Go FUND ME, Last Ditch Efforts
My story may not be that much different than anyone trying to build their own business and be successful. I’m a true entrepreneur by my own admission, and I realize there is a certain amount of risk in anything you do, especially if you decide to not be a part of main stream corporate America. As a self employed individual I’m constantly taking risk.
In mid 2013 after camping all summer and ruining the transmission in my own SUV, I decided to review my options to purchase a newer vehicle. However I lacked the best credit and my options would be few, additionally with my constant business fluctuation, I was concerned about taking on a large high interest loan.
By chance that fall I started watching a program called “Shipping Wars” in that show I saw a possible business opportunity, after reviewing the possibilities, setting in motion a business plan, and doing some research, I felt I had a way to do what I loved which was camping and earning enough money to pay for a good used truck that would better suit my needs. With my background as a truck driver and good work ethic, I would be able to achieve a good working and family balance.
In early 2014 as I began my search for a truck and signed up for a Uship account. I found quickly it was not going to be easy to obtain the credit needed to purchase the truck needed that would be up for the task for both family use and doing work on the side.
Finally in March 2014 after doing multiple searches and nearly giving up, I found a company called “Performance Truck” I worked with them extensively to discuss a plan that would work well for me and most importantly a vehicle that would have a long life. This was all done over the phone, a nearly 5 hour drive from my residence. The person I spoke to described himself as the dealership owner with years of experience in the business of trucking and delivery type work.
The vehicle he found that he completely convinced me was the right truck was a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500/ 5.7 Cummins/ Mega Cab single rear wheel drive truck with 57000 miles. He also was able to get me financed through a dealer program at “Wells Fargo Bank Services”
One of several major concerns I had about making this very large financial commitment was breakdown, what if this expensive truck broke down, how would I pay for that. I knew that in the early discussions when making the decision to purchase this truck, that a warranty combined with the trusted vehicle performance and integrity of the Dodge name along with what everyone indicated was one the toughest, longest lasting trucks on the market. Those factors and the purchase of an extended warranty would seal my fate. Using nearly my entire savings, I finalized the deal with an extended warranty and used vehicle purchase totaling nearly $29,000
As I took delivery of the vehicle in late April of 2014 there were problems almost immediately, however the dealer was cooperative at the time and did take care of the mechanical issues as promised, even though it took “Jeff Wyler Dodge” over 3 weeks here locally to make all repairs. During the time the vehicle was getting repaired, I was busy preparing my new startup company named “Deliveries123″
One of the first disasters came when I contacted my local BMV to inquire about registering a USDOT number so that I could haul “for-hire” as needed. They however did not handle that and referred me to a 800 number, in calling that number I was ultimately defrauded by a company called “DOT AUTHORITY” somehow my local BMV was not aware that the company was not a legitimate government agency and neither did I until after I had spent over $900 in fees that should have only cost around $300. After fixing my information with the real “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration” and getting approval for proper operating authority I was ready to start making small deliveries that my truck and weight class could haul.
As you see in pictures I did establish a great delivery business with clients from all over the US. I was able to purchase 2 different trailers that kept my weight class well under the max GVW. I had a perfect driving record and passed all my inspections with flying colors. I was making great progress after getting off to such a rocky start. The business was working well within my business plan, my credit was improving greatly and I was maintaining the truck perfectly and things seem to be great.
Then the real trouble started. In late October the truck developed an odd smoking issues coming from a blow by pipe and a drastic loss in fuel mileage. As I began inquiring about the issue with local authorized dealers, it became apparent that the warranty I had paid nearly $2700 might not be up to task. Now in panic mode I contacted “Performance Truck” to discuss my options and ask how they could help me. Of course they mentioned there was nothing they could do without seeing the truck and diagnosing the issues. After extensive discussions I decided to drive my truck to them (a 300 mile drive). I secured a motel room for 3 nights giving them plenty of time, IF needed to make repairs, ALL with the assumption it would be covered under warranty. As I brought the truck to them I went over all the issues I had in hopes of even clearing up a few other smaller items that would supposedly be covered under warranty.
My first day at the hotel I was contacted by a different Dodge and Cummins dealership who I did not know or gave permission for my truck to be delivered to. They needed my authorization to perform a complete tear down of the engine because the warranty inspector would not be able approve any repairs until he could inspect the issues. The estimated amount I would be responsible for was $1100 I was shocked and greatly concerned but felt I had no choice, so I authorized the tear down.
After the second day at the dealership I was finally informed that my truck had been damaged by a condition called “dust by” this condition happens when a diesel vehicle with a turbo charger like mine, is exposed to extreme dust like conditions for a prolonged period of time. The damage was extensive enough that more research and complete analysis of the engine would have to be done and inspected by the warranty company.
On the third day I was thankfully given a loaner vehicle by “Performance Truck” and was on my way home without my truck, that was November 1, 2014 over the next 2 weeks and through analysis it was determined by the Dodge dealership that it was in everyone’s best interest to replace the engine, the estimated cost on paper was $16500.
Now my story turns for the worst. The warranty company was ready to issue approval for the repairs but through their investigations found that I had used the truck for business use and thereby voiding my warranty and all claims. I did not know this was possible and that somewhere in the fine print of my contracts the warranty did state NO commercial use. I was devastated!
In all of my conversations with the dealership it was clear to them what I needed the truck for but they sold me the warranty anyway. Furthermore it is my full belief and by documentation that when they purchased the truck from New Mexico and resold it to me, a state known for regular aggressive dust storms “Performance Truck” did sell me that truck knowing the possible pre-existing conditions. I have not had my truck since the first week of November, I have struggled to make all payments on time with the truck and both trailers but I have made sure that was done. 4 months later with the loss of that income it is becoming strenuously difficult to continue making all payments.
However I have now lost all my delivery contracts, lost my carrier authority because I could not pay the $460 per month commercial insurance bill. To add to my difficulty, I have obviously lost all income from that business but I also lost another major contract in a different business. Today I’m poised to lose even more. I cannot afford even the basic repair that the Dodge Dealership has offered to provide which will be over $7000 just to get the truck back together with no guarantee that it will not breakdown. I have asked for help where I can but I cannot get it.
Today my truck is in hundreds of pieces at the dealership it was taken to.
A friend told me about this site and the remote possibility that “GoFundMe” might be a long shot and last ditch effort before I lose everything. I’m not a person to ask for help and it embarrasses me to ask now. But I only ask if there is a way I can pay it back through acts of kindness or other means.
I would even work for a company and make deliveries to repay any funding they might offer. I don’t know what those details would be but I would work with you in creative ways. I’m a hard working honest man who fell for a deal that was too good to be true. It was my fault and now I’m paying with the sweat from my hard work and losing it all. If you have questions or need specific details please contact me I’m happy to answer.