Can free phone calls boost every business?

To start with, let’s emphasize the fact that there are thousands of business that rely on 0800 phone numbers that allow free phone calls for their clients. In fact, these businesses are using every opportunity to highlight this fact.

In case you are still wondering why you should opt for free phone call option for your business then you must analyze a few things related to 0800 phone numbers and their importance. First and foremost, you must realize that there are some advantages that free phone calls bring and these advantages are visible right away.

One of the first benefits that you will notice is the complete brand image change. When a company provides free phone calls, it improves its image in the eyes of customers at a national level. This is especially true for new buyers who are not sure which company they want to use. You cannot expect to achieve the same results with an ordinary number. However, is this sufficient to make your clients pick up their phones and make that call? The answer is affirmative because several surveys have confirmed that more than 80% of people prefer business phone lines over ordinary numbers. The reason is simple – why would someone prefer something that they have to pay for instead of using a free option that provides the same results? Obviously, experienced companies know how to turn calls into sales quickly. What is even more interesting is that four out of ten respondents that were part of a similar survey have confirmed that they have selected the services and/or products of a certain company only because they had an option for free phone calls. Keep in mind that 0800 phone numbers are free for every caller regardless of the type of landline they have.

It’s obvious that an opportunity for a free phone call is used by almost every client and avoiding them is not a good option for any business. Thanks to these numbers, clients gain trust in services and products knowing that in case they have any questions or unexpected issues they can use your free phone number to resolve their issue. That’s why there are an increased number of companies that are using this option.

So, free phone calls can boost any business, but before buying such service, make sure that you understand all the details of the contract.

Ford Trucks

Towing is an essential capability of every truck that has ever existed. Since Ford is one of the dominating forces in the truck market, towing, happens to be a point of emphasis in every truck model ever designed by Ford. Although towing is an important and common task for truck owners, it is also a task that should not be taken lightly from a safety standpoint. Throughout this article, we’ll highlight some of the top tips for towing. However, it is important to remember that your OWNERS MANUAL is the best source for information about your truck’s towing capabilities and safety instructions. Here’s our list of top tips:

1. Pick the right truck, with the right engine. Rarely overlooked by experienced haulers, torque and horsepower are essential to move big loads across long and/or rugged distances. A truck’s chassis, body, engine, will be checked for performance and reliability by factors such as slope, speed, temperature, etc. Every engine/model has a different towing capacity, and will perform with varying ease and fuel economy. Knowing the capability of your engine/model is  essential to pick the correct trailer hitch, which is the next step. The GTW (gross trailer weight) and the maximum tongue weight can always be found in the owner’s manual. There are 5 classes: Class 1 (2,000 LB GTW/200 LB tongue weight), Class 2 (3,500 LB GTW/350 LB tongue weight), Class 3 (5,000 LB GTW/500 LB tongue weight, Class 4 (7,500 LB GTW/750 LB tongue weight), Class 5 (10,000 LB GTW/1,000 LB tongue weight. When picking a truck, ask your dealer if the truck has added cooling capacity for towing. Sometimes a tow package on a new truck includes improved cooling capabilities that can not be easily added in the aftermarket.

2. Install the appropriate hitch! Depending on the engine’s GTW class, pick an appropriate hitch of the same class or higher if possible. Picking a heavier class of hitch insures that there wont be any stress failure in the hitch during even the most challenging hauls. Many hitches utilize a drawbar that holds the ball and can be adjusted for different lengths. The bars come in 2 sizes: 1.25 inches or 2 inches, offering a standard bar for classes 2 and lower and a heavy-duty bar for classes 3 and up. Hitch balls also have 3 different sizes: 17/8 inches, 2 inches and 25/16 inches. The bigger the ball, the more weight capacity it can handle, so choose wisely here as well. If engine, bar, and ball are all in perfect sync, you are ready to get started!

3. Don’t forget to chain, before you set your gain! A pre-caution to be taken seriously, after mounting the trailer on the hitch, securely chain the trailer to the hitch in case of hitch failure to prevent the trailer from freeing itself and going off into live traffic. Make sure the chain allows enough room for the hitch to function normally and move when turning. Crossing the chains under the tongue will help prevent your trailer bar from hitting the pavement when unhitched or free accidentally.

4. Always check the electricals! First the trailer wiring harness. Make sure everything is functioning properly and there are no wire damage. Spray dielectric grease on the contacts to prevent corrosion damage.  Next, always remember to check the trailer brake battery! Like all batteries, brake batteries lose charge over time and can become weak after continuous use. Before a long haul, always insure that your trailer’s battery is holding a charge.

