Reliant Robin: A Tri-Wheel Terror

Reliant Robin: A Tri-Wheel Terror

The Reliant Robin was one of the worst cars ever built. The concept was easy. Take a motorcycle and make it as much like a car as possible…without being a real car. This was disastrous.

Reliant Robin Makes Driving Accessible

The idea was to create a vehicle that could be road worthy, but not require a drivers license. For the coal miners up in the North, this meant they could get to work without braving the harsh elements of snow and rain.

For the miners at the time, having a drivers license was a luxury. Having a vehicle that could get them to where they needed to go meant easier living. The North was a huge hit with the Robin.

One key feature that made the car popular was how light weight it was. In snowstorms, a standard car would get stuck, but the Reliant Robin wasn’t an ordinary car. Its light weight meant it could easily maneuver through heavy snow.

And that was it.

Now that we have covered the benefits, lets take a look at why this car was awful.

Reliant Robin Tipped

This was the 70s. The automotive industry had made leaps and bounds in the over 50-years since the introduction of the car. Unfortunately, England missed the memo.

The results of having three wheels (one in the front two in the back) was that if the vehicle needed to turn, it would flip. Leave it to the ingenuity of coal miners to figure out how to reduce this from happening.

They simply stuck a bag of cement in the passenger side to distribute the weight more evenly. Still, this only reduced the issue, not stopped it.

Wheelies Were a Big Problem

Also, someone at Reliant had the idea to make the car even more powerful. With little wind resistance due to the design of the car, there wasn’t much in the way of keeping the front of the car down. With an extra boost of juice, the lightweight front end can pop a wheely and point skyward. Now, that seems fun, but when you’re on a busy England road, that only spells trouble.

Stimulus Checks: When Are You Getting Yours?

Stimulus Checks: When Are You Getting Yours?

Where are our stimulus checks? This question has been hot on the minds of many. Since a record number of citizens are laid off due to coronavirus, many are waiting to receive money from either the federal government or their own state’s unemployment office.

The money is sent out to re-stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, for the majority of Americans currently out of work, this is simply going to their rent. For others, money is meant to go back into the economy.

Some Stimulus Checks Have Arrived

Starting the week of the 13th, citizens around the country are expected to receive their checks. Typically they will be showing up this week, but if not, it may take a little longer. Paper checks might take longer to come through the mail, but if you did your 2019 tax returns, they should be directly deposited into the bank account that you chose to send your tax refund to.

Direct Deposit From IRS

People in the lowest bracket ($10,000/year or lower) will receive their checks first. This is typically for bartenders, servers and waitresses and those deemed “essential” will be receiving their checks first.

The next bracket are those under $30k per year. Very often there will be different wealth brackets receiving checks at the same time.

How to Track Your Stimulus Check

Tax company TurboTax has lent a hand with customers 2019 tax returns. They have also helped detrimentally with giving notice for people to receive their refunds as well as their federal stimulus check. For those that filed their tax returns through them, they may receive their stimulus check sooner than expected.

The best way to spend this check is on necessities. If you have been laid off, this is meant to help pay bills or rents. For others who are currently working, this can provide a safety net, OR it can be used to shop local in order to keep businesses growing. It is best to use this wisely.

Class A CDL Licenses Are In Demand!

Class A CDL Licenses Are In Demand!

Obtaining your CDL is a great career path for our global emergency. Looking for work during this global emergency. Perhaps you the thought of a career change was in your mind prior to being closed off for 30 days. Well, trucking companies are in high demand and are looking to fill positions. COVID-19 has many store shelves empty and the only ones responsible for keeping them stocked (outside of the store managers themselves) are truck drivers.

One of the most critical responders during a time of emergency is truck drivers. When large-scale panic buying comes to your local supermarket, truck drivers are responsible for getting it there. Right now, there is a massive surge in hiring for skilled truck drivers.

CDL Benefits

Recently, the trucking industry was in a bit of a pitfall. Many skilled truckers were leaving after their long years of service. They put their time in across the country and it was time to retire. The problem was that there weren’t enough skilled truck drivers to fill the quickly emptying positions. This issue has evolved tenfold. With the new COVID-19 emergency, the importance of skilled drivers is larger than ever. Prior to the coronavirus emergency, trucking companies were offering larger starting benefits and increase pay in order to appeal to new and prospecting workers. This has since grown increasingly more appealing for those looking to make the switch. For those that are looking to do their part to better the lives of many during this time, truck driving has the potential to fulfill that need.

