Important info or propaganda?

The teamsters have released a report entitled “Damaged when Delivered“. I have started through it and They seem to have found some poor transport practices that need to be improved but some of them don’t look like a problem to me.  Why would dropping a tire into drop pockets be an issue? I used to drive a stinger rig that had a head rack equipped like the one in the picture and I never had any problems using those pockets the whole time I drove it. Leave me your comments.

Another blogger’s view “Teamsters try a new angle”

teamster propoganda

Update 12-8-09: Mr Fred Zuckerman took the time to go over the report with me and address my questions. I miss understood the issue with truck in the picture above. It isn’t a safety/damage issue but rather the manufacturer that this truck is loading for has some specific requirements that prohibit bottomless drop pockets. I would agree with him that if the customer wants it done a certain way then that is the way it should be done. Since that seems to be a whole different set of  issues then I think that picture needs more explanation under it. especially since the rest of the report deals with Damage and safety issues.

Basically the point he is trying to make is that if the manufacturers use the lowest bid model then the rate will be lower than what  is possible to do a safe quality job at.  He states that the typical union driver has had several weeks of training and that often non-union drivers have inadequate training and sometimes they have had no training.

If you have an opposing view point you are welcome to leave a comment but lets keep them professional.

Update 12-8-09: Another update, I spoke with Tom from Accelerated services and he looked up The load that truck 107 did out of Ohio and it appears that the vehicle pictured above is a 2005 Equinox that was a smart auction car that was successfully delivered to it’s destination with no damage.

If you are featured in this report you are welcome to leave your response to the allegations in the comments section.

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31 Responses to Important info or propaganda?

  1. Non union pro says:

    What they fail to disclose is that using the “pockets” is merely to get the hieght of the car down, not to secure it on the rig. A closer examination would show that the vehicle is chained down.
    I see Allied (teamster) trucks every single day hauling new vehicles with only 2 straps/chains per vehicle. This report might scare a dummy, but not us seasoned (non-union) professional car haulers.

  2. The unknown carhauler says:

    The informational picketing is aimed at the customers buying the vehicles. The goal is to pressure the auto makers into staying with union carhaulers.
    Do using drop pockets like the one pictured cause long term damage to a tire? Maby, but the real problem with this style is usally framing out the vehicle.
    On average non union drivers have less experience and training. I have worked for union and non union companies and believe that union companies have a better crew of drivers.
    Don’t take it personal i am not trying to insult anyone. Its just that quality comes with experience. Union companies have a much lower turnover and higher average time in service.

  3. Another unknown car haulers response: says:

    Not sure I agree. I believe It’s the particulair individual and there work ethics. Union or not. However In my opinion a Union driver may not be as carefull as a driver who has to take responsability for damages and pay the piper rather than a slap on the hand from a union boss. And as above states, please dont take this personal…just my observation

  4. GTS says:

    We are a non-union independent carrier with one truck and one trailer – we handle any new product shipment with the same utmost care and expertise as we do ANY shipment entrusted to us.

    Our experience has been that load securement is inspected by yard personnel prior to departure – we have modified our procedure to accommodate each manufacturer’s requirements.

    We transport new product ONLY when there is nothing else available, but it must also meet/exceed our standard hauling rate and the majority of it does not.

    We have no interest in hauling new product exclusively, but there are occasions when a load is too good to pass up.

    We are struggling to make a living along with many others – both non-union and union.

  5. chainslinger says:

    Anyone who think`s having to pay for your damages is ok is wrong. When will non-union guys see the light this is not done to get you to be a better carhauler it is to take the liability off them. The problem is they don`t figure damages in on their bids.
    One other thing the reason union guy`s stay on the job longer was for the benifits it was worth staying. Longer you do something the better you get.
    Let`s face it carhaul is in rapid decline and won`t be recognizable in a few years. Hope the manufacturers get what they paid for in spades.

  6. David Greeley says:

    In response to “Damaged when Delivered” I’d like to comment on the Teamsters’ Carhaul Division’s attempt to scare the public at large and influence Congress to regain work from car manufacturers.

    The pamphlet from contains several photos that are somewhat misleading since at the time of publishing were not new cars in the process of transport. Other photos supposedly show improper tie-down hooks in improper holes are cropped in such a fashion that the manufacturer model and year can not be determined.

    I have been a professional car hauler for 16 years having been both in a union company and non-union companies as well. Professionalism is not determined by being in the union or not, it is a mindset. Compliance to manufacturer’s requirements has always been subjected to shortcuts by drivers who are either too lazy or to greedy to properly secure their load.

    I am based out of the Mira Loma auto ramp and can not tell you how many countless times I saw drivers from Hadley/PTS and PMT short chain a load of Ford or GM or Nissan vehicles during the time their respective companies were the contracted carrier. 3-4 years ago I was asked to test load Nissans and Infinitis at the DAS (now WWL) port facility in Wilmington, CA along with other carriers. The PMT driver two chained every test loaded vehicle and either was totally ignorant of Nissan’s requirement of using 4 chains or just didn’t care and I quote, “That’s how we tie down cars at PMT.”

    Any company who wins a contract bid to transport new vehicles has to comply with specific load securement requirements specified by the manufacturer with oversight by the company and manufacturer.

    The union infrastructure is archaic and its very processes obstruct productivity of the company to whom they work for. This has been the proverbial “thorn in the side” that as led to their demise. Additionally the Teamsters have created a working environment that is adversarial to management. Neither is a program that leads to success.

    When I was a Teamster during the negotiations for the 1995 master car haulers contract, a video was circulated by the companies showing the encroachment of non-union carriers (i.e. Swift Car Haul and Waggoner’s Trucking) into new car transport, the membership’s response was “it’ll never happen, business as usual.” Well in my opinion “business as usual” has gotten them where they are today, out of work.

  7. JR says:

    It’s clear to anyone familar with the cottrell equipped pete’s and the equinox model that the pockets are NOT necessary to get down to height. As a teamster that in a non union past spent several years driving those trucks the very use of the pockets in that situation is not needed. I have seen bad carhaulers on both ends but the idiots that come and go on the scab end of the business FAR exceed the union end.

  8. Non union pro says:

    JR, Not to start a debate with you, but please explain to me then exactly what those “pockets” are for. Exactly what other purpose do they serve other than to get the height down. Look closely at the pic and you’ll notice that the headrack cylinders are bottomed out. Without those pockets, that SUV on the headrack would easily be 14′ or higher.
    You sound somewhat like a disgruntled teamster with the use of such words as “scab” and “idiots”. I’m sure you have at some point in your union career hauled Toyota’s or Nissan’s out of non union distribution plants. Does that make you a “scab”?
    ie: People in glass houses…………..well, you know.

  9. JR says:

    If you believe that you must bottom out a vehicle by dropping the pockets all the way down and justify it by saying that you had to get it down to height then you will never see it for what it is. If that picture was the same with the only difference being say….an Allied emblem on the door,(although they would never buy such a nice truck) then something tells me that your opinion mr. non u pro would be different.
    The “non union”,(I will stay politically correct to avoid being tagged disgruntled) carhauling outfits have a much larger turnover problem. As a result of this they put into the seat a much less experienced driver. Many of these companies offer little to no benefits, eg. Health insurance, matching 401ks, life insurance, etc. They require drivers to put up so called “damage funds” to pay the deductables on driver damages. Many of them peg as trainers drivers with only weeks of experience themselves. Often the only longterm employees they keep are the ones who either have given up their dignity and/or found a way to butter up to the boss,(again trying to stay pc).

  10. union pro says:

    well put jr !!!! I helped with the training in our yard for the new drivers and it was a month or longer before they ever went on there own.

  11. Non union pro says:

    JR. You seem like a sensible and likeable guy but you didn’t answer my question. My opinion would NOT change if it were an Allied truck. It is what it is. Anyway, I take your comments as a compliment. My outfit does offer benefits such as health, life, dental and optical insurance. We do match the 401K. We also have a damage fund that the company (not the driver) contributes to based on mileage & units hauled. At the end of the year, whatever is left after damages are paid is given to the driver and believe me, 95% of my drivers get checks in the $2500-$4500 range. Again, I was not “dogging” on Allied in general, just their negative remarks on non union carriers across the board. So with that said, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. If the union ever lets you down, shoot me a message. You sound like someone who could prosper in my organization.

    PS to union pro….. I can’t agree with “yard training”. Real training requires real life situations. Our new hires w/ experience go 4 weeks with their trainer (OTR) and non experienced go a minimum of 8 weeks.

  12. union pro says:

    Not sure i believe that but oh well,everyone thinks they do it better than the next guy.The company i worked for had the GM haul for 70 years and you dont have it that long by doing a bad job.I would love to go head to head with any of your drivers damage frequency, and thats for new not used junk cars!!!The myth that union car haulers are lazy or slow is B.S,we have to do it better just to keep the work from going to companys that bids so low on the frieght at the cost of there drivers pay!!!!!!!

