A rather odd story has been unfolding over the last few days involving Ford Motor Company, EPA MPG testing, math and the 2019 Ford Ranger.
The story broke on Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 with Ford announcing it was voluntarily investigating employee concerns over the accuracy of vehicle fuel economy and emissions testing procedures according to AutoNews.com.
The news was the concerns weren’t related to any sort of so-called defeat devices aimed at getting around EPA testing, rather it was about “‘incorrect calculations were used to translate test results into the mileage and emissions data submitted to regulators,” Kimberly Pittel, Ford’s group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, told Reuters.
These incorrect calculations were raised last fall and Ford said it was working to making changes in its process to develop fuel economy and emissions figures which include “engineering, technical and governance components.”
Naturally, this kind of news got everyone fired up especially after the VW dieselgate of just a few years ago and Ford’s own 2013 re-certification of its C-Max hybrid car which had to be restated at 7 MPG below its initial MPG estimates.
Then, one day later on Friday, AutoNews.com ran another story pointing out it could simply be a mathematical error causing all the issues.
John German, an independent consultant who recently left the International Council on Clean Transportation and a key player in exposing VW’s cheating scandal, it is likely “road load” which is to blame. Road load is industry jargon for items like friction, weight and aerodynamics. These factors are hard for automakers to estimate according to German.
It also sounds like a simple mathematical mistake by an engineer which lead to all of this hubbub.
“It sounds like somebody messed up,” German told AutoNews. “But if Ford voluntarily came forward and will revise CO2 emissions calculations and mileage values, chances are there won’t even be any fines.”
No fines perhaps, but probably frustrated consumers especially Ford Ranger buyers. Pittel said the investigation has the new mid-size pickup in its cross hairs and expects data back next week to see how far off or close they are to the actual reported MPG figures.
Until they have this data, Ford won’t know if they will have to change their advertised MPG numbers. Right now, Ford has a best in class 26 MPG rating for highway (21 city/ 23 combined) which is 3 MPG better than the perennial sales king, Toyota Tacoma.
According to early Fuelly.com numbers, the 2019 Ford Ranger is currently returning 1 MPG less in combined. This could simply be oddity though since the data set is small and the pickups are still getting broken in.
It will be interesting to watch as things unfold. For now, there should be an asterisk next to the Ford Ranger’s MPG numbers until this all gets sorted out.
Ford’s Official Statement
FORD INVESTIGATING PROCESS FOR U.S. EMISSIONS CERTIFICATION CONCERNING ROAD LOAD
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 21, 2019 – The following can be attributed to Kim Pittel, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company:
“In September, a handful of employees raised a concern through our Speak Up employee reporting channel regarding the analytical modeling that is part of our U.S. fuel economy and emissions compliance process.
At Ford, we believe that trust in our brand is earned by acting with integrity and transparency. As part of this, we have a process for looking at how we perform and behave in our broad and complex company.
As a result of the concern, we have taken a number of actions. Specifically:
We have hired an outside firm to conduct an investigation into the vehicle road load specifications used in our testing and applications to certify emissions and fuel economy.Road load is a vehicle-specific resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing, including for fuel economy ratings and emissions certifications. Road load is established through engineering models that are validated through vehicle testing, including physical track tests referred to as coastdown testing.
Ford has retained independent industry technical experts as part of our investigation team.
We are hiring an independent lab to conduct further coastdown testing as part of our investigation.
Ford also is evaluating potential changes to our road-load modeling process, including engineering, technical and governance components.
This week, we voluntarily shared these potential concerns with Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board officials.
The investigation and potential concerns do not involve the use of defeat devices in our products. At this time, there’s been no determination that this affects Ford’s fuel economy labels or emissions certifications.
We plan to work with regulators and the independent lab to complete a technical review. As part of our review, we have identified potential concerns with how we calculate road load. The first vehicle we are evaluating is the 2019 Ranger; we are assessing additional vehicles as well.
As always, we strive to be transparent with our customers, employees, dealers, shareholders and other stakeholders. We understand how important it is to all audiences that we thoroughly yet swiftly complete this investigation.”
Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.
