Category Archives: Engineering

The Importance of Tire Safety: When to Replace Worn-Out Tires

The Importance of Tire Safety: When to Replace Worn-Out Tires

Tire safety is paramount for a smooth and secure driving experience. Worn-out tires can compromise your vehicle’s performance, handling, and safety on the road. Knowing when to replace your tires is crucial to ensure optimal traction, braking, and overall tire performance. 

In this blog, we will emphasize the importance of tire safety and provide you with key indicators to determine when it’s time to replace your worn-out tires. By understanding these signs, you can prioritize tire maintenance and replacement, ultimately enhancing your safety and the longevity of your tires.

1. Tread Depth: The Telltale Sign

The tread depth of your tires is a clear indicator of their condition and safety. As tires wear down over time, the depth of the tread diminishes, reducing their ability to grip the road. To assess the tread depth, use the penny test or a tread depth gauge. Insert a penny into the tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing downwards. When the top of Lincoln’s head becomes visible, it indicates that the tires need to be replaced.

2. Uneven Tread Wear: A Warning Sign

Inspecting the tread wear pattern is another essential aspect of tire safety. Uneven tread wear can indicate alignment issues, improper tire inflation, or suspension problems. Irregular wear patterns, such as cupping, scalloping, or feathering, are warning signs that the tires are not wearing evenly. If you notice these patterns, consult a professional tire repair service to diagnose the underlying cause and address it promptly. Correcting the issue and replacing the tires will help restore even wear and maintain optimal tire performance.

3. Age of the Tires: Time Matters

It is crucial to take into account the age of your tires, even if they seem to be in satisfactory condition.  As tires age, the rubber compound deteriorates, leading to reduced performance and safety. The general guideline is to replace tires every six to ten years, regardless of their tread depth. Inspect the sidewall of the tire to locate the date of manufacture. The last four digits of the Department of Transportation (DOT) code indicate the week and year of manufacture.

4. Visible Damage: A Cause for Concern

Inspect your tires regularly for any visible signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges, cracks, or sidewall damage. These issues can compromise the structural integrity of the tire, leading to a higher risk of blowouts or sudden tire failure. If you notice any visible damage, it’s crucial to replace the tires immediately. Ignoring such damage can have severe consequences and pose a significant safety hazard on the road.


Tire safety is a critical aspect of vehicle maintenance and overall road safety. Recognizing the signs of worn-out tires, such as insufficient tread depth, uneven wear, age, and visible damage, is essential for timely tire replacement. Regularly inspect your tires and prioritize tire maintenance to ensure optimal performance, handling, and safety. If you require tire repair or replacement services, consult a trusted truck repair service that specializes in comprehensive tire repair and truck repair to ensure your safety and the longevity of your tires.

Maximizing Uptime

Maximizing Uptime: Strategies for Efficient Heavy Truck Repairs

For owners and operators of heavy trucks, minimizing downtime is crucial to maintain productivity and profitability. Efficient truck repairs play a vital role in achieving this goal. By implementing strategic approaches to maintenance and repairs, you can ensure maximum uptime for your fleet and minimize disruptions to your operations. 

In this post, we will discuss five strategies for efficient heavy truck repairs that will help you optimize maintenance schedules, streamline repair processes, and keep your trucks on the road.

5 Major Strategies for Maximizing Uptime; Efficient Heavy Truck Repairs

The following five strategies will help you in the efficient repair of heavy trucks to maximize uptime:

Strategy #1: Implement a Preventive Maintenance Program

A proactive approach to maintenance is key to avoiding costly breakdowns and unplanned repairs. Establish a comprehensive preventive maintenance program that includes regular inspections, fluid checks, and scheduled service intervals. Adhering to this program will help identify potential issues early on, allowing for timely repairs and minimizing the risk of unexpected breakdowns.

Strategy #2: Prioritize Regular Tire Inspections and Maintenance

Tires are critical components of heavy trucks, and their proper maintenance is essential for safety and performance. Regularly inspect tire pressure, tread depth, and overall condition. Maintain proper inflation levels, rotate tires at recommended intervals, and promptly address any signs of wear or damage. Timely tire repairs and replacements will not only enhance safety but also contribute to improved fuel efficiency and longer tire life.

Strategy #3: Maintain Accurate and Detailed Service Records

Keeping accurate and detailed service records is invaluable for efficient truck repairs. Maintain a comprehensive record of all maintenance and repair activities, including dates, services performed, and parts replaced. This documentation helps track the history of each truck, facilitates proactive maintenance planning, and ensures that repairs are done on time. It also serves as a valuable reference when diagnosing recurring issues and helps with warranty claims.

Strategy #4: Foster a Relationship with a Trusted Repair Shop

Establishing a relationship with a trusted truck repair shop is essential for efficient repairs. Look for a reputable repair shop that specializes in heavy trucks and has experience with your specific make and model. Building a rapport with the repair shop allows for better communication, faster turnaround times, and a deeper understanding of your fleet’s unique needs. Regularly communicate with the repair shop to schedule maintenance and address any emerging concerns promptly.

Strategy #5: Invest in Training and Skill Development

Equipping your maintenance team with the necessary skills and knowledge is critical for efficient truck repairs. Invest in training programs and certifications that enhance their technical expertise. Stay updated with the latest advancements in truck technology and repair techniques. Well-trained technicians can diagnose issues accurately, perform repairs efficiently, and minimize downtime.


Efficient heavy truck repairs are vital for maximizing uptime and minimizing disruptions to your operations. By implementing a preventive maintenance program, prioritizing tire inspections, maintaining accurate service records, fostering a relationship with a trusted repair shop, and investing in training and skill development, you can streamline the repair process and keep your trucks on the road where they belong. If you require professional truck repair or tire repair services, consult a reputable truck repair shop that specializes in comprehensive truck maintenance and repairs.

Exploring Heavy Truck Repair and Diagnostic Techniques

Exploring Heavy Truck Repair and Diagnostic Techniques

In the world of heavy truck maintenance and repairs, accurate diagnostics play a pivotal role in identifying and resolving issues efficiently. Being able to diagnose problems correctly saves time, reduces costs, and ensures that trucks are back on the road promptly. 

In this post, we will delve into various diagnostic techniques used in heavy truck repair. By understanding these techniques, you can enhance your ability to diagnose and address mechanical, electrical, and other issues that commonly arise in heavy trucks.

5 Major Techniques for Heavy Truck Repair and Diagnostic

For truck repair and diagnostic, the following techniques are recommended:

Technique #1: Computerized Diagnostics

Modern heavy trucks are equipped with sophisticated onboard computer systems that provide valuable diagnostic information. Computerized diagnostics involve connecting diagnostic tools to the truck’s computer system to retrieve fault codes, sensor readings, and other data. This information assists technicians in pinpointing the root cause of a problem accurately. Skilled technicians can interpret diagnostic codes, perform tests, and make informed repair decisions based on the data obtained.

Technique #2: Visual Inspection

A visual inspection is the first step in identifying potential issues. Experienced technicians examine various components, such as belts, hoses, connectors, and wiring, for signs of wear, damage, or loose connections. They look for indications of fluid leaks, corrosion, or overheating. Visual inspections also involve checking for broken or worn-out parts that may be causing the problem. Thorough visual inspections can often reveal visible defects or clues that guide further diagnostic steps.

Technique #3: Electrical System Testing

Electrical issues can be complex and challenging to diagnose in heavy trucks. Specialized tools and techniques are used to test the electrical system, including batteries, alternators, starters, and wiring. Technicians may utilize multimeters, oscilloscopes, and other equipment to measure voltage, current, and resistance. By examining the electrical system, technicians can identify faulty components, poor connections, or wiring issues that may be causing electrical malfunctions.

Technique #4: Pressure Testing

Pressure testing is commonly employed in diagnosing problems related to fuel, cooling, and hydraulic systems. By connecting pressure gauges to the respective systems, technicians can measure and compare pressure levels against manufacturer specifications. Deviations from the recommended pressure range can indicate issues such as leaks, blockages, or faulty components. Pressure testing allows technicians to identify the exact location of the problem and take appropriate repair actions.

Technique #5: Performance Testing

Performance testing involves evaluating the truck’s overall performance under different operating conditions. This technique may include road testing to assess acceleration, braking, handling, and overall drivability. Technicians pay attention to abnormal noises, vibrations, or other unusual behavior exhibited by the vehicle. By observing the truck’s performance, technicians can gather valuable information to help diagnose issues related to the engine, transmission, suspension, or other critical systems.


Efficient heavy truck repair relies on accurate diagnostic techniques that allow technicians to identify and address issues effectively. By utilizing computerized diagnostics, visual inspections, electrical system testing, pressure testing, and performance testing, skilled technicians can diagnose problems more efficiently and provide targeted solutions. If you require professional heavy truck repair or tire repair services, consult a reputable truck repair shop that specializes in comprehensive truck maintenance and repairs.

