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Roadside assistance is one of those items that you think you might not need until you actually need it. Roadside assistance from insurance companies, AAA, or vehicle companies—like Subaru Roadside Assistance—aid in keeping you safe on the road and getting you back on it if your vehicle breaks down.

Yet we all know that many an average vehicle owner—picture the burly man driving his F-250—figures they can take care of themselves and their family wherever they’re located, whether it is close to home or across the country. For those of us who may need help however, roadside assistance can be one of the best things you purchase.

You may be wondering what roadside assistance covers and if those are worth purchasing the plan over. Roadside assistance plans will cover the most common breakdowns that a vehicle may face while on the road.

Reason 1

The first reason you should get roadside assistance is if you get a flat tire and are unable to change it. Roadside assistance plans will bring an expert out and change the wheel for you. If they are unable to change the tire, they will also offer free towing to a mechanic within a certain mile radius.

Reason 2

Another item that roadside assistance can help with is if you run out of gas. Many drivers often make the mistake of thinking they have more gas in the tank than is actually available. Another situation can have the gas gauge showing the wrong amount of gas. Either way, if you run out of gasoline on the road, roadside assistance will show up and bring you fuel.

Reason 3

Finally, a third common mistake drivers make that roadside assistance can help is if you lock yourself out of your car. This is a mistake that is so easy to make, particularly if you have a vehicle that has manual locks on it. If you do lock the keys in the car, you can call roadside assistance and they will help you open the vehicle.

Roadside assistance can help you out in numerous situations and helps in any location across the country. It is so simple to use—simply call the company and they will send someone out—and relatively inexpensive, that it is a product that needs to be considered. Keep yourself safe on the road and your mind at rest  while driving the roads of the greatest country in the world.

 

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As oil prices continue to be over two dollars, many trucking companies continue to look for alternative means to ship goods while saving money. Some have turned to engines that have longer mileage, while others have changed the shipping locations they will ship to in order to save money.

At the same time, some companies and drivers have begun to search for a replacement to their truck to find lighter semi-trucks. So what are some good options when looking for lighter semi-trucks?

One option that some companies and drivers are turning to is the Peterbilt Model 365. Usually used as a concrete mixer, some companies have begun converting the engine to accommodate heavier loads. The truck weighs between 14,400 and 14,500 pounds, which can equate to a 1,000+ pound cut. This amount of weight equates to money saved.

While there are other trucks that are light, most companies are instead opting to take their current trucks, replace key parts, and make the rig lighter. For many, this is a better plan than buying completely new trucks.

The first option companies and drivers are turning to is the engine itself. If you are looking to buy a lighter model, simply consider what kind of environment you are driving on. If the roads you generally take do not need a lot of torque or horsepower you can make alterations to your current engine or buy a new one. These newer ones are medium-range engines that run on 11 or 12 liters rather than the standard 14 or 15. You can also gear it down to a 9 or 10 transmission than a 13 or 18 as well.

Another option is to switch from steel to aluminum parts. This is particularly beneficial if the steel crossmembers are replaced with aluminum because replacing the truck’s frame with aluminum doesn’t do enough to justify the costs. Replacing those crossmembers can save you around 10 pounds for each crossmember.

A third option to make the truck lighter is to switch the tires to wide-based single tires with aluminum wheels. For the amount of wheels, this can eliminate between 500 and 1000 pounds on the truck. The only downside is that switching to these types of wheels can add more time to the drive time—a prime reason that many are choosing not to switch.

In this way, some people can buy lighter trucks but others are instead opting to switch key components to make their current rigs lighter. Just remember to make sure the truck is still safe and up to regulation!

Semi Truck Repair at Rosencran’s Truck Repair in Columbia City, IN

If you have a heavy truck and are in need of semi truck repair, Rosencran’s Truck Repair in Columbia City, IN is your next stop! We will have our expert mechanics get your truck back on the road in no time. Click Here to contact us today!

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Knowing your semi-truck and understanding it enough to drive it, repair it, and get the product there in time is a worthwhile pursuit. Yet there is so much that even the common truck driver doesn’t know. Here are some little known facts about semi-trucks, particularly about the engine driving the truck.

Before we get to what actually drives, we should start with what stops the truck. The brakes on a semi are one of the most intricate systems on any mode of transportation, save for maybe airplanes and trains. Since 1997, these brakes had to be antilock brakes, and for a very important reason. Brakes locking up leads to jackknifing accidents, which used to be the most dangerous accidents involving trucks. Since the passage of that law, rollover accidents have become the most common, dangerous semi-involved accidents, which result from a truck driver driving over a loose surface and overcorrecting.

One more thing about trucks’ brakes: while it is commonly known that it takes longer for truckers to stop, not many people know that, in terms of time, it takes trucks 40% longer to come to a complete stop. This isn’t a surprising number: with its towing capacity reaching 30 times higher than a car, slowing down the multiple-ton truck will of course take longer.

