Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Wheel Straps for GM Cars? The landscape of change in US macroeconomy.

Excerpt from an email I received today:

"GM is building new convertibles with no frame holes for chain. Based on conversations he is convinced that GM will go 100 percent tie downs in the next 3-5 years."

Tie down chains for auto transport trailers seem to be going the way of the Dodo bird. Then again, they might reappear, like the ivory-billed woodpecker down in Arkansas.

Screw actuator trailers, the movement toward wheel strap tie-downs instead of cluster chains in the auto transport industry, auto transport companies leasing on drivers as owner-operators-- there is quite a bit of structural change going on in the car industry.

If you look at the auto transport industry against the backdrop of all the structural, macro-economic change, it gets dizzying just trying to keep up with it all: rising US budget deficits, rising interest rates, regional housing economy bubbles, nascent inflationary trends, and stubborn trade deficits as Americans buy more and more foreign-made products.

A lot of the dynamic is counter-intuitive: corporations are off-shoring and down-sizing in growing numbers. The job-loss recovery talked about in the (insanely liberal media) is a reflection of structural change, not cyclical change.

Toyota is poised to pass GM as the largest automaker in the world.

A lot of these jobs aren't coming back. Period.

On the other hand, companies like Toyota and Subaru and Honda are expanding their capital investments in the US, optimizing their supply chain and distribution web logistics by having cars manufactured here. Some jobs are being created.

We're going to experience an acceleration of the rate of change as the economic system responds to the stimulus that the developments in information technology have created: ever more liquid pools of capital and labor that can be harnessed in a productive manner.

Pessimists have viewed this as "Labor in separate nations being forced to compete in a race for the bottom." We've seen some of this, as the toy industry moved from the US, to Mexico, and ultimately to China. Same thing for the textile industry.

On the other hand, what doesn't get noticed is the amount of revenue brought home to the US by consultants as a result of global trade.

It probably doesn't comfort the GM worker's wife to know that consultants who used to make 200,000 a year are now making 500,000 as a result of these structural changes in the economy. However, this money will keep circulating in the economy in various ways. The consultant might hire her husband's new landscaping company. The formerly out-of-work auto worker will buy trailers and equipment for his business start-up.

One thing is for sure: this kind of change is fertile ground for even more change. It seeds the ground for further changes, some of them good, and some of them not-so-good. Call it the landscape of future change.

Then there's all the cyclical change: interest rates, fuel prices, consumer confidence and new-car sales. These are the "trees" close to us that sometimes obscure our view of the forest-- or still further, the landscape of future change.

Not to worry, though. Americans have always been innovators. That's one thing that never changes.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rush Truck Center of Nashville - Inventory

Rush Truck Center of Nashville - Inventory: "2004 Peterbilt 387 Caterpillar C15 435 70' Raised Roof FRO16210B Call!
U90145 2004 Peterbilt 387 Caterpillar C15 435 70' Raised Roof FRO16210B Call!
U1285 2004 Peterbilt 379EXHD Caterpillar C15 475 63' Raised Roof FRO16210C Call!
U1279 2004 Peterbilt 379EXHD Caterpillar C15 475 63' Raised Roof FRO16210C Call!
U90177 2004 Peterbilt 379EXHD Caterpillar C-15 475 63' Unibilt sta 18 Speed Call!
U90176 2004 Peterbilt 379EXHD Caterpillar C-15 475 63' Raised Roof 18 Speed $89,000
U90170 2004 Kenworth T600 Caterpillar C15 475 86' Studio RTLO18913A Call!
U90178 2004 Peterbilt 379EXHD Caterpillar C15 475 63' Raised Roof RTLO18918B Call!
U90161 2003 Peterbilt 379EXHD Caterpillar C15 475 70' Raised Roof RTO16910C-AS2 Call!
U71992 2003 Peterbilt 379EXHD Cummins ISX 475 63' Raised Roof FRO18210C Call!
U72020 2003 Peterbilt 379EXHD Cummins ISX 475 63' Raised Roof FRO18210C Call!
U90196 2003 Peterbilt 378 Caterpillar C15 435 Non FRO16210C Call!
U90127 2002 Peterbilt 378 Caterpillar C15 435 Non FRO16210C $54,500
U90154 2002 Peterbilt 378 Caterpillar C15 435 Non FRO16210C $54,500
U90183 2002 Peterbilt 387 Caterpillar C15 435 70' Premium FRO16210B Call!
U150079 2002 Kenworth W900L Caterpillar C15 475 72'AERODYNE/AER FRO16210C Call!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

Google transport

transport: "transport Naperville, IL" Transport company found using Google.

More on biodiesel.

PRESS Bio diesel They're making more every day.

Willie Nelson's Biodiesel - Products

Willie Nelson's Biodiesel - Products: "

Biodiesel from Willy Nelson. Who knew?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Sun Herald | 11/15/2005 | Cars replace cows

The Sun Herald | 11/15/2005 | Cars replace cows: "Out-of-state
corporations have leased farmland in Harrison County, turning cow
pastures into gigantic lots of storm-damaged vehicles, including many
salvaged from New Orleans."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Got this from a reader today.

From: Ron []
Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2005 7:18 AM
Subject: Autohauler Shopper: CARHAULER

This is an enquiry e-mail via from:

Been a carhauler for 35+ years.I've been an O/O and 20+ years Union Carhaul,I've seen a lot and have experienced more.I'm sure of one thing carhauling is about to change and only the most forward thinking and logical will survive.Allied is proof of how corp. greed and non-logical thinking have almost destroyed an industry with so much potential.As the average length of hauls shrunk all the big companies did was lobby for bigger more complex trucks to ward off lost revenues.but they forgot a big factor larger and more complex trucks need attention and to be replaced.Now they have backed themselves into a corner with a fleet of very old and unsafe,not to mention non revenue producing trucks.No where in the trucking industry do you see a sucessful operation run trucks more than 5 years old,lets not forget how complex and large these 75+ foot long trucks are.Plus they have virtually no life after there usefullness has been stretched to the max.Common sense seems to take a back ! seat toCorp. greed.
In a world where technology has made everything more productive and safe,carhaul some how was left behind.Just a thought ,but just maybe bigger is not about relacable power units pulling trailers with maximized load capacities and a lot less complexity.who WOULD OF THOUGHT SMALLER COULD BE SMARTER.WOW!!!!!!!!
2004 Cottrell C-4808

8-Car Capacity Two (2) 22,500 lb. Meritor TB-8581-LH-2001 Axles Hendrickson-Turner HT-190U-7-001 Air Ride Suspension WABCO Anti-Lock Brake System Curtiss Wright Aluminum Valve Body Parker 431 Hydraulic Hoses ~ Do...

Jake's Truck Shop
2003 Cottrell EZ-5307

7-Car Capacity Two (2) 22,500 lb. Meritor TB-8581-2694 Axles Hendrickson-Turner HT-190U-7-001 Air Ride Suspension WABCO Anti-Lock Brake System Curtiss Wright Aluminum Valve Body Parker 431 Hydraulic Hoses ~ Doubl...

