Friday, December 22, 2006

Unusual Phone Call from a Paralegal

The other day, I received a phone call from a woman who asked me if I knew if Boydstun was still in business. I said, "Why sure, they're in business." She explained that she had looked for them on line and hadn't been able to find anything. I said, "That's odd, perhaps they're working on their web server and the site is down temporarily." I looked up the phone number for Boydstun, and it was right after that when she said, "Oh, I'm not buying anything. I'm just doing some research. I'm a paralegal."

"Oh great," I said, thinking of all the problems Cottrell has had with personal injury attorneys.
These auto transport trailer manufacturers aren't going to get any rest until they have a warning label on every moving part on these car haulers and all sharp edges are covered with ten inches of foam padding. Hey! While we're at it, let's turn the rest of America into a giant day-care center.

I did a reverse look-up of the phone number on caller ID and found that she was calling from a law firm that handles litigation in San Francisco, California.

Hopefully Boydstun doesn't have to deal with a bunch of crazy lawsuits like Cottrell did. (Read some of the posts below to hear the updates to all that mess.)

Lawyers! Doesn't it sometimes seem like there are too many people going into this field? Don't we need more machinists or librarians or school teachers or truck drivers? We've got three lawyers in our family, two of whom working at the top firms in town. We hang out with so many lawyers, sometimes I feel like one might turn around and bite me (like in those vampire movies) and the next thing I know, I'll be applying to law school or something.

Still, if I go to Burger King and pour a cup of hot coffee on my head, I'll have plenty of legal counsel. But all those attorneys sitting around the Christmas dinner? That and the turkey will make you fall asleep faster than C-Span during a senatorial filibuster where they're reading the phonebook.

More Litigation over Car Hauler Tie-Downs

Found this on a personal injury attorney's website. (This is also a strong argument for forged J hooks and not those bent S hooks.)

Pamela Withey has had decades of trial experience. She has recovered tens of millions of dollars for her clients in hundreds of different factual situations. She has won verdicts, negotiated settlements and collected on these judgments when necessary. Below you will find a sampling of the type of work she has done.

David Davis v. Vulcan Chain, et al. [Defective Product]

In this action brought under the theory of Products Liability, the plaintiff was securing a vehicle to a car hauler when an S-hook broke and caused severe and permanent injuries. In the case against a major manufacture, Attorney Withey secured a settlement of $1,100,000.00, despite disputed liability. In addition, she also recovered workers' compensation benefits for this injured worker in excess of $547,000.00.

To read this all in context go here.

More Cottrell v. Brdar News.

Wendler still angling to sue Cottrell in Madison County
(Where this story came from.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

By Steve Korris
The late Terrence Hopkins
If Fifth District Appellate Judge Terrence Hopkins had lived a little longer, he would have helped decide whether truck drivers can continue suing Georgia trailer maker Cottrell Inc., in Madison County.

Hopkins and two other Fifth District judges heard an appeal of a Madison County verdict in Brdar v. Cottrell, but Hopkins died before they reached a decision.

Cottrell attorney Daniel Nester of St. Louis told Circuit Judge Daniel Stack in a Dec. 11 brief that the appeal may have to be resubmitted.

He wrote, "This has been confirmed by the Clerk of the Fifth District."

Stack at a Nov. 29 hearing had postponed a decision in a Cottrell case after plaintiff attorney Brian Wendler told him a decision in Brdar was imminent.

Stack asked Cottrell to respond in a brief.

Nester responded that, "This conclusion allegedly was drawn from a conversation in the hall with a 'retired Fifth District judge.' This conclusion is mere speculation…"

He wrote that there was no indication Brdar would be decided soon. "In fact," he wrote, "circumstances indicate otherwise."

In the case before Stack, truck driver Gary Clark claims he suffered injuries while loading vehicles on Cottrell trailers.

Cottrell moved to dismiss on grounds of forum non conveniens, arguing that the injury occurred in Tennessee.

Stack granted the motion in September. He wrote that Tennessee law applied and a Tennessee court should hear the case.

On behalf of Clark, Wendler moved in October for reconsideration. He wrote that Stack committed an error and that further evidence had come to light.

Nester opposed reconsideration. He wrote, "Plaintiffs may disagree with the decision of the court, but that disagreement certainly is not an indication that your Honor erred in applying the law to the facts in this case."

At the Nov. 29 hearing Wendler made no headway with claims of error and new evidence, but he caught Stack's attention when he brought up the Brdar appeal.

Stack said putting it off for the Fifth District would take time.

Wendler said, "That is the risk my client is willing to take."

Cottrell attorney Dan Carpenter of St. Louis protested that Wendler had not raised the Brdar appeal in his motion.

Stack signed an order continuing the hearing, but not to await a decision in Brdar. He continued it so Cottrell could write a response on Brdar.

Nester responded in 12 days. He told Stack to stick with his September decision regardless of Brdar.

He wrote, "It just makes more sense for a court in Tennessee to apply Tennessee law."

He wrote, "Cottrell submits that dockets should not 'grind to a halt' depending on what an appellate court may or may not do at some uncertain point in time…"

Under Stack's Nov. 29 order Cottrell will reset the hearing on reconsideration.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Maryland Car Hauler Gets Purple Heart

To read the complete article,click on the link below.

Semper Fi-nally *38 years after the fact, a car hauler gets an award for his service as a marine in Vietnam.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Must-See Condo Car Hauler

During a recent trip to Detroit, I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Anderson an owner operator for Reliable Carriers, headquarters in Canton, Michigan. Bob and his wife, Shirley, have been together for thirty-seven years, and she has been hauling cars for five years. Usually, they drive team, but on the day I met Bob, she was taking a breather while overseeing a house remodel. Bob says she expects to be on the road again soon.
Here is some more information about the truck: Bob had it custom built (sorry, don't remember who did the work!). That TV is a 32 inch plasma, and it goes with the home theater sound system. The bathroom has a shower, toilet and sink. If you wanted, you could probably cook a full Christmas dinner in the kitchen!
I hope you enjoy the pictures I took of Bob and Shirley's condo. It sure was an eye-opener for me! Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to ask Bob more questions about the truck, because he was getting ready to go pick up a load of cars. For those of you wanting to know more details, this truck has been featured on other news publications, too, so a Google search might turn up more info.
By the way, if any of you are curious about Reliable Carriers, when I asked Bob how he liked the company, he said: "Best place I've ever worked for!" He has been hauling cars since 1984 and has been with Reliable for the past thirteen years. I don't know if Reliable is currently hiring, but most companies are always looking for experienced car haulers.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The best Christmas gift for car haulers!

If you are looking for a gift idea for your car hauler friends that have everything, why not give them a genuine "Floating Head of Money-Saving Martha" Autohauler Supply. Folks will really be impressed with your good business sense and high fashion sense.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Car Hauler Race: Must Watch Video!

I don't think I've ever laughed so hard before 5AM in the morning! Imagine a bunch of people driving car hauler trailers around a race track while people in cars try to race (at the same time) and drive up the car hauler while it is in motion. Actually, that is only half the race, because then they have to back OFF the trailer as well. Good, clean American fun. You can see the video on Autohauler Shopper or just click HERE.

Car hauler races. Embrace the madness.

P.S. If you're trying to figure out how to email this to someone, just click on the little envelope. You can do it from AutohaulerShopper, too.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Boydstun trailers on a rainy day in Portland.

I call this one: Rainbow of Carhaulers. Not to be confused with the rainbow coalition.

More Boydstun Pictures

A rainbow of Petes at Boydstun Metal Works in Portland, Oregon

Auto Assembly in China

If you don't think more and more of the upstream parts sourcing for carmakers is moving overseas, take a look at this site:
They're selling e-books for hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars each that contain information on the best practices for setting up plants. China Automotive
Assembler Industry US$2,550.

OK, that's an e-book for over $2500.

Whether you like it or not, moving cars made in part or in whole in China is part of the future economic pie for the auto transport industry.

Remember back in the early days, when Toyota was barely a "blip" on anybody's radar?

