Monthly Archives: December 2012

  • Fire Trucks Go Hybrid and High Tech

    rearview mirror

    One of the most important trucks we will ever need is a fire truck. Though the closest some of us will ever get is waving to the fireman perched atop a fire truck at a parade, or pulling off the road to make way for a siren blaring fire truck en route to an emergency. I think we can all agree on the necessity of fire trucks, but have you ever given much thought to what actually goes into a fire truck?

    Recent changes in technology have changed the features and methods of firefighting equipment, and in the past couple of weeks, numerous cities have announced a transition to more advanced vehicles. First up, Indianapolis is transitioning to electric and hybrid vehicles, and they're hoping to buy new compressed natural gas run fire trucks. The city hopes to complete its transition by 2025, so there is still time to perfect the technology.

    San Diego also recently purchased new hybrid fire trucks, but rather than using multiple energy sources, it is considered a “hybrid” because it combines capabilities. The new trucks are aptly called quint fire trucks, because they provide pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial, and ground ladder duties. These trucks combine many of the duties of fire trucks and fire engines into a single vehicle. It can fight fires as well as rescue and care for trapped citizens. In the past, San Diego fire department has had problems with fire trucks arriving before fire engines, which leaves fire fighters unable to begin rescue efforts, because only engines are equipped with water.

    Recently, Grand Rapids also upgraded some of their fire trucks to a hybrid/dual-purpose model. In this case, the vehicles are on a much smaller scale and they are intended to combine fire fighting technology with medical response equipment. These new vehicles will allow a single vehicle to deal with smaller fires, such as a car fire, using either water or foam to put out the fire as well as attend to the driver or passenger’s medical needs.

    New Fire Truck

  • Good Samaritan Saves the Holiday Season!

    Here is a wonderful story about a good samaritan who helped make a Christmas wish come true. In Miami, FL, Jorge Alvart has a flower shop called Jorge Orchid & Inc. Like past years, he has been selling Christmas trees this holiday season, but due to construction and resulting lane closures, he has had trouble selling off his tree inventory. Good Samaritan Mike Fernandez heard of Mr. Alvart’s plight and stepped in, buying hundreds of the remaining Christmas trees from Jorge’s shop. Because he does not need hundreds of trees, he has offered to donate the trees to poor families in the Miami area who cannot afford their own trees. So not only is Mr. Alvart’s shop staying in business, but needy families are benefiting as well. If that wasn’t enough, Mr. Fernandez discovered that Jorge Alvart is also waiting for a liver transplant, and has volunteered to pay for the surgery as well. A triple dose of help from a single Good Samaritan!

    Read the whole story here.

    Do you have any Good Samaritans you’d like us to mention on the blog? Let us know in the comments!

  • Running Boards Through the Years

    Running Boards are a common addition to modern-day SUVs and trucks, but their origins are decidedly retro. Nowadays people wouldn't dream of sticking running boards to their sporty cars, but back in the early days of the automobile, running boards were quite common and almost a necessity.


    Ground clearance was an issue then, with cars at that time being much higher up than modern cars. In fact, they were much closer to SUV or truck height than current car height. They were also sometimes stood upon while the car was moving, and while you sometimes see this happening today, especially on work trucks, it is now much more dangerous thanks to the high speeds that today's vehicles are capable of achieving. In addition to people, running boards were also apparently used to haul Fido.

    Finally, it’s just a matter of taste. Car designs and accessories come and go in terms of popularity, and what was in style twenty years ago isn’t going to be necessarily in style today. Sleek, sporty styling has been the “in” look for many cars, but who knows if a boxier look may come back? You could say that the crossover trend is partially inspired by retro vehicles, and while running boards on car are rare, running boards on crossovers are much more common. Who knows, running boards on cars could come back in style!


    So what do you think? Do you like the look of running boards? Would you ever add them to your car?

  • Deck Your Truck for Christmas

    Chances are, you’ve already decorated the tree for Christmas and started sipping eggnog.  Maybe you’ve even started wrapping presents if you’re lucky enough to have finished your holiday shopping already. But what about your car, truck or SUV? There’s no reason your mode of transportation should be without holiday spirit. Read on for some easy ideas to decorate your ride for the holidays.

    Christmas wreaths will always be in style. They are an easy way to show your festiveness, and they match any color car. Just make sure the wreath you choose is appropriate for the type of vehicle you drive. Hang it on the front bumper of your car, but make sure it's secure. Otherwise you might lose it on your way.

    Some people enjoy actually stringing lights on the outside of the car, you just have to hang them a little low as to not cause disturbance to passing traffic, and know how to properly hook them up to your car battery. Or, if you don’t want to spend that much effort, invest in some L.E.D. lights in festive colors like red or white and decorate away! Pilot Flexi L.E.D. light strips are flexible so you can mount them anywhere with 3m tape (included), and they have an easy two wire hook up. For a more noticeable look, an underbody light kit will add a red or blue glow to the underside of your vehicle.

    If you’re lucky enough to own a pickup truck (which comes in handy when it’s time to get that tree!), add some bed rails to each side and wrap those in Christmas lights. Investing in some tie down anchors is a smart investment for not only securing a tree during the holiday season, but holding down cargo any time of year.

  • Are They on the Naughty List or Nice List?

    Do you believe in Santa Claus? Well, believe it or not, he's on his way and it's that time of year again to ask, will you make the naughty list or the nice list?  Have you been good all year in hopes that Santa might do a little splurging on you or have you been not so nice and only be rewarded with a shirt and tie?  We are having some great deals on some selected products each weekend leading up to Christmas. This weekend we are focusing on truck bed protection. Maybe that someone you are shopping for has been naughty and should not be rewarded with a pricy item, get them a bedrail cap. Is the trucker in your life on the nice list, then show them that it has not been over looked and get them a more pricy gift like a bed liner. Whatever it is that you might be looking to wrap up this holiday season for the car/truck lover in your life, make sure to shop with us and take advantage of our great deals.

  • Car Video Games and Other Diversions

    Car video games come in many varieties. Many older games featured straight-up races, though there is often a destructive element too (think Carmageddon, which gave points for running over pedestrians, and was banned in both Germany and the UK). Other games completely abandon the race aspect altogether, like Grand Theft Auto. No stranger to controversy, GTA has released fourteen different versions, and will be releasing its latest GTA V in 2013.


    If hunting down rival drug lords is too heavy for you, you can always turn to Mario Kart, a car video game where banana peels and koopa troopa shells are the only weapons allowed. Mario Kart has been available in various versions for all Nintendo platforms since the Super Nintendo back in 1992. The most recent is Mario Kart 7 for Nintendo 3DS, and like past Karts, features grand prix, time trial, and battle modes (both balloon battle and coin runners).


    And for all of you brainiacs out there, who can forget the classic parking lot game? In this non-racing endeavor, you have to move a series of cars, trucks, and buses around a parking deck to get your prized vehicle to the exit. It may sound boring, but anyone who has tried it knows how addicting it can be. Even when you've reached the exit, you look back at how many moves it took you to get there, and know you can do better?


    So what’s your favorite car video game? Let us know in the comments!

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