A good set of heavy-duty drawers slides can be a huge help when those garage cabinets get loaded down with tools and gear. But whereas a solid set of heavy duty drawer slides should always rely upon durable materials to outlast their lighter, flimsier alternatives, there is much more to consider than the metals used in these often overlooked internal cabinet components. Here are eight options to seriously consider if you feel that your garage storage solutions deserve the best drawer slides on the market. All of the following products come constructed from solid metal materials, are engineered to work with virtually any size garage door or pull-down cabinet and are backed by outstanding reviews. 1. TCH Hardware 250 heavy duty drawer slides This heavy-duty drawer slide from TCH Hardware is constructed from high-quality materials and is designed to be a sliding unit for large drawers and cabinets. The dimensions of this slide are 40-inches long by 1.25-inches wide by 3.75-inches tall, which makes it compatible with most garage door sizes. This heavy-duty drawer slide is suitable for almost any garage need, as it features a load rating of 250-pounds and comes in both standard and metric measurements. Definitely a solid first choice for those requiring a reliable heavy-duty drawer slider. 2. Blum Tandem 125 Another huge heavy-duty drawer slide is the Blum Tandem 125. This drawer slide is a little longer than the first option on today’s list, and features a load capacity of 125-pounds. Similar to the way in which slides are made for the beds of heavy-duty trucks, this design makes for a solid option if extended length and moderate weight are your primary concern. Comes in both standard and metric measurements. 3. Hettich HD drawer slides Hettich HD drawer slide runners come in a variety of grades, with heavy duty versions supporting a load rating that is far beyond the average. While the dimensions of this heavy-duty drawer slide are 39-inches long by 1-inch wide by 3.25-inches tall (figures that make it compatible with most garage doors and cabinets), its impressive 500-pound load rating is what really steals the show. 4. Vadania 1/2-inch side clearance heavy-duty slide The Vadania 1/2-inch Side Clearance Heavy-Duty Slide is another good drawer slide option. This particular heavy-duty drawer slide is made with an aluminum frame for easier installation and corrosion resistance, and can be fitted with a multitude of accessories, including locks, wheels and more. 5. Vadania VD2576 locking slides The Vadania VD2576 heavy-duty drawer slide is is far beefier than its lighter aluminum brethren. Key features include a lock on the side to keep the drawer from collapsing under its own weight, dimensions of 20 to 60-inches long by 3-inches wide that permit impressive access, and a max load rating of 485-pounds all make their mark. 6. Rock Hardware 16 millimeter heavy-duty drawer slide The Rock Hardware 16 millimeter drawer slide is a popular option among garage door owners due to its high load rating and “no-slam” bumpers. It can hold up to 500-pounds, which is ideal for tool-oriented garage owners. This heavy-duty drawer slide is made with an aluminum frame and comes in standard and metric measurements. 7. Accuride 12- to 60-inch heavy-duty drawer slides Accuride’s 12- to 60-inch heavy-duty drawer slides are another excellent option for those needing extreme strength. Constructed entirely from a steel frame, these units can hold anything a cabinet throws at them, with a whopping 600-pound weight limit being the final tally. In addition, these drawer slides are built with a reversible lock on each side, both of which can be unlocked to save space. The dimensions of this heavy-duty drawer slide are 22-inches long by 1-inch wide by 4-inches tall. 8. Lontan 4502S3 heavy duty soft close slides Lontan 4502S3 heavy duty soft close slides are another excellent option if you are looking for a drawer slide, but don’t fancy a slamming sound every time it closes. These drawer slides come with a soft close feature, which prevents the door from slamming, while easing open for smooth access. Constructed from materials that are intended to last a lifetime, this drawer slide can handle up to 100-pounds, making it the ideal option for slimmer top-mounted drawers and pull-down units. The bottom line In conclusion, there are many options to consider when shopping for drawer slides. Fortunately, every drawer slide on today’s list offers outstanding reliability, durability, longevity and practicality. So shop around, see what works best for your needs, and try to keep those digits out of the way when it comes time to close that drawer or garage door!