The good news is that the future is rarely the way you think it's going to be. Nobody in the car business would have predicted Toyota's rise. Nobody would have predicted that Toyota would be building more and more plants and hiring American labor. It is interesting how such hybridized solutions will develop in a free economy. By locating their plants closer to the market, Toyota minimizes attendant costs. They also diversify their supply logistics, which is a good hedge against adverse conditions such as war, supply bottlenecks, market "hiccups" and things of that nature. You will remember from your high school World History class that Japan is not a nation with many abundant raw materials such as natural gas, coal, iron ore, etc.

What does all this mean for folks in the auto transport industry? Everything and nothing. More foreign car makers entering the North American market means more business to go after at the ports. More domestic production means more business at the railheads and vehicle assembly plants. If America is truly undergoing a structural (vs. cyclic) shift in the economics of the auto business, then we will see more plant closings and more plant openings. Ford, GM, Daimler-Chrysler et. al. are saddled with a lot of obligations they made to unions regarding health benefits. Think about how much longer people are living today. Think about all those union widows getting their cataract surgeries done in a hospital for a co-pay of $3! (I'm not making this up, I swear!) Somebody is paying for that.

There will always be opportunities presenting themselves-- both the opportunity to fail and the opportunity to succeed. As the structural economics of car manufacturing changes, the nature of auto transportation will change: everything from trailers and auto tie-down methods (wheel straps, anyone?) to the way accounts are won and serviced. Look at what happened to Allied and Volkswagen of America a couple summers ago. So in conclusion, expect more change, faster, and with less predictibility. The future just ain't what it used to be.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Port of Tacoma Auto Transport News

Nov 22 2006 (From the Tacoma Daily Index)

The Port of Tacoma recently selected Andre L. Elmaleh as Director of Auto Business.

“Andre brings to the Port wide-ranging operational experience in the marine transportation segment of the auto industry,” said John Wolfe, the Port’s Deputy Executive Director. “He has the energy and knowledge to grow this thriving area of our business.”

The Port of Tacoma is projected to handle more than 160,000 vehicles in 2006. Major auto customers include Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki. The Port also handles medium-duty commercial trucks for Isuzu and Fuso.

Before joining the Port, Elmaleh spent 10 years in the marine transportation segment of the auto industry, most recently serving as Port Operations Manager for Glovis America in Tacoma. Previously, he was Port Manager in Tacoma for Kia Motors America, responsible for vehicle inventory and dock-to-dealer transport. Early in his career, Elmaleh was Port Operations Supervisor in Portland, Oregon for Tacoma-based Auto Warehousing Company.

Elmaleh holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing (1994) from Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Boydstun Auto Transport Trailer

On Wednesday, I met with the folks up at Boydstun Metal Works in sunny Portland, Oregon. Once I get back to the office, I'll get the pictures downloaded to my computer and then uploaded to the Car Hauler News. I checked out the new screw actuator trailer side-by-side with the hydraulic trailer. It was pretty interesting to compare the hydraulic trailer next to the screw trailer like that. Once I get all my facts and figures organized, I'll post it here.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Care and maintenance of auto transport trailers with screw actuator technology.

Was talking to someone up at Selland Auto Transport last week, and he said that the screw units they have are doing quite well. (I think they have one from Boydstun and one from Cottrell.)

He said that the initial preventive maintenance to the screws was "a bit intensive", but that after the first couple months or so, it isn't too bad. The screw gear requires a special gear oil to lubricate the gear that raises and lowers the decks of the car hauler trailer.

I spoke with someone from Toyota Logistics, and he said that one of the main benefits of this type of trailer is much-impoved driver safety. By lowering the top positions down, the cars can be tied-down at (more or less) ground level. When this is complete, the positions are raised, and then the cars that go on the bottom deck can be loaded and tied down.

Seems to me there would also be pretty good improvement in terms of less damage to the cars-- less pillars for doors to smack!

Not sure how they weigh out, but the Toyota trailers running all straps for the tie-down system must save quite a bit of weight over cluster chains!

I'll be posting some pictures from Boydstun after I go up there later this week.

Friday, November 10, 2006

To Veterans

Thank you very much for your service to our country. Happy Veterans Day. Even though the election is over, let's make sure we keep an eye on our politicians and make sure they take care of the people who put their lives at risk to take care of us! As the last three elections have shown us, every vote counts! Democrat or Republican or Independent-- we all have to take care of returning soldiers, as well as the ones that are currently in harm's way.

Auto Tie-Down Wheel Straps for Take 3, Kaufman, etc.

This is the sweetest set-up for securing cars to wedge trailers that I've ever seen!
I know a lot of guys like to use a ratchet and the 8 foot lasso straps with loop or steel ring, but that type of tie-down was originally designed to secure vehicles to a wheel lift while in tow. A wheel lift has a concave shape that the wheel fits inside,plus a towed vehicle is also secured by tow chains, so the lasso strap or wheel lift strap just keeps the wheel of the vehicle from bouncing out during transport.

If you have a wedge type carhauler, and you want to use wheel strap tie-downs, you have two basic choices if your trailer came with diamond plate decking.

1. Take a plasma cutter and cut holes in the deck so that you can use the wheel straps designed for open car haulers like Cottrell, Boydstun JM Trailer, Delavan, etc. This way, the vehicle is hooked directly into the structure of the trailer, and you're not securing by friction alone.

2. Use a double strap, cinch-style tie-down like the one pictured above. The advantage to a double cinch is that it will not loosen, and it is truly adjustable. The old-school style basket tire harnesses (or wheel bonnets as some call them) are not really one-size-fits-all. The larger basket strap gets hung up on the inside of the tire, and you run the risk of doing damage to brake lines on some low profile cars.

That picture above is of a strap manufactured by Starr Manufacturing. It is model SP-EBSIDESTRAP.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Toyota posts massive profits

Carhaulers, you'd better start learning how to tie down Toyotas!

This is from Reuters:
TOKYO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T: Quote, NEWS, Research) reported a 44 percent rise in quarterly operating profit on Tuesday as healthy sales, cost cuts and a soft yen offset higher raw materials prices, and it lifted its forecasts for the full year.

Operating profit at the world's second-biggest auto maker totalled 581.0 billion yen ($4.92 billion) for the July-September second quarter, outpacing an average estimate of 527.6 billion yen in a survey of six brokers by Reuters Estimates.

Net profit jumped 34 percent to 405.7 billion yen, compared with a market estimate for 372.5 billion yen.

Toyota, worth $215 billion and the world's most valuable car maker, now expects a full-year operating profit of 2.2 trillion yen and net profit of 1.55 trillion yen. Three months ago, it projected a record group operating profit of 1.9 trillion yen and net profit of 1.31 trillion yen for the year to March 2007.

Japan's top auto maker has been expanding rapidly in North America and Europe with popular cars such as the Camry sedan and Yaris subcompact, leaving big local brands struggling to defend market share.

Toyota shares gained 7.2 percent in July-September, in line with the transport sector subindex's (.ITEQP.T: Quote, NEWS, Research) 6.9 percent rise.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Are you looking to get started as a car hauler?

Seems like about once or twice a month we get a call or email from someone interested in getting started as a car hauler. A lot of times, it can be that old "We can't hire you until you have experience." situation.

Whatever you do, make sure you check out this catalog of parts if you're fixing up an old car hauler that may need cluster chains or cylinders.

The fact of the matter is that car hauling is a profession that takes a lot of different skills. A good car hauler has good driving skills, plus he (or she) must be able to load and unload vehicles safely,and understand all the little details of hauling cars that can make or break an auto transport company.

There's tons of stuff you just wouldn't think of, for instance:

Clothing. No Levi's with rivets. Rivets might scuff leather upholstery or sctatych paint if you brush up against someone's prized vehicle in a tight spot. No belt buckles to scratch paint.

Companies like United Road Services have training for their drivers to help them with this stuff (in fact, that might be another outfit for you to try to get hired on with if you're a newbie).

Mabro Auto Transport is willing to train you if you have three years experience on your CDL. I checked out their website, and it looks like they offer some pretty decent pay, benefits and bonuses.

I think Blue Thunder and the Waggoner's Trucking Company will train you as well, but don't quote me on that!

Car hauling is not a good profession if you just want to get your hours in. Dealers don't show up when they're supposed to. Customers will complain that the scratch on their 1992 Ford Escort was caused by you. (Don't even get me started about Ebay) Sometimes cars won't start.

