Lumpers - are they needed

Discussion in 'Shippers & Receivers - Good or Bad' started by Aussie, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Bucks Owin

    Bucks Owin Bobtail Member

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    This whole business of lumpers is my pet peeve of truck driving. As far as I'm concerned, the unloading of a consignee's product is THEIR responsibility. Period! Why should the driver have to be involved at all other than to watch (if required) to make sure the count stays honest. I would like to see things change to the point that the consignee has to PAY by the hour for the time the truck is tied up and the clock starts ticking as soon as the trailer bumps the dock.....(Or arrives on site on time). If these companies, especially in the food industry, had to pay $50 hr for the time the trailer is in dock, the trucking world would be a better place!

    IMO,

    BO
     
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  3. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

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    If the unloading process consists only of pulling the skids off the truck, dropping them on the dock, and there is none of that sort-and-segregate crapola involved, lumpers are quite unnecessary. I'll unload my own truck, thank you very much.
     
  4. Bucks Owin

    Bucks Owin Bobtail Member

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    Heck, I've been to docks where they wouldn't even let you use their pallet jacks, never mind something like a forklift. (Even if you are "certified" to operate one) A lot of the problem at frozen food docks is room to break down the load. They simply don't have it and you must wait for their slack### employees to make space for you....

    Food industry/lumpers are a hassle no matter how you slice it...

    BO
     
  5. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

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    At places like that, the warehouse and the lumpers are probably working together. What better encouragement to use the inhouse unloading service, whose profits the warehouse probably gets a cut of, than to not permit one to use a pallet jack?
     
  6. Bucks Owin

    Bucks Owin Bobtail Member

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    Yep, you savvy good amigo!

    One tip that may help someone regarding loads to be slip sheeted onto "your" pallets. There you are, dog butt tired and you are asked to stand in the trailer and lay pallets down for the forklift guy. YOU want to grab a few Z's in the rack....

    Slip the guy a "gratuity" and line up your pallets stood up against the walls the length of the trailer. If the guy any kind of forklifter, he can tip them over flat as needed while you get a snooze.....

    Works for me...

    BO
     
  7. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Medium Load Member

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    Plenty of lumper horror stories for me :)

    Delivered a load of meat to Key Market in New York City (once). Never went back. My truck, so the lumper fee was out of my pocket. Lumper came to me at the back of the truck and told me it was $150 to unload the truck. I told him and his friend that I wasn't hiring a lumper. Their size, a shiny steel weapon, and the repeated words of how much it was going to cost, convinced me to pay them, shut my mouth, and go back to the truck. (At which point, the company was notified I would not be back to that market again)

    Grocery warehouse in the San Francisco area. Refused the lumper offers and grabbed me a pallet jack. While breaking down layers off my pallets, the lumper beside me would regularly swing by on his jack an knock my pallets around, knocking the freight (cases of sour cream) to the ground. I quietly picked it up a couple times as the warehouse employees snickered. The third time it happened, I returned the favor......excessively. The dock worker came to me threatening to kick me off the dock, I laughed. He then ordered me off the dock, at which point three other drivers who were watching their freight as it was being unloaded stepped up in my defense and demanded to speak to the warehouse manager, or whoever it took to straighten out the situation. Dock worker then just signed my bill of lading, without me even being done breaking it down, and let me leave. :)

    Oh, and I don't know if it is still this way (been out of the industry for a while), but at Wal Mart, they had a time limite for you to unload your truck if you wasn't using their service. I think it was 90 minutes or something. As long as you were paying their people, you could be at the dock for an unlimited amount of time. Needless to say, I spent longer there than my time limit a couple times, when told I was out of time, I dared them to remove me. :) AT that point, I carried on about my way of slowly pulling freight out of the truck.

    I hate lumpers and the whole theory behind it. There is no excusable reason at all for a truck driver who spends most of his time sitting down on the job to have to unload a truck. It is unsafe because it isn't work you normally do, and it also leads to pulled muscles and other on the job injuries.
     
  8. panhandlepat

    panhandlepat Road Train Member

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    they had BETTER BE PREPARED TO USE IT! is all i have to say. forget that, i have never and will never respond well to threats unless my wife and/or kids are there to worry about.
     
  9. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

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    You might hold a different point of view on the other end of the shiny steel weapon!:razz:
     
  10. panhandlepat

    panhandlepat Road Train Member

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    you are DEFINATELY right about that. but i have never responded well to threats in general. not trying to say i am "hard" or anything just, as my Dad would put it "obstinate" (SP)

    in a dark rest area or truck stop ,YES i would just give it up . so to speak.
    but at a customer?? i don't see how physical threats could be relevant?

    i thought everyone had cameras all over by now lol
     
  11. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

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    You need to see some of these delivery places! I have lived in a combat zone and have felt safer overseas where I knew they wanted to kill me then some of the places I have rolled freight into. :razz:
     
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