Posts written by LLarimore

Author Bio: Lakin joined the CFI team in February 2015 and is Communications Editor. She plays an important role in social media and internal publications like Drive Line to keep drivers engaged and informed. Lakin is a valuable asset to the team and hopes the blog is a useful resource for drivers and inspires them to live a healthier lifestyle. She attained her degree in Mass Communications from Missouri Southern State University located in Joplin, Missouri. She enjoys talking to drivers and sharing their story using all avenues of communication.

June 12th, 2016

Car mechanic replace the fuel filter

 

As with winter, truck maintenance is crucial before the season is in full swing. Practicing good habits, like performing pre and post trip inspections become even more important in the summer heat. While the summer sun is great for family vacations, the heat can damage your vehicle if the proper maintenance is not being done.

Tire Pressure

The most critical factor in tire maintenance is proper inflation. Due to the high temps on the asphalt, your tires will lose air pressure faster than they do in the cooler temps. Make sure you are checking the tires psi during pre and post trip inspections. You can also purchase an air hose that uses the trucks air supply via glad hand connection for instances where you are not at a truck stop. Properly inflated tires help prevent blow outs, reduce down time and keep you and the motoring public safe.

 

Belts and hoses

A simple visual inspection is all you need to determine the condition of the belts. Check to make sure they are aligned properly, proper tension and check the automatic tensioner if there is one. When you are checking a hose make sure to squeeze it near the ends. If the hose feels spongy, it needs to be replaced. Exposure to the high temps along with the usual contaminants and vibrations can cause these two items additional wear and tear.

 

Fluid Levels

As always, it’s important to ensure your coolant levels are maintained to help prevent your truck from overheating. Research has shown that an estimated 40 percent of engine downtime is caused by cooling system problems. During the summer it is a good idea to have an extra gallon of water and/or coolant in case of an emergency.

June 10th, 2016

Summer is the perfect time to grill out. These grilled steak kebabs are an easy, nutritious meal that takes advantage of the fresh produce available. You can easily substitute the steak for chicken or make them vegetarian kebabs if that’s what you would prefer. The best part it is it can be ready in less than 20 minutes!

 

Steak_Kebabs_ggnoads_jpg-e1433768342747

 

Ingredients

½ cup olive oil

½ cup soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 pounds sirloin steak, cut in 1-inch cubes

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 red onion, cut 1-inch pieces

8 (12-inch) metal skewers

 

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Add the cubed sirloin steak to marinade and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  2. Once the meat has marinated, thread it onto the skewers alternating with pieces of bell pepper and red onion.
  3. Grill kebabs over medium heat, turning often, until all sides of the meat is well brown and vegetables.

June 7th, 2016

The CVSA’s 29th annual International Roadcheck kicked off today and will run thru June 9, 2016. According to their site, they will check and complete 17 vehicles a minute. They will be doing a level one inspection or North American Standard Level 1 Inspection with a special focus placed on tire safety (i.e., measuring the tire tread depth, checking the tire pressure, checking to make sure that no items are lodged between dual tires and examining the overall condition of the tire to make sure that no deep cuts or bulges exist in the sidewalls of the tire). This is an annual three-day event.

While checking a vehicle’s tires is always part of roadside inspections, below is some information provided by the CSVA to help you understand the importance of tire safety.

Understanding Tire Specifications

Tires are rated not only for size, but for maximum load, type of service and speed of operation. Tire specifications on the vehicle tire information label should be followed. Inspectors may check for overloading of tire capacity when scales are in use.

Air Pressure

Tires with a 15 percent under inflation equals approximately to an 8 percent decrease in expected tread mileage and tires with 10 psi under inflation can cause tire wear out to be 20 percent faster than normal. Tires can run up to 5 degrees hotter for every psi the tire. A mismatch of 5 psi can change the tire circumference and over 100,000 miles would be equivalent to dragging the under inflated tire 246 miles.

Tread Size

For every size that a tread width is undersized from the recommended width, mileage is reduced by 10 percent.

Tread Depths

Across axles and between tandem axles, tread depths need to be within 4/31″.