If you’ve been the victim of a truck crash, you know it was one of the most terrifying experiences of your life. This is the case for most truck collision victims. Following the incident, they must try to heal from severe injuries, extensive medical expenses, lost wages, pain and and a lengthy recovery period. As a victim, worrying about these impacts on your life can impact your recovery. If you have suffered injuries in a truck crash, it is imperative to speak to a an attorney right away. For starters, your truck accident attorney will need to find as much evidence as possible to prove the liable party. These claims can be highly complicated, as multiple parties can be at fault. However, truck collision claims usually begin with an attorney investigating the factors leading to your injuries. What to know about truck crash investigations Generally, in a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was negligent and that any injuries the plaintiff has suffered were caused by the truck company’s negligence. When it comes to running a trucking investigation, the most common steps include: Collection of evidence: this includes taking photos of the scene, injuries, and damage to reviewing medical records. Examining the truck driver and the trucking company: an attorney will analyze the truck driver’s logbooks, personnel file (searching for potential safety violations), and the trucker’s driving record. Interviewing witnesses: this step involves identifying and questioning the witnesses of the incident, the other drivers involved in the crash, and first responders. Analyzing the truck’s data recorder: your attorney may need to subpoena these records. Expert witnesses: the attorney will consult various experts, such as medical providers, crash reconstruction experts, healthcare providers, and even forensic toxicologists. Truck examination: This is a review of the vehicle to check whether a piece of equipment was defective or failed. Some common causes of truck crashes Following the truck crash, law enforcement officials must take statements from all witnesses and investigate the truck. Then, the truck driver must respond to several questions to identify what has led to the incident. These are most commonly associated with: Design flaws Poor truck maintenance Unsafe delivery requirements Negligent driving Negligent hiring processes Failed truck parts Why do you need an attorney after a truck collision? Truck drivers are highly regulated, and in addition to the Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) required to operate these large vehicles, many have additional certifications to carry specific cargo and use certain vehicles. While these licenses and certifications are a great indication that the driver is safe and responsible, the unfortunate reality is that no amount of regulation will ever guarantee that a truck driver will not cause a crash. Once injured in a trucking collision, your life can be turned upside down due to the devastating effects on you and your family. Truck crashes usually lead to long-term complications, and you may need to deal with medical bills, lost work time, or mental and financial stresses. It is critical to hire a top-rated accident attorney if involved in a crash. The trucking company may have a team of lawyers, so they will do whatever it takes to minimize the trucking company’s liability. Hiring the right legal team that will aggressively fight for your rights might change the course of your truck-related case. A CDL oriented attorney will conduct an in-depth investigation to gather the evidence and information needed to build a solid case.
Off-road adventures are an international endeavor, and without the right 4×4 camping gear, it can turn an overlanding trip into a dangerous endeavor. Just take Australia for instance. Every year, droves of people immerse themselves in Australia’s natural beauty, looking to make the most of its highly coveted weather. But before the adventure begins, you’d better start shopping for some camping gear. For the seasoned camping veteran, most of the stuff you’ll need will already be set in place. But for newbies and anyone thinking of lengthy off-road journeys deep in the desert, both a lot more equipment and preparation are involved. Getting there means having a decent 4×4. Not necessarily a hardcore truck you’ve just bought brand-new at the dealer, but a reliable rig in any case. Prepare your vehicle accordingly If camping in more remote areas, have your 4WD SUV or pickup truck fitted with basic vehicle protection. Things like bull bars, skid plates and rock sliders are all great items to add to that off-road shopping list. You’ll also need more traction, so look for off-roading tires with sand/snow ratings and good reviews. Lift kits, long-range tanks, diff breathers and other off-roading 4×4 gear may also need to be put into play, all depending upon the terrain you plan on traversing, of course. But spending a significant amount of time away from civilization also means having a self-sufficient infrastructure