Right Now Is The Perfect Time To Become A Driver

With many people staying in and finding a new hobby or skill, many are going back to school! One of the best resources right now is the internet. Many truck driving schools are offering courses to those who are looking to help the community and make the switch. You can research and find the right CDL training courses as well as find instructors who have been in the field for longer than you have been alive!

On top of having a wide network of resources at hand to advance your career path, your first trip has a high potential to be a cakewalk. One of the largest issues for truck drivers is accidents. Truck drivers maintain the responsibility of keeping our roads safe. If you don’t understand this yet, you definitely will when you take your first trips in a big rig. The benefit right now is that there is an extremely limited number of cars and trucks on the road. Getting from point A to point B can be easy if you are just starting out right now. This provides the perfect entry point for those starting out! What better time to get a full grasp of the wheel on an empty open road!

CDL Drivers Are a Hero To Many!

For many rural areas, panic buying has hit them hard. Many local grocery stores are out of many products, pharmacies are out of prescription medication, etc. Well, it’s up to truckers to deliver it! Thinking about making the switch? Check out obtaining your Class A CDL License today!

Electric Vehicles In Boston By 2030

Electric Vehicles In Boston By 2030

Electric vehicles have seen their first-generation roll off the production line. With the first major push into the electric industry, many areas across the globe are putting efforts to reduce their emissions. Boston has made plans to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

Go Boston 2030 Focuses on Limiting Drivers

Go Boston 2030 is an initiative put forth by the city to reduce the amount of traffic, carbon emissions and safer streets by 2030. The problem with Boston, like most cities, is traffic. Boston has a reputation as one of the worst cities to drive in. This is due to the geography and layout of city streets. A common complaint is that many people have a hard time navigating city streets. This is due to the foundation of the Boston roadway. During the cities establishment, most of the roads were developed for farming purposes. Horses and cattle were routinely used until the invention of the automobile. This is a stark contrast to city layouts like New York, where every road is based on a standard grid system.

Some of the largest factors are the amount of traffic within the city. Most commuters are single drivers going to and from work. By limiting areas of commute and switching to public transportation, the city plans to make a greater more positive impact on the environment. The city plans to move its public transportation system to an all-electric platform by 2030. Where citizens will typically drive to work, the push for alternate travel options has increased. This eliminates a significant amount of traffic, carbon emissions and makes heavily walked areas of the city significantly safer.

Boston Isn’t The Only Place With Electric Vehicles in Mind

Many cities across America have established electric services in some ways or another. With electric scooters being the big craze right now, many citizens have found cleaner and safer methods to traverse cities. Many of these are tourists looking to see the sites as well as daily commuters going to and from work. Now, we’re not going to tell you to take a scooter from Quincy into Downtown, but we would suggest taking the bus.

In other places in the world like Norway, their electric ambitions are far greater than anywhere in the US. The country itself has decided to switch to an all-electric car market by 2025. Thus eliminating their use of fossil fuels. There are a lot of factors that allow them to do this. The first is that Europe as a whole has developed effective recycling and environmental programs. The continent as a whole has a greener mindset than the rest of the modernized world. Norway is the undeclared leader of the pack. They have established such effective recycling programs that they import trash from other countries to help provide energy to homes across the country.

Electric Vehicles Are Here

Tesla was the first company to make the push into the consumer electric realm. Since then, they have been spearheading new and innovative designs for their vehicles. Many car companies are looking to jump into the foray of future vehicles. Companies like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have all been at work developing electric vehicle technologies for Japan. While Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen have been developing their own set of EV’s utilizing their own charging systems.

Biodiesel: Where Did This Go?

Biodiesel: Where Did This Go?

Biodiesel had a huge social impact about a decade ago. If you ran a diesel engine, then there was a decent chance you could save money on gas. Utilizing biodiesel was a significant herald for the alternative fuel craze. With its impact on how we viewed fuel, where did it go?

