In this livestream, Publisher Tim Esterdahl and Managing Editor Jill Ciminillo chat with Nick Sitarski, Vice President for the Integrated Vehicle Systems division at Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) R&D, about driver aids, his role in developing them, how he got into engineering and many other topics.
In the first segment the trio spends time discussing whether driver’s aids are are making drivers stupid and which systems are overly sensitive.
In the second segment, the livestream goes through Esterdahl’s video, “Toyota Tundra Does What?!” This video digs into some of the driver aids while towing and includes a full-blown demonstration of how the truck can brake itself even when you mistakenly put full pressure on the gas pedal.
Finally, Esterdahl and Ciminillo try to get Sitarski to talk about future driver aid systems, which he tactfully dances around.
Esterdahl and Ciminillo do weekly livestreams on YouTube, which are projected out to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They alternate between Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. EST, so be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel and follow them on social media for the upcoming live episode timing and topics. You can also catch the episode as a podcast on all your favorite podcasting software — just search for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk.
Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).
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If you are a motor vehicle dealer, you likely have noticed the enduring popularity of crossovers and SUVs among consumers. As of June 2022, crossovers had the greatest market share in the light vehicle market in the U.S., accounting for 45.1% of sales. While pickups were second with 19.1% of the market, SUVs beat out passenger cars of all sizes at a 10.3% market share. Since fuel prices have been stubbornly high for months, auto dealers might wonder why these larger, less-efficient vehicles are easy to sell. Here are some reasons why SUVs and crossover sales have only increased in popularity. Even when state regulations require SUV and crossover buyers and sellers to remain in good standing with their car dealer bond and license, sales continue to soar in the CUV and SUV market. 1. Drivetrain options SUVs and crossovers typically offer more drivetrain options than sedans. Consumers can opt for front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, allowing them to better handle slick road conditions. SUVs might also offer four-wheel or rear-wheel drive for better performance. 2. Cargo space When compared to sedans, the average crossover or SUV offers more cargo space. While crossovers are smaller than SUVs, they typically provide more room to haul things than passenger cars. In contrast, most full-size SUVs tend to have enough power to tow trailers and therefore transport more cargo. 3. Passenger room Modern SUVs and crossovers typically offer more room for passengers, making them popular choices for families, especially when third-row seating is implemented. Since these vehicles also tend to have more vertical cabin space, they remain a crowd favorite for larger individuals. 4. Ease of entry and exit SUVs and crossovers remain an easy sell due in part to the aging global population. Getting in and out of crossovers and SUVs is often easier for older adults because they don’t have to sit in a lower position like in most cars. With a crossover, people can slide onto a seat instead of crouching down to get in. Additionally, the extra vertical room makes it less likely that they will strike their head on the door frame. And while some people might need to climb up to get into an SUV, it is easier for many people to do this when compared to climbing up out of a low-slung sedan. 5. Power and performance Many SUVs have more powerful engines than their sedan counterparts, with 4×4 prowess providing additional off-road perks. However, most people use these machines to drive on-road, and never take advantage of their off-road capabilities. Which is a bit of a pity in our opinion. On the upside, buyers still enjoy the performance powerful SUVs offer when overtaking other vehicles on the highway. Although crossovers do not offer as powerful of engines as their larger SUV siblings, the use of forced induction and hybrid electric power make them plenty peppy for their size. 6. Higher seating position Many people prefer crossovers and SUVs because of the higher seating position and increased visibility. While people might feel safer in an SUV or crossover than when riding in a sedan, it’s important to note that full-size SUVs are likelier to tip over when rounding curves due to their higher center of gravity and weight. Which explains why certain newer models offer things like adaptive electronic stability control and four-wheel-steering to counter this issue. Disadvantages of Crossovers and SUVs While a plethora of factors has lead consumers to buy SUVs and crossovers more than any other vehicle in recent years, these machines also come with their own disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages of SUVs and crossovers can include: • Poor fuel economy • Higher purchase cost • Higher cost for repairs and parts • More carbon emissions • Difficulty parking When consumers purchase heavier vehicles like SUVs and crossovers, fuel consumption will inevitably increase. SUVs might have significantly lower fuel economy ratings