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Operation Hammer Down aka Operation Red Team Blue Team

Jeep Addict

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Baton Rouge
State
La
First off a huge Thank You to everyone who made the weekend a success!! I won’t name drop except for Raymond aka Spanks, since he was the catalyst.
I had a tight deadline to have the 84 Garnet Scrambler picked up. The seller lived in a different state from the pickup and logistically I could not get a firm pickup date from any transport company. I went though Uship, which I have successfully used before, and found a guy that could pickup during the specified time. He was also significantly cheaper than the carrier quotes. Bonus!! I had the Uship guy pick up some items from the seller in his home state before picking up the Jeep in the other state. First mistake!! Uship guy was about a day late from when he said he would pick up the parts but at least he picked them up. Now I’m committed to him!! Most deadly mistake!!
So Uship guy was to be in Scottsdale to pick up the Jeep between the 18-20. The seller had flown in to meet him. Due to the most ridiculous reasons known to man the Uship driver missed this window. It took him two days to get from Burbank,Ca. to Scottsdale, Az. which is about a 5 hour drive. I would have cancelled him but he had my parts for this Jeep that I would have lost. He ended up in Scottsdale on the evening of the 21st to pick up the Jeep. Seller flew out that morning so the Jeep was left out to be picked up.
Now we are at Wednesday around 5:45 Central time.
Jeep is loaded. Uship driver already late but he is going to drive straight to me to unload. I was leaving to go to Marshal TX early Saturday morning with Spanks to meet a fellow forum member and get some items for this Jeep.
I was to expect the driver Thursday afternoon to deliver my Jeep.
Thursday night at 10:58 PM I received the following:
“Houston we have a problem but your Jeep is ok”
1566838433151.png
Broken U-joint. No worries Tommy I will have it fixed and be on my way.
This should have taken about an hour to repair.
The driver had driven 1 hour between Wednesday at 5:45pm and Thursday at 10:58pm when he broke down. Excuse after excuse after excuse. He did drop a pin and emailed Uship about the breakdown and gave half ass directions where he was.
Thursday-he didn’t move any further.
Friday- he mentioned to me that he got a ride to Autozone to rent the parts needed to fix his truck.
Around lunch on Friday he had still not moved so I contacted Uship which was useless. All they kept saying was let’s wait for him to respond to emails which he never did. He also never turned on his GPS tracking so I never knew where he actually was.
I started to worry that the Jeep was stolen due to lack of communication from the driver and him saying he had only moved 1 hour in 2 days. He would answer 1 out of 10 calls.
As of about five or six Friday night he has still not fixed the U joint. I had contacted a few area forum members and one agreed to try and find this guy on the side of the road and pick up the jeep for me then have it shipped.
That would have been too easy!!
Around 7 PM Central the driver texted me saying that he had everything he needed and was going to fix it and head my way. He just needed to drop off the parts at Autozone and retrieve his deposit since he needed it for gas money. Since Raymond and I were already headed to Marshall the idea was agreed on that we would load up my trailer and head towards the Uship driver meet him halfway and catch Marshall on the way back.
Raymond and I left Baton Rouge around 11 PM Friday night. As soon as we got on the road I called the Uship driver. Straight to voicemail. I continue calling him throughout the night and his phone was off. I was now convinced that this whole thing had been a scam and the jeep was actually stolen. We waited until 10 AM when Uship customer service opened and I called them. All they could tell me was that he had not responded to their emails and that maybe I should contact the authorities. After some phone calls I finally talked to the right person who’s going to try and send the state police to find the driver where said he had broken down. They were going to call me if they found him. I had the idea to google search nearby AutoZones in Az. Looking up in the system through his phone number we could not find anything rented to fix a U joint. Luckily I had a different number that he had listed on Uship and that was the number that the tool was rented under and he had not returned it yet.
SOOO...The fact that the tool had not been returned to AutoZone was the only thing we had to go on.
His phone was also never turned back on. We kept hoping we would see him on the way but that never happened either. We had never heard back from the state police saying whether they found the driver or not on the side of the road. I called my friend from this forum, whom I had never met before, that was willing to pick the jeep up for me and he was willing to go and see if he could find this guy possibly still broken down on the side of the road. All we had was a dropped pin and a half As description from like three days ago from where he said he broke down.
On Saturday evening after about 16 hours of straight driving I received a phone call from our forum member saying that the jeep was located in the same exact spot where the guy said he broke down on Thursday night.
This is how he was found. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance
C22EDC3A-6B08-4B25-9E80-B0CC63EF0657.png

The trailer was commandeered and we ended up meeting up where we finally took possession of the jeepC76418B1-AE06-4764-B027-FF312AB22246.jpeg

So after about 21 hours of driving we had the Jeep. Raymond and I took turns driving until we couldn't anymore then would swap. We never slept more than 1.5 hours at a time then would drive about 6-8 more hours then swap again. This was much easier in the beginning of the trip.
We were offered the opportunity to stay the night in Az but we had to get back. So after a two hour stop/break/meet and greet to pick up the Jeep we headed back. We still wanted to make it to Mashall in time to pickup the parts on Sunday. This added another 2 hours to the trip home since we were going back another route to be able to hit Marshall, TX. Few pics along the way

