Saturday, June 30, 2012

Courier Work Tips - Staying Alert on the Road

If you do courier work you'll be driving for a large part of every day you spend at work. Your workplace is comprised of the roads in your particular area. Even though you may know them well, you won't necessarily be the safest driver to use them.

However there is a lot you can do to ensure you stay as safe as possible and remain alert the whole time you are behind the wheel. If you want some tips in this respect keep reading - you might learn a thing or two!

Drink little and often
You'll no doubt want plenty of coffee or tea to kick start your day when you prepare to tackle the first jobs comprising your courier work for the day. This is good as it will wake you up and keep you feeling fresh and alert. However you shouldn't drink them quickly. Make them last and you will feel the effects of the caffeine without feeling bloated from excessive consumption. Drinking water little and often is also good, because it will prevent you getting headaches which can be caused by too little in the way of fluids.

Keep the windows open
This doesn't really apply in the middle of winter, but even then you can keep them cracked open a small amount to let a little fresh air in. If you have air conditioning and you are feeling tired while doing your courier work, switch it on and enjoy the fresh blast of cold air. It'll only take a minute or two to feel the benefits.

Make the most of the time you are out of your vehicle
One of the advantages of courier work is that you won't spend all your time driving around. You'll be delivering parcels and other important items as well, so you will be hopping in and out of your vehicle on a regular basis too. You can use this time to your advantage to make sure you stay alert. For example, if you have to go beyond the ground floor in a building, use the stairs instead of opting for the lift. This will ensure you get fitter and it will help you reduce the amount of time you feel tired for anyway. Even the odd jog from door to door can help you feel more alert, rather than trudging there and feeling lethargic for it.

As you can see it is really just a matter of changing the way you do things. There are plenty of other things you can do as well, such as playing loud music and nibbling at things little and often rather than eating a large meal at lunchtime then wondering why you feel so tired in the afternoon. A lot of it is common sense, but as you can see from the tips above, it is all about simple things done regularly too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

At a Glance: 2012 Honda Fit

The 2012 Honda Fit is a subcompact 5-door hatchback that seats five people. This car is a safety leader, recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as a top safety pick. Introduced in 2007, Honda's Fit replaced the Civic which was enlarged and is now a compact model. Besides its safety credentials, the Fit holds its value, a car that starts from just over $15,000. Read on for some highlights about Honda's smallest car.

Engine and Transmissions

Honda outfits every Fit with a 1.5-liter four cylinder engine that makes 117 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 106 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm. This 16-valve engine has a 10.4 to 1 compression ratio and is of aluminum alloy construction.

The Fit is paired with a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 5-speed automatic transmission. Choose the Fit Sport and your car is equipped with dual-model paddle shifters for more spirited driving.

Fuel Economy

Top fuel economy of 28 mpg city, 35 mpg highway is achieved when the standard Fit model is equipped with an automatic transmission. All other models are rated at 27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway.

Outfitted with a 10.6 gallon fuel tank, the Honda Fit has a cruising range of 371 miles. That's enough gasoline to take you from Jacksonville to Miami with one tank of regular grade gasoline.

Model Dimensions

Honda's Fit sits on a 98.4-inch wheelbase and is 161.6 inches long by 66.7 inches wide by 60.0 inches tall. This model weighs from 2,496 pounds and is powered by its front wheels.

Total passenger volume measures 90.8 cubic feet. This model offers 40.4 inches of head room up front and 39.0 inches in the rear. Leg room comes in at 41.3 inches up front and 34.5 inches in the back. Shoulder room measures 52.7 and 51.3 inches respectively, front and back. Hip room is a near even 51.5 inches up front and 51.3 inches in the rear.

Fit cargo volume is 20.6 cubic feet behind the rear seat. Fold down the second row seat and cargo volume expands to 57.3 cubic feet. This vehicle is large enough to hold many of your garage sale finds.

Model Highlights

Sold in Fit and Fit Sport editions, Honda's subcompact comes well equipped. Every model features daytime running lights, a tire pressure monitoring system, tinted glass and body colored door handles. Choose the Fit Sport and your car comes with underbody spoilers, a roofline spoiler and a chrome exhaust finisher.

Inside, this model is equipped with air-conditioning, power windows, power door locks, 10 drink holders, ambient lighting and a 12-volt outlet. Also included is a rear window defroster, a cargo area light, a 4- or 6-speaker audio system, an MP3/auxiliary jack, cruise control and storage compartments.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Transmission Repair in Your Small Town

Living in a small town has its perks. You can get up in the morning, drive to town, and know most of the people you see. You can go to the local coffee shop and catch up on the latest town info while you drink your coffee. In the big city, you probably will not have this luxury. When you drive to town, you might not see one person you know. At the coffee shop, perhaps you can catch up on the latest news by reading the newspaper, and you are pretty much able to keep to yourself.