Late 1800’s and the Invention of Biodiesel

Rudolf Diesel invented the world’s first biodiesel engine in 1893. Based on a component of Peanut Oil and diesel fuel, the engine ran appropriately with the standards Diesel had put in place. Thus, this was the first time the world ran on a fully reusable fuel. Because of this, August 10th is also remembered as “International Biodiesel Day”. That’s right, the same guy who invented the engine that is commonly used today and is controlled by price-gauging oil empires is the one responsible for creating the alternative energy craze.

1970’s Oil Embargo’s, California Emissions Standards, and Emerging Japanese Market.

During the 1970’s America was in a bit of a pinch when it came to fossil fuels. With less oil being brought into the states, the industry changed its focus to smaller fuel-effective vehicles. Gone were the days of the (totally awesome) muscle car race, and the inclusion of the Japanese Automotive industry meant an increase in smaller, foreign cars that acted as a great entry point for the Asian automotive industry.

Another issue stemming from this time was the incursion of tighter Californian emissions standards. The Green Party was gaining momentum in the US at the time with many political leaders looking forward to shifting gears away from America’s dependence on fossil fuels.

During this time the counter culture (hippies) were strongly fighting the system by traveling in droves and following their favorite bands across the country. As to how this helped anything, we’re still unsure, but it indirectly changed the game. This pseudo pioneer of “off-grid” living became a foundation for experimentation. Now, by experimentation, we mean that some of those old deadheads were chemists (this isn’t helping us) and that they figured their VW Bus could (with some minor and cheap tweaks) be converted to burn biofuels.

Early 2000’s – People Search For Alternative Fuels

The Post 9/11 world and our incursions into the Middle East brought a substantial backlash in terms of our budgets. Gas prices started to soar, and with the now fully established SUV market that was developed in the ’90s, many were taking a pretty big hit. For others, their older (diesel) car had the opportunity for a significant comeback.

How Could Diesel Engines Handle Alternate Fuels?

For starters, older diesel engines had the tolerance levels that could go much higher than standard petroleum engines. With head gaskets made of iron vs aluminum, the strength of the engine provides enough toughness to handle anything you can throw in it. Thus, these were the perfect engines to test out alternative fuels. Any sort of bio-oil can serve as a producer of energy if the mixture is right.

Components of Biodiesel

In order for one to utilize the benefits of biodiesel, a well-distributed mixture of vegetable, peanut, or another plant-based oil needs to be mixed with equal parts of actual diesel. This helps to obtain the appropriate combustion rate for your engine to run through effectively. Yes- you still need some diesel fuel, but not nearly as much. Mixing the two components can be a time-consuming task, but the value for yourself and the environment is far greater than you can imagine. Some of the best oils to use are Soy, Canola, Peanut, and Olive.

Trucking, Shipping and Public Transportation Switch To Biodiesel

Many high emissions industries have made the switch to alternative energy consumption. The trucking industry has made an effective impact on the popularity of utilizing Biodiesel. Many European public transportation systems in places like France, Germany, and England have also switched. This has made drastic changes to their public transportation systems to include some form of biodiesel.

US Market and Future of Biodiesel

Industries have arisen to improve and perfect the usage of biofuels across the US. Many businesses utilize the use of biofuels and an emerging (yet still niche) industry over the production of such fuels has emerged. These often focus on larger operations rather than for public use. These methods have walked (somewhat) hand in hand with other alternative fuel solutions.

Why Hasn’t Biodiesel Replaced Fossil Fuels?

Although this alternative has caught the eyes of thousands across the world, many individuals simply do not own older diesel engines. On top of that, while diesel engines may improve emissions, they don’t improve your car. Studies have shown that the performance rates for cars that utilize an alternative fuel source receive about 5-8% less gas mileage. This coincides with the 5-8% loss in power for vehicles that use it. You have to step on the gas harder, which means more fuel is used. Another factor is the wear on the engine. Where non-equal mixes can occur, this can lead to your engine locking up and the many components becoming stuck. Many users of biodiesel are often mixing their own fuel in their garage or basement. This will often lead to imperfections in the combination process.

Electric Cars

With the invention of solar and electric cars now drastically emerging in the US market, many have ditched the classic DIY approach to fueling their cars. This is in order to move onto a better and more fuel effective range. With Tesla’s Model S, Model 3, and now their “Cybertruck”, the benefits of electric far outweigh the benefits of utilizing an oil-based energy platform.

