If you’re a homeowner looking to sell your home, or increase the value of your home, you know the importance of your driveway to your home because your driveway is a part of the package in curb appeal. A beautiful driveway, depending on the stone used, can increase the value of a home moreso than concrete or asphalt. There are also a variety of options with stone (granite/limestone/etc.), unlike asphalt. With all the choices, you may actually want to consider which stone is right for you and your home.
When choosing stone, don’t forget natural stone such as brick, crushed stone, or recycled stone. Out of these, natural crushed stone is the most commonly purchased stone by homeowners. Produced from granite, limestone, sandstone and traprock, natural crushed stone lends itself to stone/gravel hauling because it is easy to transport. Natural crushed stone will be laid down in layers. It’s base will often consist of large stones dumped on compacted soil to make a solid foundation. The process continues, with smaller stones each layer, until the final layer is laid, in which a mix of small and large stones are placed on top!
Just as there are many different types of stone to use for your driveway, there are a variety of shapes you can choose from, which should appease even the most critical homeowners. Crushed stone offers rough edges and surfaces that make easy contact with tires to create friction. Like puzzle pieces that fit snuggly together. River stone is a rounded stone with smooth surface. If you go with this shape, you may also need to install driveway edging to keep this stone from falling out. Pea gravel is like river stone but smaller, but does require installation to keep the gravel from falling out of the driveway.
Crushed stone can come in a variety of sizes from fractions of an inch up to 7 inches. There is a numbering system, designed by the American Society for Testing and Materials, used to classify stone according to size. Certain stone types can lend themselves to easy hauling by truck.
While sometimes neglected, an important factor in adding to your home’s value is selecting the right color for your stone to match your home’s exterior. Be sure to review your home’s color palette and pick a color that accentuates or complements the overall tone.
If you want to add value to your home, attractive driveways are a great way to do so. In addition to the aesthetics, stone is more environmentally friendly than asphalt and concrete, as both do not drain rain water as well as natural stone. If you need a transport company for your next home driveway renovation, give Nickel Rock a call for a free estimate. Located in Canyon Lake, Texas, but we’ll travel anywhere in Texas to get you the materials you need in a timely manner!
As a truck driver, it’s obvious to see not only in media but on the streets, that the public’s perception of us has been rapidly declining. We’ve all seen cartoons or movies with the dim-witted truck driver stereotype.
To make sure we don’t perpetuate the stereotypes, we need to proactively think about how the people we encounter during the day perceive us. Like any business, first impressions can be everything. By addressing this, we can boost the reputations of truckers as a whole. Take a look at a few of the guidelines we’ll be talking about today:
Treat Customers Well
Who are your customers, you say? Your customers are everyone you deal within your workday. Your customer is your dispatcher, the DOT inspector, your fellow workers, and the people on the road. How you act and your performance on the job reflects you as a person, and the company whether it’s good or bad.
That means you shouldn’t be quick to anger on the job. A friendly employee is much more likely to be remembered than an irate one.
Again, give and you shall receive. Much like everything else in life, the golden rule applies to customer service as well: treat others as you would like them to treat you.
Sitting in the same spot all day with the sun beating down on you can leave you sweating and smelling within an hour. Sometimes even with the A/C on full blast you can start stinking.
If you shower daily, slapping on some deodorant should keep those smelly odors at bay and keep you smelling fresh. These days you’d be hard-pressed to find a truck stop that DIDN’T have a shower, so there is no excuse for those rank odors on a long haul. Good hygiene isn’t just a shower though! Be sure to brush your teeth and hair daily and trim facial hair when needed.
Dress to Impress
Even if you never speak to someone, the way you look and dress can paint a picture of the person you are. When driving a truck, no one is expecting you look like you’re headed to a wedding, but you should take strides to dress nicely.
Most fleet companies provide uniforms, but usually it is your responsibility to keep it clean, pressed and looking good.
Even if your company can’t provide you with a uniform, you should still make sure to clean up. Invest in some good quality work clothes, such as a dress shirt and khakis. During hotter months, try wearing something with more breathing room, such as a collared polo shirt. Extra clothes is usually another good idea when going on long hauls.
