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Old 02-05-2011, 17:10   #1
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Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

I just want to give the cruisers a heads up and let you learn from my experience. Last spring we were looking for a trucker to haul our boat from Port Canaveral to Seattle. We asked here on the forum and got some good advice. We were told to watch out for scammers that charge deposits up front and never show up. We contacted one of the trucking companies that was recommended in Florida and they agreed to do the job for around $15K without requiring an up front deposit. This was about $3k cheaper than other quotes we had heard a good report from them. So we signed the contract with them.

About a month before they were supposed to pick up, I received an e-mail that they had a truck break down and would be a week late. Then a week later, they said they would be another week late. They suggested maybe I try someone else and hinted that maybe they had underbid the job. And they said that technically I wasn't even on their list since I didn't give them a deposit up front. By this point the summer
delivery season was in full swing and nobody was available for a couple months. I was panicking so I sent them the deposit right away. They kept slipping a week at a time and eventually picked up my boat a month late. This wouldn't normally be a big deal, but I had already put my boat in the Seattle charter fleet and was going to miss one of the three biggest charter months of the year, July.

About the time they picked up the boat they called and said that there might be detours and that they might have to drive extra mileage. This seemed strange since my contract with them was for a fixed price bid and there was no mention of mileage or price-per-mile anywhere in the contract. All across the country he kept calling me and telling me about his delays and detours. I figured this is just part of being a trucker, it's not like this was their first
delivery. They told me "Obama decided to tear up all the highways in the country all at once".

When they arrived in Seattle I checked the boat out and there wasn't any significant damage. They backed the boat up to put it in the slings and the owner/driver told the guys not to lift the boat up until he told them to. Then he told me I owed him another $3K because of his detours. When I refused and told him we had a fixed price contract he told me if I didn't pay, he would just take the boat and leave it in
California, where he was headed next. I said that he couldn't steal my boat like that and that I would call the police. He said "You can call the police but they'll just tell you this is a civil matter and there's nothing they can do". Seems like he has done this before because later, when the police showed up, that is exactly what they said, word for word, right before they left.

He told the yard workers to undo the slings and he pulled the boat back onto the street. When he did this, he ran the side of my boat into the trees lining the road and did about $5k in damage to the stanchions, lifelines and toe rails. I didn't notice this until later when I paid him the extra $3k (on the advice of a lawyer I called) and we put the boat in the
water.

When the boat was in the
water back down at eye level, we saw all the damage and the tree limbs and leaves on the boat and one of the yard workers said he saw the truck driver hit the trees with my boat. The driver wrote on my copy of the bill of laden that he was responsible for the damage and then he drove off for California.

Later, we went back and forth over the phone about repairing the damage. The driver/owner actually thought he would just mail me a couple stanchions off the shelf from a
marine store and call it good. I compared that to driving a car into someone's living room and then dropping off a new window. Then it turned into the owner saying, "well on my copy of the bill of laden, it doesn't say that I'm responsible".

At that point I decided to approach the repair issue from a different angle and I contacted the
insurance company. It took lots of research and numerous phone calls to get the insurance co since the trucker refused to provide me with the insurance policy info. What I found out is that there are two different policies, one for the truck and the other for the cargo. The cargo policy has a $5K deductible. They sent an adjuster out to price the damage, and then I was told I would have to get the trucking company to pay for all damages up to the amount of the deductible.

So, I got extorted an extra $3k on the
delivery, got stuck holding the bag for $5k in repairs and lost a month of charter revenue. Needless to say I’m not done with them, but it has been a HUGE pain to deal with. Hopefully you guys can learn something from my experience.
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Old 02-05-2011, 17:22   #2
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

Yikes!!! thanks for the heads up and sorry to hear your ordeal!! Keep us posted on this ongoing situation and hopefully quick resolution!! I really hope this owner/driver gets his business and license revoked, or whatever you guys do there in the U.S. Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2011, 17:31   #3
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

Sorry to read this, what a nightmare! I suggest that you name the company, so we all know who not to use.
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Old 02-05-2011, 17:32   #4
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

Please contact the OP by private message for details ; -)
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:12   #5
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

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Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
Please contact the OP by private message for details ; -)

There seems to be only one detail missing, the most important one.
Who does this?

Kenny
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:22   #6
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

Simply awful! Thanks for warning us against people like this.

Sorry you had to pay for us to get a bit of experience, but thanks loads for sharing.

I'd also take one more step and post about this expeience on Angie's List too.
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:29   #7
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

I don't think you should be bashful about saying who the hauling company is. It's the most effective way to put an end to such behavior.
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:31   #8
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

Unfortunately there are legal issues at play here.

Please, if you need the details because you are in that area and needing those services, contact SailingYoungs. I am SURE he will be glad to tell all ; -)
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:41   #9
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

I think it needs to be pointed out that the naming of any company on a public forum in a negative light, and is a party to a lawsuit could be considered libelous.
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:46   #10
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

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Originally Posted by perchance View Post
I think it needs to be pointed out that the naming of any company on a public forum in a negative light, and is a party to a lawsuit could be considered libelous.
And is against forum policy. No vendor disputes. The OP discussed with staff how to post the story without running afoul of da rules and has done so.