  13. jeff watt says:

    This is getting really old. Its been going on for years union knows best non union dosen’t know squat that being said here is my take. Started on a wheel lift tow truck 1984 wheel lifting just like a drop pocket as per each manufacter’s spec.s and the object there is not to come in contact with nothing else but the tires (then came self loaders that grab the tires by themselves there goses your damaging the tire fight right done the road.) You primodonna new car boys started the same b/s when Fleet car started hauling the explorers saying we didn’t know what we were doing and we hauled it for a long time way faster than the rail and brought them to your railheads so you deliver them instead of waiting for the train. How did we get them there faster by running a team operation unheard of by the union carriers a competive edge for the non union guys. Then your companies start pulling out of rail heads saying they were under performing and losing money these were Mr. Penske’s words in Baltimore when he closed Leaseway at the van plant then the railhead and later on he did what any smart company would do he sold Leaseway why guys why did he sell it. Probley due to the high operating costs and not making a large enough proffit then came PTS to your rescue that went real well didn’t it? Now you have Hadley E and L Leaseway going bye bye and units needing to be delivered and the rest of you can’t grow fast enough to handlle it but the non union companies can by adding owner operators who plop down 100 to 250 grand for a truck (Thats what a real car hauler costs trust me I know) and who do they get to do this mostly ex union guys who are ture car haulers at heart then, those folks see the chance to grow and find a good driver and train him how they want the units hauled or the way the auto maker wants it (yeap have had loads checked on the way out the plant) Yes I have seen both union and non union guys taking short cuts on loads thats their choice I wont take short cuts because I don’t want the chance of damage. Next you guys are going to say were tearing them up because the ramps on our headrack come out if we need to get that unit down to height. Great job with you pr stunt Mr. Zuckerman and the troops . If I didn’t know what I was doing I think after 16 years I would be pulling freight not cars. Take your shots fellows aim well because we (the proud independent car haulers) have been here and will be here for a long time after they close your terminal or railhead like they did mine. And retirement ask those folks in the steel workers what happened to theirs after all that hard work I know where mine is I see the bank statement. I will never ever look down at another man for who he works for and give you union guy’s and my non union brother’s a wave each time I see one because we are not just truckers we are all of us are Car Haulers and thats something to hold your head high about. The Rubber Duck !!!!!!!!!

  14. Both Sides says:

    I have worked for non union and union and feel that non union comes up short. The benifits non union employees don’t get is how they underbid union carriers. I know that the larger non union carriers have some benifits but most don’t have much.
    Here is a list of things that don’t compare. Why would you want anything less for you and your family?
    Very good insurance, at no cost to you.
    CLC card so you can sleep in a hotel and not a truck.
    Union represention from being fired on the spot, it happens to the best sometimes.
    No money deducted for damages, any driver who pays them is nuts.
    Employer pays for your retirement,not you.
    Long term Union disability insurance for free.
    No one pushes you to cheat the laws to keep your job.
    Don’t beleive me, allied’s average time in service is 11 years. What is it at your carrier?

  15. union pro says:

    Very well said.

  16. jeff watt says:

    Both Sides, You have a point I guess but I don’t like sleeping in a bed that 1,000 others have, I have sat. radio and tv . Been part of OOIDA for years got a great account and my health care is a tax deduction just like your company writes off each year. If the used car work slows I haul new or used 0r pov’s so like I said I will run as much as I want. Now Like this started out to be about Your union says we are untrained which is not true I am a firm beliver of passing it on what ever I know I owe to the car haulers that have come before me and shared the knowaldge with me. And the drop pocket thing is b/s. Where was the union when the 500 of us from baltimore lost our jobs. Yea they tryed to hire a few of us back but by that time we saw the other side. Yes I have a large nut to crack each month but I enjoy the challange. Back to the story you guys say we are damaging thigs and don’t have any training but you have to sneek around and snap photos of trucks that arn’t even part of this battle. I am 3rd generation of a car haul family and been on both sides and have even trained a few people and kept them with me for 2 mos before I turn them loose and I will even still to this day call a fellow car hauler and run my idea for loading a load by them and get there input. I am not to proud to say some times 2 heads are better than 1. Now for addmitting that some of you might be laughing right now but I don’t care. I still want someone to show me the damage a drop pocket can do. I will also make a bet and put any load any one in front of Mr. Zuckerman or any one of you for inspection anytime anywhere just as long as a DOT officer is there inspecting mine as well. So like I said load up boys take your best shot. This battle has been going on for ever and I know that when I turn the keys to my 2 boys it might be still going on but I know they will be proud to be working for us ourselves not some big company that turns their back on you. To each his own .

