Rodeo And Trucks

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Series Celebrates A Love Of Rodeo And Trucks

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for those who are fans of two great American pastimes—watching rodeos and driving trucks. There is a series of events designed so fans can indulge in both their passions at the same time. And maybe best of all, it travels to them.

World-Class Rodeo

Rodeo has come a long way since the first organized one was held in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1872. The fan base for this sport based on ranching skills continues to grow, reaching even urban audiences in cities such as New York and Boston.

For example, starting with only 18 events, 31 years ago, one sponsoring organization, Ram Truck brand, now hosts over 560 rodeos a year throughout the U.S. and Canada. The tour is known as the Ram Rodeo Series.

Those who go have a chance to watch world-class rodeo performers in a variety of events including bareback riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding. Fans can also explore a livestock show up close and hunt for bargains from vendors who sell everything from cowboy hats to custom shoe inserts.

Visitors also have a chance to talk directly with cowboys and cowgirls and other performers, such as the “Ram pick-up men” who work the arena to keep riders safe after they have been tossed from a horse or bull.

From Horses To Horsepower

Some rodeos also present the opportunity to test-drive the latest lineup of Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks-the boldest, most powerful and capable pickup truck lineup. It is also possible to take a spin in a new Ram pickup truck and receive a $10 gift card or enter the Ram Rodeo Sweepstakes for a chance to win $45,000 toward any eligible Chrysler Group vehicle—or do both.

In addition, one lucky participant will win a Ram-branded belt buckle at each rodeo across the U.S.

Supporting Communities

Additionally, since its beginning, the rodeo has been committed to supporting charitable initiatives such as the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” cancer awareness campaign, scholarships with the National High School Rodeo Association and National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, as well as auctions to benefit various communities.

So whether you’re looking for horsepower that will last for years or a way to support your neighbors in need, the Ram Rodeo Series has something to offer.

To learn more, visit


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Smart Tips To Help Business Travelers Save Time

(NAPSI)—Business travelers can make the most of their travel experience-and maybe even get home sooner-without sacrificing service by keeping a few travel tips in mind:

• Pack as lightly as possible, ideally in a single carry-on bag that fits under the airplane seat, to avoid checking your bag if the overhead bins are full. Also, pack so everything you need is readily available—if your flight or hotel check-in is delayed but your meeting isn’t, you can still be ready to handle business.

• Plug addresses into your smartphone’s GPS in advance for airports, hotels, meeting places and restaurants at your destination. Getting lost or constantly asking for directions can waste valuable time.

• Securely store electronic copies of important documentation—passport, driver’s license, tickets and reservations-to access them on mobile devices if needed.

• Keep an extra travel pack of toiletries/cosmetics—remembering the 3-ounce security rule for liquids—in a carry-on bag at home to avoid repacking every time you get ready to hit the road.

• Create a trip itinerary and meeting agendas to optimize time. Efficiency can sometimes shave enough time off your trip to get you back to the airport in time for an earlier flight.

• Ship bulky items to your hotel or meeting place rather than checking them at the airport in order to seamlessly move through security, from the plane, to the rental lot and on to your destination.

• Join travel loyalty programs that provide faster service and incentives for frequent travelers. For example, National Car Rental’s Emerald Club offers its members an expedited rental process that lets them bypass the rental counter and access the Emerald Aisle, an exclusive part of the rental lot where you can select any vehicle and pay only the reserved midsize rate.

“Choice, premium service and valuable loyalty rewards are all things that keep me coming back to the same companies when I travel, like National Car Rental,” said Buzz Doering, president, Buzz Doering Consulting and 25-year charter member of National’s Emerald Club.

To join the Emerald Club or for further information, you can visit, and Twitter: @nationalpro.

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With Tires, Pressure Can Be A Good Thing

(NAPSI)—Your car’s tires are where safety and savings meet the road—literally. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your tires are properly inflated.

