The Onspot Blog

North America

Post #60 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 12            

States visited this week – WI, ND, CA, MT, NV, MO

Miles driven since leaving home – 8,712

Onspot vs Conventional Chains – How long do they last?

Tire chains – automatic or conventional – do they have an expiration date? No, there is no fixed end date because there is no way to calculate the wear and tear on tire chains. Wear and tear is not determined with a simple mathematical formula. It has many variables such as how often they are used, terrain, weather, maintenance and drivers.

The Benefit of the Onspot System - Why an Engineered Solution is Best

When I attend trade shows, I am often asked if it is necessary to fill out our VSI or Vehicle Suspension Information form. Although the form typically takes 10 minutes to fill out, most people miss the importance of what they consider an “extra” step. Some believe that the VIN number or a description of the suspension should be enough. My favorite, however, is when people tell me the vehicle is a “sister” to one already fitted with Onspots so there should be no need to measure the chassis. This statement could not be more further from the truth.

Our Secrets about Wheels and Chains!


At Onspot, nothing is left to chance! Each piece that makes up the complete system has been the subject of a comprehensive study. The same is true for our chains. Have you already noticed that we use different types of chains? Each of them has been designed to meet a specific need, and we will reveal our secrets about wheels and chains!

Post #59 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 32              

States visited this week – NC, TX, NE, CO, MO

Miles driven since leaving home – 9,720

How does Onspot help law enforcement?

Federal, state and local law enforcement departments are equipped to respond to calls for service no matter the time of day, weather or terrain. As with their fellow first responders, law enforcement officers must arrive “on scene” safely and in a timely manner.

How & when Onspot helps you?

Our company tagline “saves lives, deadlines and reputations” is not just a catchy slogan, we believe our system has realized its objective. Whether you are a professional transporting goods, people, or in public service, your vehicle is your means to completing your work. You must have control of your vehicle whatever situation you find yourself. Let’s review together how Onspot can get you out of difficult situations.

Post #58 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Winter tires for trucks and buses?

Rules about winter tires for trucks and buses differ between countries and regions all over the world. Many countries, of course, have such a warm climate all year round that there is no need for winter tires at all. Other countries have such cold winter climate that winter tires are necessary. Yet other countries are prioritising safety, with strict regulations for the use of winter tires accordingly. Let’s have a look at winter tires!

Post #57 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 5              

States visited this week – MO, TX, OK, KS, IA, NM, AZ, and MN

Miles drove since leaving home – 2,809

Onspot Spring Maintenance

Spring is here! The days are getting longer and the streets have been swept clean as motorcycles and classic cars take to the roads once again. During this time of the year it is quite easy to leave the cares of winter behind, especially if the season was a long and harsh one. Although we would like to forget about winter, it is important not to lose sight of vehicle maintenance.

Spring truck maintenance? Onspot can help.

The extended Winter season is finally coming to an end. It’s time to enjoy the better driving conditions and to ensure that your Onspot Automatic Tire Chains are ready to go for next year.

Response Time Challenges for First Responders/Rescue Drivers

The most widely used response time standard in the United States is the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 1710 which requires “the arrival of an ALS (Advanced Life Support) company within an eight-minute response time to 90% of incidents.” This standard resulted from a 1970s cardiac arrest survival study by two Seattle physicians.

Post #56 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 10              

States visited this week – MO, TX, OK, KS, IA, and AR

Miles drove since leaving home – 4,122

America’s Last Frontier: Onspots are There

Over the years at Onspot, we have fit thousands of chassis with our automatic tire chain system. Vehicle applications ranging from fire and rescue, school and transit bus, plow and tow truck, and various forms of local and long-haul delivery trucks are just some of the chassis where the Onspot system is currently in use. Our Onspot factory located in North Vernon, IN is also more than just a place where our product is made, it is also an R&D facility that allows us to stay on top of the latest chassis changes and adapt our product to these changes. Occasionally, we also have customers contact us with some pretty interesting and challenging vehicles that they would like outfitted with Onspots. One recent vehicle that comes to mind is that of Bro. John Pinnix with the Remote Alaska Missions or R.A.M.

Post #55 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 4              

States visited this week – MO, IL, IN, AL, FL, MS, LA, and TX

Miles drove since leaving home – 2,191

Onspot – How we get the perfect fit

If you’ve been considering an investment in Onspot, you may have grown curious about how it’s possible to purchase and install a product that is custom fit for your vehicle. We have a time-tested measurement process and a solid dealer network to ensure that the right product and installation services are available when you need it.

Automatic Tire Chains for Light Vehicles

From emergency vehicles, garbage trucks, and snow removal vehicles to passenger or goods transport vehicles, each profession requires adapted and different vehicles. While some equipment have advantages on trucks, others better fit on lighter vehicles. But what about Onspot? Does it fit as well on a light vehicle as trucks? Are the advantages the same? Let's compare and answer it!