  17. Chuck Trowsse says:

    With 27 years experience in the carhaul business, in both the Union and non-Union settings as well as in senior management, I feel I have much better perspective than most on the current debate.
    I hauled my first load of cars in December 1982, a load of 1983 S-10 Blazers from Pontiac, MI as a 21 year old newbie for Motor Car Transport. I remember the training program I went through that winter to be tough and stringent, 3 weeks outside on the docks and a week with a driver trainer. At the time I thought it was a bit of overkill but looking back I understand what the goal in such a training program is. It’s to not only train the proper teach the proper proceedures and techniques but also to weed out the the drivers that don’t have the disipline for this kind of work. I, to this day still use the lessons taught by that old driver Mr. Bob Jackson back in 1982.
    I left the union in 1991 and hauled used cars for a few years and in that time hauled every used car in the same way I handled new cars, to me there is no difference. It’s the concept of “the right way, everytime” makes for a succesful delivery no matter if you are Union or non-Union. I think the difference is more the individual than what company he works for.
    I spent several years in senior managment with a large non-Union carhaul company and I say with conviction that proper training is a major priority with this particular company. I am sure this holds true for any of the major non-union companies out there, it’s in the best interest of these operators to make sure this happens. Having an industry standard training program is in most cases going to be a requirement for the bid process when going after business. GM, Chrysler and most of the imports make properly trained drivers manditory in the handling of their particular products.
    Having bough my own fleet of trucks after leaving my manament position I took it upon myself to train my drivers in exactly the way I was trained back in the day. I look at it as a kind of “hand me down” skill. I firmly believe that proper training and impressing on a new driver how important it is to do things the right way is. That kind of thing doesn’t happen with smaller a smaller company. Companies like these will hire a driver because he has “experience” and never watch or ride with him or her to makes sure that experience is usable. I currently am an Owner-Operator leased to United Road in Michigan and I can say for fact that they makes sure a driver is trained properly. Having over 25 years of unbroken service in the carhaul industry did not exempt me from going through a 2 week training period. Needless to say I was a little taken by surprise when I was told I would be required to go through the training. It was explained to me that as a company they have to make sure EVERY driver has proper training in order to meet thier customer guide lines.
    The examples in the Teamster pamphlet show for the most part drivers that are what most of us would describe as “real” carhaulers. I have always had a problem with most of these 3 car operators being on the road. Many of them are overloaded and have never had any kind of proper training. I have talked to several of these operators over the years and there isn’t a lot of CDL experience there. And by the way, isn’t some of the close-up photos of improper hooks and tie-down points taken on an Allied green truck? Just an obsevation on my part.
    I do agree that a lot of the improper proceedures on the new car side do occur when there is no one checking to make sure things are being done correctly. Both Union and non-Union are guilty of this. I remember a day when you couldn’t leave the yard without a chain-checker signing off first. We all know that doesn’t happen anymore because of the cost involved in having a yard supervisor. To a lesser extent I believe some of the poor practices occur when a company brokers loads to companies they don’t know much about. In some of those instances you get poorly trained drivers and questionable equipment. Granted that happens on the non-Union side and not so much with Union carriers.
    In my opinion, the genie is out of the bottle for the Union carriers and there is no putting him back in. Non-Union is here to stay and probably only going to edge out more and more of the Union operators as time goes on. While I have I do believe there was a time and place for the Teamsters, all you have to do is look around at the rest of the trucking industry and you will see that time has past. And this comes from a guy who has 3 generations of Teamsters in his family.
    If you are a Teamster carhauler and you feel you have to blame someone or something then let tell you what is ultimatly to blame for your situation. You have to go back to the deregulation of the trucking industry back in the early 80’s that is where the downward slide ultimatly began. So, don’t blame non-Union drivers, most are as hard working as any other driver and just trying to keep his head abouve water like everyone else.

  18. ethan says:

    I guess I will take my ex union car hauling self and my ex union e&l truck and keep on hauling new and used cars the same union way I was trained 9 years ago, even with the extensions pulled out when needed!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. both sides says:

    Jeff Watt, how many people use the same shower as you at the truckstop ? It doesn’t matter, the point is the union is pointing out the lack of experience some non union carriers have. Not so much united road but the smaller companies they broker loads out to. If you were a owner opperator for allied the company would pay your insurance and retirement. Tax deductions don’t matter, you have to earn the money and spend it to write it off.

