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August 5, 2020 mobile app

Trucking Mobile App Makes Drivers’ Lives Easier


A new trucking mobile app provides truck drivers with important information while on the road. DAT Solutions (DAT) recently released an app that helps drivers plan their route amid the chaos of the pandemic.


The company is calling the app DAT One. It’s currently free in the Apple app store and Google Play Store. VIP Nadya Duke Boone said, “This new app is designed to help drivers navigate the uncertainty of the freight market by giving them a single place to find the tools they need most.”


With so many unknowns in the world right now, drivers can benefit from having so much information at the tips of their fingers.


Trucking Mobile App Services


The app does a great many things. But at its core, it’s designed to help drivers find and book loads that need moving. With DAT One, drivers can view available parking for their vehicles, as well as detailed tracking maps. The app highlights top-rated truck stops give information on local fuel prices and will flag weigh stations. It also includes markers for rest areas, hotels, and local truck services. Drivers can track nearby loads and receive assistance in scheduling and mapping delivery.


Both larger enterprises and individual operations can benefit from the information available. Truck drivers that want to be independent can might enjoy the app’s filing services. You can use the app free for a month and will receive a 10% discount for life. DAT One takes care of filing both states and federal permits and offers guidance for independent drivers.


You’ll also be able to connect to brokers with CarrierWatch. An alert system lets you know when things change within your network and the app provides a searchable database of both active and inactive carriers. The company aptly named DAT One, as it’s a one-stop-shop for many trucking needs.

July 3, 2020 July 4th

Best July 4th Family Movies

Stuck inside this July 4th weekend? We know it feels like a bummer. But there are still ways to enjoy yourself and celebrate! We’ve gathered four of our favorite family-friendly movies. Enjoy Independence Day a new way this year.

What to Watch this July 4th

The pandemic is impacting families all over America. And orders to shelter-in-place or else avoid large public gatherings are also taking their toll. Children have lots of energy. And with their tiny growing minds, they also often require a great deal of stimulation.

To help with both of these burdens, we’ve tried to find movies for all age groups. We’ve also narrowed down our options to movies that are already free with a subscription to one of three major streaming services. If you have Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Disney+, you’re in luck! If not, consider looking into their free trial services.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Older kids and teens can be hard to please. Many of them are aware of what is current and what is dated. They like to engage with trendy, modern movies. And storylines that are geared towards younger crowds may bore them. Captain America: The First Avenger has appeal to a wide range of audiences. It inspires laughter, it has great action sequences, and it’s rated PG-13. Watch it tomorrow on Amazon Prime Video!

The Sandlot

The Sandlot may feel like a throwback. However, it still stands up to the test of time. This movie will have kids and parents alike laughing out loud. It works as a baseball flick and a coming of age story. Plus it includes an iconic fireworks scene! Sit back this 4th of July and watch the boys play baseball as fireworks light up the sky over their heads. The Sandlot is rated PG. You can watch it with a Hulu subscription.

An American Tail

An American Tail follows Fievel, a mouse in search of his family and the great American Dream. This movie focuses on the immigrant’s journey and how America became a nation of many different cultures. So if you want something fun but informative, this is your train stop. Families with young children will especially enjoy this classic, as it’s rated G and available on both Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Hamilton

If you’ve checked your social media feed recently, you’ve probably seen someone talking about Disney+ dropping Hamilton today. This version features the Original Broadway Production, with nearly all original cast members. It has some crass language in it but the producers and writers cut down on expletives to be able to stream on Disney+. The story follows the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton. It covers topics such as the American Revolution, what it means to build a democracy, and how history remembers us all. Modern musical references and a whole lot of swagger make this a standout. Plus, the diverse ensemble sparked important discussions about how we cast media today.

Stay Safe!

Time together might seem abundant right now. But time is the one thing we can never get back. So spend yours as joyfully as you can manage this holiday weekend.

June 16, 2020 san jose international airport

San Jose International Airport Hit by Covid-19

San Jose International Airport typically sees millions of passengers passing through each year. Specifically, 2018 saw 14.3 million flyers. In 2019, 15.7 million passengers used the airport. But with pandemic-related shutdowns, the airport is seeing a jaw-dropping decrease in activity.

