Atlas Lifts: Shipping & Delivery
HOW DO I GET MY STUFF OFF THE TRUCK?
Most truck shipments will be delivered by a commercial freight carrier operating a tractor/trailer rig. Your product will be inside an enclosed trailer. Many commercial carriers have smaller straight trucks, but most freight companies will not use these smaller trucks for your delivery of a large item. Atlas Automotive Equipment cannot guarantee the size of truck that will be used for your delivery. You should assume that your product will be delivered on a tractor/trailer rig that uses a 53-foot enclosed trailer. This is a VERY LONG rig. The shipping companies and its drivers will do everything they can to ensure Atlas lifts are loaded as close to the tail of the trailer as possible, however you MUST have equipment such as a forklift, bobcat, skid steer, or "roll-back" wrecker truck to safely unload any Atlas Automotive Equipment lift.
Please read the following if you have ANY QUESTIONS about truck freight delivery.
Atlas Automotive Equipment spends millions each year with freight companies. We are a very large truck freight customer and enjoy tremendous freight discounts that we pass along to our customers. Although we do everything we can to ensure the safe and timely arrival of your merchandise, there are certain things that we cannot and will not guarantee.
If you are having your product delivered to a friend or neighbor’s business and you will not be there when the product is unloaded, you (the customer) are still responsible for unloading the product and making sure that the product is not damaged. We spend a lot of time and money to properly package your product to protect it from damage during shipment. We attach several labels to your package designed to help ensure that those people handling your product take care not to damage anything. There are brightly colored (easy to read) labels reminding the customer (or whomever is unloading the product) to check for package damage. Please use some common sense and if you (or your designated unloading person) see damage to the outside of a package, then make a note on the delivery receipt (bill of lading) about the damage. Point out the damage to the truck driver and use your cell phone to take pictures of the damage.
We ship dozens of items every day via commercial carrier. We ship hundreds of smaller packages each week via UPS and Fed-Ex. There are times when packages get lost. There are times when product gets damaged. We label and package our products so that they should never be lost or damaged, but we cannot control the delivery process once the product leaves our warehouse.
DAMAGED OR LOST PRODUCTS
If a product is damaged or lost it first must be notated (on all copies) of the delivery receipt (also take pictures) it is also the customer's responsibility to contact their sales rep immediately in order to have a freight claim filed with the freight company. Once freight is signed for free and clear it is now your property. As you can imagine, if you (the customer or the facility that unloaded your package) DID NOT make a note on the delivery receipt that the package was damaged, the chances of a freight claim being honored are very small. There is only one way for a customer to be 100% sure that his product will arrive undamaged, and that is if the customer (personally) picks up the merchandise from one of our brick-and-mortar locations. Shipping a product (no matter how well it is packaged) carries a small risk that the product may be lost or damaged. If you, (the customer) is not willing to take this slight risk, please pick up the product at one of our locations. We ship dozens of heavy products every day with great success. However, there is absolutely no way that Atlas Automotive Equipment can 100% guarantee that your product will arrive “perfectly”. If you have questions about freight shipping, please get them “asked and answered” BEFORE you place your order. Remember that even though your buddy down the street has a forklift and has offered to take delivery of your new lift, he still may not be “qualified” to inspect the package he unloads. It is NOT his lift and he will not take the time to make sure everything is 100% perfect. It is your job to make sure that he understands his responsibilities.
We attach caution and warning labels to many of our products that are shipped by common carrier (freight truck), to remind the customer to thoroughly inspect all packages before signing the delivery receipt. If there is damage, please note the damage on the delivery receipt.
CALLING AHEAD TO SCHEDULE A DELIVERY APPOINTMENT TIME:
The trucking company can call ahead (24-hour call-the day before delivery) to schedule the delivery of your product. This "call ahead" feature is offered free of charge by many freight lines (but not all). When the product arrives at the freight company's nearest terminal (to your destination), the freight dispatcher will call to set up a delivery date and time at your location. It is important that the freight company has your cell phone or work phone number so that they can make immediate contact with you and not delay the delivery. Home phone numbers with answering machines may lead to days of frustration "playing telephone tag" with the freight company.
If your product is being delivered to a "legitimate" business (not a business that is located at a residence) that is open during normal business hours and has the facilities for unloading your product, then the "call ahead" feature is not necessary. The customer needs to understand that this "call ahead" feature will add one to three days of delivery time to the normal delivery time. (Assuming that the freight company is able to contact the customer very soon after the product arrives at their freight terminal)
The "call ahead" feature is needed if the product is being shipped to a residence (even if your business is located at your home) or to a legitimate business address that keeps unusual business hours. Many customers ask that the trucker call when he is 30 minutes away. This does not work. Atlas Automotive Equipment cannot guarantee the trucker has a cell phone...or will call you. It is the customer's responsibility to work out the delivery arrangements with the freight dispatcher when customer is speaking with the freight company. If the customer has special needs or delivery instructions, that is the time to discuss and make those arrangements. Atlas Automotive Equipment does not own the delivery trucks or employ drivers for delivery.
