Auctioning Off Arrow Trucking

How do trucking companies exit the industry? One desk, chair and belt buckle at a time.

An auction company in Tulsa, Okla., this week disposed of the remaining assets of Arrow Trucking, a flatbed hauler that slammed its doors shut a few days before Christmas.

The shutdown stranded nearly 1,000 truck drivers without fuel money and left shippers scrambling to find their freight as tractor-trailers were abandoned hither and yon.

In two days, Mr. Ed’s Auction disposed of company assets, from a case of Arrow Trucking belt buckles to tractors, trailers, forklifts and shop equipment.

The bids, as reported by D.R. Stewart in the Tulsa World on Tuesday and Wednesday, weren’t staggering, though some of the items were surprising. Five electronic typewriters, for example, were sold for $30.

A half-dozen boxes of company baseball caps fetched $70. And that case of company belt buckles went for $190. Watch for these items on Craigslist or e-Bay.

Some of the items up for sale on the second day of the auction included a 2006 Kenworth tractor, a 1999 Freightliner and a restored 1956 International.

Some of the bidders on Wednesday were other trucking outfits looking for bargains. The Kenworth, which had more than 462,000 miles, sold for $21,500, the newspaper said.

That 1956 International, restored a few years ago, sold for $15,000.

This wasn’t the first Arrow auction — many trucks were sold in March. By this week, bidders were pretty much picking the bones of the company.

Arrow, which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection from its creditors in January, had only $8.5 million in assets and nearly $100 million in liabilities.

One item that reportedly wasn’t auctioned off — as it was attached to a fence — was a sign saying “Welcome Drivers — Thank You For Making Our Jobs Possible.”

Those drivers and other employees may be owed more than $720,000 in back wages. To get paid, they’ll have to get in line with other creditors.

For Arrow Trucking, it's all over but the lawsuits. Transportation Alliance Bank is suing the company's former executives for fraud and racketeering.

Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com.

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