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The Mystery Machine: What Was It?

The Mystery Machine is one of the most iconic American vehicles. Next to James Bonds Aston Martin and Smokey and the Bandits Pontiac Firebird, the van would go on to transport a bunch-a- meddlin’ kids through each one of the adventures. Often becoming their safe haven when the “monster of the week” showed up. Many have speculated as to the make and model of the van, but as it is a cartoon, it’s hard to put a definite answer on it.

VW Micro Bus: The Go-To Answer

This is what most people assume the bus is. It makes sense, too. With the ’60s and 70’s so far back in people’s minds, or for those who never experienced either of those decades (including myself), most people view the van as the standard hippie bus. With the flowery designs and pseudo psychedelic paint job, it does, in fact, give off the hippie vibe. Also, with the cabover approach, this signals that the engine is either right under the driver seat, or in the back (which in multiple iterations of the cartoon has the engine located there).

Ford Econoline (Mid 60’s)

The general shape is pretty consistent with most iterations of the van. With a flat-top rear wheelarch this essentially has the right style and shape, but not quite. The headlights are a different shape, as well as incorporating air intakes within each light. This is such an iconic feature, that if this was the van of choice, they would have incorporated it somewhere in the drawings.

Dodge A100

This van has the general shape (but what van for the time didn’t have it?). The headlights are in the right place and are the right shape, too. Also, the use of a roof rack is similar. Unfortunately, the headlight size is way too big and the “character lines” were a distinctive feature of the A100 where the mystery machine was relatively smooth.

Chevy Sportvan: Closest To The Mystery Machine

The Chevy Sports Van is probably the closest one to the actual Mystery Machine. Where the van the gang drives in is only imaginary (in that its a cartoon), the Chevy Sportvan has the closest resemblance to it. From the right sized headlights to the front-mounted spare wheel, this guy takes the cake.

The Mystery Machine is an Icon

With countless episodes and re-iterations of the show, the Mystery Machine has had a couple of different forms, all keeping the basic shape and dimensions relative. The van has been in service for over 50 years and has helped to boost the Van craze for each generation. Now, if only we could figure out what the gang was up to in the back.

mystery machine
mystery machine

Cybertruck: 3 Vehicles That Beat it

The Tesla Cybertruck was recently released. Many stood in awe or disgust due to the nature of the vehicle. With its weird design and even weirder “bulletproof” glass, this guy can do a lot. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other vehicles that can beat it. We’re going to take a look at 3 vehicles that can outdo the future truck, but first, let’s take a look at the specs.

The Cybertruck in a Nutshell

It’s pretty cool, not going to lie. The Cybertruck can produce some whopping stats for an all-electric truck. With enough towing capacity to outdo a regular F-150 in a tug-of-war, Tesla’s new toy can pump out some power.

According to the Official Website:

“Cybertruck is built with an exterior shell made for ultimate durability and passenger protection. Starting with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armor glass.”

Those are some pretty solid stats. Let’s take a look at Vehicles that can crush it.

The Karlmann King

cybertruck

Tesla isn’t the only one with a cool, future-looking vehicle. The Karlmann King is just that with a lot more. This thing is WAY more bulletproof than the Cybertruck could ever be and boasting a much MUCH larger engine, this guy can take on anything. Is there a lot of traffic between you and your house? Take a shortcut through the forest. You can DO THAT in this guy! Who needs roads, anyways?

Rhino GX Executive

cybertruck

Ever wish for the zombie apocalypse? I do. Every year that I blow out my birthday candles, I wish for it. I also wish for this truck because nothing will stand in my way once the infection starts. This guy is the ultimate SUV and outclasses all others by a longshot. Again, this guy is bulletproof and holds a whopping 6.5 liter V8 that can go through trees and mindless hordes of the undead. Are you an avid apocalypse person? Well, here is your vehicle.

Devel Sixty: The Cybertruck Killer

Is mother Nature in your way? WHO NEEDS IT? Not you. Not when you’re driving this masterpiece of future technology. This guy can pump out a whopping 670 horsepower. With 6 gnarly wheels, you can go anywhere at any time and nobody- not one person on this planet, is going to stop you. “Why do you need this?” you may be asking yourself. The correct answer is “Why Not?”

SHERP: Winters Worst Nightmare

Do you hate driving during the winter? Does the snow make it hard for you to get to work? Well, maybe you should look at buying the SHERP.

SHERP can take on ANY Terrain

Is Mister Winter making it hard for you to get out of your driveway? Well, looks like its too bad for him. This tiny ATV juggernaut will punch old-man winter right in his frosty schnoz. Heck, if you owned one of these, would you even need roads? The answer is “no”.