1E757538-9D74-418F-A553-F027A0DE7E5B.jpegC918E500-625F-4916-A0C3-1C207150026B.jpeg64CD2896-CD2D-4AC6-9FF2-9D3BB7536C38.jpegE36A19C7-D665-4197-BDE3-41E6DE273C6D.jpeg

After all of this we weren't able to meet up in Marshall. We were already past the exit when contact was made but we just didn't have the energy to backtrack after about 30 hours of straight driving. We were both getting delirious at this point and our driving stints were down to about 3 hours max before we switched again.
Finally ,making it back to Baton Rouge about 6:50PM last night we were able to unload.5DAA9B06-0DA9-4451-83D9-B3157CE628FE.jpeg
C146D55A-903A-49D8-8E56-933708968F3E.jpegE0C10E36-CD27-4DCF-B37C-07503AAFF576.jpeg
Poor Raymond had another two hours to drive before he made it home from Baton Rouge.

Sooo, with a small glimmer of hope from an Autozone supervisor, two dedicated Jeep CJ nuts, those loud ass interstate side strips that wake you up after you've fallen asleep, our forum member who went out of his way to locate the Jeep, take the trailer from the driver and meet up with us this almost 40 hour 2700 mile excursion was a success!!
 
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revho

$9.00 vanilla malt
Lifetime Member
City
beaverdam
State
MI
So, Raymond drove out, fixed the U-joint for the helpless gent with bubblegum, 3 Popsicle sticks and a cinch-strap in a half hour. He took pics and will start a new thread with a detailed write up including pics in the non-scrambler build forum?

Sounds like a hell of a ride...glad you got the Scram! This forum is full of the most helpful Jeep people on the planet, IMHO.
 
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walkerhoundvm

Just trying to stay upright
Lifetime Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
This is how he was found. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance
This cannot be real.
giphy.gif
 

jatepper

Basic User
Lifetime Member
City
Vail
State
AZ
Yeah, absolutely destined for failure this guy. This guy was living on the side of Interstate 10 between Casa Grande and Phoenix for 2 days in his broken truck. When I got there he had no water and said all he had left were a couple warm beers in his truck. He smelled ungodly, was absolutely filthy from head to toe, and slept in the bed of Tommy's CJ8 he was transporting for the night.

I ended up driving about 10 miles to the gas station to buy this guy a couple gallons of water. When I brought it back he drank about a half gallon in a matter of 2 minutes. Seriously, it was 100+ degrees out. People die in this heat.

After about 1.5 hours of watching him try to install the u-joint in the middle of nowhere, he tells me "lets just disconnect the truck and you take the trailer." So we disconnected the trailer from his truck and I used my truck to pull his truck about 50 feet down the shoulder of the road. Tools and all sorts of crap were all over the side of the road. This guy had so much junk removed from his truck that it literally looked like a homeless camp on the side of the road.

So once his truck was out of the way, I hooked up his trailer and towed it to my house. Met Tommy and Raymond for an hour or so and then they hit the road back home.

The driver was actually a really nice guy. Just a bad truck, bad luck, and broke AF. He drove to my house yesterday and picked up his trailer. He even offered some money for the water I bought him. Genuinely nice guy, but absolutely no business hauling other people's valuables anywhere. You should have seen this truck...everything was bent or broken. The hitch received was so badly bent that it was at an almost 45* angle to the ground. All 4 tires on his truck were different brands and tread wear (most being badly worn). One tire looked like the sidewall had been scraping along a curb for an hour straight of driving. It almost looked like a whitewall! The Jeep trailer had all sorts of shotty home repairs.

Well, unfortunate circumstances but it was a pleasure meeting Tommy and Raymond. Glad you boys made it home safely.
 

revho

$9.00 vanilla malt
Lifetime Member
City
beaverdam
State
MI
wow.....

and thats all I can think of to say....
 

walkerhoundvm

Just trying to stay upright
Lifetime Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
I've spent the past hour thinking you guys found him dead under his truck. He is really lucky to be alive, but sounds like he's done run out of it. Glad you were there to help Jeremy, I'd have been useless to Tommy.
 

Jeep Addict

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Baton Rouge
State
La
So, Raymond drove out, fixed the U-joint for the helpless gent with bubblegum, 3 Popsicle sticks and a cinch-strap in a half hour. He took pics and will start a new thread with a detailed write up including pics in the non-scrambler build forum?

Sounds like a hell of a ride...glad you got the Scram! This forum is full of the most helpful Jeep people on the planet, IMHO.

Nope. We never actually met the Uship ship driver that has caused me high blood pressure for the rest of my life. However, I'm sure Raymond will add some tidbits to this thread. There is a lot more that happened along the way but the bulk of the headache is now in my first post.
 