Jake's Truck Shop
2002 Cottrell EZ-5307

7-Car Capacity Two (2) 22,500 lb. Meritor TB-8581-LH-2001 Axles Hendrickson-Turner HT-190U-7-001 Air Ride Suspension WABCO Anti-Lock Brake System Teledyne Aluminum Valve Body Parker 431 Hydraulic Hoses ~ Double W...

Jake's Truck Shop
2002 Cottrell EZ-5307

7-Car Capacity Two (2) 22,500 lb. Meritor TB-8581-LH-2001 Axles Hendrickson-Turner HT-190U-7-001 Air Ride Suspension WABCO Anti-Lock Brake System Teledyne Aluminum Valve Body Parker 431 Hydraulic Hoses ~ Double W...

Jake's Truck Shop
2002 Wally-Mo S-4567

7-Car Low Rail Stinger Sealed Hub Axles Color ~ Red

Jake's Truck Shop
2001 Delavan 4000

7-Car Capacity Two (2) Rockwell TB Series Axles ~ Sealed Hubs LED Light Upgrade Universal Load Scale Telescoping & Raising Rear Deck Night Loading Lights ~ Perimeter, Valve & Integrated Track Chain Tie Down Asse...

Jake's Truck Shop
2000 Cottrell C-5309

9-Car Capacity Two (2) 22,500 lb. Meritor TB-8581-LH-2001 Axles Rear Axle Replaced by Cottrell, Inc. Hendrickson-Turner HT-190U-7-001 Air Ride Suspension WABCO Anti-Lock Brake System Teledyne Aluminum Valve Body ...

Jake's Truck Shop
2000 Orange Blossom H-4856

6-Car Capacity Two (2) 22,500 lb. Rockwell Axles Reyco AR 44 Air Ride Suspension Anti-Lock Brake System Hydraulic Landing Gear Hydraulic Upper Lift Deck Hydraulic Center Post ~ Pop Top Hydraulic Middle Lower De...

Jake's Truck Shop

Auto Transport Black List: Are You On It?

Found this site this morning:

I looked up who owned it, but I think it is pretty much fictitious info, because I dialed the number and it didn't work. Here is the registration info, for those of you who may know this person.

Somebody went to a lot of work to put a site up so people could lodge complaints.

TRANSPORTBLACKLIST.COM 2100 Iris Ave San Diego, Ca 92154 US Domain Name: TRANSPORTBLACKLIST.COM Administrative Contact Minor Burns: 2100 Iris Ave San Diego, Ca 92154 US Phone 818-478-2547 Fax Technical Contact Minor Burns: 2100 Iris Ave San Diego, Ca 92154 US Phone 818-478-2547 Fax Billing Contact Minor Burns: 2100 Iris Ave San Diego, Ca 92154 US Phone 818-478-2547 Fax Record updated date: 2005-06-01 00:44:36 Record created date: 2002-07-11 Record expires on date: 2006-07-11 Database last updated on: 2005-11-16 13:02:53 EST Domain servers in listed order: NS.TRANSPORTBLACKLIST.COM NS2.TRANSPORTBLACKLIST.COM

Auto Hauler Jobs

The following auto transport companies have auto hauler jobs:

A 1 Auto Transport(800) 452-2880
A&Stranportaion(818) 903-4974
AAA Auto Carrier(888) 474-0888
Advanced Towing & Transport, LLC(928) 542-9525
All In One Day Courier Service(336) 558-1363
Amodio Van & Storage860-223-2725 x205
Assurance Quality Value Transport, Inc.(941) 876-0500
Assured Towing, Inc.(512) 292-9869 x0
Auto Trans Inc.(909) 898-1144
B & W Interstate(800) 325-7884
Beacon Hill Trucking(512) 563-1261
Bexter Auto Transport(262) 412-1011
California Auto Logistics Corporation(949) 706-2506
Campbell-Ewald(586) 558-6212
Comal Auto Transport(830) 660-6014
D & L Auto Transport(916) 991-2461
Davis Auto Transport(802) 296-5968
Dependable Auto Shippers(866) 327-3748 x5078
DeWall Auto Transport(651) 388-4980
Drive Star Shuttle Systems, Inc(816) 841-9278
Drive USA Auto Transport(800) 209-2496
Dynamic Transit(800) 972-4694 x220
Dynamic Transit Company(800) 972-4694 x201
Elizabeth(978) 248-9541
FFE Transportation Services, Inc.(214) 630-8090
Fleet Car Carriers, Inc.(866) 679-2951
G & S Auto Transport, Inc.(951) 741-1446
G. Beeler Auto Delivery, Inc(865) 577-2969
Gentle Touch Auto Transport LLC(509) 628-8902
Integrity Transport LLC(505) 496-5756
Interstate Truckers, Inc.(800) 237-9581
ioFreightSolutions, Inc.(800) 351-8076
Jefferson Star Fleet Inc.(516) 326-1414
Jones Auto Transport, Inc.(334) 493-6667
Kauai Freight Service(808) 245-2399
Keaton Truck Lines, Inc(800) 256-5324
Knight Transportation Midwest Inc.(888) 346-4639
Liquid Transport(800) 972-8789
Louisana Transport(662) 893-6504
Mabro Auto Transport(800) 255-1568
Midnite Express Inc.(903) 842-3052
MSS Transportation(800) 545-2166
Mustard Seed Transportation(405) 440-2968
NCD Companies(973) 256-1010 x105
Nobody Auto Transport(443) 250-0211
Oakley Transport(877) 882-6537
Premier Transportation inc.(563) 534-1234
RayTrans Trucking(800) 981-7372 x8030
Road Warriors Auto Transporter(888) 636-7623
Roger Kimball Transportation inc(770) 366-8811
Romero's Transportation, Inc.(843) 662-2261
Selland Auto Transport(206) 767-5960 x322
Southeastern Trailer Transport, LLC(580) 920-2746
Style Enterprises(570) 963-0359
Sunbelt Driver Solutions(757) 490-7472
Swift Transportation(800) 669-7943 x7549
The Laser Graphics(626) 216-1216
The Waggoners Trucking(410) 355-2146
The Waggoners Trucking(877) 301-3839
Tow Rite Manufacturing(864) 836-8008
Toyota Motor Sales(310) 468-2083
Trailer Connection Inc.(417) 659-9999
United Road Service(734) 891-3203
URS Midwest Inc(888) 278-2793 x157
Vernon Milling Co(800) 753-1993
WeHaul Moving(800) 715-4285 x265
Wrightway Auto Carriers, Inc.(907) 277-4549
Young's Transport, Inc.(239) 514-3124
Yourcarmovers(866) 658-1803
Zalt Transport Inc(478) 808-1622

For more car hauler jobs, go to

Another reader post.

