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Author Topic: Landoll Co-op?  (Read 6767 times)
NJT5047
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« on: August 21, 2006, 10:21:37 AM »

Buses break down often enough to make one wonder what other options may be available, preferably something non-bankrupting, that would allow a low cost tow.   A quick, cheap way home...with the bus and all of your possesions.   We got a bus with a likely blown engine in SC, and Norms MC7 is disabled in Charlotte with a clutch failure.  Norms coach and trailer has already been broken into (welcome to Charlotte) and the bus will sit where it is for another week. 
There are probably hundreds of reasons to not consider this, but, how would group ownership of a Landoll trailer work? 
Wouldn't have to buy a tractor..that could be leased for a few days as necessary.   There are plenty truck driver sorts...some with flexible schedules (Dallas? And any other qualified operator) that have necessary license and such to operate a loaded Landoll.
I have no idea what a decent used Landoll is worth, but if shared among enough folk, the cost would be reasonable.
The trailer could be stored in some central area and would be less than 2 days for anywhere on the East Coast or East of the Miss. River really.  Depending on how quick a driver could get to the trailer, one day would be the norm on the East Coast.     
A good deal of red tape would be done away with because we would be a private hauler due to group ownership of equipment and load.    We would not be for hire.  Although someone could join the co-op, there would be some financial offset to prevent short term contracts.    We would be "self insuring" potential tow bills. 
We have much smarter folk than me reading the board...and I'm interested in what your thoughts are on the above concept.   Perhaps something already exists.   Good Sam and such are not the answer....they won't take you home.  They will move a bus out of the highway....then you're on your own with locals that may clean your clocks.  This is a situation that I want to avoid.   In the event of a breakdown, unless it was some simple fix, I'd rather pay to have my coach returned to my shop.
Let me be the first to offer a free, central point (North Carolina) to store a Landoll.   However, I would not be able to operate same....no CDL anymore due to poor eyesight.   I also have ample room to store a bus if necessary. 
The concept may be too onerous to manage, but it would offer a cheap way to transport a broken bus.   We would be paying for a 2 or three day tractor lease, compensation to a driver and fuel.  The trailer would not be expensive to maintain or license.    This would avoid the inevitable "hunt" for a reputable shop once broken down.
What about it?  Why, or why not?
Cheers, JR
« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 10:25:12 AM by NJT5047 » Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

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Dallas
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2006, 11:18:43 AM »

JR,
I just some checking with some friends of mine that are in heavy equipment sales.
I came up with prices on Landolls and JerDan heavy vehicle recovery trailers that range in price from $15K fo a late 70's model that needs quite a bit of work and a new winch up to $57K for a reposessed 2005 48'X102".
When looking at new trailers, prices went all the way up to $120K for one of the better units.
A tractor is easy to find, I can buy and put one on the road for less than $10K.
Leasing a truck is usually cost prohibitive as the rates can approach $2.00/mile plus fuel plus insurance.
Also most of the recovery trailers need either an engine and hydraulic pump on board or use a wet kit off the pto of the truck.

This is a great idea, and I will see if I can find anything that might work.
Maybe someone else can come up with viable ideas.
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TomCat
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2006, 11:27:50 AM »

Here's one on the E place. Brand new 2006 Landoll with winch. The bids are up to $40k.




http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170019731549&ru=http://search.ebay.com:80/170019731549_W0QQfromZR18QQfsopZ1QQsspagenameZADMEQ3aBQ3aTB2Q3aUSQ3a2QQfviZ1

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« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 04:01:41 PM by DrivingMissLazy » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2006, 11:35:00 AM »

JR,
You have an awesome idea, and I'd love to do my part to help ! My problem is $ ! I don't have any to invest ! But I do have a Class A CDL (citizenship denile license), withall endoresments, a place to park it, EXPERIENCE operating one, My location is centrally located for the entire country I can be anywhere in the country in 2 days ! Now the EXPENSIVE part is #1 buying a decent unit, #2 insurance, the rest are easy ! It'd easier to own a tractor than all the red tape of leasing one (I found out all about that when I was trucking!) I could even probably keep it busy with a local contact I have hauling generators and air compressors (Huge ones! for industrial use) to help defray the cost of insuring it. I would love to be able to help on this, but not having $ to invest in it, the best I could offer would be my services as driver/operator/maintainer (labor only) free of charge if we could put something together ! If anyone figures anything out, count me in and let me know! BK
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 01:27:14 PM »

I have only one thing to say... License the trailer in Maine!  It's cheap & easy.
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 04:22:38 PM »

JR,I think you've hit upon someything,if fact I know that you've hit upon something.I read this post while taking a lunch break,went out to work,screwed up the part I was working on because I couldn't think straight thinking about this post.Said to hell with it,and decided to come back in here and give you my reply.The rest of you chime in after I'm thru this posting this post,knowledge comes in numbers.