Speaking of towing capacity: we can learn more interesting, little-known facts about trucks that stem from this capacity. As stated before, they can tow loads that are 30 times heavier, but this capacity also means they use more than 20 times the amount of fuel. This fuel powers an engine that can range to over 1000 horse power. The greater amount of horse power leads to greater towing capacity, but the largest “road train” one of these engines tugged occurred in Australia, where a Mack Titan drove with 112 semi-trailers attached!

Finally, these engines have lasting power. A well-kept engine can continue growing for over 600,000 miles, which can last for ten-plus years. A semi-truck can be one of the best investments for a company—something companies like Amazon are getting into.

These reasons, plus the fact that they are so difficult to drive, requires commitment and, of course, a special license. More importantly though is these facts can help non-truck drivers better understand semi-trucks and be safer around them. While environmental concerns have been raised about the trucking industry in general, the overwhelming benefits from trucking continue to make it the most popular method to ship items across the country and around the world.

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Suspension is one of the great things that your vehicle has to get your down the road not only quickly but makes it able to take any bumps along the way. Suspension determines how your car reacts to all those bumps and road debris. Want to feel like you are floating on air? Read on! Semi-trucks have a different type of suspension from normal cars. They use an air suspension system. Ever climbed under your car and seen those coils near the wheels? Those are the springs. Semi-trucks don’t have those type of springs. Instead, they use air springs and bags. When you hear the term air bags, it’s not the type of airbag that you may be thinking of. Semi-trucks use a tough rubber bag that fills with air. This is set up to a certain amount of pressure to compensate for no springs. The system uses an air compressor to keep the bags filled to the right capacity. The bag even comes in three different shapes: a rolling sleeve, tapered sleeve and double-convoluted. Each of these three different types of shapes offer unique benefits, allowing the technician to install the bag best suited to the needs of the driver.

We mentioned that the bags are filled by the compressor. What’s cool about the system is that sensors tell the compressor how much air to keep in the bags at any time. Because air bags lose air over time this is important so they always perform as intended. Also, the compressor can be used manually by the driver to adjust a variety of things, including ride height.

Some larger motorhomes also use air suspension. This allows the driver to have a smoother ride and more control, which are two of the main benefits on having air suspension on a semi-truck as well. The compressor also filters out any moisture that is in the air to keep the air lines clean. Some newer or different applications for an air suspension is when you see an air suspension kit installed on a regular car. This is how they make the car go up and down for special effects. Some pickup trucks also use it to keep the suspension in play when the truck be is loaded down with weight.

Semi-Truck Repair in Columbia City, IN from Rosencran’s Truck Repair

If you are needing your semi-truck repaired or just your air suspension, give us a call! We specialize in semi-truck repair. You can also click here to fill out our contact form with any questions or help scheduling an appointment.

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Tractors seize up sometimes, it’s a fact of life. It’s most common when contractor has been laying around for a while. Maybe you’ve been taking time away from your farm in Columbia City Indiana, or you just bought a farm with a track sitting on it. If this is the case you should be able to fix the problem fairly easily. If the tractor seizes up while it’s running here in for some extensive repairs.  We’re going to tackle this simply problem here. These are the steps to get your engine running again. 

The first thing to do is to pour a good penetrating oil into the cylinders. You do this through the spark plug holes. Evenly disperse the oil between the cylinders, then let it rest overnight. 

The following day, get to the teeth on the flywheel by taking off the tractor’s starter. Loosen the flywheel by putting a big bar in it and cautiously moving it back-and-forth.  If this isn’t possible you can place the tractor in one of its high gears and rock the rear tires back-and-forth instead. 

Once you’ve gotten the flywheel loose, get to the carburetor. Start by cleaning out the carburetor. The first step is to check the air filter and make sure it’s not clogged.  Then check on the linkages. They are attached to the carburetor throttle and choke plates.  If they’re dirty, clean them so that they don’t stick.  Next clean the carburetor itself. Commercial carburetor cleaners are easy to come by and use. A lot of times you don’t even have to remove the carburetor to use them.  Once the carburetor is clean it’s time to tune it. 

The best way to tune your carburetor is to refer to the manual. The manual should give you the best instructions on how to adjust the mixtures. You want to make sure you do this correctly, because the tractor won’t work if it’s adjusted incorrectly. If you don’t have your manual, you should be able to find it online. Many manuals are posted on the Internet through different websites and forums. Once you’ve adjusted the mixtures and finished tuning the carburetor your set. Put all the parts back in their place and start it up. Assuming you did everything correctly the engine should start. If you’re still experiencing problems you should get professional help. This might indicate more serious problems.

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Why do I need winter tires?

One of the biggest questions asked at tire shops and auto body maintenance shops is whether the driver should invest and have a set of winter tires. Most cars come equipped with all-season tires which do the job pretty well, and are generally replaced with more all-weather tires. But what about these winter tires? Should I have them on my vehicle?

As it turns out, the answer can be kind of complicated, but depends largely on your geographic location.