People in small towns will often extol the benefits of their communities, but undoubtedly, the conversation will find its way to the limitations of not living in a city, including lack of businesses. Living in a small town, though, you often have options when it comes to things like transmission repair and other things most people will need. Perhaps there is the local mechanic that everyone knows, but there also may be a local franchise transmission repair shop. You might feel obligated to go to the mechanic owned by people you know, but you should go with the one that has the qualities you are looking for.

You might not know what to look for in this type of mechanic. You should definitely look for someone who has done numerous transmission repair jobs; some shops even specialize in these parts. You should also look at the prices they charge compared to other shops in the area. Also be sure to look around the country at the franchise represented in your town. Find out what their standards are, whether their prices seem fair, and what others have said about the franchise as a whole and the shop in your town.

After you have done your investigations, you should have enough information to pick the right place to take your vehicle for basic mechanical and transmission repair work. If you are ever not satisfied with your choice, you can always choose another. So whether you choose the big franchise or the small local business, you will probably find both to be a good option for your car's issues.

If your car is showing signs of needing some transmission repair done, ask around town or call a few shops to see which car mechanic will fit your needs. Hopefully you will make the right choice and be able to drive away with a car that is in top shape. Small towns may not have all of the huge shopping centers that you find in larger areas, but there should still be numerous options when it comes to auto mechanics and transmission specialists.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Courier Work Tips - Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Some people seem able to sleep exceptionally well every single night, no matter what time they go to bed. Others continually struggle to get a good night's sleep. Which one of these best describes you? If you do courier work it is a good idea to ensure you know how to get the best night's sleep every night, because you may well have an early start most mornings.

Here are some tips you can use to help you sleep better every night. This in turn will make you feel fresher on a daily basis.

Try and stick to the same hours every day

If you work Mondays to Fridays you'll know how hard it can be to get to sleep on a Sunday evening - not to mention the difficulty of getting up early on Monday morning. This leaves you tired before the week of courier work has even started. It is usually better to try and go to bed at roughly the same time every evening if you can.

Ease off the caffeine and drink more water

When you do courier work you need to stay alert for the entire day. Caffeine is fine to drink in the mornings but if you stick to drinks with caffeine in them all day you're more likely to have trouble sleeping. Some people prefer to drink caffeinated drinks in the morning but switch to decaf from the afternoons onwards. Try and fit in more water too - it makes you feel more alert and is more likely to banish those sluggish feelings.

Make sure you wind down in the evenings

It is one thing to get some exercise after work, but it is quite another to focus on getting that exercise a little later in the evening. You need adequate time to wind down and relax before you actually climb into bed. This might mean enjoying a nice bath or perhaps reading a book for a while. Turn off your mobile and try to limit distractions during this time if you can.

Don't eat late at night

Ideally you should eat a few hours before you go to bed, otherwise you will increase the odds of a sleepless night. You are also more likely to get indigestion which can also keep you awake. Some people fare better if they drink warm milk or camomile tea just before they go to bed - but make sure you resist any urges to snack!

Courier work can be demanding. It certainly requires you to be alert and to have enjoyed a good sleep the night before. So if you happen to work in this field, make sure you follow the tips above to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed every morning. If you haven't been sleeping well you might be surprised how much better you feel if you do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid Under Review

Camry seems set to make a comeback with its all-new and improved 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid. As a family-size sedan, the first Camry had set an impressive benchmark for mileage.

Features of the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Available in two trim levels, the LE and XLE trim, the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid has several features that have been revamped to produce a top performance vehicle. These features include:

1. A 200 horsepower capability made possible by the revamped Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain that has a slightly larger 2.5 liter Atkinson-cycle four cylinder engine. The engine also has a 105 kilowatt electric motor and these features combine to give the vehicle 13 hp more than it had last year. The Atkinson-cycle engine yields a little less power output and compensates by being more fuel efficient and giving off less emmissions. Overall, the vehicle has a fuel efficiency rating of 43/39 mpg EPA delivering a combined average of 41 mpg.

2. The 2012 Toyota can be operated on either electric or gasoline or both. The vehicle is equipped with a new EV-mode button that allows the driver to operate the hybrid in pure electric mode as long as the speed does not excel 25 miles per hour. Toyota gives the maximum battery-only range as 1.6 miles.

3. The 2012 Camry Hybrid is fuel-efficient with the XLE, which is rated a bit lower than the LE, yielding an efficiency of 40 miles per gallon during a mixed drive. Overall, the 2012 vehicle has a fuel efficiency rating of 43/39 mpg EPA, delivering a combined average of 41 mpg.