Keeping your tires at their recommended pressure can provide better handling, longer tire life and gas savings of up to 12 cents per gallon, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

To get the most from your tires this summer, here are some tips from America’s largest tire and wheel retailer—Discount Tire:

• Get Pressure Right—Low tire pressure can decrease fuel economy. Tires may lose up to one pound per square inch per month.

The specific inflation pressure number can be found on the vehicle placard located on the driver’s side doorpost, glove box door, fuel door or in the owner’s manual. Custom tires and wheels may change standard air pressure requirements, so if you customize, have a pro check them out before you go.

• Don’t Overload Vehicle—Overloading decreases fuel economy due to increased wind drag and cargo weight. Handling, control and braking are also negatively impacted.

• Rotate Before You Go—Regular rotation helps achieve uniform tire wear and improves road performance. Tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles have longer life and help to maximize your tire investment.

• Straighten Up—Proper wheel alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control and helps tires wear evenly and last longer.

• Bald Isn’t Beautiful—Lack of tread affects the tire’s ability to grip the road. Make sure tires don’t have uneven wear, high or low spots or unusually smooth areas that can decrease traction and increase the risk of road accidents.

A Five-Minute Fix

Checking tire pressure and tread is easy and can pay dividends when it comes to fuel economy and handling. Don’t go by appearances. Use a tire gauge to check since a tire can be 50 percent underinflated but still not appear flat.

Make it a habit to check tire pressure every month and always before a long trip. Use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.

Additionally, check tire tread depth by using the “penny test.” Insert Abe Lincoln’s head upside down into the tread. If you see his entire head, it’s time to replace the tire.

To learn more about tire safety, visit

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Driving Smart Can Mean Significant Savings At The Gas Pump

(NAPSI)—As gas prices continue to fluctuate, it’s always a good time to evaluate your driving habits and take steps to keep yourself and your car on the road to savings at the pump.

To demonstrate the 10 common mistakes that drivers make to affect fuel economy, General Motors conducted a driving test. Two of their fuel economy engineers, Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning, drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs on a typical workday commute. They each drove 20 minutes with city and highway driving, including a stop for coffee.

Wenzlick averaged 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits and by maintaining her car and Nunning averaged 21 miles per gallon. On average, that was a $100 price difference at the pump. Here are some of their tips based on what they learned:

• Get out of the drive-through lane. Idling for 15 minutes burns through about a quarter of a gallon of gas. Parking your car and going into the store to get what you want can actually help to save money on gas.

• Take it easy. Jumping on the gas at every light, only to hit the brakes, isn’t going to get you home any faster. However, driving smoothly can improve your mileage by 20 percent.

• Drive 70, not 80. It may not sound like much, but it’s likely a 10-mph difference can save you up to four miles per gallon when driving on the highway.

• Use cruise control. It turns out that maintaining a constant speed over time is much more efficient than speeding up and slowing down over and over again.

• Roll up the windows. At slower speeds, turning off the air-conditioning can save you a little, but on the highway, it’s better to roll up the windows. If the windows are down, the increased air pressure can slow the car and consume more energy than air-conditioning will.

• Get rid of that extra stuff in the trunk of your car. Every 100 pounds of weight you carry in the car can reduce fuel economy by 2 percent.

• Don’t ignore the “check engine” light. Serious engine problems can cut your fuel economy by up to 40 percent.

• Try to bundle your errands. Plan ahead. An engine at operating temperature can be up to 50 percent more efficient than a cold engine. So, when possible, it’s much better to run five errands in an afternoon than running one errand every day of the week.

• Make your tires last. Properly inflated tires will improve your fuel economy and they will last longer. Also, rotate tires at manufacturer-recommended intervals.

• Use the grade of motor oil recommended for your vehicle; the same goes for the octane level of gasoline. Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the performance symbol of the American Petroleum Institute contains friction-reducing additives that can improve fuel economy.

For most cars, the recommended gasoline is regular octane. In most cases, using a higher-than-recommended-octane gas offers no benefit-and costs more.

• Ditch the roof ornaments. At highway speeds, up to a third of your fuel is used to overcome wind resistance, so even small changes to your vehicle’s aerodynamics can have a big impact in fuel economy.