This Bad Boy is Aquatic

Ever take a duck tour in Boston? Well, now you don’t need to fly across the country to check it out. Drive this bad boy to any lake and have your own family duck tour. Who is going to stop you, kayakers? This is YOUR lake now.

Need to Climb Over Something 23 Inches Tall? We Got you

Rarely does a vehicle have such an incredible clearance. Whether you’re driving through trenches, rivers or over Frost Giants, this guy’s got you covered. What can winter possibly throw at you? Nothing.

SHERP Stats

Don’t be fooled by the SHERP’s low horsepower. Sure, it is slow, but it’s ALL torque. This helps pull and push its way across everything. 44 hp is all you need.

Its maximum speed is 27 mph. You might not get to work in the most timely manner during a category 5 “kill-blizzard”, but you’ll get to work before your co-worker, Steve in his Honda Accord. Remember, he still needs to take a road.

Repair

The SHERP design means that anyone can fix it. Everything from the transmission to the struts can be easily fixed with the most basic of knowledge. With limited electrical applications (even the engine can run with no electricity) this guy is easily repairable. Getting slowly surrounded by a horde of flesh-eating zombies? Just hop in your SHERP and drive away! It’s that easy

SHERP is planning on hitting the US market soon, but you can pre-order one now! The cost for one of these babies is upwards of $120,000 USD but it’s TOTALLY worth if the world ends.

Winter Weather Stalls Shipments

Weather is going to stall shipments. Alas, we have arrived in winter for 2019. There is a whole slew of issues that come with the changing of the season. From icy winter roads to car accidents, traffic delays are going to happen, and they might happen to you. If you have never shipped a vehicle before, here are some tips for what to expect while shipping in winter weather

Winter Weather Shipments

Winter can bring about some of the worst road conditions. The end of the year is typically just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how bad things will get for the start of the new year.

Winter Creates The Poorest Driving Conditions

For northern US roads, winter is in full force. Currently, New England is under some heavy snow. With many reports of traffic accidents and poor conditions, come reports of delays. These, to put it simply, are going to happen.

Winter Weather and New Drivers

With winter now in full swing across multiple areas in the US, many new truck drivers are getting their first-hand experience driving in the snow. This can cause severe delays.

Not every truck driver is trained in the same way. If you grew up and live in Los Angeles, chances are you haven’t had much experience driving in the snow. Now, most CDL Class-A schools provide adequate training for these conditions, but as a native New Englander, the best bet is to learn via experience. Oregon is no stranger to these conditions as well.

It can be scary if you’re transporting your vehicle to or from a place where they are getting slammed with a snowstorm. Typically, a truck won’t smash anything up. That is the worst-case scenario. Chances are, you’re shipment might be delayed. If your car is going through 14 inches of snow to get to where it needs to go, expect some delays.

How To Choose the Right Transportation Service for Winter Weather

This can be an easy one. Find a transportation business that specializes in reliability. A reliable company will be able to inform you of every step of the way. They will also be able to provide any and all information in regards to your shipment.

If Your Shipment is Delayed

Don’t stress. A reputable company will be able to find an alternate route. The goal is still to deliver your shipment in a timely manner. The safety risks being attributed to driving through winter weather can be costly to the driver and others who share the road.

The company will be able to contact the driver and have word in regard to the estimated time of your delivery. Delays will happen. To find the right auto transport service is key.

Eugene Car Transport Can Help

Shipping with Eugene Car Transport gives you access to choose any of the car shipping services that we provide. We offer all kinds of shipments for different types of vehicles. With every shipping order, there is a full guarantee of insurance coverage and door-to-door delivery for your convenience. We also provide low priced quotes and special discounts.

Money-Making Tips for Owner-Operators

As an owner-operator you essentially become your own boss. While challenges may arise, there are many rewards as well. Making money is essential to surviving in the trucking industry. Therefore, we’ve compiled a few money-making tips for owner-operators to consider.

#1. Position yourself as a trucker you can depend on

Firstly, if you want to make the most money, it’s going to require more than just picking up and dropping off loads. Customers work with truck companies they can rely on. This means, as an owner operator you must establish a name for yourself as a company you can trust. Ways to do so is by maintaining positive relationships with customers and fleet managers. Additionally, making sure your loads are always delivered on time too. Building strong relationships is key to a thriving business. In doing so, you become the first call when freight needs to be hauled.

#2. Sign up for fuel cards and loyalty programs

Moreover, keeping your expenses down is another great way to make money. In order to increase your profits, you must save in other areas. Fuel cards and trucker discount programs are a great start. From fuel to tires and everything in between, there are many programs that offer discounts to trucker. Not to mention, some fuel programs even help you manage expenses.

