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Some of These Guys Make Me Shudder In Disbelief

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Topic Originally Created by rdonchann on Tow411 in March of 2013:


The insurance pool sends a contractor to do a pickup and it goes something like this:

  Young kid comes in the office wearing a white t shirt, jeans and white cloth tennis shoes and announces he is here for the pickup. They start on the paperwork and I look at his truck and see he has a FWD loaded on the deck and the back wheels are torn up. I ask him how he is going to take it since the Ford Ranger that he is picking up needs to be loaded because the front wheels are smashed and it is a RWD automatic. He says I don't know, the boss sent me and told me they both needed to be loaded but somebody has to be lying cause I can't load both of them and I have to take them both back with me.

  Kid says he will assess the Ranger and figure it out. We go out in the pen and he is looking at the Ranger and says this is front wheel drive right? I will just chain it to my wheel lift. I tell him no it is RWD, I have told you twice and I have told the three other people that called before you got here that it needs to be loaded. You are standing here looking at it and I have to tell you?!

 "I will call my boss," says the kid. He gets the boss on the phone and can't explain the situation to the boss so he asks me to explain. Boss is as bright as the kid driving the truck, says he will figure it out and call the kid back. I hand the kid his phone back. "This is front wheel drive so I can just pick up the front and tow it!", he tells me for the third time.

  I just look at him and ask how long he has been doing this. He stutters and pops then tells me 6 months but I can see in his eyes it is a big lie. Then he blurts out , " BUT THIS TOWING STUFF ISN'T ROCKET SCIENCE, RIGHT?" I tell him it might not be rocket science but he is sure having a hard time deciding which end of the rocket points up. He then tells me it is the boss' fault because they make him haul 40-60 cars a day. I shake my head and walk away knowing this kid could not look at 60 cars a day much less move em.

  He comes back into the office and says boss told him we can set it outside of the pen and he will get it later. I explain to him that if I have to move it, there will be a charge. I also explain that what ever happens to it once it is outside the fence is their problem because I will have the $$ and the vehicle is in their control.

 About 15 more minutes on the phone with the boss and they decide to deal with it another day.

 This kind of expertise is what the pools attract! 2 Buck Chuck is gonna get rich with the pool! Chuck is gonna kill somebody if he doesn't go broke first! I can rant and rave about what gives our industry a bad name and on and on but I am preaching to the choir. You guys know the drill. I just had to blow off some steam.


mooresbp said:

Why didn't he just pull the shaft?



The salvage guys around here would pick it from the front and go. any additional damage is none of their concerns. had one thursday, wrecked caddy on the bed, drug a HHR onto the deck behind it and smashed the fronts together.


wreckerman05 said:

Id  doubt that he had any tools--or knowledge on removing it---Ive had then tow out fwd,s backwards(vehicle hit in rear)--going 60 miles to drop-point-and usually on a rwd vehicle they hook-it and go with the drive wheels on the ground,shaft still in


ronin said:

If the kid doesn't know that a Ranger is RWD (or 4WD), and has been since they were born in '82... he certainly hasn't got a clue about removing a driveshaft. One of the first things I do when training a new guy is to have him walk around the yard examining vehicles so he can tell whether they're FWD/RWD/AWD/4x4 and where the hook up points are - you can't teach this in a day or two, they just have to learn it on their own. Writing down stuff on a chalkboard in a classroom won't do it, either.

With that said, I won't hire a guy who doesn't know that most Audis are AWD, all Subarus after 1997 are AWD, and pickups with full frames are primarily RWD.


rdonchann said:

If he didn't have sense enough to know it was rwd he sure didn't have sense enough to pull the shaft.


someotherplace said:

Yeah - if he can't tell RWD from FWD and understand already why it matters, then I doubt he knows how to spin a wrench on the simplest of jobs.



hti said:

its sad that you have to tell him its RWD but 3 times makes you wonder how he passed his driving test. Not that he has a CDL but just a plain old drivers license.