Your on to something big,I have had my share of breakdowns as a lot of us have,don't care how new the coach is,its not if,its when its going to happen.(or whatever your driving)Good Sams,AAA,and a whole bunch others will get you down the road a piece if you have a break down,don't know of any of them that will get you home if your hundreds of miles away.A lot of time and money are tied up in these coaches of ours,its one thing to have a break down,its quite another to have someone ripped your personnel possesions off.

You mention a Co-op,great idea,each person would have to come up with whatever $$ to join,and then would have an annual fee or whatever (suggestions needed).Their are a lot of people out there that have RVs,exspanding it further,there are a lot of people out there that have cars trucks whatever,not limited to just RVs.You would have people who are members that   have the equipment needed and on all the coasts to make all of this happen.

You, Busted Knuckle,myself included, have a place for the equipment ,and I'm sure their are others.

Where all of this is leading to could very realistically down the road lead to am outstanding business nation wide,and to those that jumped on the bandwagon now would profrit very nicely.I would be willing to bet,there are a lot of folks out there that would like to have a something like this,ain't nothing better then to have piece of mind when traveling.Ok all you bus nuts,lets here it from ya....Frank
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kyle4501
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2006, 06:09:32 PM »

I have experienced group ownership before, The problem is group ownership. While you will find good group members, you will also attract duds, freeloaders, & creeps that wear it out & leave it for the next guy to have to fix before it can be used. There is a reason they cost so much.

On another note, I'm getting a bus moved 250 miles for ~$2.00 per mile put on the truck. This is a landoll move. The $2 also includes a driver/ operator that is experienced & knows what to do. He also keeps the rig it top condition & is ready to roll with only a phone call.

I hate to rain on the parade, but this is just my experience, YMMV

I'd love for you guys to figgure out a way to make it work & say "see, I told you it would work!"
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 07:14:50 PM »

I have experienced group ownership before, The problem is group ownership. While you will find good group members, you will also attract duds, freeloaders, & creeps that wear it out & leave it for the next guy to have to fix before it can be used. There is a reason they cost so much.

On another note, I'm getting a bus moved 250 miles for ~$2.00 per mile put on the truck. This is a landoll move. The $2 also includes a driver/ operator that is experienced & knows what to do. He also keeps the rig it top condition & is ready to roll with only a phone call.

I hate to rain on the parade, but this is just my experience, YMMV

I'd love for you guys to figgure out a way to make it work & say "see, I told you it would work!"

Kyle,
I have the same fears. This is why it would need to be a true co-op with a board of directors and a membership plan. Also I think that you would want only one driver for a truck whether he was the owner and leased it to the co-op or was just a hired driver.
Many things along the way would need to be worked out by all of the membership whom I'm sure are much smarter than I am.

FMCA started out as just a bunch of bus nuts wanting to help each other.
The Farm Co-op assoc. was put together by farmers for farmers.
REA's were put together for the same purpose, I think that their downfall is combining into large corporate organizations like Progress Power, Cinergy and Northern States Power among others.

I'd love to see it work, I'm just not smart enough to do it.
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NJT5047
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2006, 07:17:57 PM »

I have experienced group ownership before, The problem is group ownership. While you will find good group members, you will also attract duds, freeloaders, & creeps that wear it out & leave it for the next guy to have to fix before it can be used. There is a reason they cost so much.

On another note, I'm getting a bus moved 250 miles for ~$2.00 per mile put on the truck. This is a landoll move. The $2 also includes a driver/ operator that is experienced & knows what to do. He also keeps the rig it top condition & is ready to roll with only a phone call.
I hate to rain on the parade, but this is just my experience, YMMV
I'd love for you guys to figgure out a way to make it work & say "see, I told you it would work!"