Food Prices Will Surge.

Another major factor in why biofuels haven’t necessarily taken off is the price. A lot of the US relies on corn and peanuts for food additives. Once Americans start using these oils for their cars, the demand will skyrocket. Food prices will become astronomical and the benefits wouldn’t be worth it.

Overall Implications of Biodiesel

Colder temperature areas such as Boston or anywhere in the Northeast will cause the oils to separate and gunk up. The climate needs to be generally unmoving (which was where Southern Californians hopped on this immediately). Although it remains an awesome alternative, many aren’t willing to put the time into converting their engine. For those that have it already installed, the idea of stealing oil from Mcdonalds and other fast food eateries is also a turn-off.

Relax, You’re Just Driving In Boston

Relax, You’re Just Driving In Boston

Boston Driving is an experience. You got your Dunks in one hand, and a terribly smashed iPhone 4 in the other. You pass by the Bunker Hill Memorial and you yell out your window “Yeah ‘F the redcoats!” Insert something about the Patriots and Tom Brady, something about “takin’ ya mah out fuh some labstah dinnah”, and last but not least, say “wicked” 6-7 times during your ride. Congrats, you’re driving in Boston. These are all stereotypes, although almost all of them have some form of truth, the biggest truth is that driving through Boston can be a hassle, but so can literally any other city. If you feel so inclined to complain about it, you’re obviously not from here, which you should either very quickly get used to it, stop driving, or leave.

You Have No Idea Where You are Going/ Its Not That Hard To Figure it Out

Listen, I grew up in New Hampshire. You know, the place where rich people move to avoid Mass tax? The place where Robert Frost was like ” Yo, I’m out” then proceeded to write sad-boy poetry in the woods? The “Live Free or Die” state. Yeah, we’re just to the north. The layout of the city is hard, but not that hard. I mean, c’mon, the majority of 93 is under it. Everyone not from there is like “It’s all farm roads that have no direction” and I’m sitting here, from a land of, like, maybe one road in his town going “so?”. Relax, take your time, ignore the guy flipping out cause he obviously knows that you don’t know where you’re going but is incessant on you getting out of the way. If you can’t, we understand, we just want you to not know where you’re going faster.

Boston Driving: Drivers are Rude/ Except They Aren’t

Listen, we can be crass. We can have a sharpness to us. It makes us, you know, us. Historically, how many people from Los Angeles defeated the British during the American Revolution? None. Those guys can’t win anything. Or at least nothing that important. We, on the other hand, do. It’s also cold. There’s a reason for everything, but if you’re from out of the area, you might feel that sharpness in our drivers. It’s okay, you can relax. Even if someone is giving you a hard time, there are more instances where you can give them a hard time back. We almost like it. It’s okay to make a rude gesture at a New England driver and have them do the same and move on with your lives. Unlike LA where if you did that, they’ll either cry or try to murder you.

The Roads Are Bad/ Yeah…They’re Actually Kinda Bad

Yeah, we get it. As soon as you cross the New Hampshire/Massachusetts border, you’re instantly met with roads of lesser quality. There’s an actual line on the border where 93 becomes significantly worse. You’d think that with the amount of taxes the state collects, they’d be able to fix them accordingly, but still, here we are, swerving potholes and dodging slightly raised manhole covers.

Overall your experience in Boston should be an enjoyable one. If you don’t know where you’re going that’s fine. If you have a hard time dealing with traffic, that’s fine too, these issues happen with every city and if you’re from out of the area, it’ll take time for you to get used to as well. There are must worse places to drive…like Chicago. That place actually sucks to drive in.

Ginsu Guardrail: Big Dig Blunder

Ginsu Guardrail: Big Dig Blunder

The “Ginsu Guardrail” made every Bostonian feel like they were driving in an 80’s post-apocalyptic movie. Ever watch escape from New York or Mad Max? Yeah, everything was spiked, and The Big Dig was is no exception. The Big Dig was the most expensive highway project in the US outside of the development of the highway structure post WW2.

What made the “Ginsu Guardrail” So Dangerous?

