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Is Your Utility Vehicle Road-Worthy?

utility vehicleMany tradesmen in Australia use utility vehicles to provide fast and efficient on-call service to their clients. These vehicles often have built-in additional features like aluminium trailers or customised roof racks to accommodate the demands of various jobs.

Compliance with safety standards should be one of your biggest priorities if you use such a vehicle for the trade you are in. There have been a number of road accidents and injuries in the past few years, and you might set your business back if you do not make sure your vehicle is road-worthy. When it comes to utility vehicles, safety should be your top priority.

Design Rules

Consult the Australian Design Rules to know if your vehicle complies with national safety standards. Most vehicles in the market today are up to the current benchmark, so if you have purchased yours just recently, you have little to worry about.

The standard, which is now on its third edition, includes various rules on particular features like seatbelt anchorages and direction indicators. Most accidents on the motorway happen because of bad driving habits. By making sure your vehicle is up to mark, you can avoid accidents and keep other motorists and pedestrians from harm.

Additional Features

It pays to be extra careful when it comes to vehicle safety, especially if you are using one for work. Fortunately, according to, there are particular features fit for tradesmen, which can also provide enough protection and safety. Bullbars, for instance, offers protection in rough road conditions. Electric brakes are also handy for emergency situations on the road. Having weight distribution kits are extremely helpful as well if you are towing a trailer, which may pose a challenge for those who do not have much experience on the road.

Ultimately, road safety begins with you. By following traffic rules and making sure your car is road worthy at all times, you can have a safe and pleasant driving experience. It is wise to stay abreast of modern safety standards and make all necessary adjustments to ensure your safety.

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Cutting Costs while Boosting Comfort: Lowering Your Energy Bills Through Simple Ways

air filterPower bills are soaring around Australia. For this reason, many homeowners are trying to find ways to cut down their air-conditioning usage, while trying to keep their homes cool. If you’re one of them, below are some ways to reduce your energy bills without sacrificing comfort:

Clean the Air Filter

According to, a dirty air filter can cause skyrocketing power bills. Whether you have a window unit or a central air, your air conditioning unit will reduce its efficiency if its filter is dirty. Because of the reduced air flow, your AC has to work harder to cool your home, which means it takes more power to fuel it. So, make sure to check the air filter of your HVAC system monthly and change it every three months.

Change the Thermostat

Run your AC at 24-26 degrees. When you change the thermostat even by one degree, you can save 15 percent of your AC’s running cost.

Bring in a Pro

If you have central air, it’s advisable to hire the services of a professional to inspect it. It should be done annually and cover both the cooling and heating seasons. A professional will diagnose any inefficiency in your AC before you spend money on monthly cooling and heating bills.

Plant Trees Strategically

The sun beats down on your house, so it gets really hot especially in summer. To reduce your energy bills, plant deciduous trees both on the west and east sides of your property. Their broad leaves will shade your home in the summer, while their bare branches won’t inhibit the sun’s warmth from entering your house in the winter. You may also want to plant shrubs and trees to shade high-heat areas such as walkways, driveways and air conditioning units.

Turn Off the Lights

It’s always a good idea to turn off the lights when you don’t need them to save energy. It’s doubly important on hot summer days, so you can keep room temperatures down.

Insulate Your Home

Home insulation is important because it prevents cold from entering your home through the walls or ceilings, while it keeps the cool air inside your house during hot weather.

You don’t have to sacrifice anything just to make your home more energy efficient. With the above tips, not only do you get to save money, but you also increase your home’s comfort.

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Beyond Red and Green: Decorating for Christmas with a Different Palette

christmas treeChristmas arrives in less than three months. Though it seems far away, it’s about time to think about how you’d decorate your home. Chances are the first thing on your mind is going the traditional route and sporting the classic red-green décor. It’s classic and timeless – it just works on many levels.

But Christmas doesn’t have to be red and green all the time. In truth, you can play around and change the palettes of your décor. Here are some colour combinations that can get you started:

Brown and Green

Brown and green is the way to go when you want a traditional take minus the red. This is just a step outside the box, but the brown accents work wonderfully with green décor. The earthy charm looks both rustic and elegant, thus making it a good combination for houses that feature white, cream, and beige tones.