Having said all this, however, I do know that some folks make a darn good living hauling cars from point a to point b. If you're willing to pay attention and learn and pay your dues, you'll probably do OK.

So I guess car hauling is probably like any other profession, really. You've got to work hard, work smart, and a little luck doesn't hurt either!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Russian Holiday for Auto Transporters

I'm not making this up. I swear. Apparently, this is a holiday for highway construction workers, but at first glance, it sure looked like a vacation day for auto haulers!

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin congratulated the Russian auto transport industry's workers with their professional holiday, the Kremlin press office said Sunday.

"The auto transport and road complexes are rightfully considered to be among the key and strategic branches of the domestic economy whose development is prioritized by the state," the president's congratulatory letter says. The timely delivery of passengers and cargoes and the strengthening of interregional and international ties largely depend on the technical condition of automobile roads and transport and their efficient operation," the letter says.

"Today your most important goals include the tasks to improve the transport infrastructure, enhance road safety and make the environmental situation better," the congratulatory letter says.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Different Ways of Analyzing Success

This is from a Canadian newspaper that covers the auto business news. Honda is cautiously optimistic about sales, because profit slipped about 4%. GM said that only losing 115 million last quarter was due to the success of their reorganization. Daimler Chrysler's losses are so extensive, many scientists believe they may have actually "broken off" from our reality, and may in fact now operate from a parallel universe where women buyers yearn for Dodge Chargers and the new look of the Chrysler 300.

Full story below is from The Chronicle Herald:

GM, DaimlerChrysler post losses; Honda profits up

DETROIT (AP) — After months of restructurings, job cuts, management changes and other moves to lift their fortunes, U.S. automakers still are posting losses as market share slips further toward their Asian rivals.

General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group reported third-quarter losses Wednesday, joining Ford Motor Co., which on Monday posted a whopping US$5.8 billion loss. In contrast, Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co. reported a profit Wednesday, although less than the same period last year.

A $1.5 billion quarterly loss at Chrysler prompted some industry analysts to question whether its parent company would put it up for sale.

GM posted a $115 million loss for the third quarter on Wednesday, saying its results reflected benefits of its turnaround plan.

Honda said Wednesday that second-quarter profit slipped 4.3 per cent, but sales were strong especially in North America and Asia, where demand for fuel-efficient Japanese cars has been growing.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

United Road

United Road has a pretty sweet website for POV. Probably has built-in functionality for auction and dealer freight as well.


ROUTE 18 JAMMED IN OLD BRIDGE Car carrier rams moving van
Minor injuries in a.m. accident
Home News Tribune Online 10/25/06

OLD BRIDGE — A car-carrier loaded with new Jeeps crashed into a moving van on Route 18 yesterday strewing furniture and boxed items from the moving van across the highway and the grass median.

The crash occurred shortly after 9:30 a.m., according to township police, and stalled traffic in the area for hours.

No serious injuries were reported.

The moving van was attempting to cross Route 18 south from the Spring Valley Road jughandle when the car carrier, traveling south on Route 18 in the fast lane, hit the moving van, with the impact causing both vehicles to veer onto center grass median, township police Sgt. Robert Greenway said yesterday afternoon.

Only one lane of Route 18 south was open and northbound traffic was being diverted onto Marlboro Road around the accident scene and back onto Route 18 yesterday. Traffic was backed up for the better part of the day in both directions.

The auto-transport driver was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center in the township for treatment of minor injuries and released.

A passenger in the moving van was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

A careless driving summons was issued to the moving van's driver.

Police interviewed three witnesses at the scene, but no further details were available. Police did not release the identity of the drivers or the passenger.

Contributing: Staff writers Mary Ann Bourbeau and Ken Tarbous

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New: Loans for Auto Transport Equipment

OK, you almost have to be crazy to buy a new car hauler trailer right now, but I suppose if you have an established business, and your rig is worn out-- you gotta do what you gotta do.

Here is a place where you can get same day answers (theoretically) AND store your info on a secure server.

If this kind of stuff makes you nervous, you're not alone-- but here is something to look for whenever you're buying something online or using sensitive info. Look up in the URL pane (the little box thingy with the www address). It should say https:// if it's a secure site. If it's just a regular site, it will say http:// before the

Thursday, October 05, 2006

General Motors Renault Nissan

As Nostril-damn-us predicted in the year 2005 AD, General Motors is looking to spin off an underperformer. I mean, why just shut it down (Oldsmobile) when you can sell it to the Korean companies who are getting ready to forfeit the lower price tier to the Chinese?

Other Nostril-damn-us predictions:

Watch for used truck prices to drop 15-20% in the second quarter of '07.
Peterbilt will announce a restructuring.
A heavy truck division of a (sort-of) foreign company will change hands.
Fuel prices will jump up to 4.23 in California.
Load prices will slide down in the middle of the country, but start picking up on the left coast.
Hillary Clinton will begin her bid for the presidency, going on a "Listening Tour" in which she visits every county seat of every southern state. Bill will be by her side, but will be forced to wear mittens stapled to the sleeves of his suit coat. (Lots of interns on the bus.)
Intelligent life from another planet will finally make contact. They will meet with a dispatcher. They will decide to return wait another 10,000,000 years and see if another form of life evolves.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Web Dev. for Carhaulers

You should be thinking about how you are going to survive 2007. Orange Fractal could be part of that survival plan.

Free carhauler leads for all my friends.

OK. We're going to try something and see where it goes. Click on the uShip link and see what's up with these guys. In the long run, their concept could be good for consumers and car haulers... assuming consumers are smart enough to figure out that car haulers that have insurance and experience are preferable. Please report any experiences that make you hear a big sucking sound.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Got Auto Transport Equipment to Sell?

This is probably the best deal around!

Autohauler Shopper

Written by Editor
Monday, 02 October 2006
Advertising & Web Development Menu

Site Sponsorship

Whether you're a manufacturer or service center for auto transport equipment or a recruiter for a fleet, a sponsorship of The Autohauler Shopper website is a cost-effective wayt to get your message out to auto transporters.

Your logo or image will be displayed prominently on the right-hand side of our site’s front page as well as pages within our site that users navigate to. Users who click on your logo or image will be taken to your company’s website. If your company doesn’t currently have a website, be sure to ask us about our extremely affordable web-hosting option.

* Sponsors are given right of first refusal for space in other publications where space is limited. (directory or printed newsletters)
* Sponsors will be given a discounted rate for classified advertising upgrades.
* Sponsors may also qualify for equipment sales leads or employee leads.

Our business philosophy is simple. We believe the more we can cooperate and help each other out, the better it is for all of us. For more information, please call 503-342-2085.

Classified Advertising Upgrades
[Per Equipment Listing]

30 Day Front Page

Get maximum exposure for your truck by putting it on the front page of our site for all to see. (available on a first-come, first-served) basis: $29.99 ea., 30 days

Boxed listing with attention-grabber: $9.99 ea, 30 days

One And Done Service!: We monitor your listings on any one URL that you choose, update your free listings once per week and apply any pre-authorized upgrades such as Front Page or Boxed listings. $2.99 ea., 30 days

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Adesa starts construction of new car auction facility

When completed, the new ADESA Kansas City facility will feature:
(*) A brand new auction facility on 196 acres
(*) Parking for more than 15,000 vehicles
(*) 10 auction lanes with digital video and audio
(*) Easy access for dealer check-in
(*) Drive over inspection in facility mechanical shop
(*) Increased dealer parking
(*) Designated areas for carhauler loading and unloading
hmmm... could be good.
(*) State-of-the-art body shop with 200 unit-per-day capacity
(*) New mechanical repair facility with 16 bays and 10 lifts
(*) New dealer lounge with Internet access and terminals
where's the driver lounge?
(*) A full cafeteria
(*) An on-site floorplan financing office

The prime contractor for the new ADESA Kansas City auction is Shiel
Sexton Construction Company of Indianapolis, Indiana. The new facility is
expected to be open for business in late 2007.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Budget Tow Dolly Trailer Straps

Here is a product I'll bet folks have been having trouble finding.