Most cities have utilized more effective and safer methods to stop motor vehicles from smashing into one another. Unfortunately, Boston never got that memo. The issue with the rails was that they were square-lipped. If you were a motorcyclist and you got bumped from behind, there was a significantly large chance that you would end up in the guard rail at anywhere between 45-70 mph. Now, that on its own spells certain death, but there was an extra factor that made things a little more gruesome: Square Lipped rails.

The Nickname

The nickname comes from the old “Ginsu” knives that were sold during the ’70s-’80s in the US. They were the “sharpest most affordable knives on the market”. Often shown cutting through everything from soup cans to metal pipes. Do you know the scissors that can cut a penny? Yeah, thank those guys. The nickname is a staple of Boston highways due to the safety issue for drivers. If a driver, more specifically, a motorcyclist were to somehow hit one, they would slide down the rail until they hit the square-lipped post and would have the unfortunate issue of being torn up.

Current Petitions For Increased Safety

As of now, there have been 8 deaths related to the sharp posts. Each one is as gruesome and devastating than the last. Many Bostonians have petitioned for an increase in the safety standards of the rails citing they do more harm than good. While the city is still underway with repairs for the Big Dig, this has been a focal point for many. With other deaths regarding improper safety protocols, these rails have been a big focal point for many residents who don’t feel like they are driving on safe roads.

Holiday Driving: Boston

Holiday Driving: Boston

Holiday driving presents some of the worst conditions for getting from point A to point B. In Boston, this is increasingly so. Due to the road structure of New England, many out-of-staters might find different and more challenging traffic patterns than most other places.

Holiday Driving: Boston’s Farm Roads

The structural make-up of Boston’s roadways can be traced back to the first settling of the country. Where major cities like New York, or Los Angeles run on a simple “grid system”, Boston merely paved over pre-existing farm roads. For someone new to Boston, missing your exit may mean driving a great distance to get back to where you want to go.

The Holiday Snow

Snow is a big factor in Boston. During the winter, many residents have to fight for parking spaces. Due to plows pushing snow into on-street parking, this means many have to dig themselves out. The variable of snow will make it increasingly more difficult to drive. The snow has nowhere to go except the sides of the road, and in a lot of cases, will make the already narrow roads smaller. These add to parking troubles as well.

Boston Parking

Since the foundation for Boston streets is built off of farm roads, the chances of finding parking are relatively narrow. Adding the snow means this will be increasingly more difficult. If you are from out of state, be cautious when searching for a spot. Poorly plowed roads mean you can park in front of a fire hydrant and not even know it. You might think you have found a perfectly good spot, but you might find yourself with a pretty expensive ticket if you don’t check the road signs and your surroundings. Other drivers stake their claim as well. Where parking is so scarce to begin with, the winter holiday brings more people in. Many Bostonians prepare for this and stake their claim on the side of the road. You might see lawn chairs, parking cones, or anything out of the ordinary used to mark a resident’s spot. This is not legal, though, and many would rather face the parking ticket than to give up their spot. Good luck arguing with someone who is ready to pay the price!

Boston Drivers

The above conditions, even in the summer, can create some pretty assertive drivers. Boston is famously known for its traffic, and being alert at all times (albeit a basic function of a good driver) will only get you so far. If you don’t take your chance to turn, you might be stuck waiting for a break in traffic for a long time. The goal is is to not drive aggressively, but also assertively. Being an assertive driver will help you get to where you need to be effective and without issue.

Don’t Get Angry

As a native New Englander, the worst thing to be is angry. Let’s say you misjudged a break in traffic, and now you are stuck at a stop sign with a line of cars behind you. Boston drivers can be a bit more vocal than other areas and you may bear witness to some loud honking. The best thing is to ignore it. If a driver is looking for a reaction from you, do not give them that satisfaction. Just blast the music and do not respond. At some point, you ill get to where you need to go and they will be long gone.

The Holidays Are Stressful For Everyone

Nobody likes driving during the holidays. Its a pain, and can sometimes ruin your traveling experience. Understanding that everyone else is in the same boat as you, is a key factor. If someone is trying to merge, let them in. If someone in front of you is trying to switch lanes, then let them switch. Do not speed, or be troublesome for these factors cause accidents or disruptions. The best thing you can be is understanding.