Your original post is as true today as it was 6 months ago. Fuel has begun to come down but we will never see it where it was 2 years ago. The past talk of a strike was just that talk. Truckers in the US will fight an uphill battle. Too many operators will low ball their prices just to get the work. There is very little loyalty among truckers in general. Auto hauling has gotten even tougher brokers have increased their prices but don't seem to be passing it on to the truck. Its frustrating. --Posted by Tim Hudson to Car Hauler News at 11/14/2005 02:25:57 PM

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cottrell Axles?

Cottrell Axle article This is an obscure article I found on Dogpile search engine. Don't know if this is still a problem or not. I never heard of cracked axles on Cottrells. Anybody else?

Boydstun Cylinders and Cottrell Cylinders? Couldn't be.

No, they're not Boydstun BRAND hydraulic cylinders or Cottrell BRAND hydraulic cylinders, but these are definitely aluminum hydraulic cylinders for auto transport trailers. Look to be good quality, too, not the ones that will get bent rods if you look at them the wrong way. Yup, these cylinders are guaranteed not to rust, bust or collect dust for one whole year.

We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

uShip - Find Shipments - The Online Shipping and Moving Marketplace

uShip - Find Shipments - The Online Shipping and Moving Marketplace: "-"

This looks like a pretty interesting type of load board... sort of like Ebay meets Central Dispatch.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Friday, October 28, 2005

Workday Minnesota: Teamster carhaul drivers regain lost work in Cottage Grove

Workday Minnesota: Teamster carhaul drivers regain lost work in Cottage Grove: "Three dozen union drivers and a handful of union mechanics are now back
on the job, and more may be hired, said Gerald Spencer, chief steward
for Teamsters Local 120 at the union carhauler Allied Systems."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Idling Laws Again!

News Release: 2005-10-24 -- Air Resources Board Adopts Rule Limiting "Unnecessary Idling" of Heavy Duty Trucks
News Release: 2005-10-24 -- Air Resources Board Adopts Rule Limiting "Unnecessary Idling" of Heavy Duty Trucks: "
"Now's the time to look into buying an anti-idling system like a Frigette. The good news is that you can take accelerated depreciation of assets for 2005. Check with your tax professional on all the details. Further good news is that you'll save a lot of money in wasted fuel.Installed correctly, these anti-idling systems will pay for themselves with the savings in fuel cost. You can run your AC in the summer, plus have a couple outlets with 110V juice for your TV and DVD player. Sure, sure-- you've already got an inverter. But can your inverter run on a tenth of a gallon of fuel per hour. Didn't think so.Problem is, these systems are not cheap, so you better have two to four thousand dollars that doesn't have a home yet. Another problem is if you get one of these systems installed by someone who doesn't know what they're doing. The technology is still relatively new, and a lot of the components are manufactured in Japan, England and God knows where else. They're tricky little things that can malfunction if they're put in wrong.Long term, it's a good investment to get an auxilary power unit (APU). Just make sure the place you're buying it from has a couple technicians who REALLY know what they're doing. Ask the shop how long they've been putting them in. Ask if you can talk to the technician directly. Ask whether the shop stocks replacement parts: fuel filter, oil filter, AC hoses. Ask how much money these cost, and what you can expect to spend on annual upkeep. Ask the technician if your truck and sleeper present any special challenges that may end up costing you more. (Remember, it's the technician who knows these things-- and the only way to tell if a salesman is lying is to see if his lips are moving.)Ask how many units they've sold, and if you could talk to a couple other drivers who have had them for a while. Call these guys up and find out what they like and don't like about their units.One guy that seems to know quite a bit about the new Frigette auxilary power unit is Tony at VA Enterprises. His number is 843-393-4243

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Peterbilt Sales

Rush Enterprises, the nation’s largest dealer of Peterbilt trucks, reported third-quarter net income of $13.2 million or 53 cents a share, up from $5.5 million or 35 cents per share for the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose 63.5% to $485.4 million, Rush said in a statement.

The company’s truck segment recorded revenue of $467.8 million for the quarter, up from $282.2 million a year earlier.

Rush said it delivered 2,709 new heavy-duty trucks in the quarter, up from 1,546 a year earlier.

It delivered 610 new medium-duty trucks, up from 458 a year earlier, and 890 used trucks, compared with 673 last year.

Rush's truck parts, service and body shop sales rose 26.6% to $88.6 million.

“Our outlook remains positive as industry experts forecast Class 8 truck sales to remain strong throughout 2006,” said Marvin Rush, the company's chairman and chief executive officer.

By Transport Topics

Union to fight Allied Holdings on bonus, severance pay - 2005-10-10

Union to fight Allied Holdings on bonus, severance pay - 2005-10-10

Five New Cars Damaged In Carhauler-Overpass Crash - -

Five New Cars Damaged In Carhauler-Overpass Crash - - "A carhauler crashed into an overpass on
Interstate 75 in southwest Detroit on Monday, leaving five new vehicles
damaged, according to Local 4 reports. The driver of the
tractor-trailer struck the overpass at southbound Interstate 75 near
Livernois at about noon, according to Michigan State Police."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Katrina Delivers Blow to an Already Flattening Economy

Katrina Delivers Blow to an Already Flattening Economy

Well I moved my money out of stocks. Could be some buying opportunities once the stock market settles down and the regional real estate bubbles pop.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Trucker evacuates, hauling vehicles along with family

Trucker evacuates, hauling vehicles along with family: "When trucker David Manchester of a New Orleans suburb heard Saturday
that his company wanted an emergency run to a parish south of the city
to haul out new cars, he became concerned."

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Some more places to buy car hauler straps (wheel straps)...

Click here to go to wheel straps on Ebay.
Click here to go to auto hauler straps for classic car transport in Hemmings classified section.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Car Hauler News Exclusive: Slip Plate (TM) Has Competition!

Time was, Slip Plate brand graphite lubricant was the graphite to lubricate your carhauler's posts and decks. Carhauler News has found that another major graphite manufacturer has jumped into the carhauler market with both feet first. Asbury Graphite, a division of Asbury Carbon, is now producing a product called Slide 'n Glide. It has a mineral spirit base, which means it can be shipped by regular UPS-- no more $82 freight bills for one gallon!

Asbury Graphite is an OEM supplier to Cottrell Trailers.

Once the busy season gets over, you guys know you should get back to the shop and sand off those old posts and put on some fresh graphite! Asbury Graphite sells Slide and Glide in gallons and quarts, as well as spray cans.

If you're a diehard Slip Plate fan, I think CF Bender has the best price and delivery.

