Railway Preservation News

Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor
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Author:  RDGRAILFAN [ Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:49 am ]
Post subject:  Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

Museum group purchase - "for want of a nail"
Would it be out of the realm of possibilities that various museums all get together and purchase a tractor trailer capable of hauling large equipment such as passenger cars for transport? Jacks, tie downs and blocks can be part of this compliment of equipment. Museums then could schedule transport and contribute to the miscellaneous costs associated with the equipment move.
I imagine that many museums have some staff capable of driving such a rig and local staff could follow guidelines for lifting and securing equipment. Schedule for use and such could be worked out.
This would remove the major impediment to moving and saving equipment that is lost due to the cost of moving.
Just an idea, wonder if it is possible with all the various museums to recognize the need.

Brian Shannon
Willow Grove, PA

Author:  Evan [ Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

I suppose that could be feasible if issues like who's responsible for insurance, DOT permits, arranging escorts, etc can be worked out. And what if a particular museum that doesn't have a volunteer with a CDL want's to use the rig, would they have to hire a driver?

Author:  JimBoylan [ Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

This was done many years ago by some of the New England trolley museums.
The Electric City Trolley Museum Association under many of its earlier names, and some of its members, have owned or borrowed such vehicles for cooperative moves. At times in the 1970s, South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's trolley car transport trailer seemed to live at the Buckingham Valley Trolley Association's museum site for their use, because the Authority had discovered that the Museum's own trailer was better able to transport the heavier modern Light Rail Vehicles and Rapid Transit Cars.
And many times various museums and transit authorities have successfully cooperated to use Silk Road Trucking for pairs of equipment moves in opposite directions.

Author:  dinwitty [ Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

I think its a great idea, make a cooperative between museums, during off times it might be lent/leased/rented out to do other moves perhaps for some money making opportunies for the mueaums/ whomever/whatever.

Author:  Jack A. Siffert [ Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

Such a rig already exists and has been used by a couple different groups (all with the same driver). The one thing everyone needs to remember is there still are costs involved.
You don't just want everyone and anyone hoping into the cab and driving.
Not only are there many costs involved but it takes a small crew of people. This crew of people need to have some experiance in doing things like this. the last thing you want is problems on the road or worse yet someone getting hurt, It is hard and can be dangerous work.
You have upkeep involved that costs money, 24 tires for the rig I'm talking about cost $6,500.00. You don't want to run on old tires with dry rot.
To make this work right you would have to move several cars a year and charge something to everyone making a move to cover normal wear and tear. Chains break, blocking splits, gets lost, lights get broken, brake drums break, (yes it happened) different center bowls require modifications, again costing money.
In the end unless you move cars on a more or less regular basis you won't have enough income to properly maintain the equipment.
And least of all don't forget the insurance requirements. Once you get the agent to understand what you are actually going to do. Who is going to carry it the owner or the group moving it?
Another problem could arise when you start charging the required money, Is this a preservation related income? How do you fill it out on a 990?
The rig I mentioned was built to do just cars. You do not want to price one new. This rig has moved heavy weights over the road. You don't just go to a catalog and oder something like this.

Author:  robertmacdowell [ Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

No problem. Either you do it as a going concern business (you'll want to wrap in an Inc. or LLC for liability reasons), and let stockholders/members profit (those could, in fact, be the nonprofit organizations who are its beneficiaries/customers.)

Or you set it up as a 501c3 under one of several subcategories, whose mission is to serve preservation. It could serve for-profit tourist railways if the task aligned with the mission and/or an appropriate (higher) fee was charged. A great example of a nonprofit helping a for-profit is FEBT.

There's also an emerging category of hybrids: for-profit corporations with a charitable motive. They aren't common enough to get Federal attention and give tax benefits. But they relieve the Board of the obligation to pursue profits *at all cost*, allowing them to act rationally to their mission. Before, you could only do that by staying privately held, like Ben & Jerry's, Newman's Own, Hobby Lobby, etc.

Suffice it to say, the wonks on this forum will have no trouble setting up an appropriate corporate structure.

