Posts by Jared Elliot

3 Things That You Can Do to Keep Freight Costs in Check

Are you looking for ways to keep freight charges affordable? Consider the following suggestions so that freight charges do not take a large share of your company’s revenue.

Embrace Technology

Several software vendors provide transport management software (TMS) systems. Consider getting a software package that you will allow you to get a real-time update of which freight carrier offers the most competitive terms for a route where you would like to ship goods over. The system can rate different carriers based on their capacity, cargo consolidation opportunities and current rates. You will be able to use the carrier that offers you the most cost-effective terms of delivering cargo to clients.

Renegotiate Accessorial Charges

Many times, the cost of freight goes up by a significant margin because of charges associated with delays to load trucks, like surcharges for less-than-load consignments (shipments that do not reach the minimum quantity that a carrier can profitably transport). These accessorial charges can add up and dent your profits. You can reduce the impact of those additional costs by negotiating with your preferred freight transport company so that there is a cap on how much can be charged for those extras. You can increase your chance of succeeding at those negotiations if you first build a business relationship with the freight company for several months. The figures of the volumes that you ship and the freight payments that you have made will help to make your request for a standard accessorial rate more convincing.

Consider Alternate Modes

Take a critical look at the modes that you have been using to move freight to your clients. Explore other modes that can be incorporated into your freight transportation options. For instance, it may be more affordable to transport goods by rail in case such a mode is available in your area of interest. You can also consider inter-modal transportation of the same consignment if that yields a cost saving. For example, the cargo can initially be moved by rail before it is transferred to a truck that will deliver it to the final destination. The freight transporter can help you to find ways to be more efficient in freight transportation.

Develop a habit of periodically reviewing your freight transportation systems and costs. That review will help you to keep tabs on how well you are managing freight costs. That review will also challenge you to find additional ways that you can employ to adjust those aspects that are causing freight costs to creep up. For instance, you may discover that you dispatch less-than-load consignments frequently. A remedial plan may include negotiating with a small carrier so that those consignments are consolidated with other shipments.

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How to Handle These 3 Driving Emergencies

Whether you have been driving for a week, a year or ten years, you likely know the basics of handling different types of situations. You know when to speed up, when to slow down, and when to notice warning signs coming from your vehicle so you can get in the right lane fast enough. However, there are some emergencies that tend to happen less often, so you might not know how to handle them. Here are some situations you may encounter one day, and how to safely handle them to avoid an accident.

Flat or Blown Tire

When you have a flat or blown tire, the instinct is often to either speed up or slam on the brakes, neither of which you should be doing. You want to focus on getting to a safe place on the side of the road, slowing down your vehicle, and getting control of your vehicle all at the same time. If you are on a residential road or the right lane of a highway, you’re in luck. If you are on the highway in the middle or left lane, throw on your hazard lights and start making your way over to the shoulder. Only speed up if necessary to get around cars.

To slow down your car after a tire blowout, you want to remove your foot from the gas pedal to slow down but not push too hard on the brake pedal until you have better control over your car. Otherwise, your car might spin and put you and other people at risk. Keep slowing down the vehicle and moving over to the shoulder of the road while driving straight and never trying to turn the vehicle.

Overheating Engine

This is one of those emergencies that people assume is not a big deal and will continue driving to their destination. If your vehicle’s temperature gauge is above the halfway point and starting to overheat, practice caution. Another sign of overheating is if smoke is coming out from under the hood at the same time as the gauge moving up. Do not try to race home and hope you make it. You need to get to a mechanic as soon as you can, but driving there with an overheating vehicle could make the matter worse. Instead, try to find a safe place to pull over and call for a tow truck. If you know it is overheating due to lack of water, you can add water to cool the vehicle down temporarily. However, be very careful, and do not add water to the radiator when the car is hot.

If the overheating leads to an engine fire, park the car on the side of the road, turn off the engine, and get as far from the car as you can while you call for help.

Loss of Brakes

There are few things scarier than driving down the road and realizing your brakes have stopped working. If this happens, start by pumping the brake pedal as fast as you can. While the brakes aren’t working, this motion helps to create brake pressure, which can still help to slow down the car. After pumping the brakes, shift your vehicle into a lower gear and begin looking for a safe place to stop or pull the car over. If you have anti-lock brakes, stepping on the brake pedal might be enough to trigger the ALB and stop your car.

These car problems can be scary, but you can handle them if you remember the tips above. Then, make sure you have a reliable mechanic you can work with to get your car back into working condition if possible. 

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Signs That Your Exhaust System Is Failing

Maintaining your car is something that you have to take seriously to ensure that it is functioning properly. Preventative maintenance is ideal because it allows you to avoid having to make major repairs. When you catch problems right away, you have the ability to lessen the extent of damage. The exhaust system within your car is designed to take the gases that are produced during the combustion process away from the engine and move them out the rear of the car. The gases are moved through the vehicle through the exhaust pipes, and there are a number of different components within the exhaust system of your car. It is essential that you are aware of any signs that indicate a problem with this system to ensure that you can have repairs completed quickly.

