Idiots!!!!! Good Grief!!


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Jun 17, 2005
Manitoba, Canada
This is long : consider yourself warned!!!

Ok, so today for the first time one of our suppliers decided to try a new shipping company.

(We'll call them "X") We ordered foam core and glass last week and still hadn't recieved it. So today we called and asked where it was. Apparently the company called up "X" and told them that we wanted our stuff delivered.

So the phone rings and this guy is on there and he's from company "X". He says "Well, we have your order here that you wanted delivered today" and I said "yes" but I was really thinking "no... we actually wanted it 3 days ago...." So then he goes on to say that they have a big truck and is there a place to unload it. Ok - fair enough, so I tell him, well if you come to the back door there is a large parking space but we have no loading dock. Ok, so then he says "well, where are you?" So I said "7** 10th street" and he says "well, where is that?" to which I responded "well, .... we're on the 7 hundred block of 10th street" (we are NOT in a big town -ANYbody can find 10th street - you'd think esp a DELIVERY company!!!)

So THEN he says "well, is there anyone there who can help unload this stuff??" I was alone so I told him that no, there isn't - I'm here alone right now and I'm not strong enough to carry all that stuff (10 cases of glass and a large box of foam core) So then he says "well, cause I'm all alone today." to which I said nothing and he went on "the other guy is at graduation today" Ok.... so exactly how is that MY problem???!!!
You guys are a business!! I didn't say that but I was thinking it!!

Then he says "Plus, I've got a sore arm". Well, now I'm starting to get mad. :mad: We are paying for door to door delivery and this guy is just so pathetic. So I said to him "well, what are you planning to do about it, because like I said, I can't carry that stuff, it's too heavy for me."

So then he was just silent and after a few seconds I said "listen, will there be someone there to help you tomorrow?" and he said yes there will, so I just told him to bring it tomorrow.

THEN we called the supplier to complain about this new company and they checked into it and called us to say that our order has been in town since MONDAY!!!

Tomorrow should be interesting! They'd better not try to drop it outside and leave. THis is just so stupid I had to share it!!!

I can hardly wait to see what condition this stuff shows up in.........
Whether it's the Larson Juhl truck or DHL with boxes of moulding, we always help unload.

I just thought it was expected.

But, waiting for a delivery from Monday to Thursday would have me cranky. There's no excuse for that.
I think if you check the terms of business that the outsource shipping/carrier companies use……you will find that “Delivery” means that the goods are delivered to just inside or just outside the delivery door to your premises…..and more than likely at ground level

Anything else is at the digression of the driver/delivery person and that more than likely he is breaking his terms of employment to carry the goods into your premises…..

Delivery by suppliers own truck may vary from a common carrier.

There is an international code which dictates the common delivery point to a premises that all carriers subscribe to…….or that is all the reputable carriers…

Another thing you need to check is what is considered timely delivery by the carrier…….

Something to keep in mind… that internationally there is a great shortage of “The Man in the White Van” (the delivery truck) and some companies are setting too high an expectation on deliveries for there customers when they promise deliveries.

“The Man in the White Van” is an expression coined in England by a journalist who writes about the transport/shipping business…..

Shipping plays such a critical a roll in even the smallest business that every business person should spend a little time trying to understand the whole area that shipping logistics plays in their business…….

To moan after the fact if you have not done you homework is nobodies fault but your own…….you control the suppliers and services you use in your business…
How are you curently moving boxes of merchandise, etc within your shop?

I would also suggest in purchasing some "material handling" equipment. 2 wheel trucks and or a flat bed cart along with a pair or work gloves would be first on my list for unloading and or moving things within your shop.

I learned a long time ago that is is much easier to push a cart or pull a 2 wheeler than ruin ones back. :D

A friend of mine (a Master Rigger/Erector Ironworker) always reminds me that his name is not "MANUEL LA BOUR"

He never used his back to lift anything other than a 6 pack, he used his brain.

