The truck has arrived, and it is noticeably, significantly damaged.
Examples of noteworthy damage include:
- Structural Cracks
- Peeling panels
- Obvious leaks / holes
- Broken floor boards
- Loose or unaligned doors
- Torn scuff liners
- Significant body corrosion
- If the truck has arrived for a pick-up, do not load the truck – your freight could be damaged as a by-product of the damage to the truck.
If the truck has arrived to make a delivery, write a brief description of the damage on the bill of lading and photograph the damage before and after unloading: it is possible that you may later find damage to your freight that corresponds to the damage on the truck (e.g., wet freight that was loaded near an obvious leak in the wall). Unload your freight very carefully.
- Call us with a description of the damage and, if possible, photographs of the damage. Include a photo that shows the trailer number.
- We will contact the carrier with the information you have provided, and we will provide photographs of the damage if you have sent some to us. On occasion, we have encountered a carrier who attempts to explain the damage. That only makes matters worse for the carrier, because it proves the carrier was aware of the damage and sent the truck to you anyway.
- In the pick-up scenario, the ultimate decision whether to load a damaged truck rests with the shipper, not with Copper Run.
However, we strongly recommend that you refuse the truck: if you load a damaged truck:
- You put your freight at risk of being damaged as a result of the truck’s damage;
- You may limit your ability to claim for damages to your freight;
- If the damage to the truck is such that it is determined to be not road-legal during a highway weigh-scale inspection, your freight will be parked on the side of a highway somewhere for an indefinite period of time, with no ability to access or retrieve it.
CAUTION: Scuff Liners:
Scuff liners are the metal panels that attached to the lowest portion of the cargo box walls near the floor, and run the entire length of the cargo box. Their purpose is to protect the trailer walls from the constant bumps, scrapes and pounding from skid corners and materials handling equipment when freight is being loaded and unloaded. In this role, they will get dented, bent and torn: scuffed is hardly the word that truly represents the damage they receive. When the liners are bent away from the wall, or when they are torn, they create jagged and sharp edges that protrude into the cargo space.
These jagged and sharp bits will rip / cut / scratch /puncture any freight that comes in contact with them. They are claims-creators. They are also leg and foot maimers. Before you load any freight, check the scruff liners for damage: we recommend that you reject any truck with damaged scruff liners. Even if you can supervise your loader to be extra careful near a damaged scruff liner, you have no ability to influence an unloader hundreds of miles away.
We will ask you to confirm that you are rejecting the damaged truck.
- We will advise the carrier that their truck is being rejected, and will give them the reason, and we will source a new truck for you.
- There is no fee charged when a damaged truck is rejected, provided that we are involved at the time of the rejection.
- Do not discuss the matter with the driver yourself, and do not feel obliged to explain your decision to the driver. If the driver wants to debate the matter, ask him to call his dispatcher.
There is no legitimate explanation for arriving at a shipper to pick up a load with a truck that is too damaged to be either road-legal or loadable. While this very rarely happens, when it does, it is often a situation where the driver has had an incident or a mechanical failure, and the driver and/or the carrier has decided to try to limp home with some revenue. We do not want them to limp home with your freight on board.
IMPACT & TYPICAL RESOLUTION
If you decide to load the damaged truck, knowing that it is damaged:
- You have seriously jeopardized your ability to make any claim for cargo loss or damage if that loss or damage could be potentially attributed to the pre-existing damage that you observed at the time of loading;
- You run the risk that your shipment will be significantly delayed if the truck is placed out of service at an en-route commercial vehicle inspection station, and prohibited from moving until repairs have been made and approved;
- You run the risk that your cargo could be damaged either by the truck damage or as a result of events arising from the truck damage.
We cannot estimate whether your shipment will arrive undamaged.
We also cannot estimate when your shipment will arrive.
If you decide not to load the damaged truck;
- We will advise the carrier, and the carrier will advise the driver;
- We will source you a replacement truck as soon as possible
Depending on the time of day and the availability and proximity of other trucks, this may delay your shipment pick-up until the next day, which in turn may delay your shipment delivery date by 1 day – we will let you know.
Usually, the damaged truck is rejected, and we source a replacement truck, usually with a different carrier. The shipment is delayed one business day approximately 50% of the time.