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NewLeafca
08-18-2010, 02:45 PM
I was doing great and my week was full. Had just gotten 2 new commercial clients. Updated all my equipment and had a new enclosed trailer. Life was good until....

Driving back home my truck broke down and I pulled off on the side of the freeway. I called AAA to get my truck towed. They came out at 4:30 pm to tow the truck and said they couldn't tow the truck and the trailer. AAA only covers towing the truck. I put the coupler lock on the trailer and left it there. Got the truck towed to repair shop and went to U-haul to rent a truck to go get the trailer. Got back out to where the trailer was at 5:30pm and it was gone. The entire trailer with all my equipment is now gone.

Call CHP to see if they may have towed it and they said they didn't. So I then filed a stolen report with them. Called the insurance company and I can get some money to replace the trailer and equipment but it will take 4 weeks before everything goes through. Spent most of the day today calling clients and letting them know what was happening. So will have to start all over whenever I can. Whenever I get back going again and I get a new trailer I am going to buy one of those boots to but around the wheel and look into putting a LoJack or something like that on it.

MAKLawnCutter
08-18-2010, 03:39 PM
That sucks man :(, im sorry :(.

I couldnt imagine losing all of my equipment like that, i would die probably.

Matt

picframer
08-18-2010, 06:20 PM
First off I am very sorry to hear this happened, I would be devistated to loose anything even though it would be replaced within a very short order.

Do you carry business insurance?

I know in my policy I have loss of use coverage and they will pay for all equipment under $500.00 within 24 hours and anything over within 30 days however they will pay any rental fee until I am fully back in business and Loss of income for any time I am down.

MountainViewGreenskeeper
08-18-2010, 08:39 PM
I really dont know what I would do with myself in that situation. I dodged a bullet a few months back someone tried to take my mower over night. My neighbor wasnt so lucky.

NewLeafca
08-18-2010, 09:25 PM
Do you carry business insurance?

I know in my policy I have loss of use coverage and they will pay for all equipment under $500.00 within 24 hours and anything over within 30 days however they will pay any rental fee until I am fully back in business and Loss of income for any time I am down.

Yes I do have insurance however I don't have the coverage I thought I was getting. Lesson #1 if you don't understand all the legalize in the insurance forms get someone who does.

So basically the insurance has a loss of use coverage and they pay for all equipment under $500.00 like yours. However it is more of a reimbursement than a coverage. Basically what I found out was that my choices are to replace all my equipment out of pocket and they will reimburse me after things go through there system or wait until it goes through the system and get money to replace equipment. The clause in the policy that is holding me up as I now understand it is that if anything is stolen I have to wait a certain amount of time to give law enforcement a chance to recover stolen items. This supposedly helps in fraudulent claims so people don't double there equipment by reporting false thefts. So I due have insurance just not the right kind or the right company.

So make sure you know what insurance you have and don't just go with the cheapest. My company wasn't the cheapest but they were less expensive then others and I already had my cars insured with them. However, there business insurance is lacking. I still like the coverage and service I get with my autos but may look elsewhere for the business insurance once I am up and running again. This is lesson #2 just because your car insurance company offers business insurance it may not be the best for you. Make sure you know what they are offering and what they cover. It may be a little more expensive to go with a different company but they may have better coverage. I went with my car insurance company because they were in the middle price range and they gave me a discount because I have my home and cars through them. So listen close now the bulk discount may not be the best bet. I won't tell you who I have the insurance through because I checked out my car and home insurance through a lawyer and accountant and they are solid. I have been with them for 20 years and have liked there service. It's just there business insurance that is wrong and that is not there specialty.

Now on to a happier note. I was on my way to my younger brothers house for a short visit. The highway was backed up due to a wreck. So my Tom-Tom traffic update told me to take a side road that would be quicker. So I got off the highway and onto the side rode. It was still 15 miles to my brothers house, who lives close to where my trailer was stolen. As I am driving down the side road I passed a trailer that looked like mine on the side of the road. I turned around and went back and the license plate was still there. I checked my title and yes that was my trailer.

I got out and looked at the trailer the wires to the alarm system were all cut. There was a rope around the tongue of the trailer and the coupler lock was still intact. So they must have tied the trailer to a bumper and pulled it off the highway to work on it. The back door lock was cut and laying inside and all the equipment was gone. Even though it was an enclosed trailer instead of using ratchet straps and bungee cords to secure my equipment they were all secured with chains and more padlocks. These all were cut and left on the floor.

So I at least got my trailer back. I called CHP they came out an looked at my title for the trailer and the stolen vehicle report and let me tow it back home. However, they were lazy and the officer never got out of his car to investigate anything. I know he probably wouldn't find much that would help him but it would have made me feel better to know that he at least tried.

So my trailer is at least home but I have nothing to put in it. So will see what I can do to get back more quickly on my feet. I have an old lawn machine mower in my garage that I used to start out with but after several uses on a daily basis it gave out on me and I just set it aside. Will be working on it tomorrow to see if I can get it going again.

picframer
08-19-2010, 05:06 AM
Hard to understand that the law enforcement wouldn't take any efforts to check for finger prints etc. I would have demanded it or gone over his/her head.

