View Full Version : Trucking Companies

Scott Shepherd
06-21-2015, 11:30 AM
Anyone have any insight into trucking companies and how they operate? I sold a piece of equipment, crated it all up, and shipped it. I didn't make any of the arrangements, so I think we just searched for trucking companies online and called a few to see if they would do it. It was crated, about 250-300 lbs, going to a residential address. All noted up front, it's all on the Bill of Lading.

They said they'd pick it up between 3:00pm and 5:00 and they did. I got the tracking info and checked back a couple days later. It was going from Richmond, VA to just outside Dallas, TX. It took 3 days to get there, arrived at 4:00 in the morning and said it would be delivered that day. Checked back at the end of the day, and it said it would be delivered the next day. Checked back the next day, nope, it'll be the next day. I called them and asked when it would be delivered and they said it was out for delivery. Checked back at the end of the day, the new delivery date is the next day. Called back, they said it's out for delivery. I told them that's what they said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the guy that bought the equipment is starting to get hot and feel like I ripped him off. After 8 days, they finally showed up with a truck so large it wouldn't get down his street (they charged us extra for residential delivery), then they guy said he had no way to get it off the truck, which was a block away. He took it back and was told by the guy who bought it to come back with a truck that would actually deliver to a residential neighborhood. The next day, the guy who bought it calls them, they tell them they have a smaller truck and they'll deliver it that day between 8:00am and 10:00am. Doesn't come. He calls back, "Sorry, the driver is running late, it'll be between 11:00-1:00". Nope. Calls back, "It'll be between 3:00-5:00". Didn't show up at all.

The guy is so hot, he's calling me telling me he's going to refuse the shipment. I've called repeatedly and asked to talk to managers and I get put on hold until the phone hangs up.

Is this normal operation for trucking companies?

Every time I get to talk to a customer service person, they tell me the same thing "It's out for delivery tomorrow" or "It's on a truck out for delivery today", but it never happens. It took 3 days to get it to Dallas, now it's been over 10 days to move it less than 20 miles from Dallas.

I've never seen anything like this before but it seems impossible to get anyone that cares on the phone and the last thing I need is to have the guy refuse the shipment and have to refund him his money.

Any suggestions?

Art Mann
06-21-2015, 11:50 AM
Wow, that is a shame. I guess the trucking company knows you aren't a repeat customer and so doesn't care about satisfying you.

Mike Chance in Iowa
06-21-2015, 3:13 PM
Unfortunately this happens more often than not. There are a number of good, reliable LTL companies, but it seems there are far more difficult LTL companies. Due to their limited range of service areas, many of the shipments can transfer to multiple LTL carriers before they reach their destination. I don't know if there is any connection to this, but it seems many of the LTL companies are family owned and 2nd generation family are in charge now. The ones I have known and worked with, the 2nd generation family members seem more entitled and less willing to actually work for their title, nor do they have a sense of urgency.

In January we purchased a 400 lb item from a company 1300 miles away. In 3 weeks time, it traveled less then 300 miles and sat on the docks most of the time. It was then "rescued" by the 4th LTL carrier and in 2 days time it arrived at a hub less then 2 hours away. We were repeatedly told it was "out for delivery" yet each evening it never arrived. Their excuse was they needed a truck with a lift gate for a residential delivery. We repeatedly told them it was being delivered to a 24 hour facility with loading dock & fork lifts and there was no need for a lift gate. They assured us they understood and it would be delivered the next day. Yet again the next day we went through the same thing. We couldn't drive down and pick it up at the LTL carrier as they would only release it to the delivery address on the bill of lading. For over 3 weeks, that implement sat on their docks only 2 hours away. All we could do was call the main number for the LTL carrier and reach yet another new customer service rep answering phones that had no geographic knowledge or authority do to anything. They would not allow us to talk to the local hub direct and all listed phone numbers had been disconnected. The item seller and his corporate rep made daily calls, as well as the LOML and I made calls daily and each time we were told they couldn't deliver it due to lack of truck with lift gate.

On one day, we had been assured it would be out for delivery that morning on it's own truck. I checked online and the ETA kept changing later and later. I called the LTL carrier and reached a nice young gal. I explained to her that I was frustrated and trying not to take my frustration out on her as I knew she had nothing to do with the problem. She said that looking at the records, the driver had been rerouted to another location. I asked her "So in other words, someone in management told the driver to stop going where he was to deliver an item and go somewhere else and pick something up." She answered "I can't word it like that, but yes you are correct." The seller and I then got on a conference call with someone who claimed to be in management at the LTL company. It was a completely different story from them. He claimed that the driver had reached his maximum driving hours and had to turn back. How odd considering we had been guaranteed the night before that they were sending the item on a special run first thing in the morning. (We didn't confront them about what the girl said because we didn't want her to get in trouble for being truthful. It would not have changed the outcome of the delivery.)

