Friday, September 30, 2011

Brake Controllers Installation: Do it Yourself or Let Us Handle it For You?

Brake controllers installation can be either super easy or a pain in the behind, depending on what make and model vehicle you own.  Some vehicles literally have a dashboard plug in box that makes installation literally a snap.  With others you need to get down into the wires and start messing around to get them to work.  As a general rule of thumb with any installation, I say that unless you’re a mechanic you should allow someone else with mechanical certifications to install or work on items that are either mission critical (transmissions, engines, etc.) or safety-related (brakes, brake controllers, gooseneck hitches, etc.).

The process of brake controllers installation for those vehicles without a quick plug box already built into the dash is very tedious and requires that someone be adept at vehicle wiring.  He or she would have to know how to create that connection from your vehicle’s own braking unit and your trailer breaks; they would need to understand how to tap into the brake light switch in order to run the necessary 12 volt power wire, ground wire, and brake light wire from the controller and then back again to the trailer’s brake wiring connector.  Yes, you can read books and manuals on how to do this, but why take that chance?

We certainly don’t charge a fortune to install brake controllers, and our team is so familiar with not only brake controllers installation but just the installation in general of all of the products we stock that it makes sense to have them do it.  They can get it done exponentially quicker than you could at home and you would have the added security of knowing it was done right.  And that’s my opinion on whether or not to do-it-yourself or have one of our technicians perform the brake controllers installation.
Brake warning light. The light is turned on, i...Image via Wikipedia
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Scoop on Fiberglass Tonneau Covers

Fiberglass Tonneau covers are just one of the many types of Tonneau covers we carry here at Auto Truck Depot.  People who want a light-weight cover look at the soft tops, aluminum, and the fiberglass.  The people that go for fiberglass Tonneau covers (generally) want a more polished, uniform look.  Fiberglass aftermarket products tend to look as though they were purchased with the vehicle, as opposed to being an afterthought product. 

The fiberglass models come in colors that will match your vehicle and a lot of our customers really like having that option.  Most of the fiberglass covers also come with hinged lids, which, again, are really popular with our Auto Truck Depot customers.  They are lightweight and flip up with easy locking mechanisms that enable you to leave them open while you move things in and out.   They are one option for folks who want something that has a “hard” top to it, but still not put a lot of excess weight on their vehicle like a truck canopy would.

Naturally, molded fiberglass Tonneau covers aren’t going to be as cheap as a soft, folding top cover would be, nor are they as expensive as the average truck canopy.  The customers that choose the fiberglass models are usually aware of this and going for form, as well as, function.  This is why our line of fiberglass covers tend to be from those manufacturers who have a more stylistic bent to their designs.

It really comes down to personal aesthetic preference in the end whether you choose fiberglass, cloth, or aluminum tops.  Do you like hinged tops? Folding tops?  Do you want a colored top?  That kind of thing.  We do keep in stock a rather big selection so come on down and take a look at our line of fiberglass Tonneau covers.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Help! I Need a Pickup Truck Box!

We had a lady in the other day who needed a pickup truck box ASAP to haul her horse tack and equine equipment.  She’d filled every single nook and cranny of her trailer and still needed more space.  Turns out she had one of those riding drafts so, yep, she needed a lot of equipment and extra space to store it in.  We walked her through the various truck boxes we sell here in our storeroom and she decided on a gull-wing that would still give her enough room for her gooseneck hitch.  I always think it’s interesting to hear what people need their truck boxes for.

Most people use a pickup truck box for tools.  People want some lockable box on their truck to store their power tools or specialty tools that they’re afraid might get stolen.  Others just want some covered space in case they need to buy stuff on a rainy day.  Some people use them to haul hunting dogs, others use them for guarding hunting rifles.  There really isn’t any single reason for owning them that sticks out because they are so generically useful. 

A truck box enables you to securely haul items that you feel are important enough to not have stolen, and they also allow you to keep items safely covered from the elements.  Rather than purchase an SUV truck and limit what can be hauled in the back, you can still purchase a pickup truck and  have the same secure storage options as you would with an SUV when you purchase a pickup truck box.
A Terminix pickup truck driving eastbound on E...Image via Wikipedia
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buying a Fuel Transfer Pump

A fuel transfer pump is one of those specialty purchases that we don’t see a lot of in our store.  People who are buying these items are usually either farms who need to haul diesel fuel to various parts of their farms or contractors of some time.  What I’m saying is that the average truck or van owner isn’t buying liquid transfer tanks or fuel transfer pumps, which is why we don’t carry a plethora of models like we do with our trailer hitches or truck boxes.  We found the two most reliable vendors for fuel transfer pumps, GPI and Weather Guard, and decided to stick with their products.

