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Author Topic: Crazy Towing???  (Read 4058 times)
coachconverter
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« on: September 12, 2007, 06:51:13 PM »

Guys I need your opinions, am I crazy here?

I was supposed to have a 45 foot MCI towed last night, about a 600 mile trip, on a Landall trailer because the suspension is burned.  I hire someone who claims to be an expert in towing buses, has been doing heavy hauling for many years.

This person shows up at midnight, instead of 6pm, to pickup the bus, with a landall with a 38 foot lower deck, which would have left the front 7-8 feet of the bus hanging off the back of the trailer.  When I questioned the hauler he said "we'll just crib it up with blocks and chain it down, no problem".  I disagreed but asked if they would give me some sort of agreement in writing, in case the bus fell off the trailer and started some tragedy, so that I wouldn't be held responsible.  Well, long story short, they refused to give me any sort of paperwork for the haul, not even a contract for the haul and left me high and dry.  Now they are trying to charge me $700 for their lost time and expenses.

Am I crazy here?  I informed the hauler ahead of time that it was a 45 foot EL3, they knew the route, supposedly obtained permits and all, but didn't put it together that a 45 foot bus wouldn't fit on a 38 foot trailer.  Besides that, from the time they originally estimated the haul, they pretty much doubled the cost.

Now their contention is that I caused the problem by insisting they take responsibility for any damage to the bus, but since it was burned already, they would take no responsibility whatsoever, even if it fell off the trailer and caused an accident.  They said the frame might be weak and collapse in transit and that wouldn't be their fault.  My response of course was "it probably would if you tried to hang one third of it off the back of the trailer".  Also, eventhough they should be responsible for any damage to the bus while in their care, I didn't ask for that, I asked for them to prove they have liability insurance in case of an accident.

Oh well, life goes on, I found a reputable company to do the haul.

Opinions?

Todd
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coachconverter
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2007, 07:14:14 PM »

Isn't anyone going to chime in with their thoughts?
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Green-Hornet
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2007, 07:16:41 PM »

Liability is a funny thing. Once a chucklehead puts yer bus on his trailer and tows it, it it his responsibility to make sure it is safe. He gets the ticket, he gets found at fault in an accident, if it falls off or whatever. Just my $0.02 worth of course....but I did spend a night at a Holiday Inn Express.
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tekebird
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2007, 07:18:17 PM »

let them try to get the money out of you.  obviously a 45 foot bus won't fit on a 38 foot trailer.

would be easy to get statements supporting that I would expect.

on the other hand, Liabilty for load stability is on the driver and the transport company not you
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gumpy
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2007, 07:19:01 PM »

My thoughts...

Tell them to go screw themselves.

Don't know what the wheelbase of the EL3 is, but if they couldn't get the bus on the trailer with both front and rear wheels on the trailer, then they obviously had the wrong trailer, and didn't know what the hell they are doing, and you're better off without them.
As for the insurance, if they couldn't produce some proof of liability, there's probably a reason for it.

I don't think it's unreasonable to require the towing company to be be responsible for damages should their load fall off and kill someone. After all, they are supposed to know what they're doing, aren't they?

As for the $700, let them sue you for it. Turn it over to a decent attorney, and it will take care of itself.


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Craig Shepard
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compedgemarine
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2007, 07:26:21 PM »

Liability is a funny thing. Once a chucklehead puts yer bus on his trailer and tows it, it it his responsibility to make sure it is safe. He gets the ticket, he gets found at fault in an accident, if it falls off or whatever. Just my $0.02 worth of course....but I did spend a night at a Holiday Inn Express

well yes and no. while they are theoreticaly liable in todays world odds are good that you will be sued also because you hire them. while you may not be found at fault it can cost lots in time and money. basically, if you are not comfortable with what they are doing find someone else.
I have friends who have been through this while transporting boats and cars. it wasnt fun.
steve
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2007, 07:30:37 PM »

Todd,

Glad you didn't have the first company do it! Sounds like a unreliable company to do business with. An appointment was made and not kept. That is the first sign.

Let us know how you came out on the "Reputable Company".

Paul
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maria-n-skip
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2007, 07:33:00 PM »

 One little minor point.......maybe points.

   If the guy shows up and you only have an estimate ....probably not a contract or implied contract still in negotiations.
   If you had an agreed price and they changed the price after agreement than they voided the original contract.

   Not a lawyer......but JMHO. A lawyer may cost you more than the $700 depending on how short sighted they are
  we know they were short sighted with the 38 ft trailer.


 FWIW
Skip
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coachconverter
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2007, 07:36:22 PM »

Good points Skip, luckily my best friend is a trial attorney and would enjoy such an endeavor.  I am hoping to just let this settle peacefully.

A good comment was made by the new tow company driver "that guy obviously rode the short bus to school, maybe he thought that's what he was picking up".  Not PC, but still funny.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2007, 07:51:14 PM »

From what I've been told from several good & competent towing guys that the towing company is accepting total responsibility once they pick the load, after all they are the paid professionals presenting themselves as experts in towing.

You were wise to question their responsibility. I did with the guy that hauled 3 of my scenicruisers. He asked what they were worth - we discussed their age & uniqueness & the probability that it would take a while to find another. Bruce nodded & said that's why he had insurance & that was all there was to it.

Just for grins, have your trial lawyer buddy write up a letter to rattle the first towing co's cage.
Mention the lost time while waiting on them & the extra cost incurred to get a competent hauler in, etc.
You just may sober those idiots up & do the next guy a favor.

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Barn Owl
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2007, 09:29:07 PM »

Quote
Just for grins, have your trial lawyer buddy write up a letter to rattle the first towing co's cage.
Mention the lost time while waiting on them & the extra cost incurred to get a competent hauler in, etc.
You just may sober those idiots up & do the next guy a favor.


I like that! Do it!

You did the right thing by sending them packing.

Laryn
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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wvanative
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2007, 05:00:56 AM »

It would be like having a mover show up to move a five bedroom house across the country, and all he brings is a 12' box truck. you look at him and say it ain't gonna fit buddy. Then he looks you in the eye, and says with a grin, what won't fit inside we'll tie to the roof, to the sides, and on the back after we close the door, and if there is anything left after that you can put the rest in your car. 
" I DON'T THINK SO "

You made the right decision, I go by my gut feelings, if it don't feel right it probable ain't.

WVaNative
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Dean Hamilton Villa Grove, IL East Central IL. Near Champaign
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gumpy
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2007, 05:16:26 AM »

Reminds me of a famous movie back in the 70's. One guy says to the other, "You're gonna need a bigger boat." The second guy
ignores him, and, well, you all know the outcome.

Now, think of that trailer as the boat, and your EL3 is the shark.

We'll call you Quint!

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Craig Shepard
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jjrbus
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2007, 05:39:14 AM »

In the real world a 6 hour delay in transportation is not unacceptable.
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captain ron
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2007, 06:18:50 AM »

I guess none of you ever hauled 12 foot 2x4's in a 8 foot bed? Just put a red flag on it and go.
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