Ron Green

Transporter nightmare

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There have been many threads and posts on this and many of us know you need to be careful when selecting a reputable transporter. Here is the condensed version of what happened to a fellow Amphicar club member a few years ago.

 

 

"After a flawless restoration it was loaded into a covered transporter and began the journey to Texas from Florida. Somewhere around Louisiana the transport truck driver decided it’d be fun to unload and have a drive/swim in the brackish waters off the route 10 highway. It was driven into the water and then crashed head-on into some big old pole. If that weren’t enough, every panel on the body was bumped, dented, bruised and scratched. The interior was awash in booze, seaweed, and brackish water. Even the hubcaps were dented and scraped. The years of a total restoration were now completely unrecognizable. The truck driver then just abandoned the Amphicar on the side of the road. Meanwhile the transport dispatcher had narrowed down the arrival date and time as I, friends and family gathered. A few hours passed the appointed delivery time and it was a no-show, no update messages, no returned calls, no nothing.

 

There were many phone calls to the trucking company made over the next 3 days, promises made and then broken, calls not returned and finally the authorities were notified. This was grand theft auto after all and now 3 days overdue. Not sure what transpired in the truck dispatch command center, but the Amphicar had been located and was finally en- route to Texas.

 

After 4 excruciatingly long days of the missing Amphicar saga a truck driver calls and says, “I’m the new driver delivering your Amphicar so come and get it.” Arrangements were made to meet at the local Wal-Mart parking lot. So here it is all smashed up rolling off an uncovered transporter. Nobody even told me it was damaged.

 

Having spent a good sum of money to have the car restored and waiting 2 plus years for its return, then totally unprepared for the shocking condition in which it arrived. I’ll not bore you with the dozens of phone calls between the trucking company’s scandalous insurance agent and our own equally scandalous lawyer. Nor will I mention the reams of photos and documentation needed and sent in triplicate to every party involved. It’s probably not relevant that the original truck driver has vanished from the earth. In fact I won’t even say how utterly useless both federal and local sheriffs departments were during this entire ordeal.

 

So once again, arrangements were made to send it back to Florida for repairs and a re-restoration. Months passed and it had been moved from the Amphicar welding/surgery center into the intensive care unit and was now convalescing on the proverbial road to recovery. The facial re-construction was a resounding success! A huge kudos to Hagerty Insurance who took over the claim so the shyster lawyers could be fired. Thankfully the next Texas delivery was uneventful."

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Posted (edited)

I've heard some horror stories about transport problems before but yours is definitely one of the worst. Hopefully the driver will be arrested and prosecuted someday. Can you post a pic or two of what it looked like when it arrived? 

Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)
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Sorry only have one picture and it won't allow me to copy and paste. The car is as described above. This happened in 2018 and as far as I know the driver has never been found.

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And I thought a scratch on a fender was a big deal, and a hassle to deal with.

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 I just sold a convertible with a weak top {buyer knew it} and he sent an open 

car carrier to pick it up. 1500 mile trip and it went right into a heavy rain storm.

 I doubt if it made it without dousing the interior. (or worse, the top flapping on the trunk's paint}

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My college roommate ran a trucking company that specialized in transporting refrigerate/frozen items. The stories he told me about what his drivers did while working for the company used to blow my mind. Let's just say my roommate was not sad when they sold the business. Sadly, that is why Ron's story did not surprise me in the least. 

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It is so painful to read of these events. Even more so when you are the victim. Mine was delivered at 9pm with no notice by a Ukranian youth armed with a smart phone and two words of English. Yes and No ! The car seemed OK.

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I had the one I hired open (only one i have done so as it needed a 3 hour ride from Jersey to here in Beautiful weather) Get picked up 6 hours late and arrive here at somewhere between 4AM and 6 AM.  The only time I slept that night as I finally called it quits at 4 AM as they were suppose to be at my place before 9PM the night before.  I found them in the morning and paid them.   They were asleeep in the Mc Donalds parking lot.  Only time i haven't used a highly recommended shipper.   Wasn't an incredibly valuable car,  Nothing seemed damaged  just a really annoying process. 

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I sold one of my cars to a gentleman out of state.  He sent a transport for it.  It was an open transport with an Eastern European driver.

BTW, he had never driven a manual transmission.  He finally got it on the bottom level of the transport and I watched as the car above it dripped funds on the car.

Took Videos of the whole thing including the abuse the clutch took as he learned to drive a clutch. I could not help because of "regulations".

when the new owner contacted me about details, I sent him the video.  Luckily, I had been paid before I let the car go on the transport.

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I thought I had it bad when I had an almost 2 year old car lost for for 5 weeks after a driver quit.  In 1988 moving from Wis. to Cal. the driver left the tractor and trailer in Las Vegas in the Sliverton  Casino parking lot.