Noise

One of the most common indicators that you have a problem with your exhaust system is increased noise. You will most likely begin hearing a loud rumbling noise that persists when you vehicle is moving. When you notice this loud noise when you are driving, it is a sign that there are most likely holes that are being created in the muffler of your car. The holes are typically caused by rust. More holes that are present will result in more rumbling noise.

Vibration

Noise is not the only thing that you will notice when the exhaust system starts to fail. You will also begin to feel a difference when you drive your vehicle. It is common for the car to start vibrating harshly. When you notice that the car is vibrating, this is normally an indication that the exhaust pipes are leaking. This means that the gases being moved through the pipes are leaking out before they exit the rear of the vehicle. Not only may the exhaust pipes be leaking, but also it is also possible for the brackets that are designed to keep the pipes secure to be loosened. Be sure to pay attention to when the vibration is most noticeable. The above symptoms are noticeable when the car is being driven, but if you notice vibration when the car is idling, you most likely have a problem with the catalytic converter.

Smell

It is also a good idea to pay attention to smells. If you start to notice that a bad smell is coming from your car, it could be a sign that the catalytic converter is not working properly. The smell that you will notice is described by many as similar to the smell of rotten eggs.

For more information about your car exhaust, contact a local auto shop. 

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Saving money when hiring a family car on holidays

Having a car when you are on holidays can be a great way to get around and see the sites, and much easier than wrestling children’s car seats in and out of taxis. Here are some ways to save some money on your car hire on holidays.

Be honest about how big a car you need

Even if you drive a large car or people mover at home, you won’t be needing to give rides to extra kids from the soccer team while you are holidays, so you won’t need any more seats than required for number of people in your family. You may need more boot space than normal though to fit in all of the luggage. If you can size down a little on the car you hire, you can save both on the daily rate (as smaller cars are cheaper to hire) and the amount of petrol you use on your trip.

Check the fine print on insurance

Before you pay extra to eliminate the large excess on the hire car insurance, check the fine print of your credit card and travel insurance policies to see if you really require the extra ‘excess waiver’ payment. Many credit cards and travel insurance policies also cover the first section of the car insurance excess if you do have a crash. Not paying that extra amount each day can lead to big savings.

Look for discount codes

You can often find discounts for the large car hire chains from all sorts of organisations you might be a member of including roadside service, alumni organisations and sporting clubs. Your employer may also have a discount code that employees can use for leisure car hire, outside of the rates on offer for business hire. Try checking the hire companies’ social media streams as well, as they often post discount codes in these channels as well.

BYO extras

If you are travelling domestically, you might find that you are able to save big bucks by bringing along some of the extras you might usually pay for such as GPS units, and bringing your own car seats from home.  Many people are now switching over to smartphone based GPS apps, which automatically update with new streets and housing developments. 

With some planning ahead you can save big bucks on car hire, which you can use to have extra fun on your holidays. Good luck and happy travels.

For more information about car hire, contact a company like 1300meteor rentals.

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Why You Should Consider Minibus Hire

Travel is a great way to have fun and see the world. It’s even better with family and friends. However, transportation for large groups of people can be a challenge. If you visit somewhere far from home, chances are you will fly rather than drive. Then you are left with navigating the transportation system once you get there. If you want to take a trip with a big group and find a way that you can all stay together, hiring a minibus may be a great choice.

Minibus Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a minibus is convenience. Minibus hire through a rental car company gives you a mode of transportation for your entire trip. Rather than having to plan around the schedule of a public transportation system, you can pick up your car and have the freedom to explore on your own schedule.

In addition, a minibus will probably provide enough seats for your whole group. When you travel with several people, it can be a burden to split up when you need transportation. You have to coordinate timing and destination. With a minibus, everyone can leave and arrive together. When you take this mode of transportation, you will not have waste time on travel planning. You can just hop in the car, select your destination and be on your way. You also have the added benefit of enjoying the travel together as a group. Everyone can look out the large windows of a minibus and enjoy the scenery as your travel. 

Space and Cost

A minibus is not much more expensive than other alternatives for daily travel on vacation. Depending on how many people you are trying to transport, you can rent a minibus for roughly $80-$100 a day. That may sound like a lot, but when compared with renting multiple cars or paying for taxis for the duration of your trip, it is really cost-effective.

Minibuses are built to seat a range of people. Most companies offer minibuses that can seat 8 to 12. This is ideal for most families or large travel groups. In addition, minibuses offer a level of luxury for your travels. The seats are wide and the interior of the vehicle is spacious. There will be more than enough room for your luggage and belongings.

A minibus is a great idea for vacation, especially if you plan to do a lot of driving and sightseeing. They are the perfect blend of comfort, convenience and affordable travel.

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