#3. Avoid deadhead miles

Furthermore, it’s important not to deadhead! What does this mean? Simply put, driving with an empty trailer with no cargo. Driving without freight also means you’re wasting gas for no reason, and for no profit. Not to mention, the wear and tear to your truck. Whenever you are behind the wheel, make sure it’s for a reason. Apart from this, one way to avoid deadhead miles is to backhaul. Although backhauls typically pay less than a normal haul, sometimes a little pay is better than none, and it’s always better than empty miles.  

#4. Use load boards

Without a doubt, using load boards is the perfect way to make more money. The online boards are filled with owner-operators, shippers, and brokers looking to haul cargo. Finding lucrative loads comes with time and research. Not to mention, securing higher rates on loads means more money. Nevertheless, load boards will help you make long-lasting connections, thus procuring future business.

#5. Learn how to repair your own truck

Lastly, as we all know, truck repairs are costly. By reducing you repair bills you can save a ton. In addition to costs, repair shops can also take a lot of time away from your day, limiting you from making money. While not every repair can be handled by an owner-operator, it is important to know which fixes can.

Got any other money-making tips for owner-operators? Share below.

Comfort Is Key!

While truck driving schools teach mechanics and responsibilities, there is typically no attention given to a driver’s comfort.

But, why is a truck driver’s comfort so important? Simply put, when the trucker is comfortable, then productivity is a success too. On the other hand, if the driver is not comfortable then it will be a lot more difficult to perform. Comfort and performance can improve with just a few simple changes. And, here’s how:

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Firstly, one of the biggest mistakes drivers make is in the type of clothing they wear. If you aren’t comfortable in your clothing, then you won’t be comfortable sitting for long hours on the road. Discomfort in clothing can make driving extremely difficult too. Therefore, loosen up the tight pants, and wear what makes you feel at ease.

However, we suggest wearing loose fitting clothing, allowing your body room to breathe. Additionally, in the winter, layer up! This way you can add or remove clothing depending on the temperature.

Purchase Accessories

Furthermore, comfort comes from your cab too. For example, keeping certain accessories in your truck can add to a driver’s comfortability. In addition to buying an electric blanket, which is useful during those winter nights, a shower kit is helpful too. Most shower kits include toiletries and grooming products. A hot shower and a shave really do go a long way. Sunglasses are a great accessory to have, too. Not only can a great pair of shades reduce fatigue, but it can help avert headaches and eye strain from the sun as well.

Set Up a Sleep Schedule

Moreover, finding a consistent sleep pattern as a trucker can be difficult. However, drivers should try to establish a sleep schedule if they can. When a routine sleep schedule doesn’t exist, it’s harder to receive a restful sleep. And, as we all know, sleep is crucial to a driver’s comfort.

What are some other ways truckers can feel more comfortable on the road? Comment below.

Tips to Prevent Truck Rollovers

Truck rollovers happen for a plethora of reasons. They cause major car accidents, injuries, and sometimes even deaths. Unfortunately, truck rollovers occur far too easily. Therefore, it’s important to learn how you can prevent them from happening.

Moreover, poor road conditions, speeding, fatigue, and distracted driving are all causes for a potential rollover. However, rollovers can happen to anyone, and not just under these circumstances. So, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you prevent truck rollovers from happening to you.

#1 Got a need for speed? Well, don’t!

Slowing down around curves and turns especially is a good way to prevent truck rollovers. Furthermore, you must keep in mind that you’re driving a truck and its high center of gravity is much different than a car. It is more prone to tipping over if you’re going too fast.

#2 Stay focused.

Moreover, driving distracted is a surefire way to an accident, and a rollover. So, stay focus, and pay attention to the road.

#3 Say no to drowsy driving.

Furthermore, you must stay alert when operating any vehicle, let alone a truck. Getting plenty of rest is key. Driving drowsy also reduces your reaction time. Thus, causing an accident or rollover.

#4 Maintenance check.

Additionally, preventative maintenance is also another way to prevent rollovers from occurring. This allows you to catch any issues that might make a truck unsafe beforehand. Taking your truck to the mechanic on a regular basis is key.

#5 Properly secure your load.

Moreover, an improperly secured load can shift during transport and cause an imbalance to your truck. Therefore, giving your truck a higher probability of rolling over.

#6 How well do you know your truck?

Lastly, make sure you know your truck inside and out. Understanding your truck’s design is important to how well you can operate it.

In brief, rollovers are scary. Learning ways to avoid them is essential to every truck driver, and to the safety of other motorists on the road.

Got any more tips to prevent truck rollovers from happening? Comment below.

Trucking Companies Under Siege Because of Regulations

The much-discussed ‘trucking apocalypse’ appears to have arrived in full-force in the last year. Its latest victim is a 40-year-old carrier based in California. That’s right. Timmerman Starlite Trucking, Inc which has its headquarters in Ceres, California suddenly announced it would be closing up shop. This means its 30 employees would immediately be unemployed.

