Perception

One of the common problems I see among people in the field is how much value they place in their perception of another.

I’m a, “Say what you mean and mean what you say” kind of guys, and I find myself having to say that a few times at each site I go to. I take the words of others the same way, I treat them as if they simply mean what they said, and they say what they mean, which is a much simpler way to get things done.

Oh so often I find that some people just don’t have that clear communication thing down quite right, and they end up frustrated because they’re not getting the response they expected, even though they didn’t speak their intentions clearly. Then things get worse when they make assumptions about the meaning behind what other people say, or their actions, and they take it to another level. In the vane of, “Bitching about something without offering a solution is just bitching”, let me suggest this:

Take people at face value. Don’t add your own perception onto it, and don’t judge people, just take it as it comes, and expect people to say what they mean, and mean what they say, just as we all should be doing.

Attitude

Winners get shit done, losers talk about getting shit done. Be a winner.

Your attitude is a result of the way people treat you, and how you choose to respond. So many times I see people respond with anger, justification, fear, greed, or some sense of superiority; stop that, stop all of that.

You have a choice, every minute of every day, to present yourself any way you choose. Are you presenting someone who others want to follow, or are you presenting someone who others want to avoid? Worse, are you presenting someone that others want to get rid of?

While I don’t waste my time worrying about the opinions of others, I do make a point to maintain focus on what my attitude should be:

I’m here to do a job, and i need to focus on that job.

I’m here to help my fellow techs in any way I can, without stepping outside the bounds of my job.

I’m here to see that we’re all working safely and with a mindset of quality.

If you work with me, you’ll probably hear me say, “I’m here to commission turbines and chew bubblegum, and I ain’t got no bubblegum”. Pro tip: I don’t chew gum. 😉

Safety

Safety, safety, safety. We hear about it all the time. We talk about it every morning. Then we go into the field, and I see some folks just forget about it.

If you’re doing something that’s un-safe for you, i’m going to talk to you directly, and see if you understand, and if you care to know.

If you’re doing something that’s un-safe to other technicians, I will personally see to it you get removed from site immediately, and I will not make any exceptions to that; other technicians lives are on the line, and i’ll be damned if i’m going to stand idly by while you place others in harms way.

That being said, let me encourage you to have a mindset of safety, all day, every day, in every thing you do. Think about what you’re about to do, think about what could go wrong, and think about how you can prevent issues before they become problems. That’s what safety is all about.

Also know this: Every tower, every technician, every day: If we go up together, we come down together, and i’ll bet my life on it.

Mindset

Confidence. It’s a little word with a big meaning, and it’s something that seems to be missing from a lot of people.
Confidence. It’s a simple mindset that is often called something else.
Confidence. It’s the belief in yourself that you can, and will, achieve whatever you set out to do.

Go out there and be the best version of you, starting right now, working on today. One day at a time.

 

Credentials

“So who is this Daniel guy, anyway, and what could he possibly know about RV’s??”
I’m glad you asked!

So hi! I’m Daniel, a full time travelling wind technician, and i’m building this blog to accomplish two goals:
1. I want to empower people to make better decisions that benefit us all, and I do that with knowledge. Knowledge is power!
2. I like helping people, and fixing things, both in that order, and that combination.

I don’t like to ‘toot my own horn’, but I would like to give you a little background on me so I can present my information in a transparent fashion. Where you take it and what you do with it is completely up to you!

My plan here is to share my journey with you, and i’ll emphasize information as:

  1. Facts. These are pieces of information that are known to be true and accurate, and i’ll provide links and/or references so you can see for yourself why I believe it’s a fact.
  2. Lessons Learned. These are pieces of information i’ve figured out myself, usually by trial or trouble, and I am passing them on to you, for whatever they may be worth to you.
  3. My opinion. These are pieces of information that are not facts, but are my opinion, which come from research, thought, and more research. Take them for what they’re worth to you, and feel free to throw them right out the window if you like.

In my lifetime so far, i’ve been:

A grocery store bagger, cashier, and service clerk.
A dishwasher, short order cook, grill cook, expediter, server, waiter, and host at several restaurants.
A contractors helper, then a handyman, then a contractor, with a total of ten years experience in construction.
A bike shop wrench (sales, service, repair, fitting, ….) for four years.
A commercial truck driver for two years. (Yeah, I can roll big wheels, float gears, and back that baby up).
A warehouse manager, errand boy, logistics planner, problem solver, troubleshooter, auto mechanic, a seller of good or services, and i’ve had some odd jobs here and there, too. ;p
I use the experience i’ve gained from those jobs, along with my natural problem solving ability, and my desire to make things better, to bring you posts that answer questions, provide useful directions, and empower you, my reader, to do more.

I’m not better or worse than anyone else, but I do push myself to be a better version of me every day.

Let’s talk about trailer tires!

Not long after I bought my TT, I had a tire blowout, which set me down the path of searching for new tires. I’ve been around, and working on, automobiles for a long time, so I figured this would be no big deal, right? Well, kinda.

Tires are a critical component to your RV, and they’re often overlooked, which is sad. The rubber that connects your rig with the ground, to me, is the most important rubber on the whole rig! Anytime you want to GO somewhere, you need tires that are ready to roll, so I highly recommend you take some time with your tires, because a great choice made with some education and thought now could save you a lot of time and money later.

