Equipment

Information on specific vehicle equipment.

Backup and Docking Lights

Backup LightsAs is often the case, today's article comes from what I see around me as I drive. I was passed by a cube van with one white floodlight on the right rear illuminated. The driver of a truck tractor with no trailer pulled in front of him using the right lane and flashed his backup and docking lamps a few times.

Deer Whistles - Keep Your Money in Your Pocket

Deer WhistlesYou may have seen them, a pair of small whistles that you attach to your vehicle to scare deer away and prevent collisions with them. The intent is for the movement of your vehicle to force air through them and produce sound, or ultrasound that keeps deer off the highway and safely out of your path.

RESOURCE - Bendix Brake School

Do you drive or service vehicles with air brake or electronic safety systems on board? The Bendix Brake School is a free resource that teaches how Bendix products work in these applications. While it is manufacturer specific, the information in general will apply to similar offerings by other companies.

Off Road Lamps

Off Road LampThere is little doubt in my mind that one of the most popular add on accessories for vehicles is some type of light. I was asked recently to comment by a visitor to the DriveSmartBC web site who said that he had noticed rectangular LED light bars in the bumpers and on the roofs of trucks and SUVs. While it is possible that some of these lamps are legal for use on the highway, many are not. The question is, how do you tell?

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Rotten Frame and Suspension

cameraOn July 4th, 2013 this vehicle was stopped near Sayward, B.C. The owner was quite upset that the vehicle was towed. Below is a picture of what was left of the rear spring shackle, the other side was no better. Also note the cracks in the frame. This was a 2003 Chevy S-10. The rest of the vehicle was in fair condition.

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Frame Cutouts

cameraThe photo below shows a "C" shaped cutout in the frame rail of a 1/2 ton low rider pickup truck. The mouth of the "C" faces the rear axle, and was made to allow room for the axle to move up and down without striking the frame. The cutout significantly weakens the frame of the pickup and could result in the frame breaking while the vehicle was being driven.

Collector Licence Plates

BC Collector Licence PlateIt's show and shine season and the carefully maintained and restored older vehicles are out for our appreciation. I watched one vehicle from the early 50's pass by me the other day and I noticed that it was equipped with a center brake light and angel eyes in the headlights. It also sported a collector licence plate and that got me to thinking, were either of the two "enhancements" that I noticed allowed on a collector plated vehicle?

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES - Trip Inspection Standard

Truck TractorProfessional drivers of commercial vehicles (as defined in the National Safety Code) are required to do both pre- and post-trip inspections of their vehicles on a daily basis. The list of items to be checked is extensive and is set out in a document created by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. The document also sets out the criteria that defines an out of service condition until that problem is repaired. All drivers should consider these standards as a requirement and inspect their vehicles at regular intervals to make sure that they comply.

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Inadequate Trailer Hitch

cameraHere is an example of how not to attach a trailer to a vehicle found on Highway 4 near Port Alberni. The connection for the breakaway brake is the cable dangling at the center of the picture. The end of this cable should be attached to the towing vehicle somewhere other than to the hitch itself, and definitely not to the safety chain. The aim of this device is to apply the trailer brakes in the event of the trailer accidentally disconnecting from the vehicle.

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Smoked Rear Lenses

cameraHere is another example of obstructed lamps. The owner of this vehicle has coated the inside of the rear lenses on this vehicle with a translucent black spray coating that makes the lens appear dark or black. It also limits the light output, making them less or ineffective depending on the lighting conditions and the amount of coating used. The spray cannot be removed so once the driver has been dealt with by police, it will mean replacement of the lenses in addition to a ticket or vehicle inspection order.

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