in place. Adequate amounts of water, food and fuel for more than your planned length of stay is vital. You don’t want to get stranded somewhere and not have enough supplies to survive an extra night or two. You’re also going to need to have all the necessary 4×4 camping items to prepare meals, enjoy the scenery in comfort, and get a good night’s sleep. Here are some essentials for making that camping getaway truly great. Shelter and furniture A tent should be the first thing on your list. One that’s right for the number of people in your group, and not too big or too small. Pole tents are the most common, but you can also use your 4×4’s roof rack to pitch a rooftop tent. Go for tents that are well made, hold up against the elements, and provide a good night’s sleep. Also, consider something that’s easy to set up. Extra poles, pegs, rope and a mallet come in handy, too. Of course, you’ll want some shade, and an awning does this best. Different shapes, like side, wing or wrap-around awnings can give the additional space you need outdoors. You can also use screens as windbreakers or for added privacy in cramped campsites. To keep your feet dry, get some comfortable, non-slip matting that is also eco-friendly toward the terrain below. In addition, spend a few dollars on sturdy chairs with good padding, and preferably constructed from materials that won’t soak up rainwater easily. Lightweight folding chairs don’t take up a ton of space, and tend to be fast-drying. Accompanying tables should be the right size, with bigger tables working best under awnings, while smaller tables serve as a platform for stacking goodies like kettles, ovens and cooking utensils. Sleeping Sleeping bags are synonymous with camping. Look for quality, weatherproof ripstop cotton and canvas combos that are also comfy and warm. If traveling with kids or teens, be sure that their sleeping bags are the right size and offer enough warmth. For more comfort, inflatable mattresses will get you dozing in no time, just remember that 12V compressor pump. Pillows, sheets, and blankets are a given, just be sure to pack a few extra if you’re camping during the cooler months. Cooking and eating If you don’t have that extra table, get a fold-out camp cupboard instead. The shelves can hold pans, pots, plates and everything else you need in one tidy location, and often come with a durable wooden top for preparing meals. And while a cooler may sound convenient for shorter trips, having a dedicated 12V portable fridge is the way to go. A separate BBQ can be redundant in organized campgrounds, but it’s nice having one close by for when it’s time to grill solo. If you don’t have a dedicated power supply running on panels, a gas stove is another solid cooking alternative. Just make sure to stock up on gas bottles in the right size beforehand. Also consider basic cooking utensils, like tongs, knives, salad spoons, can openers, peelers, pans and pots as well as cutlery, bowls, plates, cups and glasses. Some stores have these in camping packs intended serve anywhere from two to eight campers. Other items here include kettles, cutting boards and water jugs. Additionally, roof carrier mounted water jugs with spigots will allow easier clean up and provide extra fresh water. As for food, which tends to be based around personal preference, items like non-perishable canned goods should always be packed, along with fresh produce, some protein for grilling, and grains for cooking. Coffee and tea, condiments, drinking water and some suds never hurt either. Lights Being able to see at night means more enjoyable moments as well as increased safety. With a separate power supply, campers can light up both indoor and outdoor areas with lanterns, flood lights and light strips. Lights come in different brightness levels and different color temperatures to create either a relaxing camping vibe or a brilliantly illuminated site. You can also combine these with smaller reading lights with rechargeable batteries or USB port plugs, as well as a series of flashlights, with head-mounted units being the most practical. Personal hygiene, cleaning items and general safety Certain off-grid situations call for a camp toilet, as portable units offer an inexpensive way to keep things tidy. Tent showers are also a must, with separate standalone pop-up variants and roof rack mounted versions being the most common. You’ll also need toiletries like soap and shampoo, separate swimming and shower towels, tablecloths and wipes, disinfectant and toilet paper. Disposable garbage bags and bins to […]
