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The Truck Leaks


The truck has arrived for loading, and it leaks.

You can see:

  • Daylight through a hole in the roof (usually near the edge of the roof, and often at a front corner),
  • A hole in the cargo box wall;
  • A crank in the floorboards through which the ground is visible;
  • Open space where there should be door seals, or where the doors should close tightly;
  • Standing water on the cargo box floor from an unknown source (but by coincidence, it is raining outside).


  1. Do not load the truck.
  2. Call us to let us know what you have discovered: it will be very helpful if you are able to send us pictures of the holes.
  3. We will strongly recommend that you do not load this truck – it is damaged. You would be putting your shipment at risk by loading it on this truck, and by knowingly loading it onto a leaky truck, you would be jeopardizing your ability (and your receiver’s ability) to make a subsequent claim related to the condition of the freight.
  4. We will tell the carrier, with your consent, that the truck has been rejected. If your product is food or a food-related product, we will insist that the trailer be rejected. There will be no fee charged for rejecting a leaky trailer, but we do need the pictures .
  5. If you are willing to consider it, there is often the possibility of the leak being repaired (these repairs can often be made in an hour or so by a qualified shop) and the truck made watertight again. If you would be willing to consider using the truck, subject to inspection, after such a repair, we can ask the carrier whether they a willing to have the repair made and then return to your shipping location.


Trucks are subject to all sorts of normal and abnormal wear and tear, and trailers are often in mainline service for 15 years or more. Every time the trailer grazes a low bridge or dock overhang creates the opportunity for roof leaks. And every time a forklift swings a bit too wide while inside the cargo van creates the possibility of a puncture or a tear in the trailer sidewall. And every time a trailer gets a bit too close to any stationary object, including another trailer, while backing up creates the likelihood of damage to the trailer outer wall. And every time the caulking surrounding a side panel repair cracks in the sun, another leak is created, waiting for the next rainstorm.

So trailers get leaks, and they are not always noticed right away. In fact, if it is not raining and it is dark outside, it is almost impossible to detect any but the largest holes in a trailer roof or wall.

But once a leak is detected, it must be reported and repaired, and Copper Run will always recommend against loading a leaker, unless you are shipping a product that you would be quite content to load on a flat deck trailer with no tarping.


Amazingly, for reasons we don’t understand, most carriers balk at having a leak immediately repaired, so the option of the truck going away, having the repair, and returning to load in a watertight condition is not normally available.

There are no fees chargeable in instances of leaky trailers, but there will be delays.

What typically happens is that the truck is rejected, and we source a new truck to load the next day. The service result is therefore a 1-day delivery delay.