Attention!! Please use caution when driving vehicles home from auction!

nhdiesel

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I think the level of chances someone should take when recovering a MV should be related to their experience with bad situations and dealing with problems. I would never suggest to someone who has never done much mechanical work, never driven a large vehicle, and never had to deal with an emergency situation to EVER attempt to drive a MV home after a GL buy, no matter the condition it is stated to be in.

When I recovered my Deuce from a long way off (1100 miles) it was after much advance planning, and because I have driven these vehicles before, brought tools with me, and have an extensive mechanical background. The steps taken were: Expedited safety inspection of the vehicle at the base, including checking basic fluids, tires, belts & hoses, suspension parts, steering, etc. Next step was getting it 40 miles to a location I had set up in advance, where I did a more thorough inspection, made minor adjustments, checked axle, trans, t-case fluids, and more. This all takes time, in fact I spent about 8+ hours just doing the pre-trip inspection to my satisfaction. IF someone has a long recovery to do, at least set up a location near the base to do a thorough inspection. I was also fully prepared ahead of time that if the truck wasn't safe and drivable, that I would be either reselling it in Kentucky or scrapping it.

I have to admit that I believe one of my previous recoveries was posted early in this thread as an example of what not to do. I'd like to elaborate on it. I recovered two 105 trailers with a large SUV. Before I attempted this I double checked: two 105 trailers weigh aprox. 4800 lbs. My SUV is rated to tow 7000 lbs. As stated previously experience plays a large role when doing these things, and I have been towing trailers all my life. We were unable to do much for an inspection on-base because they were busy and cold and wanted us gone asap. We drove the half mile off the base at aprox. 10 mpg, then pulled into the gas station that was immediately off base. At that point we checked tires, hitch, wiring (I brought 12v magnetic lights), and added extra straps to secure the upper trailer. At that time we attached the temporary plate I had brought. At the beginning of the trip we stopped several times to double check straps, tires, and feel the hubs for any signs of heat. All of this was very inconvenient, because it was -40 when we loaded up the trailers, and roughly -30 when doing all the initial safety checks, but it was necessary for a safe trip. Even after all that, we took the trip home slow and easy. Because of extra time we spent loading the trailers, they ended up well-balanced and towed great. No sway, they stopped fine, all went well. The time spent inspecting and preparing can really help the rest of the trip go smoothly. As a last resort, my wife has family just a few miles from the base where we could have left the trailers and came back for them if there was a problem. I always plan for an alternative if something goes wrong.

There is really no substitute for experience when doing MV recoveries. As a long-time mechanic, I'm very in-tune to vehicles and can feel warning signs early on. The slightest vibration, shake, noise, etc. and I can usually tell where its coming from, whether its major or minor, and I know enough to pull over if its anything the least bit questionable. Those traits right there are the often overlooked warning signs that can end with disaster. Not knowing, or ignoring, slight warning signs can allow a minor problem you can deal with quickly to turn into a major disaster.


With that said, these problems aren't just MV related- as a mechanic and licensed state safety inspector, I have seen the same problems with cars bought from dealers as what comes off a GL base. The difference is MVs are watched closer. I've seen newly purchased vehicles from dealers that had bondo covering rusted frames, brake lines fixed with a rubber hose and clamps, broken springs that were welded back together, and other things that would give you nightmares. Unfortunately even a minor MV accident will make the news, while these things are everyday occurrences that get ignored (except by us inspectors).

Jim
 

patracy

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Well put. You can ask Chuck how paranoid I was picking my deuce up from him. And it wasn't even from GL. I carried pretty much everything needed to work on it with, including air tools. Also I carried spare fluids. I didn't have a tag on it, but in Georgia we don't need it. And I *think* I would have been covered by my insurance for the trip since it was a "newly purchased" vehicle. Looking back through it, and seeing the grief I went through getting insurance. I would call your insurance company first to make sure they'll cover you picking it up. I doubt this would be an issue on "pickup trucks". But the world changes when you start getting in to the M35's and bigger trucks.
 

jerseyjeep2003

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When I bought my deuce it wasn't a "recovery" from GL. But rather a purchase from a private owner/builder. I had never driven a deuce before this purchase, but when I inspected it prior to purchase him and I went over everything together, so I felt completely satisfied in the safety aspect. I had driven the 200 miles with every intention of driving it home. I considered no tags or tags from another vehicle, but opted to get the legal temp tags from the VA department of motor vehicles. At this point I was legal (with my current insurance covering any purchase temporarily) and felt my new deuce was 100% safe. BUT, boy did I every feel intimidated with the size of this beast, 200 miles sure seemed like a long way. I took about an hour or so of getting the feel for the old girl. Anyway the drive home was uneventful, other than getting caught in a 30 mile traffic jam. By the time I got home, I felt pretty confident with driving in and out of traffic and really enjoyed it. When I get to do this again, I would do it the same way...just my 2cents
 

abh3

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I've had bought probably 15 MVs and NEVER driven one off base.