Replacement Strap for Budget Rental Tow Dolly

List Price: $39.95
Our Price: $24.95 $16.20

Adjustable tow dolly strap with loop sewn in end to fit on rod. Fits Budget Rental tow dolly. This one is better than the one that came with it, because the four inch strap that goes over the top has three adjustments. Allows you to tow cars with 13" to 18" tires and get a good, snug fit.

Product Details

3000 pound safe WLL Steel ring on the end of 2 inch lasso strap wears better than the old sewn loop. Manufactured in western Pennsylvania. Apparently, when Budget sold all their old Tow Dolly trailers, they misplaced the number of the company who sold them their replacment straps. The picture shows a flat hook: this is what goes on our standard tow dolly strap. The Budget tow dolly strap has a sewn loop instead of a flat hook. Much thanks to one of our latest new customers, Brad in Indiana , for making us aware that folks were having trouble finding straps for the Budget Rental Tow Dolly. Apparently, there are thousands of these Budget trailers out there that have been orphaned after the company changed ownership. If you are an employee working for Budget Rental, and someone like Brad calls looking for replacement tow dolly straps, now you know where to send them! Thanks, Brad! We'll be putting these up on Ebay and Craig's list soon to get the word out to all the Budget trailer owners with frayed tow dolly straps.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Marketing your business.

Found this post on The Autohauler Shopper. Should give you something to think about, if you're the thinking sort.

I see a lot of discussion online about the effect on load price of car dealers posting loads on Central Dispatch-- with or without their own authority. I also see discussions about whether buying auto transport leads is a good way to find cars to haul.

Whatever shortcomings it may have, Central Dispatch obviously serves a purpose in the marketplace. Same goes for the marketing companies that sell auto transport leads. Good, bad or indifferent-- these companies are a way for you to find loads to put on your trailer.

The question you might want to ask is: what kind of loads? Both auto transport lead companies and load posting boards make auto transport companies compete against each other for business, just in different ways.

If you have to discount your normal load price to get a load on Central Dispatch, then the amount of money you didn't collect on that load is the amount you are (in essence) paying for the luxury of not marketing your company's services.

The amount by which you discount your load price AND the amount you pay for the auto transport lead is the same thing.

Marketing, sales, advertising-- whatever you want to call it-- it all amounts to the same thing: making sure prospective customers understand why it is in their interest to use your company. This is the bedrock of all marketing.

If you don't know why people should use you over some other guy, then that's your homework for tonight. What do you do differently? What services do you offer? Do you have special routes that might really help certain dealers who have multiple locations in your general service area? Do you run only three year old or newer equipment? Do you employ only drivers with five years experience or more? Do you only use soft ties to tie down cars?

If you still can't think of anything, then how about your present customers. What do they say about you? Would they give you a letter of endorsement? It might not hurt to ask!

"John Q. Driver has been providing reliable service for The Big City Auto Dealer for the past thirteen years. Since we started using his company, we've only had one damage claim, and that was handled in a straightforward and professional manner. John is an excellent communicator, and does what he says he's going to do!" -- John Q. Manager, The Big City Auto Dealer

"We've used John Q. Driver to help us with our overflow ever since 1998, and have been pleased with his committment to helping us maintain a high level of service our clients expect." --John Q. Terminal Manager, Sumbig Auto Transporter Company

"John moved our Honda Odyssey from Seattle to Maryland, and he made the whole process easy for us. We read a lot of horror stories online about auto transport, but John returned all our phone calls the same day, and our van got here without a scratch. We strongly recommend John Q Driver for all your auto transport needs!" -- John and Jane Doe, Customer

Once you know what your strengths are, play to them! Get some high quality flyers printed up (if you don't have business cards, do that as well.) Give them to prospective customers, or better yet, give them to people in a position to refer new business to you. Have you ever bothered giving your business card to a realtor? When someone moves somewhere, they usually have to sell their car! How about the directors of 55+ communities in places along your route in the sunbelt. A lot of retirees may go back up north in the spring.

Do you keep track of your old customers? Why not send them a thank you letter for their past business, and throw in a couple business cards. If they liked the service you provided, it'll help them remember you when someone they know needs your service.

If you provide a special service that auto dealers might like, have you told all of them about it? What about banks? After they've had to repo a car, who is transporting that car to auction? Are their towing companies in the area who don't offer auto transport service? What about the human resources department at big employers near your shop? If they are transferring an executive or manager, a lot of times they'll be the ones paying the relocation costs when he or she moves to a new branch or office. Who is helping them with this aspect of relocation?

These are all sources of new referrals. Put together a professional sales flyer and send some out on slow days. Pick up the telephone and make some calls. Explain in one clear statement who you are and what your purpose is.

"I'm John Q. Driver. I provide an extremely high level of service for all my auto transport customers, and I'm looking for people who might need my services, or know people who do. Would it be OK if I mailed you my business card?"

You may not consider yourself a salesman, but if you can clearly define what it is you do best, and communicate what it is you love the most about your work, your enthusiasm and honesty will be more productive than any slick marketing guy with tasseled loafers. So the next time it gets slow, don't just sit around waiting for something on Central Dispatch. Try marketing-- because they say that having a great service but not marketing it is kind of like winking at a girl in a dark movie theater. You know what you're doing, but nobody else does!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Found this joke on
How do you make a million dollars hauling cars?
Start with two million.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Small OEM Auto Transport Trailer Manufacturers, Part 2

Last week, I received word that there is soon going to be a brand new high mount quickloader coming on the market. Like JM Trailer (the company I discussed not too long ago), this company specializes in affordable, lightweight trailers. Haven't got word yet on what it weighs out yet, but as soon as it comes back from the paint shop and they attach all the cylinders and hoses, we should have a pretty good idea.

As soon as I get some pictures, I'll run them on Carhauler News.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

JM Trailer also known as J&M Trailer

In the current "Coke vs. Pepsi" between Boydstun and Cottrell, it's easy to miss what some of the smaller, less flashy manufacturers are doing to improve the auto transport industry-- companies like Wally Mo, Sun Valley and JM Trailer.

What got me thinking about this is a JM stinger I saw with 10 cars on it! The ability to haul one extra car per load could really make a difference in a guy's bank account, long term.

To find out more about these trailers, I talked to Joe Marquez, owner of JM Trailers.

Here's some of what I learned.

Joe has been involved with building car haulers since about 1969.

JM Trailers makes a lot of the trailers used by The Waggoners Trucking-- largest privately owned car hauler fleet in the US. I believe they are going to all strap tie downs-- so that's some weight savings you can get, also, if you want to go the strap route.

One of the really cool things about a JM Trailer is that they don't plumb the hydraulic lines under a bunch of steel. You look at one of these trailers, and you can see that maintenance is going to be less expensive. Also, they brace the wheel wells. With the weight of some of these SUV's and pickup truck's going up, the torsion and resulting metal fatigue have been going up on this part of many car haulers. A lot of car haulers will crack right beside the welds on this part of the trailer.

I was really impressed with the intelligent design of these trailers. They put the right type and thickness of steel where it counts the most. (You won't see one of these trailers bowed out and scraping on the middle side rails!) They know where to "beef things up" and where to "lighten the load".

Another thing about JM Trailers are the employees. Joe told me everybody he hires starts sweeping the shop, then moves up to welding, etc. Every employee gets trained on every part of the job, eventually: fabrication, assembly, hydraulics, wiring, painting. Joe said that a lot of the guys working in his shop have been working for him for ten or more years. I don't care what your job is-- when you've done it for ten years, you get pretty good at it! Plus, by cross-training everybody in the shop-- when someone calls in sick, somebody else can take over his work.

Joe said his first job in the US (he is originally from Argentina) was as a welder for a trailer manufacturer in Texas. His rate of pay was 1.10 per hour, and they often worked 10 to 14 hours a day in the summer. Think about that the next time you're in your air-conditioned cab-- welding for twelve hours in Texas in the summer!

Since he's had to do the work, he knows how to treat his employees-- with respect, which he says is probably one of the main reasons they stick around. Every morning Joe comes to work, he walks around the shop and greets each employee and they talk a little bit about how things are going, personally and professionally. It's easy to see he cares about people-- not just profits. I think there are probably lots of businesses like this, but they tend not to draw attention to themselves-- probably because they don't need to advertise because of all the repeat business.

