Before You Place Your Freight Order
Save this information for whenever you order anything that will be shipped to you in large crates. This article represents a lot of research on the latest information about trucking lines and might save you time and expense later.
Arrange to have someone 18 or older meet the truck that is delivering your purchase.
1) Lift Gates and/or Inside Delivery
Shipments of large crates such as kilns to residential areas require a motorized tailgate to lower the kiln to your driveway. This is because houses don’t have high docks. Remember to request the lift gate when you order the kiln. Otherwise there may be a redelivery charge in addition to the standard shipping fee.
Will you need help unloading the kiln? Ask for inside delivery when placing your order. There is an extra fee for inside delivery. If you unload it yourself, make sure you have enough people to help, and a pallet jack.
2) Difficult Access Locations
Do you live where an 18-wheel tractor trailer would have difficulty maneuvering? (For example, gravel roads, narrow or steep roads, dead-end streets, sharp turns, or power lines that are too low for a truck to go under.) Notifying the trucking company of this in advance will prevent extra costs and difficulties.
If your kiln will be delivered to a difficult location, 1) Meet the tractor trailer at the end of the street, 2) Pick up the kiln yourself at the freight terminal, saving you the residential delivery fee, or 3) At the time of order, specify that you will need a small box truck for delivery.
If you live in a remote area that is difficult to find on some GPS systems, let the trucking company know in advance. I know of one location that Google Maps can find, but where some GPS systems get lost. In this case getting lost means an 18-wheeler has to reverse its way down a narrow road for almost a quarter of a mile. Yes, this actually happens.
3) Delivery Point is the Curb
Most trucking companies will deliver a crate only to the curb or the front of your driveway. This is because an 18-wheeler cannot go up your driveway unless you have a commercial location that accepts trucks. Most companies offer inside delivery, as stated above.
Receiving Freight Shipments
1) Count the Number of Pieces
The bill of lading lists the number of pieces shipped. Make sure you receive all the items and that they are all addressed to you before the driver leaves.
2) Check for Shipping Damage Upon Arrival
If you see:
Minor cosmetic visible damage to packaging or contents
Document the damage on the delivery paperwork. Note even small damage to the crate or cardboard, such as torn paper, crinkled cardboard, or loose banding. Have the driver give you a copy. Have him sign it. Take pictures. Open the crate or box as soon as possible and inspect the contents.
Obvious visible damage
Refuse the shipment. Note or have the driver note the nature and extent of damage on the delivery paperwork. Get a copy of the paperwork. Take pictures of the damaged crate or box and contents.
Concealed damage found after delivery
If damage to contents is found upon opening, notify your distributor and/or carrier immediately. The carrier must be notified within 5 days of receipt. Leave the damaged goods in the original shipping container. THIS IS ESSENTIAL! Keep all packing materials. Take pictures of the crate and damaged contents.
Have the carrier arrange for an inspection of the goods. Write down the name of the person you speak to and the time and date of your phone call. After the inspection, file a claim as quickly as possible. You will need these documents to file the freight claim: 1) carrier’s damage claim form 2) the invoice for the kiln 3) bill of lading showing the notation describing damage 4) paid freight bill 5) carrier’s inspection report 6) invoice for repair of the damaged product.
Recent Q&As: Copper enameling with a kiln window
Q. What are the benefits of an SC-2 with a window over the Paragon FireFly I have? It still works fine but seems a bit awkward to use for enameling work with metal clay.
A. The Paragon SC-2 with window simplifies enameling, because you can watch the surface of the enamel to know when to take the pieces out of the kiln. That is the main benefit of the SC-2 with glass window.
The FireFly, however, is better suited to firing ceramics than the SC-2, because the FireFly is rated to 2350F.
"Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out—it's the grain of sand in your shoe."—Robert Service