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Author Topic: Landoll Co-op?  (Read 6938 times)
travelingfools
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2006, 07:37:56 AM »

First off, let me say, I think this is an awesome idea...however I agree with those who say someone will find a way to abuse and exploit the system. I think hooking up with an established country wide hauler, and setting up a sort of "insurance" contract as a group might work. No worrys for us on upkeep and maint. of the equipment, and also be covered by their insurance while our stuff is on their trailer....just my .02 cents
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2006, 08:16:47 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

Good thoughts, might I add that I know of a shop on 15 acres 30 min. east of the Mississippi River on the TN, KY, IL, MO, AR State lines area ! How much more centrally located could ya get? And that shop is hosting the "TN Fall Bus Bash Oct 26th thru 31st!"(opps shameless plug, sorry! LOL!) Not to mention I have a cool program on the computer we use for generating charter quotes that tells me what my costs will be on a particular trip, where we could figure out the costs to the member before ever "Roll' n' Out" so they'd know if it were cost effective, and if they'd have the needed funds to cover the expenses! (just a thought FWIW) BK Grin
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2006, 08:39:06 AM »

Just noodling this thing around in my mind a question entered....Voila, almost a miracle! Roll Eyes

Would this thing be like spare parts...you know you need to carry them  but if you've got 'em you rarely ever need 'em? Huh

Bob
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2006, 08:57:28 AM »

Just noodling this thing around in my mind a question entered....Voila, almost a miracle! Roll Eyes
Would this thing be like spare parts...you know you need to carry them  but if you've got 'em you rarely ever need 'em? Huh
Bob

That's pretty much the way I see it. But on the other hand if done properly the trailer could still be put to use to make it pay for itself, while still being available on short notice for the members use WHEN needed! BK  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2006, 06:43:18 PM »

Now, this is going to be considered a "negative post" and I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but it's natural for me to look at something from all angles, (it's a woman thing I think), and I have a couple of questions and points, ok?   Embarrassed

You need commercial insurance on the semi and trailer both.  One Freightliner truck and trailer cost us $3,000 a year for liability insurance, and we had a great "loss payout record" at that time.  Remember, all "owners" are liable for any damage done by a vehicle they own, so I would suggest that a several million dollar policy should be in effect, since no one sues for less than several million dollars anymore.  The other thing you have to do, is figure out a way for the insurance to cover someone's bus, when it's on the trailer, in the case of a wreck.  Someone will have to appraise that bus and pay fair market value if it is severely damaged or totalled.  What if the owner disagrees with the valuation?

As you ALL are aware, you'll need to plan on replacing tires on both the trailer and semi regularly, and there's the normal maintenance, oil changes, etc.  What about truck repairs?  What if it blows a motor or transmission?  How are you going to handle making decisions about things like that. . .what should be done, what could be done, and what really doesn't need to be done?  Who makes the decision on what is legitimate use of the truck and trailer and what is not?  Will it be used ONLY for a member's bus, and what constitutes and "covered breakdown"?  Are there any rules determining things like this?  I mean, let's say that my bus is fine, but my toad is damaged.  Can I have someone haul the toad back home for me if it can't be towed?  or is it JUST for the bus?  If my brother takes my bus on a trip, is it still covered?  What about my other busses. . does it matter if I haul any of them, or just one primary one? 


An employee of ours wrecked our first semi. Cry  The Oklahoma DOT was on site immediately and climbed all over that truck and trailer to check everything from brakes to wheel bearings, looking for leaking oil and grease, you name it, they checked it out.  Luckily, they didn't find anything, since Larry is a maintenance nut, but as the owner, yep, any tickets would have been ours.  I've since been told that it was amazing that they didn't find an excuse to ticket us, and that often, those fines number in the tens of thousands.  Wow! Shocked 

If you broke down, oh, let's say, 800 miles from the trailer, looks to me you'd have the cost of diesel to get the trailer to your bus, the bus to your home/mechanic, and then the trailer back to it's resting place.  Now, that's if someone is willing to leave on a moment's notice and drive to your location, and do that on his own time, for free.  I don't think it's realistic to expect that any one person, will always be available to drop everything and drive to whatever location you may be, on a moment's notice, with no type of reimbursement for his time.  I would NEVER ask anyone to do that for me!  Also, most of the time, if you break down, the State Patrol or local police will want that vehicle moved pretty darn quickly, or they will move it for you.  Realistically, if you're going to break down, do it close to the trailer.  If you're 800 miles away from it, well, you're probably looking at anywhere from a 12 to 18 hr wait for the trailer, IF, and that's a big if, IF, you can reach them and they can leave right away to come get you.  It's not realistic to expect that you will be able to leave a disabled bus along side a highway or any number of places for that long waiting for help.  More likely, you'll have to have it towed at least to a yard somewhere, so that cost will be in addition to your yearly "association fee" along with the other fees associated with this specific long haul. 