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I had a prewar car sold and the buyer sent a trucking company that did all his hauling. The driver wanted less than 25% gas in the tank and tried proceeded to try to drive the car up a 40⁰degree steep ramp in the trailer. Needless to say the car couldn't handle that and ran the fuel line out of fuel, so eventually he pulled it in with a winch. Driver was Iranian and could say "yes" & "no" but I'm not sure if he knew what it meant. How can guys like that get a CDL?

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I've read this discussion, and several similar others.  Are we collectively, or individually, so ill-informed, unwise, cheap, foolish or greedy so as to accept such poor service?  Watching a car's clutch get destroyed, sending a car on an open transport when clearly inappropriate, or tolerating broker's lies just to save a few bucks?  Yes, I recognize that some things will happen, but can we not participate in limiting to those that really are unforeseeable?

 

Let's reward the professionals and do away with the hacks.

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Sadly, this is simply another manifestation of Americans' obsession with cheapness, always confusing a low price with a good value. It is probably the single biggest problem facing us as a society, and it is sending us down a spiral from which we may not recover. When I tell a guy it'll cost him $1800 to move the car from my shop to his home in California, he loses his mind, calls me a crook, finds a broker on the internet who will do it for $600 on an open transporter in the middle of February, and then calls me to say, "Do you always send your cars out looking like this? It's going to cost me $1500 just to get it clean again!" 

 

Americans, sadly, just aren't able to understand that you get what you pay for. They just want to pay less... for everything. Clothes, cars, taxes, transportation, whatever. And then they wonder why everything around them is shit.

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This is a whole reminder of why guys don't use escrow for funds and release them when the car arrives and they approve of it's delivered condition.  I can't believe people would even consider that service as reasonable.  Though I see the ads for it in Hemmings all the time.  HAs anyone actually done this? 

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3 hours ago, 23hack said:

It is so painful to read of these events. Even more so when you are the victim. 

 

5 hours ago, Ron Green said:

...phone calls between the trucking company’s scandalous insurance agent and our own equally scandalous lawyer....

the original truck driver has vanished from the earth. In fact I won’t even say how utterly useless both federal and local

sheriff's departments were during this entire ordeal.

 

I'll go farther, and with an absolute firmness:

The derelict driver needs to be found, punished, and possibly jailed.

If the insurance company knowingly dismissed or excused wrong-doing,

they need to be exposed and have their license re-evaluated.

 

I'm grateful for all the good people and good companies in our hobby.

The rest should be out of business.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

" ...  you get what you pay for."

 

You can only hope to get what you have paid for, because we don't always get what we have paid for.  Said a bit more accurately: "You pay for what you get".  While the concept of "caveat emptor" prevails in the word's economies, that concept is meaningless when confronted by outright theft, fraud etc. as outlined in the Original Post of this Thread.  As pointed out by Flackmaster and John S. above, one of the most effective ways of avoiding an unpleasant transaction is to only deal with reputable individuals or organizations.

 

What's the worst crime that the driver of the transporter (described in the Original Post) could be charged with?  Grand theft auto?  Unfortunately, GTA is rarely vigorously prosecuted these days, and usually results in what amounts to a slap on the wrist of the perpetrator ... especially if the perpetrator is a juvenile.  Fortunately or unfortunately, incompetence is not a crime, and I doubt that any charges could have been brought against the management of the trucking company.  Of course there is the alternative remedy of civil litigation, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of eels.

 

Be careful out there.

 

Cheers,

Grog

 

 

Edited by capngrog
correct typo (see edit history)

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Only time I bought a car out of state it was a Monza convertible in Maryland. Flew up, paid for the car, drove to Amtrak in Lorton and slept most of the way back. Car came off the train in Sanford (40 mile to my house) in same shape it went on.

 

For Florida cars I have a tow dolly.

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I must chime into this topic! 
 

so last summer a guy from the Imperial club gifted me a Sinatra Imperial that hadn’t been driven in 23 years due to the efi, etc. I love these cars and wanted one bad (see my post from 2008) He was 6 hours north in San Diego. He aired up the tires and replaced a blown out one for me.

 

i called a transport broker and told them the car had to be moved immediately and told me that they couldn’t get someone out there until the next day, then there was no one. The car unregistered was in the street so i was worried about impound.

 

broker after broker dropped the ball I even had a few cuss me out as I told them to cut the bs. Finally found a broker in Florida who only charged a $75 fee and they had someone there in 3 hours! Excellent company I left them a great review. The transporter also moved the car 400 miles for $450. 
 

I have never had to move a car long distance before but I had a good experience with the last broker they were true to their word and got their transporter out there in three hours! 

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Sadly, this is simply another manifestation of Americans' obsession with cheapness, always confusing a low price with a good value. It is probably the single biggest problem facing us as a society, and it is sending us down a spiral from which we may not recover. 