Making load faster, Smashing edition

We have always tried to make 4RoadService fast to use, and especially so since our current design came online in 2015, but “fast” is subjective, and changes over time, so when Smashing Magazineannounced their Front-End Performance Challenge at the end of October, we knew we wanted to level-up our performance, so we set to work.

Non-Technical Summary

The homepage is usable 45% sooner than it used to be, and downloads 23%* less data. The most dramatic improvement was the homepage, but the other pages we tested had improvements as well.

* This number removes the banner for the “Featured Listing” at the bottom of the homepage. It changes frequently so so including it gives us inconsistent numbers that either hide or over-emphasize the improvements on the rest of the page.

The rest of this post is more technical than anything we’ve written before, and is aimed at web developers & performance geeks. Proceed at your own risk!


We’re optimizing for three views that are the most important to someone looking for repair service: the homepage, search results, and the listing detail page.

Figure 1: Performance before Optimization (Lower is better)
Page Load Time First Meaningful Paint Perceptual Speed Index Total Download Size
Homepage 2.921s 2,220ms 4,154 380KB
Search Results 6.62s 1,630ms 5,746 2,080KB
Listing Page 2.924s 1,590ms 5,276 555KB

Quick Wins

Being a Cloudflare customer made some things pretty quick & easy:

  • We turned on WebP conversion & Lossy compression for images in Cloudflare. While this shrinks image files, it could be better:
    • PNGs and Gifs are converted to lossless WebP images, (only JPEGs get lossy compression from Cloudflare). Using lossy compression would save more bandwidth.
    • Only filenames ending in .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, and .img are WebP-ized, so images we manipulate on the fly with a PHP file need more trickery
  • Turn on auto-minifaction of HTML, (CSS and JS are minified in our build system).

Cache Static Assets

Part 1: Assets that we create

We gave all static assets on a versioned URL using this strategy, (but not on WordPress), then set caching headers to tell browsers, (and other caches), to cache static assets for at least a year.

Part 2: User-Uploaded Assets

Repair companies with paid listings on 4RoadService can upload their company logo, a banner, and some photos.  Since they don’t change at the same time as we make changes to the code they need their own versioning scheme. In our old system new versions of images didn’t get new URLs, so we changed that so whenever a new image is uploaded it gets a unique URL, and set far-future expiry headers on those as well.

Optimize the Critical Rendering Path

The Critical Rendering Path is the work the web browser does to render a web page, and it turns out we can tweak our web pages to make it happen quickly, but the “normal” way of building websites is pretty slow.

Async all the JS

When we built the current version of 4RoadService back in 2015 we made most of our Javascript asynchronous, but there’s one stats package that we just copied & pasted the code for. It turned out it was loading slowly and blocking rendering. Adding an
asyncattribute to the script tag cleared that up and shaved 200ms off the time it took to reach the DOMContentLoaded event.

HTTP/2 Server Push things that block rendering, (hint: it’s styles)

The next biggest blocker to our CRP being speedy was our main CSS file. Even with HTTP/2’s multiplexing, there was still a period of time between when we started sending the HTML and when the browser requested the CSS file. HTTP/2 Server Push to the rescue!

HTTP/2 Server Push is fantastically simple to set up. If the web server supports it all that’s needed is adding a HTTP response header and the web server handles the rest for you. While it helped our rendering time, the difference wasn’t as dramatic as we had hoped, but it was an incremental improvement of 50-100ms.

We also tried HTTP/2 Server Pushing our main Javascript file, but since it was already loading asynchronously it didn’t help, and possibly harmed, the load speed.

Status Check

Everything discussed up to this point improved the DOMContentLoaded event, and Lighthouse‘s First Meaningful Paint, First Interactive, and Consistently Interactive values but about a second. Depending on the page that’s loading that’s  a 15% to 33% improvement. Not bad!

What Remains

Once the browser starts receiving the web page the first several steps now progress very quickly. Most room for improvement still exists at both ends of the page load: our time-to-first-byte could be improved, (it’s just under 1/2 second), and on some pages there are large images that take a while to finish loading, (this is especially true on very large screens). To tackle these problems we can make our resized-on-the-fly images, (user-uploaded images), cacheable, and WebP-able, by Cloudflare, optimize our source images better, and speed up our server code. Because of the deadline on the Smashing Magazine challenge we focused on the first two.