We recently paid someone to haul three semi trailers for us, because it was a LOT cheaper to have someone do that for us, than for us to replace the front tires on our own semi, insure it, and then run and get the trailers ourselves.  Again, we own the semi, free and clear, but it's too expensive to leave insurance on it for the occasional use.   Huh

Food for thought: what about looking in a different direction, such as some type of agreement with a vehicle transport company, perhaps one that has offices in several states, that could either be on a retainer or at least offer a discount to a group? 

I'm sorry if anyone is offended at my questions or think I am trying to be a "nay-sayer", but I can just see a lot of issues that could crop up and cause dissent between members of this forum who still love each other right now.  I'm open to someone convincing me that financially, this setup would make sense, but right now, I just don't see it.  Undecided Christy Hicks
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2006, 06:52:11 PM »

There you go again Christi, confusing us with the facts...Just kidding!  Christi does make several good points.  As I have said before, other opinions are of little value if they don't present a different perspective. 
Dennis
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2006, 07:24:37 PM »

Another thing I might mention. . .we (well, actually I, Embarrassed) bought a boxcar.  Was going to use it for storage.  Called a local hauler and checked rates with him before bidding. . . got it for $400.  Then, when we actually tried to arrange to move it, we couldn't fit it under a couple of electric wires.  It was 12' tall.  Unfortunately, no matter which way we came, there was at least one set of wires that wouldn't lift up high enough to get that boxcar, on a trailer, under them.  They needed permits just to move it across town, so I can imagine how many and how much it would cost to haul a bus through several cities and states.

Our one son did hauling for awhile, but the numerous state permits and fees he had to pay just ate his lunch.   Also, f he had to go to the West Coast, he paid anywhere from $0.50 to $1.00 a gallon more for diesel than he paid here.  Then, oh, he'd blow a tire or damage something on the trailer and there was yet more money down the tubes.  It seemed that by the time he paid all the fees and jumped through all the hoops, he made so little, that finally he gave it up and got a "real" job.

Larry also pointed out to me that the $3000 a year we paid for insurance on our truck and trailer was for liability only, not full coverage.  I would think that everyone would want full coverage on the truck and trailer if it was in a co-op.

Thanks, Dennis, for not making me feel bad for being so negative.  I'd rather pat someone on the back, but I'd also rather have someone irritated at me  Cry than have them make a mistake because I kept my mouth shut. 

On the other hand, now I'm wondering exactly how often we should expect to break down with a major repair needed,  Undecided.  You guys have me scared. Shocked  Every motorhome we owned was an "oldie but goodie" and yet the only major repair we had was a transmission that blew in New Orleans.  We were treated so nicely and the guy did such an excellant job at such a great price that I wrote a letter to the main company complimenting him Grin.  I realize that these big diesel's are so much more expensive to work on, but I guess I wasn't planning on breaking down so often that I was spending a couple of thousand a year, every year, on towing.  Am I too naive? Undecided  Christy
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« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2006, 07:42:09 PM »

Food for thought: what about looking in a different direction, such as some type of agreement with a vehicle transport company, perhaps one that has offices in several states, that could either be on a retainer or at least offer a discount to a group? 