In April of 2019, 1.3 million people passed through the airport. In April of 2020? 37,600 people. That decrease measures out to a whopping 97.1%. Signs of a downturn began as early as March 2020 with 508,100 flyers. March and April’s drop in numbers has affected the airport’s first quarter of business. At 2.81 million travelers in the first four months of 2020, this year’s commerce is already down 39.4%.

San Jose International Airport: Where Is Everyone?

It should be noted that the coronavirus has deeply impacted nearly all air travel. At the virus’ peak, nations began shutting down their borders. Countries refused flights to non-citizens. Thus, the total number of people traveling at all came to a grinding halt.

Forbes projects that Covid-19 could cost airlines up to $113 billion. Other sources cite even higher numbers.

Because of Shelter in Place orders, even domestic travel has slowed considerably. The risk of catching the virus climbs with public exposure. People are scared to leave their homes. Nonessential businesses have closed their doors.

As states begin to reopen, we may see numbers begin to climb again. Airfare is currently much lower than usual. Still, even that is subject to change and could impact flight statistics. The rules about social distancing, for instance, mean flights cannot sell to their full capacity. Eventually, as people return to the skies, we may see ticket prices increase due to this.

Given so many unknowns, it’s hard to predict when SJ International will hit its stride again. We still have a long way to go in protecting ourselves against the coronavirus. Some people are speculating that air travel may never return to exactly what it was before.

May 8, 2020 oil

Big Oil Expected to Reach $100 Per Barrel

Big Oil is expected to bounce back in the next 18 months. With the current global crisis putting a glug in the pipeline, gas prices have been lower than $0 per barrel in some places.

Countries Dual For Oil

At the beginning of the year, both Saudi Arabia and Russia went into a production war. This meant each country would be able to remove the limitations on how much they could produce.

With the events unfolding, each country wanted to be the largest producer. Things were going well until a major stick with thrown into the spoke of consumers.

COVID-19 Crashed Industry

COVID-19 is currently sweeping across the globe. With each country enacting “stay-at-home” policies, this means limited driving (if any) and a travel band in and out of certain countries.

With so many people staying inside, gas purchases were down disparagingly. This did not stop either country from making a cut to their production. While many other oil companies around the world were scrambling to find extra storage for their fuel, Saudi Arabia and Russia kept production rolling.

The industry took such a huge hit that for a time, the price for one barrel of crude oil was less than $0.

With so little demand and such a high surplus, things were looking dire. The virus had inadvertently crushed many businesses and the closing of some major benchmark companies began to happen.

Fortunately, the future is in sight for the world. With many largely effected areas now flattening their curve, lesser restrictions have been made for traveling.

People are going back to work and thus need to refuel their vehicles. The process will take time, but it will evolve with the slowly lessening of current travel restrictions. Until then, oil will have to sit back and wait for the surplus to be sold off before they can adjust their prices.

April 20, 2020 travel prices

Travel Prices Continue To Drop

Travel prices are so low that many are looking to take this opportunity to check out different parts of the country as well as the world. Now, we here do not condone any sort of unnecessary traveling, but for those who are willing to brave the current crisis, they have seized the opportunity.

Travel Prices Are Low…Real Low

As of right now, the current round trip cost for flying from Los Angeles to Boston is approximately $200. The price has dropped by 1/3rd as to the normal price. Due to everyone staying at home during this crisis the airline industry is trying every measure to make sure people are still taking flights…despite that not being a relatively good idea.

Who Is Still Flying?

For the brave souls daring to take the trip, many are younger. For some, their income revolves around traveling. Social media influencers have been packing their bags to show you what life is like in other countries. Many have taken the opportunity to do their own intensive style of journalism.

For others, traveling to other countries is just another day. Business leaders and many others are still currently using these cheap flights to scout areas as well as maintain business operations with partners across the world.