VERNON75 said:

They came to pick one up from me last week, he showed up with a 4x4 gmc pick up on the deck and a small fwd car in tow, it had to be a 26' deck or so, I didnt ask. He unloaded both vehicles put the small car he had with him on the back of the deck, hooked the winch to the focus he was getting from me and pulled that up while pushing his other car further on, they both wouldn't fit so he kept winching till they were both on but the bumper of the lead car was 2' past the winch (stationary headache rack). slid the bed up as far as he could , at least a couple feet before the bed locks. Chained the 4x4 gmc to the wheel lift put it in neutral shrugged his shoulders and off he went. The scary thing is it looked like he had plenty of experience doing things like that!!


Brian B 11 said:

Had one last week it was a AWD jeep and he already had something on the bed witch could be towed and I mentioned that to him and he who give a f*%* they don't pay me enough to unload and reload so he chains up the jeep to the wheel lift on the bed and takes off with all 4 wheels spinning going down the road..


ronin said:

Those salvage towers don't care,If seen them hang AWD vehicles off the wheel-lift with J Hooks and tow them with the wheels spinning.Secondary Damage doesn't mean anything to them.


FredsTowingNJ said:

The only way they can even generate any kind of money(Not profit) is to hook and book.



Had one Thursday come by in a 3/4 or 1 ton pick up  with an old sling bolted in the bed. I asked if he had a tow permit, side stepped me and tried to change the subject. Asked 2X and then told him he better have one if he is going to tow out of my yard. Ask where his yard is, he says he is from the next town over, he tells me next to a competitor of mine, which I know is bullshit. Then ask again and tell him I wasn't born yesterday, get another bullshit address, and more double talk.Get the COPART check and meet him out back. He says you told me I could tow this car (99 Camry popped in nose), I say yes you can, he says "how, car is facing wrong way". Oh boy........ Now I look at truck, pass plates NO tow permit sticker, right ft wheel is falling off, wiped bearing, unsafe hunk of crap. I ask again, he blows up and says your refusing to allow me to take this car.................yup, sure am. He says F this shit Im going to go get my flat bed and burns out of our lot. Hour later another company comes to get the car.........I should have refused and charged extra, but this kid was a very nice kid who is in our yard often and only gets 40 bucks from my yard to Hillsborough CoPart.  Amazing the ramifications of COPART, one poor bastard can't afford to be legal, and the nice kid is loseing his ass and doesnt know it yet. Shame on the bottom feeders who screw our industry.......this is what we get.
Al Campbell
Boro Collision & Towing
WreckMaster 67A


hookrite said:

Heck I had one the other day that could NOT understand That he had to turn his truck around and back up to the vehicle......had to almost draw him a picture.........


quigma1 said:

not knowing the drive axle is one thing, not knowing how to hook and load in another, and how about not knowing how to write the check out for the towing and storage bill? Then you can get into the proper attire down to the footwear. Leaving car parts that belong to the vehicle on the ground and just take the car, yeah, we have that too and more. If the insurance industry really cared about their salvage, they wouldn't allow these haulers near their vehicles. Brings to mine when Copart had all their own trucks and drivers how they wedged the first vehicle on the deck with a second vehicle and winch the first into the headboard, with no tie down chains. Secondary damage was the norm for them, guess nobody at corporate or the insurance company cared....


Brian991219 said:

It is not just the salvage haulers, they are usually some of the worst but I have seen many large, well known, and often respected tow companies that let their drivers run wild. I have a good friend who works for a large (60+ trucks at 5 locations) east coast company right now where it is the norm for flatbed drivers to use only one J-hook on the rear of a car, no safeties, use the wheel lift as a sling even on good cars, etc. They even have some drivers who think it is ok to just park a car on the deck if it is only a in town or short tow! Sad part is, the owner of this company is the president of the state tow association and all of these drivers are at least TRAA level 1 or Wreckmaster 2/3 certified, it is required to obtain their county tow permit, so they know better but just chose to disregard safety for a false idea of speed or efficiency.

