Category Archives: Safety

How To Aim Headlights

Written by: Scott Julian of XK Glow

When your headlights aren’t aimed properly, you know it! It’s tough to see when driving at night or you are consistently getting flashed by oncoming traffic because you are inadvertently blinding other drivers. Many factors come into play with your headlight alignment such as an accident, wear on suspension components over time, or you just installed new XK GLOW LED bulbs. Whatever the case may be, checking and adjusting your headlight alignment will be beneficial to both you and everyone else out there on the road.

Let’s get started!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Phillips head screwdriver or Torx wrench Masking tape
Tape Measure Level ground
Wall with 25ft of clearance  

ALIGNING PROCESS

  • Check your owner’s manual to find the location of the vertical and horizontal headlight adjustment screws. These screws are typically long and feed into gears that control the headlight adjustment. They are usually marked L > R for horizontal adjustment and U > D for vertical adjustment.
  • Find a level surface in front of a garage door or wall with a minimum of 25ft of space. We will use the 25ft mark as a reference so you will need enough space for your vehicle to fit behind that line. Using the tape measure, measure 25ft back from the wall and mark that line using masking tape.
  • Park the vehicle against the wall and turn on the low beam headlights. Mark the center of each headlight and the horizontal line of each headlight. These should be level with one another.
  • Back vehicle up in a straight line until the headlights are at the previously taped 25ft mark.
  • Adjust horizontal aim as necessary. Center of headlights should remain at the taped center line. Use the horizontal adjustment screw to adjust for the center line.
  • Adjust vertical aim. The horizontal line on the headlights should drop 1-2 inches down from the marked lines when parked 25ft back from the wall. Use the vertical adjustment screw to adjust the height of the headlights as necessary.

That’s all there is too it. Go for a drive and enjoy your properly aimed headlights!

Truck drivers choose XK Glow brand headlight bulbs because they are reliable to light up the road night after night with superior light output and durability. They’re the highest quality LED bulbs on the market and are proven to withstand rough terrain, harsh vibration, and intensive use. Our top selling XK Glow Elite LED Headlight Bulbs provide a customized look with practical function that owner-operators say are the best LED headlight bulbs they have ever used! Shop for the best headlight bulbs for semi trucks at iowa80.com today.

Questions, comments, or concerns? We’re here to help! XK@XKGLOW.COM or customer.service@iowa80group.com

Semi Tire Chains vs. Autosock: Which Is Better for Winter Traction?

Maintaining traction on the road is of great importance to large trucks during the winter time. With delivery schedules to keep, it’s best to not let a snowy path cause significant delays. Both semi tire chains and tire socks offer different benefits to help you and your truck stay safe on even the most inclement roadways.
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Five Products to Help Long Haul Truckers Stay Alert and Comfortable

Whether you or someone you know is a long haul driver, everyone knows it’s important for all drivers to stay alert and comfortable while on the road. Long haul drivers have a demanding job, so it’s only fair they have the comforts of home while they’re away from loved ones. The following are five products that might help.
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Winter Driving Essentials for Truck Drivers


Winter can bring a lot of hassles and dangers to truck drivers. As you prepare for winter, there are a few essentials that you should be buying to make trucking in the snow easier and safer. Beyond just reading up on and committing to memory winter driving tips for truckers, you also should consider buying the following items.
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Cargo Securement: Which Tie Down Is Best for You?

Just like almost everything in life, when it comes to tie-down straps you have a number of options. How wisely you choose can spell the difference between riding down the road with a secure load or watching your goods spilling out onto the highway. If you operate a big rig or a flatbed trailer or a moving van you will no doubt need to secure a valuable load from time to time. Fortunately, there are many excellent products out there to help you keep your items safe and secure. In short, using the best hardware for your cargo will give you the best chance for success.
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5 Benefits of Using AutoSock as Your Winter Traction Aid


With brutal winter conditions possible in many parts of the country, drivers need to be prepared. That goes double for commercial truck drivers powering through bad weather over both short and long distances., Snow tire chains have been a classic vehicle accessory for driving in ice and snow, but AutoSock is an innovative traction solution that prevents spinning tires, wheel slippage, fishtailing and other weather-related road hazards. AutoSocks for trucks is an efficient and safer alternative to tire chains, offering five unique benefits for owner-operators, drivers and fleet managers.
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ELDs

Are You Ready?