BTY, at one time in his life he could move a refrigerator by giving it a bear hug and lift.
Obviously, I need to count my blessings. I have never helped or been asked to help unload deliveries, but I have offered. If Company X is a shipping business, then I say it is their responsibility to pre-locate the destination and unload the goods. Would UPS or FedEx ask for help? Our regular UPS guy has another UPS person to help when making heavy or oversized deliveries.

I expect to assist our framing suppliers, but it has never been necessary. Our Larson driver not only unloads the weekly delivery, but he always puts it in a designated area for me. Another supplier is a different story. If we do not literally meet him at the door, he will prop it outside wherever the mood strikes him. Nope, doesn't matter to him if the sun's shining, or it's coming a flood (mats and all).
When my 40x60 Vacuseal press arrived by common carrier from United (many years ago) the driver asked me where my loading dock was. "You're standing on it," said I. "And your forklift?" "You're looking at it."

He very kindly agreed to return the next day so I could arrange for some muscle and some equipment.

I went through a similar experience when my Mat Maestro arrived, except that I knew exactly when it would be here.

I imagine shipping and delivery charges would be MUCH higher than they are if having two men in the truck was a requirement. I'm pretty strong for an old guy, but I've learned to be resourceful while working alone. You definitely don't want to risk a back injury.
If I'm paying for delivery, I expect to get it on time, in good condition, and not have a hassle with the deliver company on all kinds of excuses, no matter how much I would have checked out the delivery service. If it's free delivery from a supplier, I would still be expecting good service, just the same as my customers expect it from me. Sounds like your supplier needs to change delivery services to someone who cares about their job. These people must not. As far as unloading, I can see you are in a bind on that. Most of my suppliers help with unloading, but some will not. I guess it's their choice. At the same time, makes you wonder how the guy is going to get it on the truck in the first place if he truely has a bad arm. Sure hope you get your stuff in one piece. :(

The only times I have ever known the delivery guy to not be able to unload his truck himself is when it required a forklift. Even then, some delivery companies take that into account, and use a truck with a lift, and a pallet dolly.

While I would not expect a delivery to "of course" be brought inside, I would expect it to be "of course" unloaded!

If I were delivering to a small business, I would expect to be unloading without a dock or freight hands.

Yes, you do have to shop around for freight companies, but no, you don't have to take poor service, even if it is technically correct.

If you are having something shipped via a "common carrier" you have the option of requesting a "mechanical tailgate" for the delivery truck when there is an extra heavy load coming. This option of course comes with a surcharge.

On the second hand, if all the freight is in the front of a trailer on pallets and the driver does not have equipment to move the material to the tailgate, it is not your responsibility to have the equipment to move the pallets to the back of the truck.
And, another thing! As a former warehouse manager, I can tell you that, when you are delivering, you want that stuff out of your warehouse as soon as possible.

While it is at your location (which includes the inside of your delivery vehicles) YOU are responsible for its condition. Also, you want to have space for other incoming items. That means, you find a way to get the stuff delivered, rather than wait another day.

That delivery company is off to a bad start.
We have ALWAYS been very good to our delivery guys - and we will help them whenever possible. It does take 2 people to unload the foamcore and usually there are 2 of us at the shop to help out. We have never before had 2 guys come for a delivery.

I can honestly say that our delivery guys like us - we always joke with them, give them respect (something they tell us not very many other places do - they get a lot of rude customers) offer them treats if we have some, give them Christmas gifts, etc...

What had me with this guy was the whole "I'm alone and I have a sore arm" bit plus the "where are you?". First of all, if I needed to help him I would struggle my way through - but with him being lame like that there is NO WAY in heck that I'd be able to take the main part of the load on this!! Unfortunately I'm the wimpy one in the shop, but even the others have had sore shoulders and back for days after helping to unload.

