Preventive Maintenance Is Better Than a Cure

Most classic car owners cover relatively few miles in their cars both because they are owned as hobby cars but also because they are generally covered by limited mileage insurance policies. Mileage could be anywhere from a few hundred to about 3,000 miles per year. If a problem starts to manifest itself, the owner usually gets plenty of notice and has plenty of time to fix the problem. And unless they have a specific classic run or rally planned then there is no urgency.

Renting out a fleet of classic cars brings us a set of different problems. Firstly the mileage is much higher. Some of our cars will cover 10,000 miles per year and 6,000 to 8,000 is quite normal. This means that problems that may creep up on the average classic car owner fairly slowly appear a bit quicker on our fleet of classic cars. Add to that fact that by the nature of our business, we have cars hired out on definite dates, we have developed a culture aimed at avoiding problems rather than waiting for them to happen and then fixing them.

When we add a new car to our fleet we give it a thorough service including replacing all hoses, whether they need it or not, replacing the flexible brakes hoses with Aeroquip ones which do not degrade, and fitting electronic ignition to avoid the slow degradation that happens with good old contact breaker points.

We also drive our own hire cars regularly as our customers will not always report anything unusual as they tend not to know how the cars drive normally. In this way we can usually pick up symptoms as they start to develop and have them fixed before they become a problem to either us or the customers.

This is illustrated by a piece of work that we are currently having carried out on our 1970 Jaguar E-Type Roadster. As well as hiring this out, we use it quite a lot ourselves and drave it across Europe to the Czech Republic and back in September 2010. The MSA Euroclassic is not a normal road run and is set to take in the most scenic routes possible , including in this instance crossing the Alps via the famous Stelvio and St Gothard passes.

The Stelvio has been featured on the BBC Top gear program as one of the best drives in the world and having completed it twice we can verify this accolade. This year on a few of the 49 hairpin bends, when turning in tightly under load, there was a slight knock, knock coming from the right rear. We have a team of mobile mechanics with us on the Euroclassic so I asked them to have a look and they said it was a small amount of play in one of the four universal joints on the rear drive shafts. They pumped in a load of fresh grease, to the offending UJ and the other three for good measure, and the problem disappeared.

The E-Type has now gone in for it is annual pre hire-season service and I asked our garage to check it out. They confirmed the mobile mechanic's diagnosis that there is a small amount of play in just one of the four UJs. If this was a normal classic car their prognosis is that the UJ would be fine for anywhere from five to ten thousand miles which for most classic car owners could be anywhere from 3 to 10 years motoring.

However for the Open Road this could have been done in a single year. There are not any tight, stelvio type, hairpin bends for many miles and it is unquestionably that a customer would hear so much as a slight clunk during the coming year. However I do not want a customer to be either worried if they were to hear such a noise or, still still, to be inconvenienced if it were to fail.

I gave the garage instructions to replace the offending UJ. Based on the assumption that the other three UJs in the drive shafts are of the same age, and have been subject to the same driving stresses it is reasonable to assume that they might be starting to deteriorate. I therefore instructed them to replace the other three UJs at the same time to remove any risk of premature failure.

About once a year, a customer will say that charging over £ 300 for a day's hire for an E-Type feels a bit expensive. This is one of the reasons why. I would rather spend money in advance on preventive maintenance that a normal classic car owner would not think was strictly necessary.

At the end of the service our E-Type will be setup and ready for what I am expecting to be a very busy year. The E-type was launched in 1961 so this year celebrates its 50th birthday. It has already been featured in a number of the classic car magazines and I expect it to receive huge amounts of coverage through the coming year which should generate loads of requests to hire this icon of the British automotive art.

How To Select A Good Web Hosting Provider For Your Website

There are so many time consuming little things that conspire against you when you first start your online adventure. Selecting a hosting provider is one of them. How do you find a good hosting provider? By the way you need hosting, if you plan to put your site on the Internet (so that other can see your web pages).

What ever you do, do not buy hosting services from local companies. I've made this mistake in the past and paid quite a lot in price and time. It's simply a nightmare to get things done with them and they never provide 24X7 support! These are the cheaper and more efficient options.

Depending on the size of the site or the number of sites you want to host, there are 3 main answers.