What You Can Do To Stay Safe While Flying

One of the major benefits of traveling by plane right now is the increase in the room. From not having to sit in the middle seat, to having a lack of people overall on the plane, many are finding it relatively easy to travel. Much like commuting to work and back during COVID-19, the amount of those venturing outside of their house is low. So low, that only essential business like trucking and maintenance are currently out on the roads. The same goes for flying. The best way to stay safe is to follow these few steps:

Find Your Own Seat

This is actually pretty easy. Again, the only people who are currently flying are those who do for work. This means that there are plenty of vacant seats and even entire rows. No more middle seat for anyone. In fact, in some instances, there have only been a few people on 100+ seat planes! Remember, social distancing is key!

Wear A Mask

Face protection is one of the most important items to carry with you while traveling. Although masks are scarce, there are plenty of people making masks in their own homes and donating the proceeds to charity. Many are reusable and can be machine washed!

Bringing Hand Wipes/ Sanitizer

Continuously washing your hands with soap and water as well as carrying a large supply of hand wipes can help you when traveling under the extreme circumstances that we are in!

We get it. Although it is best to stay safe at your home, the need to continue to work is also important. If you must travel due to work, then do so carefully.

March 30, 2020 home charging

Home Charging While In Self-Isolation

Home charging has been on the minds of many since self-isolation has been put into place. With so many now working from home, the methods of charging have changed. It used to be simple. When you were done driving for the day, you would put your car in the garage, plug it in and let it sit overnight. Now that fewer cars are being utilized and many have been sitting in one place for extended periods of time, we have put together a shortlist of optimal charging methods in order to ensure your car battery life maintains its performance.

Keeping Regular Battery Charged

While almost all standard EV’s get their power from the massive battery underneath the car, the regular components such as the radio and other electronics still require a 12-volt battery. This battery requires the same maintenance that standard ICE cars and trucks use. In order to maintain optimal performance, it is a good idea to keep the car running. Once a day, simply take the car for a spin. This doesn’t require you to get out of the car (maybe if you are ordering take-out). Daily drives around the block will ensure the battery remains charged.

Do Not Over Charge

Overcharging can be one of the most harmful things you can do to an EV. Much like your cell-phone, leaving it plugged into a charger for longer than required will often put a strain on the battery. Also much like a cell phone, these batteries are lithium-ion. This is the exact same battery that a cell phone uses and will overheat and tire out over time if not properly cared for. Most car companies will tell you that an 80% charge is the optimal capacity. Any higher and your battery will slowly lose its effective range.

Keep Car In Cool Area

Ever get into your car on a hot day and realize you left your cell phone in it? The battery life can be sapped extensively. The same thing will happen to your car if you leave it sitting in the sun too long. This might not be the case for a lot of places, but in places like Los Angeles where “Hot and Sunny” dominates the weather forecast, keeping it in the garage is the most optimal idea. These same practices go out to those who live in colder temperatures. Avoid fast charging while temperatures are below freezing. The best way is to keep your car in a relatively temperature-controlled environment.

Home Charging Sweet Spot

The most optimal way to continue the high performance of your EV is “slow and low”. This means that avoiding fast-charging stations and charging your car at home is the best method. Don’t drive your car all the way down to zero and fast charge it all the way up to 100. The best sweet spot for charging is from 25% to 75% using standard overnight charging systems like the one in your house. This, on top of keeping it in a room-temperature environment, will maintain the performance of your EV for years to come.

All of these steps can be regulated while working from home. Before and after work can be the best time to check on your vehicle while you are staying inside safe and sound. This allows you to take the time to better care for your vehicle under the right circumstances.

March 9, 2020 electric cars

Electric Cars and The Future of The Industry

Electric cars are here to stay. With many companies rolling out their first generation of EVs, consumers are more than willing to make the switch. With many speculations as to how the industry will ebb-and-flow, consumers are interested in the changing automotive game.

Electric Cars Require Less Maintenance

Oil changes, fuel line repairs, and many other factors will inherently decline as many move away from standard combustion engines. Fewer moving parts equals fewer variables in the motor of a car. Basic Maintenence for vehicles will decrease, which can also mean that your local Jiffy Lube might take a hit with their employment. For those that stay to see the electric car market in full force, will adapt to the new and emerging trends.