1) There's just too much that could be wrong with the vehicle, missing or dry (even after preview!) to anticipate without bringing a service truck along, plus it seems GL is almost always about to pee their pants for you to get gone so a real inspection isn't always possible. You don't know how expensive towing gets until you are on the side of the road with locked brakes, etc...

2) The other issue is insurance, don't assume that the policy on your Corolla will necessarily cover even a Deuce, much less heavier vehicles, for the trip home, you might be in for a nasty surprise in a worst-case situation. Call your agent and ASK QUESTIONS as it ALL varies from state to state and company to company. I used to buy farm vehicle insurance from ______, supposedly a farm insurance company, but eventually learned that their policy didn't cover very common farm truck/trailer combinations and I had unknowingly been without insurance while moving livestock and equipment for years. It seems strange a company would insure a semi truck yet not the trailer if it is longer than 24' but it happens, ask SPECIFIC questions...

Not long ago I had quite a time tagging my A3 because of one line in the Code of Alabama. All it will take is one tragic accident resulting from carelessness and lines of state code will pop up all over this nation, this hobby will be history and these vehicles scrap. Yes, I'll still have my MVs, down on the farm, but most of you will be out of luck. Let's be safe and responsible out there!
 

zout

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SS stated it to where I understood it.
Thread should have been closed after giving the facts due to recent threads - I would not want to begin to assume how many pm's they received due to those posts.
 

Amer-team

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This thread is certainly worth a reread. Hopefully some of the folks that are new to this will take some of it to heart. I hope no one took my M54 recovery as a cavalier action. It started with a detailed read of the Operators Manual for this truck, then fluids, belts, and hose inspections, moved to steering components, tires, lugnuts, drivelines, look at soft brakelines for cracking while you are down there, look for stray fluids on housings and backing plates, look for loose or unsecured components or load. Check wiring, look for broken components, or loose parts. If you find unconnected wires, figure out where they go and why they are not connected. Check seating and mirrors for adjustment. One gentleman in another thread talked about getting his wrecker hauled home, but missing that it had a cut and bent over brakeline. That is something that could be overlooked and will make me more diligent about pre-trips in the future.

If all is okay to this point, follow manual start up procedures. Let it sit and warm up, check again for fluid levels and leaks. Check the drain on the air tank. Many people today do not know that the tank is supposed to be drained so they drive it until problems persist.

Now pull it ahead slowly and check the brakes, do this a couple of times or until you feel confident. Then speed it up a bit and slam on the brakes. Pull over and park and check the fluids again.

I knew this truck was a city owned vehicle and used for their emergency services and that it had been fairly well maintained. I took someone along that knew this type of truck, took tools and we were prepared to either tow or walk away and come back if anything did not look safe.

Bottom line, Be Prepared and do your homework.
 

jerseyjeep2003

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When I bought my deuce it wasn't a "recovery" from GL. But rather a purchase from a private owner/builder. I had never driven a deuce before this purchase, but when I inspected it prior to purchase him and I went over everything together, so I felt completely satisfied in the safety aspect. I had driven the 200 miles with every intention of driving it home. I considered no tags or tags from another vehicle, but opted to get the legal temp tags from the VA department of motor vehicles. At this point I was legal (with my current insurance covering any purchase temporarily) and felt my new deuce was 100% safe. BUT, boy did I every feel intimidated with the size of this beast, 200 miles sure seemed like a long way. I took about an hour or so of getting the feel for the old girl. Anyway the drive home was uneventful, other than getting caught in a 30 mile traffic jam. By the time I got home, I felt pretty confident with driving in and out of traffic and really enjoyed it. When I get to do this again, I would do it the same way...just my 2cents
Oh also, the owner/builder is a member of SS. I trusted his ability and knowledge. Wouldn't recommend not knowing your truck before purchase. Even though I kept my purchase/trip legal anything can happen when driving one of these big trucks for the first time. It is best to be prepared for anything from breakdowns to how the truck drives and handles. As for recovery from GL, the best thing is to trust the people that know what they are doing here on SS, my hat goes off to ALL the members here that have the knowledge and experience with GL, TRUST your SS brother when they suggest trailering your "new" truck. Better to be safe than sorry.
 

