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The Importance of Recycling & Reusing Truck Parts

Vander Haag's has been in the business of recycling parts for over 80 years. We are proud to have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of parts that would, under normal circumstances, end up in landfills. In 2018, we reused 17,731,425.5 pounds of parts. Note, this number does not include scrap, only the parts that were reused by you, our loyal customers. We recently added a real-time counter to the Vander Haag's website on the homepage that will allow visitors to see how many pounds of parts we have recycled year-to-date. Not only are we having a positive impact on the environment, but we are also helping truck owners save money.

The average yearly cost of operating a commercial truck is approximately $180,000. These expenses include fuel, driver salaries, insurance, repairs/maintenance, permits, and toll fees. The average truck driver is expected to travel between 2,000 and 3,000 miles per week, based on the 70 hour maximum hour restriction over eight days. In one year, that is nearly 144,000 miles traveled in one truck alone. At this pace, parts will inevitably wear faster and need to be replaced. Purchasing quality recycled parts, as opposed to purchasing new parts, saves truck owners approximately 50% without sacrificing the life expectancy of the part. Vander Haag’s takes pride in the amount of quality inspected parts readily available for purchase. Due to Vander Haag’s improved processes and growth in recycled parts, our goal in 2019 is to recycle more parts than ever before.

5 Tips to Ensure Your Air Conditioning System is Running Efficiently


5 Tips to Ensure Your Air Conditioning System is Running Efficiently in Your Heavy Duty Truck

At Vander Haag's, Inc., we take your truck maintenance seriously. We know the air conditioning system in your heavy duty truck is vital during scorching temperatures while on the road. To prevent the risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion during intensely hot days, be sure to service your air conditioning system in the early spring. Here are five things that either you or your mechanic can look for to stay cool this summer.

1. Observe Foggy Windows During Cold Temperatures

Did you know window fogging during cold temperatures could be a sign there is an issue with your air conditioning system? In most cases, your trucks air conditioner works in tandem with the defroster to remove condensation from your windshield. Therefore, if you notice fogging in the winter it might be a good indicator that you will experience issues with your air conditioner during the summer.

2. Check for Refrigerant Leaks

Carefully inspect for any potential refrigerant leaks by checking your hoses and fittings. Tighten or re-fasten loose fittings. Consciously scan for leaks in areas where hoses bend or flex. Be sure to replace faulty hoses, not just the fittings.

3. Listen to the Motor

You might be feeling cool air circulating, but if you hear a buzzing or grinding sound this may indicate the blower is about to fail. It is important to change out the blower motor if you hear these noises. A blower motor not working at full efficiency puts the rest of the cooling system at risk of failing, which can cost you more money in the long run.

4. Clean your System on a Routine Basis

Cleaning your cooling system out on a routine basis can be achieved by removing dirt and debris. Clean around the condenser where bugs, leaves, dirt, or bird feathers tend to collect. It is also a good idea to wash, vacuum, or replace cabin air filters.

5. Schedule Routine Service

These tips are obvious indicators that your air conditioner might be experiencing issues, but it is still very important to have your truck fully inspected each year for optimal efficiency. An expert can test your systems compressor, condenser, and evaporator. They have the ability to recharge the refrigerant, provide replacement parts, and have the tools necessary to make these repairs. So don't wait until it's too late! Inspect your truck now to ensure you are sitting in a cool cab on those hot summer days.

Shop air conditioning parts or schedule your truck to be serviced at Vander Haag's, Inc.

5 Things to Watch For When Buying a Step Deck Trailer

Over the last ten years, step deck trailers have increased in popularity in the trucking industry. You might be asking, what makes a step deck trailer different from other flatbed trailers? The step deck trailer has all the same versatility as a flatbed trailer; however, it has a lowered deck to accommodate for a taller cargo height. The key difference between the flatbed trailer and the step deck, or even the double-drop flatbed trailer, is the maximum height of the cargo that can be transported. Hence, step deck trailers are generally used for hauling over-sized freight that is taller than 10 feet. In most cases, step deck trailers haul tanks, cars, construction equipment, trucks and forklifts, as well as many other items. Step deck trailers are constructed in a way that help operators safely complete pickups and deliveries while loading, unloading, and transporting oversized loads.

Here are some helpful tips that can help make the buying process easier when choosing a step deck trailer that is right for you.

1. Complete an Inspection of the Trailer's Floor & Body

It would seem logical to do inspection of the trailer's floor, but not all buyers pay close enough attention to this part. Often, dealers will polish the floor. This can give the illusion of a newer floor and mask any damages or imperfections that can be harder to see simply by taking a quick look over. Decades prior, trailer manufacturers were producing the platform of the trailer differently. The constructed the trailers floor out a combination of natural wood and synthetic wood and 25%- 30% of the step deck trailers that were being manufactured were made with extruded aluminum. Since then, trailer manufacturers have made substantial improvements selecting the materials used to construct trailers such as aluminum floors rather than wood. It is a lighter weight that allows operators to haul heavier loads, On the down side, aluminum floors are more difficult to replace as they can bend and crack. Wood is more durable and easier to repair.


Inspect the body to ensure the side panels and door operation to ensure there is no damage and the door is functioning properly.

2.  Check the Tires & Brakes

Trailer tires can experience failure mainly from overloading. Overloading a trailer can result into an excessive heat in the sidewall and tread, which can lead to degradation/blowout. Under-inflation can also cause trailer tire failure. It is important to check for bulges, cracks, or irregular wear patters to the tires. The tread should not be worn less than 2/32”. Occasionally, these tire imperfections can go unnoticed at a glimpse, so be sure to take a detailed inspection. Check the rims for damage and look for any missing or loose lug nuts.

Next, check for air leaks in the brakes by simply applying your foot to the brakes and releasing. Don’t forget to check the brake drum and motor condition as well.