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United Road adds heavy haul trucks to car carrier business

Acquisition diversifies company that moves 4 million vehicles a year

United Road has acquired Team Drive-Away in a private equity deal that expands United Road into the heavy-haul business. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to reflect the correct number of trucks operated by United Road.

United Road, which moves about 4 million new and used cars and light trucks a year, is expanding into Class 8 truck and equipment hauling with its acquisition of specialty hauler Team Drive-Away.

Team Drive-Away and its affiliate Fr8 Management, based in Olathe, Kansas, transport 20,000 Class 8 and related vehicles annually through more than 500 independent contractors. Trucks, fire trucks and utility equipment, whose weight can exceed 33,000 pounds, move as singles, on multi-level platform decks or in tow-behind booms.

Team Drive-Away’s customers include Walmart, Hub Group, Penske and UPS. 

Moving heavy-duty trucks where they are needed is a contractor-driven business for Team Drive-Away, the Olathe, Kansas-based business acquired by Romulus, Michigan-based United Road. (Photo: Team Drive-Away)

“Team Drive-Away is a natural fit for United Road that further diversifies our business,” said Mark Anderson, president and CEO of Romulus, Michigan-based United Road.

“Its asset-light business model of partnering with trusted independent contractors combined with our geographic territories will bring new opportunities and new customers to our combined enterprise.”

Companies that use Team Drive-Away to reposition and make the most of their fleets keep their drivers earning by hauling freight.

“They’re not going to use their scarce resource of drivers to get their vehicle from point A to point B in a non-revenue producing fashion,” Anderson told Crain’s Detroit Business. 

United Road owns 1,200 trucks and an additional 1,200 contractors run under the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation authority. It also has 4,500 third-party carrier partners. United Road has 90 transport and logistics locations in the U.S. and Canada.

United Road owner Carlyle Group purchased Team Drive-Away from CID Capital in a deal between private equity firms. Terms were not disclosed.

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.