By JOHN ANDERSON
It’s being posted all over social media as an “Only in Allegany County” moment from Sunday afternoon.
A U-Haul trying to transport a mobile home to Irons Road off Friendship Hill was pulled over by Amity-based State Police. The Commercial Vehicles division of the state police handed out tickets and called Enchanted Mountain Recovery in Cuba to get the trailer to its final destination.
How It Started
A reputable towing company was called to pull the mobile home at first, but as it started to leave the property there was an issue with the wheels. The company then decided not to take the job and it was attempted by a Dodge, but the front tires of the truck went off the ground. At the scene, the drivers said at this point they opted for the U-Haul.
Video shows the front tires of the U-Haul leaving the ground and in another video, moving to the right while trying to navigate a small hill.
How it Ended
Enchanted Mountain Recovery was able to get the mobile home from County Road 48 in Amity across from BOCES to Irons Road off Friendship Hill. While Irons Road is a dead end mostly dirt , Enchanted Mountain Towing was able to navigate a 45-degree turn and get it up the hill and back into a lot despite the mud.
The rest of the story …
Troopers made the call to assist getting the mobile home to Irons Hill and onto property owned by Keith Middaugh. One of the occupants of the U-Haul made a comment at the scene that they could have made it to Friendship Hill in the time it took troopers to write tickets and make a call for a towing company.
However, professionals said the stop by state police may have saved lives.
Jordan Muska at D&J Body Shop got the first call to tow. However, because of campers that haven’t been picked up, Muska said he didn’t have the room.
Jason and Teresa Schultz have owned Enchanted Mountain Recovery in Cuba for seven years. Jason Schultz has five years of experience hauling mobile homes, so this was the perfect match.
He also explained the weight issue and Teresa Schultz explained the dangers.
He said the U-Haul is rated for 8,000 pounds, or four tons. The trailer weighed around 15 tons or between 30,000 to 35,000 pounds.
A search of all things tons showed the U-Haul could take 10 Harley Davidson’s or two male giraffes or even a male adult dolphin.
However, it was being asked to haul 15 tons, which is equivalent to seven male giraffes, or 50 grizzly bears or 3,000 cats.
“This wasn’t a trip on a flat road, they were taking it up 31a (Friendship Hill),” Jason Schultz explained.
Theresa Schultz said, “What happens when the transmission blows or bands break in two? You are asking a single axel to haul it. That whole trailer is going back down the hill backward and you aren’t going to stop it. Even if you made the hill, and something broke, it’s going to come down and strike anything in the way.”
When she was asked if someone could die from an accident because they could not brake, she said, “That’s very, very true. If he’s wheeling at 45 miles per hour and a car runs out in front of him, there is no way the U-Haul has time to stop.”
Because of the assistance from the state police, there was a small savings for the property owners to have the mobile home towed. Two trooper cars did an escort and Jeff’s Truck Repair was following behind.
“They were very thankful we got the trailer up there and even asked if we could do business with them in the future,” Jason Schultz said of the Middaugh’s.
The Schultz’s said people complain about the cost of towing, but there are many costs to make sure it’s done correct and safety.
`”A lot of people are upset over the prices, but they don’t understand there are a lot of skills, insurance ($30,000 a year) and preparation and sometimes it’s a life or death situation,” Teresa Schultz said.
Jason Schultz explained, “It’s winter. Roads have sand and dirt. The front tires on that U-Haul could not handle it. I had Jeffrey jump on the hitch and the tires came off the ground. Any time you hit a bump or a railroad track, the tires would have gone a foot and a half in the air and it would have damaged the hitch.
“The whole trip is dangerous. You have to make extra wide turns, you have to make sure the road can hold the load you are hauling, you have to make sure there are no stops for construction,” he continued. “You have to make sure the tongue is in good shape as well as the wheel bearings and brakes.”
He said there has been a fad to try to haul things for $200 with a U-Haul, which is the cost of a permit alone. The final cost for a trip like this is around $2,000.
Troopers said they did not have the exact tickets as it’s being handled by the commercial unit. However, troopers and the Schultz’s said potential violations included over wide load, no markings, over length, over sized (because the mobile home rates more than what a U-Haul is rated to tow) and no escorts. Also, to use County Road 48 there have to be other permits because that is the road the Allegany County Landfill is on.
Don’t miss the great meme below the job placement: