Imagine lining up the trailer to your truck with just a push of a button. Sound far fetched? That’s exactly what the Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist feature does and it is pretty incredible.
The Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist operates with a push of a trailer backup button allowing the driver to be hands-free and foot-free while the truck backs into position. This new technology was demonstrated at the 2023 New York International Auto Show.
The system uses the truck’s rear camera and radar along with artificial intelligence to align the truck with the trailer.
Once the truck is in position, the driver pushes a button and the truck moves backward towards the trailer.
As it nears the trailer, the truck stops to double check with the driver the trailer height is in the right position before going back any further. This helps prevent smacking into the tailgate or bumper with the trailer.
After the driver hits ok, the truck finishes backing up, puts the truck into park and the driver can then get out and lower the trailer onto the receiver hitch ball.
It is a pretty slick operation as shown in the Twitter video below from Ford CEO Jim Farley.
Here is @Ford’s new Pro Trailer Hitch Assist in action. It uses the truck’s rear camera and radar to quickly align with a trailer. Hands-free (and feet-free) with the push of a button! https://t.co/WVuXvmAmLr pic.twitter.com/WQ68vtjxqE
— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) April 7, 2023
Ford has been developing a variety of trailering and hauling tools to make things easier for truck owners.
For example, there is the Pro Trailer Backup Assist which works by turning a knob in the cabin in the direction you want the trailer to go. It basically takes the “turn right to go left” part of trailering out the equation and simplifies the maneuver.
Then, there is the Onboard Scales feature which uses lights on the rear taillights as well as a bar graph inside the cabin to alert the owner to how much weight they have added to the truck when hauling items in the bed. While it doesn’t provide an actual weight, it does provide some idea on total weight. This is pretty useful to avoid overloading your truck.
These features aren’t necessarily for the hard-core truck owners with trailering experience, they are for people who occasionally tow. And, for someone who tows a lot like myself, they can be handy at times.
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.
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Off-roading is more than just a recreational pastime—it’s a passion that demands the very best from both driver and vehicle in the harshest off-road terrains imaginable. Whether you’re navigating muddy backroads or tackling steep, sandy inclines, ensuring your 4×4 is well-equipped can be the difference between a thrilling adventure and a potential disaster. Among the myriad upgrades available to 4×4 aficionados, the differential (diff) drop kit stands out. But not many people know what this vital upgrade is, or does. But there are a few reasons why every off-roader should consider a diff drop kit as essential 4×4 gear, so let’s dive in. Understanding the differential drop kit At its core, the differential drop kit is designed to correct the angle of the CV (Constant Velocity) joints after a 4×4 has been lifted. Most 4×4 enthusiasts are familiar with the perks that come from lifting their vehicles. Yet, this very enhancement can inadvertently increase strain on the CV joints, particularly when the lift is more than 2 inches. As the name suggests, a diff drop kit “drops” the front differential, restoring the CV joint angles to near factory settings, thereby reducing wear and potential breakage. Think of it as giving your 4×4 a pair of comfortable shoes after a growth spurt. The lift is the growth, elevating your vehicle higher off the ground and providing greater clearance for tackling those rugged terrains. The diff drop kit is like the insole, ensuring that the CV joints, or the feet of your vehicle, are comfortably operating at optimal angles and can work unimpeded. The tangible benefits Longevity of CV Joints: Regular off-roading with a lifted vehicle and no differential correction can lead to premature wear and tear of the CV joints. A worn-out CV joint doesn’t just compromise the driving experience; it can lead to costly repairs. The diff drop kit effectively increases the lifespan of these joints, ensuring you get more miles out of your beloved 4×4. Improved Ride Comfort: It’s not just about durability. By maintaining the correct CV joint angles, a diff drop kit can also enhance the overall driving experience. Drivers often report smoother rides and reduced vibrations after installing a kit—a welcome benefit after a long day on the trails. Cost-Effectiveness: Given the potential savings from avoiding early CV joint replacements and other related repairs, the investment in a diff drop kit is a no-brainer. Moreover, many kits on the market are reasonably priced, making them accessible to even newbie off-roaders. Casual thoughts, professional insights It’s easy to get caught up in the world of 4×4 enhancements, from flashy wheels to powerful lighting kits. However, sometimes the most impactful upgrades are the ones less spoken about, quietly ensuring your vehicle remains a reliable companion on your many adventures. The diff drop kit is one such unsung hero. It might not win you style points at the next off-roading event, but it will ensure you and your 4×4 return home safely, time and time again. To every 4×4 enthusiast reading this, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned pro or a weekend warrior, don’t overlook the humble diff drop kit. After all, every successful off-roading trip is built on the foundation of a well-maintained vehicle. And as we’ve explored, this seemingly modest kit offers an array of benefits that can keep the thrill of the journey alive, while ensuring the longevity of your prized 4×4. Considering your choices As with most aftermarket parts, the market for diff drop kits is vast, offering a range of options for the discerning 4×4 owner. The key is to select a kit tailored to your vehicle’s make and model, and to the degree of lift you’ve applied. It’s worth doing some thorough