Post #54 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 20               

States visited this week – TX, LA, AR, TN, AL, KY, MO

Miles drove since leaving home – 11,699

Don’t Forget About the Truck Accessories

The use of a truck is two-fold. For the owner, it is a tool for generating revenue, while for the driver, it is the workplace. Many people consider truck accessories as costly gadgets only, like, the Coffee Machine De Luxe. However, there are accessories that not only increase driver’s comfort and safety but also increase operational efficiency. Let us have a look at some obvious accessories – and some less obvious…

Are Onspots a “fit” for towing and recovery vehicles?

Onspot Automatic Tire Chains have been installed on many tow trucks; however, they are not a one-size-fits-all product. As with any vehicle, fitting automatic tire chains on a tow truck is based on variables or combination of variables. Let’s talk about tow trucks!

Post #53 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 12                                       

States visited this week - MO, IA, AR, TX, NM, AZ, KY, IN

Miles driven since leaving home – 7,496

On The Road: Commercial Driving Today

In today’s commercial trucking industry, keeping the wheels turning is still a daunting task. Even with all the latest advances in technology, simple factors like traffic, weather, downtime, and health still hamper the transportation of freight by truck drivers around the world. What follows are the most common issues that plague drivers and ways to combat them.

Three tips for rescue drivers on when to use Onspot

When is the correct time to engage your Onspot Automatic Tire Chains? This is a common question that we hear from our friends in the fire and rescue industry. Actually, it’s a frequently asked question in many of the markets that we serve.

Post #52 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Driver fatigue, how to handle it?

Fatigue is a reality that affects all drivers; especially commercial vehicle drivers who are exposed to long hours on the road and even in extreme conditions like bad traffic and/or weather.
How does one prevent fatigue and be effective in your daily work as well as outside? We tried to answer this question.

Surface Treatments

Which is the perfect road surface treatment to increase traction?

To keep transportation – and society – running, authorities have different strategies for keeping roads open and driveable in harsh winter conditions. Snowplows keep the snow masses away from the road, and often some kind of surface treatment is used to increase traction when roads are icy and unsafe. But, which is the perfect road surface treatment? The simple answer is... None! Every method of surface treatment is a compromise between effectiveness, cost, handling and side effects. Let's have a look at some methods.

Post #51 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home - 34                                       

States visited this week - CA, UT, NV, AZ

Miles driven since leaving home - 16,807

Traction Devices Explained - Onspot vs. Alternatives

Traction devices allow you to travel safely on slippery roads and in adverse weather conditions. Most people who use these devices navigate in less than optimal conditions because it's their job.

Post #50 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home - 27                           

Onspot: Myths, Misconceptions, and other Nonsense

It’s February and the groundhog saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter or so they say. Here at Onspot, show season is starting to ramp up. Soon you will find us at a variety of trade shows throughout the US and Canada ranging from Fire/EMS to Municipal and School shows. These are just a few types of trade show events we will be attending this year. Additionally, we will also be traveling to promote Onspot maintenance and driver training throughout our territories.

Is 4x4 enough to keep your truck safe?

Professional drivers don’t have the option of taking a day off to avoid the winter weather.

Post #49 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 13               

States visited this week – TX, LA, MS, AL, GA, TN, MO, IA, and OK

Miles driven since leaving home – 7,312

How much does Onspot increase traction?

How much does Onspot increase traction? 

With more than 150,000 Onspots installed in vehicles worldwide, numerous drivers and fleet managers testify and praise the effectiveness of the automatic tire chains. Without a doubt, Onspot improves both road safety and drivers’ safety while helping them to stay on schedule by instantly increasing traction. But, why are there no figures on what to expect?

Post #48 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 6                 

States visited this week – MO, OK, TX, NM, AZ, CA, IN

Miles driven since leaving home – 3,690

Is Onspot beneficial in reverse or when stopping?

Yes, Onspots work in reverse. The important question of engaging chains in reverse is asked time and time again. Moving in reverse is always challenging due to obstructions (your field of vision is blocked by the vehicle itself), depth perception, and the difficulty of controlling your speed and direction; now add snow and ice!

Post #47 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


How to Maximize your Onspots

Through advances in technology, vehicles of today have come a long way. Emergency vehicle response time is faster, modern plow trucks maintain roads more effectively, and semis, buses and cars all use devices that provide the driver, and those around them, with a safer means of transportation. Ultimately, however, it is the driver who needs to understand how to maximize all this technology in order to take advantage of its potential.

Post #46 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


5 Tips to stay safe when driving near commercial vehicles

The holiday season has arrived and many of us will be traveling to spend time with friends and family. It’s also the time of year when retailers return to profitability, grocery stores sell out of popular items and our price at the pump increases in response to seasonal demand. Increases in freight shipments and passenger traffic create a situation where all drivers need to pay especially close attention to safety.

Holiday Hours

Onspot of North America will be closed Monday and Tuesday, the 25th and 26th, to celebrate Christmas. We will also be closed Monday, January 1st to bring in 2018.

