More from: trailer

Tips for Installing Trailer Tool boxes

Few things are as valuable to the flatbed trucker as the tools in his or her toolbox. It is that collection of tools that keeps the trucker on the road even when minor problems occur. But the safety and security of one’s tools is only as good as the toolboxes used to store them. So when you are installing new toolboxes, you want to make sure they are mounted correctly.

There are different kinds of toolboxes that truckers use. Some are mounted on flatbed trailers, others on the back of a cab, and still others on the sides of a tractor. Trailer tool boxes might be the hardest to install as they are usually mounted on the underside of the bed. Their weight and size make under bed boxes a bit more difficult to manage.

trailer-toolbox

A box that is properly installed provides years of valuable service for the trucker. If you are planning to install new boxes on your trailer, here are some tips you might find helpful:

Tip #1 – Choosing Box Size

Installing new boxes to replace old models is easier if you stick with the same size. Toolboxes come in a number of standard sizes, so it shouldn’t be hard to find what you are looking for. By sticking with the same size, you should be able to use the same mounting brackets and hardware.

Installing new boxes where there previously were none leaves you with a few more options. Consider what you will be carrying and how much storage space you will need. Also, determine before you purchase where you want your toolboxes mounted. Then take careful measurements so you end up with the right size.

Tip #2 – Choosing Mounting Brackets

Very few trailer toolboxes come with mounting brackets included. You will have to buy them separately. There are universal brackets that fit just about every toolbox on the market, as well as specialized brackets for custom boxes. That said, do not just assume brackets will work with your box. Check with manufacturers or sellers to ensure you get the right combination.

Tip #3 – Test Before Mounting

The location of hinges and access panels will determine exactly where on your trailer your toolbox will be mounted. Keep in mind you will need some clearance. It’s always best to test the location for a new toolbox before you mount it. Use a hydraulic jack to lift your toolbox into place, then test it by opening and closing the access panel and checking the box’s position against the bed and any other trailer structures.

Tip #4 – Heavy Duty Hardware

Your trailer tool boxes end up carrying a lot of weight over their lifetimes. Furthermore, they will be subject to constant road vibrations as well as the shock of every bump and pothole you hit. Therefore, do not skimp on mounting hardware. This is one instance in which investing in top-of-the-line parts is always a good idea. Purchase heavy-duty mounting hardware you know will stand up to years of abuse and punishment.

Tip #5 – Ease of Access

Lastly, choosing mounting locations for your trailer toolboxes is as much about convenience as it is utility. Only you know what would be the most convenient locations based on how you do things. Try to locate your boxes where they make the most sense, according to the kinds of work you normally take. You want to spend as little time as possible getting to the tools you need at the times you need them most.


What to Remember When Choosing New Truck Tires

Whether you are an independent operator or a fleet manager, you will face the decision of choosing new truck tires at some point during your career. You will be looking at tires for both tractors and trailers as well. What you choose will directly affect how your trucks perform down the road. It is safe to say that choosing truck tires is as important as choosing flatbed tarps and tarping systems.

Truck owners have a few standard choices in terms of size:

  •  295 truck tires
  • 285 truck tires
  • 11R22.5 truck tires
  • 11R24.5 truck tires

There is also the question of bias, radials and tubeless tires to consider. Ideally, a truck driver wants a tire that will provide maximum performance under most weather conditions and specific load requirements. Those requirements may change throughout a driver’s career. Therefore, a truck owner may have to reconsider all of his or her options whenever tires need to be replaced.

truck-tires

Size and Load Concerns

Perhaps the two most important factors when choosing new truck tires are size and load concerns. When we speak of size, we are talking about the size of a tire in relation to the rig on which it is being mounted. Size needs to be considered from three angles:

  • Vertical Clearance – Vertical clearance is the amount of space between the top of the tread tire and the structure above it. However, it cannot be measured solely by the amount of space that exists when the truck is at rest. Clearance changes along with axle movement as the truck moves down the road. Drivers need to consider total clearance on either end as dictated by a truck’s axle stop.
  •  Front Tire Clearance – This is the distance between the edge of the tire tread and the front of the tractor in the steering position. It must be measured by moving the front to full left, then to full right. Minimum clearance will occur somewhere between the two lock positions.
  • Tire Width – The overall tire width becomes important when mounting tires side-by-side on the same axle. Tire width must be measured at the top position rather than the bottom. Remember that the width at the bottom will increase under load as the tire surface is compressed.

In addition to the size of the tires themselves, drivers have to consider the kinds of loads they are carrying. Some shippers pay based on weight, expecting drivers to carry loads as heavy as possible while remaining within legal limits. One way to maximize load weight is to reduce the weight of tires and rims. But tires not rated to handle the weight of heavier loads will obviously be inappropriate.

Drivers and fleet managers can choose either bias or radial tires depending on their needs. Both choices include several subcategories including tubeless, tube-type, low profile, and wide-base single tires. Again, the choice relies heavily on the rig being used and the types of loads most frequently carried.

As with flatbed tarps and tarping systems, there is no particular tire that works for every driver under every circumstance. Tires are a very personal choice that each rig owner has to make individually. Thankfully, there are enough options and manufacturers to meet just about every need.

At Mytee Products, we are proud to serve our customers with a full line of truck and trailer tires. We carry several of the best-known manufacturers including Triangle truck tires. We also have multiple sizes as well. While you are shopping for truck tires, do not forget to upgrade your stock of flatbed tarps as well.