research and consulting with professionals or fellow enthusiasts to ensure you’re making the best choice for your specific needs. Installation and maintenance While many off-roading enthusiasts take pride in their DIY capabilities, installing a diff drop kit might not be a beginner’s task. It involves a nuanced understanding of your vehicle’s undercarriage and the dynamics of its suspension system. If you’re unsure about the process, seeking professional assistance can save you a lot of hassle, and eliminate the risk of any potential mistakes. Remember, the goal is to optimize the performance and safety of your 4×4, so there’s no harm in enlisting expert help. Once installed, maintenance is relatively straightforward. Regular inspections after your off-roading adventures are a good idea, checking for any signs of wear or damage. While the diff drop kit itself is durable, ensuring the overall health of your vehicle’s undercarriage will provide peace of mind during those more challenging trails. Conclusion The world of off-roading offers endless excitement and challenges. However, with these challenges comes the responsibility of ensuring your 4×4 is up to the task. While there are countless upgrades to consider, prioritizing the health of your CV joints with a diff drop kit should be near the top of your list. It’s a testament to the saying: “Take care of your equipment, and it’ll take care of you.” To wrap it up, every off-road enthusiast’s toolkit should consider including the differential drop kit. Not just as an accessory, but as a vital component. After all, amidst all the thrill and mud-splattered glory of the trails, it’s the quiet assurance of a well-maintained vehicle that truly makes the adventure worth it. Safe travels and happy off-roading!
When it comes to finding unique and affordable vehicles, public car auctions in Texas offer a treasure trove of hidden gems. Whether you’re a classic truck enthusiast, an exotic car aficionado, or simply someone looking for a great deal on a reliable crossover, these auctions have something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the world of Texas’ public car auctions, from the classics that evoke nostalgia to the exotics that turn heads, and the trucks we all treasure. So buckle up, and join us on this journey through the exciting and diverse world of car auctions in the Lone Star State. The excitement of bidding During public car auctions in Texas, the adrenaline is palpable as bidders compete for their dream vehicles. The thrill of raising that bidding paddle and outbidding fellow enthusiasts is an experience like no other. The competitive atmosphere at these auctions adds an element of excitement, as bidders come prepared to battle it out, making every auction a nail-biting event. Classic machines: Nostalgia on wheels Texas car auctions are a haven for classic car enthusiasts. From vintage Fords to iconic Chevrolets, these auctions transport you back in time and offer a glimpse into the past that is actually obtainable. Furthermore, many bidders purchase classic automobiles at these auctions with the intention of restoring them to their former glory. Restoring classic vehicles is a labor of love that pays homage to automotive history, and oftentimes, an auction allows you to get that project vehicle (or donor chassis) on the cheap. Exotic cars: Luxury and prestige Texas’ public car auctions also feature a stunning array of exotic cars. These high-performance machines exude luxury and prestige that go well beyond the ordinary. Believe it or not, you can find affordable exotic cars at these auctions. It’s an opportunity to own a piece of the luxury automotive world without breaking the bank. Hidden gems for every budget One of the most remarkable aspects of Texas’ public car auctions, is the wide range of vehicles available. Whether you have a modest budget or deep pockets, the variety of choices at one of these auctions helps guarantee that there’s always something for everyone. So even if you’re on a tight budget, you can uncover hidden gems. Budget-friendly finds aren’t just about the price; it’s about finding a vehicle that precisely fits your needs. The auction process Before the bidding begins, attendees must register and inspect the vehicles they’re interested in. This registration and inspection step ensures transparency and fairness. After that, it’s time for the auctioneer’s chant. A rhythmic and fast-paced chant of the auctioneer adds to the excitement. Just be forewarned that keeping up with the bidding requires sharp attention to detail, a keen ear, and quick reflexes. Tips for success To avoid overspending, it’s crucial to set a budget before attending an auction. Set a budget and stick to it to ensure you get a great deal. Also, do your research and know the market value of the vehicles you’re interested in. Research their history, condition, and estimated auction prices so you don’t overspend or miss out on the chance to score a sweet deal. Conclusion Texas public car auctions offer an incredible opportunity to explore the world of classic and exotic cars while providing budget-friendly options for all. The thrill of bidding, the nostalgia of classic cars, and the allure of exotic vehicles make these auctions a must-visit for any automobile enthusiast. So, whether you’re seeking a piece of automotive history, a taste of luxury, or just a cheap farm truck, head to a Texas public car auction and discover the hidden gems waiting for you. FAQs Q1: How do I find public car auctions in Texas? You can search online for upcoming public car auctions in Texas or check with local auction houses for event listings. Q2: Are these auctions open to the public? Yes, public car auctions in Texas are typically open to anyone interested in bidding on vehicles. Q3: Do I need a special license to participate in these auctions? No, you generally do not need a special license to participate in Texas public car auctions. Q4: Can I inspect the cars before bidding? Yes, most auctions allow you to inspect the vehicles before bidding to assess their condition. Q5: Are there any hidden fees associated with winning a bid? It’s essential to check the auction’s terms and conditions, as there may be additional fees, such as buyer’s premiums, associated with winning bids.
