I bought a backhoe about 900 miles away from my house. Local dealers had no inventory, and this unit came with a complete use and service history.
The purchase necessitated hiring a truck to haul same from the dealer to my home. I got the name of a freight broker from a tractor forum (a number of people recommended him), and he quoted $1788 for the load. Someone I found later, told me that the broker posted the run on Truckstop for $1388. As most of you surmise, no one bit. The price was way too low. Almost a week went by, and the selling dealer was getting annoyed. They wanted the unit gone.
Nosing around a FB page, a guy had a hotshot and was looking for loads from where the state where the backhoe was sitting, so I inquired, and he posted a more reasonable price of $2000. Since I was dealing directly with the trucker, I figured the charge was fair on my end. He also told me he could pick up that day. That clinched the deal. Everyone else who bid the job couldn't even guarantee that a truck would take the load.
I asked him for DOT info, proof of insurance, and the DOT inspection on the truck and trailer. The trucker referred me to another guy, whose name and phone jived with a DOT listing. The DOT records showed no accidents, no citations, no revocations, and a million in liability. I also didn't see any complaints about the company. What I didn't notice was that the company was only 3 months old. Warning number one. Also, no indication he hauled heavy equipment. Warning number 2.
I gave them the address of the dealer holding the backhoe, and they promised to send the insurance and DOT as soon as the inspection was completed. They picked up the hoe, and send me pictures. The trailer looked a bit small, but I figured that all hot shots were small. The driver indicated that he was going to drive all night, and he'd be there the next day. I did call my own insurance company, and made sure that the new policy on the hoe was in effect before the trucking company touched the hoe. Just in case.
By evening, none of the promised info showed up. Phone calls and emails to the trucking company owner were ignored. Never heard from that guy again.
The trucker actually did provide updates. The next day came, along with the predicted arrival time. Instead of showing up, he told me that he was two hours away from me because he blew three tires along the way. Further, the last blowout took the axle and hub with it. He told me that it was Easter weekend, and he couldn't get it fixed until Monday or Tuesday. He told me to call around to see if I could find a trailer. Luckily, the load and driver were safe in a rest area, off the highway. I was not thrilled about the idea of an expensive backhoe sitting unsupervised in a rest area for nearly a week.
I'm not the brightest bulb in the circuit, but I figured out that the trailer was completely overloaded, and letting him move my hoe one more foot would put my hoe at risk, along with the lives of anyone traveling that road near him. How he made it 750 miles is beyond me. God must protect the clueless.
I told him not to move the load, and that it seemed that the trailer was not up to the task. I told him that if DOT caught him, the load would be impounded, and he'd be in a load of hurt. I hung up, and called my local Deere dealer, and got the name of a reputable towing company. Bless their soul, the towing firm agreed to send a full size 18 wheeler, with a trailer normally used to haul huge excavators. They also agreed to dispatch him immediately. They quoted 125 an hour, and the tow ended up costing $700. I gladly paid the fare.
Not trusting anything at this point, I drove 150 miles to the rest area, and the hoe was already on the new truck. Realizing that the original guy was probably trying to feed his family, I paid the tow guy his $700 fee, and gave the rest to the original driver. I figured ripping him a new one was a waste of time.
The tow company was beyond amazing, and delivered my hoe to my driveway in one piece. I count myself lucky on so many counts.
Maybe I had too much faith in humanity, but I trusted that the owner of a DOT listed trucking company wouldn't risk his company by letting someone haul a 15,000 pound load with dangerous equipment.
Where did I go wrong? How can I do this better if I need to truck something again? I want to learn from this unfortunate experience. Someone could have gotten killed, and my hoe might have ended up in the ditch.
I did get quotes from Fr8star, but a lot of those brokers seemed as sleazy as well. I did get a lead from the selling dealer, but the lead wanted to charge me for a single, custom load out and back, and the price was over $5000.
Thinking back, although the trucking company guy's name, company name, and phone number jived with multiple web sites, I had no contact info on these guys other than a phone. They could easily have been scammers, who picked up my hoe, trucked it to a NY port, and put it in a container on the way to Mexico.
Train wreck of a transport. Where did I go wrong?
Page 1 of 2
Instead of fooling around with forums or other such sites, you could have asked local equipment sales companies, like that Deere shop, for info on who they use to haul their machines.
Sorry your experience worked out that way.
I dont like saying, "i told you so", but we did.
It still ended up costing you essentially exactly what our bottom dollar would be, had you waited for say a monday pickup, AND a world of headache and worry.
Live and learn i guess
Next time call a reputable flatbed company for a rate quote.
They will have the proper equipment and procedures to move your equipment in a safe timely manner.
Probably cost a bit more than brokering the load, or maybe book a partial if time is not a huge factor, but like they say, you get what you pay for.
Ask the dealer who they deal with most often. They know who's good and who isn't.
I don't really think much heavy equipment gets brokered out. The folks that own equipment know who to use and who not to and often deal direct with the trucking.
Next time call Melton Truck Lines. They would’ve tarped that tractor and no one but you and them would’ve known what was on that trailer. I ain’t kidding.
They’d tarp a load of sod grass in the rain!
This kind of stuff is becoming more & more common. Even around here in my neck of the rural woods there is no shortage of guys with a pick-up & gooseneck hauling "for-hire" that have no operating authority, little experience, & no commercial insurance. Of course their "rates" are reflective of that. Should they wreck and your equipment is destroyed though, good luck getting an insurance settlement from them.
They simply bypass the checkpoints, as they know where they locally set-up, or are telling the DOT that the freight they're carrying is theirs (private carrier)....
Page 1 of 2