  20. "the RABBIT" says:

    Low wages/flat-rate make a driver (union or non-union) take short cuts. Run to your vehicles, poor inspections, disregard for shippers loading protocol. When business was good several years ago the carrot “INCENTIVE” made many RABBITS mucho $$$$$$$$$$$$$ and management hated guys making $100,000 or more a year. Never mind that you were doing the work of 2 drivers and saving them the additional costs of hiring or buying more equipment. So now that you’re making lower wages??? What’s the answer?? It’s pretty obvious to me. STEP YOUR GAME UP… haul more cars and cheat like hell on your logbook,run,jump,speed on the freeway and keep showing the BOSS how many cars/trucks you can haul SUPER TRUCKER…

  21. Speedloader says:

    Holy Cow this topic is hot !!!! Don’t stop now you guys. Hammer down !!

  22. ethan says:


  23. Both Sides says:

    ethan i agree, any union driver could be in your shoes some day. Can i ask where you are leased to and what kind of freight do you get. also where did you buy your truck and what do you have? I am just like to have a backup plan, and its not like any union companies are hiring anymore. I could work here 20 more years or 20 days, who knows anymore.
    Jeff Watt, i must tell you for once i agree with you about sleeping in a truck rather than a hotel. I stayed at a real dump last week and thought about going out and sleeping in my daycab. The decent hotel i planned to stay at was full and i was out of hours and tired. The place was so nasty that i put on my shower shoes to shower and used my own towel. I was actually thinking about what you wrote, the 1,000’s of people sleeping in that bed. I really wish i had a sleeper that night for sure.

  24. Both Sides says:

    A few coments i made didn’t come across the way i meant them too. I am not trying to say union drivers are better people, on average they have more experience. Not that alot of independant and non union drivers don’t , but you have seen the inexperienced drivers i am talking about. You wouldn’t be on this site if you were not a true carhauler, a lifer. Like they say it gets in your blood. And its not most non union carhaulers hurting the industry its the glorfied tow truck drivers moving cars now.
    Second i am not trying to say allied is a great company, by any means. What i mean is all carhaulers should have the same pay and benefits as union drivers. and most don’t. Most rates and drivers wages are loosly based off what the big three( allied,cassens,jack cooper) do. United road has the same blue cross insurance as the union, they got it to keep drivers happy and aviod a union vote a few years back.
    The good old days are almost gone, its getting harder and harder to make good money doing this for everyone.
    The union put together this propaganda to try to save whats left. It is geared towards consumers who have no idea what a drop pocket or a proper tire strap is. Its propaganda, and to the average person the pictures on that site look bad.

  25. ethan says:

    running under a freinds authority, and im getting all my work off central dispatch, and dealer that i hauled for while working for cooper that i got to know real good. I paid 8 grand for the truck, run back and forth to flordia, set up my own clc account, but only use it about half the time because motel 6 is usually 40 or less after taxes everywhere.

  26. ethan says:

    the truck was bought from appell equipment in galva illinois

  27. Both Sides says:

    ok, thanks ethan

  28. Jeff Watt says:

    bothsides, Thank you all we can do together is try to help each other better our selves and save our industry I hope that we could swap emails and speak on the phone. I will admit the company I was working for lost 10 trucks due to what I bekive was a gready crooked owner that blew sunshine up our shorts. Had to find some thing and landed in the lovely jessup railhead . had the pleasure of listening into Zuckermans tele call last night (well you guys did post the number and codes next to the pepsi machine). dave can you swap our emails? As I sit back and reflect It seems to me like all the big wigs are trying to stir something up to get us to go after each other ? Guys we are a rare bread and need to stick together.Gee this all started over drop pocketts and now look. Stay safe my brother car haulers and good luck to all unoin or not we are a rare breed. We all need to work together not agianst each other that is what is killing us someone somewhere is trying to split us up because if we all stuck together they would not have car one on the lot.

  29. Jeff Watt says:

    One of the kids spilled something on the keyboard sorry about the misspells.

  30. carhauler1 says:

    Well boys and girls it a new year and same old story waiting for new contracts and I’m amazed how allied taking work from cassens and cassens going after cooper freight and cooper taking cassens freight well how does one compete with the other when they still pay the same wages insurances and other benefits so please explain how they can steal each others business and then give other business to URS and fleet car and others??? I;m tired of hearing everyone calling non-union drivers scabs and cutthroats when the union companies do the same.!!!Please everyone take a deep breath and remember we all have pictures of bad mistakes and we all started some were!! We need to start organizing and get those lazy#@#$%$#&& in D.C. to help us and quit blaming everyone else Hoffa knows we can get stronger with the right kind of leadership and backing from him and his cronies so lets all stick together and make our careers better and our families more secure thanks

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