So if you're thinking about getting a new trailer, don't just think "Coke-Pepsi", "Boydstun-Cottrell". There are other manufacturers out there also, and the innovation and thought they bring to the production of auto transport equipment just might surprise you.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Don't you hate it when this happens?

August 5, 2006
PALM CITY — A bus ticket would have been cheaper.
A New York man was being held at the Martin County jail on $10,000 bail Friday after allegedly stealing a tractor-trailer car carrier — with 9 vehicles on board — just for a ride up north.

The owner of Connecticut Auto Transport in Palm City told authorities Victor Lewis, 46, of Mount Vernon, was his driver and was supposed to take the tractor-trailer worth more than $100,000 to New York state by May 23.
When Lewis didn't show up in New York, business owner Pete Naylor called the Martin County Sheriff's Office. The truck and vehicles were entered into law enforcement databases as being stolen.

Naylor also noticed the gas card he had given Lewis was used to buy more fuel than the truck could have carried. He speculated the fuel was sold for cash, though there was no evidence of that in the court paperwork released Friday.

On May 28, Naylor received a call from Lewis stating he wasn't taking the truck to New York. He said Naylor could find the vehicles at a location in New Jersey, according to a sheriff's report.

Naylor had another one of his drivers go to that location, which wasn't specified, and there was the truck and all the vehicles.

Lewis was actually arrested in Mobile, Ala., on June 6, though the circumstances were not immediately available. He was finally extradited to Martin County on Friday.

Lewis was charged with first degree grand theft in the Palm City case. For the record, a one-way Greyhound bus ticket from the Treasure Coast to New York City costs about $157.50.

Don't you hate it when this happens?

August 5, 2006
PALM CITY — A bus ticket would have been cheaper.
A New York man was being held at the Martin County jail on $10,000 bail Friday after allegedly stealing a tractor-trailer car carrier — with 9 vehicles on board — just for a ride up north.

The owner of Connecticut Auto Transport in Palm City told authorities Victor Lewis, 46, of Mount Vernon, was his driver and was supposed to take the tractor-trailer worth more than $100,000 to New York state by May 23.
When Lewis didn't show up in New York, business owner Pete Naylor called the Martin County Sheriff's Office. The truck and vehicles were entered into law enforcement databases as being stolen.

Naylor also noticed the gas card he had given Lewis was used to buy more fuel than the truck could have carried. He speculated the fuel was sold for cash, though there was no evidence of that in the court paperwork released Friday.

On May 28, Naylor received a call from Lewis stating he wasn't taking the truck to New York. He said Naylor could find the vehicles at a location in New Jersey, according to a sheriff's report.

Naylor had another one of his drivers go to that location, which wasn't specified, and there was the truck and all the vehicles.

Lewis was actually arrested in Mobile, Ala., on June 6, though the circumstances were not immediately available. He was finally extradited to Martin County on Friday.

Lewis was charged with first degree grand theft in the Palm City case. For the record, a one-way Greyhound bus ticket from the Treasure Coast to New York City costs about $157.50.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Interesting post found on Corvette site regarding auto transport.

I can't remember what the heck I was looking for when I found this post. I thought the guy from Dependable Auto Transport was pretty honest, though.

You must have left as I was coming in ... welcome back.

Several folks used Reliable Transport for a RT from Houston to BG for the fest, with good reports.
Here are some others gleaned from forum searches:
Auto Transport contact info


These are the top four, based on Z06 Forum members’ experiences.

InterCity Lines, Inc. Phone: 1-800-221-3936

Exotic Car Transport: 407 654-9949

Passport transport 800-325-4267

Horseless carriage 800-631-7796

Here is a posting on one of the discussion threads from a shipping consultant:

I work for an auto transport company, Dependable Auto Shippers. We have open carriers, as well as enclosed. The enclosed units are the same design as BMW carriers, except for the graphics. No matter what company you choose, ship the vette on an enclosed car carrier. The enclosed units utilize a fabric hold down strap that wraps around the rubber the tire. Open carriers use chains to secure the vehicle, and if you notice vehicles on an open carrier, there is no suspension travel because they crank the chains down as much as possible to get maximum overhead clearance. Some carriers even wrap these chains around suspension components. In this case the likely hood of damage is high.
Transport on an enclosed unit is more expensive than an open carrier. Typically open carriers can haul up to 12 vehicles, compared to an open carrier up to 8 vehicles. The cost per vehicle is higher on an enclosed unit.
The carriers mentioned in this thread, Intercity lines & Horseless Carriage are also very good companies. If you would like a quote or if I can be of any assistance, please let me know.

Here are some links to discussion threads on shipping.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Allied Holdings News

Allied Holdings, Lenders Agree To Amend DIP Loan
Mardi 11 juillet 2006 / 16h10

By Patrick Fitzgerald Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Allied Holdings Inc. (AHI) said Tuesday in a regulatory filing that its bankruptcy lenders have agreed to waive the company's default under its debtor-in-possession loan.
Under the fifth amendment to its $230-million debtor-in-possession loan, Allied Holdings isn't in default and no longer has to pay higher default interest on the outstanding amounts under the loan.
The DIP lenders, led by General Electric Co.'s (GE) GE Capital Corp. and Morgan Stanley's (MS) Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc., had agreed to a series of forbearances in recent months after Allied Holdings failed to meet certain financial covenants under the DIP loan.
Morgan Stanley, as the agent, also agreed to provide an additional $30-million term loan to the auto hauler. Interest on the loan is the London interbank offered rate plus 9.5%, and the maturity date is June 30, 2007.
The lenders also cut the interest rate on Allied Holdings' $80-million Term B loan to Libor plus 8.5%, from Libor plus 9.5%.
Allied will pay Morgan Stanley a closing fee of $150,000 for the new $30-million DIP loan and $195,000 to its DIP lenders for amending its original loans.
The fifth amendment to the loan is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newnan, Ga. The court has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday on Allied's request.
Allied Holdings, which has been in bankruptcy since last July, is currently negotiating with its unionized employees, represented by the Teamsters, on a package of wage and benefit cuts the company says it needs to survive.
Decatur, Ga.-based Allied Holdings and 23 subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last July 31, listing assets of $132 million and debts of $180 million.
The company, one of the largest transporters of vehicles in North America, blamed its falling revenue on a decline in deliveries due to automakers' scaled-back production.
-By Patrick Fitzgerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-3544;

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Carhauler List

Pretty much just what it says: lists of companies, parts, numbers associated with the car hauling business. Jobs for owner operators.
Click here to check out the carhauler list

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Found on Ebay

I wonder how many more of these we will see on Ebay in the coming months!

Vehicle Description

I am selling a 1998 Wally-Mo 6 car trailer/ car hauler for a friend of mine. This trailer is like new condition. My friend is getting out of the car hauling business and has no more use for this trailer. the top deck is 50 FT and has front and rear flip-outs. The total length with flip-outs is 54 ft. The lower deck is 42 1/2 ft with rear flip-outs for a total length of 43 1/2 ft. This trailer has stainless simulators on the wheels. The tire size is 9R 17.5 and the tires are about 60% tred left. This trailer has its own self contained hydrallic system. Just hook up your 12V connection and you are ready for the road. The trailer is located near Bismarck, ND and the contact and owner this trailer is Steve Tschider and he will answer all your questions at:

Cell: 701-220-7362

Home: 701-327-8252

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Expanding your car hauling business?

If you're expanding your auto transport business, you may need to get set up to accept credit cards (if you haven't already done so). The discount rate, what the processors pay themselves for getting YOU paid can vary quite a bit, especially for people who run businesses that accept credit cards over the phone.

I guess the banks figure if you don't have the card right in front of you to swipe through a machine, there might be just that much more chance of that card being stolen. A lot of times, your discount rate for these types of transaction will range around 2-3%, depending on your volume.

I put a link down at the bottom of the page for Paypal because they have a system that works pretty good. (Plus, they'll give me a finder's fee if you sign up!)

Things I like about Paypal:

Easy to process refunds
Stores your information FOREVER, so you can always go back and check on things if need be.
Doesn't cost much, plus they give you good discounts when your volume gets up there.
Easy to integrate with any sort of e-commerce website you've got going.
Can process phone payments.
Can transfer money with no fee to your checking account.
Get just about 5% annual interest on your money when you sign up for the Moneymarket.