You’re not just representing your company, while out on the road, you’re also representing your fellow truckers.
Not sure where to look when hiring a fleet company to take care of all your hauling needs? If you’re in Texas, we’ve got you covered. Nickel Rock LLC is your one stop shop for fleet transport and construction materials. Check out our website at: https://nickelrockllc.com/about/ to get a quote or find out more.
A pre-trip inspection is essential when operating a vehicle to ensure it will run at optimal performance. A healthy vehicle ensures the safety of not only the driver, but also everyone else on the road. If you are a truck driver, fleet or personal, you are required by law to inspect your truck and trailer once before your shift starts and once within every 24 hours spent on road. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the vehicle is safe for operation and is free from defects.
A full inspection should take you approximately 30 to 50 minutes. The key to a good inspection is to take your time while inspecting each section of your vehicle and performing each check thoroughly. Make sure to inspect everything that needs inspecting, but find a pattern or routine that works for you.
Alas, even the most diligent of truckers will occasionally forget a few details. Today we’ll be looking at some of the more overlooked inspection areas:
1. Wheel Chocks
Although everyone knows they need to do it, it can often be overlooked when rushing to prepare for inspection. Making sure your chocks are in place are an effective safety measure to prevent the accidental movement of your truck.
Making sure your brakes are in top shape should be a main priority before taking a trip. A lot of steps need to be taken in order to thoroughly check your brakes, but doing so is absolutely necessary before hitting the road. Your truck’s brakes are one of the hardest working components on your vehicle and are subject to a lot of wear and tear.
Here is a video we recommend checking out if you want to find out more about the steps needed to inspect your brakes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdjJX8a5IIo&nohtml5=False
3. Wheel Fasteners
Like checking your brakes, inspecting the stuff that holds your wheels in place is an important part of any inspection. Having your wheels fly off on the interstate is dangerous and life-threatening. A common problem for truckers are wheel fasteners. When looking at wheel fasteners, make sure they are tightened correctly. Rust around the lug nuts can also point to several underlying factors.
Your cab will likely be the first area the inspector checks during pre-trip inspection. Your cab is essentially your workspace, and how well you maintain it shows the inspector the kind of person you are. Not only is the mess an indicator of you, it can present dangers on the road, such as preventing your windshield defroster/fogger from working correctly. So remove all trash and debris from your floor and seats, and keep any excess items in your glove compartment.
5. Emergency Kit
By law, every trucker is required to carry an emergency kit containing spare fuses/circuit breakers, warning hazard triangles and a fire extinguisher. Just because you have these items in your truck, doesn’t mean you’ll pass an inspection though. You’ll also need to make sure that the fire extinguisher hasn’t been tampered with, and that it has been recently serviced, as the substance in it expires.
When inspecting your truck, your lights are probably some of the first things you inspect. While this is great, don’t forget to inspect your reflectors as well! Reflectors help increase your visibility at night, and leave you in a dangerous situation if not properly taken care of. Your reflectors should be free of cracks and clean of dirt. Also inspect the reflective strips along your cab and trailer, as worn or peeling strips can become ineffective.
If you’re looking for a fleet transport company with trucks that are always in top condition, look no further, Nickel Rock has you covered. You can be sure that our fleet trucks with take your load to and from wherever it is you need it. Check us out on our website to learn more:HERE
We’ve all thought it: As a trucker, long hauls suck! They are boring and tedious. The hum of the road road is unending, and the scenery starts to look the same as the hours pass by. The combination of the tire hum and the repetitive scenery make it easy to fall into a lull and contribute to road fatigue, which in turn makes it harder for you to keep your eyes open.
So what should you do? Well, Here are the top ten time-tested methods by veteran truckers to stay awake and alert while making that long-haul assignment.
1) Take a power nap before you hit the road. According to studies, even sleeping for an hour, your body will receive the energy it needs to stay awake during long hours. If you’re already on the road, pull over and take 20-minute power-naps as needed. Remember, fighting fatigue to save a few hours isn’t worth it. You may end up hurting others and yourself.
