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Aluminum

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While you’re clearing cans from old home-improvement projects, toss out old materials from DIY projects. “Almost every garage in America has a flimsy aluminum paint tray coated in house paint, with a matching roller in a crumpled grocery bag,” Gordon says. “As homeowners, we like to think we’re going to get more than one use out of our paint brushes, trays and other DIY tools, but it’s more likely we’ll forget and buy these items again anyway. The only reason to save otherwise disposable DIY tools would be if you have a project in mind that you plan to tackle soon.”

Ford’s “Reynolds Wrap Edition” aluminum-heavy F-150 arrived in 2015 with a lot of promise. The use of aluminum body panels instead of steel made the new truck much lighter, which improved mileage, and promised “No rust. Ever.” But a big concern was the cost of repairs, particularly the cost of replacing body panels.

If you have a little dent, pretty much any body shop can bang it out, fill it with Bondo and repaint it for you. But when you have to replace full panels, welding aluminum is a lot different than welding steel. To weld aluminum, body shops need to purchase expensive, new equipment, and get special training to use it. And based on Father Guido Sarducci’s “law of supply-a and-a demand-a,” you’d figure that fewer competing body shops would lead to higher prices, right?

So here we are, a few years later, and how much have F-150 body repair costs gone up? Zero. We checked with IIHS (the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), which, as you might guess, carefully tracks insurance payouts. The organization’s latest report on the F-150, from April 2017, found that the cost of body repairs, compared to the 2014 F-150, has stayed the same.

Trucks in the landscape industry work hard, and even with the most diligent maintenance, they’ll need to be replaced at some point. Good equip…

On June 4, 1941, a photo of Virginia Governor James H. Price surrounded by a pile of aluminum goods alongside an image of Mrs. John Cronly kis…

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