Red and Purple

Using purple on your décor creates a royal, regal vibe around the house, and the best colour you can pair this with is red. When you put the two colours together, the purple becomes this unique neutral shade that brightens up the red. Such a combination is perfect for homes that have many wood furniture pieces.

Blue and Lime

Blue and lime are a playful colour combination you can use this year. Just imagine a white artificial pre-lit Christmas tree full of blue balls and lime garlands – you know it will work aesthetically, even if the pairing seems unusual.

Turquoise and White

“White Christmas” doesn’t have to be all-white, so why not add turquoise as an accent colour? Turquoise, especially the lighter shades, complements white perfectly without being too flashy. Surely, this combination of coastal tones will create a relaxing feel in your home.

Navy and Silver

Match navy with silver when you want to elevate the contrast between the tones. The navy acts as the neutral hue that can blend easily with almost anything – be it on the tree or on the different decorations. Silver adds that spark, providing the white tones in your accents with sleek, refreshing charm.

Step out of the traditional colour combination of red and green this year. Play with any of these colour combinations to paint your Christmas in a different palette.

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We Love Steel and so Should You

steelIt doesn’t take a genius to figure out that steel is the metal of choice of most industries. Platinum may be the most valuable and gold is probably the best currency, but nothing beats steel. The modern era was built with it, and so far, no alternate super metal has come to challenge its place as the best metal on the planet.

Changing the World

Every urban setting in the world has the moniker “concrete jungle,” but everyone knows that it’s the steel embedded in the stone is what gives the building support. Before architects started using steel as part of their craft, they couldn’t build anything higher than five storeys. Utah steel providers Wasatch Steel explains that anything beyond that limit would be too heavy for the ground to support, and the structure would start to sink after a decade.

The use of steel allowed industry leaders to build bigger and stronger bridges, taller buildings, and more durable public fixtures. The discovery of steel’s potential back in the Industrial Revolution sparked a movement that would change how cities looked, along with the attitude of people towards urban environments.

The Tallest, Fastest, and Strongest

The proper use of steel has allowed humanity to scale heights that were unimaginable as late as the beginning of the 00s. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest man-made structure in the world, used six thousand tonnes of steel rebar. According to scientists, if all that rebar were laid down end to end, it would stretch to an equivalent quarter of the Earth’s circumference.

Steel also allows humankind to fly, as it’s the only metal strong enough to carry the burden of a fully loaded airplane as the main proponent of its landing gear. Steel technology doesn’t just let people fly though; they can shoot them over land at amazing speeds. The stock and roll of tracks allow bullet trains in China and Japan to travel over three hundred miles an hour.

Steel has even made it possible to achieve the greatest milestone yet: landing on the moon. This is because without the protective casing steel provides on the drop capsule, astronauts would never be able to survive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Steel has done a lot for many people, and it will continue to do so for as long as there’s still ore that companies can mine out of the ground. People will eventually need to find another super metal to serves its needs, but until that day comes, steel is king.

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Ground Floor: Looking Back at the History of Elevators

Inside almost every four or more storey building, regardless if it is an office, school, house, or commercial structure, you will notice at least one elevator. This technology is one of the longest running machines that still function as what it was designed for: to provide people and things a lift.

elevatorMore than Lifting

Elevators can also add as much as 10% more value to your property, according to the contractors of A+ Elevators & Lifts. These are probably among the list of most useful inventions man ever made. An elevator can be custom-made, depending on what the building needs.

Even During the Ancient Times

Some people may ask, “When and where was this machine really invented?” Based on historical records, Egyptians were already using a prototype elevator. They use this to lift heavy limestone in building their enormous pyramids. Other accounts, meanwhile, claim that the first man-powered elevator used to transport people instead of things was invented in the 18th century.

So Near, Yet So Far

Over time, a few more inventors developed the idea. Instead of manually pulling rope to lift the box, they have used a belt and a steam-powered device to raise or drop it. The steam-powered elevators were later replaced by hydraulic machines in 1870s. A heavy piston moving in a tube supports this hydraulic machine. It is operated by water pressure sourced from the pumps.

Contemporary Designs of Elevators

Modern elevators, though, are attributed to American inventor Elisha Otis. He introduced the freight elevator equipped with a safety feature, in case the cables snap. This made elevators more popular with the public. He later developed it further by adding brakes to the safety system.