2) Find time to eat something healthy after your power-nap. While it’s much more convenient to grab fast food when hitting the road, the fat and sugar will make you tired. You can eat complex carbohydrates and protein to give you lasting energy and stamina. Whole grains, lean meats (chicken and turkey), fruits, and vegetables are all foods that you should be eating to keep you awake during your trip.
3) Avoid caffeine and stay hydrated. Although coffee seems like a great way to jolt yourself awake, the caffeine in coffee wears off rather quickly. Caffeine also happens to be a diuretic, which increases your need to use the bathroom, way more than water will. Make sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated, because dehydration is quick to cause fatigue.
4) If it gets worse, turn up the music. Music affects your mood which, in turn, affected your energy levels. Feeling sleepy or down on your luck? Cheery or lively music you can sing along with. If you’re in the rig by yourself, all the better! This is sure to liven the mood and your energy levels.
5) Move when you start feeling fatigue. If you need to, pull over, get out and stretch your body. Your blood flow becomes restricted sitting in the same spot for long periods; moving around will get your blood flowing again and keep you alert.
6) Slap yourself awake. I know this tip may seem weird and silly, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Do something to snap yourself out of your sleepy state, whether it’s pinching your arm, smacking yourself, or yodeling loudly, do whatever it takes (except legitimately hurting yourself) to make sure you’re wide awake.
7) Open your windows and let the oxygen flow! Cold air gives your body a temporary jolt, shocking your sense into alertness. Unfortunately, this and the previous tip are only temporary fixes and cannot replace good old shut-eye.
Remember, the safety of yourself and those around is worth more than saving a few extra hours on your haul. You could lose your job, license or even worse – your life. Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re tasked with a long-haul assignment and stay safe!
Want a fleet company who offers the best truckers Texas has to offer? Give the trucking veterans Nickel Rock a call. We specialize in construction material supplies and fleet transportation. With years of experience and hard to beat prices, we can help you with your next commercial or residential fleet transport.
With Spring only a few short months ahead of us, highway construction and maintenance season will soon be in full swing, with work zones popping up all over the country.
We’ve all had first hand experience with work zones resulting in lane closures that disrupt traffic flow and create hazards as many drivers attempt to change lanes. When approaching work zones, as commercial drivers, we need to slow down and pay full attention to the road ahead and surrounding environment.
Today we’ll talk about ten work-zone safety tips, provided and discussed by the Federal Highway Administration:
1. Along any road, major or minor, if there is a work zone, expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits are likely to be reduced, traffic lanes may be closed off or changed, and people and vehicles may be working on or near the road.
2. Diamond-shaped orange warning signs are often posted in advance of road construction projects. Slow down. Be alert. Pay attention to all signs.
3. In addition to the diamond-shaped orange warning signs, there may be a “flagger ahead” warning sign posted within the work zone. When you see this, be prepared to follow and obey the flagger’s directions. In a work zone, a flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying their directions.
4. Stay calm and truck on. Work zones aren’t meant to personally inconvenience you. They’re necessary to improve the road conditions for everyone.
5. When you notice flashing arrow panels or “lane closed ahead” signs, make sure to merge as soon as possible. Don’t try to speed right up to the lane closure and then try to merge in. If everyone cooperates, traffic moves more efficiently. Motorists, and commercial truckers in general, can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by moving to the appropriate lane at first notice of an approaching work zone, before it becomes a problem.
6. Slow down when the work zone signs tell you to. A car traveling 60 mph travels 88 feet per second and will need additional time to slow down the faster you are going.
7. The most common vehicle accident that occurs in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision. Remember to leave at least two seconds of braking distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. The amount of space required to provide two seconds of stopping time will increase the faster you’re driving.
8. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, other trucks, construction equipment and workers. Just like you, highway workers do not want to be involved in an accident.
9. Certain work-zone projects, such as line painting, road patching and mowing, are mobile, meaning that they move across or along the road as the project progresses. If you don’t see the workers immediately after you see the warning signs, that doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Be sure to observe the posted signs until you see the “End Roadwork” or a sign that says you’ve exited the work zone.
10. Highway agencies use many different and varying ways to inform motorists and truckers about the location and duration of major work zones. Often, the agencies will suggest a detour to help you avoid the work zone entirely. If you plan your route ahead of time, you can try to take an alternate route.