If you want to try the new Slide and Glide or Slide 'n Glide graphite for carhaulers, you can buy it from the following companies:

The Graphite Store
Truck and Tow
The Car Hauler Super Store
Autohauler Supply

Friday, September 02, 2005


Kia Motor Corporation is currently discussing to build a production plant in the state of Mississippi in the United States. A group official announced that “We will decide whether to set up the plant and craft detailed plans after considering the scale of the U.S. market and its prospects”. If the plans are executed the corporation will have production facilities in three major auto markets by 2010 as it already has a Chinese plant plus a Slovakian plant due for completion next year.
Date : 2005-08-19 08:54:38 (from EUKOR website)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

KATRINA UPDATE: Lost port’s massive ripple effect

KATRINA UPDATE: Lost port’s massive ripple effect: "To handle this enormous flow of goods, New Orleans has become the
country’s most intermodal port. About 75 truck lines, 50 ocean
carriers, 16 barge lines and six class one rail lines help to move
cargo in and out of the port, an average of 11.2-million tons per year.
No wonder Standard & Poor’s estimated on Tuesday that Katrina could
slightly lower the entire nation’s economic growth for the third

Carhaul Network

Carhaul Network is now online. Their subscription service gives you the opportunity to look for cars on their load board. They also have a detailed links page with DOT information relating to safety and compliance issues.

Other loadboards on the web:

Cars Arrive (I don't think they offer free trial)
I don't know these guys, but their website looks pretty slick.

CarloadUSA (does offer free trial)
This one is run by my buddy, Roland. Last time I checked, it had 2,300 loads to choose from.

Central Dispatch (does offer free trial)
I haven't looked at their board, but I've heard several guys say they use them.

If you're looking for extra cars to fill out a load, I think these types of services can be pretty useful. If you have three slots a month you fill because of them, that more than pays for the subscription.

Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update Top Worldwide Top Worldwide: "GM's U.S. Sales Fall; Ford's Rise Less Than Expected (Update6)"

Carhauler News Prediction: Toyota buys GM within the next 30 months.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

U.S. Will Tap SPR; Some Wholesale Fuel Rationing Begins

U.S. Will Tap SPR; Some Wholesale Fuel Rationing Begins

Future economic historians may look back on Hurricane Katrina as the start of the 2006-07 recession.

This hurricane may prove to be so disruptive that it tips the US economy over into a major correction of equity markets and regional housing bubbles.

10% of US refinery capacity is in areas affected by the storm. Ports have been damaged. Oil rigs have been damaged. Highways have been damaged.

That means that farmers may have to spend more getting their crops to market, i.e., sending them by more expensive rail links rather than barge. That puts more upward pressure on fuel prices.

Granted, there will be a rebuilding boom in construction, but for right now, there will be a lot of people without jobs.

My guess is that the net effect of this will be higher fuel prices, regional shortages. At least one major airline will go out of business permanently or be purchased by asset strippers. Domestic car manufacturers will see an absolutely dismal fourth quarter, the result of "Employee Pricing" flushing the fall buyers out early as well as the results of having put most of their eggs in the truck/SUV basket. The new hybrid pickups that generate their own 110V power should sell like hotcakes as the reconstruction of the South takes off.

Expect layoffs in the airline industry, auto manufacturing (and those who supply them). As the regional real estate bubbles collapse, expect layoffs in this industry, as well as sharply increased foreclosure as speculators get caught having bought at the top of the bubble.

As people's paper wealth deflates, they will be more conservative regarding their spending, and Christmas 2005 should be disappointing for retailers. Watch for Wal-Mart to significantly miss earnings forecasts.

As earnings decline, watch for the equity market to turn bearish. Money may start flowing into bonds as the Treasury Department has to unload increasing quantities of debt to finance the ever-increasing budget deficit. That means a lot of people with variable rate mortgages are in for some painful surprises. Watch for gold to go up, up, up.

What does this mean for our industry? Well, if you're a manufacturer, be prepared for canceled orders. If you're an owner operator, look for that fuel cost to gobble a bigger chunk of your gross. In general, however, people are still going to need to move cars around. There may just be fewer cars to move around for a little while. It's not really the end of the world, but it could be the beginning of the next recession.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ratchet Wheel Straps

If recent sales of ratchet wheel straps to VW overflow carriers is any indication, it could be that the days of the cluster chain are numbered. How long before Toyota logistics goes this direction? I don't think the Cottrell lawsuit had anything to do with it, but the movement of the industry away from 1/4 diameter grade 70 cluster chains to 5/16" grade 70 cluster chains may fuel still further sales of the ratchet wheel straps. (Who wants that extra weight?)

Boydstun trailers now come with strap, at least the Boydstun trailer with screw actuator. With less weight from hydraulic line and chains, they estimate between 1000-2000 lbs of saved weight, depending on configuration. Don't know if the Cottrell screw trailer has the same weight savings or not.

Looks like the foreign car makers got complaints from their dealers about damage, which caused them to go to the soft ties. (Porsche, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and BMW are among the few that come to mind, and I'm sure I'm missing some.)

Word is that General Motors is contemplating switching somewhere around 2007 if the rumor mill is accurate, which it rarely is.

Seems like the planets are getting lined up to make this a strap-on world before too long.

Here's a few places that sell ratchet wheel straps:

CF Bender Stocks for immediate delivery. Midwest US
Autohauler Supply New online catalog. Ships direct from manufacturer in Michigan.
Cottrell Many parts available for online ordering. Georgia.
Delavan Quicker delivery time and less shipping if you're in NY area

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Allied Bankruptcy: If you need to collect money from them, you need to read this.

Somebody sent me a link to this document. I didn't know if he wanted me to publicize his name in association, otherwise I'd give him credit for it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Carhaul Network to Launch 9/5/05

Got this from Ed Dicker-- sounds like it ought to be pretty good!

Waterford, MI: A new website, will launch September 5, 2005 which is aimed at providing a single source transportation and remarketing solutions for automobile shippers and carriers alike. Shippers will be able to post vehicles directly on the site for all of the carriers to view and submit a rate. Shippers include fleet managers, dealers, daily rental accounts, manufacturers, POV’s and other automobile transporters. When vehicles are posted, an email alert is sent to all carrier members immediately or they may view the postings at any time. Carriers that best fit the move will contact the shipper with an ETA and rate via email or telephone contact. Shippers will also be able to search for various remarketing services such as inspection, reconditioning services and complete remarketing solutions. Carriers may register @ beginning September 1, 2005.

Automobile Transporters have much to gain as a member of Car-Haul Network.
§ The ability to post and view traffic available throughout the country
§ The ability to post empty truck locations and eta’s…a very powerful tool for reducing deadhead miles
§ Free classified advertising within the site
§ Free recruiting advertising on Car-Haul Jobs (
§ Free posting in a national database of automobile transporters that will be searched by all automobile shippers (with random search results…not alphabetical)
§ View and post loading manuals and safety and claims bulletins
§ Car-Haul Network is NOT a broker…but rather a matching service for shippers and carriers. Carriers deal directly with the shipper.


Yesterday, I talked to Don Miller about his classic Autocar autohauler restoration. He's got a listing on Autohauler Shopper if you're interested in buying this beauty.