It’s no secret that pickup trucks are becoming one of America’s favorite modes of automotive transportation. Consider their utilitarian potential, power, 4×4 performance perks and, in recent years, opulence and efficiency, and it becomes obvious why modern pickup trucks are so popular. But not everyone wants to (or is able to) drive a brand-new truck. And do you know what? That’s perfectly fine. Whether you own a scrappy Chevy C-10 farm truck, or have your eyes on a fresh Ford F-Series truck, it’s always best to familiarize yourself with the nuances of piloting these machines. It may still have many of the same core components as a passenger car, but piloting a pickup truck provides its own unique considerations and challenges. In this post, you’ll discover some useful tips for first-time pickup truck drivers, as well as a handful of reminders for veteran pickup owners. Even the best of us forget these practical automobiles do have their own inherent downsides. Acknowledge the weight Unless you’re behind the wheel of a Ford Maverick, a burly, full-size pickup truck will weigh a lot more than the average passenger car. The weight further increases when you are hauling goods in the truck bed or if the second row is loaded with passengers. For first-time truck drivers, the sheer curb weight of the vehicle itself can be a bit daunting, and even dangerous. Brake on time The weight of a full-size truck influences how the brakes function, so coming to a complete halt can be considerably lengthier than in, say, a low-slung sports car. You’ll want to start braking sooner, especially when the bed is loaded down or if you are traversing a steep descent. This is why knowing how to properly downshift matters, as it not only controls vehicle speed but also eases the strain on brake components. Over the years there have been countless cases of people rear-ending the car in front of them or unintentionally running a red light because they did not begin braking soon enough in their pickup truck. Fortunately, nowadays you can get things like an app for fighting tickets, for when an unfair traffic ticket has been issued. Go easy on the gas Similar to braking, you also have to be careful with acceleration. While the advent of electrically assisted motors and EV options have helped offset some of the pain people feel at the pump, the vast majority of pickups still sip crude. Due to a combination of curb weight and thirsty, larger engines, going easy on the gas is essential for efficient pickup truck operations. Use your mirrors, but be wary of them as well Using your mirrors is essential for safely piloting any form of motor vehicle, and is even more vital when driving a pickup truck for the first time. As soon as you get into the truck, make sure your rearview and side mirrors are properly adjusted so you can get a good view of your surroundings. If you happen to be rolling in a rig with extended or oversized side mirrors, check to see if they can slide or fold in, as this enhanced field of vision can also cause you to accidentally side-swipe something or someone. Beware of blind spots While pickup trucks offer countless advantages, the issue of blind spots tends to be one of the most common complaints. Sure, 360-degree cameras and hill-descent undercarriage monitoring certainly help, as do those aforementioned large side mirrors. But even then, there’s a lot that cannot be monitored at all times, especially when traveling at higher speeds. Turn carefully Taking a sharp turn with a pickup truck can be tricky. First of all, we suggest that you slow down to make the curve more manageable, and remember you will likely need considerably more space and patience to safely get the truck around the corner. Keep the length of the vehicle in perspective at all times, give yourself additional space for a margin of error, and turn slowly. One of the best ways to get good at this is by practicing multi-point turns in an empty parking lot. You can also install tow mirrors on your truck to make turning and reversing easier. Reverse cautiously Just like turning, reversing a large pickup truck can pose quite the challenge for first-time drivers. If the vehicle does not have a backup camera of some sort, don’t hesitate to hang your head out the window while reversing, as images in the rearview and sideview mirrors can be deceiving. Just like when turning, take your time, and when in doubt ask a bystander for assistance. Asking someone to be your spotter may be embarrassing, but it’s not nearly as embarrassing (or expensive) as backing into something. Practice, practice, practice… As with most things in life, practice truly does make perfect. If you want to master safely and successfully driving a pickup truck, you are going to need to log some windshield time. Fortunately, for those with zero truck driving experience, driving classes for first-time large pickup owners are available. That or call up your cool aunt or uncle for a few driving tips before hitting a vacant parking lot. Parting pickup truck pointers It’s no secret that a pickup truck takes up space, both physically and visually. Being that this form of motor vehicle is no longer reserved just for agriculture and job sites, the need to know how to properly operate them is increasingly vital. Who said you couldn’t enjoy the practicality of a pickup truck in the city? Whether you find yourself frequently requiring the need of a truck bed, or merely enjoy embarking upon an off-road adventure, pickup trucks remain an excellent investment.