Being a commercial truck driver may sound easy, but there’s a ton of red tape that comes along with this occupation. Take your DOT (Department of Transportation) number assignment status for instance. This number is a unique identifier that is assigned to commercial vehicles used in interstate or intrastate operations. Issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these identifications help the government track a company’s safety records and compliance levels with federal regulations. So if you are a truck driver or a commercial motor carrier businessman, or are considering becoming one, you will need to apply for this number to ensure your legal compliance. On the upside, a DOT certification does provide businesses with a multitude of benefits, with the following being widely considered as the top four benefits. Regulatory compliance Ensuring compliance with federal regulations is very important, which is precisely what the DOT number provides you with as an operator. The FMCSA makes it mandatory that commercial vehicles engaged in interstate commerce, or anyone involved in activities that impact interstate commerce, have a DOT number. If not, you run the risk of being heavily fined. This includes vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or a combined gross vehicle weight rating (CGVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more. When you get a US DOT number from your state, it shows that you are committed to adhering to industry-specific safety standards and regulations and that you are a professional. Additionally, it provides you with the ability to easily cross state lines without any problems or fines. Enhanced safety A DOT number is a crucial aspect in ensuring the safety of your vehicle and freight. This is specially designed for assessing your vehicle on the basis of several safety-related metrics, as it is a vehicle that carries heavy loads for long hauls. This assessment includes crash history, inspection results, and compliance with state and federal regulations. After ensuring that everything checks out, the institution will provide you with a US DOT number. Once you receive your DOT number, your fleet’s safety reports will be continuously monitored. On the upside, this can eventually lead to safer operations and reduced chances of dangerous incidents or violations. Increased credibility and trust When you have a DOT number on your commercial vehicle, it conveys a message that you are in compliance with all state regulations. It shows that you are a professional, and serves as proof that you, your company, and any of its drivers are committed to operating legally and safely within government-mandated parameters. This often leads to new business opportunities, as many shippers and brokers will only consider businesses that have a valid DOT number that is in good standing. Access to federal contracts and grants Many commercial carrier businesses get government contracts or grants based on their authority in the field. When you have a DOT number for your vehicles, you are more likely to be offered these contracts and grants from government agencies, like the defense department or administrative departments for instance. All thanks to your DOT number establishing your company as a reliable and authoritative source of shipping and logistics, thus making you a vital resource for government agencies.
