Did you know there's going to be a government crackdown on overloaded vans in 2012?

When a couple of VOSA officials (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) pulled over a large van and accused the driver of being overloaded, he marched round the back of the van and threw open the doors saying: "I cant be overloaded, see, there's room for more stuff in the back!"

WRONG! you can still be overloaded even when the vehicle is not fully loaded. Lets say you have a large 3.5 tonne van, this doesn't mean you can carry 3.5 tonne of payload. The 3.5 is the GVW ( Gross Vehicle Weight) which is driver, passengers, fuel, and load. 

Different vans vary, such as a 3.5  van with rear wheel drive can carry around 1600kgs, whereas a long wheelbase 3.5  can only carry 1450kgs. So be careful.

 The easy way to check what weight the van can carry is to look at the VIN plate which is located on the door jamb or under the bonnet.

So there it is people watch what your putting in the back of your vans, or pay the penalty which can be up to £800 so i heard.


Charity Christmas cards

The annual Christmas card recycling scheme, launched by the Woodland Trust and Recycle Now, is aiming to collect 100m cards and raise enough money from them to plant 24,000 trees.
The cards will be taken to paper mills where they will be recycled into new paper products, and the money raised will be used to help the Woodland Trust plant thousands of new trees throughout the UK.
Converting the cards into other paper products and saving them from landfill will also save around 2,600 tonnes of greenhouse gases - equivalent to taking 800 cars off the road.
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) estimates that 1bn Christmas cards - 17 for every woman, man and child - end up in bins across the UK each Christmas. Generally, one-fifth of the contents of a household's bin is paper and card that could be recycled.
Converting timber into paper is a very energy intensive process, but recycling paper and card conserves resources and saves energy.Recycling is one new year's resolution that is easy to make and keep.
Christmas cards are one of the easiest things to recycle after all the festivities have ended and people will not only be helping to support the Woodland Trust but helping to tackle climate change too.
The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe - just 12% of the UK is covered by woods compares to the European average of 44%.By recycling your cards, you can help  plant thousands more throughout the UK.
The Woodland Trust does not receive any income directly from scheme. The money comes from recycling credits, paid by local authorities for waste that does not have to be disposed of in landfill sites.
In the last 10 years since the Woodland Trust has been involved with the Christmas card recycling scheme, it says that over 444m cards weighing over 8,764 tonnes have been recycled, helping to create and care for new native woods across the UK.
Last year the scheme collected 93m cards, raising £100,000 for the charity and enabling it to plant 22,000 trees.


There are 2 ways to sharpen a pencil in the trade.
1.    A Stanley knife.   Take your pencil and a sharp utility knife, clockwise push the blade from 1cm from the pencil tip up into the lead. continue clockwise until pencil is pointed.

2.    A Block plane.  rest the pencil tip about 25 degrees and move the pencil backwards away from but against the sharp blade, continue clockwise until pencil is sharp.

You maybe thinking why dont i just use a pencil sharpener, and the answer is , your always guaranteed to loose the little blighter in your toolbox.


No matter what your occupation always remember the 5 Ps.....PROPER PREPERATION PREVENTS PISSPOOR PERFORMANCE.

You may be familiar with the scenario - just a weekend to redecorate a bedroom. Move the furniture out - and there's a black mould patch behind the wardrobe. It's against a cold exterior wall, clearly a damp trap. How do you locally insulate a wall without disturbing the structure? Answer - Warmaline Wall Veneer. It's a roll of thin sheet expanded polystyrene foam which you stick to the wall underneath the final finish. Ordinary wallpaper adhesive (mixed as for blown vinyls) works well to fix it, and you need to cover the whole wall to avoid an unsightly ridge. You can fill in round windows and the like with offcuts, butting them together. Any small gaps can then be levelled with ordinary plaster filler. Give it a couple of coats of cheap white emulsion and it's ready for the final finish. I used ordinary wallpaper, but painting will work just as well. When done, the wall no longer feels cold to the touch and the damp doesn't return. A brilliantly simple solution to a tricky problem, and as a bonus you'll get some extra insulation.

Now that we are well into the winter months i find it hard to keep warm, especially when the temperature plummets below freezing. My feet always seem to come off the worst, even when i have good boots and thick socks. Earlier this week i came up with the idea of using insulation to warm the little tootsies up. As you may know Kingspan is one of the best insulations you can use to date,you only have to sit on the stuff and it instantly warms the ol glutimus maximus (ass).
So here's what i did:

  1. Find a small off-cut of insulation
  2. Draw around your boot insoles onto the silver side of the insulation
  3. with a sharp knife, cut around the shapes at a depth of 10mm
  4. Now slice the insulation with an old hand saw at a thickness of 3-5mm thick, (depending on how much space you have between the top of your foot and the upper of the boot.)
  5. Pop out the shapes and insert into your boots,silver side up.
  6. now insert your insoles on top.

You will notice the warmth after a few minutes. Its definitely saved my feet from the cold.