The item was finally delivered in mid-April. It had received some damage, but it was usable. We later learned the 24 hour facility normally refuses deliveries from that carrier because the items always arrive damaged & late!

The only advice I have is to keep calling the LTL company and giving your customer updates. Even conference your customer in the LTL call with you if possible. If our seller had not been so willing to fight with the LTL company too, we would have refused the item. The seller would often call the LTL and sit on hold until he had a rep and then he would conference me in so I didn't have to waste time holding on the phone. There were several times the seller and I would talk about the experience we just had on the conference call with the LTL company and both of us were in shock at what had just been said or how there was utter lack of caring on the LTL side. In a twisted way, bonding over the bad experience with the seller was what prevented us from refusing the shipment or fighting about the damage in shipment.

daryl moses
06-21-2015, 5:41 PM
That's why I just pick my freight up at their terminal. A lot less hassle and quicker as well.

Wayne Huisman
06-21-2015, 7:57 PM
I've never tried these guys, but it might be an option in some cases. The seller would have to be willing to crate.


Matt Day
06-21-2015, 10:26 PM
I would be pretty fired up, after the second time they pushed the delivery time back. Have you asked for a manager and all that? I would be laying into somebody.

Good luck, that sounds rough.

Bill Clifton
06-21-2015, 10:39 PM
Cost may be prohibitive but I shipped a box UPS freight. Less than a week from Kentucky to Houston and delivered to the door. Tracked fine, great service. Yes, very expensive but I couldn't find another option.

Phil Thien
06-21-2015, 10:47 PM
I feel your pain, I've been through all this. I've had perfectly outstanding experiences with early deliveries one week and two weeks later it is like the wheels are falling off the bus. Exact same company. No rhyme or reason to any of it, from this outsiders perspective.

Any chance you can get through to the trucking company and talk to someone in management, rather than dispatch? Maybe it is time for someone to go talk to a dispatcher and tell them to wrap this one up.

Scott Shepherd
06-22-2015, 8:05 AM
Thanks for the stories guys, sounds like this isn't that uncommon. I've called three times and asked for management. Twice I was put on hold and after 10-15 minutes on hold the phone just disconnected, and the third time, the woman came back on the phone and said no managers were available and asked if I'd tell her the issue. I did, and she said that they only report what they are told, and they have no actual way to know exactly what's happening.

Honestly, had I known it was going to take 3 weeks for him to get it, I would have put it on our truck and driven it to him. The buyer doesn't have a truck, so they can't go pick it up without renting something.

He would have sent the package back by now, but on that one trip, he actually saw the crate, labeled, and that created some sense of relief for them, and the "send it back" tone died down, but it's ramping back up since it's been a week since that happened.

We called two larger companies that are in this area quite heavily and neither delivered to TX, which I thought was odd, I thought they went everywhere, but apparently not.

Phil Thien
06-22-2015, 9:17 AM
All I can say is business must be real good for these outfits to shaft us little guys all the time.

Very frustrating.

Randy Red Bemont
06-22-2015, 9:38 AM
I feel bad this is happening to the both of you. I've shipped before using a moving service and it went without any issues. They can handle items of size and weight and it was affordable. Good luck. Let us know when it does finally arrive.


Brian Elfert
06-22-2015, 9:42 AM
I have had stuff sent to me via LTL in the past and I have been surprised at how fast I get the shipments. The most common carrier has been Fedex Freight, but I have had deliveries from two others also. The shipments have come as fast or faster than a ground package. I have always picked up at the terminal to save on the residential delivery surcharge.

Val Kosmider
06-22-2015, 2:39 PM
It doesn't help your situation much, Scott, but I bought a John Deere Lawn tractor from a dealer in Iowa (sight unseen, but good pictures. Long story why anyone would do that, but that is for another day).

They contracted with a local Iowa shipping company which brought the tractor to me in Tennessee. Took a couple of days. They unloaded it and left it in my garage as I was away during the time of delivery. It arrived on time and unscathed and could not have gone better from my perspective. To say I was initially hesitant to buy something that costly, from a dealer I did not know, and have shipped by a company with which I was unfamiliar is an understatement.

Point is there are still some decent people in the world. Sadly, there are also a LOT of dirt bags as well. Hope your delivery eventually works out. A note of appreciation to the buyer for hanging in there once you get delivery might go a long way to soothing his experience.