May it be a truck, SUV, crossover, or subcompact, shipping cars overseas can be an overwhelming task. But with the proper preparation and guidance, the process can be hassle-free and secure. Whether you’re relocating, selling a vehicle, or want to bring your vehicle along for an extended vacation, this guide is tailored for you. So dive in and discover all of the invaluable insights and tips to ensure a smooth and worry-free journey for you and your automobile. Key takeaways: ● Researching and selecting the right car shipping company is crucial for a hassle-free experience. ● There are different shipping methods available, such as consolidated vehicle shipping, sole container shipping, and RORO shipping, each with its pros and cons. ● Understanding the cost factors and researching prices will help you find the best shipping option for your budget. ● Considering insurance coverage is essential to protect your vehicle during transit. Differences between car shipping companies and agents When shipping your car internationally, selecting the right shipping agent and a shipping company with expertise in overseas vehicle transport is essential. Here, we’ve got some friendly pointers to help you choose. Shipping companies own and operate ships, providing maritime transportation services for goods. They are responsible for the vessels and their crew, ensuring the ships are maintained, stocked, and operated safely. These companies not only offer transportation services but also determine the optimal routes and schedules. On the other hand, shipping agents act as intermediaries or representatives for the ship owner or operator within a specific port. Their role is multifaceted: they manage essential services a ship requires upon arriving at a port, such as arranging pilotage, coordinating tug services, liaising with port authorities, and handling cargo documentation. Shipping agents also ensure all port duties and fees are settled and might coordinate bunkering or provisions for the ship. Additionally, shipping agents assist with customs clearances and can arrange for repairs or maintenance when necessary. How to choose the right shipping company and agent ● Research Potential Companies and Agents: Start by researching and comparing different shipping agents. Look for reviews and ratings online, and ask for recommendations from friends and family members who have shipped their cars overseas. Make a list of potential shipping agents and compare their services, pricing, and reputation. ● Check for Credentials and Licensing: Ensure that the shipping company and agent are licensed by relevant authorities. For maritime agents in the US, for example, check with the Federal Maritime Commission. ● Obtain Multiple Quotes: Price is a factor, but it shouldn’t be the only one. However, getting multiple quotes helps you understand the market rate and ensures you get value for money. Ensure the quotes cover all costs so there are no hidden fees later. ● Insurance and Liability: Ensure the company has appropriate insurance coverage to protect your goods. Understand the terms of their liability and the process for claims should any damage or loss occur. In addition, you should pay attention to their customer service. Because effective communication is vital. The company or agent should be responsive to your queries. Consider their problem-solving approach. Issues can arise in shipping, but how they’re handled that counts. Furthermore, companies and agents with a long-standing presence in the industry are often more reliable. They’ve encountered and overcome a variety of challenges over time. Forms and documentations Before shipping your car overseas, it’s crucial to determine the required documents to avoid unnecessary tasks. Essential documents typically include a bill of lading, which details your shipment specifics, a certificate of origin, and a commercial invoice. Different countries have different regulations on importing and exporting cars. It is crucial to research the regulations for the country you are shipping to and from, making sure your car meets the requirements. Shipping methods for transporting cars overseas Shipping a car overseas requires careful consideration of how it’ll be transported. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice depends on factors like your budget, urgency, and concern for your vehicle’s protection. The best method for you hinges on what you prioritize more. If you’re seeking a balance, consolidated shipping might be the answer. If you want the quickest and most secure option, a sole container could be the way. For those on a tighter budget, RORO could work wonders. ● Consolidated Vehicle Shipping This is the most commonly used method. Here, your car shares container space with other vehicles all headed for the same destination. Pros: It provides the safety of containerized shipment. Plus, it’s usually cheaper since the cost is split among several clients. Cons: It might take longer because the container needs to be filled with other vehicles before shipping. ● Sole Container Shipping If speed is a priority, you might opt for this. Your vehicle enjoys its private container. Pros: Faster shipping times and enhanced security and privacy for your car. Cons: This method can be pricier since you’re not sharing the cost with others. ● RORO Shipping (Roll-On/Roll-Off) In this way, cars are driven directly onto a specialized ship. Think of it as a floating parking garage. Pros: Generally more affordable and efficient in terms of loading and unloading. Cons: Your car is exposed to the elements throughout the journey, which might be a concern for some owners. Cost of shipping vehicles overseas Before shipping your car overseas, it’s essential to understand the cost involved and conduct thorough cost research to ensure you get the best deal. Shipping a car internationally can be a significant investment, and by understanding the factors that influence the cost, you can make informed decisions and avoid any unexpected expenses. Factors that affect cost The cost of shipping a car overseas can vary depending on several crucial factors: ● Distance from your home to a major seaport: If you live far from a sea terminal, you may need to hire a local auto shipper to transport your car to the nearest shipping dock. The cost of this transportation will depend on your location and the size of your vehicle. ● Distance to the destination country: The distance to […]