Kyle, you make good points...first thing...who's moving your coach for $2.00 per loaded mile?   Is this a "favor"...it is when compared to the estimates I've found so far.   If I could match the $2. buck per mile, I'd be shickled titless!   More research tomorrow.   I don't believe too may Landoll operators will work for $2 bucks per mile.  The operating expense of the truck and driver will cost almost that much.   $2 bucks is about what I would have figured as fixed expense.   Making it work is easy...paying for it may not be. 
Regarding the use...it wouldn't be a "user" item.  The group would have specific drivers for the thing...wouldn't be something that would just get picked up and used and maybe returned when someone else needed it. 
Jay, I didn't see a reserve on the Landoll being bid off, but I'd be surprised it doesn't go a lot higher.   Cool looking tractor for sale too!
We wouldn't need a tri-axle unit...dual axles will easily handle 40K lbs.   A bus isn't really...in trucking terms...a very heavy item.  It is a long item, and tall.  The height would require a dedicated operator.   Routes would have to be planned.   As Dallas states, a powered winch would be required, but is generally part of these trailers. 
The lowest deck height that I've seen is about 30"...that would make a minimum of 14' transit.   
Interesting thoughts so far...perhaps some company that owns a Landoll is interested in offering a bus tow service like a Good Sam deal.  We pay an annual  fee and get significantly reduced rate towing.   Or we get screwed.  Who knows. 
The trailer would only be available to members due to  the not-for-hire status.  I suppose anyone could "buy in" at any time.   Private carrier only...like farmers.   If doing a "for hire"...the insurance and permits would be extremely expensive.   I used to haul large boats (up to 40') anywhere on the East coast.  The customer was responsible for insuring his boat.  My truck and trailer were only insured for liability.  The boat was technically a "service" item, and I was moving it for our service department.  No matter where it went, or was delivered too.  I would do something, even an appraisal, to make sure that the repair order reflected that the boat was a service item.  That made (technically..not really in the spirit of the law) the haul a private carrier.   That is the only way to compete with the nationa haulers.  I made really good money doing this.   But, as with all things...the boat business fell on hard times.  Sorta like the automobile business today...and probably the RV business.     
There are plenty of buses breaking down.  Quite a few people really don't have any specific place to tow a bus...they will use a DD dealer or whatever.  That would sort of limit this "bus moving" concept.  Possibilty of associating with some bus repair facilities.  There are good shops around.    If I experienced a major failure...I'd want the bus back in my shop.  Period.   That would be a major plus for me.   If I were a little younger, I'd put a pit and a nice shop out here...but, at 61, too late for that (I have plenty of property if anyone wishes to attempt such an endeavor).   As for hiring a mechanic, I've not seen many that weren't working that anyone would want to hire. 
Not many folk want to work on buses, and fewer know what they are doing.   
Maybe we could get Luke to do a "franchise" deal down here in North Carolina. 
I'll bet Luke and his crew have some thoughts on moving buses.   
Ya'll keep the comments coming!
Later, JR

 
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2006, 08:27:11 PM »

This may be old news to some of you, but we just joined CoachNet emergency road service which comes with advice from "certified" mechanics, through Escapees.  $240 for 3 years.  Seems to me they are supposed to get us fixed or hauled to a decent shop and help make sure we don't get ripped.
i think i do see the benefit of the heavy hauler to get you home to a local fix it shop or where you can do it yourself.
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2006, 11:16:47 PM »

I couldn't find prices of $2.00 per truck mile, but I just called a few places. The prices I got worked out to almost $4.00 a mile. I would be interested in such a co-op.

Phil Zisakis
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kyle4501
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2006, 05:12:29 AM »

The $2.00 is for miles put on the truck - from gate to gate. A ~500 mile haul will take up most of his day.

When the same driver pulled my other bus, it was ~$100/ hour. I'm guessing the 500 mile trip will take close to 10 hours, especially when you add in the time to load & unload.

A friend just bought a cabover & trailer to move his buses, he has a small fortune in the rig & it needs maintence. The cost of fuel is gonna be around $.50 per mile traveled. This co-op trailer will have some serious miles to travel just to get to the coach in need.