The energy impact score for the vehicle stands at a consumption of 8.3 barrels of oil per year, while the carbon footprint stands only at an annual emission of 4.6 tons of CO2.

One of the major factors that cause a vehicle to use a lot of fuel is its weight. The weight of the 2012 Toyota has been cut by 250 pounds. The size and weight of the battery by itself was trimmed as a part of the weight reduction.

4. Camry's Hybrid sports 17-inch low rolling resistance tires that grip the pavement to yield efficiency.

5. The Car is also equipped with Toyota's Entune infotainment system, which relies on a smartphone data connection for certain apps to operate on the large touch screen. The data connection runs apps such as Bing and Pandora on the touch screen. Entune is free for three years, then it becomes available at a monthly cost of $5. It will eventually run other programs such as OpenTable and

The Driving Experience

The 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid gives a smooth, quiet drive as it moves seamlesly, neither seen nor heard, unless it comes upon speed traps. When the vehicle comes upon a bump in the road, the gasoline engine kicks in, and this is the only disruption to the seamless ride. The 2012 hybrid drives pretty much like the brand new gas powered 2012 Camry.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Will Debut in November's LA Auto Show

Volkswagen has finally confirmed that the company will be unveiling the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show this November. Unfortunately, Volkswagen has not yet provided the public with the images of the upcoming drop top version of the 2013 Beetle.  Due to this, a lot of speculations as to how the convertible would look like started to circulate.

Instead of providing the public with the images of the upcoming convertible, Volkswagen group of America has also confirmed that this vehicle will be offered with three types of engine which includes the 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, and the 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel engine.

Aside from the announcement made, Volkswagen has also provided the public with the powertrain list. The list has confirmed that the release of the convertible version of the Beetle should not be taken as a sign that the rumored electric Beetle will soon be released on the market. This is because the list does not include nor mentioned anything about the "E-Bugster".

The E-Bugster is considered as the electric Beetle concept. This concept car was shown at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show and the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Since the vehicle has appeared on the two popular and prestigious auto shows, a lot of car buyers started to believe that this concept car will hit the company's production line and make it to the dealerships this year. Unfortunately, their beliefs were wrong. Due to this, most of those who are expecting for the release of the electric version of the Beetle were left with no options but to wait.

Since Volkswagen failed to release even a single image of the upcoming 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, many car experts and even buyers assumed that the this version would most likely be lowered than the 2012 version of the Beetle. In addition to this, they also believed that the convertible would probably have a chopped windshield and a folding soft top. But aside from these unique characteristics, these individuals also believe that the convertible's shape would still be similar to what the other Volkswagen Beetle models have.

As soon as the convertible hits the automobile market, the vehicle  is expected to create a strong impact in its segment since a lot of buyers are very much interested with the upcoming version of the Beetle. Due to this, Volkswagen's engineers and vehicle developers are doing their best to equip the Beetle with all of the best features that they could to ensure that the potential buyers will not be disappointed with the convertible's overall characteristics.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Child Passenger Safety Tips

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests the following:

Do List:

• Do make sure to restrain your child appropriately for his or her age and size (see below for more).

• Do follow directions that come with the car seat. Also pay close attention to your vehicle owner's manual for any further directions.

• Watch for local law enforcement events that help you check for proper installation and use.

Don't List:

• Don't allow any child under the age of 13 years to sit in the front seat.

• Don't allow a child under age 13 to sit in front of an active airbag, especially rear-facing infants.

Birth - 12 Months

• All infants under age 1 should ride rear-facing.

• Infant-only seats typically must be used in the rear-facing position. Most convertible seats and 3-in-1 seats can be used rear-facing and usually have higher weight and height limits.

1 - 3 Years

• Children ages 1-3 years should ride rear-facing as long as possible, within the weight and height limits of the seat.

• Once your child outgrows his or her rear-facing seat, a forward-facing car seat with a harness should be used.

4-7 Years

• Children ages 4-7 years should remain in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the weight and height limits of the seat.

• Once your child outgrows his or her forward-facing seat with a harness, a belt-positioning booster seat should be used in conjunction with the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt.

8-12 Years

• Your child should continue using a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly

• The shoulder strap should fit snugly over the shoulder and across the chest. Make sure it's never across the neck, face, or arm.

• The lap belt should fit low and tight on your child's hips, not over his or her stomach.

For more information regarding your state laws you should check with your State Highway Patrol and/or Department of Revenue. These officials can answer all of your questions regarding regulations.

The most important first step is researching the different models of child safety seats. Make sure the one you choose is not on the recall list and watch for those recalls regularly. An exchange will be in order should a safety seat be recalled.

We all want our children to be comfortable but we can accomplish that at the same time as transporting them as safely as we possibly can.

Debbie Swinney is able to help you with your Kansas insurance needs and answer any questions you may have regarding policy choices.