Shipping Wars Episode Recap: “The Carney Code” – Tesla Roadster & Octopus Carnival Ride

 Item 1:  Octopus Monster Carnival Ride

The Story

The first shipment on this Shipping Wars episode started out simply enough– but ends with Marc Springer making a professional decision to cancel the shipment. Unfortunately, the customer refused to make arrangements needed to move this unusual octopus ride safely and legally.

The Customer

The customer, a proudly retired, second-generation carnival operator in Sacramento, sold this octopus ride to an aspiring amusement park operator near Houston, Texas. After it was listed on uShip, Marc, Roy, and Chris and Robbie placed competing bids to haul it until Marc came out ahead — offering the right price and the expertise needed to haul the heavy load in two parts.

The Busted Trailers

After Marc arrived in California, he found the ride’s two custom trailers (one for the cars, another for structural components) in extremely poor condition. It was clear they had not moved in years– and the owner greatly exaggerated (or outright misrepresented) both their newness and DOT-certified road worthiness.

Safety First – Compliance is King

Marc, like most big-business owner-operators on uShip, is a seasoned professional. He understands that federal and state compliance can mean the difference between a nice profit or a hefty loss, with added fines and penalties. So after bringing out a DOT inspector to certify the trailers, only to confirm they both needed suspension repair in addition to new tires, he asked the owner to replace the parts.

The owner refused, claiming added cost was Springer’s responsibility. After trying to reason with the customer, Marc was forced to walk away from the load. “Either it’s legal, safe and compliant, or I’m not going to do it,” in Marc’s own words. On uShip, shipment cancellations are rare, but sometimes necessary in the case of failed communication, disputes, or unsafe shipments.

Marc sums it up this way: “I  prefer to know exactly what I’m doing before I pick up a load. That’s the difference between being [a professional trucker] and playing around with a pickup truck like any homeowner.”

[Read Marc’s blog series for pro haulers and owner-operators here.]

Octo Carney Ride

Dimensions:  6 individual arms around 20 feet; several motors, a center axis, and 26 2-person seating pods. The disassembled shipment is around 22′ long, by 6′ wide, by 12′ tall.
: Sacramento, CA to Alvin, TX (1,950 miles) 
Winning Bidder
:  Marc Springer
Winning Shipping Bid
:  $10,500
Total Profit:  $0
Total Bids Received
:  10 (high bid: Chris & Robbie, $13,000)

Item 2:  2008 Tesla Roadster

This Tesla’s a fully electric vehicle, but it’s no Prius! This 2008 Roadster hauled by Jarrett accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds flat.  Determined to limit his carbon footprint, the new owner of this $100k+ Tesla sports car sold his old vehicle, then listed his Roadster on uShip. Jarrett’s new enclosed trailer is perfect for this high value shipment, but the stakes became higher when the seller revealed that any significant delay in delivery may result in a $14,000 battery replacement expense. (Interestingly enough, Tesla Roadsters can become “bricked” after a full battery discharge — just like an iPhone, except $14k to $40k more costly.)

Jarrett arrives a day late after a tire blowout and trailer repair, but without a single scratch on the vehicle. Nevertheless, the customer was more than happy with Jarrett’s work and boosted his uShip feedback with a 4/5 rating.


Dimensions:  13′ long, 6’1″ wide, 3’9″ tall
:  Baton Rouge, LA to Los Gatos, CA (2,160 miles)  
Winning Bidder
:  Jarrett
Winning Shipping Bid
:  $3,400
Total Profit: 
Total Bids Received
:  17 (including several bids not appearing on Shipping Wars, with high bid from Chris & Robbie: $5,000)

Shipping Wars Episode Recap: “The Carney Code” – Tesla Roadster & Octopus Carnival Ride was last modified: September 20th, 2013 by uShip
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