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Hoover

Bronzed Member
Lifetime Member
City
Livingston
State
AL
The 'he didn't have a chance' had me thinking he was squashed under there, too! Good to know no one died on this adventure- :)

Hoov
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
So, Raymond drove out, fixed the U-joint for the helpless gent with bubblegum, 3 Popsicle sticks and a cinch-strap in a half hour. He took pics and will start a new thread with a detailed write up including pics in the non-scrambler build forum?

Sounds like a hell of a ride...glad you got the Scram! This forum is full of the most helpful Jeep people on the planet, IMHO.

The only tools we brought were a gun and a shovel. The desert has hidden lots of bodies......................................










Glad it didn't come to that :thumbsup:

I never got the pleasure to personally meet this guy or inspect his truck. But, "jatepper" said it looked like the truck leaked all of its fluids out on the side of the road, the already mentioned tires, trailer tires, no rear window, dead batteries.................................

When we unloaded the Jeep off the trailer, I found a home made sign on the trailer. I thought it was one of those cardboard 'Will work for Food" signs. It was not, but almost as bad: "Please Help, Need a Jump". If you already know the battery in your truck is that bad, don't have the money to buy a new one, but have the time to make a "jump start" sign, you should probably not be driving cross country commercially :twocents:
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
Silver Member
Lifetime Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
Yup, I figured he was toast. Sounds like he was hours away from being toast.

What a mess.
 

sdsupilot

CJ-8 Member
Member
City
OKC
State
OK
That is the best horror story I've read. I can't imagine what it was like driving out and not knowing if you would actually find the Jeep.

Very happy about the at least halfway happy ending. I do feel pity for the poor driver. Can't imagine being in that financial/life position to be stuck on the side of the road for that long.
 

Jeep Addict

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Baton Rouge
State
La
I've spent the past hour thinking you guys found him dead under his truck. He is really lucky to be alive, but sounds like he's done run out of it. Glad you were there to help Jeremy, I'd have been useless to Tommy.

I think the water revived him. You were a huge help to me. Just being in contact with someone in the the area gave me some relief when I had no hope 1200 miles away.
 

Jeep Addict

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Baton Rouge
State
La
Yeah, absolutely destined for failure this guy. This guy was living on the side of Interstate 10 between Casa Grande and Phoenix for 2 days in his broken truck. When I got there he had no water and said all he had left were a couple warm beers in his truck. He smelled ungodly, was absolutely filthy from head to toe, and slept in the bed of Tommy's CJ8 he was transporting for the night.

I ended up driving about 10 miles to the gas station to buy this guy a couple gallons of water. When I brought it back he drank about a half gallon in a matter of 2 minutes. Seriously, it was 100+ degrees out. People die in this heat.

After about 1.5 hours of watching him try to install the u-joint in the middle of nowhere, he tells me "lets just disconnect the truck and you take the trailer." So we disconnected the trailer from his truck and I used my truck to pull his truck about 50 feet down the shoulder of the road. Tools and all sorts of crap were all over the side of the road. This guy had so much junk removed from his truck that it literally looked like a homeless camp on the side of the road.

So once his truck was out of the way, I hooked up his trailer and towed it to my house. Met Tommy and Raymond for an hour or so and then they hit the road back home.

The driver was actually a really nice guy. Just a bad truck, bad luck, and broke AF. He drove to my house yesterday and picked up his trailer. He even offered some money for the water I bought him. Genuinely nice guy, but absolutely no business hauling other people's valuables anywhere. You should have seen this truck...everything was bent or broken. The hitch received was so badly bent that it was at an almost 45* angle to the ground. All 4 tires on his truck were different brands and tread wear (most being badly worn). One tire looked like the sidewall had been scraping along a curb for an hour straight of driving. It almost looked like a whitewall! The Jeep trailer had all sorts of shotty home repairs.

Well, unfortunate circumstances but it was a pleasure meeting Tommy and Raymond. Glad you boys made it home safely.


I owe you big time. Let me know if you ever need anything this way
 

Scramblin Man

Beyond help
Lifetime Member
City
Woodway
State
Tx
Holy Guacamole Batman ! Glad it ended up alright.

When I saw the photo of the driver under the truck, thought it was a corpse !!!
 

Jeep Addict

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Baton Rouge
State
La
That is the best horror story I've read. I can't imagine what it was like driving out and not knowing if you would actually find the Jeep.

Very happy about the at least halfway happy ending. I do feel pity for the poor driver. Can't imagine being in that financial/life position to be stuck on the side of the road for that long.

It was all crazy to say the least. As we got closer and closer without passing the guy on the road I was feeling more and more like the Jeep was gone. It was a huge sigh of relief and the energy in the truck went way up after getting the call from Jeremy that he had located the rig. Raymond may have even shed a tear.

I had felt bad for the driver the whole time. He was genuine and very nice he just had NO good luck. I sent him hundreds along the way against his balance but he just never moved down the road. This made me feel even more scammed but I checked with Uship before sending him the funds and they insured me that they would deduct it from the balance.

Friday night he had left me a two minute coming to Jesus voicemail about his bad luck, the dark cloud that is always over his head, everyone thinks he's always lying about what happens to him, swearing on his grandson that all this bad luck is real and he would never steal from me and so on...

Then his phone was cut off when I called him back.
 
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