Post #45 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 36.5            

States visited this week – TX, AR, TN, KY, MO, OK, NM

Miles driven since leaving home – 10,641

Are tire chains in compliance with laws in the U.S. & Canada?

The short answer is yes. Tire chains are used over many industries by owner-operators and national fleets worldwide. Read more to find out about chain laws in your area!

Post #44 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 29.5            

States visited this week – KS, OK, TX

Miles driven since leaving home – 8,120

Post #43 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


What is traction coefficient?

In a tire-surface system, the coefficient of friction is called ‘traction coefficient’. It’s as simple as that. But, what’s more important is to know why the traction coefficient is fundamental to road safety, and peace of mind.

Vehicle Preparation for Winter Driving

The change of season is here for the majority of us. By now most have swapped out summer clothing for winter wear. Jackets, scarves and hats are taking the place of shorts and tee shirts. A similar type of preparation is also being done by numerous town and city DOT garages in the United States as well as by many truck drivers on the road. In these instances, however, they are preparing their vehicles for winter driving.

Post #42 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


5 Tire Safety Tips for Commercial Drivers

The winter weather is upon us and it’s time to begin thinking about maintaining traction on icy road surfaces. The U.S. Department of transportation has compiled the following list of tips for keeping your tires in good working condition.

Post #41 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Industry events showcase safety products

Canada’s Waste & Recycling/Municipal Equipment Expo (CWRE) - 2017

Most of us attend trade shows and expect the same old exhibits but then you stumble on a product and wonder to yourself – why didn’t anyone think of this before?

Tips and Tricks for a Model 016 Install

The following tips and tricks have been learned from the many Model 016 installs done on a variety of vehicles worldwide. However, it must be noted that Onspot is not a one-size-fits-all product. For instance, as was detailed in an earlier blog post, the ideal chainwheel position can vary due to the difference in vehicle measurements.

Post #40 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 62   

States visited this week – NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, TN, IL, MO, OK, TX, NM, AZ

Miles driven since leaving home – 33,079   

Week – October 14th – 21st

Post #39 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home - 56   

States visited this week – OK, AR, NM, AZ, CA, TX, LA, MS, AL, FL

Miles driven since leaving home – 29,076   

Week – October 7th – 14th

Onspot in Depth - How it Really Works

At the flip of the switch, the chainwheel swings out. Then, strands of chain are slung under the tire, increasing traction. It’s as simple as that – for the driver. But, if we take a closer look at the ingeniously simple principle behind it, we realize that Onspot requires a good dose of engineering to become such a reliable tool for safety and convenience. Here is why!

Post #38 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 49

States visited this week – CA, AZ, NM, OK,AR, MO, IL, IN, KY, WV, VA, MD

Miles driven since leaving home – 23,451   

Week – September 30th – October 7th

Post #37 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home - 42   

States visited this week – TX, NM, AZ, CA

Miles driven since leaving home – 18,207     

Week –  September 23rd – 30th

Post #36 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee

How to Improve the Environment for Garbage Trucks

In a world where we are more and more “connected,” technology plays a major role in the working environment. Do you remember when we were introduced to the “internet” for the first time? This novelty was not so long ago; it has only been about twenty-three years! It’s the same for the trucking industry! New advances in truck equipment happen every day and these innovations change the work environment for garbage trucks and drivers’ safety.

Post #35 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


How to be Healthy on the Road and Handle Stress

Long haul truck drivers face many risks while working in today’s fast paced environment. While some might consider the chances of being in an accident the most pressing danger to a driver, there are several other risk factors to consider. Lifestyle-related illnesses due to poor diet and reduced exercise are a problem in the industry and it´s not hard to understand why. Living healthy on the road is challenging. Drivers travel long distances which may require time away from home for long periods and the work in itself doesn’t always provide an opportunity for physical activity. However, eating healthy and staying fit is as important for drivers as it is for the rest of us in society.

Post #34 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 22   

States visited this week – TX, AR, NM, SC, NC, GA, TN, IL, AL, MS

Miles driven since leaving home – 8,853 Miles       

Week – September 2nd – September 9th

Spec’ing Fire Apparatus to Serve your Community

Everyone loves a parade! Especially, a Fire Truck Parade! Lights & Sirens!

However, when writing the specifications for fire apparatus there are some things more important than looks. Two important factors when preparing to purchase a new fire truck is the vehicles’ function and the terrain in its “operating environment.” Not taking into account function and terrain could lead to ownership of a great looking truck that falls short of the end users expectations.

Post #33 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Keeping the wheels turning: Today’s Truck Technology

Through major advances in technology, the trucks of today have surpassed the trucks of yesterday in terms of efficiency and safety. Today, not only can fleet owners and mechanics track the location of their trucks, they are also able to get real time diagnostic data while the truck is on the road. The drivers of these trucks also benefit from new advances in technology accomplishing the majority of their work from the safety and security of the cab.

Post #32 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Labor Day

Holiday Closure

Keeping Students Safe: It Takes a Village

My daughter first rode the bus to school about half way through her first grade year. After several months of her begging to ride, we swallowed our first time parent fears and allowed her to joyfully experience her first trip on the big yellow bus. She was excited to test her new freedom and we found out how much easier our mornings would become without the hassle of the school drop off.