Cleaning and Storing RV Cover Could Extend Its Life

RV owners who choose to use a cover during the winter, normally do so with the expectation of extending the life of their trailer or motor home by protecting it from the harsh winter elements of snow, sleet and rain. Cleaning and storing your RV cover properly can extend its life as well.

When spring arrives, it is tempting to pull the RV cover off as soon as you possibly can and head off into the horizon. However, bear in mind that , how you remove your cover, and what you do with it once it is removed, will go a long way toward determining how long the cover will last. Here is a step-by-step guide to removing, cleaning, and storing your RV cover:

Step #1 – Clean before Removing

The first step in the properly caring for your RV cover is to clean it before you remove it from the RV or motor home. Why before? Because cleaning while it is on your rig allows you to easily see all of the dirt and grime. It also allows for completely drying it – especially on a warm sunny day. Cleaning can be as simple as hosing down the cover or if there are any stains or ground-in dirt, a bit of warm water and mild detergent will do the trick. Once clean, allow the cover to dry fully.

Class-A-RV-Cover

Step #2 – Inspect for Damage, Repair

A clean cover is ready to be inspected for any damage. If you are looking for tears or holes, separating seams, worn grommets, etc., leaving the cover on as you check it makes identifying damage a lot easier. You will probably find it easier to make repairs while the cover is still in place as well. Once you are sure you’ve checked it well for any signs of wear and tear or damage, it is time to remove your cover.

Step #3 – Remove the Cover

It’s always a good idea to have help to remove your RV cover. Lift the cover straight up in order to prevent it from catching on any corners. Then spread the cover out, be it on the lawn, garage floor, or wherever you have adequate space. You may have to give it the once over with a broom to remove any loose debris. If you plan to lay it on the lawn, make sure it hasn’t been recently watered. Moisture trapped inside the cover while in storage can lead to mold growth.

Step #4 – Fold and Store

Most of today’s covers come with a storage bag and folding instructions. Follow the instructions if you have them. Otherwise, the best way to fold your RV cover is to begin with two straight folds across the length in order to reduce the width of the cover to one-third of its original size. Then fold down the length using a series of z-folds until the cover is folded down small enough to be easily managed. In the absence of a storage bag, a plastic garbage pail or storage bin with a sealed lid would work well too

By taking the time to properly clean, repair, fold and store your RV cover, you will be extending its life for as long as possible. As with anything else, proper care and maintenance means that the cover will last longer. At the end of the day, you’ve invested money in a quality cover; you might just as well spend a little bit of time and effort in taking care of your investment


What You Need to Know about DOT Conspicuity Tape

One of the products we sell here at Mytee is DOT conspicuity tape. This is a reflective tape product intended to be used on trailers in order to increase visibility. As new truck driver, you might question why this tape is used. The answer is simple: the law requires it. Having said that, let us delve more deeply into why the federal government has made use of the tape mandatory.

Also known simply as DOT tape, a roll of DOT conspicuity tape is a double-sided product with adhesive on one side and a highly reflective surface on the other. The reflective surface is intended to reflect the headlights of other vehicles during nighttime driving in order to make a dark trailer more visible. The idea is to reduce the number of serious crashes involving big trucks and cars.

Government Study Results

DOT conspicuity tape was not always required. In the late 1990s however, it was determined that steps had to be taken to increase the visibility of large trucks with the use of additional lights, reflectors, and conspicuity tape. In 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted an analysis of crash data and estimated the use of conspicuity tape reduced the number of accidents and fatal injuries as much as 44%.

The study was conducted by analyzing crash data from Florida and Pennsylvania. Nearly 11,000 accidents were included in the study. NHTSA researchers concluded that, although using conspicuity tape does significantly reduce the number of crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles, such crashes are not eliminated entirely. They further discovered:

  • Crashes involving flatbed trailers were reduced more than those involving dry vans
  • Applying DOT tape had the greatest benefit on dark roadways with little or no lighting
  • Applying DOT tape significantly improved trailer visibility during inclement weather – except for snow
  • DOT tape was most beneficial for avoiding crashes among drivers age 50 or younger.

The results of the NHTSA study were convincing enough that federal regulations made using the tape permanent. Every trailer now on the road must make use of the tape in strategic locations as determined by the regulations. Furthermore, DOT conspicuity tape must meet certain specifications as outlined by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 108 and DOT-C2 in order to be legal.

Limitations of Conspicuity Tape

As helpful as DOT conspicuity tape is, it does not eliminate all risk. In order for it to be as helpful as possible, it must be properly applied and in good condition. For example, dirty reflective tape loses its effectiveness as the amount of dirt and grime accumulates. Therefore, drivers have to take the time to clean the tape every now and again.

Wear and tear can also be a problem. When a piece of DOT tape begins to look old and worn out, it should be replaced as soon as possible. The good news here is that the tape is rather inexpensive.

As a truck driver, it is your responsibility to make sure all of your equipment meets federal standards for safety. When hauling your own trailers, purchasing and installing DOT tape falls squarely on your shoulders. When hauling trailers belonging to a shipper, the expense and labor is their responsibility. Nevertheless, you are still required to inspect the trailer for compliance before you pull out of the shipping yard. Don’t leave until it’s right.

DOT conspicuity tape is a good tool for reducing crashes between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles. Make sure you use it correctly at all times. It could save a life.