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Following the U-Haul articles

June 27, 2007

Re "Danger in Tow," a three-part series, June 24-26

The Times is to be lauded for its series on U-Haul International Inc. I have used its trailers and tow dollies several times and have found only two facilities that knew what they were doing when hooking up the equipment and verifying that I was informed regarding requirements for safe towing.

I always check inflation pressures, light operations, etc. by myself as soon as I have driven away from the rental facility. I do hope your investigation and reporting will result in either regulatory legislation, increased scrutiny by highway safety law enforcement or a guilty conscience by U-Haul management.




I'm so glad to see the investigative series on U-Haul. Twice I have experienced major mechanical malfunctions on a U-Haul truck, including one 26-foot-long truck with a completely severed brake line. Thankfully, I noticed the pool of fluid before I took off down winding mountain roads. The response from customer service? They'd let us keep the truck a day longer without charging us. Unbelievable.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday July 01, 2007 Home Edition Opinion Part M Page 3 Editorial Pages Desk 0 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
U-Haul employee: In a June 27 letter to the editor, the writer, James D. Fait, should have been identified as an engineer with U-Haul International Inc.


San Bernardino


Re "Driving with rented risks," first in the series, June 24

As chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers Trailer Committee and an individual who has logged thousands of hours testing and towing all manner of trailers personally and for U-Haul International Inc., I am dismayed by your article, which says, "It is not unusual for a trailer to swing slightly. This normally poses little or no threat, but can be a sign of trouble."

This is confusing and could lead to more accidents and, much worse, loss of lives. Trailer sway in a manner perceptible to the driver is not acceptable or normal. Such an event is a clear indication that the combination is not loaded properly and that the driver will likely incur problems at higher speeds. The driver should immediately stop, check his load and reload belongings as required. When loading a trailer, load heavier items in front, with 60% of the weight in the front half of the trailer.



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