These vendors make high quality products that are known for reliability and that is exactly what you need when you are dealing with combustive fluids.  GPI (Great Plains Incorporated) specializes in fuel transfer systems and provide complete packages that include the suction pipes, grounded hoses, and both automatic and manual nozzles.  Weather Guard, while not specializing in fuel transfer, still makes models that can compete at GPIs level.  Their products have the exact same transfer rate, as well as, consumer rating scores.

When buying a fuel transfer pump from us we take the guesswork out of “quality” by only providing high quality products, so all you really need to do is look at the transfer rate, whether you want/need a manual or automatic pump, and price.  We sell various sizes in both lines, so you can speak with a salesperson about which size would be right for your need of use. 

Like I said, this isn’t one of those purchases that we see customers clamoring for daily, but it is an important purchase for customers that do need a fuel transfer system, which is why we only stock the best in fuel transfer pumps.
diesel fuel pump on the engineImage via Wikipedia
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Folding Tonneau Covers: What’s the Benefit?

Folding Tonneau covers are just one style of Tonneau cover that we sell in our showroom.  A lot of people like these covers because they find great benefit in their ease of use.  You don’t have to open the entire cover to put something in your trunk.  We sell multiple makes and models of Tonneau covers in our showroom, but the folding Tonneau covers seem to get the most interest most-likely for this reason.

You can purchase a “soft” Tonneau folding cover or a hard tri-fold.  I don’t really have a preference when it comes to hard or soft covers.  Usually I recommend the lighter weight folding Tonneau covers for people who have women or teens that also use and operate the vehicle.  It just makes it easier on them when they need to haul something in the truck.  Also with folding Tonneau covers you can still use or install a fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch to your truck bed.

Tonneau covers in general are great for keeping whatever is in your truck bed from being rained on, snowed on, etc, and they also do a better job than truck liners of keeping the bed of the truck free of debris and weathering.  They are less invasive than putting down a liner—most of them don’t even require that you use screws to install them anymore.

When people ask me about the benefits to the tri-fold Tonneau covers over the other types of covers we sell in the showroom, I break it down like this: 1) ease of use, 2) convenience, and 3) non-invasive.  You don’t need to drill into your truck bed to install it, it doesn’t take two grown men to lift the cover, and they are usually more lightweight than other truck bed covers.  So when you’re looking for Tonneau covers check out our inventory of folding Tonneau covers first.
An unidentified Volkswagen motor vehicle of so...Image via Wikipedia
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Favorite Truck Box

A truck box can be one of the most useful aftermarket items that someone can purchase for their truck or vehicle.  They come in all shapes and sizes, colors and textures, and for all types of purchases.  You can buy a truck box to haul your hunting dogs.  You can use them to store fishing equipment.  Some you can use to haul liquid and others are pretty much tool boxes attached to the back of your vehicle.  I remember when I was looking through the Tradesman and Weather Guard catalogs for the first time to make a selection for what we would carry in the store and I felt like a little kid who’d been set loose in a toy store!  I was imagining what I would carry in the back of my truck box once I purchased it; what I could use it for.

I like all of the truck boxes we carry.  Let me say that first.  However, my favorite truck box has to be the gull-wing truck boxes (with tool compartments).  These particular truck boxes still leave enough room to go down to the local lumber yard or home improvement store to pick up large items to haul.  They are also lockable so you can keep tools or other important items safely stored away.  They aren’t too big, but at the same time they still have a lot of room for hauling power tools and other items you may need should you take your home improvement skills on the road.

My next favorite truck box would have to be Tradesman’s dog box.  They are very secure items that allow a lot of ventilation, but at the same time, can keep your pooch warm in cool weather.  I’m not one for letting my dog in the cab of my vehicle.  Sure he’s man’s best friend, but he also sheds when nervous and tries to sit in my lap while I’m driving.  With the truck box, he feels safe so he sheds less, and that way we both have a good traveling experience.

Those would have to be my two favorites (this week).  Ask me two weeks from now and I may have a different “favorite” truck box.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Ask the Expert: Do I Need Brake Controllers in Calgary?

Brake controllers in Calgary are a very important safety feature for those larger hitch and trailer systems, alongside the selection of the hitch type itself.  The whole goal of weight distribution hitches and brake controller systems is to prevent trailer sway and pressure upon your truck’s suspension system

Do I need brake controllers for my trailer system?

My answer would involve asking 1) what are you hauling, and 2) what type of hitch you currently use on your vehicle?  My short answer would just be to say “yes”, because I think that it can never hurt, only help, to apply additional safety mechanisms to your rig setup.  When it comes to “bling” for your truck or vehicle, less can be more, but when it comes to safety “more” is more. 