Lower to Null Emissions

Emissions standards will be a thing of the past. With many states enforcing stricter emissions standards, many have already felt the noose tighten on their standard combustion vehicle. By offering an alternative in the form of tax deductions for electric vehicles, many have been able to put their old gas-powered vehicles up on the used market, and have put the down payment on a new Tesla.

Gen-1 Release of Electric Cars

Many of the big named automotive manufacturers have stepped up their electric endeavors to provide consumers with their first line of EVs. As we have yet to see many of these hit the roads, most companies are confident in the standards set by pioneering companies like Toyota and Tesla. GM, who had developed the world’s first electric car, has been hard at work reinventing not only the car but the electric motor itself. The company plans to be a major competitor to the Tesla line. Introducing 10 new electric vehicles to the market by 2021. The company has proven that owning an umbrella of the world’s leading vehicles can produce some large-scale results.

Electric Truck Market

One of the largest deterrents of the EV industry is the power output. Where most electric cars have been produced to look like toys, truck owners have been steered away. This is a legitimate excuse for not making the switch. I mean, cmon, you aren’t going to roll up to the job site with a Nissan Leaf full of lumber, are you? No. Thus, the development of tougher, longer-lasting, and harder pushing vehicle shave seen their debut. The Tesla Cybertruck, albeit goofy and angular, showed the world what electric energy can do against a standard F-150. Now, the demonstration pitted the Cybertruck in a towing match against an F-150 which isn’t the strong point of the truck as its a “hauler” and not a towing vehicle, but the idea still remains. Electric energy can boast some power.

For those in the truck department who don’t want to shell out big bucks for an impractical looking vehicle, GM has also released its efforts into its HUMMER program. The HUMMER EV outclasses the Cybertruck in almost every possible way. So for someone who is looking for all the benefits of electric in the size of a pickup, this one might just be for you. There is now a Hummer making a turn onto electric avenue says a lot about power speculation.

The Industry Is Making Strides

Over the course of a few years, the industry has made massive strides. From commuter vehicles to pickups, electric has moved into every avenue. This major flex has proven that electric is here to stay. Every year, auto manufacturers will be developing performance technology to suit market needs. Now, if only we can get used market speculation.

The efforts put forth are what dictates the rest of the industry.

February 17, 2020 electric vehicles

Electric Vehicles: Hurdles Facing Industry

Electric vehicles are becoming the spearhead for future forms of transportation. With many taking to the streets, what are some of the issues that face this industry?

Emerging Has Been Slow

Although sales for new Tesla models have proven substantially successful. The futurist has had some issues with emerging. This hasn’t been the overall case for most electronic vehicles. While most other manufacturers are rolling out fully electric vehicles for the upcoming year, many are wondering if this first year will provide numbers in the green.

The Cost Of Electric Vehicles is a Deterrent

As it currently stands, many of the electric vehicles rolling out for this year are pricey. Most industry shifts have shown, these first years will be imperative for many auto manufacturers. As it stands now, vehicles like the Tesla Model S are designed for upper-middle-class and higher income brackets. These new cars are priced relatively adjacent to that of luxury vehicles, the idea for many non-affluent consumers remains out of their reach.

The Used Car Industry Will Shift

As of right now, the used car industry hasn’t seen an influx in pre-owned electric cars. The industry is so new that those who have an EV are content with keeping it for as long as possible. This industry is important when talking about the future of automobiles due to their importance as a second-hand seller. The automotive industry leans extensively on used cars due to their cost. As there will always be more used cars purchased than new, it will take time before we see the EV hit the used market.

Another issue to note is the reliability and durability of the future EV market. If consumers currently see a Tesla Model 3 or even an S on the used market list, this is an instant turn-off. A car hitting the used list this early on is typically an indicator of bad things, but this might not be the case. The Tesla series have proven themselves to be effective, and there might be other factors involved with looking at a used EV. Let’s take a look.