• It pays to be prudent. According to Roger Clark, manager of the GM Energy Center, “With a well-maintained car, the best drivers get up to 25 percent more miles per gallon than average. When you combine a poorly maintained car with inefficient driving habits, the fuel economy of the worst drivers can be 50 percent below average.”

Clark added, “The fuel economy of every vehicle is greatly affected by how you drive and how you care for your vehicle. Often, relatively small changes to your driving habits and vehicle maintenance can make the difference between being on the bottom or the top of the fuel-economy scale.”

To learn more and for more tips, visit


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Eight Hot Tips For Battery Care

(NAPSI)—More automobile batteries fail in the heat than in the extreme cold, and hot-weather conditions can cause more stress on a battery than frigid temperatures. With temperatures at their annual highs, motorists can protect and care for that part of the vehicle a driver depends on most every day.

Battery temperatures under the hood of an automobile can reach 175 to 200 degrees in extreme conditions, affecting the corrosion factor within the battery. The extreme heat can make the acid and the fluid inside the battery expand, which can cause it to start leaking, and that leads to battery failure in the long run. It’s important for motorists to take the necessary precaution of getting their vehicle battery checked on a regular basis, especially before taking off on family trips.

As engineering and technical services manager for Interstate Batteries for more than 25 years, Gale Kimbrough is the hot-weather expert with some helpful guidelines to follow when caring for the automobile battery:

1. Wear protective eyewear, remove all jewelry and wear long sleeves to protect skin from a battery acid explosion.

2. Inspect the battery case for signs of extreme bulging, cracking or leaking. If signs are present, it’s time to replace the case.

3. Clean the connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Make sure to brush the corrosion away from the body.

4. If the battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell.

5. Make sure the plates are at least half covered. This prevents sulfation and reduces the possibility of an internal battery explosion.

6. If the water level is low, add distilled water (avoid tap water) until the plates are covered.

7. Avoid overfilling, especially in hot weather, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.

8. Have the battery and electrical system professionally tested every three to six months, especially before heading out on a trip.

In just 30 seconds, Interstate All Battery Center locations provide motorists with a free printout analysis of the vehicle battery condition. To find information and a nearby Interstate Batteries dealer or Interstate All Battery Center, visit

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Warning Lights Send Messages You Can’t Ignore

(NAPSI)—Safety on the road is no accident. For example, when a warning light illuminates on a car’s dashboard, it is alerting you to a situation that requires your attention.

While not all warning lights are a sign that disaster is imminent, no warning indicator should ever be ignored.

That’s the word from the experts at AAA, who encourage motorists to read their owner’s manual and know what each of the warning lights in their vehicle means.

To help, they offer the following tips:

Oil Pressure Light

The oil pressure light is usually an oilcan symbol or the word “OIL.” It comes on when there is a drop in engine oil pressure. Of all the warning lights, the oil pressure light indicates the greatest potential for serious mechanical damage.

If the oil pressure warning light comes on and stays on, pull off the road at the earliest safe opportunity, shut off the engine and call for assistance.

Engine Temperature Light

The engine temperature light is usually a thermometer symbol or the word “TEMP.” It comes on when the engine temperature is unsafe for your vehicle. Unless the engine temperature is quickly brought under control, major damage may occur.

If there are any signs of a cooling system leak, pull off the road at the earliest safe opportunity, shut off the engine and call for assistance.

Be careful when opening the hood in the presence of steam, and never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot.

Charging System Light

The charging system light is usually a battery symbol or the word “ALT” or “GEN.” It comes on when the vehicle electrical system is no longer being supplied power by the alternator.

If this light comes on, shut down all unnecessary electrical loads such as the radio, heater or air-conditioning, then drive the vehicle to a repair facility immediately for further inspection.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light comes on when there is a problem affecting the vehicle’s exhaust emissions.

If the light comes on and stays on, make an appointment with an auto repair shop to have the problem checked in the near future.