I think I was mostly upset because the guy just seemed to either a) not have a clue or b) not really want to do his job and was stalling.

BTW - once it is in the store we automatically unpack it all - put the glass on the glass rack (I can handle 2 sheets at a time - not 4) and the foamcore on the wall - so it's not like we have to drag around the whole shipment - our location is quite small. For them to put it inside is only about 5 feet more than outside so it's not like we make them carry it around forever either.

Thanks for the input guys - guess I'd better go and see if this shipment arrives...
When we got our cmc (800 lbs in the crate) had to have it shipped to one of our suppliers with a loading dock. I met the delivery truck with my pickup truck. Using a forklift we transfered the crate to my truck. Now that I have this thing on my truck 800 lbs what do I do with it? Went to a friends shop, excavation and heavy equipment, took it off my truck with his forklift, now what do we do with it 2 miles from my shop. Now the fun part, We put the cmc crate and all in the front bucket of his LARGE frontend loader, drove to town ,down main street, set the crate on the side walk on rollers, pushed it up the alley,uncrated it slid it in the door. YEA HOME FOREVER.
My Larson driver delivers, unloads and puts it in the rack. I had a delivery once (not Larson) and the driver started whinning. I called him a whimp and he got so mad that he unloaded my order from the truck.
Life is all about interactions ... the more you put out the more you get back ... or so I have found ... when our delivery guy arrives he'll often just unload and stack stuff inside ... he knows where I like to keep stuff ... often I'll go out and help drag stuff off the truck ... it all depends on what's going on ... when he has big stuff I'll always make a point of helping ... and when I have big stuff to move inside he's always ready to help even though it's nothing to do with his delivery. He has often helped lift oversized mirrors etc off the bench. Oh, did I say he? I should have said she as well. Some of our delivery "guys" are women. One of these women helped me uncrate and move a V-nailer a few weeks ago ... didn't have to ask ... she just wanted to help. And when we had to unload a big crate from a truck the guys from the cleaners next door were round like a flash. The woman that helped me uncrate and move the V-nailer was also kind enough to take away the empty crate in her truck saving me the trouble of breaking it up and putting it in the dumpster. One delivery guy found that his warehouse had given him the wrong materials for our order ... a long and complicated story the details of which I won't bore you with here, but definitely not the fault of the driver ... anyway, he took it on himself to drive back to the warehouse (about 25 miles on busy freeways) and come back later with the right piece. The point of all this rambling? Just to say that since being in this business I have had the pleasure and honor to interact and work with some of the very nicest people on this planet. And to say that the more you give the more you get. The world spins very nicely when you do.
i live in another country, so maybe i am hopelessly out of touch. it strikes me that no one mentioned tipping the delivery guy. i tip well and the guys are very helpful. is that not an acceptable practice in the usa?
Fortuna, thats a good question!

Speaking for myself, the drivers make more money than I do!

Sometimes the drivers make more than we do. If you are an employee framing in the US, you can bet the driver makes more. If he is Union, it could be a lot more.

In a past life I was a truck driver.

Not that tipping is wrong, I have just not heard of anyone doing it here.
I you were to read the delivery companies insurance policy,it most likly states in it that, they will only cover shipping damages caused by the companies employees not anyone else,so if there was ever any damage to materail then "technical" the delivery company would not be cover by their insurance, nor would the insurance cover injury. I use to work as a trucker' helper back in college, and they would not allow anyone other then their employees, move goods.
Well, we got our stuff today. THey brought it in the back of a half ton truck. They said it was "easiere" that way.

We've had so much rain and flooding in this part of the world that all the boxes were "damp" and warbled.

THis is the BEST!! The two of them pull up and the glass in in the truck box and the foam core is lying on top of it, down flat.

They knock on the door and I went outside to hold the door open (windy day) and one of them looks at the door, then looks at the box and then at his buddy and says "so... how do you suppose we're going to get it through that door??"

