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October 28, 2019 11:00 AM, EDT

United Road Acquires Truck Hauler Team Drive-Away

A United Road hauler A United Road Services carhauler. (United Road Services)

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Auto hauler United Road acquired Team Drive-Away, a company that specializes in moving new and used Class 8 trucks, United Road said.

As its name implies, Team Drive-Away handles “driveaway” services for truck buyers and sellers and also offers reposition services for fleets. Based in Olathe, Kan., the asset-light company handles 20,000 vehicles annually via a network of more than 500 independent contractors, according to United Road.

The acquisition was announced by United Road on Oct. 21 in conjunction with The Carlyle Group — its parent company — and other investors. Terms were not disclosed.

The deal includes Team Drive-Away’s affiliates, Driveaway USA and Fr8 Management. Together with these companies, United Road said it would move more than 4 million new, used and specialty vehicles annually.

United Road CEO Mark Anderson

Anderson

“With Team Drive-Away, we can further diversify our revenue stream,” United Road CEO Mark Anderson told Transport Topics. “And we already have the infrastructure.”

He added that there also is “a synergy and a capacity” since the deal adds heavy-haul capabilities to United Road’s core business.

Team Drive-Away’s most typical service is an independent contractor pulling a single truck, but the company can transport up to three trucks via multilevel platform decks or tow-behind booms, Anderson said.

The maximum number of tractors most driveaway companies configure is three, not including the hauler’s tractor, noted Robert Farrell, executive director of American Trucking Associations’ Automobile Carriers Conference. Current federal regulations limit driveaway configurations to go to 97 feet, he said.

Farrell said driveaway companies serve a need similar to that of rental-car companies that move vehicles around to optimal renting locations during peak times.

Team Drive-Away is the first driveaway company acquired by United Road, Anderson told TT.

Headquartered in Romulus, Mich., United Road provides finished-vehicle transport and logistics services from 90 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1998, United Road manages the transport of about 4 million vehicles. It employs more than 1,700 employees and 2,500 company-owned and dedicated independent vehicle carriers, and 4,500 third-party carrier partners, according to a company news release.

United Road has been a holding of The Carlyle Group’s U.S. Equity Opportunity Fund II since 2017.

Team Drive-Away, founded in 2007, was acquired by CID Capital in 2015. Team Drive-Away and its affiliates, Driveaway USA and Fr8 Management, have 45 employees. Team Drive-Away headquarters will remain in Kansas.

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