Please read the following if you have ANY QUESTIONS about LTL Freight delivery.
Trailer Parts Unlimited is a very large freight customer which allows us to pass our freight discounts to our customers. Although we do everything we can to ensure the safe and timely arrival of your merchandise, there are certain things that we cannot and will not guarantee.
If you MUST have your product delivered on a certain day and at an exact time, we ask that you get in your truck and pick up your product from our location. That is the only way you can be 100% guaranteed that your delivery experience will be perfect.
We ship dozens of items every day via commercial carrier. We ship hundreds of smaller packages each week via UPS and FedEx. There are times when packages get lost. There are times when products get damaged. We label and package our products so that they should never be lost or damaged, but we cannot control the delivery process once the product leaves our warehouse.
DAMAGED OR LOST PRODUCTS Freight Shipments
If a product is damaged or lost, it is the customer's responsibility to file a freight and damage claim with the freight company. We will assist the customer with this process (by furnishing correct contact information). Once the claim has been filed (this should be done immediately), we will assist the customer in the process.
The package (product) becomes the property of the customer when it leaves our warehouse, so it is the customer (owner of the property) that must initiate the claim.
We attach caution and warning labels to many of our products that are shipped by common carrier (freight truck), to remind the customer to thoroughly inspect all packages before signing the delivery receipt. If there is damage, please note the damage on the delivery receipt.
HOW DO I GET MY STUFF OFF THE TRUCK?
Most truck shipments will be delivered by a commercial freight carrier operating a tractor/trailer rig. The semi-trailer will be enclosed. Most commercial carriers have smaller straight trucks and some have small flatbed trucks, but the majority of freight companies will not use these smaller trucks for your delivery. We cannot guarantee the type of truck that will be used for delivery. You should assume that your product will be delivered on a tractor/trailer rig that uses a 53 foot enclosed trailer. This is a VERY LONG rig. It is the truck driver's responsibility to make sure that your product is brought to the back of the delivery truck. It is your responsibility to unload the product from the truck.
IT TAKES A FORKLIFT (OR SIMILAR) TO UNLOAD A LIFT.
The trucker will not allow you and your friends to spend 30 minutes in the back of his truck taking the pallet apart to "hand unload". Insurance regulations will not allow this.
The trucker has a schedule and cannot spend one hour at every stop to accommodate customers who are not prepared to offload their product.
SHIPPING TO A FREIGHT TERMINAL
Freight companies have hundreds of terminals located throughout the USA. If you don't have a way to unload the product at your home or business, the product may be shipped to a freight terminal for customer pick up. We will work with you to find the closest freight terminal.
When the product arrives at the freight terminal, the freight dispatcher will call the customer to arrange to pick up at the terminal. The freight terminals expect the product to be picked up within 48 hours of the notification call. If you do not pick up your products from the terminal within three days, you will begin being billed a storage fee. All freight terminals have different operating hours and loading procedures. We will provide the phone number and address of the freight terminal and you may call them in advance to ask about operating hours and loading procedures. In most instances, the freight terminal will load the product onto the customer's trailer or pickup truck. Open trailers are much easier to load (and unload) than an enclosed trailer. The freight terminal will require some type of positive identification before you can pick up your product.
CALLING AHEAD TO SCHEDULE A DELIVERY APPOINTMENT TIME:
The trucking company can call ahead (24-hour call the day before delivery) to schedule the delivery of your product. This "call ahead" feature is offered at a charge by many freight lines (but not all). When the product arrives at the destination freight terminal, the freight dispatcher will call to set up a delivery date and time at your location. It is important that the freight company has your cell phone or work phone number so that they can make immediate contact with you and not delay the delivery.
If your product is being delivered to a "legitimate" business that is open during normal business hours and has the facilities for unloading your product, then the "call ahead" feature is not necessary. One thing to keep in mind is that this "call ahead" feature will add one to three days of delivery time to the normal delivery time. (Assuming that the freight company is able to contact the customer very soon after the product arrives at their freight terminal)
The "call ahead" feature is needed if the product is being shipped to a residence (even if your business is located at your home) or to a legitimate business address that keeps unusual business hours. Many customers ask that the trucker call when he is 30 minutes away. This does not work. We cannot guarantee the trucker has a cell phone...or will call you. It is the customer's responsibility to work out the delivery arrangements with the freight dispatcher when you speak with the freight company. If you have special needs or delivery instructions, that is the time to discuss them and make those arrangements. Trailer Parts Unlimited does not own the delivery trucks or employ drivers for delivery.
DELIVERY ADDRESS IN A PARKING LOT, SCHOOL, CONSTRUCTION SITE, MILITARY BASE... NOPE
Trailer Parts Unlimited must complete the freight bill of lading with a permanent delivery address that includes a street address. There is no street address such as the west end of the parking lot of Sam's Club.
If a semi truck CANNOT get to your delivery address easily, it will not come. You must have a delivery address that allows a semi truck to enter and leave with ease. Neither dirt roads nor narrow 300-foot driveways will be acceptable. When the dispatcher calls to make delivery arrangements, you need to inform the freight company of any potential delivery problems that may occur. Perhaps the customer can make arrangements to meet the truck on the highway or even in a parking lot, but those arrangements are to be made between the truck line and the customer. TRAILER PARTS UNLIMITED CANNOT MAKE THOSE SPECIAL DELIVERY ARRANGEMENTS WHEN THE CUSTOMER PLACES THE ORDER.
GUARANTEED DELIVERY TIME AND DATE...WE TRY...BUT NO
We can give you an accurate ESTIMATE as to when you should receive your product, BUT we cannot guarantee a certain delivery on that date. Truckers have girlfriends, flat tires, a roadside rendezvous or two, and many other delays that may keep them from their appointed rounds. If you positively, absolutely must have a product on a certain day, either order two weeks early or get in a truck and visit our warehouse to pick up the product.
CALL IN A FAVOR FROM A FRIEND WITH A FORKLIFT (or something like it)
If you do not have the ability to unload the freight truck at your business, think about having it shipped to a friend that has the capabilities to unload a freight truck (forklift, skid steer, backhoe, or some sort of machine to help unload a truck). Why would you want to drive to a freight terminal to retrieve your product, if you can just drive across town to pick it up? Bribe one of your friends to help you offload the pallet at his business.
We ship many pallets to our customer's workplace or to their friends or relatives' places of business. The truck line can make a 24-hour call to the designating shipping point so that your friend will not be surprised when the truck arrives. Make sure you get permission BEFORE you arrange shipping.
WILL MY TRUCK DRIVER BE NICE TO ME?
Trailer Parts Unlimited does not own nor operate the freight trucks. If your truck driver is nice and helpful, do not compliment Trailer Parts Unlimited. If your truck driver is a little on the testy side, do not complain to Trailer Parts Unlimited. We have no control over your truck driver's mood or personality. We ship over 200 pallets per week and very rarely have negative feedback about a particular driver or freight company. We do get many positive reports about the freight carriers and their drivers. The truck driver is not a magician. They cannot levitate your pallet to the ground. They cannot back their 53-foot trailer (down your 300 foot, tree-lined driveway) and into your barn. Please don't expect them to do this.