Things I DON'T like about Paypal:

If you're a big-time Ebay seller, keep your main business Paypal account separate from your Ebay account. If you get some cranky customer who decides to complain because his wrapping paper got wrinkled, Paypal reserves the right to freeze that account until the issue has been settled. You don't want all your operating cash tied up like that.

They say they accept all cards, but they don't. We've had customers who couldn't get Paypal to process the payment using a card that we were able to process using Quickbooks.

If someone has a Paypal account, they try to force him to use it. (This happened to me when I was trying to pay a vendor using a credit card.)

Their system is cumbersome and complex... a lot like Ebay, which owns them now!

If you're shopping around, you might want to check out Google. I think they have a new payment system coming out.

Or if you need one now, you can click on the link below.

"Paypal: It's Sort of Good, Sometimes."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Experimental Car Hauler Listing

I'm not sure this particular method of using bots to harvest auto transport equipment from the web is going to work very well.

2000 2000 Peterbilt 379 exhd / 2000 Boydstun Trailer
Item number: 170010085938
Bidder or seller of this item? Sign in for your status
Watch this item in My eBay Email to a friend
Car Hauler
Number of Axles:
Class 8 (33,001 lbs. or more)
Engine Make:
Engine Horsepower:
Fuel Type:
Transmission Type:
Transmission Speeds:
13 Speed Over Drive
Suspension Type:
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN):
Tire Size:

Monday, July 24, 2006

And you thought you had a tough car hauler job.

Crew prepares to abandon listing ship near Aleutian Islands
By Rachel D'Oro
The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE — The crew of an Asian ship listing nearly on its side in the North Pacific prepared to abandon the vessel Monday after Coast Guard officials determined it was too dangerous to stay on board.
The Coast Guard and Alaska Air National Guard were sending helicopters and other rescue craft to pick up the 22 crew members of the Cougar Ace, 230 miles from Adak Island in the Aleutians. The crew members all had donned survival suits.
"For their safety, it's best for them to come off the ship," said Lt. Mara Booth-Miller as officials waited early afternoon for the three helicopters to arrive in the remote site. She said it's "very probable" that part of the deck was under water.
Earlier Monday, a Coast Guard plane dropped three life rafts, but roiling waters shoved the rafts underneath the dipping port side of the 654-foot ship. Racing against an increasingly tilting ship, rescuers tossed an additional raft along the higher starboard side, but it was a 150-foot drop to the water and beyond their reach.
The Cougar Ace had been carrying nearly 5,000 cars from Japan to Canada when it began taking on water Sunday night.
"It's sitting on its side, basically," Petty Officer Stephen Harrison said.
A merchant marine ship crew that had been in the area reached the vessel Monday morning. The crew of that ship tried, but failed, to rig a line to the Cougar Ace to keep it from tilting further.
Near the vessel, Coast Guard officers could see a 2-mile-long oil sheen, though officials said it was difficult to say how much of the ship's 430 metric tons of fuel oil or 112 metric tons of diesel fuel had spilled. The ocean was choppy, with rain squalls and 8- to 10-foot seas reported.
Communications between the crew and Coast Guard became increasingly difficult Monday when the batteries in the crew's hand-held radio dimmed, Booth-Miller said. Crew members had to shout information to the merchant ship, which then relayed messages back and forth to the Coast Guard.
The Singapore-flagged Cougar Ace — owned by Tokyo-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines — was carrying 4,813 vehicles from Japan to Vancouver, British Columbia, said Greg Beuerman, a spokesman for the ship owner. There were no reports of any cars going overboard. Beuerman said typically vehicles are securely fastened.

"Obviously, the primary concern for all involved is the safety of the crew on board," he said. "The vessel is of critical importance as well, but the first priority is the health and the safety of the crew."
One crew member had a broken leg, but no other injuries had been reported, according to Harrison.
Beuerman said the ship was equipped with life boats and rafts, but it would have been too risky to use them in this situation.
It wasn't immediately clear what had caused the ship to list. Its crew sent out an SOS late Sunday night but didn't know where the water was coming in, McKenzie said.
A Coast Guard cutter was on its way to the area, 230 miles south of the island of Adak in the western Aleutians. The cutter, based in Honolulu, had been on routine patrol 700 miles southeast of the troubled ship when it was diverted to help the crew of the listing ship shortly before midnight. It was expected to reach the Cougar Ace on Tuesday.
Beside the Coast Guard helicopter, two Pave Hawk helicopters, two refueling planes and a C-130 plane were en route from Kulis Air National Guard Base in Anchorage. Guard crews were carrying rafts and survival kits, including food, water, flares and radios, said Guard spokeswoman Kalei Brooks.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Carhauler Parts: Carhauler Chain Warning

Seems like we've been hearing more and more about chains breaking. I used to think this was primarily a problem of cluster chains in the lower position that had been dragged, but I was talking with someone the other day who said he's seen plenty pop right in the middle of the chain. In his words, "There must have been a bad link or something."

He said he's seen plenty of chains on the top positions do this, so it is clearly not a wear or misuse situation.

The link is for a notice put out by Cottrell Trailers about their switch to 5/16" chain and their adoption of the longer winch bar.

I know some guys aren't into the heavier chains for their trailers, but since I occasionally drive down the highway behind auto haulers, I wanted to do my part to get the information out there!

Boydstun offers a new winch bar that tells you how much torque you're putting on your ratchet box. They have detailed information on their website regarding the proper use of their chain ratchets. Of course, whether you've got a JM Trailer, Wally Mo, Take 3, Kaufman, whatever, the basic principles remain the same. If you are new to hauling cars, find out what the proper technique is for chaining cars down. (Or using car hauler wheel straps.)

I guess maybe if gas keep going up, eventually the weight of these cars is going to go down, and then maybe there won't be all these quarter inch cluster chains popping.

Inspect those chains and straps. Get your brakes fixed before they cam over on the expressway. Carry a spill kit. Don't push too hard. Know how much your vehicles weigh and keep track. If you're traveling empty, don't leave your flippers out. (big fines in some states!)

Talk to some of the old-timers in the business who are actually making money. If you find one willing to talk, find out how he's filling empty positions, where he's finding loads, what made him successful. And also ask him about tie down chains and straps.

Remember: Safety is no accident.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Car Hauler for Sale

Here are the latest car haulers for sale at West Coast Enterprises. Looks like late-model Cottrell trailers are hard to come by!

2006 FREIGHTLINER cottrell car hauler COLUMBIA
/C-10LT Caterpillar C-15 47548' '13 Speed $221,746

2006 PTRB cottrell car hauler 379 Caterpillar C-15 47548'' 13 Speed Call!

2001 FREIGHTLINER/BOYDSTUNFL 112/9178S Caterpillar C-12 4302413 Speed$105,000

2001 Peterbilt379/9178SCAT C15 5504813 Speed$125,000

2001 Peterbilt379 /3 CAR BOYDCaterpillar 3406E 5504818$119,000

2000 FreightlinerFLD120Caterpillar C15 5504813 Speed$130,000

2000 FREIGHTLINER/BOYDFLD 120/9178SCAT 3406E 4754813 Speed $70,000

2000 FREIGHTLINER/BOYDSTUN FLD 120/9178SCAT 3406E 4754813 Speed $87,500

2000 FREIGHTLINER cottrell car hauler FLD120/C-14IWADetroit SERIES 60 50048''10 Speed $91,500

2000 FREIGHTLINER/DELAVAN FL112/2878CAT C12 43030''10 Speed $69,500

1999 Freightliner FLD120Detroit SERIES 60 50048RTLO16913A $73,500

1999 FREIGHTLINER/BOYDSTUN FLD 120/9189SCAT 3406E 60"$68,000

1999PTRB/BOYDSTUN379/9101QLCaterpillar C-15 55036"18 speed $88,000

1997 Peterbilt379 EXHD/C-14Caterpillar 3406E 55048''18 SPEED $67,000

1997 PTRB/BOYDSTUN379Detroit SERIES 60 4754813 Speed $63,000

1995 International 4900/4CCINTERNATIONAL DT 466 5 Speed $18,500

1995 VOLVO/BOYDSTUN610/9178SDetroit SERIES 60 37060"13 Speed $62,000

Press Release Source: International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Teamster Members at Allied Continue Strike Authorizations
Tuesday June 13, 10:54 am ET
Company Threatens Continued Interim Wage Rates

WASHINGTON, June 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Managers at Allied Holdings, Inc. repeated their request to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Georgia on June 8, 2006, to continue to impose wage and compensation reductions at the U.S.- operations of Allied Systems, Ltd., F.J. Boutell Driveaway Company, LLC and Transport Support, LLC, from July 1, 2006 through September 30, 2006.

