Can I really save fuel with a Truck Wheel Alignment?

Most heavy vehicle owners in the transport industry are asking themselves – How can I save money on my running costs? How can I save on fuel consumption? Will a truck wheel alignment help?

Research & studies conducted around the world show that around 80 percent of medium to heavy vehicles are incorrectly aligned, or have a mis-alignment. If your truck, trailer or bus has incorrectly aligned wheels & axles, you have what we call increased rolling resistance when travelling on the road. This means the engine is working harder than required to push the truck along the road, and the end result is an increase in fuel consumption. Given that fuel can account for up to 50% of the operating costs of a truck or fleet, smart operators must explore all avenues to reduce fuel consumption.
Generally speaking, correcting even slight alignment issues have been shown to result in a saving of 3 – 10 percent on fuel.

3% doesn’t sound too significant does it? Lets take a closer look – One truck runs Brisbane to Sydney (return) 3 times a week (6,000 kms). That’s 312,000 kms a year. Fuel consumption average is 1.85 litres/km. That’s 577,200 litres, current local prices are around $1.49 per litre. Fuel cost for the year – $860,028.00. If you reduced fuel consumption by 3%, you would save $25,800.84!!
Your scenario may be different, but you can see that small changes can make a big difference to the bottom line of your business. There are other areas where you can save on running costs, which will be covered in another article.

If you own one truck or one hundred, and you are not having a regular truck wheel alignment performed as part of your maintenance schedule, you really need to contact your local truck wheel alignment specialist for a chat.

Truckologist is a mobile truck wheel alignment business based in Brisbane, Australia.

Have Cane Will Travel – Disabled Travel in Australia

Award-winning comedy writer, Ian Heydon (Kingswood Country, How Green Was My Cactus, The Samuel Pepys Show, The Year My Country Broke) recently took out an unexpected award – for writing about travelling with a disability.

In 2010 Ian was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That led to the question – what does a writer who has a disability and who loves to travel write about? The answer was pretty obvious. Because Ian uses a cane for mobility assistance, he built a website called Cane & Able Travel and that site won the inaugural Business disAbility Award for Business Innovation in 2012.

Back in 2003, Ian had a travel book on Australia published called The Small Guide to A Big Country (Explore) and he subsequently bought a travel agent’s licence (Small Guide Travel). Much of Ian’s research for that book is still valid. As Ian says, “They haven’t moved the Sydney Opera House or most of Australia’s main attractions, so all I really needed to do was update where necessary and add the accessibility and disability facility information. It’s a bonus that the Small Guide Travel consultants can assist with itinerary advice and bookings.”

When Ian travels these days he uses both a cane and a wheelchair for getting around. “Before my diagnosis with MS I guess I felt a bit of pity when I saw other people in wheelchairs. I didn’t realise that wheelchairs give a person with a disability so much freedom. Mine allows me to get around much better at airports, especially when the boarding gate can be a fair distance from check-in, and it makes art galleries, museums and theatre so much more accessible and enjoyable.”

Ian first took his wheelchair on a trip to Dubai, London and Paris in 2012. While there are websites with attractions and disability information for those destinations in the pipeline, Ian’s first priority is writing about Australia. In late 2012 he visited Cairns and road-tested attractions like Skyrail and Quicksilver’s Great Barrier Reef as well as disabled-friendly accommodation. From this came the destination specific website, Cairns Disabled Travel.

The next cab of the rank was Canberra. According to Ian, Canberra is arguably Australia’s most rewarding destination for travellers with a disability. “There are flights from all other major cities and centres, they have an excellent public transport and wheelchair-assisted taxi system and all the major attractions are accessible, with many of them free. There’s excellent accommodation, terrific restaurants and bars and so much to see and do. It really is a fabulous tourist destination. Sure, after a couple of weeks there might be some thumb twiddling but for a few days away it is fabulous.” Ian visited Canberra in 2011 and 2013 to research accessible accommodation and attractions and the Canberra Disabled Travel website is now live.

Ian has a multi-destination itinerary on the drawing board for all Australian capital cities and major regional centres so you could see him soon in your part of the country. But the Kingswood? No, he won’t be taking the Kingswood!

Vinyl Cladding – What are the Benefits?

Vinyl cladding, also called vinyl siding, refers to plastic exterior cladding for homes. The siding is used as an alternative to traditional wood, fiber cement, and aluminum cladding. The cladding is made up of about 80% polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin and the remaining 20%, ingredients to give the material its color, gloss, opacity, flexibility, durability, and impact resistance. Vinyl cladding has been in the market since the late 50s and it is today one of the most popular exterior building products in the U.S. and Canada. There are several reasons why you should consider installing vinyl siding.

This is one of the most affordable sidings in the market. You will spend between 25% and 50% less than what you would have spent on aluminum and wood siding. Most vinyl cladding manufacturers offer competitive warranties.

Many people neglect their homes’ exteriors, but waterproofing the exterior is important because it improves the longevity of your walls and it saves you money on repairs. A strong wall is also important for your security.

Vinyl cladding comes in different colors, styles, and patterns, meaning there is something for everyone. You do not have as much flexibility with other options like brick and stucco.

You can go for years without maintaining, leave alone replacing the cladding. The cladding is very durable. It is not damaged by termites (the major problem with wood sidings) and other wood boring pests and insects, there is no fading, and there is no chalking. All you need to do is occasionally clean the siding with a mixture of water and a mild detergent.

Given that pigments are mixed with the resins, the colors are deep and penetrating. Unlike the case with aluminum and wood sidings which are painted on, blemishes and scratches are not visible with vinyl cladding. The fact that no painting is necessary means you get to save money.