Ever seen a paint touch-up job that looks worse than the paint scratch that surely resides underneath it? Splattering a splash of spray paint over a scratch and calling it a day is never going to cut the kimchi because a rushed paint repair job never turns out right. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take your ride to a body shop either. The trick to a properly repaired and paint-corrected surface imperfection lies in the blending, and yes, DIYers can do this on their own. Blending paint requires a two-step process to encourage a seamless-looking fix. It’s by no means rocket science, but a method that does require some patience and a gentle approach. Thanks to the advent of modern aerosol paints, products from companies like AutomotiveTouchup have been able to give even the most inexperienced DIYer the ability to get professional-looking results. But before you even begin your body-matched paint repair procedure, you’ll first need to snag some supplies. While there are a slew of tools and materials you can use to repair an automotive paint scratch, the use of 600 and 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper, a sanding block, painter’s tape, masking paper, prep wipes and a precision-matched paint and clear coat are the most widely utilized. By using these easily obtainable and inexpensive items, you can mask even the most unsightly surface scratch. Here’s how you can accomplish this straightforward DIY repair on your own over the course of an afternoon… Step 1: Scrape down that scratch To start, you’ll need to minimize the depth of the scratch by doing a bit of light sanding. This will not only make the scratch less notable, but it will also help the paint blend into its surroundings. To blend in a surface paint scratch, you’ll need to do a little light sanding with first a 600 grit piece of sandpaper, followed by a dash of 1000 grit wet sanding action. Simply cut a piece of sandpaper so that it fits your sanding block and attach it. Next, fill a clean spray bottle with water and spray the sandpaper until it is thoroughly saturated. Spray the area to be sanded and while it is still dripping wet, lay the sanding block flat across the scratched surface. Gently move the sandpaper back and forth over the scratch in a wiping motion, applying just enough pressure so that the sanding block and sandpaper barely touch the surface. Frequently spraying the area with water will help keep the sandpaper from developing any build-up, and will keep that surface adequately lubricated. Don’t be afraid to sand outside of the scratch, as it is all going to get coated with paint anyways. Step 2: Keep calm, sand on, inspect regularly and prep for paint Checking your progress after each pass, you will begin to notice that your hard work has begun to sand down the scratch. Once the scratch reaches a point where it is even with the rest of the paintwork around it, it’s time to shift shears into the next phase. The trick here is knowing when to call it quits, because the last thing you want is to expose bare metal, and that requires applying primer. You can check your progress by rubbing your fingers over the sanded area until you can’t feel any bumps or ridges. When the surface feels devoid of physical damage, clean the entire panel around the repair with clean water and, once dry, hit the area with some isopropyl alcohol and a fresh microfiber cloth for decontamination purposes. From there you can prepare for paint. We suggest that you use automotive-approved masking tape and overspray paper to prevent any unwelcome “whoopsies.” Just be sure to leave a fairly wide area around the repair site you are tackling, for you will need to be able to blend the new paint with the existing top coat. Step 3: Paint blend like a boss When it comes to blending a layer of spray paint into an existing color coat, be sure to hold the aerosol can about 6 to 8 inches from the surface. Utilizing a steady motion, spray horizontally, allowing an overlap of about an inch or so to form on the left side. Release the spray tip and make your next pass, pushing to the right in one continuous motion until you pass the repair area. Repeat this process several times until the entirety of the repair space is covered. Just be sure that you allow ample room for the freshly applied coat of paint to blend with its surroundings. When satisfied with your work, remove the tape and masking paper before the paint dries, and allow the surface to dry for at least an hour. Step 4: Clear coat for all the right reasons After the color coat has dried, you can apply a layer of clear coat from AutomotiveTouchup. This invisible top layer not only serves as a protective shield against the elements but also is specially formulated to bring out the maximum amount of luster and shine from the pigments packed within the brand’s portfolio of colors. Just remember to slap some fresh masking tape and masking paper to the area first, wipe the area down with isopropyl alcohol, and allow it ample room to dry. To apply a clear coat, simply spray it on in the same fashion as you did with the aforementioned aerosol can, always using a left-to-right motion. The only difference is that this time around is that you will need to utilize a continuous spray technique instead of light coats. This will allow you to build up a more notable shell of clear coat that spans well past all sides of the repair area. It may seem overkill, but this helps blend the area into the existing paint job, which should become obvious after several coats. When you are satisfied with the result, remove the tape and masking paper and allow your handiwork to dry thoroughly. A good rule of wrench […]