A Buyer’s Guide to Livestock Trailers | Livestock

When shopping for a livestock trailer, there are a few things you’ll need to take into consideration to ensure that you get the most for your money. The first thing you’ll want to consider is the style of trailer that you’re shopping for. What type of livestock will you be transporting? What is the total weight of the livestock? Will you be traveling on the highway with it, or is this solely for use on back roads?Once you’ve decided these things, you’ll need to make sure that your designated tow vehicle is properly set up to handle a trailer. This involves a hitch that’s attached securely to the frame of the vehicle. If your vehicle is already equipped with a hitch, make sure it is in good condition and firmly attached. If you’re adding a hitch to a vehicle that is not equipped with one, contact your local automotive shop or truck equipment retailer. You will also need to have your vehicle wired to accept the trailer’s wiring harness. This allows your vehicle’s lighting system to communicate with the brake lights and blinkers on the trailer.When shopping for a trailer, you should first ask the seller for the inspection history of the trailer. Many states require that trailers undergo yearly inspection, just like a car. See if the trailer has recently passed. If it has not, this could mean additional money that you’ll have to put into the trailer in order to get it to pass inspection, which can be quite rigorous in some states.Be sure to inspect the trailer’s tires. Since many trailers are only used occasionally, they often times suffer from poor tire maintenance. Even though a tire has ample tread remaining, it is still important to inspect the sidewalls of the tire for cracking or dry rot. Trailers are prone to this because they frequently are stored outside and overlooked when it comes time for maintenance.Be sure that the lighting equipment on the trailer functions as well. This includes brake lights, tail lights, and blinkers. If possible, hook the trailer up to a tow vehicle and have a friend operate each of the lighting systems in sequence so they can be inspected. Make sure the wiring harness is present and has no visual defects or loose connections. The final step is to inspect the hitch and the safety latches. Make sure they all function properly before attempting to operate the trailer. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be sure to avoid a bad experience when shopping for a livestock trailer. Safety should always come first, so take your time when shopping, and do a thorough inspection before purchasing.