Trucks have been an integral part of modern society for decades. From semis carrying huge payloads across highways, to personal trucks for the average person, they’re everywhere. Truth be told, people have been using truck-like vehicles to transport goods for centuries, albeit before mechanical engines, the goods were often drawn by humans and pack animals. As civilizations progressed, the need more efficient and powerful methods of transportation became more apparent. This lead to the birth of the truck. The trucks of today can fulfill many different roles, and that’s what makes them so versatile in today’s fleet industry. Let’s take a look back and see where trucks really took off.
The birth of trucking
Before motor trucks, railroads monopolized the inland transport of goods and services in the 19th century. The railroad industry was at the forefront of technological innovation where most immediate transportation systems comprised of a wagon drawn by pack-animals. Despite the usefulness and convenience of train transport, the flexibility of horse transport was unrivaled until self-propelled, steam-powered vehicles begin to gain traction.
The pioneers in self-propelled vehicles eventually ended up developing technologies such as suspension, steering, and braking. In addition to these technological advances, breakthroughs in metallurgy and a better understanding of a vehicle’s weight and mass design, particularly with with passengers and payload, further contributed to the emergence of the self-propelled truck. With the invention of the internal combustion engine in the nineteenth century, the self propelled vehicle was able to truly step out and become commonplace.
The rise and fall
Before advanced transmissions and gear drives for internal combustion engines became standard, the trucking industry was slow to establish it’s footing, even with railroads being limited to interaction among city hubs. Oftentimes, drivers started their own trucking companies and made a living with a single truck with an open cab and solid rubber tires over dirt roads. As time passed, trucking companies emerged with increased demand, as more cities and towns were established. Companies began cropping up, with multiple drivers or company-specific fleets handling transportation of commodities in cities, with an increasing range as technology progressed. The first major trucking boom occurred in the postwar 1920s. Roads were constantly improving and allowing access to more places. Balloon tires eventually replaced solid rubber tires and trucks grew in size, with closed cabs that helped companies travel farther, carry more payload.
This prosperity wouldn’t last for long though, as a number of trucking companies were forced to close during the Depression, but those still open received a boost from the repeal of Prohibition and the slowly reviving economy. In 1935, Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act, which authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate the trucking industry. The bill finally ended the contest between rail and automotive interests which had been a battle long fought in Congress. With this passing, the railroad industry had to heel to the burgeoning trucking industry.
Where we are today
Fast forward to now, the fleet trucking industry is stronger than ever, as the global and national economy has grown exponentially. With so many fleet companies, it’s hard to find which is right for you. You can start by checking us out! We provide amazing service at great prices. You can give us a call at 210–468–0290 for a free quote today!
When attempting to maintain the quality of the natural stone in your home and elongating its life, it is beneficial to consider sealing it. If you are wondering whether or not this is a good option for you, there are a few things you need to figure out before making a decision.
- What is the hardness, density and durability of your stone?
- How porous is the stone? This is important for knowing how quickly it will absorb a liquid.
- Is the stone at high risk for staining? In other words, will it often be subjected to substances that could stain the surface of the rock?
- What finish does the surface have? This is important because a polished surface is much more resistant to sealer than a honed (matte) finish.
- Will the sealant damage the color of the stone?
- Where is the stone in your home? If it is not a residential location, the same question applies to commercial use.
- How do you plan on maintaining it? Will there be personal cleaning or a maintenance team? This is important because some cleaners will react negatively with the sealer and cause damage to the stone.
All of these questions are very important and will affect your determination of how to protect and maintain your stone.
Generally, sealing stone is a good idea because it protects it from the everyday effects of dirt and spills. Sometimes though, there are cases in which stone should be left untreated because sealer can potentially damage the stone’s color and appearance. Most often though, when dealing with indoor natural stone, sealing it is an important step, especially with granite or calcium based stones like marble or travertine.
If you have decided to seal your stone, there is still some work to be done because different stones can need different sealers depending on their composition. There are many different sealers but there are two main ones to know.