Don't know who owns Autocar now. My dad used to drive them back in the day.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Boydstun Trailer: New Screw Actuator Trailer

Heard through the grapevine that things are getting pretty busy at Boydstun Trailers in Portland, OR. Their new screw actuator trailer (as opposed to hydraulic) is selling faster than they expected, and they're now out to June 2006 on new deliveries of this model. (They still have slots in production for cylinder trailers.)

Those new screw actuator trailers save quite a bit of weight-- could make the difference between loading one more car. The advantage with this sort of technology is it saves all the weight of all those heavy hydraulic lines.

I understand that the top deck can drop all the way down, which would make loading and tying down vehicles a hell of a lot safer and easier. Boydstun is now putting soft ties right in the deck, so no more trying to figure out where to store 36 ratchet straps when you're not using them. Plus, straps weigh less than chains, and all the car makers seem to be heading in the wheel strap direction.

(I think Lloyd Fitzpatrick at The Waggoners invented something similar years ago. That company retro-fitted their chain ratchets and started using straps with frame hooks that could also go over the tire as a soft tie if need be.)

Has anybody heard how Cottrell's experimentation with screw actuators is going? Send me an email.

Next time I'm up their way, I'm going to check out their new trailer.

Court Approves Allied’s Bankruptcy Financing Plan

Court Approves Allied’s Bankruptcy Financing Plan:

Now's the time to push your way to the head of the line if you can. As usual, looks like the banks are being taken care of. Wonder how many car haulers they owe money to? I know a few guys who got stung. Hard to file a class action suit against a company in bankruptcy protection. Lawyers tend to want to get paid. (I ought to know-- I've got three attorneys in my immediate family, two of them specializing in business law in big-name firms!)

Makes me think I should sue somebody, all those free lawyers. Problem is, in this industry anyway, guys who are "sue-happy" tend to get a reputation for being cranks. That's bad for business.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

New Cottrell Trailer Dealer In California

Looks like there is a new Cottrell trailer dealer on the west coast. Yesterday, I talked with Andrea of West Coast Enterprises, and she said that they're stocking Cottrell trailers. They're also going to offer service and parts, so if you're in the Fresno area, you might want to stop by and check them out. Check them out online at:

Has Allied Transportation Lost Volkswagen of America?

Word on the street is that Allied went around to their customers asking for more money. Looks like VW of America had other ideas and switched to their overflow carriers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

More Allied News

Allied Holdings, the parent company of automobile transporters Allied Systems, Auto Haulaway of Canada and automotive logistics provider Axis Group, said Monday that its common stock has been delisted from the American Stock Exchange as of last Thursday.The Amex previously halted trading in Allied common stock on Aug. 1 after Allied and certain of its operating subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on July 31.Allied voluntarily applied for approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to delist from Amex, and is seeking to have its common stock included in the over-the-counter bulletin board or quoted on Pink Sheets – a daily listing of bid and ask prices for over-the-counter stocks not included on the OTC bulletin board – the company said in a statement.Allied is ranked No. 25 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers. (from

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Got Meth? (Hey, think anyone will notice if I steal this load of Mercedes Benz?) - Police seek identification of suspect: "BAKER CITY - An unidentified man arrested today after attempting to
elude Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers and Union County Sheriff's
deputies, is a suspect in the theft of an auto transport truck loaded
with nine new vehicles from the Troutdale area valued at nearly


Monday, August 15, 2005

The Effect of Fuel

Let's say you just bought a piece of used auto transport equipment; heck, maybe you even plunked down a fat down payment on a new Boydstun or Cottrell trailer.

You're pulling a load of cars in California and your fuel is at 1/4. The sign at the fuel stop says that diesel is three dollars and something. At five miles per gallon average, your fuel cost is better than .60 per mile if you buy fuel here.

Maybe you're thinking about adding a California fuel surcharge, but you're worried it's so cutthroat that somebody won't, and then you'll lose business.

At a certain point, though, it might make sense. If somebody wants to steal the business, maybe there comes a time when you should let them. If they can't provide the level of service your customer expects, there's a good chance you'll get the business back.

Something to think about.

RedNova News - Science - Oil Companies' Profiteering to Blame for Gas Price Spike, Says FTCR

RedNova News - Science - Oil Companies' Profiteering to Blame for Gas Price Spike, Says FTCR: "FTCR's research has exposed manipulation of domestic refining capacity
and inventories by American oil companies as the reason behind gasoline
price spikes, not the traditional scapegoats of Big Oil: OPEC,
government regulation, litigation, and environmental standards. (Read
FTCR's reports and research on high gasoline prices at )"

It would be interesting to see how many refineries have been shuttered in the last five years, especially on the west coast.

Big oil is making it big time.

North Oil Company Profits Are Up... WAY Up!

Man, I wish my profits were up 51% like Conoco Phillips (3rd largest oil company in the US.) Exxon-Mobil is up over 34% for second quarter profits.

For those of you wondering why fuel in California is so high. | 08/11/2005 | Shipping industries deal with rising diesel prices

Well, this is a partial explanation. This article doesn't talk about the fact that oil companies would rather put their capital into drilling, which has a higher ROI than building refineries, pipelines and storage facilities. Why should they, when they're making record profits?

There was an article in the paper today about the airlines almost running out of fuel in California. In some cases, they even had to truck jet fuel in over-the-road from other airports, and in some cases even brought it in by air.

You're Busted! | News for Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas | Latest News: "FORT WORTH — Fort Worth police who pulled over a truck for a routine
traffic stop Friday morning uncovered a human smuggling operation
apparently being run by a truck driver."

$3 Diesel in California

TATravelCenters - Diesel Fuel Prices: "ARIZONA  "


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Allied seeks union's help |

Allied seeks union's help | "After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late Sunday, the Decatur-based
company hopes to climb out partly by gaining concessions from the union
that represents the bulk of its work force and the manufacturers that
pay to transport their cars to dealers."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Weekly Retail On-Highway Diesel Prices

Weekly Retail On-Highway Diesel Prices The graph toward the bottom of this page (click link) tells it all.

Interest Rates... will still go up, signals Fed

Update 8: Greenspan Signals Further Rate Increases - And for those of you paying attention to regional housing markets, Greenspan actually referred to them as "a bubble". With the gap widening between housing prices and real income growth, as well as the numbers of buyers using interest-only variable mortgages, we could be looking at a bubble "pop" that will make the 2000 bust in tech stocks look small by comparison.

GM loses in the second quarter.

Stocks Lower on Disappointing GM Report -

The bad news keeps coming from Detroit. Makes you wonder how long until the Chinese try to buy them.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Reader Post: RJ Rezner

Got this in my email this morning: (If anybody knows anything more about this company, let me know.)