due to their larger, more powerful engines, but the push toward electric variants has begun to alleviate this worry. However, electric vehicles (EVs) typically tend to have higher purchase prices, making them unobtainable by certain buyers. In fact, the cost of SUVs and crossovers is typically higher across the board than the average coupe or sedan. And while crossovers might be less expensive than larger SUVs, they still tend to be more expensive than most sedans. This can be an issue for buyers since the average cost of a new vehicle as of July 2022 stood at a whopping $48,182. The sky-high prices of the components found on newer vehicles might place them out of the market for many buyers, especially given inflationary pressures. To put things into perspective, the average transaction costs for the four most common types of vehicles in July 2022 were as follows: • Compact cars – $26,285 • Compact crossovers- $35,323 • Electric vehicles – $66,645 • Full-size SUVs or crossovers – $73,934 With a current inflation rate of 8.2%, it is easy to understand how these prices force many potential buyers out of the market, as their dollars simply don’t stretch as far as they used to. Bulkier, heavier vehicles also do not have the same degree of maneuverability in traffic as sedans offer. When vehicles are heavier, they also place more strain on brakes and other parts, meaning that consumers might have to replace these components more frequently. Finally, SUVs and crossovers often produce more carbon emissions than sedans because of their larger engines. And unless they are an EV or a hybrid of some sort, they also tend to suffer from reduced fuel economy ratings. Despite these disadvantages, the majority of consumers still opt to purchase SUVs and crossovers. High prices might drive some buyers to purchase used SUVs or crossovers, while others might choose to lease instead of buy. While it might seem easier to sell crossovers and SUVs in the current market, auto dealers need to remember that increasing inflation and a potential recession could change everything overnight. Keeping on top of market trends and understanding the needs of customers can […]
The manufacturing industry is one of the riskiest industries in which to work. Workers in automotive plants risk suffering safety related injuries from dangers like electricity, heavy machinery, heights, and extreme temperatures. Adequate safety measures and training can lessen these hazards, thus motivating employees to prioritize workplace safety. Here are a few of the top ways to increase worker safety at automotive plants. Conduct training on safe practices and hazard areas First, it’s important to ensure that all employees receive training before starting their jobs. Training should include the proper use of the tools and equipment, correct implementation and care of safety gear, the dangers present at a set workplace, and how to avoid injuries. These precautions will help employees stay safe and remain productive over time. Workers will also need subsequent training on any new procedures, rules, and equipment after their jobs commence. Establishing a training plan that includes a variety of exercises, an provides training via various media, such as videos and audio narratives will help reinforce these concepts. Cultivate a workplace culture of safety Workers are at the core of any successful factory safety program. Your business must look after its workers while ensuring they look after one another and themselves. To create a work culture built upon safety, you must assess your company’s current ideals, identify areas for improvement, and instill the significance of safety in all employees. Encourage workers to report any unsafe conditions to their superiors. This will not only help expose any overlooked issues, but cultivate a safe and productive work environment for everyone within the factory. Most employees will opt to put safety knowledge into practice if there is a strong culture surrounding this core belief in the workplace, accompanied by effective safety communication, and strong leadership. Perform frequent safety audits and inspections The cornerstones of manufacturing safety programs are audits and inspections. Make your workplace safer, more effective, and compliant with state and federal health and safety standards by assessing your facilities, personnel, and procedures. Focus on ergonomics Workplace injuries are significantly more common as a result of ergonomics. A considerable amount of bending and lifting is necessary due to working alongside heavy machinery and with large tools in industrial and manufacturing sites. For instance, if your staff is unaware of the proper lifting and bending techniques, they will likely develop musculoskeletal diseases. These injuries, also known as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), are frequently brought on by awkward or challenging maneuvers that put undue strain on a person’s muscles. Employees who receive training and education on typical ergonomic risk factors, such as twisting the torso, are better able to prevent muscle strain and damage that could result in musculoskeletal injuries. Plant managers can also purchase robotics to automate tedious operations. Collaborative robots can undertake challenging tasks, lower the risk of accidents, and work well with employees. Emphasis ergonomics, utilize robotics, and provide your employees with sufficient safety training. