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Buying A Used Semi–Tips For Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For many truckers, the first step to becoming their own boss is the purchase of their own truck. This experience is usually full of excitement and anticipation, as it represents a higher degree of flexibility, freedom, and financial possibility. However, with new trucks costing as much as $200,000 or more, the purchase also comes with significant fear and risk. That’s why so many first-time buyers opt to look at used trucks for their first purchase. However, if you’ve never traded or appraised used trucks, you might not know what to look for in a great used truck. Fortunately, a few simple tips are all you need to dramatically increase your chances of finding the best value for your money. Research The Truck’s Manufacturer Before you make the trip to see a truck, you should look into the manufacturer’s history. The internet or a local dealer is a great place to start. You’re looking for two specific things: The make and model’s longevity The availability and price of replacement parts Certain model years are almost legendary for their durability–while others are equally well-known for their lack of it. Also, no matter how well you maintain your truck, you’ll need repairs at some point. There’s a wide variance in the cost of replacement parts based on a truck’s make and model. These factors can represent hidden costs for you down the road. Ask The Previous Owner Why They’re Selling If you’re buying from a dealer, this probably won’t help you much. When purchasing from a private party, though, the first thing you should ask them is why they’re selling their truck. You should even ask dealers what they know about the history of the truck they’re selling and the previous owner. This is because owners typically sell their truck for three reasons: They’re doing well financially and want additional features They’re quitting the trucking business The truck is a money pit–or could become one soon You’re looking for a seller in the first two categories. If you’re not completely convinced that the owner is selling their truck for reasons other than the truck, walk away. You can always find another opportunity–and you need to be completely comfortable with your purchase. Look For Surface Rust If you see massive rust spots on the side door of the truck’s cab, you’ll probably walk away from the sale. What isn’t as obvious is the beginning of a rust problem in more hidden–but no less important–areas of the truck. That’s why it’s important to inspect every inch of the truck yourself. Be sure to look everywhere possible for rust or signs of rusted areas that have been sanded and painted. If you find evidence of significant rust issues, be wary. Even though surface rust is fixable, it’s often the precursor to scale rust or penetrating rust–two things you don’t want to take on willingly. Bring Your Mechanic No matter how familiar with trucks and mechanical systems you are, you’ll want to have a second opinion. Paying a mechanic to make the trip out with you to examine the truck is always a good idea. Their experience will be invaluable in determining a reasonable purchase price and the estimated cost of any needed repairs. More importantly, they’ll be able to catch certain deal-breakers that you might...

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4 Ways To Recycle Tires In Your Own Backyard

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you order new tires, there are multiple options you can do with the old and worn out ones. Instead of recycling them or paying a recycling fee, you can enjoy your new set of wheels and get a lot of use out of the old tires at the same time. There are four ways you can recycle tires for use in your own backyard. The following four recycling methods are ideal for all types of backyards, and especially those with young children. Fairy Garden The round shape of a tire can make a great host to a small fairy garden. Fairy garden are small areas filled with natural elements and little furniture ideal for housing the mythical creatures. Tire Preparation: Wrap the tire with some soft felt for fake grass. These elements can be easily attached to the tire using super glue or a glue gun. Tire Base: Select a location to place the fairy garden. This is usually a permanent position that will stay there all year long. Fill the center of the tire with soil. A base of mulch can also help fill the tire without the need for too much soil. Seed: Plant some flowers into the soil. Flowers like profusion zinnias come in a variety of beautiful colors and bloom quickly. Ask your local garden center for tips on colorful flowers that will bloom in your geographical area. Decorations: Doll furniture and small garden decorations are ideal for a fairy garden. There are also a number of specific pieces made for a fairy garden. Extras like glitter can help you complete the whole garden. Obstacle Course A classic use for old tires is for playing in a backyard obstacle course. There are two different ways to use the tires and get full use out of them in your backyard. Running Obstacle: Place the tires flat on the ground and next to each other in a two by two formation. While running through the course, a person must quickly step in and out of the tire holes to complete that task. Football Toss Obstacle: Wrap a rope around the tire and hang it from a thick branch or swing set. During the obstacle course, a player must stop and throw a football through the hole on the tire. This can also be set up for just a throwing game outside of an obstacle course. Winter Activities Recycled tires can add a lot of fun during winter months. Children can use the tires for two different activities in the snow. Snowball Holder: During an epic snowball fight, tires can easily hold a collection of snowballs. The inside of an old tire features plenty of space to store the snowballs and create a base for various games like capture the flag. Snowman Base: Instead of building a huge snowman base made of pure snow, tires can help get the process started. Stack three or four recycled tires at the location where you want to build the snowman. Pile snow around the tires to quickly build the base and complete the snowman. Smaller recycled tires like lawnmower tires can help supply additional support for the middle and top of the snowman. Tree House Delivery Basket Turn a tire into a durable delivery basket for a tree house. Wrap...