Post #31 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


August. Time to prepare for Christmas travels!

Christmas? In August? Well, not quite, but this time of year many people around the world start reserving their bus tickets for Christmas travels. They are traveling to either spend the holidays in a winter resort or just visiting friends and families. All of these people have one thing in common: they plan and make early reservations to be well prepared and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Post #30 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Meet Lotta

When you think of truck drivers, you automatically think of the stereotypical male, aggressive driver, in a male dominated industry. However, women make up a small, but growing percentage of truck drivers.

Post #29 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Is automated driving technology reaching the school bus industry?

As our colleague, Ulrik Andersson, wrote earlier this year, “there has been much attention paid to autonomous cars and trucks recently” but what about school buses?

Post #28 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


How to Effectively Oversee School Bus Fleet Maintenance

While attending the Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference (SESPTC) in Asheville, North Carolina, I had the opportunity to meet with several school transportation directors. One of these directors, William Kurts (a member of NAPT), gave a lecture on the importance of overseeing school bus fleet maintenance. Kurts is the director of transportation for Lexington, South Carolina School District One and oversees 100 buses that run 231 routes. What follows are some timely highlights from the lecture as we approach the start of another school year.

Post #27 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Post #26 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


How Onspot Can Improve Your Daily Life

Whether you are picking up household waste in isolated villages, driving children to school early in the morning, or delivering to customers awaiting their orders, drivers are almost always on the road. The open road can be great, but sometimes, the conditions can change to much less than favorable in a matter of minutes or even a couple miles.

Post #25 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home - 26

States visited this week – KS, MO, IA, MN, WI, IL, IN, MI

Miles driven since leaving home - 12,123      

Week: July 1stth – July 8th    

Family Reunion

Much of our family lives in the southwest Kansas area and we spent a few days with Bob’s mom in Elkhart attending a small family reunion.  We raised both of our girls in this remote area and believe they are the better for it as they had to create their own entertainment. We decided to tour the Morton County Historical Museum to see our display.  Myrna, the curator of the museum asked us if we would donate several of our awards for a display and we agreed.  The jewel of the display is the poster where we were named one of the 2014 TA/Petro Citizen Drivers and had the North Las Vegas, Nevada Petro renamed to the Linda & Bob Caffee North Las Vegas Petro Stopping Center.  We enjoyed our stay, visiting family, friends, and touring the Cimarron National Grasslands. 

5 Most Scenic Routes in the World

For most drivers, the road is rather a workplace than a source for relaxing experiences. Out of the world’s circa 18 million kilometres of paved roads, most are just transport roads offering nothing but insignificant surroundings. However, some drives offer such breath-taking sceneries, that many find a worthwhile trip for their own sake. What routes are the most scenic in the world is, of course, a matter of personal preferences, but here’s my pick of routes I’d like to drive for the scenery.

Post #24 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


How Onspot helps make an impossible solution, possible.

Onspot automatic tire chains can be used on several different types of vehicles; trucks, busses, coaches, rescue vehicles (like ambulances and fire trucks), and etc. Occasionally, customers come to us for help finding a solution where Onspots can be mounted on a new type of vehicle. One such example, is the Dodge Ram. While a common application in North America, the Ram chassis is a less common Onspot application in Europe.

Post #23 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


4 Questions to Consider When Thinking About Automatic Tire Chains

You’ve done the research and decided that increasing traction is important. The following four questions can help you determine if Onspot Automatic Tire Chains are the right solution for you.

Post #22 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Post #21 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Danger! Icy Roads! First Responders On Scene Safely

It is always a great feeling when we hear true stories from our customers especially when lives are saved. The following story was related to us recently about an incident witnessed by then-Assistant Chief Raymond Urich, Jr. of the Fisherville Volunteer Fire Company #1 in Halifax, PA.  Fisherville is a  community located in a mountainous area of Pennsylvania about 35 miles north of Harrisburg PA.

Five good ways to protect your cargo

The summer is here and so are the season's challenges. We at Onspot are very concerned about our colleagues and customers in the transportation industry. During the winter months we want you to have good traction and during the summer months we also want you to be safe. This is especially true when it comes to making sure that you and your cargo are protected in the best way possible. That´s why I want to share some useful tips with you out on the roads this summer.

Post #20 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


What to think of when working with transportation?

The need for transporting goods and services is constantly increasing in our society. It can be products on the way to the stores, parts on the way to a factory, waste transported from your home to the recycle center or people going from one town to another. In almost everything we do, a transport is involved.  When a personal car is not enough, most transports move by trucks or buses.

Post #19 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 27

Miles driven since leaving home: 11,580

States visited since 4/22/17: CA, AZ, NM, TX, LA, MS, GA, FL TN

Week: May 20 to May 27

Fantastic weather all across the country

This week was the office view that we like, fantastic weather, good roads, and very little road construction.  Our route from California to Georgia was across the southern tier of the United States and included a lot of long roads and very little population.  Texas is huge and we cannot drive across the state without a change of drivers.

