Archives : 2013 : January
Automotive big wigs gather every year for one of the biggest events in industry. Yes the SEMA show in Las Vegas. It takes place at the end of October into the first few days of November every year. On display are all kinds of cool new concept cars, automotive related products as well as informational booths.
One such informational feature was The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) Lift inspector Certification program. This program aims to teach industry technicians and other professionals the points of inspecting automotive lifts. Auto lifts are required to be inspected at least once a year according to ANSI lift standards. This is the first program of it’s kind that addresses this need. Prior to this, there was no program to reference as a standard. Of course, there could be no better candidate to choose to run a program of this nature, since ALI is the authority on all things pertaining to vehicle lifts.
The program goes through critical aspects of lift inspection, including operational functions, maintenance, as well as repair. It will go over all types of features relating to lifts, like electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, structural and mechanical features. There has been a lack of certified lift inspectors, so this could not have come at a better time. Most inspections have been performed by technicians who may not be qualified to assess the condition of the lift. This program assures that technicians will be qualified in the future to inspect any vehicle lift. ALI will also issue a directory which will list all of the certified technicians.
If you haven’t been inspecting your lifts on a frequent basis, now is the time to start. Check in with ALI to locate a qualified inspector near you.
Have you ever heard an electric car driving down the street? Chances are you haven’t. And that’s the problem. They’re just too darn quiet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined these vehicles to be too quiet, and therefore a hazard to pedestrians. The theory is, if you are walking down the street, and you step off of the sidewalk to cross the road, you won’t hear this thing coming, because they are so super quiet. While we agree these electric and hybrid vehicles are too quiet, we question why pedestrians can’t use their eyes before crossing the road.
The NHTSA wants these vehicles to meet minimum sound standards so that pedestrians can hear them approaching on them. Of particular concern is the visually impaired pedestrians. Many hybrids do utilize carbon burning fuel powered engines at least some of the time, but when they are running on electric only, the same concerns apply.
Lawmakers and regulators are mainly concerned about noise at low speeds. Their concern is for when the automobiles are traveling at low speeds, perhaps 20 MPH or less. The thought is that on busy city streets is where most pedestrian vs car accidents occur. You typically don’t see pedestrians get hit by autos on major highways. Plus, these vehicle begin to make sufficient noise at higher speeds.
If a pedestrian can sense the presence of an auto, they will be better able to detect, and avoid them. Just how these sounds would be produced, and what kind of sound has yet to be determined. But we suspect auto manufacturers will come up with some innovative ideas.
Personally, we would love to hear a car make the roar of a lion. That would be cool. How ’bout you? What kind of noise would you like to hear a car make?
While our customer base is mainly here in the good old USA, we also sell lifts and automotive service equipment to auto shops, home hobbyists, gear heads and weekend warriors all over the world. One location that we enjoy selling to is the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. Actually, the Bahamas were where Columbus first landed in 1492. There are actually more than 3000 islands that make up the Bahamas, but the most densly populated is the island of New Providence. This island features the capitol city of Nassau. Nassau has been a huge tourist attraction for many years.
This week’s customer is German Auto Works from the city of Nassau in the Bahamas. We had the opportunity to visit with them recently. They just opened a brand new auto shop that specializes in European automobiles.
They actually purchased several BendPak Lifts from us. They bought an XPR9 floorplate two post lift, and an XPR10A clearfloor two post lift. The clearfloor model is an asymmetric lift. The asymmetric style of lifts allows you to get your door opened wider after you have parked the car in between the posts. Most technicians prefer this style of lift these days. The added benefit of the BendPak design is that it can also position the auto symmetric as well. This lift is truly the best of both worlds, and is yet another example of why BendPak is the premier name in car lifts. The XPR9 is a floorplate model, meaning that it will fit under shorter ceiling heights.. No matter what you need, BendPak and ASEDeals.com have got you covered. If you have the opportunity to visit Nassau, Bahamas, we highly recommend it.
In an effort to go green, and to help ween American drivers off of middle east oil, Government regulators have required many areas of the country to supply 10 percent ethanol in fuel for several years now. In the early years, this caused problems in engines because they were not manufactured to withstand this fuel. Gaskets and seals could not hold up to the chemical characteristics of it. The treatment forms acids that corrodes rubber, plastics and some metals. Particularly in older vehicles and in small engines that are typically found on lawn mowers, motor boat engines, chain saws, generators and other home yard maintenance appliances. Manufactures of these engines have adapted their engines over the years to allow them to hold up better. Still, performance and reliability has suffered because of this fuel additive.
More recently, the feds in the EPA decided it was a good idea to increase the percent of Ethanol to gasoline mixture to 15%. Some argue this idea may seem wise to government bureaucrats, however it is not practical in the real world application. The EPA itself acknowledges that the fuel will be harmful to engines. Given this acknowledgement, it perplexes many in the industry that they would proceed with this mandate.
Many industry leaders including organisations such as SEMA and others are sponsoring efforts to halt this harmful requirement. They claim that not only are there economic side effects from this change, but there are negative environmental effects as well. Their hopes are that lawmakers will reconsider this new RFS (“Renewable Fuel Standard”). These critics argue that while these Biofuels may be a good idea in theory the marketplace dictates otherwise. This fuel would ruin millions of automobile and small engines. As it stands right now, the only requirement the EPA has come up with is to mandate labeling at the pumps indicating that this fuel will be harmful to many engines. We will keep you posted.