In the dynamic world of automotive excellence, few brands capture the essence of reliability, versatility, and durability quite like Toyota. As one of the leading global automobile manufacturers, Toyota consistently produces a lineup of vehicles catering to a wide range of needs and preferences. Take used Toyota SUVs for example. For decades, these vehicles have embodied all manner of automotive engineering creativity. By offering a blend of comfort, performance and utility, Toyota has earned legions of devout drivers. In this article we will explore the world of used Toyota SUVs, examine their features, benefits and the reasons behind their enduring popularity. Toyota: A legacy of excellence Toyota’s reputation for producing high-quality vehicles has been cultivated since the first FJ Land Cruiser rolled off the assembly line in Japan. Renowned for its commitment to precision engineering and rigorous quality control, the Toyota of today consistently ranks high in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys. This legacy of excellence extends to the brand’s SUV lineup, thus making used Toyota SUVs a compelling choice for individuals seeking reliable and versatile vehicles. Reliability: A pillar of Toyota SUV design One of the primary reasons why used Toyota SUVs are in such high demand is their legendary reliability. Toyota has long been associated with producing vehicles that can withstand the test of time and it is this reliability that often causes people to only buy Toyota vehicles. Not only does reliability offer peace of mind to drivers and contributes to a lower cost of ownership over the vehicle’s lifespan, but the prospect of a Toyota SUV that can deliver years of trouble-free driving is quite enticing when considering a used SUV. Versatility: Tailored to your needs Toyota SUVs come in various sizes and configurations to suit a wide range of needs. Whether you’re a city dweller seeking a compact SUV for navigating urban streets, or an adventure enthusiast looking for a rugged off-road companion, Toyota has an option for you. Today’s synopsis includes popular Toyota models like the RAV4, Highlander, and 4Runner, with each model offering its own perks, all intended to cater to different lifestyles and preferences. Advanced features and technology While used Toyota SUVs may have some miles under (and on) their belts, they often come equipped with many advanced features and technology that continue to provide value to drivers. For instance, many newer used Toyota SUVs offer modern infotainment systems, driver assistance features and safety technologies that enhance the driving experience and contribute to a heightened sense of security on the road. Resale value: A testament to quality Toyota’s reputation as a manufacturer of vehicles with excellent resale value is well-deserved. This characteristic extends to the brand’s SUV lineup, making used Toyota SUVs a wise investment for those who are mindful of long-term value retention. Even as a used vehicle, a Toyota SUV will likely hold its value well, offering potential benefits if you decide to upgrade or sell the vehicle. Choosing the right used Toyota SUV When considering a used Toyota SUV, there are a few factors to keep in mind to ensure you make the right choice: ● Budget: Determine your budget and consider factors such as the model production year, mileage and overall vehicle condition. ● Intended Use: Think about how you plan to use the SUV. Do you prefer ample cargo space, off-road capability or fuel efficiency for daily commuting? ● Model and Trim: Consider different Toyota SUV models and their available trims to find the best one that aligns with your needs and preferences. ● Vehicle History: Obtain a detailed vehicle history report to get insights into the SUV’s past maintenance, collisions (if any) and ownership history. ● Mechanical Inspection: Have a trusted mechanic thoroughly inspect the used Toyota SUV to identify any potential issues. Toyota Highlander The Highlander is a testament to the Toyota brand’s commitment to producing reliable, versatile and family-friendly vehicles. As a midsize crossover SUV, the Highlander has garnered a reputation for its spacious interior, advanced safety features, and all-around practicality. One of the standout features of the Toyota Highlander is its generous interior space which comfortably accommodates a ton of passengers and cargo. With seating for up to eight people, the Highlander is an ideal choice for families and those who frequently carpool. The available three-row seating configuration ensures that everyone has ample legroom and headspace, contributing to a comfortable and enjoyable ride. Toyota RAV4 As a compact crossover SUV brimming with practicality, efficiency and dependability, the Toyota RAV4 earned its place as a staple in the automotive market years ago. For those seeking a used SUV for various needs, the Toyota RAV4 is an exceptional choice. Just look up any used Toyota Philadelphia posting online, and you will find the following features and advantages. The Toyota RAV4’s design strikes a harmonious balance between sleek aesthetics and practical functionality. Its compact dimensions make it well-suited for urban environments, allowing you to effortlessly navigate city streets and tight parking spaces. Meanwhile, the RAV4’s elevated ride height and available all-wheel-drive system allow it to venture off the beaten path, making it a versatile companion for daily commutes and weekend getaways. Inside the cabin, the RAV4 continues to impress, with its smart layout and ample cargo space earning it rave reviews. The rear seats can be folded to create a substantial cargo area for accommodating large items and offers the flexibility needed for various activities, from grocery shopping to transporting camping gear. Toyota 4Runner As the embodiment of adventure and durability, the 4Runner has established itself as a reliable companion for off-road enthusiasts and adventure seekers the world over. As a midsize SUV with a legendary reputation, a used Toyota 4Runner offers a unique blend of ruggedness, versatility and steadfast performance. Built upon a body-on-frame construction, the 4Runner is designed to conquer challenging terrain with ease and hold up for decades on end. Its high ground clearance, available four-wheel-drive systems and advanced traction control make it well-equipped for off-road adventures, regardless as to whether you’re […]
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