Author:  Dave [ Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

Don't underestimate the ability to have it screwed up.

Author:  Brian Norden [ Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

robertmacdowell wrote:
Before, you could only do that by staying privately held, like Ben & Jerry's, Newman's Own, Hobby Lobby, etc.
I haven't looked anything up, but I expect that these organizations have set up a non-profit foundation to handle their donations.

Dave wrote:
Don't underestimate the ability to have it screwed up.
Unrelated business income and the tax on such earnings.

Author:  Pegasuspinto [ Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

Interesting thread to go with all the ones that went sour and got locked, lately.

I'm of the belief if we could all put aside our petty bickering and join forces, we could have a lot more-think of it. Shared equipment, knowledge, legal funds, who knows.

Author:  car57 [ Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

In my opinion using a specialist contractor who knows what they are doing and is as local as possible is the only way.....imagine the cost of bringing the museum tractor trailer from goodness knows where to my location to pick up rolling stock and move it, all the permits that each state requires and differing laws etc. We used Steve Disher in Colorado to deliver Klondyke 4 last week and they were utterly professional and the owner said to us all "i dont care if it takes all day to unload as long as no one gets hurt" he is a railroad haulage contractor, very reasonable rates and thats all he does, like my train moving guy i use for my rolling stock rescues i have every faith in his ability and that far outweighs saving a bit of money sharing a tractor trailer for me anyway.
We used a specialist contractor who only moved aircraft in Arizona in my old job and again you couldn't put a price on experience and professionalism.

Mike Pannell

Author:  locopilot750 [ Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

It's a complicated thing owning a large commercial vehicle. Tractor and trailer have to have annual DOT inspections, driver has to have a class A CDL for manual or automatic transmission tractor trailer, and a DOT physical, complete driver history and background check to drive for your company, even if he's the owner. You will have to get proper insurance, a DOT number and become a private interstate carrier (if hauling your own property, common carrier if you haul for hire) buy your tags according to vehicle capacity or max loaded weight ($$$$'s) IRP, Fuel tax sticker (IFTA and it's exact odometer & gallons record keeping) Drivers falls under federal hours of service, and need to be in a piss test consortium for randon testing. Record keeping for the truck, trailers, and drivers has to be maintained in case you become the subject of a "Kitchen table audit" at your home or place of business. DOT, State Dept of trans, FMCSA, Motor Carrier Assn, etc, etc, etc,. It's a boondoggle of paperwork, rules, and record keeping just to own one truck. That way, everybody can put a little in their pocket, whether you do or not. And the fines for non-compliance are astronomical.

Author:  Randy Hees [ Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

I know of an individual who owns a locomotive, who owns the trailers (adapted to his equipment) but hires a trucker with a tractor to move them... Similarly, I am aware of another individual who owns the dollies for moving a passenger car, but also hires a trucker to move them.

This might be the perfect solution... the museum or individual only owning the railroad specific equipment partnering with a professional trucker... with that proffesional trucker dealing with most of the legal details.


Author:  PMC [ Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

I have driven a semi off and on for over 15 years (even though I have a PhD, but that is another, sadder, story). Every time I see the cost of moving a car or engine for a few miles as $10k I wince. In my opinion, you guys are onto something. A route that hasn't been considered however is the truck leasing and driver leasing route, which would eliminate the need to own and maintain equipment. I mostly have worked for driver leasing outfits, which are essentially temp agencies for truck drivers (mainly because it allows me to work only when I want to). Such drivers are paid by the agency, are under the agency's health plan etc if they work enough, but when they work for a company they are on that company's vehicle insurance. So, say a company needs a driver for one day, they call the agency, the agency gives them a name, they clear the guy through their insurance company (tickets etc), he works for them and receives a check from the agency, the agency then normally charges the company twice the worker's pay. So an agency like Centerline (the biggest, I worked for one of the outfits they took over at one time) pays $25 per hour, if their guy works for let's say Estes Trucking for eight hours, the driver costs Estes $400 for that day (8 hours is generally the minimum). Tractors can be leased also, Penske and Ryder are the big outfits, you can lease for just a few hours or keep it for months. I am not positive of the costs but am told it is less than $300 per day. So, so far you are under $1000. Fuel is about 8mpg, for 560 miles the truck will use 69 gallons or so (I know all this from experience), a bit over $200. There are also trailer leasing companies, McKinney and Ocean are two big ones on the west coast, though specialty trailers might be harder to come by, but less than a tractor per day for sure. Then you have cranes on either end.

