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Old 08-21-2020, 10:33 PM   #1
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Trailer Dropped - Need Advice

Hi everyone,

We recently purchased our first trailer, a Cherokee WolfPup 17JG. The trailer has had numerous issues and was in the shop. On the way to pick up the trailer the dealer called us to notify us they dropped the trailer while towing it. The trailer was being towed by a forklift when it fell off and proceeded to run into the forklift. The tongue is unusable and the forklift punched a hole in the front of the trailer. The trailer is only 35 days old.

The dealer said they will give us a new tongue and replace the hole. My concern is what latent issues or hidden damage may be possible. Has anyone experienced issues after dropping their trailer? Should we get a lawyer? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:46 PM   #2
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If it were me, I'd start by talking about my concerns with them face to face to see if I had confidence that they'd fix it properly or not before I got anyone else involved.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:54 PM   #3
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forklift running too fast, hit a bump, trailer popped off ball and rolled into the fork punching a hole and bending the tongue in the process.

Your biggest problem is going to be the speed of the repairs... probably not going to be real quick.

Old tongue cut off, new tongue welded on... pretty simple, but the battery box and propane tanks will have to move to the new tongue. All of the trailer wiring should be ok.

Now fix the hole... pretty easy fiberglass patch and gel coat... what else was "forked" on the inside and damaged?

I would want to see the damage BEFORE they start work on it, and take pictures. Then let them work on it and do a good inspection of the damaged areas when it is finished. Crawl under the front where the tongue was welded on, check the welds and paint job. Check interior where fork penetrated. If you are satisfied with the fix then how are they going to compensate you for their error and your loss of time? A free dinner on them?

If your not satisfied then call a lawyer.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:35 PM   #4
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Honestly, if it was me with a 35 day old trailer damaged that bad, I'd tell them to keep it and make me a spectacular deal on another unit.
I would not accept a patch to the hole (replace the entire panel), and I would want an extended warranty paid for by them, if you decide to keep it.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:53 PM   #5
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Do you have insurance on that trailer? If so, get your insurance company involved. They can give you a better assessment of the damage. I'd be concerned about hidden damage.
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:08 AM   #6
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I would have them replace the entire unit. Insurance claim I would think it's going to total out this trailer.
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:24 AM   #7
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Get them to tell you how great the repairs will be. Then make it clear how fortunate it was that no one was hurt. Then say that again, before echoing back to them how great their repairs will be - and that how they *as a dealer* will have no trouble selling it. Then make it clear, but matter of fact, that you have an appointment with a lawyer.

And you should speak with an attorney before signing any document or taking possession of the trailer. Be polite, be firm. Donít hesitate to look their executive leadership squarely in the eye and clearly state how fortunate it was that no one was injured - or killed.

They may have the trailer, but the ball is in your court.
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:48 AM   #8
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My concern would be the trailer tung most trailers that is part of the frame and the frames are made on a Jig as to be aligned exactly lined up. so if welding a new one on is not done exactly right the trailer will not tow right.
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Old 08-22-2020, 07:05 AM   #9
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Did you ever have it off the lot? If not you are not obligated to take this trailer.
Just like a car. it is not yours until you drive it off the dealers lot.
Good luck.
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:54 AM   #10
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You got some good advice. I hope you'll come back and let us know how it ends up.


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Old 08-22-2020, 10:27 AM   #11
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Speaking for myself I don't think I'd accept a repair job on a 35 day old trailer.

Haven't seen the damage but if the tongue bent at the junction with the frame there could be a lot more damage hidden within the structure.

Even if it was just as simple as cutting off and welding on a new tongue, there are "welders" and there are "welders". Those who weld for a living versus someone working in a dealer's shop "who welds" can produce two widely different results.

Best course would be to get your insurance company involved. Ultimately they will have a stake in the trailer and won't want to see future failures.
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Old 08-22-2020, 10:52 AM   #12
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The minute you bring the attorney discussion into it you’ve automatically formalized the whole thing. Usually you can’t go Kings X and go back once that’s started. There may be a time and place to do that, but in my experience that’s usually after all attempts to reach fair resolution have failed.
I’m with most other folks on this, I’d want the trailer replaced. How you do that, whether thru insurance or solely thru the dealer depends on the folks involved, but that would be my goal.
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Old 08-22-2020, 11:17 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I went to the dealer this morning to check out the trailer. After speaking with the owner he said he will not replace the trailer as it was just an accident and itís not that big of a deal. He did show me video footage of the trailer being dropped and sliding. He would not send me the video.

After speaking with him and getting nowhere Iím going to contact an attorney.
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Old 08-22-2020, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander_Trailing View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies. I went to the dealer this morning to check out the trailer. After speaking with the owner he said he will not replace the trailer as it was just an accident and itís not that big of a deal. He did show me video footage of the trailer being dropped and sliding. He would not send me the video.

After speaking with him and getting nowhere Iím going to contact an attorney.
I would go through your iinsurance first, going through an lawyer will just end up costing you in the long run.
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Old 08-22-2020, 11:27 AM   #15
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I would go through your iinsurance first, going through an lawyer will just end up costing you in the long run.
X2. The lawyer would probably refer you to the insurance company.
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Old 08-22-2020, 11:44 AM   #16
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I am certain it was an accident and not on purpose, but that does not relieve the dealer of the responsibility. He has insurance to cover his accidents. The best solution is to contact your insurance company and let them work it out with the dealers ins company. Your insurance company has an interest in making having solution does not put them in further liability in the future.
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Old 08-22-2020, 01:12 PM   #17
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Let the insurance companies resolve it

I would notify my insurance right away and ask them to resolve the issue with the sellers insurance provider. You can then speak to the seller and make your demands with them personally. I would ask for a replacement trailer. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-22-2020, 01:26 PM   #18
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Lots of good advice here. I'd definitely talk to them face-to-face. They are liable for the damage and they have insurance. Based on personal experience with body and frame repairs, you may deal with anxiety every time you take a rig on the road following a major repair. If they won't give you a new trailer (they can fix and sell the previous one) I would get your insurance company involved. This was a new trailer going into the shop, and should be a new trailer coming out. And, as pointed out, if you agree to let them fix it, you can probably expect to wait a long time to get it out of the shop.
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Old 08-22-2020, 01:27 PM   #19
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Contact your insurance company first. Make good notes on what transpired when you talked to the dealer now while it is all fresh in your mind. If you go to an attorney, then two firms will make a lot of money, it'll take forever to get the rig back, and you'll not be happy. The insurance underwriter has folks who've dealt with this type of issue before and can run it thru to fruition faster. Not sure on how happy you'll be, but usually insurance companies do pretty well.
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Old 08-22-2020, 02:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Honestly, if it was me with a 35 day old trailer damaged that bad, I'd tell them to keep it and make me a spectacular deal on another unit.
I would not accept a patch to the hole (replace the entire panel), and I would want an extended warranty paid for by them, if you decide to keep it.
X2. No excuse for a 35 day old trailer to have collision damage due to negligence of the dealer. The forklift drivers are too lazy to get off the forklift and lock the coupler!
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