Keeping Accurate Records: The Onspot Fleet Review program

Ever wonder what would happen if we did not have accurate records for certain things in our lives. Say, for example, you go to see the doctor or the dentist and they did not have any record of your medical history or any record of what took place during your last visit. The same could be said for your home or car. Service work was done but there were no records kept. Imagine driving with no license, registration, or proof of insurance. Although not as critical as these scenarios, the same does hold true when talking about keeping accurate records of your Onspot chain system.

Post #18 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Post #17 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 13

Miles driven since leaving home: 2003

States visited since 4/22/17: IA, NE, MN, WI, IL, MO, OK, TX 

Week: May 5 to May 13

The heat is here!

We traveled from the relative cool of Wisconsin to the hot state of Texas among other loads that had kept us in the North.  The temperature difference was huge, we went from driving in Wisconsin with our windows open to having the air conditioner runing full time and using a fan to help keep us cool. 

Will truck automation actually improve driver satisfaction & safety?

There has been much attention paid to autonomous cars and trucks recently. In a world where more and more things, e.g. trucks, are connected, technology constantly pushes the boundaries. What seemed like science fiction yesterday is now literally waiting around the corner. From a professional driver’s perspective, there are other concerns: Will autonomous trucks be a threat to my job? Actually, truck autonomy could really improve the working conditions for drivers.

Post #16 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Five Key Insights: Onspot’s Product Development Philosophy

In the following interview, Ron Rosenbalm, a 25 year veteran of Onspot of North America explains some of the engineering philosophies that have driven our product development. As an Application Specialist, Ron has spent his career optimizing everything from mounting systems to the basic form and function of individual components.

Post #15 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 0

Miles driven since leaving home: 0

States visited since 4/22/17: MO

Week: April 22 to April 28

Our second and last week at home before we hit the road again.  We are not home often and we make the most of it by getting eyes checked or visiting any other doctors we might need to see.  This time is spent catching up on anything that needs to be done to our house or to the shop such as work on our driveway after the winter season, helping our daughter clean up the flower beds and get the first few mowings done.  This is also a time to relax, and while it sounds funny, to have unlimited running water and plenty of counter space.  I enjoy making complicated meals while at home and freezing leftovers to take with us when we go back on the road.

Will drivers be replaced with drones?

Several companies are involved in projects with unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones. How will the use of drones impact the global transportation industry? Here are a few pros and cons.

Post #14 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 0

Miles driven since leaving home: 0

States visited since 4/1/17: MO

Week: April 15 to April 22

Home Sweet Home

We are home for the week and catching up on spring cleaning inside and outside of the house.  Our home is located in the country with ten acres and a nice shop for Bob to work in.  We have seven acres of grass and three acres of forest.  Our yard is kept very small as the rest of the grass our neighbors bale to feed their cattle in the winter.  With a shop and all of this grass we have barn cats and a few of these cats are somewhat tame. 

From invention and innovation to a convenience

Probably, many of us consider an invention as a ground-breaking achievement, while an innovation is ‘just’ an improvement of something existing. But, if you really think about it, what makes your working day safer and more convenient? Is it the ground-breaking inventions or the small innovations?

Post #13 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 48

Miles driven since leaving home: 3808

States visited since 4/1/17: MO, IL, KS, AR, TN, MS, AL

Week: April 8 to April 15

As part of Freightliner Team Run Smart we get to attend some pretty interesting events and truck shows to talk about our truck, getting good fuel mileage, and staying profitable as owner operators.  This event though was our truck's first birthday party event.

Is technology the key to a shorter response time in rescue driving?

Why response time must be reduced

For rescue operations ‘response time’ is one of the measures for effectiveness. In emergency situations response time should be as short as possible as this could be crucial for saving lives or properties at danger. Accordingly, much effort is put into reducing response times. But actually, what is response time?

Post #12 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 43

Miles driven since leaving home: 13,478

States visited since 4/1/17: VA, WV, MD, PA, OH, IN, IL, MO

Week: April 1 to April 8

We waited in Carlisle, PA Thursday and Friday and did not receive any load offers that we were willing to accept. 

New York City

Two of the offers were to go into New York City and we decided many years ago after picking up and delivering loads a couple of times in the city we were not going back in a truck.  Bob and I were both raised in very rural areas and it takes a special type of person to handle the pressure of driving in this type of traffic in a truck.  Our decision was, if we can make enough money without going into the ‘city” then we did not need to go back. 

Why should I engage Onspot once a month?

Well, you probably know that this is to keep the bearings in good order. But, why do they stay in good condition when they’re rolling? Wouldn’t it be less wear if they’re not engaged and then stay in better condition? Although it may seem contradictory, they should be rolling. Let’s dive into the world of bearings and their lubrication to understand why!