A conservative number, therefore could be $3k, and possibly less, before you count the cranes. Now, I obviously have left out the coordination part, which is very important, plus permitting and routing, which could be disastrous if not handled professionally. But assuming that you acquired operating authority (needed before you lease a truck or hire a temp driver) had some knowledge of how to load a piece of equipment on a flatbed truck, how to account for clearances, etc, the numbers would add up in my opinion. Lots left out but a starting point for discussion.

Author:  PMC [ Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

The rules for trucks are labyrinthian, and it is easy to get caught in them. Once I was working for a pallet company in Florida that had a semi but also a gooseneck trailer pulled by a pickup. The owners swore that they didn't need a CDL for the pickup, but I had one anyway so didn't put any thought into it. One day a FDOT inspector pulled me over in the pickup and asked for my license, came back with it, no real explanation, I moved on without a thought. About a year later when I no longer worked there the owner called me and told me that one of the other drivers had been arrested and handcuffed by FDOT for pulling that trailer without a C CDL at least.

Weird shaped things that might tip over and block a street tend to get extra scrutiny, at that time in Florida pickup trucks pulling trailers loaded with sod kept tipping over turning corners at intersections. So I would guess you could expect scrutiny of a passenger car on a trailer.

One thing I have noticed on some semis is a sign on the side door marked "not for hire", I have been told that some rules don't apply under those circumstances but I am not sure what.

Author:  PMC [ Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Museum group purchase - Transportor trailer and tractor

Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Only one person in this thread has come remotely close to understanding how this works.

As a Compliance Manager for a hazardous materials (petroleum) trucking company that did run almost all 48 states and two provinces in Canada- it's not as easy as buying a truck and finding a driver.

Not only do you have federal regulations, but you also have state regulations that are at times stricter than the feds. My company is based in California. Items to chew on:

Company structure
State of incorporation and associated business permits
USDOT number
MC Number- most likely as you may be hired by others
FRP (Full Reciprocity Plan-this replaced IRP. Apportioned registration)
IFTA- fuel taxes
MCS-150- who will bear that burden?
Who will monitor FMCSA Portal/CSA/SMS?
MCS-90 insurance- who will insure this carnival ride?
New Entrant Audit- who will bear that burden?
Driver Qualification files- do you know what you need?
Hiring standards, background checks, driver training
Hours of Service- what rules apply, who will audit the hours?
Supporting documentation- fuel receipts, hotel receipts, etc.
Policies required by the FMCSA- laundry list.
Drug and Alcohol testing- consortium or stand alone pool?
Who is the Designated Employee Representative- who monitors the drivers in management?
Equipment- periodic inspections, annually for Feds, quarterly for some states like California.
Maintenance files
Transition to E-Logs in December of 2017. Does not pertain to power units model year 2000 and older. 2 year grandfathering for carriers already using some AOBRD/ELD technology.

There's so much more I could go on about, but these are some key items. At the end of the day, there's a lot of risk to be managed. By whom?

Jeff, not disputing you, mostly what I know is from seeing, I have never had to set it up. But i know small time casual and seasonal operators exist (e.g. farmers back where I am from in Illinois who buy semis and only use them once a year or so to move grain). Don't know how that works though. The best way to find out would be by contacting the state agency responsible for issuing operating authority. But I agree that a sort of collective service won't get any leniency, if you are charging you are a motor carrier and you will get the same scrutiny as Yellow Roadway, you are a commercial carrier. An individual museum, however, I think would be different. But I am not positive.

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