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Wet Truck / Not Leaky


The truck has arrived for loading, and the inside – floor and/or walls – is wet. But there is no sign of holes in the truck, so the truck is not a “leaker”.


  1. STOP. Do not load the truck.
  2. Call us: we have specified a clean, dry odour-free truck.
  3. You have 3 choices:
    • Load the truck anyway: if you are loading food product, or anything else that could be damaged by wetness, we very strongly recommend that you do not load the truck, at least while it is still wet;
    • Wait for the truck to dry out, and then load it, provided that you know what the liquid was that made the truck wet: depending on what made the truck wet, this may or may not be risky; or,
    • Reject the truck: this is well within your right, and there will be no fee charged provided that you speak with us before you make your decision, and that you provide pictures.
  4. To guide your choice, we will need you to determine why the truck is wet. There are 3 possible reasons:
    • The truck leaks (it has a hole in the floor / ceiling / wall that you are unable to locate): we strongly recommend that you reject the truck;
    • Liquid freight that was previously on the truck has leaked from its containers: we recommend that you either reject the truck or, as a minimum, require that it be washed out before you load it; or,
    • The truck was recently washed out, and has not had a chance to dry: we recommend that you wait until the truck dries, and then load it.
  5. Please take pictures that show the wetness and send them to us, in case at some point in the future the carrier makes a claim for a truck ordered, not used fee. Remember: neither us nor the carrier’s dispatcher can see the truck, so pictures take away the possibility of a “he said, she said” situation.
  6. Give us your decision, and we will contact the carrier with the information you have provided. Remember, as the shipper, you have the final say on whether to load the truck or not, and if was wet enough to call us, then it is probably too wet to load, at least until it dries.
  7. If you reject the truck as it is, but are willing to re-consider it if it is washed out and comes back clean and dry, we will tell the carrier. The carrier will then have to decide whether to have the truck cleaned, or search for another load. If the carrier accepts the wash-out option, we will give you an estimated time of arrival for the truck’s return. If the carrier elects not to have the truck washed out, we will source a new truck for you.
  8. If you choose to reject the truck outright, we will confirm this with the carrier, and we will source a new truck for you.
  9. 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.
  10. There is no fee charged when the interior of a truck that arrives wet is rejected, provided that we are involved at the time of the rejection.


There is no legitimate explanation for arriving at a shipper’s with a truck that is too wet inside to be loaded. While this rarely happens, but when it does occur, it is usually a situation where the trailer has been washed since it last load, and has not yet dried out.


If you decide to load the wet truck, knowing that it is wet:

  • 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 wet condition that you observed at the time of loading;
  • You run the risk that your cargo could be damaged by coming into contact with the moisture;
  • You run the risk that your shipment will be rejected by the receiver, particularly if you are shipping food-grade product.

If you decide to wait until the truck dries, and then load it:

  • Apart from the delay while the truck dries, there is not usually any significant impact.

If you decide to reject the wet 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 or may not delay your shipment pick-up until the next day, which in turn may or may not affect your shipment delivery date – we will let you know.

Usually, it is simply a case that the truck has recently been washed out. So letting the truck sit with doors open for about an hour is usually all that is required to dry out the truck, so that it can be loaded. The shipment is not usually delayed in this situation, and no waiting time fees are charged.