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Tips For Married Couples Shopping For A Used Car

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

From deciding whether to spend Christmas at home or with the in-laws to purchasing a house with your future children in mind, married couples are faced with making many decisions together, no matter how minor or life-changing. When it comes time to purchasing your first vehicle as a married couple, you might get caught up in fighting about the make and model rather than dealing with the financial aspects of this costly purchase. Don’t wind up with a car you cannot afford or won’t meet both your needs and instead, here are a few tips to help you find a used vehicle from a site like you’ll both love: How Is Your Credit? Before you create a budget or even visit your first dealership, it’s important to determine which strategy will help you snag the price and interest rate. Your joint income, job history and monthly debt will all be considered by the lender when making a final decision about the loan, but ultimately, your credit history will make or break your ability to buy a car. If you both have an impeccable credit history, consider filling out a joint application. Your combined incomes and positive credit history will help you secure a larger loan and better interest rate. However, if only one of you has a solid credit history, consider filing a single loan application, instead. Your spouse’s undesirable credit history could result in a smaller loan amount, higher interest rate or worse, being denied for the loan all-together. Figure Out Your Finances Once you’ve reviewed both your credit scores and history, it’s time to determine just how much you an afford to spend on your used vehicle. Remember, just because you’re living comfortably now and can afford a larger monthly payment, your circumstances and family size could change relatively quickly, leaving you with a loan you cannot afford. Here are a few simple tips to help you determine just how much you can afford to spend every month on your used car payment: Don’t Forget the Down Payment – Many dealerships will offer individuals or couples with excellent credit the opportunity purchase a vehicle with no down payment. While this might seem reasonable in the short-term, Consumer Reports still recommends putting down as much money as you can afford. Even if it’s only five to ten percent of the loan, even a small down payment will help lower your monthly car payments. A Monthly Payment You Can Actually Afford – Purchasing an amazing used car that will be the envy of your friends is enticing, but not worth going into serious debt. This is why Edmunds urges buyers to spend no more than 20 percent of their monthly income on a car payment. The Length Of Your Loan – If you’re planning to keep your used car for several years, a 60, 72 or even 84-month loan is a better option. However, if you can afford to do so, it’s best to pay off your car in less time. The monthly payment will be larger, but you’ll ultimately pass less money in interest over the life of the loan. Who Is the Real Owner? Finally, while determining how much you can afford to spend every month on your car payment, it’s important to keep one simple...