LOCAL DELIVERY OF HEAVY ITEMS:
Many local customers want to take delivery of their products at their homes, but do not have the equipment to offload product from a semi-truck. There are many local delivery services that can provide this delivery service.
We recommend a "roll-back" wrecker truck for delivery of lifts to a home garage. The lift can be loaded on the truck at an Atlas Automotive Equipment warehouse, and the driver can "winch down" the lift from his inclined platform onto your garage floor or driveway. Atlas Automotive Equipment warehouses can make recommendations of certain delivery companies, or the customer may contact their own delivery service. There is a charge for delivery.
DELIVERY ADDRESS IN A PARKING LOT...NO WAY
Atlas Automotive Equipment must complete the freight bill of lading with a permanent delivery address that includes a street address. There is no street address such as: West end of the parking lot of Sam's Club.
If a semitruck CANNOT get to your delivery address easily, it will not come. The customer must have a delivery address that allows a semi truck to enter and leave with ease. Neither dirt roads nor narrow 300 foot driveways will be acceptable. When the dispatcher calls to make delivery arrangements, the customer needs to inform the freight company of any potential delivery problems that may occur. Perhaps the customer can make arrangements to meet the truck on the highway or even in a parking lot, but those arrangements are to be made between the truck line and the customer. Atlas Automotive Equipment cannot make those special delivery arrangements when the customer places the order.
GUARANTEED DELIVERY TIME AND DATE...WE TRY...BUT NO WAY
Atlas Automotive Equipment cannot guarantee if a product is in stock at our warehouse. (If payment is received and truck lines pick up that day) We can give you an accurate ESTIMATE as to when you should receive your product, BUT we cannot guarantee certain delivery on that date. If you positively, absolutely must have a product on a certain day, either order two weeks early or get in a truck and visit one of our warehouses to pick up the product. Atlas Automotive Equipment does NOT reimburse for forklift rentals, nor do we compensate for missed deliveries or missed delivery appointments. Freight shipments are unique and therefore delivery appointments can be missed, requiring that a delivery appointment be rescheduled.
CUSTOMERS ARRANGING THEIR OWN FREIGHT PICK UP:
Atlas Automotive Equipment has the best shipping rates in the industry and passes these savings along to our customers. We do have a few customers that want to arrange their own shipping via common carrier. We can accommodate these requests; however, there are some issues that need to be discussed before a customer's common carrier will be loaded. We can load a commercial carrier truck from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM EST. The truck must have enough bed area available for the product purchased. Atlas Automotive Equipment will NOT rearrange packages inside a van or on a flatbed to make room for our product. This is a liability issue. We do not charge any loading fee for a customer pickup at our location. (Assuming the customer has arrived in a vehicle that allows us to load his product easily and safely.)
A customer arranged “Common Carrier” must furnish Atlas Automotive Equipment with a "BILL OF LADING" Many of our products need to be skid mounted or braced to prevent shipping damage. These extra packaging costs will be passed along to the customer. Skid costs are between $20 and $30. Metal bracing is normally $20-$30. These skids and braces must be used if the product is being loaded inside a semi-trailer. (To prevent damage to the product) The skids and braces DO NOT need to be used if the products are picked up in a pick-up truck, trailer, or similar mode of transportation. There are no extra packaging fees if our products are loaded on any of the above-mentioned vehicles. If the products (loaded in a semi-trailer) are NOT braced or skidded; YOU WILL NOT BE HAPPY WITH THE CONDITION OF THE PRODUCTS WHEN THEY ARRIVE. Skid and brace fees are always added to our quoted shipping costs. (When Atlas Automotive Equipment arranges the shipping)
HOW DO I UNLOAD THE TRUCK...I DON'T HAVE A FORKLIFT!
Many customers do not have access to loading docks and forklifts. We have assembled some photos of our products being unloaded with and without the aid of a forklift. Many of our freight carriers have power tailgates on their delivery trucks. There will be an extra charge of up to $150.00 for deliveries requiring the assistance of a power liftgate. The power tailgate is normally rated at 1000 LB. capacity. This is not enough capacity to unload most of our lifts. However, when used properly (and safely), the power tailgate (in conjunction with some common sense) allows the customer to off load many of our products without the use of a forklift.