I know some of you will not believe it but Jim can testify as he worked and trained with me, I was a driver trainer for Copart in New York and we were pricks with regard to safety, pulling shafts, secondary damage. Our general manager, who is now a regional manager, the fleet manager, or the yard manager would randomly inspect trucks in the yard and on the road for proper hookup, log books, etc and if it wasn't right you were in big trouble. You would be fired on the spot if your wheel lift wasn't secured correctly. They were so bad our 7 car driver carried a touch up kit with him just in case he put scratches in the roof of a junker on his top deck. It is sad how the salvage transport industry has become full of bottom feeders, the same thing is happening to the used car transport industry and in some areas of our country even the regular towing industry.


hookrite said:

And if you say anything to them they look at you like you are crazy........


ronin said:

Brian, you're absolutely right! I can't recall the manager's name.. Bruce? I was backing my four car into the spot for unloading, and was worried about the hard cut I had to make, so since I was waiting for another guy to finish dropping, I pulled my tow lights and safeties of the car on the wheel lift. He came over after I had pulled into position and lost his frikkin mind on me...I explained what I did, he was ok with that, I guess, but was pissed that there was just the possibility of shortcuts while towing. I see these one-chain Charlies and other hacks and it makes me mad....

Talked to one owner today - he said the only way he could get his guys to comply with two chains on the back (forget front safeties), was to tell them that the state police called. I asked him.. "why not just grow some testicles?"


Brian Bell said:

I had a 4car and picked up salvage for 6 years and less then a dozen times did I have already damaged parts of vehicles touching and that was on a 28ft bed... Trust me I learned an "Inch is as Good as A Mile" and I'm sure some folks thought I was crazy. I think I scuffed a good bumper one time and it made me sick!! I saw the Copart trucks do all kinds of damage to cars that may be returned to their owner before it was all said and done... But here are some pictures cause an "Inch is as Good as A Mile" and "A picture is worth a thousand words"

This one was in front of my shop about a year ago... Yep thats no optical illusion.. it is through the windshield and got the roof.



This happened last week to a local towing company that hauls for Copart... I've not heard officially what happened but was told that day the vehicle in tow had an electrical issue and caught on fire but when the driver saw smoke and stopped the flames caught the oil on his bed on fire and that caught the vehicle on the bed on fire which caught the rollback on fire... I love how the news says the two vehicles were a "total loss" ... Hell they were a "total loss" before and I'm sure the wrecker is Toast also...


That same day this Know-It-All met his Father-in-law at my shop to pick up his vehicle after I told him several times it wouldn't tow... This is what he did... Keep in mind about 2 hours earlier that rollback was burning, my wife asked me if I said anything to him? I said NO he paid my bill let him figure it out for himself.




ronin said:

Maxima backwards on a car dolly? Wow.


someotherplace said:

Shoulda told that boy and his old man they both had promising careers as salvage haulers. forum_data/forums.to/tow4/tow411/smilies/689.gif They're clearly qualified!



ronin said:

They came back today. The driver said the kid had been there a max of two weeks and after Friday he never came back to work. I blame the owner more than the kid. These guys who just toss the keys and tell them to go do it need to be horse whipped.


Wes Wilburn said:

But think about how much money the insurance companies are saving---- yeah right!

Does the saying "you get what you pay for" come to mind?


George Geissinger said:

What's the difference if they ruin it on the way or after it gets there. I stoped buying from there years ago because of there A Holes on the fork lift. I had a bunch of good cars come with busted trans case and pan as well as good drives with bent floor pans and ripped off exhaust.

someotherplace said:

George - no doubt! I've flattened out more than a couple floors on auction cars we used to sell at our tote-the-note lot. People around there were so broke they didn't care the title said "salvage" on it. We didn't sell flood cars, just repaired wrecks. Obviously they weren't bad cars, no money in putting a ton of parts and labor into a hard hit and then attempt to resell it. Well, unless all your work is done half-ass by a bunch of illegals. We were doing the work ourselves. Simple formula, down payment is the amount you have in the car, if they never make a note on it, you haven't lost. Just go repo it and sell it again. Works great in small towns.



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