5. Determine and set your tongue weight next! If there is zero tongue weight, the trailer’s center of gravity (CG), the point around which it pitches is centered between the tires’ contact patches. This provides no stability, specifically in yaw, or sway. Adding tongue weight, by moving cargo in the trailer forward, pulls the CG forward of the tire contact patches. The drag of the tires will tend to pull the CG back onto the center line of the truck and trailer. The more tongue weight, the farther forward the CG goes, and the more stability in sway, right up until you add too much tongue weight for the tow vehicle’s rear suspension to handle. Industry-wide, the target recommendation for tongue weight is 10 to 12 percent of total trailer weight. Here’s how to check tongue weight if your trailer weighs so much that your bathroom scale won’t read high enough. With the tongue resting on the beam one-third of the distance between the pivot and the scale, a 140-pound reading means that the total tongue weight is 420 pounds, just about right for a 4000-pound trailer. – Popular Mechanics6. Set up and equalizing hitch. Once you’ve dialed in enough tongue weight for stability (about 10 percent of the trailer’s weight), there may be too much pressure on the vehicle’s hitch. Equalizing bars (right) induce a rotational force around the hitch and pivot horizontally, transferring some of the tongue weight to the vehicle’s front axle. The stiffness of the bars needs to be correct for your particular trailer, so consult the manual or a trailering specialist. I generally adjust them so that when the equalizer bars are installed, the trailer hitch rises back to within 1 inch of its unladen ride height.

– Popular Mechanics

Disclaimer – Know your vehicle! The owner’s manual contains specifics about towing and trailer use. Please be thorough about your research before hauling!

Pre-haul check and tips from Popular Mechanics!

It’s important that the loaded trailer be level to the ground when it’s attached to the vehicle, and that you trim the trailer’s flatness either with an adjustable drawbar or by finding one with the right offset. (If you end up using an offset drawbar, make sure it’s rated to handle the trailer weight.)

Inflate the tires to the trailer manufacturer’s maximum recommended cold pressure. Heat is the tires’ enemy, and a properly inflated tire will run cooler. Be even more careful of the small tires on light-duty trailers—the tiny outside diameter means they spin faster. A high-speed run on a hot day with a ton of bricks on board could overheat the tires or wheel bearings.

Whenever you hook up the trailer, check that all of the lights are working. You can do this without making four trips up to the cab and toggling on all the turn signals and brake lights in succession.

Regardless of how tightly you cranked the tie downs on that car, bike or ATV, road vibration can loosen them. So, about 10 to 20 miles after you depart, stop and check their tension. After a few hours on the road—and every time you stop—inspect the trailer. Make sure the hitch and wiring are secure.

Ford’s engineers have brought some cutting edge technology to the towing market to help increase safety and accessibility by automating some processes such as setting gain, etc.

Tow/Haul Mode

While driving downhill in Tow/Haul Mode and tapping the brake, the combustion process in the cylinders is restricted to maintain optimal, desired speed without wearing down the transmission nor heating up the brakes. This basically starves the cylinder chambers of fuel, giving less power to the engine and utilizing friction as a force to counteract gravity pushing the vehicle downhill.

Trailer Brake Control

Modern Ford trucks come equipped with fully integrated trailer brake controllers (TBC). They allow for synchronized vehicle and trailer brakes for timely, easy stops even with the heavies of loads. This provides added control and trailer confidence and comes factory installed!

Trailer Sway Control

Trailer Sway Control monitors and controls the trailer’s movements in relation to the truck. If the trailer begins to sway, Trailer Sway Control quickly detects the yaw motion of the vehicle and reacts accordingly, adjusting engine speed and/or applying the brakes asymmetrically to stop the sway and bring everything back to control. This allows for faster towing speeds, and generally more hauling confidence.

IP-telephony for SMB

Do you own or run the small company (up to 50 persons)? Does your company have a network of small subsidiaries, scattered throughout the country or city? The question of communication with the outside world (phone and mobile free phonecalls to the partners and customers, e-mails, instant messages and Internet) are an essential part of your business?

Have you faced the situation, where (due to the change of office or the location of subsidiary) you had to change the phone numbers and thus lose customers? Have you ever thought that it would be great if the phone bills were at least half as much? If so, this article is for you.

