While most roadside safety kits contain at least one traditional incendiary device, they may not be the most harmless way of attracting help.With burn temperatures of 5,000 degrees and a laundry list of toxic chemicals, the name "safety flare" may be an oxymoron because they are neither safe nor environmentally friendly.Moreover, road flares, if used improperly, can easily ignite gasoline and burn the clothes or skin of even the most experienced user.The Keystone Group, based in Niwot, Colo., has introduced a more family-friendly solution: an alternative to the conventional flare called FlareAlert - a battery-operated flare that can be seen for miles around from both the air and ground.Steve Jones, president of the Keystone Group, first marketed the FlareAlert to police and fire departments, which have bought tens of thousands of the devices. Now the company is offering the product to the general public.Millions of drivers could benefit from having emergency flares. AAA, for instance, responds to more than 28 million calls for road service annually.The FlareAlert contains 12 high-output light emitting diodes that give it a bright, non-toxic glow and, unlike its other battery-operated counterparts, has a built-in magnetic base that can be mounted on a vehicle in case of an accident or attached to a mailbox in case emergency personnel need to find a house quickly.The device uses two AA batteries and has a battery life of approximately 20 hours in flash mode and six to 10 hours in steady-on mode before significant dimming will occur. The bulb life is about 10 years or 100,000 hours.Worried about the flare getting crushed while on the road? Recent independent testing revealed that it can withstand more than 4,500 pounds of direct pressure. Considering the weight of a vehicle is distributed over four tires, the FlareAlert is able to withstand being run over by a 10,000-pound vehicle.In addition, because FlareAlert is non-flammable, it will not scorch the pavement or leave behind any debris, making for a more environmentally friendly safety mechanism.
There are many potential mistakes someone could make when fighting a speeding ticket in the court room. With this in mind, Ive prepared some of the common pitfalls many people make, so you can avoid them and get your case dismissed.Here are the mistakes to avoid:Never motion the court before the trial for any documentation. You dont want to tip the fact that you are (hopefully) prepared for the case.Never motion the court for their evidence before your trial. One of the key ways to fight a "speeding ticket" is what is known as trial by ambush. You want the prosecution to be unprepared, so dont tip your hand early.Never testify. Even if the prosecution is challenging you to testify, you should refuse. If you were to take the stand, the prosecution would be allowed to cross-examine you, and they will most likely trap you into admitting you were speeding. If this happens, you will lose.Dont make any statements about your speeding. Dont let the prosecutor lead you into making any statement. They are there to find the proof, dont make their job any easier by making comments like I wasnt going that fast.Dont let the prosecutor know what your game plan is. Remember that they dont have the time or inclination to gather all the information they need for each and every case. Most of the time they are just relying on you wimping out.They are used to trials not lasting more than a few minutes. If you tip your hand to the fact that you know what youre doing, they may very well decide to do a little preparation for your case. Dont let that happen. Keep your cards close to your chest.Never object to anything the police officer says when he is making his testimony. If you object early in the game like this, the prosecution will know what youre up to, and youll lose your advantage.Dont bother to ask for a jury trial. If you do this, the prosecution will prepare themselves. Also, what many people dont realize, is that the prosecution can easily ask for the biggest punishment allowedwhich could mean serving jail time just for a little bit of speeding. Thats not good for you.Also, at a jury, you can still be found guilty even if there is no evidence. In a jury trial, people will be much more annoyed at your offence because youre taking up their time.
Back during the 1980s when Mercedes introduced its first baby Mercedes, the car was received with mixed reviews. Motorists loved the car, now a C series model, as it made a Mercedes automobile affordable for the middle class. On the other hand, critics worried that the esteemed Mercedes-Benz name would suffer as a car touching the price level of many ordinary American models would soon become part of the line up. Today, even smaller Mercedes are planned for the US market. Will this be a huge mistake for the German automaker or is Mercedes incorporating smart thinking?To the surprise of many Americans, the Mercedes brand isnt as pompous or pretentious in Europe as it is in the U.S. Crafty Mercedes-Benz marketing over the years has presented an image of Mercedes as being an ultra-luxury automobile line, a truly superb benchmark from which all other cars are measured. In some respects this image is true, but in reality Mercedes goes well beyond such a narrow definition.In the European market, Mercedes is known for producing these same high quality luxury cars, but also for producing vehicles that are much more attainable for the masses. Even right now Mercedes sells four models in Europe that are uncharacteristically Mercedes type vehicles, at least for the American market:Viano A minivan of sorts, the vehicle can hold as many as eight people and is powered by either a pair of inline four cylinder engines or a 3.5L I6.Vaneo A compact van with seating for as many as seven adults. The Vaneo features a sloping roof that quickly drops off to a rear hatch. Powered by 1.6L or 1.9L I4 gasoline engines or a 1.7L diesel.B Series Mercedes answer to the Volkswagen Golf is its own B Series of automobiles. This five door hatchback, which also looks a lot like a Toyota Matrix, comes with six engine choices: four gas engines starting with a 1.5L I4 up to a 2.0L turbocharged four, and two diesels.A Series Even smaller than the B Series is the A Series, three or five door hatchback models about the size of a Toyota Echo. Thats right, a teeny tiny Mercedes! The same six engines offered with the B Series are offered in the A Series plus one additional diesel for a total of seven engine choices!Prices for the A Series starts around $23,000 when current British to American currency exchange figures are factored in to nearly $29,500 for the B Series. The Vaneo and Viano would sell at around $25,550 and $39,800 respectively if todays European prices were carried over to the U.S.So, what does Mercedes have in mind? They are hoping to introduce the B Series to the U.S. market by 2007. Is this a wise decision? In my opinion it has worked well in Europe, however it would be better for Mercedes to create a new make of cars to include the B Series. Much like Toyota has spun off both Lexus and Scion, Mercedes would be better served by creating a separate down market brand in order to uphold the Mercedes name.No, there isnt anything shameful about any of these small vehicles in fact, they are a wise idea however, decades of marketing in the U.S. can certainly be undone overnight by the introduction of any vehicle smaller than the C Series to the Mercedes line up. No car as small as the B Series would wear a Lexus nameplate, so why should a car of this type wear the Mercedes moniker?As I said, this is just my opinion. What are your thoughts?