Thanks Christy,
I'm not bummed to the point of self-immolation or anything. 
I believe the above may well be the best possible outcome.  If enough people wanted to get into the Landoll business, it could well be done.  However, it would be absolutely limited to a specific coach owned by a member.
Not toads.  The trailer would also not be insured for income producing use between the rare bus haul since the co-op wouldn't be permitted for hire.   If the trailer were kept in an enclosed building, maintenance would be low.  Tires would be about it. 
Regarding tractor breakdowns...could happen...always lease a tractor on the spot...if a tractor had to be left on a lot, not biggie.  Worse case..lease a tractor, deliver broken bus, go back and get the tractor.    Unlikely the trailer would cause major problems that couldn't be easily addressed.   I've owned tractors in the past and never had any major issues that were not well telegraphed...just had to pay attention. 
Initially my thoughts were to use a lease truck...don't know.  Tractor is cheap compared to the trailer.  Dallas had some numbers that would steer away from leasing...that's why we are discussing this.  Perhaps someone with FMCA or Good Sams will pick up on the concept and offer the service for maybe an additional $100 bucks per year plus something like $2 bucks a loaded mile?   There a a good many riggers that could do this..but they don't want to haul bus conversions.   They'll haul commercial equipment.  There's a large wrecker and crane company near me and I've called them to see what sort of charges would be incurred for both wrecker service or trailer transport.  The won't offer a price to load the coach..but a 100 mile tow was about $450.   
There are folk around, that would be able to safely operate such equpment, and they would be available pretty quickly.  Drivers would be compensated just as fuel would be levied on an "as used" basis.  This would control the
"free use" syndrome.  Most rigging companies that own this sort of equipment are getting $4 to $5 bucks per mile from the time they leave the yard until they return.  They'll charge for pulling axles, overnights, extra for fuel, chain fee, you name it.  The cost can be huge.  And, often, unless carelessness can be shown, whatever they damage is just not going to be compensated. 
However, we are not talking about a "free" service...more like a "net cost" service. 
Regarding value disputes on a coach...whatever value a bus owner pegs his comprehensive insurance, is what the bus is worth. If it ain't insured, the owner has exposure.   A co-op is not bound by law to cover whatever private property is loaded and being moved...a contract or LTL carrier is.   This would have to hammered out.
Don't want to sound like a broken record, but I would pay several thousand dollars to have my coach returned to my
shop in order to avoid spending 10s of thousands of dollars for major repairs that I have essentially no control over, may have to leave a lot of valuable stuff in a truck repair yard, and would have no way of following up if it didn't work as promised.   One of those things.   
We'll just see where this discussion goes...if anyone knows of a rigging company that would be interested in contracting (Retainer?) for some hauling, post what you got....Kyle?   What about your carrier? 
I don't know how often coaches break down.  There are two right now within 100 miles of me.  Norm's coach and trailer has been broken into and items stolen, his transmission is out of the coach and it cannot be moved.  Who knows. 
There's no hurry to do anything.  Just floating an idea.  We'll see if there's much interest.   Any major breakdown in a bus is ripe for cleaning someone's wallet out.  I doubt most of us would break down..but. 
Christy, see you in Arcadia...!
 
Best, JR
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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2006, 05:40:14 AM »

In my opinion major mechanical breakdowns are almost always because the bus was not in good mechanical condition and/or maintained properly. Since most concern is with the engine and transmission, don't leave home when they are on their last legs. It is always cheaper to do repairs in your local area when you have lots of time to shop around.

Collision damage that prevents the bus being driven without major repair, must be pretty rare. In all my years on the bus BBs I can only remember a couple of cases being reported.  If an 'old' bus is damaged to the point where it cannot be driven it is probably a write-off. 

It can be expensive to play with the big boy's toys. A 10 year old S&S can be bought for less than a 50 year old converted bus and is a lot cheaper tp maintain. I am always concerned with wannabees who contiually question the cost of repairs and maintenance on X model of bus that they are looking at. It just comes down to "If you have to ask, you can't afford it".
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2006, 05:51:45 AM »

I have one of the older buses. I also want mine returned home if it suffers a major break down. But, for me, the reality is a minimum of $4.00 per loaded mile (The co-op can't beat that, by much anyway) & If I'm just 1000 miles from home, well $4000 will go a long way to fix what ails it & then drive it home.

I don't know, but from what I've seen, most bus nuts are of limited financial ability (cheap misers  Grin ) & the extra cost of dues to the co-op is not going to be percieved as a value when you have to pay mileage too, even if it is at a reduced rate.

Christy is right about all the complications.

The Landoll co-op is basically towing insurance. So write down some REALISTIC benefits / rules that could be added to an existing road service plan. Then ask them what the adder would be.

For example, I used to be a member of AAA & that cost X per year & you got free towing for ~10 miles. You could upgrade your membership for an additional Y per year & get free fowing for 100 miles.

When you write the rules, be serious & realistic. Free towing from coast to coast is gonna run the dues thru the roof. A per loaded mile fee will allow more realistic number for dues/ premiums.

The road service rider is probably the best way to persue this to keep cost & liability down, after all, most already have some form of emergency road service policy.

BTW, the towing service I'm using is a small outfit, owner + 1 driver + secretary. He has his regular customers that get priority & he is selective in what he tows for fill in work. Is he giving me a special rate? I don't really know, what I do know is I don't argue pricing or try to tell him how to do his job. I do ask questions, but I don't insult him with them. I also stay out of his way, yet I'm paying attention so I'm ready to help if he asks.

I'd consider paying extra for the rider.... If it was a reasonable #. My first priority is to do the maintence required to prevent road side failures, I'd rather not 'ride it till it breaks, then fix it'.

