A moral dilemma


#1

I need everyone’s 2 cents about a 2004 Dodge Ram truck I bought off a gentleman in Ma, this truck had a custom welded bumper on truck. On a gentlemans agreement part of the sale was, he wanted the custom bumper. The man that made it for him had passed away and his buddy wants to hang it in his barn as a memorial to him, I would do it after I drove it home 50 miles because I needed it to fix my license plate to it and that it would need to be done after I had gotten the truck home… Now it’s been a few months and every month I get an email from him asking if I’ve gotten it off for him yet. Now this is a heavy duty metal bumper that is welded onto the frAme. And inorder to get it off it will need to be cut. This would of course weaken the already weak frame and need to be grinder or cut off and would require another custom bumper to be put on it its place. My dilemma is should I tell this guy to kick rocks or have him pay for the removal, new bumper, and installation of the new bumper? Keep in mind that I payed him $3500 cash for this truck that has numerious problems including two new manifold and gaskets that costed me $1000 to get it done and numerious sensors, tie rods and body work from him hitting things with his plow, that I replaced inorde for it to pass Massachusetts inspections. Someone please help a busy body out so I can finally put this issue to rest. Thanks in advance. Calvin


#2

@CalvinS
In all honesty, did you know this bumper was welded on when you bought the truck and agreed to return it?

Did the seller recall that when he sold it to you?
CSA


#3

What exactly was the words of the gentleman’s agreement?

The cash or the problems have nothing to do with the bumper. If you agreed to remove and return the custom bumper, than that is the agreement. You can plead undue difficulty in removing it, he may be amenable.


#4

He only wants the bumper, You agreed to give him the bumper, do it in the best way possible that will result in the least damage to the result. The need for a new bumper is an obvious part of the deal.


#5
My dilemma is should I tell this guy to kick rocks or have him pay for the removal, new bumper, and installation of the new bumper?

None of the above. If I take your wording above verbatim, you need to remove the bumper and make it available to be picked up. The rest is on you. I don’t see any talk about any restitution for removal and replacement…


#6

Get an estimate from a qualified shop and give the seller the option to pay the cost in advance in order to get the “keepsake.”


#7

@CalvinS
"The man that made it for him had passed away and his buddy wants to hang it in his barn as a memorial to him, I would do it after I drove it home 50 miles because I needed it to fix my license plate to it and that it would need to be done after I had gotten the truck home…"

I have to ask. If you didn’t need to fix your plate to something, how was that bumper going to get off of the truck at the guy’s location prior to you taking it?

In my state if you do your buy/sell transaction and have a signed (by seller) title in your possession you can legally drive home (home only, shortest route) with NO plate at all.

How’d you get a plate? Was that the correct plate for that vehicle or was that done illegally?
CSA


#8

There’s no moral issue here at all. You agreed to give him the bumper; give it to him! It’s a shame it’s taken as long as it has.


#9

There’s nothing to discuss really. You agreed to have the bumper removed and returned to him once you got home. For whatever reason you have not done that. If the costs involved bothered you, then you shouldn’t have agreed to them in the first place.


#10

To everyone who responded thanks, keep them coming

In MA you need to have a license plate that is insured along with a sale receipt , which I attached my current plate to it inorder to drive it home. It was a snowy New England day when I went to pick it up, the guy wanted to do it on the spot but did not have the time after he took a look at it. It was an allday project. We have a “for parts” sales agreement which he wanted that on the sale agreement instead of “as is” Was going to use the truck as a yard truck but thought it was in too good of a shape to do so. He decided to sell the truck to pay for renovations on a house flip he is involved in. The bumper is a nice bumper with duel tow hooks, built in trailer plug unit, lighting and wired up for all the electrical.

As for the agreement, no paperwork stating so but a handshake that I would be the best I could to get it off. I don’t have have the garage or tools needed to pull off a job like this in my driveway.

Please keep the advice coming this is good, anyone need me to clear anything up or clearly?
Pictures of the bumper will be posted after work.


#11

You might drive around and find a little shop with a “Welding” sign on it. Where I live, that shop would torch that puppy off for $20.

Edit: And maybe weld a bar across the frame rails for another $20.


#12

“It was a snowy New England day when I went to pick it up, the guy wanted to do it on the spot but did not have the time after he took a look at it.”

Why not see if he’ll do it now?

I wonder if he’d accept a nice 11"x14" photo of the bumper to hang on his wall if you supply a nice one?
CSA


#13

Yep, take the bumper off and give it to him and get yourself a new bumper. You could have said “I’ll take it when you get the bumper off” but you didn’t. You should be able to cut the welds without damaging the frame with the right equipment. Yeah, bumpers are expensive and maybe you can find a replacement in the junk yard but a deal is a deal. And the character of person shows through when things get tough.


#14

You made an agreement. Stand by it. Period.
How you deal with the complications of standing by it is up to you, but do it.


#15

If you agreed to give him the bumper on a handshake with removal upon arriving home then you need to remove it and give it to him. Any issues about removal and replacement should have been thought out before shaking hands.


#16

If you were unaware there’d be an expense involved with removing it, I think it is fair to ask him to pay for that. Or that you deliver the truck to someone he’s assigned to remove the bumper for an afternoon. Beyond that, I’d say it is your obligation to return the bumper to him with due speed. How to handle the “no-bumper situation” once the bumper is removed is your problem, not his.


#17

You say you don’t have any paperwork or any kind of legally binding agreement other than a handshake to return the bumper to him.

Call me old-fashioned or idealistic, but as far as I’m concerned looking a man in the eye and giving him a handshake and your work is far more binding and honorable than any contract out there. If I look you in the eye, give you my word and a handshake that I’ll do something then dammit it’s going to get done.

Have the bumper removed and tell him to come get it.


#18

You may have to confess that removing the bumper is beyond your ability and ask for his assistance. Removing the REAR bumper will not compromise the frame, there is a strong cross member 6" in front of the rear bumper.


#19

I agree with the sentiment expressed thus far.

When I make an agreement with someone, especially when looking them in the eye and sealing it with a handshake, that means more to me than any written contract.


#20

“On a gentlemans agreement part of the sale was, he wanted the custom bumper … I would do it after I drove it home … I payed him $3500 cash for this truck that has numerious problems”

Pretty straightforward.
You bought a vehicle privately AS IS without adequate inspection, of both the bumper and the rest of the truck.
I think you should hold up your end of the agreement and return the bumper.
Think of the added expense as tuition for the school of life.