Going from point A to point B for a living lets two Myrtle Beach residents use all their transportation savvy, rolling right onto a TV show, too.
Christopher Hanna and his girlfriend, Robbie Welsh, have joined the cast of A&Es Shipping Wars, which begins its second season with two episodes at 9 p.m. Tuesday. The show delves into a competition among independent transporters to deliver bulky and unusual goods, which this season will include a Ferris wheel and a Vietnam War-era helicopter.
Hanna, a Pamplico native who owns and operates FCC Transport in Myrtle Beach, was making a delivery in Mobile, Ala., when he talked with us by phone Aug. 1 about the career he has built since handling the shipment of a motorcycle in 2008. He also credits Welsh, originally from Edgefield, a town near the Savannah River, for being his partner on and off the road.
Question | How did you land this role on Shipping Wars, besides through your own entrepreneurship?
Answer | I saw the commercial for the first season, and I found the production company, and I wrote them an email, saying You might find this interesting. It was exactly what I do for a living and how I started my business. And as the first seasons episodes aired, everybody started calling me, asking, Why arent you on this show?
Q. | How does this show underscore the reality in reality shows and the rigors of moving clunky wares?
A. | Ive said from day one that my life is a reality TV show because of what I do. I said that a year prior to the show coming out. ... Its unpredictable. You never know where youre going to be next. Ive been told it isnt a job; for me, its a lifestyle, and thats why I love it the way I do.
Q. | When Fred and Lamont Sanford on the 1970s sitcom Sanford & Son tried moving a piano, they failed to move their acquisition out of the clients apartment. What are the most common-sense things consumers need to remember when shipping bulky cargo such as a piano, vehicle or wall-size artwork?
A. | The biggest misconception by the public is ... theyll call and say the thing they want to move is 18 feet long, and you go there and its 20 feet long. ... Your price was based on the dimensions you gave us, ... so you should expect the price to go up. Every inch inside our trailers is potential profits for us. When you have something 2 feet long, we expect it to be 2 feet long or less. That way, when were booking shipments, we can make everything fit.
Q. | How is it to have such a handy and resourceful better half?
A. | Theres only so much you can do with two hands. Its invaluable to have someone with you to lend that extra hand. Shes 100 percent in what she does.
Q. | What if, any stress, does your golden retriever, Gixxer, exhibit on the road?
A. | The only stress he presents is he wants to go more miles than we can possibly drive. He does not want to get out and go into the hotel. He wants to stay in the back seat.
Q. | Does being a mover offer off-road ways to see the country?
A. | Our country is so big, its almost impossible to know everything about everywhere. We definitely know a lot more about a lot more places. The business I started ... I would go only to destinations where I knew people. The longer you do it, the more people you meet. This continues to blossom, then Robbie came into my life.
Q. | How often do maintenance duties arise, such as for oil changes and tire rotations?
A. | Definitely more frequently. You take 3,000 miles ... it can come by in a couple of days.
Q. | Whats the biggest item youve transported, and how long a route might a round of deliveries take you?
A. | We mainly do boats; thats our main core business. However, weve done an airplane. Well do a run and come back home. We usually bounce all around. We left South Carolina 12 days ago.
Q. | How easy is passing time when on the road, and what favorite spots do you find when traveling?
A. | We have XM Radio, and devices connected to the Internet. Our favorite place is the local country spot wherever it may be. If were going to be in this town, we ask, where would you go to eat? You just never know whats out there until you try it. If you enjoy what you do, youll never work a day in your life.
Q. | Where will your trailer be parked when the season premiere of Shipping Wars airs?
A. | Well be in Austin, Texas.
Q. | Motoring across the lower 48 states, how do things map out differently for you?
A. | Going coast to coast, we done Florida to Washington state, and New York to Washington. The lower coast-to-coast distance is about 2,600 miles, the upper is 3,200 to 3,400 miles. We cross it in every direction possible.
Q. | Is there any states roads you havent plied yet?
A. | Michigan -- other than Hawaii and Alaska. You dont go through Michigan to get anywhere. Its not like you pass through it. Every year, I hope we get to deliver a speedboat there.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.