  1. If you want to host a simple site, then go for a basic provider. Some are world famous for providing this service for a very small price (about $ 4.95 / month). There are many packages but the best one I've used so far is the "Baby" package for Web Hosting. You can select your preferred operating system as well (I prefer Linux, it's more robust and easier to use, but if you like you can select windows). With the package you can host a unlimited number of domains, meaning you can buy any number of domain names and host them here. Quite a good deal J
  2. If I want to host many high traffic sites, then I use a Virtual Private Server (VPS) from a company. There are some very good deals costing about $ 19.97 / Month. When you use a VPS, you are given your own VPS, but main hardware (CPU, RAM, etc ..) on the server are shared between many VPSs. On this, You can host about 500 site, with about 300 pages per site. Their customer service and support is superb. Usually you get a reply to your questions within minutes.
  3. Lastly if I want to host 1000s of very large site, I use a dedicated server from another company. They come with good CPUs, RAM etc..Prices start from $ 139 / Month. Very solid networks, fast connections, etc …

So those are the options … if you are just starting your online journey, I would go for a simple hosting account. Once you build some traffic you can migrate to a Virtual Private Server (VPS). Once you have quite a lot of traffic and web pages you can select a dedicated server.

Finding Affordable Wedding Photography

Your wedding day can be the realization of a lifetime of dreams; you want everything to be perfect – from your dress to your flowers and everything in between. But, for most of us, planning the perfect wedding means doing so on a budget. And when it comes to high-end services such as photography, staying true to that budget can prove extremely difficult. However, with research, planning, and a significant dose of flexibility, you can find affordable wedding photography that will not only meet your budget restrictions but provide you with the beautiful photography you deserve.

Finding affordable wedding photography can be accomplished in a number of ways. Word of mouth is the most essential tool you can use to find those wedding services you want at a budget that works for you. Talk to friends or acquaintances that have held weddings similar in size and scope to what you're planning to determine what vendors worked successfully within their budget.

Another avenue you may want to explore when it comes to finding affordable wedding photography is the venue where you are holding your reception. Clearly, reception sites host a variety of weddings throughout the year; they often have access to quality vendors who offer affordable services.

Some people may think that hiring a wedding planner works against a budget-conscious wedding, but the opposite is often true. Wedding planners will often pay for themselves with the money they save you in vendor fees. Because wedding planners work with photographers frequently, they often have established relationships that will save you money in the end.

But when it comes to affordable wedding photography, sometimes limiting the services you require rather than choosing a low-priced photographer will help you stay within your budget restrictions. If you have your heart set on a particular photographer that does beautiful work then compromise to get the price that you need; sometimes have the photographer only shoot your ceremony and formal shots and then ask your guests to help take photographs through your reception to be gathered into an album at a later date.

Ultimately, affordable wedding photography is about creativity and flexibility. If you think outside the box and think of small ways to save money, eventually those small steps will add up to big savings.

Would You Like To Download A TV Series?

The internet has given us the ability to purchase so many things. From books, novelty items, electronic gadgets, music and even to videos, these can be purchased online. You’re not even limited to this country alone; you can go as far as Asia if you want to order in bulk or just something in retail as long as you have the money to pay for it.

One of the easiest things to purchase online are movies. You don’t need to pay for the shipping fee since it will be downloaded directly to your computer. The list of movies is virtually unlimited; you can watch any movies produced in any year. Even the lesser known movies are on the catalog in most of the movie sites that offer pay per download.

But these sites are not only limited to movies alone. These sites also feature TV series. As easy as you can download movies, it’s also easy to download TV series that you always liked. For people on the go, the ability to download these series and watch them at our own convenience is heaven sent.

When we have the ability to download TV series, we’ll be able to watch them anytime and how many times that we want. This advantage has been realized long ago, even before TiVo was introduced to the general public. Instead of letting your TiVo all the work of recording your favorite show or if you don’t have TiVo at your home, you can just go online and watch the show that you like anytime. After you download the series, you can just burn them and watch them with your friends in your very own home theater.

Now, it has even been made more convenient. There are lots of TV fanatics right now that are so busy they can’t just sit down in front of the TV to watch their favorite series. It’s now changed because of the PMPs (portable media players) that we can bring where ever we go. Instead of burning to DVDs after we download TV series, you can transfer the TV series to your iPod or any other media players that you can bring anywhere. While traveling you can catch up on the shows that you missed or even in your break time you can watch an episode or two.

With the ability to download TV series directly from video sites, it’s practically impossible to miss any single episode of your favorite TV series.