The bankruptcy court has scheduled a hearing on Allied's motion beginning June 23, 2006 in Atlanta.

"Current managers at Allied have failed job one in the trucking industry and the Teamsters national negotiating committee as well as many of our affected members will oppose this latest attack against our contract at the court in Atlanta," said Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. "Intentional neglect of the operating fleet in order to pay non-productive and exorbitant turnaround fees and bonuses totaling multi-millions of earned revenue dollars is unacceptable."

Teamster drivers, yard personnel and maintenance employees perform skilled and dedicated professional service in a physically demanding, time-sensitive industry.

On June 10 and 11, members working at Allied in the jurisdictions of Local 89, Louisville, Kentucky; Local 327, Nashville, Tennessee; Local 957, Dayton, Ohio; Local 299, Detroit, Michigan; Local 355, Baltimore, Maryland; Local 961, Denver, Colorado; Local 391, Greensboro, North Carolina attended specially- called meetings. Members at the meetings showed unanimous support for a resolution authorizing strike action if Allied uses the bankruptcy court to reject and void Allied's participation in the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) and Supplements. These authorizations follow the similar support received from the members of Local 332 in Flint, Michigan on June 4.

"It is obvious to all industry employees that Allied's current management has breached the basic covenant between management and Teamster labor under the NMATA," said Fred Zuckerman, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Car hauler wants wage cuts extended

Allied is doing it again

Found this article tonight by the following writer:

By Robert Schoenberger
The Courier-Journal

Car hauler Allied Holdings, which is in bankruptcy, has asked a court for permission to extend wage cuts for its drivers until Sept. 30. The temporary wage cuts are set to expire at the end of this month.

The Teamsters union, which represents the drivers, said it will fight the proposal.

Last month, Allied won approval from a federal bankruptcy court in Georgia to cut the wages by 10 percent. It said without the cuts it would run out of money by July. In court filings then, Allied said it would spend the two months trying to negotiate a contract with the Teamsters.

But if talks failed, the company said then, it would ask the court to void its union contracts. Union leaders said contract cancellations would likely lead to a nationwide strike, which would make it difficult for automakers to move vehicles from plants to dealerships.

Allied is the country's largest auto hauler. In Kentucky, it has terminals in Louisville, Georgetown and Bowling Green serving Ford, Toyota and General Motors plants.

Fred Perillo, an attorney for the Teamsters, said Allied has not offered a workable contract in negotiations, and he said he plans to oppose the extension of wage cuts at a hearing on June 23.

"Our objective is to protect our members," Perillo said. He added that he sees no benefit in keeping wages depressed while the company drags its feet at the negotiating table.

In its filings, Allied said it was ready to request that the contracts be voided but was asked by an investor to seek the extension and continue negotiating with the Teamsters.

The Yucaipa Cos., a California investment firm owned by Democratic Party fundraiser Ronald Burkle, bought about two-thirds of Allied's $150 million in bonded debt. The investment firm retains former President Bill Clinton and civil-rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson as advisers.

In its filing, Allied said Yucaipa asked it to continue bargaining and arranged a $30 million loan so the company could keep paying its bills.

Yucaipa representatives did not return calls seeking comment on their request to delay the contract cancellations.

The firm has been described as union-friendly.

Last year, when Yucaipa invested $150 million in Pathmark grocery stores in New Jersey, United Food and Commercial Workers President Joe Hansen said the firm has great relationships with unions.

Yucaipa is working with the union representing newspaper employees in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to buy the Times-Leader from its parent, the McClatchy Co., and turn it into an employee-run operation.

In addition to extending the pay cuts by another three months, Allied asked for permission not to make increased payments to its pension and health care plans that are scheduled to take effect Aug. 1.

Reporter Robert Schoenberger can be reached at (502) 582-4669.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Ok, finally! Apparently you just have to wait a hellaciously long time before the blogger computer figures out what to do with these pictures.

Meant to get these up months and months ago. Somebody from Southeastern Transport wasnice enough to send me some new pictures of the Boydstun screw trailers they bought to haul Toyotas.

I'd be interested in hearing what folks think. I've heard good things from Walter down at Southeastern. Some other guys at Selland were grumbling last year about too much maintenance on the Cottrell screw trailer, but I didn't hear too much beyond the fact that the maintenance guy wasn't too keen on lubing those screws once a week. Don't even know if that's required, though that is a heck of a lot of metal-on-metal.

Boydstun Screw Trailer

Hopefully if you click on this, you'll see the new Boydstun screw trailer.
If not, I may have to take this computer out to the driveway and drive over it a couple times.

Coming Soon: Auto Transport Directory

Of course soon is a relative term. We'd like to get as much in it as possible: auto transport equipment repair facilities, manufacturers, salesmen, parts, finance, insurance... you name it. (I'm tired of working so hard to find phone numbers when I need them... seems like there ought to be a book for car haulers!)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Boydstun Screw Actuators Selling Well

Sources in the industry report that Boydstun is in the process of closing a huge deal that will give a boost to their screw actuator auto transport trailer line. They're already selling around four screw trailers for every hydraulic car hauler!

Must be nice to be a car hauler salesman these days!

My back-of-the-envelope calculation puts the gross of this one deal at over $17 million. I'd take 5% of that any day of the week.

Looks like there's a big deal in the works from Honda in rail auto transport, too. We'll have to see what happens there. If Greenbriar Gunderson gets that deal, then the Portland, Oregon area will get a "two-fer"

(Boydstun Metalworks is located in Portland. I think Gunderson is in Beaverton, which is close by.)

If you can't see the image to the left, go to

But don't expect to get your new screw trailer any time soon. I hear Boydstun has a hell of a backlog. From what we're hearing from dealers like Rush, it's the same over atCottrell trailers, though I don't think their screw trailer is anywhere near as popular as Boydstun's. Time will tell I guess.

The big question is what these rigs will be worth at turn-in time, and how many guys will want them. I'm guessing that if they do well, there will be a pretty good market with the medium-sized fleets picking up at the ports. The open design of the screw actuator car hauler lends itself well to that kind of car hauling operator. Not sure how many POV car haulers will be jumping onto the bandwagon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Auto Transport Trailer Manufacturers and Freightliner Trucks

I might have been hallucinating, but I think I heard someone say the other day that Cottrell Trailers is putting out six or eight trailers a day. I have no idea how much Boydstun is making up there in Portland, but the other day when I was talking to Mark Mecklam, he had about thirty seconds before he had to take another call.

That Cottrell number might not be far off the mark. I was talking to someone at Rush Truck Center the other day and he said he wasn't having trouble getting new Peterbilts, but getting trailers was like pulling teeth.

Haven't talked to Jakes in a while, but if these guys are THIS busy, Jakes Truck Center will be ten times as busy. He was busy when everything was slumping a while back.

I have no corroboration on those numbers from Cottrell Trailers, but if they're true, and if Boydstun is as busy as they seem, I've got to believe it has to do with the 2007 emission standards for commercial trucks.

A reliable source says Freightliner's North Carolina plant is pumping out over 200 tractors a day. 200 Freightliners a day!

Seems as if every fleet in the country decided to upgrade at the same time.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Improvements to CarloadUSA

Latest Additions:
One click setup of Instant Notification when new loads posted
Distance & Directions available for all loads
Carrier Package available online
Broadcast email regarding Available Space to all brokers
Broker's phone hours and carrier requirements added
New members that want to View Loads (Carriers and Carrier/Brokers) get a 30-day free trial and then pay a fee of $19.95 per month. Membership to Post Loads only is FREE.
To find out more, go to

Telephone Service

Normally, I don't talk about things that aren't related to car hauling equipment or the car hauling business, but I wanted to draw your attention to a new affiliate for Carhauler News: Lingo. This is an amazing company offering VOIP telephone service.