1) TOPICAL SEALERS. These are coatings (film formers) designed to protect the surface of the stone from damages that could be caused by water, oil, and other contaminants. They are composed of natural wax, acrylic and other plastic compounds. The most important thing to know about topical sealers is that it completely shifts the maintenance approach. Once this seal is applied, maintenance becomes about caring for the sealer instead of the stone. That is because instead of entering the stone, though it does, its main purpose is to coat the stone and completely cover it. Therefore, the stone really isn’t accessible.
2) IMPREGNATORS. These are water or solvent based solutions that penetrate below the surface and become ingrained repellents. Their nature is to be hydrophobic, or water repellent, but they are also oliophobic, or oil resistant. Impregnators provide full protection against dirt, stains, and contaminants just like topical sealers, but allow the interior moisture to escape. This is important for more porous stone in which moisture can collect and degrade the integrity of the stone.
Now that you know the basics of stone sealing, here are a few things to keep in mind before actually sealing it. Read the manufacturer’s warranty and instructions, contact the manufacturer if you are at all uncertain about your decision to seal, make sure you know all of the effect of the product you If you have any questions about whether sealing your stone is necessary or good for you, contact a representative at Nickel Rock today and we will do our best to assist you in whatever way possible.
At NickelRock we like to handle the materials side of things for you if you’ll let us. We have a variety of products and following is an overview of some of the products we offer. You pick the materials and let us know what you need and we transport it to your site.
Limestone Base & Commercial Base are used for the foundation of construction products and for roads and driveways. They provide easy application and a smooth surface for a road or foundation. Limestone base is made of its namesake, limestone, making it relatively inexpensive.
LRA Base, or limestone rock asphalt base is much like the bases above in its uses but differs in its composition. It is a very great material for any construction project.
LRA Fines, or limestone rock asphalt fines, are much like LRA base mentioned above, but its composition is different. It is a combination of limestone rock asphalt, fluxing material, water, and sometimes additives and virgin aggregates. This fine, though similar in use to a base, is more finely crushed.
Field Sand is used for highly maintained areas of turf, such as those on athletic fields or on golf greens and tees. The sand provides a great drainage system for the field.
Washed Sand is a light color that is screened and washed to remove impurities such as silt and clay, then allowed to drain. It is used on golf courses, as a base for laying bricks, as a pool liner and more.
Pea Gravel is rounded gravel that is hard, durable, opaque and free of sand, clay or other foreign substance.
Hot Mix is a type of asphalt that is composed of about 95 percent stone, sand, or gravel bound together by asphalt cement. Asphalt cement is heated aggregate, combined and mixed.
Cold Mix is a type of asphalt that is produced by emulsifying the asphalt in water with soap prior to mixing with the aggregate. While in its emulsified state, the asphalt is less viscous and easier to work and compact.
Clean Aggregate is a sand or gravel aggregate that is free of clay, dirt, or organic material.
Crushed Granite is great for design or for paving materials for a landscape.
Screened Caliche is made of the by-product of finely crushed caliche. It is very fine.
Pit Run Caliche is material excavated directly from an existing bank in a pit and delivered to the jobsite without further processing. It excludes crushing, screening, washing and classifying from its process.
Fill Dirt is earthy material which is used to fill in a depression or hole in the ground or create mounds or otherwise artificially change the grade or elevation of a property.
Top Soil is a fertile soil containing a mixture of inorganic material and organic humus.
At NickelRock we also offer a few custom solutions. Call a representative today to find out more about our products or to get a quote for our services and let us know what we can do for you.
Xeriscaping is landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. The greatest asset of this type of landscaping is that in areas prone to drought, homes can still have beautiful yards without the use of water in upkeep. In xeriscaping, a lot of stone and plants which require little water are used.
While xeriscaping is a great way to landscape, especially if you struggle with water restrictions, there are many ways to landscape. Spaces can look clean with or without the use of rocks and stones, but with them, yards can look very well put together or even exciting. So if you are considering using stone in the landscaping of your space, whether you xeriscape or not, there are tons of ideas to create welcoming and livable spaces. Following are some unique ways to use stone in your home.
1) Stone pavers can create a chic yet simple looking floor and when matched with a sleek stone fireplace creates a relaxing, comfortable space.
