Monthly Archives: September 2016

Common Trucking Terms

All industries have their own jargon, and the trucking industry is no exception. It can be difficult for a new driver or even someone who has been driving a while to understand all the terms specific to the industry. Whether you are a hot shot carrier or you drive long hauls, here are some common terms and their definitions to help you better understand communications from others.

  • Backhaul: The return of a vehicle back to its point of origin
  • Berth: Area behind the truck cab for sleeping
  • Bobtail: A tractor without a trailer
  • BOL: Bill of Lading, confirms the receipt of goods and includes cargo description, origin and destination
  • Broker: The liaison, individual, or company, between shippers and carriers
  • Cargo Weight: Combined weight of cargo, gears, and supplies
  • CB: Citizen’s Band Radio, a two-way communication system
  • Chassis Weight: The weight of a truck without cargo
  • COE: Cab-Over-Engine, a truck where the cab is located over the engine
  • COFC: Container on Flat Car, a shipping container on a railroad car
  • Consignee: The person or location receiving a shipment
  • CPM: Cents per mile
  • DC: Distribution Center
  • Dead-Heading: Driving a truck with no cargo
  • Double Drop: A flatbed suitable for over-sized or over-height loads
  • EOBR: Electric On-Board Recorder saves information about the trip
  • Flatbed: Open trailer
  • GCW: Gross Combination Weight including the cargo, truck, and trailer
  • Hazmat: Hazardous materials
  • Headache Rack: Protects the driver from cargo that shifted forward
  • Hotshot: A small trailer pulled by a pickup truck for small loads
  • Lowboy: A flatbed trailer for carrying tall loads
  • Owner-Operator: Someone who owns or leases and drives their truck
  • Payload: Cargo weight
  • Reefer: A refrigerated truck
  • Runaway Ramp: An area of low-grade where a truck that lost power to the brakes can slow down
  • Straight Truck: A truck that is all in one piece, rather than a tractor/trailer
  • WIM: Weigh-In-Motion, Gets the weight of a truck when it slowly passes through the station without needing it to stop.

The Most Important Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Used Van

When purchasing a used van, you need to be very careful. It’s not like buying a used car, after all. Vans are made and bought for travelling long distances, usually with a load in the back, and this could seriously affect the value and the quality of the van. A used van could have driven many miles and carried many a load – chances are that the potential buyer is unaware of the history, and the potential seller is not likely to offer an honest record. What the van has been through, therefore, often remains a mystery. So how do you know you’re getting a good deal? How do you judge the quality of the vehicle? Here are the most important factors to consider when purchasing a used van.

The bodywork

The bodywork will immediately tell you a story. A van with a lot of rust may be over-used or insufficiently maintained, and this could lead to a lot of headaches or unwanted expenses down the line. Don’t just check the wings, sills, and below the bumpers – don’t forget to see what the situation is like under the wheel arches, around the door frames, and at the corners of the windscreen.

the-most-important-factors-to-consider-when-purchasing-a-used-vanThe suspension

Suspension is very important – it protects the car or van, after all. Pressing down on one corner of the van will give you an idea of what the state of the suspension is. The van should move slightly down but bounce back and remain in that position if the shock absorbers are still in proper working order.

The electrical system

The electrical system will influence the inner mechanism of the van – a good way to check it is to see how the lights work. If they flicker or dim, avoid the van and find another one. The rest of the electrical system may be worse.

The engine

Start the engine and listen for unusual noises. Also check for smoke or too much exhaust, as this could be a sign of internal problems or a dirty engine.

The interior

The condition of the interior will tell you a lot about who drove it previously. Ensure the dashboard doesn’t flash any warning signals; check the mechanism of the seatbelts and test the windows.

Of course, there are many other things that should be checked. The steering should be comfortable and easy, and not allow free play. If the van has air conditioning, it’s important to ensure it works properly – it should be strong and not noisy. And of course there is the paperwork to consider; all documents should be properly kept, regardless if you opt for new vans for sale or used vans. Luckily there are agencies who can verify these things for you. When you consider buying a van, it pays to double-check everything – enlist the help of an expert, if necessary.

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