Another thought - What if we formed the co-op to buy in to an existing road service provider for the purpose of getting extra benefits/ special rules for those in the co-op. That way we are using a network of service providers & the overhead is spread over a larger group than just us in the co-op.

Another thing, The tow service I'm using isn't in the phone book, stays busy with his regular customers, & is picky about what he tows. I found him by calling the local charter bus places to find out who they use. This guy knows the DOT rules & is very careful in loading & unloading.

I also DO NOT challange his fees, I ask so that I'll have enough cash to pay him (sometimes the loan takes a few days  Grin )
« Last Edit: August 22, 2006, 05:26:15 AM by kyle4501 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2006, 05:15:26 AM »

I couldn't find prices of $2.00 per truck mile, but I just called a few places. The prices I got worked out to almost $4.00 a mile. I would be interested in such a co-op.
Phil Zisakis

Phil,
You are in the ball park, I have good friends who own Landoll's and they get $4.00 +  (sometimes a fuel surcharge, or loading fee,or make the customer pay tolls,permits, & hwy taxes in places they don't normally operate! On the other hand they've let ME use their truck & trailer to go get one and bring back to my shop and only charge me $2.00 a mile with me doing the work/driving! and only when it came straight back to my shop!)

JR
You bring up very good points and with a couple of exceptions are correct on height, & weight issues ! I have been warned at scales with a bus on a Landoll for being over weight on the trailer tandems (local scale gave me a verbal warning) with a MCI 102D3 (not DL 45') that had a 60 series in it! So the triaxle would aviod that hassel !And you bring up a very good point about the height issue in most cases you can load and haul a bus on a Landoll with no problem, but what about all the ones with raised roofs? Ok here yer gonna have to know the exact height of everything, and contact the states where you'll be traveling they will sell you a permit with an assigned rte. and tell you if you need an escort vehicle w/height pole or not! (Mo $)

There are some very good ideas here, and some genuine concerns also! I'd love to see it work, and believe it could if we could work out the details. I wish I'd had the $ when my close friend/part time boss closed his wrecker service and sold all his equipment I could've bought his 1991 Freightliner Truck (fresh inframe 425 cat 13 spd D/O) & 2000 Landoll Trailer for $60,000. But I didn't have the funds, then or now! If I could afford it I'd get one and register it to KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage and insure it that way too! (shop use only, then anything on deck would either be going to the shop or coming from the shop. But still have the companies DOT 3's and IFTA, etc if caught out somewhere and needed them!) As I said before I've got experience operating and maintaining them, and hve contacts to put it to work while not in use to help defray costs, and I'd be willing to be the operator at costs! My problem is getting the capitol to get it started!
One thing I agree on totally is that there needs to only be 1 or maybe 2 experienced operators regardless of who! To insure proper maintance, prevent damage too the units being hauled, and be sure it is operated in compliance with all laws & regulations!

FWIW BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2006, 05:25:55 AM »

Dallas and I were just kicking this idea around in the Bus Garage and came up with a couple of thoughts....

If the idea was sown on fertile ground, both east and west of the Mississippi, and went to fruition...forming two co-ops..and a reciprocity agreement between the two groups..then any of the Eastern Folks broken down in the West could be hauled to the River where our rig could pick it up and finish the delivery and vice-versa.  Scheduling would be the only problem there.

While it might sound reasonable...the two groups would probably have to do some paper work in order to appear to be the same Co-Op for the Regulating Authorities.

Somehow a simple good idea get get terribly muddled with the interference of regulations! Huh

NCbob
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2006, 07:00:42 AM »

There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle that need to be put in place,but I think it would work.Dallas mentioned that FMCA got started in somewhat the same way,but with a whole lot less money.Equipment and personeel doing the services I believe would have to be us.I would think that maybe we would need to just start with just one state and see how it all goes ( a trail so to speak ) Money of course is a big issue,I would think that the brunt of it would have to come from us just to get set-up.If some one was to donate a Prevost or two so that we could sell it to buy equipment or such ......*smiling*.....that would help. Come on people,their are a lot of you out there that have these answers.I like a lot of others, have the time and place,but not the capital. Fundraisers,donations and what you.Suggestions....suggestions.......suggestions,think positive.....Frank
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