The only thing I might suggest other than a review of insurance is a wireless backup to your alarm system, we use wireless GPS which is available in the states also.

Keep an eye in the buy and sell, in fact if you had a ZTR post a wanted in Craigslist or whatever, set up an email that is not your real name or business and see what happens, if you go to look, use a vehicle without a company name and when looking at equipment and it is yours, ask typical consumer type questions, maybe put a $25 deposit on some things if you are certain they are yours, leave, call law enforcement and explain and go back with them.

The other thing you can consider is informing the dealers you deal with that the equipment is stolen, John Deere has (and I do also) the serial number of every piece of equipment we own, the way their system works is if I told them a Stihl chain saw, serial #>>>>>>>> was stolen and they note it in the system, if anyone took that saw in for service to any JD dealer in North America, it will come up stolen, or if they took it to any Stihl dealer.

I wish you all the best, you can explain the situation to your dealer, they will do up an invoice for all the equipment which you could give to the insurance company, my relationship is such that the dealer would give me whatever was taken and we would get the paper work done when the insurance money came through.

Steve
08-19-2010, 09:44 AM
What's the best way to deal with such a situation where your truck breaks down and you are towing a trailer? Should you call for another tow truck for the trailer or what?

Jack Rabbit
08-19-2010, 09:59 AM
I would not have left the trailer there in your situation. If AAA wouldn't tow it then I'd find a friend who could, or hire a towing company other than AAA, or rent or borrow a car that can tow it. I'd stay with it or leave an employee there until it could be moved.

That's in your situation. In my small town I probably would leave it along a less traveled road, most residential areas, but maybe not along the highway.

NewLeafca
08-19-2010, 11:19 AM
What's the best way to deal with such a situation where your truck breaks down and you are towing a trailer? Should you call for another tow truck for the trailer or what?

The towing company said they could tow it for $55.00 hook up fee and $5.00 a mile. So it would have come out to around $130.00 for them to tow it. I thought I would save money by just renting and U-haul to go back and get. The rental only cost me $45.00.

I talked to another guy here in town and he said that he once had to leave his trailer on the road. So he took whatever he could fit in the back of his truck out of the trailer. He then jacked up the trailer and took one of the tires with him also. Not a bad idea now it can't go anywhere.

The towing company said that anytime you are pulling a trailer make sure you let them know so they will send a flatbed out to get it. Then they can put the truck on the flatbed and tow the trailer behind.

picframer
08-19-2010, 03:39 PM
I am curious about the security system you had, how were you powering it and was it outside the trailer? I still own part of a large security company and am curious, a tamper alarm should have went off as soon as they cut the wire, or a motion alarm if it was armed as soon as they tried to move it, just wondering

TouchtonsCLC
08-19-2010, 07:04 PM
Glad you found your trailer. I hope you have luck getting equipment quickly.

NewLeafca
08-19-2010, 07:19 PM
I am curious about the security system you had, how were you powering it and was it outside the trailer? I still own part of a large security company and am curious, a tamper alarm should have went off as soon as they cut the wire, or a motion alarm if it was armed as soon as they tried to move it, just wondering

I have a Trailerguard ELS alarm system on it. It is solar powered with a backup backup battery. There is a control box on the inside of the trailer that looks like thishttp://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/578200_lg.jpg

It has a solar panel on top of the trailer that supplies the power. The alarm is hooked up to the door so when the door is opened it goes off. It does have vibration sensor on it also. It was also supposed to be hooked up to the trailer brakes so when it went off the trailer brakes locked up.

The taillights flash when the alarm goes off also and both of them were busted out. The wires that were cut on the alarm were inside the trailer. http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/additional_images/578200_1_lg.jpgAll of the wires around the green panel were cut and the battery was on the floor. So I don't know if cutting the wires is like disabling the system and it unlocked the brakes. If so I am very disappointed because I paid over $200.00 for the alarm system.

I think that they weren't going to initially take the trailer just whatever was inside. The lock that I had on the back of the trailer door wasn't found with the trailer. So I think they cut that lock on the highway and the alarm went off. The box for the alarm is just inside the door so maybe they saw that and cut that lock off and cut the wires. Should I put the box in the back or somewhere else in the trailer so it is not easy to see? I thought with the alarm it would be more secure but maybe I didn't have it hooked up right.

NewLeafca
08-19-2010, 08:00 PM
Checked with the insurance company today about the policy. The good news is that because I found the trailer and have a police report for a recovered stolen vehicle that speeds things up. So will be getting insurance money faster. However, it will still cost me anywhere from $1000.00 to $1500.00 out of pocket to get back up and running within a week. This will eventually be paid back to me by the insurance company but it's still a lot of money. Going over my books tomorrow with my accountant to see what I can afford to do.

I said earlier that I wouldn't tell you who I had insurance with but now I will. My insurance is with Nationwide. Please understand this I have had my car and my home with them for over 20 years and have always had great service and great prices from them. So I am not knocking them as an insurance company. However, the business insurance I have with them is lacking. This may not be there fault it may be more likely that I didn't know what I was doing and got talked into the wrong policy for me. So I am reviewing everything with a lawyer and finding out if I should do something else.