Ceres is a suburb of Modesto, California, which is a mid-sized city roughly 100 miles east of San Francisco. Starlite boasted a fleet of 30 trucks, 150 trailers, and a total of 28 drivers. This is according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Owner Colby Bell suggested that the difficult freight market along with all the environmental regulations were the big reasons for the company’s demise. They posted their closing on their Facebook page.

“We tried to provide a healthy work environment for our employees and give them the best wages and benefits we could,” Bell said. “But in the end, the rates that were available did not support the cost structure needed to compensate our employees appropriately.”

Starlite worked with clients in an 11-state chunk which reached from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. But right now, long haul trucking spot rates have dipped to their lowest levels in several years. In fact, the rates are off by more than 30 percent since its high point last year.

Worse than the low spot rates, trucking volumes have been functioning between 2 percent and 7 percent in the equivalent days from 2018. And there was a large drop that occurred in mid May.

Additionally, cost inflation over the last two years has jumped for carriers along with operational pressure in all areas of their business. Not only that but wage increases for drivers ballooned by double digits and insurance renewal rates are on the upswing, while equipment is costly to maintain.

If you’re a small carrier it’s almost impossible to keep up in this environment, which is why companies like Starlite are shutting their doors.

What do you all think of the current situation? Is it truly a trucking apocalypse?

Truck Drivers Key to Driverless Trucking?

There’s a lot of talk in recent years about the threat driverless trucking poses to the jobs of truckers. And there’s definitely some truth to this possibility. After all, many companies are aggressively developing this technology. Still, the supposed take-over isn’t here yet and there is at least one company who views truckers as vital to the future of their driverless technology.

Starsky Robotics is attacking driverless trucking in a completely different way than most start-ups. This company, which is located in San Francisco, is working on autonomous trucks that are equipped with remote driving capabilities. In fact, their new campaign slogan is “The future of driverless trucking is not driverless.”

The company’s chief executive and co-founder, Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, declared that his company was different than others because it combined the “unique combination of human decision-making and automation.

He said, “While others are trying to build fully autonomous trucks, we are building a truck that drives with no person in it and is remote-controlled for the first and last mile and that’s a completely different mindset. We’re not eliminating drivers’ jobs. Instead, we are moving them from a truck to a safe and comfortable office where they utilize years of their long-haul trucking experience, but remain close to their families and go home between shifts.”

The Plan Going Forward

As of now Starsky possesses three autonomous trucks but is scheduled to increase the number to 25 driverless trucks by 2020.  Nevertheless, Starsky can’t attain this lofty goal without the revenue they produce from their usual over-the-road trucking operation. This part of the business currently consists of 36 trucks. Starky achieved its operating authority in March 2017.

So, as it stands, their current fleet of trucks are hauling for freight for money. The trucks are operating all across the country, while the autonomous trucks are going through testing in Florida and Texas.

The company’s masterplan is to eventually switch the extra qualified drivers over from the day-to-day side and have them tele-operate the autonomous trucks from an office situation.

What do you guys think? Do you think this would be an effective solution to keeping truckers employed?

Trucking Mistakes To Avoid

There’s no way to deny it. Sometimes, life as a trucker is filled with challenges. The trucker’s job allows for a lot of freedom. Still, you still need to be a professional while on the road. Additionally, there are certain rules and guidelines to follow. If you want to put your best foot forward while on the job, here are a few important things to keep in mind. Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll have a good track record on the road.

Don’t Drive While Distracted

This seems pretty obvious, but it’s important to repeat it anyway. There’s never a good reason to text, take a phone call, look at a map, or be distracted in any other way while you’re driving. The safety risks just aren’t worth it.

It’s best to take advantage of time when you’re stopped, such as refueling, resting, or loading/unloading to plan out your route and catch up on correspondence. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about these things while behind the wheel.

Make Rest a Priority

Driving while tired is another, and potentially even more form of distracted driving. When a person is tired, it gets harder for them to focus on the task they need to do. This can have dangerous, even fatal consequences. When you’re driving, you need to be 100% focused. Pull over and sleep when you absolutely need to. Your employer wouldn’t want you to risk your safety in order to make a deadline.

It can also help to make sleep a priority during your rest period, so you don’t experience fatigue while on the road. Sleep as much as you can when you have the opportunity to do so.

Take It Slow When Descending a Hill

Many truck drivers have shared scary stories of speeding down large hills. If you descend too quickly, you’ll have a much harder time engaging the brakes, and you may begin to lose control of the vehicle. You definitely don’t want that! Pick a low gear and descend slowly down hills.

If you have any other advice for truckers, drop it in the comments below!

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