Before jumping into an explanation, it is best to understand the difference between the two categories of tires. All-season tires are tires that are made to drive on as many different road conditions as possible, but work best in road conditions where the weather isn’t very cold, such as dry roads, wet roads from rain, or light snow. Winter tires, on the other hand, are built specifically for areas where heavy snow, ice, or slush are common. The real difference between the two lies in what they are made of: the rubber components in all-weather tires tends to break down quicker in colder temperatures, while the components that compose winter tires are made of a rubber compound that breaks down more slowly in cold weather.

Thus, the best way to answer whether you need winter tires is to ask whether the weather conditions where you live present the environment that can break down all-weather tires too quickly. In this case, if you get temperatures in the winter months that on average drop below forty degrees, you will want to invest in winter tires, but if you live in a climate where these temperatures are the exception, not the norm, you can safely keep your all-weather tires.

Finally, the last consideration that many take into account—or fail to—is the drive system itself. Many drivers think that if they have all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, they are fine on all-weather tires. The truth of this consideration is that, regardless of the car type, the all-weather tires will break down in cold weather, whether it is two breaking down or all four. So, even with all-wheel or four-wheel drive, you should invest in winter tires if the weather is, on average, below forty degrees.

For more information on whether you should buy winter tires, go to your local tire shop and talk with the experts there. Remember, you can have two sets of tires for different times of the year, which will ultimately help you be safe on the roads!

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What are common repairs for a tractor trailer?

Whether you are driving a sedan, a moving van, or a semi-truck, there are always commonly occurring problems that a driver can keep a look-out for when driving. These help prevent accidents that stem from these common problems and help maintain safety on the road. Drivers who are more knowledgeable and put that knowledge to work when operating a vehicle are always in a safer position than those who do not.

Semi-trucks have many of the same common problems that require common repairs that other vehicles have. Knowing what these common problems and repairs are can keep the rig’s driver safe on the road, keep others who are on the road safe as well, and make sure that the delivery gets to the targeted location in a timely manner.

The most common repair on a semi-truck—whether on the road or in a shop—are on the tires. The reason for this is pretty obvious: lugging around numerous tons of goods a year necessarily wears down the integrity of the tire, causing it to go flat or blow on the road. It is always a great idea to be able to know what to look for when checking the integrity of the tires and how to change them on your own. Both of these will keep you safe on the road and get you back on it sooner if a tire does blow.

The second most common repair on a semi-truck is on the brakes. Again, the reasons for this are obvious, as the greater weight in the trailer requires more pressure on the brakes to bring the rig to a stop. This pressure wears down the various components of the braking system. At the same time, many drivers forget that time is needed when starting up the truck for the air to travel back to the rear brakes: the more this occurs, the quicker the brakes break down.

Finally, the third most common repair is on the lights of the rig. Just like with every other type of vehicle—and life in general—light bulbs burn out. When this occurs, the light needs to be replaced to make sure that safety is maintained on the road.

All of these repairs—save for some of the components of the braking system—can be done by the driver themselves. However, many trucking companies are also members of repair companies that can help the driver out when a breakdown does occur, so it may be a good idea to call one in.

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Driving semi-trucks can be a difficult job. Fixing a semi-truck can also be difficult. Yet it doesn’t have to be difficult on you or your pocketbook. Here are some tips for fixing your own rig.

Get A Roadside Kit

First, invest in your own roadside tool kit that can help you make emergency maintenance when on the road. Using your own tools on the road can help you fix anything from broken headlights to installing a grommet on the trailer. Your rig will usually come with an owner’s manual—just as every other vehicle does—that can be turned to to help you with these tasks.

Safety Tools

Before moving on to another tip to fix your truck, some safety tips are needed when wanting to make repairs on the road. First, when you buy your tools, invest in roadside flares or reflectors. This ensures that vehicles will see you—even if you have to make the repairs at night—and can be a signal to police vehicles and highway repair crews to provide aid. Second, make sure your truck is well away from traffic. While some roads do not have a broad shoulder to pull over on to, simply pulling your truck into a rest station or parking lot can increase your safety and possibly save lives.

Education is Key

Another tip to fixing your own rig is to stay educated on your truck. Know which fixes can be done by you on the side of the road, which fixes can be saved for later, and which need you to call your headquarters and get a tow. Oftentimes, problems that may seem to have simple fixes are simply covering up more measurable problems. The more you know the problem signs, the less time you will waste on the side of the road, and the less time you waste, the more money you will make.

Inspections Are a Must

A third and final tip is to simply inspect your truck on a regular basis. Spot problems before they become road-side issues. For those problems that need a fix before going on the road, seek help in getting it fixed so that it is up and running in a quicker time period. Getting help before a problem starts will result in you saving money in the long run, even if you do have to spend now.

Just like working on your own vehicle, working on and fixing a semi-truck has many advantages, namely the satisfaction of being self-sustaining. Yet, when you need help, don’t become prideful. Fix what you can, and have those with more resources do the rest! Come on in to Rosencran’s Truck and Auto Repair for the next time your semi needs a little love.