However, if the check engine light begins flashing repeatedly, the catalytic converter is over-heating. Should this occur, drive the vehicle to a repair shop immediately for further diagnosis.

Disregarding a flashing check engine light could start a fire, destroy the catalytic converter and result in necessary repairs that could easily exceed $1,000.

To learn more, visit or call (800) AAA-HELP. To locate an AAA Approved Auto Repair shop, visit

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You Can Make Your Next Road Trip More Comfortable—And Stress Free

(NAPSI)—Whether you’re driving across town or across the country, here are some tips to keep you on the road to safety and savings and help you get the most out of your trip.

Cool Ways to Save on Gas

Gas prices may move up and down but the desire to save money never changes. That said, don’t sweat the AC; trying to save money by turning off the air conditioner doesn’t save gas and opening the windows actually uses more gas by decreasing aerodynamics.

Similarly, don’t throw money away on premium octane in the hopes that it contains special detergents or will improve performance. The EPA requires that all gas include detergents and, generally, only sports cars require premium gasoline. For best mileage, stick with your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended fuel—your wallet will thank you.

Put it in “Park”

For some people, hitting the open road with a full tank of gas is a uniquely liberating feeling. However, coming upon an unexpected road closure or gridlock can kill an adventurous mood quickly.

The good news is that you can use technology—such as a GPS device-to plan the best route in advance and find places to stop and stretch your legs along the way.

Developed in the early 1970s, the Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a satellite navigation system that provides location and time information.

Using a GPS can help you take the road less traveled, and stopping at state parks and hiking trails can keep your legs—and brain—from going numb.

Save the “Jams” for Later

Take a car filled with kids and a dog, add in a traffic jam and a chorus of “Are we there yet?” and you have a recipe for what can be a very long afternoon.

Fortunately, you can save yourself time and stress by avoiding traffic tie-ups altogether. Navigation devices can be beneficial for avoiding traffic. For instance, TomTom’s GO LIVE devices feature real-time traffic, which automatically reroutes you away from congestion.

A Plan for the Worst

If you have a roadside emergency, the right device can help you turn lemons into lemonade. For example, a GPS device can pinpoint your exact location. You can tell emergency services exactly where you are, even if you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.

To learn more or view live traffic information, visit



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Easy Riding, Easy On The Wallet

(NAPSI)—Here’s a hint on how you can go further and spend less: Switch to two wheels.

Save Gas

Whether you’re commuting, running errands or taking a road trip, you can get more out of a gallon of gas-50, even 70 mpg-when you travel by motorcycle or scooter.

Save More, Get More

There are further advantages. For one, the cost of owning a two-wheeled vehicle is many thousands of dollars less than having a four-wheeler. Great scooters can be found in the $3,500 to $6,000 range, great motorcycles in the $4,000 to $8,000 range. Maintenance costs much less. So do registration and insurance. Even parking is easier and less expensive.

Those may be some of the reasons the Motorcycle Industry Council sales data shows that motorcycle sales and usage have gone up lately—though many riders add that it’s also just plain fun to do.

“A motorcycle or scooter can be getting two, three, sometimes even four times the fuel economy of the vehicle in the next lane,” said the MIC’s Ty van Hooydonk. “The savings only start at the gas pump and, at the same time, a rider can actually look forward to commuting by bike.”

More Tips

However you travel, it pays to:

• Ride or drive carefully. Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts) and rapid braking can lower gas mileage.

• Avoid idling. Idling gets 0 mpg.

• Telecommute or stagger work hours. If you can, avoid sitting in traffic and wasting gas, especially during peak rush hours.

• The good kind of inflation. Keep your tires properly inflated.

• Combine trips. If you combine errands into one trip, you ride or drive fewer miles and use less fuel. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip when the engine is warmed up and efficient.

Learn More

To learn how to get into motorcycling the right way, visit

Get trained and licensed, wear all the right safety gear, and never drink and ride. Always ride within your limits, obey the traffic laws, and be a lifelong learner.






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