Post #11 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 39

Miles driven since leaving home: 12,035

States visited since 3/18/17: TN, KY, GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, PA

Week: March 25 to April 1

After five days in Louisville at the Mid America Trucking Show with a few of those days in a hotel it was good to get back in the truck and have a relaxing nights sleep.  We were not preassigned on a load and had to make a decision of which direction we thought would give us the best chance to get a load.  Sunday was spent driving to get us into a better location and it worked as the phone started ringing Monday morning with load offers.  We finally excepted one, picking up on Tuesday going to Georgia and then loading at the same location going to Pennsylvania. 

Spring is here, tips for Onspot preventative maintenance

Spring is finally here. Although the start of spring in the US officially began on March 20th the winter season would not go quietly. On the East coast, for example, a wintry mix of snow and ice started off the month of April. Now, however, the colder weather truly seems to be behind us as streets are swept clean, motorcycles take to the roads and classic cars come out of storage. During this time of the year there is also a focus by many towns and cities to start spring maintenance on their equipment and vehicles.

Post #10 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 32

Miles driven since leaving home: 9,993

States visited since 3/18/17: AL, TN, KY

Week: March 18-25

Attending truck shows is treated as continuing education and has benefited our business in many ways over the years.  Networking is the number one reason to attend these shows, followed up by learning of new products, and then reaching out to vendors about products we have on the truck.  Much of our time is spent in the Freightliner Team Run Smart booth talking to other drivers about our business and of course the New Cascadia that has just been introduced.  We have started the process of ordering our new truck so that we will be first on the list when the day cab DD13 will be available next year. 

Post #9 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 25

Days in a hotel: 0

Miles driven since leaving home: 7,449

States visited since 3/11/17: AZ, NV, NM, TX, OK, AR, AL, MS

Rest, recovery and chores

After unloading in Idaho, we spent the weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah cleaning up the truck and getting our laundry done.   Many of the truck stops have laundry facilities for the drivers that are on the road for extended periods of time.  The usual cost to wash one load of clothes and to dry them is $5.00.  This is a weekly chore that I dislike as I am not a fan of public laundry rooms, but I have not figured out how to get a washer and dryer into our truck that makes sense.

Tire chains, are they the best choice for rescue vehicles?

Some products are so functional and effective that there is little potential to improve them. The violin, for example, was designed by the Italian master violin-makers in the 17th century. Countless efforts have been made to challenge its basic construction in order to improve it, but in vain. The violin is so close to perfect that no one has come up with a fundamental improvement during the last 350 years.

Post #8 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Does my tractor trailer need Onspot?

"...You don’t even have to stop your truck. Flip the switch, overtake the others and steadily drive up the slope... And in the end the road was mine – at least for a while…". Karsten Glaschick (KaSaTrans e.K.)

Post #7 - Living large in 8 Ft2 with Bob and Linda Caffee


Days away from home: 11

Miles driven since leaving home: 3,208

States visited since 2/25/17: DC, OH, MD, VA, KY, TN, AR, TX, NM, AZ, CA

Leaving the District of Columbia

We were waiting for a load back out of the Washington DC area and then finally, on Saturday night, we received the call we had been waiting on. The green light was on for the load and Sunday morning the truck would be loaded going to Cincinnati with a straight through delivery. The men loading us would catch a flight and meet the truck at the hotel and get us unloaded. The journey was uneventful and we made good time.

Why are truck drivers so hard to find?

Is finding new truck drivers an impossible task? At least it seems like that if we look at reports from many countries – all concluding that carrier companies have a hard time finding qualified truck drivers to hire. But, what’s the reason for this shortage of drivers? Of course, there is not a single answer to that, and besides, reasons differ from country to country and from region to region. However, I think that the solution to the problem is most certainly many-sided.

Post #6 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home: 4
States visited since 2/18/17: MO, IL, IN, OH, PA, WV, VA, DC
Miles driven since leaving home: 1,015
Week: February 18th – 25th

A trip to the White House

The exciting part of expediting is never knowing what will happen next or where we will be going. We were offered to pickup a load in Saint Louis at a hotel going back to Washington, DC to deliver to White House Communications. The Vice President, Mike Pence, made a presentation at Fabick Caterpillar a family owned business. The VP flew in for the day, made his presentation, and then flew off to another appointment.

Tales from the field, how Onspot saves lives

Over the years, I have received reports from customers who arrived at their destinations safely because of their Onspots. However, the most humbling accounts are from people who were saved because someone else had Onspots or the realization that they wish they had Onspots.

Post #5 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home: 6
Miles driven since leaving home: 3,628
States visited since 2/14/17: MO, IL, IN, KY, VA, NC, SC
Week: February 12th – 18th
Cities: Fort Bragg, Chicago, St Louis

Where are you going next? Almost always the answer is “I do not know.” This lackadaisical response baffles most people who have lives with a set pattern of going to work, going home, and looking forward to the weekend. In our lives a mile is a mile in any direction and what determines that direction is pay per mile.

