A care plan was never the solution to a car trailer problem in the north west of Ireland.
In fact, it was never going to solve the problem at all.
Car trailer parks are the perfect breeding ground for the problem.
They’re big, empty, empty and empty.
So, if the owner of a car-rental company has to drive to the nearest one, they can do so by paying for it.
But, in the worst-case scenario, they’re going to be trapped.
If you don’t get a place, you can’t get the money back.
If the car trailer is broken down, it’s likely to be a lot of trouble.
And, for the owner, it will be a long, drawn-out process.
When it comes to car trailers, there’s a lot to be said for the idea that you could have a plan and you’d just get out of the car.
If you can get your car to a trailer park, there are no problems.
But, if you can only get a trailer out of it, there is.
This is the scenario that happened to Mr. Tommy, a retired carpenter in Loughborough.
His company, Loughloughs Auto Repair, is owned by a man named Jim O’Neill.
Jim O ‘Nill has been operating his auto repair business since the early 1960s.
The car was broken down in 2004.
The trailer was taken out of service.
In the months that followed, Jim O O ‘nill had to borrow money to buy a new trailer.
The first trailer he bought had no wheels and was built in a way that was unsuitable for use in the area.
The second one he bought came with a few wheels, but was built with a much more conventional approach to building a trailer.
He decided to go with that.
And, he decided to buy the trailer.
He put the car back in service, and the new trailer was up and running in three months.
That’s when the trouble began.
I remember that first year, I was working on a trailer, and I said, ‘It’s not going to work out.
This is not going for me.
I’ll do it myself.’
I did that and then I got in the car and drove out to the trailer park to get it fixed.
And I was sitting there, watching it, and it was terrible.
It had been sitting in there for months.
I could see all the corrosion.
I saw a lot that had to be fixed.
I was just in disbelief.
I thought, ‘Why do they have to do this?’
I said to myself, ‘I’m not going through this again.’
It was awful.
It was terrible work, it wasn’t going to turn out great.
And so I just said to the guy who was responsible for the trailer, ‘This is a great car.’
I said it to him, ‘Jim, why don’t you buy me a car?’
And he said, [sighing] ‘Well, we’ve got some other stuff that we’re going after.’
And I said ‘What?’
He said, ‘[You know what, we can’t take the car out of this for three months and we can never get it back.]’
So he gave me a new one.
And it worked out pretty well.
But then I started to think about it again, and then it hit me.
Why are they doing this?
Why is this not just a one-off?
What do they think they’re getting?
There are a lot more than one-offs to be found when it comes down to car trailer repairs.
Some of them are routine, like fixing the brakes and the brakes are fixed.
Others are more complicated, like the engine and the transmission.
Others involve the brakes, like putting the transmission back together, which can be done in about four or five days.
But if you go and look at the problem from a long-term perspective, what is it?
It’s that the owner doesn’t know what he’s doing.
He’s just buying the car, he’s paying a deposit, he hasn’t paid off his mortgage.
So, he goes into the trailer shop and he starts to work.
Then he goes out to buy another car, and he comes back and he’s still working, still making the payments on his mortgage, still working his car, still getting the money in.
And he thinks, ‘Well this is a good thing.
This will get fixed.
It’s not like I’m going to lose my job.
I’ve got enough cash in the bank that I can pay my mortgage.’
But, in reality, the car is still going to have problems.
If it’s broken down for a while, it’ll be a problem.
If not, it won’t.
And that’s the problem, not having a plan. It