Driverless Trucks OK’d By DOT, Public Remains Skeptical
Oct19

Driverless Trucks OK’d By DOT, Public Remains Skeptical

The Trump administration is allowing tractor-trailers to become driverless, setting off the corporate race to develop the first successfully autonomous trucks. According to U.S. News, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that it would be adapting its definitions of “commercial truck driver” to include an automated system. The DOT’s automated truck statement was a part of a 70-page document outlining the department’s interpretation of existing federal regulations. Experts say that the document is proof that the federal government won’t be intervening on the development of driverless trucks. “It’s pretty significant,” said Richard Bishop, an automated vehicles industry analyst. “They’re saying, as far as federal law is concerned, you can do it now.” The DOT’s new guidelines are set to increase the competition between companies who have been preparing driverless trucks but have been unable to test them due to regulations. With regulations loosened, automated industry analysts predict that driverless tractor-trailers without the need for a safety driver may be possible within two years. Automated truck developers including TuSimple and Embark have already developed automated trucks that have been made freight deliveries overseen by a safety driver. Other companies have also successfully tested “platooning.” Platooning is when a truck with a human driver leads up to five automated driverless vehicles. Companies expect automated trucks to deliver big savings. Although 500,000 reefer trailers are currently in operation on American roads, the trucking company is still suffering from low employment rates. Automated trucks will fill that void. Automated trucks may also save money for trucking companies because they would slash 40% of the long-haul freight cost. Platooning would also reduce 10% to 15% of fuel costs. Despite the excitement of automated industry analysts, other analysts predict that a fully driverless trucking economy won’t be possible until the mid-2040s. The DOT regulations were only part of the reason for why it’s taken longer for driverless trucks to be tested. The strong skepticism from the driving public is another reason. Public skepticism of automated vehicles has increased in the last year after a handful of fatal car accidents. Because regular accidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles are more deadly than the average collision, it’s understandable to be uncertain about the safety of automated tractor-trailers on the road. Americans roads aren’t always clear and easy to drive for the average trucker, either. Although horizontal directional drilling is currently the most efficient and safest method for highway bores, other types of road construction and weather conditions could also make a big impact on how effective automated trucks are on the road. That said, although the Department of Transportation has made its hands-off approach toward regulating...

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Hot Tub Repair: What To Do About A Broken Hot Tub Blower
Oct19

Hot Tub Repair: What To Do About A Broken Hot Tub Blower

  Any time an appliance breaks down in your home, it can be irritating. For many situations, you’ll be stuck calling a repair company, spending extra money, and even then sometimes it will break down again. Sometimes, the best way to get something done right is to do it yourself. If you have a hot tub, this is especially true; hot tub repairs can end up being fairly costly. Here’s a bit of information on your hot tub blower and what to do when it’s time to repair or replace it. What Is A Hot Tub Blower? Do I Even Have One? A hot tub blower uses a fan to blow air in through the jets of a hot tub to create bubbles. It is sometimes referred to as an air pump or bubbler due to the bubbles it creates in the hot tub. A hot tub blower is not to be confused with the hot tub jets itself; while a majority of hot tubs have jets, not all hot tubs with jets will have a hot tub blower. What Do I Do When It Breaks? A hot tub blower can break in one of several ways, depending on which part of it is faulty. A hot tub blower’s fan wheel consists of a hub and a number of attached blades, which can be arranged forward-curved, backward-curved, or radial. If there’s damage to the fan blades or a part of the motor, it might be tempting to try to replace just the single broken piece. However, this will likely end up being more costly than simply replacing the unit altogether. When replacing the hot tub blower, be sure all electricity is turned completely off before starting. Because this repair involves electricity and water in close quarters, you will need to be extremely careful. Remove the broken hot tub blower and check the voltage on it before purchasing your new unit. Install your new unit carefully and keep all electrical parts dry before testing it. If you’re worried about managing this repair on your own, call a technician to make sure the unit is replaced safely and properly. Otherwise, repair your hot tub blower with caution, and enjoy the savings on repairing this...

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How To Avoid A Renovation Nightmare For Your First Home
Oct19

How To Avoid A Renovation Nightmare For Your First Home

With fixer-uppers on the housing market being a much more affordable option for many first-time home-buyers, it can be incredibly tempting to look past some of their issues. However, a fixer-upper can be a nightmare if you’re not prepared, especially for a first home. Here are a few tips to help you avoid walking into a bad situation when buying your first house. There’s no rush: You don’t have to buy the first home you look at; in fact, you probably shouldn’t. It’s important to look at a lot of houses before making any offers. Aim for ten, fifteen, even twenty houses. This makes sure you keep your options open. If a realtor is rushing to get your offer, it’s possible they’re trying to make sure you don’t have time to find the problems with the home. Get a second opinion: It’s always helpful to have an outside perspective, especially when this is your first time shopping for a home; someone who’s not going to be living in the house is likely to have a far more realistic perspective than someone who’s optimistic about buying their first home. Bring along a friend or relative you can trust to point out the flaws you might miss. Pay attention to the inspection: Make sure you pay close attention during the home inspection. Home inspections can uncover hidden problems that you might miss in a simple walk-through. 34% of recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity, and this is where those problems are most likely to come to light. Know when to walk away: If you do decide you’re fine with a fixer-upper, make sure that it’s still worth it. If you’re not careful, the cost of renovations could make your cheap home more expensive than another home that wouldn’t have needed fixing. Know what you’re willing to spend, both on the home itself and renovations. Also, be sure to have an emergency fund set aside, for any unpleasant surprises after buying the home. As a first-time home buyer, accidentally buying a home with more projects than you expected can be an easy mistake to make. By checking multiple homes, getting multiple opinions, paying attention to the home inspection, and being ready to walk away, you can ensure that the home you do end up buying isn’t going to come with too many unpleasant...

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