Post #4 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home: 40
Miles driven since leaving home: 13,438
States visited since 2/4/17 NM, TX, MS, LA, AL, GA, TN, IN, IL, MO

The Super Bowl is a huge deal in the United States and that means a lot of people descended on Houston, Texas to watch the game at either the stadium or to join others at large screen TV events. Our next load was to pickup game playing equipment that was used at a big ESPN party held at one of the downtown hotels and to take the equipment to Atlanta where another party was being held at a convention center.

Is it possible to increase traction without adding equipment?

Maybe you’ve been there? The road is becoming icy and slippery and you know it's time to get out there and put on your tire chains. As usual, you’re in a hurry, so the mounting time would cost you another hour of delay. And besides, you don’t feel like leaving your warm cab for the freezing cold roadside… So, is there a trick to get traction anyway? Actually, there is a trick that many experienced drivers know of. Yet, it’s a controversial trick. Here’s why!

Post #3 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home: 32 
Miles driven: 11,659
States visited since 1/28/17: CA, NV, AZ, NM

This past week we slipped between two storms and went over the famous Donner Pass on I-80 between California and Nevada. The picture of Donner Pass below is of how Donner can look and at times the road can be worse and the states will close down the pass until the snow plows have cleared the snow from the roadway.

Post #2 - Living large in 8 Ft² with Bob and Linda Caffee

Days away from home: 25
Miles Driven: 9,256
States visited since 1/4/17:  IA, IL, IN, KY, TN, GA, NC, AR, OK, TX, NM, AZ, CA, NV, UT

Nothing is a direct route in trucking and we had to attend a recertification class in January. We carry a lot of hazardous materials, hazmat for short. As a result, we are required to attend classes every two years, have a background check, provide fingerprints, and take a hazmat test to keep our commercial driver’s licenses compliant.  This year we had to attend the class which was held in my birthplace of Tucson, Arizona.  We had to be in class on January 13th and our route was anything but straight. 

Living large in 64 sq. ft. with Bob and Linda Caffee, USA Team Truck Drivers

Getting started as truck drivers was not as easy as it sounds. After twenty years as a diesel mechanic Bob decided he wanted to start driving trucks instead of working on them. I, Linda at the time worked at our local county courthouse and we were facing the “empty nest syndrome” as our youngest daughter was heading off to college. The idea sounded appealing and we started our research. 

Onspot is Peace of Mind for Rolf-Olav Tenden

"When I get a call from a driver saying `-Today I was saved by Onspot´ it´s already payed off".

What is road friction?

We all know that friction and traction are crucial to avoid sliding vehicles and spinning wheels. (To learn more, read the blog post What is traction, friction and road grip?) When driving, we have a sense of whether road friction is high or low. But is there a measure for road friction? If so, how could that be calculated since there are several different variables summing up to road friction? Let’s have a closer look at “road friction”.

Why do bridges become icy before roads?

We should pay special attention to bridges and overpasses when driving in temperatures around freezing point. We’ve learnt that bridges may be icy while the road isn’t, and that’s all we need to know to for safety reasons. But, giving it a second thought, how could the bridge be icy when the road isn’t? Here’s why.

Keeping students safe – Five modern school bus technologies to consider for your fleet

The classic school bus may look similar to those on the road for decades, but major technology changes are increasing student safety. We have assembled a list of five technologies that you may not have heard about that can improve fleet performance and student wellbeing.

What is the total potential for reducing response time?

Every single rescue operation is about minimizing damage and ultimately saving lives, and every single driver strives to reduce response time. For the rescue driver, with his specific knowledge and experience, it’s natural to reflect upon the matter from a local perspective. But, if we look at it from a general perspective; how many operations are there actually that may have response time reduced? Let’s have a look at some numbers.

What is traction, friction and road grip?

Whether driving a small go-kart or a heavy hauler, you must have traction to move forward. Actually, you can’t even walk without it. Traction is a commonly used word and many believe it’s just another word for friction. But is it really? Let’s have a closer look at friction and traction – what it is and why it’s so fundamental to safe driving.

Icy road basics for safe driving

To many, the white winter landscape is the definition of icy roads. However, due to weather and meteorology there are different reasons why roads become icy. For safe driving, it’s a good idea to know some theory behind icy roads. With proper knowledge and awareness, the driver can reduce the risk of accidents or delays due to slippery road conditions. So, let’s have a closer look at some common causes for roads to become icy.

Holiday Hours

Onspot of North America will be closed on the following dates in November and December:

Thursday, November 24
Friday, November 25

Friday, December 23
Monday, December 26
Friday, December 30

We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

How to discover black ice?

The first winter storm of the season is often a suprise. In Sweden, we recently had our first huge snow chaos of this season, some say it was the worst snow storm in 100 years. The news reported that many had left their vehicles on the highways to walk instead and many truck drivers where stuck in the snow and had to sleep in their trucks all night long.

What to do when waking up to slippery road conditions?

The winter season has recently arrived and it's just a few degrees below the freezing point. Strong wind along with the first snow has arrived overnight and it has started piling up. It´s time to go to work and start your scheduled route throughout the city.

