The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) is sad to announce the passing of longtime member and industry veteran Pat Crahan. He was 89.
Crahan served as chairman of TRALA’s Light Truck Rental Council (LTRC) for many years, and was a legendary figure in the world of truck renting, the association says. He worked at U-Haul for more than 54 years, and served as vice president of Government Relations from 1974 to 2014. He was also involved with TRALA from the very beginning when the association formed in 1978 and served in many capacities within TRALA, including a stint on the board of directors as well as serving as the LTRC Chairman for more than fifteen years.
One of Crahan’s most crowning achievements with U-Haul and TRALA was helping to secure apportionment for all fleet vehicles in which all trucks can be permanently licensed in a single state and then all states and provinces receive their fair share of licensing fees based on where those vehicles travel, the association says.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Crahan joined the U-Haul Team almost by accident. After an Oklahoma oil rig equipment company laid him off from his job as an offshore drilling supply specialist, he sent out résumés to several companies. When he received a packet from U-Haul, he set it aside, assuming it was information on moving. It wasn’t until he received a call from U-Haul asking to set up an interview that he remembered applying with the company. TRALA says Crahan knew very little about U-Haul at the time, and when he showed up to his interview in Oklahoma City, he assumed he’d be speaking with an HR representative. As it turned out, his interviewer was U-Haul co-founder L.S. “Sam” Shoen, who was so impressed that he asked him to be the marketing company president (MCP) for what was then U-Haul Company of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
In 1970, Crahan, a lifelong Oklahoman with roots going back several generations in the state, moved his family to Phoenix to work at U-Haul headquarters. He served as vice president of U-Haul International, a position that put him in charge of all departments and operations in the U-Haul Towers. Eventually, he gravitated toward zoning and government relations (which included working with state and provincial governments, as well as with oil companies).
In 1974, he was named vice president of Government Relations, the title he held until 2014, when he transitioned into what he called a “working retirement,” TRALA says.
Besides his long-time membership and leadership within TRALA, Pat also was very active in several organizations such as the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), the International Registration Plan (IRP), among many others.
TRALA adds none of Crahan’s successes could have been achieved without the support and love of his wife Velva. The two were married in 1956. Crahan summed up their relationship in 2006, when he and Velva celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. “What’s blessed our union,” he told U-Haul News, “is the fact that we’ve always supported each other in all areas of our lives. Velva gives me the confidence that helps me succeed in my negotiations for U-Haul.” Pat is survived by his wife, Velva, and their four children, along with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
TRALA says there are very few people that truly impact an entire industry such as Crahan did and for that, we are all grateful.
“From a personal standpoint, Pat was one of the very first people I truly got to know when I started at TRALA more than 7 years ago. One of the things that made Pat so valuable was his longevity and memory of issues which I and the rest of the government relations team have relied on over the years. Pat could tell you without blinking an eye, what TRALA did in a particular state on a very specific issue a decade or more earlier. TRALA often went to Pat for advice or guidance and while he was always ardently supportive of U-Haul’s position first and foremost, he also saw the bigger picture and helped advance causes even when it did not directly impact U-Haul because he understood it was important for the entire truck renting and leasing industry. TRALA achieved well over 100 state legislative victories with Pat’s direct help,” says Jake Jacoby, TRALA president and CEO.