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Train wreck affecting my business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by buddhacj7, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. buddhacj7

    buddhacj7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    If yall have not heard there has been a train wreck here in SC and it dumped toxic chlorine gases. So far 9 fatalities and over 300 injured. The point of this post is that I left my 6X12 trailer down there in the "Hot Zone" where the wreck occured the day before and I am unable to go and get it. The people from the train company might reimburse me for the trailer but cannot say until the trailer is looked over. Unfortunately the area will not be cleared to go in for 2 more weeks. Should I buy a new trailer and pray they pay me back or just not do anymore clean ups for 2 weeks and suffer?
    p.s. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims.
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    weigh the cost of lost business (to include loss of good will) vs the cost of a new trailer. My thought is that a 6x12 trailer should be $1500 or less so if you have more than a few cleanups it would be well worth it. And when I had two trailers it certainly made my life easier. Besides you could always sell it later so you wouldn't be down that much.
  3. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    You could consider renting a trailer.

    What do you need for clean-ups that is in the trailer? Maybe rent a blower or talk to your dealer about lending you one out for the time being.
  4. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    I would go and get a new one to keep business flowing. The trailer you left there probably won't be worth much to you after they complete the cleanup. Chlorine gas has a nasty effect on steel and exposed mild steel. The train company should have no problem paying for the loss, just expect to wait a while for it until all the lawsuits have been filed. That was a terrible tragedy, and out hearts go out to all those affected...
  5. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    You have a claim (business interruption) against the railroad.

    Here's something I learned, same situation, but as a result of a traffic accident. You have to do what a reasonable person would do to keep your business running. $1500 for a trailer does not seem unreasonable, especially if you can prove that renting a trailer at $75 per day will add up fast, and that your trailer is specialized and cannot be rented easily. There is a good chance your trailer is damaged beyond repair and contaminated, and the insurance company for the railroad would probably prefer to buy it rather than face potentially more liability for loss.

    You will need to document how much business interruption you experienced. Two or three days downtime should be paid to you in addition to the costs of renting or buying a trailer, or however long it took you to find a replacement.

    The accident was clearly the railroad's fault, a spokesperson for Norfolk Southern said on television that the switch was lined and locked for the siding and not for the main line where the train reached the fouling point.
    The railroad will gladly pay you....they are thankful as you that it was just a trailer and not a life.

  6. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    Just before christmas FGA (adam) was in search of an enclosed trailer and I think some one in the florence south carolina area had a 6x12 enclosed one for sale, You may look for that thread and I will search also, maybe you can buy/rent that till some thing gets settled Here is the post
    not sure if this is any help or not, good luck

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    We run 3 trailers here it is always good to have back up.
  8. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    if i wasn't 700 miles + or - a bunch away i'd let ya borrow mine along with some equipment .
    its times like these that we should pull our resources together . :)
  9. meathead1134

    meathead1134 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    IMO if you can rent a trailer for now thats what I would do for now until you find out what you can do about the spill
  10. buddhacj7

    buddhacj7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I appreciate all of the input and I am just going to go buy a new one in the morning. I am guessing that the railroad will reimburse me. I talked to someone this afternoon and like some of yall said, the trailer is probably corroded and ruined. If not it will be a backup in case somehting else happens.
    Thanks guys I appreciate it!!

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