2) Terraced stone steps in a mix-and-match pattern lay-out creates a strong focal point for the yard and plants can be added on either side of the steps to create visual interest. Try mixing different greens and even other vibrant colors for an interesting design.
3) Stone pavers are very popular, as you can see by their previous mention. A great asset of pavers is that they take up a large amount of space, saving water from thirsty grass while still looking great.
4) Stepping stones can be a very practical way to add beauty to your space. With the addition of plants, it can create a contrast and vibrancy. Some opt for a pebble or mulch lane surrounding the stones. This can be very chic and could use many different colors, shapes, and sizes depending on the design of your space.
5) A gabion wall is a retaining wall made of stacked stone-filled gabions tied together with wire. These walls can be used for various purposes including erosion control, dams, or foundation depending on what is put in them. Aside from function, though, they create a great focal peace and can help break up the colors in a lawn.
6) Stone can be used in a variety of ways to make benches. They could have granite or marble or any other stone surface. The base could be made of caged in stone or, again, granite or another solid stone. There are many options for every type of design.
7) The use of pebbles in a garden or lawn can create a fun yet still very chic space. Depending on the look youâre going for, there are a variety of different pebbles to choose from ranging in size and color. They can be used by themselves or placed around plants or stones walkways or furniture.
8) The use of big rocks and natural stones can be used in a rolling slope for a more natural look. These looks are great for spaces that you want to look more wild or untouched. They are beautiful and unique.
At Nickel Rock, we normally haul large amounts of materials for your construction project needs. However, today, we wanted to take a small detour to look at one of the materials we haul, granite, and one its most popular uses: kitchen countertops.
Granite is a very popular choice for kitchen countertops for its unique beauty and superior durability. Because granite is a natural stone, each cut has a different design and there are many options for pattern and color. Because it is scratch-resistant and very hard, it has great durability and long life-expectancy.
Choosing granite for your counter tops is almost always a good decision, but how do you decide between the many patterns and colors. This answer is different for every space so here we’ll discuss some general rules and ideas to keep in mind when picking out granite for your home. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to design but following are some general ideals many people follow.
Picking a Color
Typically when using a dark granite, it is a good idea to make sure there is a lot of light in the room. Dark granite in combination with dark cabinets, walls, or floors often makes a space seem smaller and less attractive. Dark counters are often paired with light cabinets and walls to create a striking contrast. Some people even opt to choose a dark stone for the counters along the walls and a light color for an island, again creating a contrast which can add a special effect to a room. Dark granite looks very chic when combined with stainless steel appliances and does a good job of hiding dirt and grime, good for many families.
Light granite has a brightening effect on most rooms, especially when there is a lot of natural lighting. Light granite can look modern when combined with white appliances and trim, or traditional when paired with vintage appliances or wood paneling. It is easy to pick the wrong shade of granite when going light, but if done well it will look very sleek. Keep in mind that light granite more easily shoes dirt and grime which may not be compatible with large families or busy people.
Granite can be dyed several colors including red, blue, and green. Choosing colored granite can be very risky but pays off if done correctly, making a big statement.
Picking a Pattern
Patterns in granite are typically similar, being flecked or lined with color, but vary in density, shade, and size. Though it is less common, solid stones can be found. More common, though, is granite with flecks and streaks in it. These pieces of stone are very beautiful but the overall design of the room should be considered when picking a stone.
In very busy or colorful rooms, granite with less density in pattern are typically a better option as pairing a busy granite with a cluttered room can be overwhelming. Busy patterns are best paired with simple rooms that have only one or two colors, creating a focal piece.Picking a Thickness and Finish
Granite countertops typically come in 2cm or 3cm cuts. A thicker granite will be more expensive because of its weight but can span larger distances without support. Thinner pieces require supports for overhanging pieces and laminated edges to thicken the granite.
Granite is available in two finishes. A polished finish creates a shiny look and usually darkens and deepens the look of the stone and honing creates a soft, matte finish.
If you’re looking for a reliable material trucking and hauling company for your next construction project, call Nickel Rock today to discuss your needs and get a quote! We’d love to work with you!