Be Safe for the Holiday

The best method for driving in Boston during the holiday season is to be alert. Be alert of the road conditions, what traffic you will deal with, where to find parking and how long you will be staying. As an out-of-stater, you can be an easy target from a native Bostonian. By following proper etiquette on the road, you will save yourself and your family the trouble of any repercussions. The holidays are meant to be a joyous experience and being negligent takes that away from most people. Be smart this holiday season but most importantly have fun.

$50 Billion Needed To Improve MBTA

$50 Billion Needed To Improve MBTA

Boston’s transportation system is not that bad. However, given that the whole system is getting older and worn-out, it is very probable that the state will need to improve the whole MBTA system in the next couple of decades.

Better City, an organization focused on economic growth projects, just released this morning a transportation financial plan. In it, Better City explained how the state would need to spend at least $50 billion in renovations by 2040.

The group called that amount of money “conservative”, noting that it could considerably go higher than that. They cited the Transportation Climate initiative as one of the main sources to ger revenue, 20% of it to be exact. They also said the state could count with a rough 15% revenue to be gathered from gas taxes.

The goal would be to provide Massachusetts with a more efficient and reliable transit system. A focus on safety is also very important, as well as a reduction of the emissions that would benefit the environment.

In order to achieve this goal, Better City broke down the $50 billion budget in three different categories.

To begin with, $10 billion should go to repair roads, highways, tunnels, and bridges. This should be accomplished by 2030, to be on schedule.

Another $10 billion is needed, also throughout the next decade, to increase the capacity of transit and roadways all across Massachusetts. This is important to connect smaller and more remote areas of the state.

Finally, the remaining $30 billion must be used to specifically address the MBTA system nationwide. This outstanding amount of money should be invested in modernizing and transforming the whole transit system by 2040.

It is also very important that a big part of those $30 billion go toward electrifying most parts of the public transportation system. This way, Massachusetts would become a greener state.

The Better City plan is not that far from becoming a reality. Just last week, the Rail Vision Advisory Committee issued its support to a $28.9 billion plan that would electrify the state’s rail system and provide trains every 15 minutes.

What do you think of this budget and measures? Do you agree with the Better City plan or do you think that money could be better placed somewhere else? Are you an MBTA user? Let us know all your thoughts in the comment section!

Big Truck Companies Vs. Small Carriers

Big Truck Companies Vs. Small Carriers

Whether you decide to work for big truck companies, or the small ones, it’s your choice. However, there are significant differences between the two. Deciding on which carrier to work for is a matter of preference. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of advantages and a few disadvantages.

Advantages of Big Truck Companies

#1. Range. When you work for a large carrier, there is potential for more work. The reason being, big truck companies typically run an assortment of freight lines in addition to having multiple divisions.   

#2. Stability. Moreover, big carriers with good reputations are much more stable than unknown small truck companies.

#3. More Equipment. Additionally, large trucking companies are outfitted with lots of equipment, from trucks to trailers, and the likes. So, there’s never really an excuse to miss a run.

#4. Convenience. Furthermore, larger carriers may have their own amenities, such as repair shops, or company accounts with repair shops, hotel perks for drivers, and truck stop incentives, just to name a few.

#5. Benefits. Lastly, the health benefit packages are also a plus.

Disadvantages of Big Truck Companies

#1. Nameless. On the other hand, working for a larger company also means you’re one among many. In most cases, no one knows your name.

#2. Lack of Appreciation. Additionally, when you’re just a number, it’s even harder to be recognized for the hard work you put in, such as great service and on-time deliveries.

Advantages of Small Truck Companies

#1. Owner Accessibility. Moreover, with smaller truck companies, if any problems arise, the owner is likely available to you. Conversely, if you’re doing a great job, the owner will most likely know as well.  

#2. Fewer Expenses. Furthermore, smaller carriers often have lower overhead costs. Therefore, they can distribute more money to their drivers.

#3. Local smaller carriers. Additionally, driving for a small local carrier that ships all over the US and/or Canada will in turn profit your local community.

#4. Better Trucks. Lastly, smaller carriers often run a fleet of trucks that are better quality than those carried by larger companies.  

Ultimately, the decision is up to you! What are some other advantages and disadvantages between the two? Comment below.
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