Diesel engine designs striving to increase engine performance have made great advancements in engine fuel delivery to the combustion chamber. Todays diesel engine is quieter, smoother, and more powerful. But todays diesel engine owners are overlooking one important factor. The quality of todays diesel fuel has not advanced at the same rate as the engine improvements. Diesel fuel begins to deteriorate as soon as it is produced. Within 30 days of refining, all "diesel fuel" regardless of brand, goes through a natural process called re-polymerization and oxidation. This process forms varnishes and insoluble gums in the fuel by causing the molecules of the fuel to lengthen and bond together. These components now drop to the bottom of the fuel tank and form asphaltene also known as diesel sludge. The fuel begins to turn dark in color, smell bad, and in most cases causes engines to smoke. The engines smoke because some of these clusters in the early stages are small enough in size to pass through the engine filtration and into the combustion chamber. As these clusters increase in size, only part of the molecule gets burned. The rest goes out the exhaust as unburned fuel and smoke. With increases in cluster size they begin to reduce the flow of fuel by clogging filters. The filters only address the symptom and not the cause. It is estimated that eight out of every ten diesel engine failures have been directly related to poor quality and contaminated fuel. The build-up of contaminates in the fuel systems and storage tanks can quickly clog filters, thus resulting in engine shut down, fuel pump wear, and diesel engine damage. Understand that most fuel has some amount of water in it from either condensation or vents. This threat requires that we realize the added burden placed upon diesel fuel as opposed to gasoline. Gasoline acts as a fuel only. Diesel fuel, on the other hand, also must cool and lubricate injection system parts. These parts are engineered to very close tolerances - up to 0.0002 of an inch - and any contamination means rapid part wear. Water displaces the diesel fuel. When the fuel is displaced wear occur because lubrication is now absent. Water that enters the combustion chamber results in even more serious damage. When it comes in contact with the heat of the combustion chamber (in excess of 2000 degrees F), it immediately turns to steam and often explodes the tip of the injector. Water causes corrosion of tanks, lines, injectors, and greatly reduces combustibility. Other areas of concern include the producing more exhaust emissions and effecting EPA standards. Bacteria also present a serious problem. Bacteria feed on nitrogen, sulfur, and iron that may be present in the fuel or tank. Then there are algae. There are absolutely no algae in diesel fuel. You may have fungus and microbial contamination but no algae. This is a misnomer for diesel sludge. So if you have a diagnosis of ALGAE and add a biocide, you have done two things, 1) found a mechanic that is wrong and 2) done nothing to fix the problem. Why is there so much bad fuel? The number one reason is due to the increased popularity of diesel power and the accompanying increased demand for more diesel fuel. There was a time when diesel fuel remained in the refinery storage tanks long enough to naturally separate and settle, allowing the clean fuel to be drawn off. Now with increased demand, diesel fuel never remains stationary long enough for settling, and the suspended water and solids are passed on to you, the user. The change in refinery techniques is another problem. In order to get more products per dollar; diesel fuel is now being refined from more marginal portions of the crude oil barrel. This results in a lower-grade product that is inherently thicker and contains more contamination. Thirdly, current fuel distribution methods also have a negative impact on the condition of the fuel at the time of delivery. In many cases, brokers control fuel sales to major distribution terminals and determine delivery dates. There is no telling how long that fuel has been in the distribution network and how many times it has been transferred. Seldom do these distributors filter the fuel as they transfer it. The solution: Multifunctional diesel additive packages and hardware. For your single vehicle or fleet the improvement of fuel quality by the use of additives and current technology is always a good choice. Many diesel fuel problems additive packages address the key issues with respect to fuel performance; some improve fuel economy, increase lubricity, improving cold flow, and improve cetane number. And some only address the issue of rust and corrosion, but all should be considered. Most "diesel fuel problems" additives contain combustion improvers that release oxygen during the compression stroke. This allows combustion to start sooner, providing for a more complete fuel burn. A more complete burn provides all the power your fuel and engine is capable of producing. As combustion improvers and you get a smoother running engine, an increase in horsepower that improves fuel economy and the reduction in black smoke emissions. Cetane is a performance rating of a diesel fuel problems, a higher cetane number or cetane rating indicates greater fuel efficiency. The fuels cetane influences, duration of white smoking after start-up, drivability before warm-up, and intensity of diesel knock at idle. Increase the cetane number of a fuel and you have improved performance. In diesel fuel problems systems, the fuel provides lubrication for the fuel pump and injectors. A