Think about it this way: it is a dark and snowing night.  You’re hauling livestock in inclement weather on a well-traveled highway.  You have to brake suddenly because the person in front of you doesn’t know how to drive in snow very well yet.  What happens behind you?  Are you 100% certain that the vehicles behind you know you’re breaking?

Because most large trucks and vehicles now have built in receptacles for aftermarket brake controller systems, installing them is easier than ever before.  In fact, some of them have what is called a “quick plug” built into the dash somewhere that hooks up to the standard brake controller.  This makes the installation process cheaper and easier.

There are a few products out there that I absolutely recommend to customers: weight distribution hitches, gooseneck or fifth wheel hitches, running boards, and brake controllers Calgary.

Part of car front suspension and steering mech...Image via Wikipedia
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Friday, September 9, 2011

About Our Trailer Hitch Accessories

Here at Auto Truck Depot we try to be your one-stop-shop for practical aftermarket items for your car, truck, or van.  We don’t sell fiberglass racing panels and wings, nor do we sell sway bars, Noz or other “fun” stuff that kids like. We sell sturdy, practical items like trailer hitch accessories—but we like to think we do it in a fun way.  Our line of trailer hitch accessories is fairly complete.  We sell everything you need to install your trailer hitch and hook up your trailer at home.  We can also install everything that you purchase while you’re waiting around drinking coffee. 

We sell the ball, ball mount, pins and clips, as well as, wiring supplies, hitch adapters, and hitch covers.  We even sell boxes that can fit on the trailer hitch.  All of the products we sell at Auto Truck Depot are top quality and “best of breed”.  We understand that our products are practical and high use aftermarket items.  Your trailer’s brake controllers, for example, are safety mechanisms that alert the vehicles behind you that you’re stopping.  Our trailer hitches and trailer hitch accessories are what keeps the trailer attached to your vehicle and not to the front end of another car or truck.

So, no, we don’t sell Sparco steering wheels or tanks of Noz.  And we get that trailer hitches aren’t “sexy”, but we do try to provide a fun, and positive experience to all of the customers who stop by Auto Truck Depot.  We also stand by each and every one of the products we sell, so that you know that the trailer hitch accessories that you’ve purchased from our showroom are the very best, safest, and most reliable products on the market today.  And that makes a huge difference when there’s snow and ice on the roads!  You have that extra bit of confidence in your vehicle and trailers that a can of Noz just can’t provide.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Truck Canopies: for when a Tonneau Cover “Won’t Do”

Truck beds come in a wide range of depths.  When people buy a truck box, cover, or canopy for their truck it is usually with some item in mind.  People purchase truck boxes when they want to securely store an item that they are carrying in their vehicle like tools or guns.  They purchase Tonneau covers when they want to protect larger items from the elements that may not fit in truck boxes or to protect the truck bed from rust.  Truck canopies can both protect larger items (like a Tonneau cover) and secure items (like a truck box).  They also are able to cover those items that would stick above the bed of a truck, and for this reason many people choose truck canopies over Tonneau covers.

These days, truck canopies come in several design types.  You can purchase truck canopies that look very similar to Tonneau covers (lids) and canopies that make your truck look like an SUV.  They also come in aluminum and fiberglass, both lightweight materials making them easy to put on and take off.

When you frequently haul items that would raise above the bed of your truck, especially in winter months it is more reasonable to choose a truck canopy over another type of cover.  We usually talk to our customers about their needs before recommending a canopy, truck box, or cover.  In general, the same people who look at Tonneau covers are the same customers that are looking at truck canopies.  Our sales staff knows to review the needs, truck bed height, and size requirements of items being hauled before making recommendations to our customers.  We don’t try to sell people more product than they need.  If you can get away with a Tonneau cover or lid, that’s what we’ll recommend.  If, however, you need something larger—or just like the look of truck canopies we are happy to sell you one of those, as well.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Who Makes the Best Tonneau Covers

Our salespeople at Auto Truck Depot get asked a lot about “what’s the best” product.  People want to know things like, who makes the best Tonneaucovers?  It’s really hard for anyone here to answer a question like that because we feel that we have chosen the best vendors on the market for all the products we choose to sell.  Choosing between the best at their game is pretty difficult and subjective.  Our answer is usually goes something like this: whichever brand works the best for you.
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The fact is whether its BAKFlip,Extang  Roll-N-Lock, or UnderCover you are purchasing a high quality product.  All of these companies were specifically chosen because of their high customer ratings.

It all boils down to your personal tastes, reason for using the Tonneau cover, and type of cover you’re looking for.  Some people like soft Tonneau covers, other people like hard ones.  The best Tonneau covers are those that suit your personal needs.  Soft covers are typically more affordable than hard covers, so if it saves you money you
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