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) Every manufacturing plant needs safety equipment. Without PPE, employees put their safety and the safety of others at risk. Naturally, different workplaces require separate forms of PPE, depending upon the facility’s equipment. For instance, employees who use welding equipment, or operate close to welders must wear rubber-soled safety shoes, respirators, and heat-resistant clothes, as well as eye and facial protection. This gear will safeguard them from the dangers associated with welding, including electricity, heat, and intense light. Additionally, noise can harm worker safety. The right type of noise reduction equipment will eliminate the risk of hearing damage, which occurs when noise levels become too high over prolonged periods, which is why it’s important to be familiar with NRR. What is NRR? “Noise Reduction Ratings” can vary depending on decibels. NRR can help you find the best noise reduction equipment. Both PPE utilization, and instructions on its effective use should be provided on-site by managers to identify patterns in PPE misusage or non-usage across the workplace. Upgrade plant layout and mitigate common safety threats Modernizing the layout of a factory can reduce a multitude of safety risks. Drip pans, non-slip flooring, and various types of handrails can reduce falls. Employees will also have ample room to function effectively if work areas and emergency exits are clear of obstructions. Making space for necessary controls and shutoffs will also make accessibility a cinch. Another aspect of a safe layout is ensuring that toxic, flammable, or hazardous goods are stored in an ideal locale. Dust and dangerous particulate matter, such as silica dust, can result in serious long-term health issues. These hazards should be controlled through adequate ventilation and appliances like industrial vacuums. Managers can track the amount of particulate matter in plant air by using instruments like air quality monitors and dust sensors. Replace filters, request the use of air purification tools or vacuums, and arrange for an HVAC system assessment if the air quality starts to degrade. Don’t overwork your employees Exhaustion ruins concentration. Encourage your automotive plant employees to rest at schedules times throughout the day to remain focused. Managers should also consider implementing a fatigue management program that lets employees take time off when they need to recover,. This reduces the risk of accidents, financial losses, and the need for new equipment or repairs. Manage safety incidents and issues quickly Create a safety incident management system that has standardized response procedures that are already in place. Here, a safety leadership team guides the company’s overall efforts. This may include representatives from all departments, including human resources, production managers, supervisors, and personnel. This team must keep abreast of all issues and communicate with everyone involved in the production process. If an incident does occur in the factory, all employees should follow the proper safety protocol, like stopping a production line or isolating a dangerous area. Afterward, meeting with the safety leadership team will allow you to change your work practices and review how to prevent similar incidents from happening again. Prevention is key. Everything else is a reaction. Final […]
A truck crash is a serious matter. The sheer size and weight of a commercial truck puts the driver of a smaller vehicle at a great disadvantage. Thus causing more damage, and far more severe injuries. Yet, the number of larger trucks on the roads today somehow seems to have increased, and so too have the speeds at which they travel. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck crash, one of the first things you should do after getting a full medical checkup is reach out to a New York City truck accident attorney. You have the right to recover compensation from the liable party, and the best way to obtain it is with legal representation. And here’s how… Are truck drivers responsible for damages when there is an incident? When a truck driver’s negligence causes an collision, they are responsible. In some cases, the company the driver works for may also be found liable. However, the drivers and the trucking companies they work for carry commercial liability insurance. This means that the insurance company would have to be the one that pays for the damages. To protect their interests, these insurance companies will do everything in their power to find a way to deny the claim, or reduce the amount that they are required to pay out for damages and losses. That is why it is essential to have an aggressive lawyer on your side. Otherwise, you may be forced to accept a low offer when the case is closed. Are there other parties who might be responsible for a truck accident? Besides the truck driver and the company they work for, other entities can be held legally responsible for a truck crash or incident. These include: The manufacturer of the vehicle or its equipment Any vendor who serves the truck company The owner of the freight being transported Whoever loaded the truck Those responsible for the maintenance of the truck Local governments or contractors responsible for maintaining and managing the roadways Any one of these parties can be held liable when there is a truck crash. A lawyer specializing in these sorts of scenarios can gather the necessary evidence to uncover who might be liable, and hold them legally responsible for their actions. How is fault determined in truck crash cases? Different kinds of evidence can be used to determine liability after a truck crash. Some evidence may include: Photographs or videos from the scene of the incident Police reports Medical records Examination of the damage that the truck and other vehicles sustained Driver’s logs Recordings from devices within the truck In some cases, your lawyer may consider it necessary to call upon a collision reconstruction specialist to uncover crucial forensic evidence that corroborates your account of the collision. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, truck driver logs must show the time spent driving. Your lawyer may discover that the driver had been on the road for longer than they should have. The trucking company also has records about the truck itself and the maintenance it has received, how much weight it can carry, the weight of the cargo, and other important evidence to back up your claim. What are the most common causes of truck accidents? The truck driver may be found to have been negligent if they engaged in any of the following actions: Excessive speed Fatigued driving Texting while driving Driving and eating/drinking Using alcohol or drugs while driving Other causes that may correlate or cause a truck crash may be defective components, insufficient routine maintenance, overloaded cargo, or a load that was not tied down appropriately. The truck may also experience a tire blowout, brake system failure, steering issues, or other mechanical problems. When multiple parties contribute to a crash, your lawyer can help determine who was responsible, which may result in the need to file multiple claims for compensation. Whatever the case, having a good lawyer that specializes in truck collision scenarios is vital to your safety and success.
When you take a look at your toolbox, what do you see? There are probably plenty of exceptional mechanic tools in your toolbox, such as ratchets, torque wrenches, and impact drivers. However, it can be incredibly frustrating when the repair-related truck and SUV gear you need is missing. It is imperative that you think carefully about what is in your toolbox, and what tools you might require for your next project. Take a look at the list below, because these tools should be in your toolbox, or already are, and you just can’t find them. 1. A hand saw You probably have a utility knife that you use to cut through certain materials, but what happens if you need to cut through something a bit thicker or sturdier? A hand saw can come in an array of shapes and sizes and can be used to make small cuts quickly. For example, you might be interested in a traditional hand saw, which has a blade that is approximately 2 feet long. Whereas a coping saw will be very thin, with a narrow blade that is attached at a right angle. And then there’s the old-fashioned hacksaw, which is usually used to cut through plastic and metal. Whatever you choose, make sure the saw you put in your toolbox is suitable for the task at hand. 2. Tape measure There is a saying that you have to measure twice and cut once, so make sure you have a tape measure available. Although a digital device will get the job done, a tape measure still has its place, especially since you won’t need multiple people to take a measurement. Try to avoid using fabric tape, as it will eventually stretch over time, rendering it inaccurate. Furthermore, fabric tape is a hassle to store properly and is typically not magnetized like a measuring tape. 3. An old-fashioned level… with a laser! An old-fashioned level is also important to have when amassing the contents of a toolbox. You might be tempted to use the app on your phone as a level, but an old-fashioned level is always going to be more accurate. Extremely easy to use, this makes properly hanging picture frames a cinch, especially when outfitted with a laser level. Although it may seem like a hassle to use at first, laser levels are incredibly accurate and can reduce your chances of making a mistake. 4. Sandpaper There are a lot of people who overlook sandpaper as a possible tool, but there is nothing wrong with cramming a few pieces into your toolbox. If the wall looks a little bit uneven, or if you have applied filler prior to some paint repair, you will want to smooth it out properly during the prep stage. Select a variety of different types of sandpaper in different grit levels, as it will not take up that much more additional space inside your toolbox. 5. Safety goggles and masks Even though they might not be considered tools by some, masks and goggles are very important for DIY work. Safety should always be at the top of your priority list when working with tools, for nothing ruins the day like a trip down to the emergency room. Airborne debris may seem harmless, but it can do a real number on your eyes and lungs, especially after repeated exposure. A few more must-have tools for your toolbox Your toolbox is only so large, so you need to make sure you have the right tools on hand. When you realize that you are missing a tool, be sure to add it to your toolbox. The trick is evaluating the different options in front of you and then deciding which tool is ideal for the project at hand. Personal preference also plays a factor, so evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each option before you decide which tools you plan to place inside your toolbox.