It is challenge not to be taken of advantage sometimes. I don't imagine too many people get through life without having it happen.

How would people choose a carrier like this? What criteria would you use?
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Old 02-05-2011, 19:16   #11
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

A few little tips that might help one in the future.

1) Make sure you have a contract that spells on fixed or firm price and the agreed upon price.

2) Take pictures of your boat (or other shipped item) and have the owner/operator sign the pictures as to the condition of the boat, or make a statement on your bill of lading, before he loads the boat (he is responsible for damage once the boat touches his rig). If you are moving personal items in a moving van, do the same thing for TVs, etc.

3) Verify he has insurance for the cargo.

4) If there is a problem with the delivery, he isn't going to hual a boat to California from Seattle or other location and then pay to have the boat lifted off his trailer, the cost would be prohibitive. Additionally, he had to pull travel permits to move the boat to Seattle and they are only good for that trip. A call to the Highway Patrol/DOT stating the boat is not authorized by the owner to travel to California and there is no legal lean on the boat will prevent the HWP/DOT from granting the permit. The HWP cannot grant a permit if there is a dispute. You could also park you car infront of his truck to prevent it from moving. That "pay or I take the boat" move was, in my opinion pure bluff. Additionally, oversized load permits won't be granted on a Saturday or Sunday in most cases, they (DOT) don't like the oversized loads slowing down weekend traffic.

5) If your attorney advised you to pay him, he also should have told you the owner/operator MUST provide you with reciepts and a copy of his log book to back the additional charges up. A check on the internet with each state's DOT will verify any construction along his planned route. Since he had to verify bridge clearances, he most likely did this as well.

6) One he signs over delivery, the boat is no longer being transported, his moving it again without your permission is no longer a civil matter, now the boat is stolen.

7) Since you stood to loose money (i.e. loss of income) due to his error, you could sue him and put a lien on his rig.

My job required me to use truckers to haul large loads and I learned a few things from them about permitting, delays and cost increases. I'd also recommend calling a logistic company to do the move for you, as they know all the tricks and put up with all the headaches.
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Old 02-05-2011, 19:55   #12
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

Very sorry for your trials!! I feel so fortunate that my experience was on the other end of the spectrum. My boat just got delivered this afternoon to Deale, MD from Everett WA. I would recommend Associated Boat Transport to my friends, and would use them again without hesitation if I needed this type of service in the future. The trucker was great, communication was great while shipping with updates along the way (a little weak on email pre-ship, but phone calls were always answered), and the boat arrived on time and in the same condition. Fixed price, no deposit, and about 15% less than most other quotes.


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Old 02-05-2011, 20:19   #13
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

Not entirely relevant but I once had a job inspecting new cars for damage that arrived in Hawaii. The cars that were shipped by the manufacturers were rarely damaged beyond what you could cover with a coin, but the privately owned vehicles were about 20% horror stories. There are many disreputable shippers out there. Before I ever ship a vehicle of any kind I plan to get references from professionals in the industry and not even ask for any quotes from shippers that I locate on the internet or in a phone book.
I have so many bad shipper stories, but two stand out. One car, a nearly brand new Miata that the lady shipped from Florida to Honolulu was a total loss. The shipper abandoned the car in Alabama. 3 months later a friend of hers, driving down the I-10 freeway, saw her vanity plates on the car in the junkyard up on the 3rd level of their storage rack. Every panel was damaged, the undercarriage had 5' gouges in it, the convertible top was ripped up and the car had filled with water. It was her first brand new car. She cried on my shoulder for a long time.
Another I saw in California sustained about $10,000 in damage. The shipper told me that the shop had to figure out how to fix it for $3000.00 because that was all he would pay.
I'm really, really sorry for your troubles.
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Old 02-05-2011, 20:30   #14
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

One of the reasons I stopped managing fleets is that I got tired of dealing with truckers. The good news is that you noted the damage on the bill of lading. You have a document that both courts and his insurance carrier will respect. The bad news is these guys can be incredibly hard to serve.

When dealing with them, you have to deal with them at their level. When he started to extort you for an extra 3k, you should have walked away and told him you would see him in court. He was not going to haul that boat to California no matter what he said.

Oh the stories I could tell

Brad

Before I get hate mail from all the "good truckers" I acknowledge there may be some good ones somewhere. I just never met very many
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Old 02-05-2011, 23:01   #15
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Re: Boat Hauler Trucking Nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhorse74 View Post
Before I get hate mail from all the "good truckers" I acknowledge there may be some good ones somewhere. I just never met very many
I've never met them either.

I had a trucker pick my boat up in Florida, park it under an overpass, disconnect the trailer, and then head home "with the flu" for a week while my boat was completely unsecured. During that time he never reported the location or status of the boat to any of the parties concerned. It was only after I reported the boat stolen that we discovered where it was.

Turns out the Florida Highway Patrol had ticketed it.

The trucker later claimed he didn't know he had the flu when he took delivery of the boat, only discovering his condition ten miles later down the freeway.

Get a lien on the guy's truck. That generally gets a trucker's attention.
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