers around you.
Never venture out without an adequate fuel supply.
Check Your BOSS PlowYou’ve checked your snowplow vehicle, now make sure your BOSS Snowplow is ready to go as well:
Make sure that all bolts on your snowplow are tight and well fastened.
Look for cracked welds and hydraulic fluid leaks.
Make sure the plow lights and turn signals are aligned properly and are in good working order.
Carry a few extras – keep a BOSS Snowplow Emergency Parts Kit handy that includes extra hydraulic fluid, hydraulic hoses, a pump solenoid, extra cutting-edge bolts and a trip spring.
If you notice that you are in need of service or parts, call or visit your nearest BOSS Snowplow Dealer or visit ShopBOSS. If you need help locating your nearest dealer, simply visit bossplow.com and either use the Dealer locator, or feel free to use the Chat button to chat on-line with a BOSS Snowplow factory representative.
Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there to get you back up and running. Many BOSS Snowplow dealers feature 24-hour service during big snow events. At the BOSS Snowplow Headquarters you can call us with questions, talk to our Technical Service department, send us an email or chat online with us. If for some reason we can’t speak with you right away, leave a message, and we’ll get back to you quickly!
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Remove Your Plow from Storage + 12 Tips For Preparing Your Snow Plow For Winter
For additional details, the following maintenance videos will help you to prepare your BOSS Snowplow for the upcoming season. Be ready, snow is just around the corner!
BOSS V-Plow Storage Removal Video & Instructions