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. What this basically means is that you can use your DSL or cable broadband internet service to make phone calls now.

There are several different companies that have really started to pull ahead of the others in VOIP service, to my knowledge, Lingo offers the best service yet, especially compared with adding an additional line through your regular phone company.

Between long distance, local service, fees and taxes, I was easily spending over $120 a month for my second business line. For $20 a month, I now get unlimited local and long distance calls in the US, Canada as well as over a dozen countries in Europe!

Basically, I'm saving about $1,200 a year by using this service. The calls are actually clearer than they were when I had my second business line, plus I get free voice mail, call forwarding, three-way calling, speed dial, call return, caller ID block and a bunch of other features. My phone company made me choose my top three. If I wanted more than that, I had to pay extra. If I wanted to call Canada, I had to pay extra.

What's really funny is my Lingo phone service runs on my DSL which is provided by the local phone company.

An additional source of savings comes from the fact that I don't have to pay a bunch of stupid local, state and federal taxes for the extra phone line.

I highly recommend this service. If you want to try it out for yourself, click on the link to the right. The good news is you don't have to be highly technical to get the thing to work. I set up my Lingo box and got my service working in about a half hour.

Their customer service is also great. After making a change to my office's network configuration, I discovered my VOIP line wasn't working. After trying some basic tricks to get it to come back, I called customer service. After about a five minute hold, a service tech came on the phone. In about fifteen minutes, we had the whole thing sorted out and the VOIP line was working great.

If you want to ask me about the service, you can me on the Carhauler News VOIP phone! Our number is 503-342-2085.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Buy & Sell New & Used Trailers at -- Search

Buy & Sell New & Used Trailers at -- Search: "2006 Featherlite Enclosed Carhauler Mdl#4926"

I've been thinking for some time we need to have a site dedicated to the smaller types of carhauler trailers, parts and supplies. This site here has over a hundred of smaller car hauling trailers, both enclosed and open.

Auto recalls archive for 1998 boydstun trailer vehicles

Auto recalls archive for 1998 boydstun trailer vehicles: "ACCURIDE/AKW WILL REPLACE THESE WHEELS."

For the price they charge for aluminum wheels, it's nice to see manufacturers standing behind them!

Auto Recalls: 1997 - BOYDSTUN - TRAILER -- Nolo

Auto Recalls: 1997 - BOYDSTUN - TRAILER -- Nolo: "1997 BOYDSTUN TRAILER - WHEELS:RIM"

I never heard of this one myself, but I suppose if you've got a 1997 Boydstun, this would be worth looking into.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Allied Holdings seeks salary cuts - Atlanta Business Chronicle:

Allied Holdings seeks salary cuts - Atlanta Business Chronicle:: "Allied Holdings Inc. has filed a motion in Bankruptcy Court to reduce its unionized employees' salaries by 10 percent, which would save the company about $2 million each month and possibly save it from liquidation."

Maybe it's time some of those boys get themselves a truck and trailer?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

GM, Ford sales go downhill, Toyota zooms ahead- The Economic Times

GM, Ford sales go downhill, Toyota zooms ahead- The Economic Times

What this means for the auto transport industry is anybody's guess. Might help to brush up on your Japanese. What I've been thinking about lately is how out-of-touch GM, Ford and Chrysler are with the female car-buyer. (Sorry, still think of Chrysler as an American brand!)

Just a few weeks ago, my wife wanted a new car. I suggested several possibilities: the Ford 500, a used Chevy Tahoe (to pull my new boat on the weekends!).

My wife actually test-drove the Ford 500 and loved the handling, fit, finish, etc. It seemed too much of an "old person's car", so she wasn't interested in buying one. I was interested in the Tahoe for reasons of safety and boat-towing ability, but she didn't like the fuel economy, didn't want something that big (she parks in a garage downtown and has trouble with the pillars). Besides, she didn't really feel like she was a truck person.

After borrowing her mom's Toyota Camry, she decided she really liked the way that drove. On the way to the dealer to buy a Toyota Camry, we passed a Honda dealer. As an avid reader of the car review in the Saturday paper, I recalled that the new Honda V6 got rave reviews for comfort and performance. She test drove a fully loaded EXL and it was love at first sight. After driving the Accord, she did try out a new Camry, but it felt a bit "stodgy" to her after the V6 Accord. Needless to say, we bought the Honda.

What really struck me about the whole experience was how no GM product (other than the Tahoe-- which I brought up) or any Chrysler at all even came under consideration.

Driving by the line-up of the new cars at the local Chrysler dealer, it struck me how far off the mark their designers are when it comes to the female buyer. It's like they made a decision that they'll sell mini-vans to the moms and pickups and Chargers to the dads-- and that's it!

Ford is making an attempt to get the female buyer with the new front-wheel drive car... hell I can't even remember its name right now! At one point, I we were thinking about the mini SUV they built on the 500's platform, but then we looked up reliability and Consumer Reports didn't rank them very high, so that was the end of that.

I'm glad my wife is happy with her new Honda, but I've got to admit-- I'm really not a Honda guy. Plus the disconnect between American car makers and American women doesn't bode well for these companies' fortunes.

I think we could be looking at a future where Ford builds nothing but SUV's and trucks and the Mustang GT (My next car.) GM will continue the trucks and SUV's, plus Cadillac and Corvette. Pontiac? Oldsmobile? Buick?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Auto hauler hires turnaround expert

Auto hauler hires turnaround expert: "PTS, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year, is the
second largest transporter of new automobiles, sport-utility vehicles and light trucks in North America. It operates three trucking lines: E
and L Transport, Hadley Auto Transport and Leaseway Motorcar Transport, which together deliver approximately 3.8-million new cars and light trucks annually."

What's going on at the top of the food chain? Correction of over-supply? Look for some of these divisions to get spun for cash.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Autohauler Shopper

Autohauler Shopper:
NEW 2005 WESTERN STAR LOWMAX, SERIES 60 14.0 Detroit 515 HP, 13 Spd,
Engine Brake, Air Ride Suspension, 3.55 Ratio, 249' WB, 48' Star Light
Sleeper-Low Roof, 22.5 Tires, All Aluminum Wheels, Tandem Axle, 0 m...

This site has 125 pieces of auto transport equipment to view!


Friday, January 27, 2006

West Coast Enterprises: Cottrell and some Boydstun

Unit# Year Make Model Engine Sleeper Transmission Price JTS019982006FreightlinerCL120/C7510Caterpillar C-15 4754813 SpeedCall!JTS019992006FreightlinerCL120/C7510Caterpillar C-15 4754813 SpeedCall!JTS3372006Western StarLOMAX /C7512MSTCaterpillar C-15 4755813 SpeedCall!WCCN542532005FreightlinerCOLUMBIA/9178SACaterpillar C-15 55058RTLO18913A$225,000ATG1082001FRGHT/COTTRELLCLASSIC/C12Detroit SERIES 60 5004813 Speed$97,0005570512001Peterbilt379 /3 CAR BOYDCaterpillar C-15 4754813 Speed$100,000WCH877453713662001SterlingLT9501\2878Cummins ISM350 350RTX14710C$62,500WCCF592632756902000FreightlinerFLD120Caterpillar 3406E 4754813 Speed$115,000WC5499382000Peterbilt379/C7512Caterpillar C-15 47536"10 Speed$91,500WCC5226632000Peterbilt379/4000Caterpillar 3406E 47563"RTLO18918B$90,0005054822000Peterbilt379 /3 CAR BOYDCaterpillar 5506313 Speed$110,000WCC5226632000Peterbilt379/4000Caterpillar 3406E 55018 Speed$90,0005054772000PTRB/BOYDSTUN379/9178Caterpillar 3406E 5504813 Speed$100,000WCCF985512000SterlingDAYCAB CARHAULECummins ISM 370Daycab10 Speed$69,500WCLN2952551990Peterbilt379Caterpillar 3406 42536"9 Speed$38,000