The Battery Life

The battery life of most EV’s right now is solid. Like traditional methods, it depends on how you drive your vehicle. If you are a lead-foot on the gas pedal, then your kw/h will be far lower. This can impact the time a driver has to get from place to place. If they are not within the range of a charging station, then they must plan ahead accordingly. It hasn’t reached the point of “I can get gas whenever I want” or even the time of filling up itself means you need to schedule some time to accomplish the task.

The Battery Sustainability

Understanding how much life an engine or car has on it can be easily calculated by how many miles it has. With electric vehicles, the issue stems from what we don’t know. As consumers, we typically wait for the stats to show, with the automotive industry any new leap-or bound has been corrected in the post-engineering phase. When one problem arrises for a certain make or model, the focus for that model is an improvement. Batteries for EV’s will be the same. Once the amount of lifespan a battery has is determined, then we can have a better idea as to how second hand-electronic cars will price-out.

Electric Vehicles Have Far Fewer Parts = Far Less Maintenance

An EV with high miles only means that the battery will likely lose charge faster. It often will not sustain the appropriate amount of power that a user can rely on. This will show in a used vehicle price tag.

Helping to Boost The Electronic Vehicle Industry

Many countries have found comfort in knowing the future of automobiles will be all-electric. Norway is one of the first with a plan to switch over to an all-electric market by 2025. The plan is to simply stop the sales of petroleum-based vehicles by this time. The downside for this is that many who own vehicles that run petrol will see a surge in gas prices. It will put consumers between a rock and a hard place. The first being that their petrol prices will skyrocket, the second is that in order to maintain a basic living, they will need to dish out tons of money for fuel or dish out tons of money upfront for a new EV.

This can cause issues as many who take out loans due to insufficient funds will likely bounce their vehicle payment. On top of that, many will have to wait until there is a used car market for them. Once that happens, you will still see many moving away from purchasing an EV.

Other countries have put a more distant time for the full switch. Iceland, Ireland, and Isreal have set their sights on 2030. This gives time for many who have already purchased a used car approximately 10 years before they hit the used market. This gives more people time and more time for the economy and industry to make the necessary switch.

It Will Take Time for The Electric Vehicles Industry To Move Over

Where some countries like Norway want to be the first to fully switch, many can see the implication in damaging the automotive industry. A quick transition could lead to not as many consumers looking to switch. This will push many into positions where they are not financially accessible.

January 27, 2020 school bus homes

School Bus Homes: Life On The Road

The school bus conversion corner has been increasing over the past decade. Hundreds of people are giving up their 9-5 day jobs to experience life on the road.

A Lot Of People Have Money: I Didn’t

Back home in New Hampshire, the winter dominates approximately 6-months out of the year. The rest of the time, it’s either fall (which is cold) or Spring(which is cold and rainy), there wasn’t much to do between those times other than work, so I did. I had one stable full-time job, and I filled the rest of my time with part-time work here and there. By the end of everything, I had saved up enough to purchase a bus flat-out. For about 5 Grand, I was able to purchase a 2005 GMC bus with 75k in miles. I got away with a steal, but for others, they might not be as lucky. From there, it was another 6-months of straight working to save up the necessities to complete the process. In total, I spent about $7,500 to make my bus “livable”

You see people online who have done similar conversions, they had full-time higher-paying jobs than what I had, so they make the whole process seem easy. In truth, it’s not. There is a lot of time working between three jobs in order to get your bus moving. These people saved up cause they could, where I didn’t have much. I just had what I had, my hard work and my determination.

School Bus Homes: Basics Go Farther

In my home, I had a space for my bed (full-sized), a sink, a couch, and a mini-fridge. That was it and that’s all I needed. The rest of the bus was accommodated for storage space. Everything electronic was powered by the solar panels that I had installed (once I had the money). Being able to predominantly survive on your own without the accommodations of electricity all the time got tiresome. Sometimes you need to charge your phone, laptop, or anything else that connects you to possible work while on the road, in which case having a consistent power supply (other than the battery) comes in extremely handy. Other than that, it was the bare necessities.

