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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #1  
Old 08-18-2010, 02:45 PM
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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.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:39 PM
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That sucks man , im sorry .

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

Matt
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:20 PM
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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.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:39 PM
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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.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picframer View Post
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.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:06 AM
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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.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:44 AM
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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?
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:59 AM
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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.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
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.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:39 PM
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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
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