IP- telephony. Pros and cons

Let’s consider the main advantages of the introduction of IP- telephony in the small companies and how they can be achieved:
1) Simplicity of system development. One of the main benefits of IP- telephony is that the voice is transmitted via the data communication channels. That is, organizing the communication in your new office, you don’t have to prepare the specific cabling infrastructure for the local network and phones.
Everything you need is to provide LAN. Everything will work on a single cable. In future, it will make the network maintenance much cheaper, as everything will be limited to the servicing of IP network, and the administration requires only the basic knowledge of IP-telephony, as most solutions for SMB involves small requirements to the knowledge skills of service staff.

2) Simplicity of integration with the existing communication systems. It may happen that for some reason you don’t have enough city telephone lines, or the internal numbers on mini- PBX. If you already have the local network in your office, it will be very easy to integrate the IP-telephony. IP-system will be integrated with the existing equipment, and so you will get additional equipment without having to write off the old one and provide the new lines.
3) Economy on the calls inside the company. The part of the staff is sitting in the other premises (in different buildings, on separate floors)? Do you have several offices? Does your chief accountant prefer working at home? Do your partners live in the other city? Do you understand that the landline calls (or worse, long-distance calls) cost you a fortune?
Make sure that each of necessary places has an Internet access. Unite all your offices, subsidiaries and the staff, working at home, IP-telephony and call them, dial three numbers instead of seven.
4) Economy on the calls to the subscribers of the mobile operators. Use GSM-gateways, built into the IP-system, or connect an additional one and put the mobile operator card in it. Then make the calls from all internal telephones according to the intranet tariff of the mobile operator.

5) Economy on the international calls. You have the opportunity to use the service of IP-telephony providers and make the international calls on loyal tariffs.
6) When connecting through the providers, you can fix the number capacity through SIP and, in case of change of the office location, the phone numbers remain unchanged. In our country, there is a sufficient number of operators and providers, allowing to connect the city phone numbers not through the traditional channels (analog line or the PRI protocol), but through the IP channels (in other words, through the Internet). So, even if you change the office, you will always be able to keep your phone numbers. The only condition is that the new office also has an Internet access.

Auto Emmissions – Tips on Buying and Installing Car Parts

Auto Emissions Standards Revisited

In a recent article, I described the various types of pollutants that are found in your car’s exhaust. You might remember that there are several components, including your catalytic converter, which help control the level of those pollutants. When those components fail to do their job, the amount of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and other particulates within your vehicle’s exhaust rises.

If you live in a state that doesn’t require periodic exhaust testing, there’s little need for concern. After all, compliance with existing standards isn’t enforced. However, if you live in California or any other state that forces regular testing, you’ll need to know how to comply with the regulations imposed by your state. Below, I’ll briefly review how emissions testing started. Then, I’ll explain the different tiers of standards used and pollutants that are commonly regulated.

How It Started

A long time ago, a growing avalanche of research data began pointing to the problem of vehicle exhaust. In essence, researchers discovered that the materials billowing from our cars’ tailpipes were beginning to have an adverse effect upon the environment. They further argued that those same materials were having a health-related impact on people.

In response, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drafted recommendations and sent them to Congress. Many of the EPA’s recommendations were passed into law. Today, automakers are forced to produce vehicles that comply with existing regulations.2 Tiers Of Emissions Standards

In the mid-1990′s, the emissions standards were far less stringent than they are today. They’re now considered “Tier 1″ standards. While they were a step in the right direction, they fell short of delivering the results needed to sufficiently clean the environment.

Beginning in 2004, Tier 2 standards went into effect. Among the many changes, 2 were especially noteworthy. First, there was a dramatic reduction in the level of pollutants that cars could emit. Second, large vehicles (for example, SUVs) were now being forced to comply with emissions regulations that were already enforced upon smaller cars.

Types Of Emissions

The Tier 2 regulations that went into effect in 2004 focus upon 5 main contaminants. They include non-methane organic gases, formaldehyde, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and various particulates. None of the 5 will be unfamiliar to those who have read my other columns. The important thing to realize is that emissions testing is a developing area. Last year, Congress determined that greenhouse gases that are produced as a result of an engine’s combustion should be controlled. As a result, the EPA is expected to add greenhouse gases to a Tier 3 list of standards.

New cars are already equipped with the means to comply with the Tier 2 rules. If you’re thinking about purchasing an early-model used vehicle, you may need to invest in a new catalytic converter or similar components. Check with your state’s regulations to be certain, and check for used car parts if you are required to make changes