What doesn’t seem worth doing (right now)

Heading into the challenge we thought we would be breaking up our monolithic stylesheet file, and some of our concatenated Javascript, to take advantage of HTTP/2’s parallel downloads, but the stylesheet is relatively fast right now, and the Javascript comes in late, and is relatively fast, so there are bigger gains to be found elsewhere. We feel like there’s about 100ms to be gained here, and will revisit it in the future.

We could also break up our styles by media query and use several <link> tags with different media attributes. When a browser encounters a <link> to a stylesheet with a media query that’s not applicable it doesn’t block rendering for that file, so there may be gains, especially for people on mobile devices, however because the styles are fairly quick, and we would have to make guesses about which CSS files to send with a HTTP/2 Push, we’ll explore this later.

Optimize Those Last Few Images

Remember how we thought using lossy WebP would improve the download size of some images? Cloudinary’s Website Speed Test says that the gains could be big, especially for large PNGs like the orange truck on our homepage. Since the large images were taking 5-7 seconds to finish downloading on a very large screen we went ahead and optimized these in 2 steps.

Step 1: Optimize non-WebP images

Our build process already compresses our images, but we can do better. By tweaking the algorithms used for image optimization, then waiting forever while they run, (ahem, Guetzli), we shrunk the file sizes for everyone who can’t accept WebP images.

Step 2: Lossy WebP, and special URLs

We also added a step to our build process to create lossy WebP versions of every image. The size differences are incredible, for example, for the largest version of the orange truck on our homepage, the unoptimized PNG is 4.2MB, the optimized PNG is 1.1MB, and the WebP is 244KB. If you can use Lossy WebP, do.

These magical WebP images cause a problem, though: Not all browsers understand them. We could solve that by serving a WebP image if the browser sends images/web in its Accept HTTP header, but since CloudFlare caches our images it would cache the WebP version of a file and serve it to non-WebP-capable browsers, so we have to have separate URLs for WebP images, which means some image URLs change if the browser sends an image/webp Accept header. Once that happens both our optimized non-WebP images and our tiny, lossy, WebP images are cached in Cloudflare’s CDN for ultimate image speed.

Step 3: Compress user-supplied images as much as possible

Compressing the user-supplied images is more tricky. We resize some of them on-the-fly in PHP, and the compression tools in PHP don’t seem to be as good as the tools we use in our node-based build process. However, we can take advantage of Cloudflare’s compression. Yes, it’s not as good as the lossy WebP images we’re serving for our own assets, but it’s better than nothing. There was a hurdle, where Cloudflare doesn’t apply image compression to URLs ending in .php, so we re-wrote the URLs to look like image files and Cloudflare started compressing them for us. Problem solved-ish.

Next Steps

This is all we had time to do before the deadline for the challenge, but we have identified a few things to keep working on:

  • Improve our time-to-first-byte: We’re working on one thing that should improve this a lot. There may also be ways to improve it by caching more, but some of our pages are customized for logged-in users, so we’ll have to work on caching pages while keeping customizations for logged-in users.
  • Improve compression of user-provided images: We need to spend some time researching PHP compression systems.
  • Resource Hints: We can tell the browser what outside services we’re going to connect to in HTTP headers, then it can get started on the connection without waiting to parse the HTML.
  • Break up CSS and JS: This time around we decided there are bigger fish to try than breaking up our CSS & JS files to take advantage of HTTP/2’s parallelization, but doing this should yield a small reduction in load time.
  • Service Workers, and Progressive-Web-App-izing 4RoadService: Some of 4RoadService relies on getting accurate, fresh, data from the server, but some things can be sped up with Service Workers and locally-cached data.


That’s as much as we snuck in under Smashing Magazine’s deadline. So, how did we do?

Figure 2: Performance After Optimization (Lower is better)
Page Load Time First Meaningful Paint Perceptual Speed Index Total Download Size
Homepage 1.765s
Search Results 4.255s
Listing Page 2.117s

That’s not too bad. This effort took less than half a week of developer time and produced very real improvements to our page load times, and reductions to the number of bytes we’re sending to our largely-mobile audience. In addition we have identified things that we can keep improving. Participating in the Smashing Magazine Front-End Performance challenge was a worthwhile exercise, not just to bring our skills up to speed on some new front-end performance practises, but to improve the experience of people using 4RoadService and let them find help quickly.