DUG

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The two best tools on a recovery are - a pocket of cash and a wallet of credit cards. My dad used to tell me there is nothing large amounts of money can't fix except a relationship. I just dropped a member from Texas off in Barstow to recover a truck sight unseen (though he did get some info from a helpful GL rep over the phone and it was a 2004 model year truck), but he had the resources and a back up plan to wave the AMEX and get it home.

When I recovered mine I had post previewed it to death for several hours and brought a truck load (literally) of tools. I also had the number of towing companies in the area and the cash on hand to put it on a flat bed if needed. If you can't afford a break down or a nasty surprise, then it is best to ship - cheaper than get hooked up along the road or having to be towed off the GL lot, stored and then towed.
 

Karl kostman

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Thanks for posting the REMINDER no matter who we are and how much experience you may have with these vehicles WE can never be to careful like was said before it only takes ONCE and Trust we will all feel the pain!!!!
KK
 

danbrew

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Great thread for a newb. I'm going to eventually buy a deuce. But it's been about 25 years since I last drove one. While it would be an adventure to drive it home from wherever, I think I would also look to trailering it. The only way I would even consider driving it home myself is if I was buying it from a known individual and the thing was drivable. And, of course, I need some time behind the wheel. The only way I'm gonna get that is to start to get to know folks that have 'em and getting to be friends with 'em. And visiting rallys and the like.

I'm thinking that I need to educate myself, get to know the community, the people, the vehicles, etc. Although I could afford to buy tomorrow I think it will be a 2-3 year period of education before I buy. We'll see. :D

So... anybody want a new friend?
 

tcody

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I don't really see a problem with no tags, ....
I have recovered a few trucks from CA and a few other states. Usually you go to the local DMV and get a temporary move permit that you can stick on your windshield. If you are not sure of the rules for the state you are recovering from pose the question in the correct forum - it is likely someone will know the answer and may even be able to help get the permit for you in advance although if I remember correctly, most require the driver to sign the permit.
 

100acre

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is this bad?

I had just purchased two trailers from 2 separate individuals and had only one way to bring them both home from Fla. As worried as I was everyone at the rally assured me it was going to to be ok. I did pass approx 15 officers including 2 that passed me that day and had no negative outcome. The weight ratings were good and everything was strapped down and I adhered to the speed limit if not under. So is towing two trailers stacked not an ok way to travel?
 

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Beerslayer

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I had just purchased two trailers from 2 separate individuals and had only one way to bring them both home from Fla. As worried as I was everyone at the rally assured me it was going to to be ok. I did pass approx 15 officers including 2 that passed me that day and had no negative outcome. The weight ratings were good and everything was strapped down and I adhered to the speed limit if not under. So is towing two trailers stacked not an ok way to travel?
That looks safe enough to me. Can't see every detail of hitch, lights, safety chains, and load strapping but it looks OK. I would haul it.
 

tuckered

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I had just purchased two trailers from 2 separate individuals and had only one way to bring them both home from Fla. As worried as I was everyone at the rally assured me it was going to to be ok. I did pass approx 15 officers including 2 that passed me that day and had no negative outcome. The weight ratings were good and everything was strapped down and I adhered to the speed limit if not under. So is towing two trailers stacked not an ok way to travel?

Nylon straps are good, real good, when compared to ropes. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier to use. BUT, chains for heavy loads are so much better. The trailers in the pictures look fine the way they are nestled together. Looks great actually. However, little wal-mart straps do flap in the wind and move some. It is so easy for a strap to be nicked by a sharp edge and split in half, rapidly. The failure can be sudden and quite violent. The violence could cause you to lose a load and people to be harmed or even killed. Think what would happen if a trailer or heavy item fell off and smashed into a mini-van at highway speeds.

Chains, are much better for heavy stuff, sharp items, bulky and unusally shaped things etc. They are not expensive at harbor freight. I've probably have never had a strap that lasted 7 years, but I've had chains that have lasted, in weather, for more than 25 years.

Just because the load rating on a strap may say 10,000 lbs, a little snag can destroy it, easily.
 
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