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5 Test Drive Tips For New Car Shoppers

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Statistics suggest that car shoppers are spending less and less time on the test driving portion of their car shopping experience. In fact, more than 15% of car buyers skip the test drive, and a full third of car buyers only go test drive one car before signing on the dotted line. Almost half the buyers who do test drive spend less than 30 minutes behind the wheel before making their decision. It may be that buyers believe they’re getting all the information they need from internet research, but research is no replacement for real world experience. If you’re not sure what you should be looking for from a test drive, here are some tips that can help you make the most out of this valuable evaluation experience. Sit in All the Seats A test drive is about testing out every aspect of the car, so find out if your passengers are going to be comfortable in the car while you can. Get in and out of all the seats and spend some time playing with the seat settings and trying on the seatbelts. The salesperson who accompanies you on your test drive may be required to drive the car off the lot before you can get in the driver’s seat – use that time to find out what it’s like to ride in the backseat of the car. Ask for a Demonstration Have the salesperson at a place like Tischer Auto show you how to use all of the extra features that come with the car. You don’t just want them pointed out to you, you want to know how to turn them off and on too. While you’re driving, make use of any of the features that you can, especially ones that you would use during your normal daily drive. Is the audio quality on the stereo good? Is the navigation system too complicated to use while driving? Drive the Way You Would Normally Chances are, you don’t normally spend your driving time circling the block around an auto dealership, so why would you do that when you take a test drive? Put the car through its paces by driving the way you would normally. Get stuck in stop-and-go traffic between the elementary school and the grocery store, or get on the highway and mimic your trip to work. If you aren’t familiar with the area the dealership is located in, dedicate some of that internet research time to mapping out a good test drive route in the area. Make sure to change lanes, parallel park, and brake quickly to make sure you’re comfortable and feel safe doing so. Take Your Time You need at least 30 minutes of test driving to make an informed decision about the care, and more is better. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed. Ask your salesperson upfront if he or she has the time to spend with you on an extensive test drive, and if not, ask to see someone who does have the time. Most car owners in the US spend an average of 73 minutes a day behind the wheel. It’s not excessive to ask for at least half that time to ensure that you’re comfortable behind the wheel. Drive More Than One Car Even if you really liked the...

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Should You Make Your Children “Road” Scholars?

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do you believe your children can learn more about life while on the road than in a classroom? Have you been wanting to give your children real-life experiences in place of canned lessons? Then you might want to consider taking your kids out of school for several months or more so that your family can get a real life education while traveling the United States. Some people call the idea of taking your children out of school for an extended period of time a school sabbatical. In Europe, the idea has been called a family gap year. Whatever you call it, taking time to travel with your family can give them valuable experiences and can also create many memories that will last a lifetime. Why You Should Take Your Children on the Road? In addition to learning about the United States, heading on the road with your family has its advantages, including: Creating family bonding time. When you take a school sabbatical, it is typically just you and your family — there are no interruptions for work, school, friends or extracurricular sports. Teaching your children real-world lessons. For example, if you give your children a weekly allowance they can spend on souvenirs, they will quickly learn if they blow their money on small purchases, they will not have enough to purchase a larger item down the road. Planning Your Trip Of course, a trip of this size requires a lot of pre-planning.  You will need to:   Determine what you believe it will cost you each day for your trip, and then save up accordingly. Understand the ages of your children could determine whether or not your trip is successful. Middle or high schoolers, for example, could be upset by the idea of being away from their friends and social network for a month or longer. So if they are not on board with the idea, they could sulk and just generally make your trip miserable. On the other hand, a child that is too young may not get much out of the trip. Get a Recreational Vehicle Before you pack up the family sedan, you might want to consider purchasing a recreational vehicle (RV) instead. Here are some reasons why an RV may be a better idea for an extended family road trip: Hotel rooms are expensive. This is especially true if you have three or more children and require more than one room or a large suite to accommodate your family. Yes, there is an initial cost when purchasing an RV. But making payments on an RV is similar to making payments on a home. If you ever decide to sell it, you could recoup at least part of your money back. The same isn’t true of paying for hotel rooms. Your children will have surroundings they are familiar with during their entire trip. You can cook meals in an RV, which will also save you money. When choosing an RV for a long road trip, consider purchasing a Class B model. This type of RV is built on a van chassis, which means it drives more like a car and is also easier to maneuver in tight spaces than a large motor coach.  The Class B model will also save you money on fuel. Check out sites like for more information. Inform Your School System Regulations and laws vary...

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