Choosing a Web Designer | design web

Many small business owners struggle with deciding on how to make the right choice for designing their website. They search the web for help with their website and find that the choice is harder than they thought. Currently there are (literally) millions of websites who claim to be professional web designers. However, one must be careful in choosing the right person or people in which to trust their company image. In this article, I will attempt to categorize web designers into manageable groups, and teach the reader the difference between the types.Web designers fall into four general categories: freelance amateur, freelance professional, Web Design Company, Web Development Firm.Freelance AmateurThe majority of web designers you will come across, especially searching the Internet, are freelancers. That is, individuals who do web design but are not employed by a web design company. Some are self-employed professionals but most of these freelancers are amateur-hobbyist types. They find a copy of FrontPage™ came with their MS Office™ Suite. They discovered how fun it could be to make web pages so they started telling their friends that they could “design” web pages.The “pros” of using an amateur is that they are very cheap. The “cons” are too numerous to mention, but I’ll point out a few. They have no training; they have little knowledge of what makes a good website work; they do not understand HTML code or CSS but only FrontPage point and click; they do not understand general design and layout concepts and they have little real experience. The biggest reason they should be avoided for the serious businessperson, is that their work looks amateurish, which makes your company look amateurish. Who wants that?Freelance ProfessionalA professional is often defined by simply being paid. People think that if you are paid for something, then you are professional. Maybe that’s true in the Olympics, but for the business services world, you are not a professional until you are established and respected as one by your clients and peers. Freelancer professional web designers are a giant leap from the amateur in that they have established a portfolio of respectable work. They have some sort of qualified training and experience and they have credentials that can be verified by contacting references. They have a good reputation with their clients and other professionals. In general, a good freelance professional web designer can be good person to have doing your site. But they are hard to distinguish from the amateur when you are just searching the web.The upside is, if you find a good one they are significantly cheaper than a web design company. But that is usually the only upside. If the budget limits you, then a freelancer will do for a small project. But anything seriously important should be left to a professional company.Some downsides to using a freelance pro are that they are usually part-time, meaning they are limited in how much time they can devote to your project. They are also limited in what they can do for you. Most freelancers are specialists in one area and generalists in everything else. Some have no skills in anything except their one specialty and often you will have to find others to fill roles. In addition, freelancers are not always cheap although many of them are aspiring to create their own company; some are highly sought after and charge $100 per hour or more for their work. My advice here is, if you have that much to spend, go with a company that has a team of professionals to get the job done in a timelier manner.Web Design CompanyThis is the next step beyond a freelance professional. The web design company offers the “whole show”. They provide real project management and have pulled together a team of web experts to get a wider range of jobs done. A company can provide a much higher level of expertise in web design, programming, content development and more.Such a company is usually very small, yet large enough to handle larger scale projects. Compared to the most highly qualified freelancer, a company has a diversity of talent and collaboration working for them. The end-result is usually a much higher quality product.The only real drawbacks are on the one hand, the web design company is more expensive than a freelancer because there are many more people on the job. However, you get what you pay for rings true. On the other hand, for very large projects or long term development, web design companies may be too small and usually do not have the human recourses to accommodate that $500,000 contract. In the end, for serious business people looking for quality and professionalism and who can’t afford the big firm, this is the way to go.Web Development Firm As the title implies, a web development firm is like any traditional company. They have a staff of office workers, they have owners and officers, and they have a team of talented professionals who are paid a good salary for their work. They often have a sales force that do inside and outside sales. The quality of their work goes without saying, as you could not be so well-established by doing shoddy work. These firms offer teams of very talented professionals who work on your project and get the job done in a timely and extremely efficient manner. Additionally, they usually cover all aspects of website development including marketing and advertising. They may have teams of specialists that they can deploy to your location and work in-house under a temporary contract. The possibilities are endless.If price is not an issue and the highest quality work is necessary, then this is who you want to do the job. For smaller budget businesses, a quote from an established web development firm might knock you off your chair, but know that companies who have project requirements that reach hundreds of thousands of dollars know the score. Thus, the only real drawback for a web development firm is that they are usually very expensive. Then again, cost is relative and bigger companies like to work with bigger companies.In summary, the choice is yours. I would recommend for the serious businessperson, that you budget a decent amount of dollars to properly design and execute a professional website. I would avoid the amateur and outsource to an individual or company with good experience and reasonable rates to create my web presence. If money were no object, then I would only deal with established firms and pay the big bucks to get the job done right and done well.