Just my thoughts.
(I have a neighbor with a towing service (no landoll) & the crap he has to endure from some people......)
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2006, 10:50:02 AM »

In my opinion major mechanical breakdowns are almost always because the bus was not in good mechanical condition and/or maintained properly. Since most concern is with the engine and transmission, don't leave home when they are on their last legs. It is always cheaper to do repairs in your local area when you have lots of time to shop around.
Collision damage that prevents the bus being driven without major repair, must be pretty rare. In all my years on the bus BBs I can only remember a couple of cases being reported.  If an 'old' bus is damaged to the point where it cannot be driven it is probably a write-off. 
It can be expensive to play with the big boy's toys. A 10 year old S&S can be bought for less than a 50 year old converted bus and is a lot cheaper tp maintain. I am always concerned with wannabees who contiually question the cost of repairs and maintenance on X model of bus that they are looking at. It just comes down to "If you have to ask, you can't afford it".

Stan to some extent I agree however I personally know for a fact that it is not always true ! I am very picky about the maintance of our chater buses, and on December 30, 2006 sent out our 102A3 headed from Martin, TN to Wolf Mountain/Lake Juniluska, NC and 100 miles from the shop the 2 yr old reliabilt 6V92TA in apparent perfect condition, cracked a head and locked up an engine in a coach maintained to such a degree I'd sent it on any trip anywhere even if it'd be 6 months and 60,000 miles again before I saw it (I only dream of someone paying for a charter like that! LOL!). That said I know first hand anything can and will happen no matter how well  you maintain a unit! It also reminds me of 2 very successful chater company owners remarks to my father an I at different times/places away from each other when we remarked that we hoped to some day be able to afford nice brand new coaches someday like theirs, to get away from having to constantly work on them or worry about breaking down (which has only happened that 1 time! KOW!)out on the road with customers on board ! And I quote Danny Brantley of Brantley Charters Lexington, TN to me "Hey if you can maintain what you have, with out repeated breakdowns, you're better off than with these new ones high payments that still breakdown!" & John Stancil to my dad "Hey even new ones breakdown, as a matter of fact the only ones that don't break down are the ones that sit on a lot and don't go anywhere! You & your son are doing a great job if you've been in business 3 yrs and only had 1 breakdown!" I repeat we've only had 1 breakdown on the road KOW (knock on wood!), but I know of other companies with a lot larger maintance budgets and alot newer coaches that have had breakdowns ! So just because a coach breaksdown doesn't mean the owner doesn't maintain it or at least try to! FWIW ! Just my opinion which won't even buy you a piece of gum out of the lions club bubble gum machines anymore! (they've all gone from a penny to a quarter!" LOL! BK Grin

PS. oh yeah Stan, everybody's entitled to their own opinion even if it is wrong! LOL just kidding I get told that around here so often I had to repeat it! BK  Cool
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« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2006, 11:19:12 AM »

I have one of the older buses. I also want mine returned home if it suffers a major break down. But, for me, the reality is a minimum of $4.00 per loaded mile (The co-op can't beat that, by much anyway) & If I'm just 1000 miles from home, well $4000 will go a long way to fix what ails it & then drive it home.

Christy is right about all the complications.

When you write the rules, be serious & realistic. Free towing from coast to coast is gonna run the dues thru the roof. A per loaded mile fee will allow more realistic number for dues/ premiums.


My initial gut reaction is with the above, but I am curious to what numbers ($$$.$$)  per person you are talking and how it would work.

It would take one heck of alot of people to bring the cost down to reasonable vs risk.

And to be honest, I just don't see the numbers needed to justify even the initial equipment cost, much less the maintenance.

Not trying to be negative, just sharing my thoughts.

Cliff

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« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2006, 11:46:00 AM »

How to bring down the costs................one suggestion would be to use Veggie oil,how much fuel can a truck legally have on board,or is their a law at all.  Kind of curious,have you or anybody you all know ever been pulled over by the police man,just so he could check your fuel to make sure your not using the red diesel only to discover your using Veggie oil.Can you imagine the saving if you didn't have to buy diesel  at more then $3.00 a gallon.There are those out there that are using Veggie oil in both buses and trucks.This is a post I'm enjoying,keep bringing on the pros and cons.....Frank.
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« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2006, 11:50:44 AM »

Busted Knuckle: You notice  that I said 'almost always' and your engine failure was unfortunate, but not the kind of failure that would warrant trailering the bus for a thousand miles or more. Shops change heads every day for a lot less than the towing bill. Also keep in mind that as a commercial charter company you likely put more miles on your buses every six months than the average conversion owner does in a liifetime.  Figure it out on the failure per mile driven and you will see that the number of failures in 20k or even 50k miles is pretty low in a well maintained bus.

DD 2 strokes with unit injectors were famous for getting home. I know one trucker who drove an 8V92 home with a broken crankshaft.
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« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2006, 01:27:39 PM »

WOW! The Landoll on the E place went for over $71K

Jay
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