I almost fell over!!! I couldn't believe I actually heard that!!! UH!! stand it up!!??


So then they went on and on about how sorry they are that it took so long and how they've both been sick for the last few days and aren't up to snuff yet. Didn't mention the sore arm or the graduation though....... must have forgotten telling me that yesterday!

They were very polite and all, but in all honesty, we called our supplier today and asked them not to send it with them again. We want our old guy back!!!
Amazing...simply amazing. Sounds like you got Moe and Larry, and Curly stayed at the delivery company to answer the phone.

So my question long did it take them to figure out how to fit the box in the door?

Glad you got your glass in one piece! Sounds like they were considering breaking it up so it would fit.
Every so often I give my regular delivery drivers a €5 or €10 tip…….this is not the norm in Ireland and it is always well received……I have two regular delivery/truck companies one from Ireland and the other from Holland……the Dutch drivers are always very surprised that I give a tip…….
You have to be kidding, Dermot, "breaking the terms of delivery" for a driver to unload small stuff? We aren't talking about unloading large heavy equipment requiring a forklift, just everyday supplies. Give Handy a break, geez, do you think the shippers' insurance company wants to pay for injuries to non employees? I've been doing this for 28 years now and have offered to help unload a truck, but have NEVER been allowed to do that. Those drivers know exactly how to unload and carry the weight so they don't get injured, and if a company doesn't train them to do so, then the company needs to get out of the business. Granted, Canada, Ireland or some states may have laws preventing such activity, but in Texas the driver brings the shipment over the threshold, and again, I'm not talking about freight that needs a forklift. Do you help your UPS and FED EX drivers? No way! It just isn't allowed.

A supplier (maybe 25 miles away) changed couriers from one who delivered perfectly timely every day to one you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole who couldn't even manage to get here before closing. Our sales rep just didn't understand what the fuss was about. After some high spirited complaining it was changed to another guy in the same courier company, and viola, he faithfully comes the morning after we order!

Good luck getting your old delivery people back, Handy. I wish we had ours back. It is way too easy for people to set themselves up in a courier business....much like framing I guess.
I have never tipped in money, but I always have home made goodies around on delivery days. Most of the drivers are happy to take some. (The lemon cookies and coffee fudge being favorites) One asked for a recipe.

Being nice to the delivery people is a good way to keep your deliveries prompt. It also puts you in the grapevine for gossip from other shops. ;)
I had an L-J delivery guy for a while who was incredible. It was like having a second rep.

So I got the name of his boss and called him up to tell him what a fabulous job Tony was doing for them.

Sure enough, a very short time later, Tony was promoted to a position with more responsibility and we got a driver who, how can I say this kindly, not Tony.
Small package carriers such as UPS, FedEx and DHL are obligated to deliver the stuff inside your place of business. Generally, unless paid extra, LTL trucking companies such as Yellow, ABF, Consolidated, etc, are only responsible to get the material to the back of the trailer. However, in practice I have found that almost every driver will load and unload any freight that is manageable by one person.

If you are unhappy with the method of delivery, the best thing, as Handy did, is to let your supplier know. It may cost more to use another method or carrier, but that's what's so great about the USA - you get to choose which set of features best suit you.
My best experience was when I bought my Pistorius double miter chop saw. Definitely not an easy move. First, it is bolted to a skid which doesn't fit onto the lift gate on the truck. So we move it to the edge so I can cut some of the skid off with a circular saw. Then turn it 180% so it now fits on the gate.

We get it onto the ground and as we are struggling to dolly it into the shop, the UPS guy drives up and seeing us trying to honk this beast into the store, jumps in and helps us get it in and into place.

Now THAT is service above and beyond. It's nice to live in a rural area. People are more likely to help each other.

With my CMC delivery, I went down to the local homeless shelter and hired 3 guys to hang around until the truck came and they had it off the truck, uncrated and into the store in a half hour. Best $20 each I ever spent.