My brother works at a church here in town and he called me today. There is a man that goes to there church that is a private investigator. My brother told him about how the CHP officer didn't do anything when he came out to the trailer. The PI called me and asked if anything had been done to the trailer since I recovered it. I told him I brought it home and it has been parked out back ever since. He came out today and dusted for prints and took some pictures of the trailer. I don't know if anything will come of it but he did as a favor for my brother so I won't have to pay him. Maybe I can find some of my stuff.

I have all the serial numbers of the equipment that was gone thanks to gopher software program. So he told me to file a new report of stolen items with the serial numbers so if they showed up at pawn shops they would be listed as stolen. So I did that today. I also contacted the local dealers here today like picframer suggested and most of them were happy to help me. I also contacted some of the area small engine repair shops that buy used equipment and gave them the info too.

I know that picframer is a John Deere guy and I am starting to like them now also. I went to the local John Deere center here in town today to give them the info on my stolen equipment. Even though none of my equipment was from John Deere I knew that they also worked on other equipment too. I explained to the guy what had happened and why I was there. He took the info and said he would put it in their system. He then asked me about what I was doing to replace the equipment. So I told him that my insurance was lacking in certain areas and that I had limited funds. He asked me what I needed to get back up and running again and we spent an hour or more going over what it would take to get me back in the game. He crunched some numbers and offered me some great prices on quality used equipment to get me going again. Then he stunned me by offering to let me get the equipment on a payment plan with no interest and no credit check. I am not worried about the credit check but it shocked me that he would even offer this. So I took the info home and am having my accountant and lawyer look over the documents. I have learned my lesson I can make your house the envy of the block but the financial and legal stuff I ain't got a clue. It may only be this guy is nice and I'm not trying to push a certain company, but if it works out I may be able to get some replacement equipment for less money and keep going. Most of my clients have given me two weeks to figure something out before the look elsewhere for service. So I am trying to meet or beat this deadline.

Hedgemaster
08-19-2010, 09:59 PM
I'm glad to hear that things are working out. I'm just starting out and I'd be devastated if just one trimmer were stolen.

Hearing that someone worked to help you get up and running almost restores my faith in my fellow man.

picframer
08-20-2010, 03:42 AM
I know that picframer is a John Deere guy and I am starting to like them now also. I went to the local John Deere center here in town today to give them the info on my stolen equipment. Even though none of my equipment was from John Deere I knew that they also worked on other equipment too. I explained to the guy what had happened and why I was there. He took the info and said he would put it in their system. He then asked me about what I was doing to replace the equipment. So I told him that my insurance was lacking in certain areas and that I had limited funds. He asked me what I needed to get back up and running again and we spent an hour or more going over what it would take to get me back in the game. He crunched some numbers and offered me some great prices on quality used equipment to get me going again. Then he stunned me by offering to let me get the equipment on a payment plan with no interest and no credit check. I am not worried about the credit check but it shocked me that he would even offer this. So I took the info home and am having my accountant and lawyer look over the documents. I have learned my lesson I can make your house the envy of the block but the financial and legal stuff I ain't got a clue. It may only be this guy is nice and I'm not trying to push a certain company, but if it works out I may be able to get some replacement equipment for less money and keep going. Most of my clients have given me two weeks to figure something out before the look elsewhere for service. So I am trying to meet or beat this deadline.

I know all dealers are not created equal, your comments however would be typical of the dealer I deal with, they have 8 stores and are growing like wild fire because of the old fashion service. I am very pleased they are offering to help you out and get you back on the road.

Chachi
08-22-2010, 07:00 PM
Happy to hear things are starting to look up for you.

Steve
08-23-2010, 10:16 AM
As far as these trailer alarms go, are there ones out there that are better? Maybe ones that can track their location without giving it away to the thieves?

lizab213
09-02-2010, 06:25 AM
I am really surprised that AAA wouldn't tow the trailer as well. I was looking into signing up for AAA and one of the perks that stood out was that they support truck and trailer towing. I read that they send 2 trucks out to tow each item. It may have been the expensive plan that included this, but you may want to check again. I tried looking online, but had no luck finding the services they offer.

Steve
09-02-2010, 01:03 PM
It sounded like the trailer issue could have been resolved if a flatbed tow truck had been called.

jasonw
09-25-2010, 02:51 PM
I am at a bit of a loss here. I mean its great you have had a partial recovery but $1K-1.5K to get going again? How about a $200 lowes mower and $60 trimmer and get back to work? Sure they are not the best in the world but they will get the job done. Hopfully your stuff will be recovered but the sad reality is its probably already sold and gone. Unless you had lojack chances are you will never see it again. I do agree with removing a wheel. I did this with my trailer every day when we live in the 4 plex. Now I own my home and park it behind a locked gate but before every time I pull in I take off one wheel and put it in the garage, then when I leave again I simply put it back on. Its an annoyance but as you have found out a lot better than losing it all. Hopefully your luck will turn 10 fold.