Although he did not invent the elevator, his design is where modern elevators were patterned to. This brainchild is what made skyscrapers not just a dream. Without elevators, man would probably crowd the grounds and unable to utilize the air space.

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Protect Your Property the Right Way

home securityYou will never know when intruders will strike, but you can always be prepared and protect your family from these dangers. While installing bars, grilles, roller shutters, and surveillance cameras help improve home security, adding security window films is another effective option. These are good deterrents and can help protect your home from other unexpected disasters.

Boosting home security with window films

Industry specialist notes that a window film is thicker and stronger than regular solar control films used on cars, homes and buildings. These prevent any force used through the glass by overlaying a clear and durable film layer inside the surface. This means any intruder who wants to break in will have a hard time getting into your property — and this delay gives law enforcement more time to respond, preventing bigger casualties.

Other advantages

  1. Cost-efficient – These window films are more affordable compared to roller shutters and security gates. The best thing is you can usually get a free consultation from film professionals. You can choose from many options such as anti graffiti films, decorative, solar protection, and high security films.
  2. Easy-to-install – Upon order, your service provider will send a professional to install your window films. They just need to get the exact measurements. Unlike roller shutters, it would only take a few hours to completely install.
  3. Effective – Installing the right window film is a proven method. Today, even large offices and government buildings use window films to secure their premises.
  4. Low maintenance – Another advantage is the maintenance. It does not require much cleaning, as these are usually dust proof.

You can always find a better way to protect your property and your family. By installing this new technology, you can have peace of mind when you walk out your front door. Always remember, it’s better safe than sorry.

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Setting the Mood: How to Make Your Landscaping More Romantic

landscapingThere are few places more romantic than a well-designed garden, and when done right, it feels like you’re walking from your home straight into a fairy tale. It is a place where you escape from the troubles of the world, where you can peacefully contemplate and relax.

Many Australians are starting to design their landscapes not just for aesthetic appeal, but to create truly romantic spaces. While they vary greatly, here are some common themes.

1. Use lighting intelligently – If there’s one thing that separates mediocre gardens from gorgeous ones, it’s the lighting. For both practical and aesthetic reasons, good lighting has always been an important part of landscaping. Perth, Western Australia garden experts say that it directs the eyes and helps people fully appreciate the true beauty of the landscape. Besides, you don’t want parts of your outdoors to only look nice during the day, right?

2. Play with space – You can take a cue from historical times. Romantic gardens from Victorian times typically have winding paths through shrubbery, concealing the way ahead. This creates a pleasantly mysterious atmosphere, and allows the person to fully appreciate what is around them.

3. Achieve balance with colours – No matter what kind of landscaping or home you have, be subtle with your colour choices. Apart from clashing tones, you should avoid sharp contrasts or plants with excessively bright colours, as you want people to take in the entire area without any distractions.

4. Create a place to rest – People best appreciate romance at a relaxed pace. Walking through the garden is fine, but creating an area at the end where you and your guests can sit down is also important. Going all out and creating an outdoor room is an option, but a simple table and chairs work while still blending in.

5. Be selective with ornaments – A romantic landscape is fully devoid of any tacky gnomes. Fountains, statues, and other traditional and understated decorations are acceptable, but make them a natural part of the environment.

Romantic landscaping projects are difficult, but definitely worth it. Visitors will love it, and you’ll never get tired of walking through the paths.

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5 Steps to Setting Priorities in Your Company Budget

setting company budgetBusinesses are always changing and adapting. In just a few months, companies often have significantly different goals, opportunities, and problems. Because the company budget plays a key role in determining how well the business responds to these, it’s important to revisit it from time to time.

Adjusting the budget to accurately reflect these new priorities is a daunting task, however. Here is a step by step process to make things easier.

1. Build the right team – This is never a one-person job, regardless of the size of your company. Drawing input from the rest of the management team and involving key front line personnel will give you priceless insights. Refocusing your budget requires a coordinated effort and a considerable amount of time.

2. Set profit and cash flow targets – Too many small and medium sized businesses make the mistake of only considering final profits. Even if your company sells a lot, a lack of cash flow planning will cripple it. Not having enough money for overhead is a disaster that can drive your business into the ground, so make sure to include cash flow in your budget plans.