By Larry Pruitt

With the FMCSA‘s Electronic Logging Device Mandate deadline quickly looming, Owner-Operators and small fleet owners alike are trying to wade through all of their options for the upcoming mandate deadline.  They’re trying to decide what will work best for them.  I know some companies have been testing different products on some select trucks in their fleet, while other operations are holding out hope that there will be a stay at the eleventh hour.  In my opinion, Congress doesn’t seem to agree on anything these days and unable to get anything passed, so I seriously doubt that this will get stopped before December 18.

With that being said, there is a very large contingent of drivers that have made the statement that they are leaving the industry when this mandate takes effect.  Some may leave and will probably move on to other careers, but most will continue on and adapt to the mandate. This upheaval in the industry will subside, and as my Mom would say, “This too shall pass”, and I agree with her, “This too will pass… it may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass”.  I’m old enough to remember back in the late-eighties or early-nineties when the CDL License Program was being introduced into the Trucking Industry.  There was a large number of drivers that were afraid that the CDL process would be so complicated that there was going to be a large shortage of drivers.  Drivers were going to leave the industry in droves because of something that today is viewed as no big deal and just part of the process of the regulations that we are saddled with today.

I’m not going to try to change anybody’s mind here on whether you want ELDs or don’t want them.  I’m just going to pass on my experiences, as I switched over to an ELD a little over a month ago.

To give you a little bit of background, I’ve been doing my logs on a tablet for the past 5 years or so using the Big Road app. I found that my logs were much easier to make sure that they were filled out completely and most of all, correctly.  This helps ensure you have a lesser chance to fall victim to a form and matter violation at a roadside inspection. The app would not let you sign your log unless everything was filled out properly.  I installed the connection to ECM back in September using the same app Big Road app.  I chose this product for a couple of different reasons, one was that I already was familiar with the app and the other was that I had good luck with tech support previously.  I wanted to get acclimated to using an ELD now versus trying to get compliant in the middle of December and having trouble.

The process of switching over has been pretty much uneventful so far.  I haven’t been caught about to run out of hours in my day yet, but I’m sure that will happen eventually.  I’m very fortunate that my operation allows me to be home every night.  I will admit that e-logs make it easier to keep track of duty status changes, it automatically knows when you start driving and when you stop driving, so you don’t even have to look at it for the biggest part of the day.  I will go back into it later and add notes to my stops whenever I have the time.

I think that ELDs are going to affect the industry over the foreseeable future.  I think that changes are going to be just as hard on shippers and receivers.  The truck lines are going to force shippers to get their trucks in and out and back on the road.  Let’s face it, companies are not going to be able to let trucks sit at a shipper or receiver for roughly 8 hours and then only have 6 hours left for their day and still be able to make any profit whatsoever.  Shippers will have to get better or their freight will lay on their dock, because no one will waste their time with that shipper.  I can see more drop and hook freight in the future, in segments that have never before been drop and hook operations.

One thing is for sure, the small fleet folks may have to change how they do business.  I think most small carriers will be able to adapt if they approach this from working within the system rather than trying to work around the system.

Well, that’s my opinion and experiences on the ELD mandate.  There are folks that agree with me and most definitely some that do not agree with me but are very passionate about their opinion.  No matter what anyone’s opinion is, let’s revisit this issue in about a year or so and see what the industry and it’s logging issues are at that time.  To everyone involved, GOOD LUCK with the mandate!

Iowa80.com offers a variety of e-log devices, shop here.


Larry Pruitt is an owner-operator with over 20 years of experience and has been involved in trucking for close to 40 years. He is a firefighter in North St. Louis County Missouri and resides with his wife, Jeanette, in Saint Clair, MO.