Colorado Springs Real Estate – Black Forest Homes | Real estate

Find your dream house property in the Colorado Springs real estate area of the Black Forest. This part of the Colorado Springs real estate area is located in northern El Paso County. The Black Forest is a rural area that is situated on approximately 200,000 acres of land. The area is heavily wooded with mostly Ponderosa Pine trees. Black Forest is a mix of older homes and newer homes. The northwestern Black Forest real estate area includes: High Forest Ranch established 2001-2004, Walden established 1965-2002, Hawk Ridge established 1994-2000, Wissler Ranch established 1996-1999, and Elk Creek Ranch established 1980-1993.Home Prices & DescriptionsMany of the homes for sale in the Black Forest real estate area are 5 acre house properties. There are mostly ranch style homes and 2 story homes. Some of the homes are custom homes and reflect “country style” living and some of the homes resemble houses that blend into “city living”. Many of these Colorado Springs real estate subdivisions include features such as: multiple decks and fireplaces, slate floors, barns and garages, granite counters, and theater rooms.The minimum sales price for homes in 2008 in the Black Forest is $375,000. The minimum size Black Forest home for sale is 3,408 finished square feet. The minimum home for sale is 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and a 3 car garage. The average sales price in 2008 is $650,000 and is 4,527 finished square feet. The average size home for sale is 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, and a 4 car garage. The maximum sales price in this Colorado Springs real estate area is $925,000 and is 5,646 finished square feet. The maximum size home for sale is 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, and a 5 car garage.One of the newer communities in the Black Forest real estate area is the prestigious High Forest Ranch. The Ranch has rustic custom homes for sale. There are close to 20 different custom builders to choose from. Some of the homes in this Colorado Springs real estate area are situated on 2.5-5 acres of land. Residents in the High Forest Ranch area have community lodge at their disposal for those special occasions. The custom homes for sale in this Colorado Springs real estate area range from $499,900-$3.5 million. Amenities for some of the homes include: multiple fireplaces, slab granite counter tops, vaulted ceilings, great rooms, family room, master retreats, theater rooms, billiard rooms, wine rooms, travertine flooring, outdoor covered decks, and wet bars. Many of the Colorado Springs homes for sale in this area have extensive timber and stone features.The Walden real estate area has beautiful custom ranch style homes with lots between approximately 1/2 acre and 1 acre in size. Many of the homes have stucco exteriors and resemble more of a “city look.” Some of these Colorado Springs real estate neighborhoods include: custom cabinets, molding and trim, granite slab kitchen counter tops, hardwood floors, multiple fireplaces, 5 piece master baths, vaulted great room, stucco exteriors, perennial gardens, offices, recreation rooms, game area, formal dining rooms, wood decks with hot tub, walk-out rancher, and gourmet kitchens. Homes for sale in this Colorado Springs real estate area range from the high $200,000s to just under $600,000.In the privacy of the pines is the prominent Hawk Ridge real estate area. Hawk Ridge has homes for sale on approximately 2.5 acres or less. Many of the homes are custom homes with features like: hardwood floors, walls of windows, multiple fireplaces, French doors, granite kitchen islands, custom cabinets, hand crafted banisters, ponds, walk-out dining area, and large decks. The homes for sale in the Hawk Ridge community range from the approximately the mid $500,000s to 1.3 million dollars. This part of the Colorado Springs real estate area borders the Black Forest area.The Wissler Ranch homes for sale range from the mid $400,000s to $900,000. Some of the homes have luxurious living and family rooms, huge open kitchens, spacious master suites, home theaters, wine cellars, exercise rooms, recreation rooms, and 5 piece master baths. Many of the homes are on approximate 3 acre lots. Some of the homes are gorgeous cottage style houses with old world charm. The homes for sale in this Colorado Springs real estate area range from the mid $450,000s to the mid $800,000s. The Wissler Ranch community also borders the Black Forest area.There are some homes for sale in the Elk Creek community in the low $200,000s. The homes are located in meadows and in the woods. Most of the homes are on five acre lots and are zoned for horses. Some of the homes have beautiful mountain views and some are located in the meadows and have natural streams running through the properties. Many of the homes include barns, storage sheds, fences for horses, RV parking. There are custom homes in this community. Find your perfect dream horse property in this Colorado Springs real estate area. Amenities include: vaulted/beamed ceilings, large kitchens, fireplaces, skylights, multiple decks, oversized garages, and covered stalls.Schools.The schools of attendance are: Lewis Palmer Elementary School, Ray E. Kilmer Elementary School, Lewis Palmer Middle School, Creekside Middle School, and Lewis Palmer High School. The schools are part of the Lewis Palmer School District 38 boundary area.Neighboring Communities.The Southwestern portion of the Black Forest is located to the south and contains the Black Forest Regional Park. The Black Forest extends to the east. The Kings Deer, Canterbury, Fox Run, and Cherry Creek Crossing subdivisions are situated to the west.Commuting.The northwestern Colorado Springs real estate area of Black Forest is located near Highway 83 and County Line Road. It is convenient for commuting to Colorado Springs and Denver. This part of the Air Force Academy real estate area is located approximately 30 minutes or 22 miles from the USAFA main gate and is a possible Colorado Springs military relocation choice.Recreation.The High Forest Ranch community has miles of hiking trails and open space. It is close to the Tri-lakes real estate area. Three lakes and multiple golf courses are located in the Tri-lakes area. Shopping is close by in Monument, Castle Rock, Denver and Colorado Springs real estate locations.