 

Americans, sadly, just aren't able to understand that you get what you pay for. They just want to pay less... for everything. Clothes, cars, taxes, transportation, whatever. And then they wonder why everything around them is shit.

 

 

 

Yep.  

 

Americans want "cheap."

 

 Can you say "Walmart", "Harbor Freight" ?  

 

 

 

 

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As some have said many people want to save money when transporting a vehicle. I don't get it. Spend 50K plus on a restoration and shortcut delivery on a expensive vehicle. I feel sorry for what happened to my friend. But knowing him he was probably totally unaware of the best option to get for transporting his car. The restoration shop however could have given better advice however I am sure they are still using the "cheapest" way possible to ship. Since Hagerty probably got stuck with this maybe its time for the insurance companies to put their foot down on who ships their insured vehicles.

 

I found out many years ago that picking up a vehicle plus traveling to shows and tours was a problem having to depend on others or borrowing equipment. After using Passport (excellent service) a few times I bought my own truck and trailer.

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5 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Sadly, this is simply another manifestation of Americans' obsession with cheapness, always confusing a low price with a good value. It is probably the single biggest problem facing us as a society,

 

5 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Americans, sadly, just aren't able to understand that you get what you pay for. They just want to pay less... for everything. Clothes, cars, taxes, transportation, whatever. And then they wonder why everything around them is shit.

 

 

First, let me say that I very much respect and value Matt H's comments, advice, and expertise that he offers so often on this forum. I am fairly sure it was something from him a year or two ago that saved me some headaches last month! (I read, I remembered, THANK YOU!)

 

However, I truly do wish I could get "what I pay for". It is a societal thing, and a huge problem that all of us will (and do) suffer from for a long time to come because of the way we actually cheat ourselves. I saw this turn about 35 years ago when my daily driver old pickup had a U-joint fail. Oh sure, there were already several cheap auto supply and part store chains, and most of their stuff was relative junk. I had learned years before (from a young age) to buy good stuff because it paid off in the long run. Most auto parts in those days were much better quality from auto/machine shops that charged twice as much, but you did get the quality that you paid for. Kragen in those days had my U-joint  (cheap name) for seven dollars. The auto/machine shop had a major name brand U-joint for fourteen dollars (twice as much). Since only one of the two U-joints had failed (water ingress), I only replaced the one with the $14 major name brand. Five months later, I hear a U-joint going bad. I start kicking myself, shoulda spent the money and time replacing both etc. Comes the weekend, I pull the drive shaft out again, and find the old one with 160,000 miles on it is still fine. The NEW "major name brand" one is shot! I take it out, find it is very soft, and take it back to the shop I had favored for several years. Sorry, out of warranty. They show me another brand new major name brand U-joint. I carefully pull one of the roller caps off, take out my pocket knife, and cut a slice off the bearing surface. I hand it back to the counterman and tell him it is useless and I will not buy it (I did not actually ruin it, it was already of NO value). He just said meekly "okay", and I left. I went to Kragen (half a block away), and asked to see one of theirs. My knife could not make a mark on it, so I bought it. It had about 60,000 miles on it when I sold the truck a couple years later. The twice as expensive major name brand had less than 10,000 miles on it when it failed.

Unfortunately, since then, I have seen hundreds of examples of "cheaper isn't always junk", and often the cheaper part or tool may even be better than the one that costs twice as much.

 

I don't know what the answer is. I am not a big fan of massive government intervention (for a lot of reasons). But some level of government intervention IS needed. Companies NEED to be held accountable for their actions, and their lies. There is no excuse for what happened to the OP's car, or how he was treated after-the-fact. And these thing happen virtually every day. Where we live in fire-prone Califunny, incompetent interstate truck drivers catch their trucks on fire way too often because they do not understand HOW to drive a truck down a long hill of interstate highway 80. During the false spring a couple months back (we always get about three weeks of very warm weather late January or February), three massive truck fires occurred in ONE week! Summer is coming.

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6 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Americans, sadly, just aren't able to understand that you get what you pay for. They just want to pay less... for everything. Clothes, cars, taxes, transportation, whatever. And then they wonder why everything around them is shit.

 

Matt, no offense,  but one thing in your list is not like the others.

 

I do agree with the idea that you get what you pay for.

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Perhaps ‘cheap’ is the only thing people can afford.

 

as far as car parts I bought a beautiful set of tires for my 48 one of the huge expensive name brands that rimes with ogre. I’ve now had to trade them out under warranty three times. Yet the ones from Korea last years and years and were a quarter as much! This old notion of getting what you pay for is not necessarily true anymore.

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Car theft isn't even a crime in the city across from me and the city is rated 3rd in stolen cars. Read an article that said the best deterrent to a car thief is stick shift.

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