Join Date: Mar 2012
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A few weeks ago I rented an auto transport trailer from a local UHaul dealer to pick up a newly acquired free 94 Grand Cherokee 5.2 Limited from a coworker. When I picked up the trailer, the UHaul employee had me back my F-250 up to the trailer so he could hook it up.
I'm assuming this is a liability issue; not letting me hook the trailer up myself.
Anyway, I left the store and drove about 12 miles to base where the rig was parked. I lined the trailer up with the Jeep so a few friends could help me push it up since the Jeep wasn't running. I was behind the wheel navigating the powerless ZJ and as soon as the front tires hit the rams on the trailer, like a damn roller coaster, the tongue of the trailer shot up into the air and directly into my tailgate.
After those few seconds of carnage, I took a minute to gather myself before I lost my mind and went to town on the UHaul store. I walked up to the back of my truck to check out the damage and sure enough; a big *** dent and a vertical gash about 8 inches long dead center on my tailgate.
My truck now has a skid mark.
After I took a few pictures of the damages, we hooked the trailer back up to the truck. When I was tightening the nut on the top of the tongue down, I noticed it was completely open. These nuts have a lock which keeps them from backing out while driving so I know that wasn't the case.
A few minutes later, we had the Jeep on the trailer and I was on my merry way home. I got the ZJ off the trailer and into my driveway and I was back on my way to UHaul to have a chat. I arrived and very politely I asked to speak with a manager. I brought him outside and showed him the damage and explained what happened. He immediately started apologizing to me and gave me the number to their insurance company, RepWest.
I called and filed a claim as soon as I got home and they explained they need copies of 2 estimates, my registration, the UHaul rental agreement and pictures of the damage. I sent them everything they requested and started playing the waiting game.
Well, today I get a letter in the mail stating they aren't going to pay for the damages because they can't prove negligence on UHaul's end and the insurance I paid for only covers the vehicle being towed, not the towing vehicle.
Before I left the UHaul store, the employee who hooked the trailer up gave me his name and told me to call him if there were any problems. He also told me he just came off 4 days of vacation and it was early in the morning when he hooked the trailer up, and that he was really sorry. He used the phrase "my fault" several times when apologizing. Now if that doesn't prove negligence I don't know what does.
I'm waiting to hear back from my insurance company to see if they are going to go after UHaul. From my end, I don't care if the extra insurance I purchased doesn't cover the towing vehicle, negligence by the employee caused the damage to my truck and I don't care where the money comes from, just as long as they fix it. I would really like to settle this without going to small claims court. I'm almost positive I would win, I just don't want to have to take 2 days off work to do it.
The estimates I got were between $1100-1300 to replace the tailgate. It still works fine so It's not the end of the world, it just pisses me off that they're trying to screw me.
Sorry for the crazy long off topic thread. I just really needed to vent and get your opinions. What would you guys do?