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Thread: Caution on Wilke if you're rural

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Caution on Wilke if you're rural

    About 3-4 weeks ago I finally decided and ordered an Yorkcraft 8' jointer from Jay at Wilke. I live in the middle of nowhere - roughly 30 south of the the Canadian border, an hour south of Thunder Bay.

    Not many truck lines come this way and freight was expensive ($238 after the $30 was taken off). I asked at the time to make sure it would be delivered by a truck with a liftgate and was assured by Jay that it would. A week ago an 18 wheeler showed up with my jointer, but no liftgate! The driver wanted me to help him lift it down to the ground, but I've had three hernia operations and am trying to avoid a fourth.

    I told him the shipper had guaranteed me a liftgate and he laughed and send: "Sure they do. It's easy for them sitting back in PA. Our line has only one truck in the fleet with a liftgate." I had to refuse it and was told it could be weeks or months before I would get it.

    I called Jay as soon as the truck left and after explaining the situation he said: "Well, that isn't very good customer service is it? I will check into it". He said R&L line that picked it up in PA has lifts on all their trucks, but they had inter-lined my jointer with another company out of Duluth to get it here.

    I haven't heard anything from Jay since.

    Today I got a call from the line in Duluth to reschedule the delivery. I asked about a liftgate and the dispatcher said the truck would not have one. They only have one truck that does. He said they will try and send it up next week but could guarantee nothing. (They come up this way once a week).

    Just thought anyone living in a rural area and thinking of wordering from Wilke, or anyone else possibly, would want to know.

    Still waiting, Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Athens, AL

    Not just Wilke...

    Had the same thing happen with Mini-Max last week. It's a game played not by the vendors, but by the shoddy service of the local truck lines. They accept the orders with "liftgate required," then they bellyache about not having a liftgate and pallet jack -- even though they took an order and accepted YOUR payment (in your case an order placed with them from Wilke, using your money) for that service.

    I raised cain with the trucking line -- "You accepted a liftgate required order," I told them... "Yes sir, but we only have one truck with a liftgate." "Fine... I really don't care if you have a liftgate or not. Just bring enough people to sit that 1000-lb box-on-a-pallet down in my shop." A day later, they showed up with a liftgate and a pallet jack. They even claimed they didn't own any pallet jacks. A trucking company with no pallet jacks?!?!? Funny thing was, by the next morning, they mysteriously owned one, and it wasn't new.

    Anyway, raise sand with the trucking company. They'd rather you build a loading dock and rent a forklift, but you PAID for liftgate service, and they're supposed to deliver it.

    Jeff Smith
    Athens, AL
    Athens, AL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Leesville, TX (San Antonio/Austin)
    Brings back memories of accepting deliveries for the computer center. Computer room on the second floor, loading dock a non-standard height (I never did undestand how the Corps of Engineers let THAT happen!)...the Air Force ALWAYS specified inside delivery. I can't tell you how many times Bubba would show up with Mrs Bubba riding shotgun...and NO RAMP, NO PALLET JACK, and NO LIFTGATE. They don't care...they KNEW we had a ramp, pallet jack, and a bunch of 'get 'r done' guys that WOULD get whatever it was off the truck. Scares me to think back on some of the things we did...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Oak View, CA
    Yikes! I ordered a table saw a few weeks ago and paid additional charges for a liftgate and they are supposed to place the pallet inside my residential garage. Sure hope I get what I paid for.

  5. #5
    I had good luck with my lift gate delivery. Came on a semi with a lift gate, only thing on it, clear from Milwaukee (About 2 hours away).
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005

    R&L does indeed have lift gates on their trucks. They have picked up and delivered for me and all have had lift gates. ABF has also made deliveries but they don't have lift gates. They did have a fork lift in the back of the truck with some special forks that they can lower the freight to the ground. It sounds like the problem is with the carrier. I would get back in touch with Wilke and have them apply pressure to the carrier they contracted with. Since they do a lot more business with them than we as individuals do, they will have more clout.

  7. #7
    I just have everything heavy delivered to my local lumber supplier. They unload there for me with their forklift. They usually call me, then I go in with my truck and bring it home.
    Then I call my dairy farm neighbor, and he comes over with his tractor and front end lift and unloads it for me into my shop.

  8. #8
    I know your pain.
    The closest grocery store is ten miles.
    The game the truckers play here is to call and say they want me to meet their truck at the loading dock of a manufacturing company six miles away.
    They say they cannot get their truck to my address, read 18 wheels and no lift gate. In all cases I refused and contacted the shipper who worked it out with the trucker who found the right sized truck. An exception was Woodworker's Supply got it right the first time. Lift gate service, at no extra charge. The only problem was my icey sloped driveway. Had to reschedule twice and then the inexperienced driver, went off my driveway into packed snow and we had to help him out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Wendell, NC

    Red face Got Lucky

    I must be one of the lucky ones , when ordering by bandsaw from laguna they actually had it go through two shipping companies, one to get across the US and one who actually when out and rented a truck with a lift gate to get to my house. I live about 20 miles outside Raleigh, NC.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Engadine, Michigan (Upper Peninsula)
    When I ordered my Unisaw last fall from Woodworker's supply they told me that the company delivering the saw would have a liftgate truck and would sit it inside my shop if the shop had a large enough door. I told them that it was unheard of in my area of the country. They assured me it would happen.

    Sure enough, the carrier in what is considered to be loacal delivered with a liftgate and sit the saw down just inside the big garage door.
    I could'nt believe it.

  11. #11
    I've had the same trouble each and every time I've ordered big machines. None of the freight companies have showed up with a lift-gate. Each time, one of two things happened.
    1. I've gone to a local freight depot with my truck to get it.
    2. With the driver's assistance, I've slid the machines from the trailer to the ground on a pair of planks.

    I haven't raised too much of a stink because I was just so darned happy that my new toys had arrived.

    "He who dies with the most toys is none the less dead."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Inlet, NY (beautiful Adirondacks)
    I ,too, live rural and pay for tailgate as it is over 100 miles 1way to most depots. When they showed up with no tailgate that was on the invoice, I refused delivery signing "refused due to damaged goods." This would require them to ship back to vendor and get replacement at their expense. A phone call from the dispatcher soon got a liftgate truck with the goods.

    This trick is very common here as we live in a tourist area and none of the gift shops, store, have loading docks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Mont. Co. MD
    This reminds me of the time when I bought my first real table saw. A Delta CS, which was only recently replaced/upgraded. I too had paid extra for a liftgate truck.

    When it was ready to be delivered, the trucking company called to set up a delivery and a time. I had to take a day off from work to be home, and they never showed up. Many phone calls back and forth later, the trucker was having some kind of mechanical trouble. Finally he did show up very late with my his car!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Southwest Florida
    I had the same experience as Garry and Herb with Woodworker's Supply. My Uni showed up in a 18 wheeler with a lift gate and pallet dolley and sit it down in my garage right where I wanted it. What a plesant experience. Woodworkers Supply must have an in with the shippers.
    Last edited by Allen Bookout; 08-18-2005 at 10:06 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Oak View, CA
    Just wanted to post a followup on my SawStop delivery. I have never ordered a machine this large before so with great fear I paid extra for liftgate delivery and for delivery into my residential garage. The SawStop people assured me that there would be no problem and there wasn't. I'm going be be a little more relaxed about ordering larger machinery in the future! I do live in suburban Southern California though and this may make a difference.

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