There is aweb site that calls themselves the ebay of the shipping industry, they are a group of techies who
are @%$#$%$##. I have been fighting them and have
reported them to the TX DOT, but I don't know if they will/can do anything. These jerks are letting NON DOT haulers bid on hauling un-suspecting 1st in a life time people who need to ship their househld item or cars somewhere. AND they don't care, I know, I have
talked with them on th e Phone about it ( talked to
Mickey Milsap 512-573-7395 of some are Haulers are legal, some have comm Ins., but not DOT#'s others are jackleg road trippers hauling any thing they can and don't even know that there are rules about this OR THAT their Personal INS is not going to cover them if they cause an accident and Have to use
their INS.... it called can u see
what you can do to make them insure all haulers who bid on these loads are dot legal or at least have Comm

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Complete Heights, Weights, Lengths for Vehicles

Tom Bisbee sent me a copy of his new book, Transporter's Vehicle Directory. It's got the length, width, height and curb weight of over 9900 vehicles. (1995-2005 model years).

If I was a broker or a transporter, I'd sure want to have a copy of it. If it saves you from one fine, it's more than paid for itself. Plus, I've got to think it would make figuring out loads a lot easier. I'm planning on making this book available in my online catalog (should be online by Aug). But if you can't wait that long, go to and buy a copy directly from Tom.

I personally talked to the author of this book to find out a little more information. Tom Bisbee has many years of experience in logistics and as a broker. I think he's forgotten more than some people know about the business, so his book has my recommendation.

Cottrell Trailers: The Lawsuit Saga Continues

Madison County Record | New Lawsuits: Wednesday, June 1
The BS regarding quarter inch chain continues.
I'm guessing this case is now in appeals. This is the case won in the lower court by the lawyer listed below.
I think the jury directed Cottrell to pay 1.4 million, which in my mind is completely out of control.

People have been using quarter inch grade 70 chain for decades. It is safe if it is inspected regularly and used properly.

Replace chain that's been dragged. If one link is worn, either cut the chain down and use the smaller, unworn portion or just get rid of it.

If you crank the ratchets down until the frame of the car is sitting on the bed of the trailer, you're over-tightening. I know this is a popular way of making sure you're not over-height, but it puts a lot of stress on the chain. If Momentum = Mass X Velocity, think what this means when an over-tightened chain with a worn link is shock-loaded by a Chevy Suburban when you have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the next air-head four-wheeler.

And always four chains to a vehicle.

1/4" Grade 70 chain has a working load limit of 3150 pounds. The design factor is 4:1, which means the safe working load for the chain is at 25% of the breaking strength of the chain (12,600 lbs). Four of these chains should be able to secure a vehicle.

How can a chain that breaks at six tons be unsafe?
Answer: When the chain is worn.

has a new tie-down bar that indicates when you're using excessive torque on the chain ratchets. They've put a lot of time into figuring out the safest way to secure these vehicles.

Unfortunately, personal injury lawyers are putting a lot of time into figuring out how to go after trailer manufacturers instead of looking for the big company's maintenance schedule for trailers, driver training programs, etc.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

New Trucks for Under $200,000?

Yes, you read the headline correctly. The word on the street is that a major manufacturer of auto transport trailers will soon be offering new trucks and new trailers for under $200,000. If you're in the market for a new truck, you might want to hold off before you sign the papers for that huge truck loan.

If you pay $200,000 for a truck instead of $230,000, assuming an APR of 15% for 60 months, not only will you save the $30,000 in principal, you also save $7,500 in interest payments. It works out to $625 less going out the door every month.

Plus, if you're going with a new piece of equipment, there will be that much less cost associated with upkeep and maintenance.

If you're buying used, there's always the chance something expensive like a rear-end is getting ready to let go. Then you have to consider the extra cost of buying a warranty-- if the truck is even eligible. Plus, if the trailer has been over the road for several years, there's probably going to be some stuff that needs to be replaced or repaired: lights, wiring, chains, valves, etc. It all adds up.

I'd be looking for these under $200,000 trucks to be advertised some time toward the end of '05.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

GM Plans to Cut 25,000 U.S. Jobs by 2008 - Yahoo! News

GM Plans to Cut 25,000 U.S. Jobs by 2008 - Yahoo! News: "Speaking to shareholders at GM's 97th annual shareholder meeting in
Delaware, Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said the capacity
and job cuts should generate annual savings of roughly $2.5 billion. GM
now employs about 111,000 hourly workers."

Friday, June 03, 2005

Swift Transportation Company Driver Auto Hauler Division

Swift Transportation Company Driver Auto Hauler Division
I'm confused. I thought Swift recently sold the autohauler division to Blue Thunder, but the Google 'bot just downloaded this to my email.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ex-TV anchor steers car-hauler company - 06/02/05

Ex-TV anchor steers car-hauler company - 06/02/05: "Former local news anchor Katherine Adams runs A&M
Automotive Transport, which has hauled such special vehicles as the
James Bond Aston Martin."

TV news anchorwoman decides to become a car hauler. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Allied Update

It's kind of funny-- I was just talking with Randy Swift of Auto Transport Repair in Seattle about this company. Just got the following story delivered to my mailbox by the Google 'Bot. Originally published by Transport Topics

Allied Holdings Reports $10 Mln. First-Quarter Loss

Auto hauler Allied Holdings Inc. reported a net fourth-quarter loss of $10.1 million or $1.13 per share, compared with a loss of $9 million or $1.03 last year.

Allied said the higher loss was due to higher pension costs, workers’ compensation increases and interest expenses.

The company’s revenue rose 4.1% to $221 million for the quarter, Allied said in a statement Tuesday. The gain reflected higher revenue per delivered vehicle, which was partially offset by a 2.7% decline in the volume of vehicles delivered.

Its stockholders’ equity dropped to negative $51.9 million for the quarter from negative $41.5 million at the end of 2004, the company’s financial statement showed.

Allied is ranked No. 22 on the Transport Topics 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian trucking companies.

By Transport Topics

Monday, May 23, 2005

This is a scale model build by Ed Richardson. To find out more about these models, go to Posted by Hello

Classic Trucks

OK, OK, I know a dump truck and a tow truck aren't autohaulers, but I couldn't resist putting these up. Anybody got any pictures of old carhaulers? Send me an email and we'll put them up. Scans of old carhaulers, pictures of old carhaulers, antique carhauler websites. Let us know what's out there.

1933 Ford Dump Truck Posted by Hello

Hoist it up the old-fashioned way! Posted by Hello

Another View. Posted by Hello

Antique Tow Truck: Tilton, NH Posted by Hello | You need a hose fast? Here's how to get one | You need a hose fast? Here's how to get one

This sounds like a good company for autohaulers! (Especially the guys who haven't taken the time to put together a breakdown kit!)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Reader Feedback

"If this is the"CARHAULER"news why aren't you reporting the news?90% of the post are for someone's monetary gain.The carhaul industry is in big trouble,The CORPORATE PIGS are trying to take it all and we take an excellent media outlet to hawk our wares and not present the facts,wake up."

Got this email today from a reader. Anybody who feels the same way should click the link in the top righthand corner and send me their news and/or opinion pieces. Ideally, I'd like 90% of content to be from readers reporting on the state of the industry as they see it in their locale.