As the holiday shopping season pulls in with all of the torque of a turbo-diesel towing rig, truck and SUV owners turn toward thoughts of gift-giving and security. Not just for those precious presents mind you. But the securing of everyday items inside the vehicles tested and reviewed here on PUTT. In an effort to reduce the number of gifts that are “eventually relegated to the back of the closet or re-gifted later,” Tuffy Security Products has released its holiday buying catalog. Hardcore storage solutions that are engineered and built for “serious use.” Currently, the entire line of Tuffy Security Products is 11% off sitewide. Making this protective portfolio one of the most appealing security solutions on the market. Security solutions for any sleigh Starting things off is Tuffy’s line of reinforced storage boxes, which are designed to fit under the seats of a slew of vehicles. There is also a selection of portable safes, security gloveboxes, center console inserts, and specialty lockboxes constructed for safe firearm transportation on sale this holiday season. Tuffy’s laptop security lockbox has also been selected as a top shopping pick and is currently listed at 11% off on the company’s website. An ideal gift for individuals who must remain connected to their PC or Mac at all times. Measuring 18- 5/16 inches wide, 5 ¼ inches deep, and 14 ¼ inches across Tuffy’s Laptop Security Lockbox comes loaded with both 1-inch and 2-inch thick foam lining. Further protection is provided by Tuffy’s own Pry-Guard locking system, with 1/8 inch thick steel components and 10 tumbler double-bitted key finishing things off. Sitting 14 1/8 inches long, 10 5/8 inches wide, and 1 ¾ inch in height, Tuffy’s Tablet Safe is sure to be the next big item on everyone’s truck security shopping list this season. Intended for tablets, the slim 2 1/2 inches height of this security box comes packed with low-density foam inside, and a three-digit keyless combination lock outside. An additional dual-point steel cam comes standard for added security, which comes mounted above the exterior lid surface for easy access. All told, this slim locker weighs less than 7 pounds and comes with a 2-foot steel lock cable. A set of pre-drilled holes come standard to allow easy mounting on solid surfaces. And then there are the Portable Safe solutions from Tuffy. At just a fuzz under 3 pounds per unit, these portable safes make for an outstanding lockbox gift for firearm owners, as well as those who routinely transport small valuables. At just 9 ¾ inches long, 6 ½ inches wide, and 1 4/5 inches in height, this slim security option is about as low-profile as it gets. Welded from solid steel, this locking storage box secures and protects, all while still being able to be easily carried by hand, or stored on a shelf somewhere out of sight. The inside compartment of these pint-sized safes comes lined with a low-density foam to protect their contents, and is finished with compression bumpers to keep the lid vibration-free once closed. A three-digit combination lock with a two-point steel cam provides access and peace of mind against intruders. Tuffy gift ideas for everyone In addition, Tuffy Security Products offers a wide range of other durable, dependable security options for those on your holiday shopping list. From the traveling sales professional and tech connected, to the college student and outdoor explorer, Tuffy Security Products are sure to surprise and safeguard the truck and SUV driver in your life this holiday season. Protecting those valuable gifts is what this North American-made brand is all about.
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