There’s an awful lot of information out there about tires, and far more options than i’m going to discuss in this one post, but here’s a primer for you based on what I learned in my many hours of research.

First, let’s talk about the key factors in tires:

Tire Types: There’s round ones, and flat ones, right??

According to Tirerack.com (a terrific resource for all things tire related!), there’s a couple of key factors in tire type.

You’ve got types that deal with weather, such as summer, all-season, and winter (usually winter/snow), which all have different tread patterns for dealing with weather.

You’ve got tires based on Performance needs, such as street, track, and competition, so if you’re going to take your rig to the track, be sure to look for high-performance tires!

A big key for us RVers in tire type is the vehicle designation, such as Light Truck, Special Trailer, or Passenger.
I recommend you use the tires that are called for from the manufacturer, or fit your vehicle (so don’t put “P” tires on your trailer!!!)

The key component to tires is “Tire Specifications”. When selecting tires, there’s several key specs you want to look at, and make sure they match what you need for your rig. (More info here) I need ST225/75 R15 for my trailer, so let’s break that down.

  1. Service type (we talked about earlier) is the letter (or letters) at the beginning of the tire size stamped on the tire, and tells you if that tire is designed for a Passenger vehicle (P), Light Truck (LT), or a Trailer (ST). “T” is for Temporary Spare, and you should never run on that any longer than absolutely necessary.
  2. Section Width is the first set of numbers after the letter designation, and tells me how wide the tire is, in millimeters.
  3. Sidewall Aspect Ratio is the second set of numbers after the slash (/), and tells me the height of the sidewall of the tire in percent. So, my sidewall is 75% of the width, so 168 mm tall.
  4. Construction Letter, the next piece of my tire info is the, “R”, which means it’s a Radial tire. More info on tire construction, here.
  5. Wheel Size, the last piece of  tire size info, tells me the size of wheel it’s designed to fit on. For me, it’s a 15 inch wheel. You should ALWAYS buy tires designed to fit your exact size wheel. ALWAYS.

Some other factors to consider (and a link for more info):

  1. Load Index. It’s important to note how much weight (or load) your tires need to be able to handle, and this make a BIG difference in RV’s, especially travel trailers! The load index is a numerical designation, separate from the primary size info, and tells you how much weight the tire is built to handle. Keep in mind that number is for that tire, so you’ll need to divide your rigs weight by number of tires to figure out the minimum weight each tire needs to be able to hold. My TT is 11,000 GVWR (Another blog post!), and if you divide that my four tires on my rig, I need each tire to be rated at 2,750 Lbs, which means I need AT LEAST a Load Index Rating of 116.
  2. Speed Rating. Most trailer tires are speed rated at 65 MPH, which is fine for most applications, but I like to have the option of flowing with traffic, or going a little faster when traffic and speed limits allow.
  3. Load Range. This is a separate indication from Load Index, and instead of weight, it has to do with the number of plys, or layers, in the tire. My TT calls for Load Range D tires, which are 8 ply, so that’s the minimum tire I would use.
    2 ply = Standard Load
    4 ply = Extra Load
    6 ply = Load Range C
    8 ply = Load Range D
    10 ply = Load Range E
    More info

 

One last thing to know: Tire expiration.

Yep, your tires really do expire. Not as fast as the milk in your fridge, but it’s important to know that tires expire in six years from manufacture, and should not be sued or mounted after they’re expired.
Learn why tires expire in six years.
Learn how to read the date codes on tires.

 

I chose to go with tires that exceed all of my required ratings to comply with the “80% rule”, so I have Load Range E tires that can handle 2,830 Lbs each, and allow me to travel up to 81 MPH. The size is still the same as what the manufacturer requires.

 

More links for reading:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire

Home


https://www.tirerack.com/content/tirerack/desktop/en/research_advice.html
Where I bought my tires last: https://www.realdealtires.com/
The tires I recommend: http://www.maxxis.com/

 

 

The Devil went down to Georgia, and so have I

With all the issues and limitations surrounding my injury and my case, I decided to come back to a place I spent most of my life in, so on November 7th, I arrived in LaGrange, GA. I’m setting up camp at an RV park that’s behind a skating rink i’ve been to many times, and while I won’t be skating anytime soon, I will be enjoying the nature here. 🙂

I’m also looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, making new friends, and seeing this city with fresh eyes. When I moved away from here in 2011, I was happy to leave it behind in my rearview mirror; sad to leave my friends, and the life I knew, but I thought I hated this place. Now, i’ve grown up, gotten over myself, and learned that it’s not about where you are, it’s about how you choose to see things. I choose to see the good, and if I can’t see it, I go find it. I’m happy to be back, and looking forward to getting well.

 

On the road again…

Well, back on the road it is! The park here closes today for the winter, and there’s nothing they’ll let me do to extend my stay, so i’m headed south.

I’m doing a little better, and planning to stop in Jersey City so I can visit Manhattan again while i’m in the area.

I’m sure to get plenty of walking in! 😀

What a pain in the…

So here I am, my third day in a row off thanks to the back injury, and it’s really annoying. I don’t know what it is, but I know it hurts, and I don’t want it. :/

Here’s hoping this gets wrapped up quickly!