Currently, most of the news is delivered to my email by Google 'bots which hunt for keywords embedded in news stories and websites posted to the Internet.

I do believe that the way to a higher quality of editorial content is through people in the industry taking the time to write in. Until that happens, however, I have to rely on the 'bots and my own (admittedly) self-serving press releases about my company's tiny corner of the car hauling industry.

Let me encourage everybody out there to write in. If you've got something to say to everybody in the industry, this is your forum.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Another Car Auction Opens in Florida

Insurance Auto Auctions Announces Opening of Greenfield Facility in Jacksonville, Florida:

Is Florida the car hauling capitol of the world? Sure seems like it.

How to Move 3000 Cars at Once.

TheHawaiiChannel - KITV 4 News - Shipping Company Hopes To Challenge Matson

And you thought your truck payments were high? I wonder how much they're paying every month for this baby. If you click on the link and watch the tv newscast, the anchowoman says at the end of the segment that Pasha gets $899 to move a car from CA to HI. That's potentially $2,697,000 per load.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Auto Transport Options web page.

auto transport jobs: This site offers something called Auto Transport Newsletter. I haven't checked it out yet, but it sounds interesting. If someone knows any other sites offering newsletters, send me an email. (See top of navigation pane at right.) I'm also on the prowl to find out if there are any active auto transport associations.

GM, Ford Credit Ratings Lowered to 'Junk' Status

GM, Ford Credit Ratings Lowered to 'Junk' Status: "S&P cites their loss of market share but says there is no 'immediate risk of bankruptcy.'"

Unbelievable, but it happened.

I hate to tell you "I told you so...", but read my post from Wednesday, May 4th. I wonder if this means there will be less overweight fines now. Maybe we'll start having 15 car carriers, because everyone will start buying the Cooper Mini, Chevy Metro and Toyota Prius. Think I'm kidding?

SUV sales down by 17% during the last quarter as compared against last year's sales. I think auto manufacturers and those who service them will be in for a wild ride.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

New Open Race Car Trailer

Auto Hauler Trailer - Connecticut Trailers - car transport trailer, open race car trailers

The Google "Bot" delivered this web page to my email this morning. Looks pretty cool. I wonder if anybody out there has bought one yet, and if we could get a review from them.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

New Car Sales: Fuel Effect U.S.: "Toyota, Nissan U.S. Auto Sales Rise; GM, Ford Fall (Update16)"
Not good. But in terms of profit, they were putting all their eggs in one basket (trucks and SUV's). No other class of vehicles even came close. Of course, the real profit is generated by their financing arms. What's going to happen to people who opted for the 84 month loan terms for their new Suburbans? It'll be a while before they're not "upside-down" in the loan (owe more than the vehicle is worth). Eventually, there will be less SUV's getting hauled from the manufacturers and less SUV's getting hauled from dealers to auctions. All the people with the long loan terms will have to hang on and hope gas doesn't go to $3.00. And if it gets that high... God help us all.

Shameless Plug

Autohauler Shopper:
From the Word-of-Mouth Department

If you want to reach guys who drive auto transport trailers, this is where you should advertise. It doesn't get more direct than this.

Free Soft Ties for All My Friends!

Here's the latest from Autohauler Supply. They're giving away four free soft ties to the first ten customers who call them. The catch is, they want you to take pictures of the installation and use of these straps, and email them the pictures along with your comments. These are the new Universal Straps that you can use with your chain ratchet. They have cluster hooks at the end, but can also be used as soft ties in case your dispatcher sends you to pick up a load of Mercedes or Audis or Range Rovers or Volkswagens (or whoever else is the latest manufacturer to decide they don't want carhaulers using chains on their cars). You're supposed to be able to store these straps by winding them up on your chain ratchets, which would be an advantage over trying to figure out where to store forty ratchet strap soft-ties. Some guys claim you can use them for seats, driving down the road, but I'm not sure the D.O.T. would agree. If you've got a digital camera, take some pictures and get free straps.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 Car Moving Company Owner Arrested Car Moving Company Owner Arrested
Southerland Update.

ATA Launches Supplier Directory

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- An on-line supplier directory that puts trucking companies in touch with the products and services of American Trucking Associations' Allied members has been launched by ATA as a new industry benefit.

This one-stop online purchasing tool makes it easy for motor-carriers to find appropriate equipment manufacturers and service providers to meet a trucking company's direct operations and "back room" needs.

To access the directory, click here. Information can be searched by company name, business focus, through an alphabetical listing, or by city and state. If you would like to be listed in the ATA Supplier Directory, contact ATA Membership at 888-333-1759.

Monday, May 02, 2005

A Home for Car Haulers on the Web?

I think this may be an industry first. Autohauler Shopper has just published their introductory advertising rates for website, newspaper and email equipment updates. This is the only site of its kind to specialize in the carhauling industry.

Autohauler Shopper offers free classified advertising to companies hiring company drivers or auto transport owner operators. They also offer free classified advertising (plus photos) for individuals looking to sell their used car hauling equipment.

In addition to the sections for employment and used car hauling equipment, Autohauler Shopper also offers an online forum for drivers, as well as a section for maintenance tips and troubleshooting.

Registration is free.

Webmaster Roland Jonsson reported over 1,700 page views on just the thirteenth day after going live with the site on April 15th. He said there are plans in the works to offer premium services to users as well as corporate advertisers. (These will be developed for the "power user" of the site, like dealers or manufacturers who need to maintain multiple listings For more information, you can call their toll-free number 866-855-4285 (HAUL).

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Are You An Employee Or Not?

USCA6 Opinion 04a0236p.06: "ELECTRONIC CITATION: 2004 FED App. 0236P
(6th Cir.)"

Legal Status: Owner Operator vs. Employee. This is what the US Court of Appeals had to say.

Edwardsville Intelligencer - Intelligencer Today - 02/09/2004 - Jury awards injured man

Edwardsville Intelligencer - Intelligencer Today - 02/09/2004 - Jury awards injured man: "Georgia company to pay $1.48 million
A Madison County
jury awarded Carl Brdar $1.48 million for injuries he received when a
chain used to fasten Dodge Durango sports utility vehicles to a truck
trailer he was hauling snapped."

This is the lawsuit that Cottrell lost that caused them to go to 5/16" chain. (Cottrell Trailers)

If you know of any cool pictures of antique carhauler pictures like this one, please let us know. Posted by Hello

SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO INC (Form: DEF 14A, Received: 04/15/2005 14:38:14)

SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO INC (Form: DEF 14A, Received: 04/15/2005 14:38:14): "You be a stockholder of record at the time you deliver your
notice to the Corporate Secretary and be entitled to vote at the
meeting of stockholders to which such notice relates."

Swift Proxy notification, SEC filing.

SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO INC (Form: 4, Received: 04/28/2005 11:41:21)

SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO INC (Form: 4, Received: 04/28/2005 11:41:21): "Filed pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Section 17(a) of the Public

Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 or Section 30(f) of the Investment Company Act of 1940"

Swift just recently sold their auto transportation division to Blue Thunder. Edgar online has some interesting SEC filings of stock sales by executives. Good read.