How to keep your Onspots working properly

We tend to do as we always do. Many things in everyday life become habits, and we don’t reflect on them. At least until something goes wrong, or we get some other trigger to change our routines. To most people, driving is one such habit, irrespective of if we’re professional drivers or just drive the family car.

Think back to when you left driving school. Your mind was full of rules and regulations, dos and don’ts and a lot of advice from teachers and experienced drivers. But today, do you really remember literally all traffic signs and rules? I don’t…
Knowledge and advice we don’t use or are reminded of fade away over time and we forget. This is naturally human.

How to compare automatic tire chains to the alternatives

Get a grip – one way or another

We all know that you need traction when driving in adverse conditions. Losing traction and getting stuck causes frustrating delays, possibly with serious consequences…

Would I benefit from Automatic Tire Chains?

 The Driver is in control

We live in the era of automation. Have you ever thought of all the things that used to need a lot of human involvement, but today are seemingly automatic? Buying things for example. We have access to a global supply of products and services that are just a few clicks away, and we get our deliveries with very little human involvement. It’s different systems that communicate and automate that provide this convenience.

Driving performance is about more than the vehicle

When the going gets tough and harsh winter conditions strike, the interaction between the driver and the vehicle is put to the test.

In these tough conditions, good driving performance is more than relying upon on the vehicle or it's saftey systems. Rather, it’s about instantly adapting your mindset and behavior in order to do the job effectively – in the safest way possible.

Is there an alternative to 4x4?

When purchasing a new vehicle, 4x4 is a common option to consider. No wonder, it’s a familiar and well-tried solution with good features for safer driving – but it’s easy to ignore its weaknesses believing there’s no better alternative.However, when thinking about situations where traction is crucial for your operations, you may conclude that 4x4 is not the perfect solution, but rather a compromise.

In case your vehicles must make it in time on icy roads in harsh winter conditions – and when total cost of ownership is an issue – automatic tire chains may be a better choice for you.

I suggest you read the 4x4 vs. Onspot comparison guide and give it some extra thought. Deciding traction control for your vehicles shouldn’t be made by routine. That decision should be made for your fleet’s optimal cost-effectiveness!

Feel free to comment below or contact us!

5 tips for efficient driving when the winter weather strikes

It comes every year, but it surprises us every time and often poses severe problems – of course we are talking about the winter.

Everyone involved in the transportation industry knows that a lack of road maintenance and poorly equipped trucks can cause major problems and increased costs. We cannot influence the weather but we can adapt our business to the weather and to the slippery conditions.

Properly equipped vehicles adapted to different weather conditions and recommendations or laws may be crucial to ensuring that the shipment can be delivered as agreed. Many countries also have legal requirements for both winter tires and snow chains. 

5 Tips for driving a school bus in adverse conditions

School bus drivers are our heros

At Onspot, we have a lot of respect for school bus drivers. Taking the responsibility of safely transporting dozens of children is no small task. We spend a lot of time make sure our products are safe and dependable for these important drivers.

We know there are some big differences between a school bus driver’s work environment and that of other commercial operators. The school bus driver is not working alone in the cab, they are inside the bus filled with chatting and laughing kids. They may not be delivering goods to impatient customers, but are instead carrying our society’s most valuable asset– children. This alone is a stressful thought for any driver.

How to shorten your response time in rescue driving

Why response time must be reduced

For rescue operations ‘response time’ is one of the measures for effectiveness. In emergency situations response time should be as short as possible as this could be crucial for saving lives or properties at danger. Accordingly, much effort is put into reducing response times. But actually, what is response time?

Response time is a sum of parts

The total response time could be split into three clearly different phases:

  1. Dispatch time – This is the time elapsed from when an emergency call is received at the central until the rescue unit is notified.
  2. Turnout time – The time from when the rescue unit is notified until it is responding.
  3. Travel time – The time from responding until arriving at the incident scene.

It’s quite obvious that the potential for reducing response time will differ considerably depending on what phase we’re looking at.

The guide to improving fleet productivity

Transport enables prosperity

A transport stoppage for just a few days is enough for large parts of our society to come to a sudden halt. Despite this, the challenges facing the transportation and logistics industries have never been so great as they are now. Lower rates, increased competition, bigger forwarders, a shortage of drivers, tighter requirements for safety and quality certification, and requirements for clean, climate-friendly transport are just some of the challenges that contractors themselves describe as obstacles to good profitability and productivity.

More than half of transportation firms in the USA and Europe have problems with profitability. How can contractors adapt their operations to the challenges they face while also achieving profitability for their own companies?

Keeping up with your schedule

The fact that schedules and deadlines are critical for most transport operations is no news. Actually, missed deadlines could mean temporary profit loss and even lost contracts – not to speak about the bad company reputation that may result. The professional driver is of course well aware of this and hopefully he knows how to keep up with the schedule. Accordingly, missed deadlines could be blamed on things beyond his control – a missed deadline is blamed on chance. However, there are different ways to deal with chance.

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