3. Determine what is essential – These are the things that your business simply cannot do without. When one of these factors is missing, the entire operation usually grinds to a halt. This results in massive losses, which is why essential items should always be the first priority in any budget.

Obvious examples include raw materials and equipment, but underappreciated things such as a steady internet connection also count. Most businesses cannot function properly without the internet, which is why Internet Solutions and other providers report an increasing demand for reliable commercial internet connectivity.

4. Look at expenses individually – It’s easy enough to say that your current budget works because the company is profitable; however, that’s not always the case. There are usually some wasteful costs that drag down the bottom line, but not enough to raise alarms or draw attention. Review where your money is going, and see if there’s anything you can cut out.

5. Be prepared to make trade-offs – The whole point of prioritising is making sure that enough money goes to the right places in your company. This usually means that you will have to reduce spending on other departments and projects. While there are no obvious answers, being disciplined enough to make these hard decisions is necessary to the success of your business.

Create a flexible plan, and make sure to continually go back to it. Budgets are only useful when companies regularly consult them when making decisions. Make any changes necessary, and see how well your company is meeting its financial targets.

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Reaching Out for an Extra Hand

virtual assistantDocumentation is essential in every business to keep things in tracked and recorded. From simple memos to big contracts, it should contain clear and comprehensible phrases to avoid any confusion and misinterpretation. A simple word or punctuation can alter the meaning of a sentence or even the whole document.

Most companies, however, do not have the means to employ proofreaders to check the accuracy of the documents. Fortunately, they can hire a virtual personal assistant to help in the copy editing job. Precision plays a vital role in a company’s success, which is why it should never be often overlooked, according to experts.

Role of Proofreading in Business

Sending out poorly written proposals, letters, contracts, and other files can tarnish the reputation of a company. Documents that are full of typos and errors can cause a negative impression from existing and potential clients. In business, there is no room for mistakes and carelessness.

The slightest grammatical errors can hinder the credibility and authority of companies from solidifying their presence, thus delaying their success. Well-written papers can convey class and professionalism of the entire company.

Importance of a Separate Proofreader

Every business owner wants to do better than the others. They want to be on top of the competition. That is why an error-free document is crucial. One of the most common mistakes companies commit is that only one person writes, edits, and proofreads every document.

A writer tends to overlook unseen mistakes in the document because it is typically his style. It is wise to have two separate employees for writing and checking. Studies show that people who keep reading their own work become unwary of their mistakes. Fresh eyes tend to catch errors easily.

Proofreading should never be underestimated. Business owners who communicate within or outside the company represent and reflect the business as a whole. More than the reputation, poorly written documents can cause harm, especially if interpreted as the opposite. Avoid loss in business by prioritizing correct grammar.

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Maintaining Good Oral Health During Your Senior Years

oral healthWhen it comes to oral health for senior citizens, brushing and flossing regularly is not enough – at least for some. Know, though, that age is not the sole reason behind weakening oral health. There are certain issues that can put you at risk for a number of dental problems. General health conditions, the use of certain medications, and wearing dentures are some of the issues that can affect oral health.

Here are a few suggestions for maintaining good oral health:

Difficulty to Brush

According to Church Road Dental and Cosmetics, there are certain procedures that are designed to make dental care less painful. You can try using an electric toothbrush to help you with brushing teeth.

Fighting Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common problem for the elderly, which can be caused by certain medications or medical disorders. This makes it difficult to eat, taste, swallow, and speak. Drink plenty of water and avoid sweets, alcohol, and caffeine to fight dry mouth. Your dentist can also suggest methods to restore moisture in the mouth to prevent the onset of issues related to dryness.

Dealing with Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem as people age. Your gums recede overtime and expose parts that are not protected by the enamel. These parts can become prone to hot and cold foods. In some cases, exposed areas can also be sensitive to sweet and sour food. If you experience tooth sensitivity, use anti-sensitivity toothpaste and see your dentist find out about any other possible causes.

Be Concerned About Gum Disease

Gum disease is mainly caused by plaque, and can get so severe that gums may begin to recede and weaken the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, particularly if you have osteoporosis.

Maintaining a healthy mouth as you age can help you avoid heart disease and diabetes. Make sure to keep your dentist informed about any changes in your medical condition to prevent dangerous drug interactions and other serious health issues.

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