Economy Grows at Slowest Pace in Two Years

Economy Grows at Slowest Pace in Two Years

More signs of a slow down. Biggest culprit? Energy prices.

Exxon Mobil, Shell Report Higher Profits

Exxon Mobil, Shell Report Higher Profits: "AP

Exxon Mobil, Shell Report Higher Profits
Thursday April 28, 2:52 pm ET

By David Koenig, AP Business Writer

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Marathon Oil Report Higher Profits Despite Drop in Production"
Should anybody be surprised about this news?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Pray This Never Happens To You. (Autohauler Involved In Traffic Fatality)

City sets meeting with car dealers over safety North County Times - North San Diego and Southwest Riverside County News

Auto Transport Industry-- Is There An Oversupply of Carriers?

We all know about supply and demand. The price of fuel goes up when the refinery reserves dip below a certain number of day's supply. What about the prices for loads? Are they going down in some areas of the company because of too much competition? The economic theory of the effect of supply and demand on price basically says that in a free economy, supply and demand balance each other.

For instance, if only Company A provides a service or product to the market, Company A can charge as much as it wants. Limited supply = high prices. But what happens eventually is that someone figures out that they could capture market share by offering the same products and services as Company A at lower prices-- so they form Company B and begin competing for business. Supply gets bigger, prices go down.

Now, let's say that lots and lots of people have got into the same business as Company A. Now there is Company A, Company B, Company C... Company ZZZZ.

Since the market for whatever goods or services they provide is finite, the share of the total business "pie" gets smaller for each company. As they compete more aggressively for business, dropping price, each company makes less profit from their share of the "pie". Eventually, some companies are forced to sell out when their revenue no longer meets normal business expenses. Also, companies will sometimes sell out near the top of the business cycle, so they can maximize how much money they can get. When one company sells out to another in the same industry, this is called "Industry Consolidation".

Result: less supply-- so prices for the goods or serviced produced begin to go back up.

I'm wondering if we're seeing the beginning part of a cycle of increased consolidation in the auto transport industry. Look at Hadley getting bought. Penske Group. Now there are rumors that Swift is selling off their autohauling fleet.

The big boys have been re-shuffling things for the last couple years. Do they know something we don't?

Check out a random sampling of ads I found when I googled "Auto Transport Companies for Sale".

Buy a Auto Transportation Delivery business for sale on Businesses For Sale .com

Buy a Auto Transportation Delivery business for sale on Businesses For Sale .com: "

Auto Transportation Delivery For Sale

(Seller ref: 164-3890)"

Auto Transport Company Business For Sale | Businesses for sale at GlobalBX - Business for Sale, Business Brokers, Franchise Businesses

Auto Transport Company Business For Sale | Businesses for sale at GlobalBX - Business for Sale, Business Brokers, Franchise Businesses: "Auto Transport Company Business For Sale Auto Transport Company"

Auto Transportation Business For Sale in Nassau County, New York |

Auto Transportation Business For Sale in Nassau County, New York | "Auto Transportation" --There will be more ads like this if fuel rates keep going up and load rates keep going down.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Boydstun's official position on chains.

"*WARNING* Exceeding 50 lbs. of force can result in significant property
damage and serious injury. Under no circumstances should any driver
ever apply more than 50 lbs of force to a tie down bar in order to
secure a vehicle, nor should it ever be necessary to do so in order to
properly secure a vehicle."

I think this is the court case that started it all...

Ergonomics and Occupational Health and Safety - Australia
I think this is the court case involving Cottrell that started the whole controversy over 1/4" chain vs. 5/16" chain. (See post below.)

Cottrell Trailers - Car carriers, Headramps, and Accessories

Cottrell Trailers - Car carriers, Headramps, and Accessories: "IMPORTANT"
The infamous decision to go to 5/16" Chain.

Spring into fall

Feb 1, 2005 12:00 PM"
WARNING: Anybody planning on buying a new truck or trailer should read this article.

Effect of Fuel Prices on Car Haulers

The other day I was talking to one of my customers (I work at Autohauler Supply), and we were talking about the price of fuel. He said he's hearing that it may get above $3 per gallon, and that it might even hit the $4 mark this summer. It's hard to believe the government would stand by and let the entire transportation industry take a hit like that. Still, there's not a hell of a lot they could do. There's the strategic oil reserve. There's also the tax policy. Congress could give transportation companies tax credits to offset losses suffered due to fuel price spikes. They could also start tapping the strategic oil reserve to try and dampen the price spikes.

One of the biggest problems, however, is demand. With China's economy growing in double digits-- most of which is in fuel-intensive manufacturing, the oil producers of the world have little extra capacity. OPEC recently asserted that they would increase production-- and the price for oil futures shot up! Analysts said that the traders have come to believe that OPEC no longer has the ability to control the pricing of oil. In the past, if the price of oil went up too far, too fast, OPEC had only to announce that they were raising the production ceiling, and prices settled back down. (Strangely enough, OPEC doesn't want the price of oil to get too high, because if it goes past certain price-points, it then becomes cost-effective to develop alternative sources of energy.)

What does this mean for the auto hauling industry?

Well, for one thing, more fuel-efficient cars to transport from the ports to the dealers, and more sport utility vehicles to transport from the dealers to the auctions. (So it looks like the industry still has to worry about weight and height fines from the D.O.T.)

For another, it may mean a reverse in the downward pressure on load pricing. You can't have your costs go up out of sight and your revenue go down indefinitely. Eventually "something's gotta give".

Unfortunately, the effect of increasing fuel cost and decreasing load price may make it unfeasible to stay in the business. Owner-operators and small fleets of auto haulers need to find a profitable niche-- either that, or a way to pass on increased fuel costs.

One thing we know about supply and demand is that over time, they balance each other out. If load price is going down because there is an "over-supply" of auto haulers competing for the business, eventually load prices will get down so low that it won't make sense for some people to stay in the business. Once enough people decide to trade their auto hauler trailer for a reefer or flatbed, the price of loads will start going up. That's the harsh reality.

Kansas City Star | 04/08/2005 | Transport company gets new president

Kansas City Star | 04/08/2005 | Transport company gets new president: "Rudy Cleveland, president of car hauler Jack Cooper Transport Co. of Kansas City, has retired."

AP Wire | 03/22/2005 | Auto transporter convicted of nationwide fraud, used Web for ads

AP Wire | 03/22/2005 | Auto transporter convicted of nationwide fraud, used Web for ads

GM Loses $1.1 Billion in first quarter of '05

Holy cow! GM lost over a billion during the last quarter. Last year they made over 2 billion in the first quarter. It wasn't long ago, they made 50% of all cars sold in the U.S. Now it's more like 25% and dropping. This puts pressure on the whole supply chain, including transportation and logistics. No wonder price per load has been dropping.