When I sat down and said “my bus is ready to live in”, I had a resheathed floor, my bed was on wood posts that my neighbor had laying around and enough to live off of. It wasn’t the prettiest, but it was accommodating and comfortable. That was all I needed.

The Gas is a Stab

Oh boy, your home is now home (to some extent) and you’re ready to drive around. My first couple of quests outside of my driveway were to music festivals in the local area. I hadn’t driven my bus for more than an hour before the reality of how expensive gas consumption was going to be for my new mobile home. I made it a point to use my bus as a go-to festival camping mecca. Only using it to go between the local music festivals, it became a staple for all my friends. They could easily tell where they were in adjacency to my bus, but man, that gas price was rough.

They Provide Awesome Sanctuary for Friends

I would have friends whose tents got stolen, it rained, or anything else that would prevent them from sleeping come to my bus for a brief sanctuary. It felt great to be able to provide a living space for so many wanderers. If you were part of the group, you had to make a pilgrimage to my bus. Many would swing through hang out for a minute to get out of the sun (or rain) and come chill, get comfortable, take a nap, or anything else.

The First Big Adventure

When the time felt right and my bus was in a little better shape than just the basic necessities, I decided to make a trip out to a festival in New York. The trip was 6-hours and on the way there, no problems. On the way back, however, I had a small mishap. My alternator died. I was able to get my bus off the highway and pull it over onto a side road. From there I Uber my way to the local auto parts store and found a new alternator for the bus. I then took an uber back to my bus and swapped it out.

The process took a significant amount of time, and being on the side of the road doesn’t necessarily help, but after, my bus was back up to shape. School bus homes can be like that sometimes. Which is why it’s a good idea to have a lifetime warranty on whatever parts you buy.

It Doesn’t Need to Be One Big Purchase

If you look up tutorials on Youtube, you’ll find that most people had the income to do this right off the bat. The reality is nobody has the capital to just up and do something like that. it takes time. School bus homes aren’t built by the wealthy, if you were wealthy, you’d have a camper, or an RV, but not a school bus. The fun comes from building your own home the way that you would want it. It will always be a “work in progress” and you should feel accomplished after completing every task. Every addition acts to build the foundation of your home.

January 4, 2020 sprinter van

Sprinter Van: New Generations Home

The sprinter van has been a focal point for many with the traveler’s itch. A small and inexpensive starter for many young travelers, the van can provide all the amenities for livable space.

The Solo Tour

Purchasing large cargo vans and converting them to living space was huge in the 60’s and ’70s. Well, they’ve made a comeback. Thousands of young adults are taking their homes on the road with them, seeing new sites and experiencing new adventures. The travel lifestyle can be done in many ways and vans can provide enough space for a single individual.

Traveling By Sprinter Van: Then and Now

In the ’60s and ’70s counter culture was in full swing. Many would live in vans to tour with famous acts like the Grateful Dead, and many other psychedelic-era bands. Communities would be built on the road. Today, with technology and many other available assets, traveling can be done by a single individual. Replace the snazzy shag rug carpet for a hardwood floor and you have a small house. The high-top sprinter allows for many avenues for storage.

Storage

I have converted a multitude of Skoolies and sprinter vans. The key component to creating an effective and adequate living situation is storage. Under your bed, under the sink, creating a few spaces on the ceiling are all parts to add storage. The more storage, the better. Just don’t overpack yourself or else you’ll weigh down the van.

Sprinter Van Weight

Make sure that you are providing adequate storage for the essentials. If you plan for more than what you need, then you will find that your van is weighed down. This will drastically increase the wear and tear of the vehicle as well as affect your gas mileage. Pots and pans, clothes, first aid kids, and essential foods will go a long way in a sprinter van.

Conversion Corners

The sprinter van conversion essentially makes the van your house, so you need to be careful in the conversion process. Taking your time is one of the most important parts when starting this project. We get it, the traveler’s itch needs to be scratched, but it might be costly if you rush things too quickly. Be careful and be calm. There is a whole world to explore and waiting for the right part will only help you explore it further.

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