fuel with poor lubricity can cause excessive wear and premature failure of these components. Improve lubricity and extend engine life. Diesel fuels have pour points (the lowest temperature at which an oil or other liquid will pour under given conditions) within the range of normal winter temperatures. As a fuel approaches its pour point, paraffin in the fuel form wax crystals that prevent it from flowing. Flow-improver additives modify the wax crystals, lowering the pour point of the fuel and give better cold weather performance. For on-sight storage tanks other issues must be looked at. On-sight storage tanks always have a small amount of the first gallon of fuel ever put in them, unless it is drained 100% and cleaned. So adding new, fresh fuel always has a bit of the bad added to it every time fuel is purchased. Diluting the bad with good over time is a loosing battle. The fuel will always be bad fuel until the core problem is addressed The order of treatment for fuel related problems should always begin with a determination of whether there is water in the fuel and if the fuel has microbes (fuel bugs) in it. Water Paste and Fuel Test Kits can be used for this stage of maintenance. If microbes are detected, then the use of biocides is needed. Biocides have no effect on and will not eliminate the sludge problem. Biocides kill bacteria, thats all! The water issue should always be remedied first by the use of fuel water separators on the tank or on the equipment. Next a multifunctional chemical additive should be added to improve fuel performance and then if needed a problem specific additive to dissolve diesel sludge and or a rust inhibitor to protect steel tanks. For long-term prevention, the use of magnet fuel conditioners is recommended. These devices continually reverse the re-polymerization of the fuel during circulation and reduce the need for ongoing additive use. All the needed cures are available from Dieselcraft Fluid Engineering at www.dieselcraft.com Conclusion There is no good time to find out that your engine won't operate or that half its life span is gone prematurely because of contaminated or poor quality diesel fuel problems. Since no one can predict a breakdown, the only safe method is prevention.Realize now that you do have a problem, and manage it now, or deal with the unexpected catastrophe and reduced equipment life that comes at the absolutely wrong time and is not in the budget!
A forklift is not only a vehicle, it is a tool. A tool capable of lifting objects weighing thousands of pounds. It is very similar to a small truck, but has a hydraulic system that supports a fork in the front. That fork is adjusted by the hydraulic systems, when the pistons move, and can lift heavy weights. All forklifts have a driver or operator that will use the wheel to manoeuvre the vehicle close the object that needs to be lifted. Then the operator uses the hydraulic system to lift or bring down cargo and objects. The forks of the lift are metal and made out of steel for added durability. Just like every other vehicle you can find forklifts new and used when looking to buy. It is important to know exactly what operation you would like the forklift to perform before acquiring one. There are differences in the way forklifts operate. Once there is decision made about what is the exact use of the forklift then the issue of price comes into play. The general price for a brand new forklift ranges between $10,000 and $30,000. The price of the forklift depends primarily on the power source the particular forklift uses. For instance forklifts that use electricity as a power source are pricier than the ones with combustion engines. Depending on what kind of motor, electric or internal combustion, the capabilities of the forklifts lifting power changes. In general, the bigger the motor and lifting capacity the higher the price of the forklift will be. Finding the right forklift and buying it is not easy. There are so many models, makes and kinds of forklifts at many prices. Some are new some are used is nearly impossible to find the perfect one. The first thing someone should consider when buying a lift is whether it will serve their needs. Then after examining its structural condition there needs to be an assessment of the price to see if it is worth the money. Forklifts are not cheap. Thats why, just like every other vehicle, there is a market for used ones. A used forklift can cost half as much as a new one and can be just as good. The same argument stands with forklifts as it does with cars and trucks, a used vehicle may break down more often, need more parts, older ones might have increased fuel consumption and sometimes warranties have already expired.Regardless of whether one decides to get a new or used forklift, it is important to decide what kind of forklift to acquire. Certain forklifts are destined for indoor use while other ones can perform tasks outdoors on gravel roads and uneven terrain. Forklifts are either powered by gasoline, propane, or electricity. Electric forklifts use batteries to store electricity. Although, internal combustion forklifts that burn gasoline or propane sometimes stronger or faster than electric forklifts, they are more prone to problems and need to be maintained frequently. When buying a forklift you should keep in mind that fuel is costly. Another thing you might need to take in consideration is the indoor/outdoor factor. If you need a forklift for indoor use then you might want to get an electric one. A forklift running on an electric motor means no fumes to worry about.