Another advantage of vinyl cladding is that it is environmentally friendly given that it is recyclable. Wood sidings lead to the destruction of forests while extraction of aluminum from its ore is energy intensive and it leads to the emission of greenhouse gases. The insulation you get from the siding means greater thermal performance of your house and consequently reduced energy expenditure.

You could go for a vinyl cladding brand that features perforations for the moisture to escape. This is important because you will prevent mold, mildew, and condensation. Installing vinyl siding is also a good idea because it increases the resale value of your home.

Why You Should Buy A Treadmill – The Health Benefits

The treadmill is one among the most popular pieces of equipment at any gym. The popularity of this piece of equipment may be attributed to the many benefits that people get from using it as an aerobic exercise tool. Treadmills are easy to use and give you the ability to control every aspect of your work out. You can walk, jog or run. The treadmill also gives you the power to diversify you workout routine e.g. you can make a treadmill simulate a hill. Most importantly, people usually reap massive health benefit when they use treadmills to exercise. Here are some of the health benefits of using treadmills to exercise;

1. Reduces the risk of diseases affecting the cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular diseases are a common problem facing many people in the world today. Victims of cardiovascular diseases are usually people that do not work out to keep their cardiovascular system working properly. When you do an intense work out using a treadmill, you strengthen you heart and lungs. By spending at least 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week on your treadmill, you significantly reduce you chances of getting heart diseases and many other chronic diseases such as cancer, asthma, arthritis and diabetes.

2. Helps you lose weight

Being overweight not only makes you hate the way your body looks but also puts you at a risk of diseases such as stroke, coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis among others. You can burn a lot of calories when walking running or jogging on a treadmill. For example, when jogging at a speed of 9.6 kilometres per hour on your treadmill, you can burn up to 650 calories. If you want to burn more calories, you can simply adjust the settings to increase the speed and/or incline to make a routine more challenging. Therefore, if you want to lose weight the healthy way, get yourself a treadmill. It is the ultimate equipment that any person that wants to lose weight fast should own.

3. Helps to strengthen your bones

When you work out on a treadmill, you create strong healthy bones. You can never be a victim of conditions affecting the bones (such as osteoporosis) if you have been constantly working out on you treadmill. This is because as you walk, jog or run on a treadmill, you put more weight on your bones causing them to grow to be strong.

4. Improves your mood

An intense exercise on a treadmill stimulates your body to produce certain chemicals in your brain that help to bring a ??feel good mood’. The sense of well being that comes from working out on this piece of equipment makes you have a positive outlook on life and can also help you manage stressful situations. Prolonged stress is dangerous because it can lead to serious health problems. Medical research proves that exercising is one among the most effective ways of preventing stress and treating depression. Hence, if you want to relieve yourself from stress, just walk, jog or run on a treadmill as much as you can.

5. Improves your joint motion

If you have suffered back, knee, hip or ankle injury, a treadmill can greatly help you to recover. This is because as you use the treadmill, the joints on your back, knee, hip and ankle are kept in motion. This helps to reduce the stiffness in these joints. Doing a gently walk everyday on your treadmill will help you regain your flexibility by loosening your joints.

6. Increases your energy

When you exercise on a treadmill, you strengthen your heart and lungs. This improves their ability to supply nutrients to oxygen to all parts of the body. The result of all body tissues receiving the nutrients and oxygen they need is increased energy throughout the day.

Treadmills are considered as the most effective cardio machine that can be found in a gym. A treadmill gives you the opportunity to walk, jog or run at the comfort of your home. If you own a treadmill, you will never have to worry about the weather interfering with your work out plans. This explains why they are increasingly becoming common accessories in many homes. Therefore, if you have been looking for aerobics equipment that will keep you body healthy, get yourself a treadmill.

How to stop the flood of election junk mail?

Anywhere on Earth, whether it is a Federal, State, Presidential or Local Council election, your mailbox will groan under the weight of materials aimed at getting your vote. It might be the electronic era, but it seems that a piece of paper in your letterbox is still considered the most effective way of getting a message across.

While an informed electorate is essential to the democratic process, there appears to be huge over-sending of junk mail for political purposes – and no clear way on how to fix this. What’s worse, the content of most of the political flyers is simply mudslinging about their opponents with little to no substance. Is anyone else reminded of children in the playground?

How can you help stop this frivolous waste of resources? Imagine the strain on our environment and the large volume of greenhouse gases generated from all the trees cut down, printing and transport of the materials. Grab a cup of tea or your water bottle and let’s get down to it.

We know in Australia that material that is deemed to be political, educational, religious and charitable is exempt from “No Junk Mail” signed letterboxes according to standards conducted by the Australian Catalogue Association. So there is no way to stop it being deposited in your postbox along with the other junk mail catalogues enticing you to buy all sorts of stuff you don’t really need. It is probably the same in other countries.

Step 1. Incorrectly addressed political mail
A lot of of your mail may be addressed to former occupants of the house. You need to “return this to sender” with the note “no longer at this address”.

Step 2. Contact each political party or politician that is mailing you
There is no central database so you will need to call the office of each individual sender and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Remember to be polite! You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

Step 3. National Standard to stop political junk mail
Write a letter to the Electoral Commission asking them to implement a National Standard to curb the volume of pieces each political party is allowed to put in each household’s letterbox.

Step 4. Polling day
Don’t forget to recycle any materials you are given on the day – often the Greens Party has a box at the booths for such materials on polling day!

Written by Tracey Bailey, Director of Biome Eco Stores in Brisbane, specialists in water bottles and eco friendly, reusable choices for your home, body and lifestyle.