Opinion of lumpers

Discussion in 'New Truck Driver Questions' started by robhart, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Ranger_375

    Ranger_375 Well-Known Member

    I have actually thought about just LLC'ing it up and undercutting the lumper fee at locations I can unload the truck, except that we don't have pallet jacks on the trucks, and I haven't researched if anyone makes one that I could collapse to strap onto the catwalk. You want 600 bucks to do it? Pfft. I'll take 550 and do it myself. Could use the PT anyway.
  2. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    Not worth the risk of injury. The broker is already going to pay for the lumper so it's not really costing you the driver.

    Go to sleep.

    The biggy for me is realize right up front...

    "Am I gonna get drug out and stuck there for 8-10 hours?". Yes? Fine. Take a full break and be ready. Some places are notorious for that. So pad the rate to ensure you're costs are covered.

    Being paid $650 for a load to go 150 miles sounds great.

    Until you realize it's going to be on your truck for 4 days.
  3. ironpony

    ironpony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Lumpers are part of the way shipping a product is legally done. If you look at your bills, you'll see the terms will be "FOB xyz."

    "Free On Board" is a legal construct that relieves you of being required to obtain ownership of the product on your truck in order to move it to the destination. It also specifies who is paying for the shipping charges.

    If the terms are "FOB xyz," and xyz is the destination, it means legally that the shipper is responsible for the shipping costs, and that the transaction is complete when the product is on the receiver's dock. This may also be specified in the sales contract, so you just might see "FOB" only on the bill of lading.

    Since the shipper is responsible for all transportation costs, contracting a third-party lumping service to unload the truck is one way to legally separate that labor from any costs borne by the receiver, and transfer it by billing to the shipper.

    Or sneaking it into the back of the trucker, if the broker contract for shipment didn't include that as a cost on the shippers side of things. Something to consider when negotiating for a load.

    Otherwise, either the receiver eats that cost, or the cost of unloading has to be specified in the sales contract. All of the loads I run involving a General Mills product are "prepaid" when I get to the receiver. Being a 400-pound gorilla in the world of shipping, the General can specify what they're willing to pay, and enforce that cost in contract.

    Using a lumping service also relieves the receiver of paying the cost of employment for the dock crew. No liability for workman's comp and injury settlements is a powerful inducement in keeping costs low in a business with skinny profit margins.

    We may not like it, but it's part of the business.

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 3:41 AM
  4. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero


    You can just get a good workout in without having to hit the gym...

    Just make sure there are no signs on the dock that say "no profanity allowed"

    In that case ( no pun intended)

    I'd go take a nap instead
  5. Hammer166

    Hammer166 Instigateur №166™

    When Walmart first started doing groceries, they didn't charge anything to unload their freight at the DC. Imagine my surprise when I went back after a decade yanking tankers to find they charged to unload now! And it's the same folks doing the same work.

    I'm pretty sure Sam has acquired the nickname Spinnin' Sam as much as he must be rolling in the grave over the changes since he's been gone.
    AK7, mndriver, ironpony and 1 other person like this.
  6. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    New management and dispatchers at one company I worked at. They clued in a found a light load paying well out of Montreal to farm country in Ontario ( they were working off of load boards by this point)
    A load of insulation.
    Dispatcher send me a message about, I am going to have to pallet jack the skid to the back of the the trailer.
    I send back a message saying you are going to have to pay me $50.00.
    Dispatch, I do?
    Me, Yes check the driver agreement
    Dispatch, Oh I did not know that. No problem. Adding it to your pay for the load right now.

    It only took me about an hour to unload. Kaching! Plus mileage.:D
    ironpony likes this.
  7. dchawk81

    dchawk81 Well-Known Member

    I hate them when they charge $350 to remove 3 pallets.

    Mostly because the company won't let me do it for the same $350.
    rigjockey and Blood like this.
  8. Blood

    Blood Driveler Emeritus Supporter

    We used to deliver to a Kansas grocery chain called Dillon's.
    It took forever to get your load checked in so one of the guys that drove for me would unload another truck for the same price as the lumper service but with the added benefit of waiting to get the load checked while the driver slept or whatever.

    This guy would make $400 - $500 in an 8 hour day besides driver pay.
    The loads were out of Lipton in KC or Chicago...
    80 - 120 pallets or more per load!
    A lot of the instant soup, flavored tea, etc was 1 ti, 1 hi.
    I did some of my own loads but I never was ambitious enough to do two.
    This was 25+ years ago. No idea if you can still do that there.
    rigjockey and dchawk81 like this.
  9. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    Guy at SMART wanted $150 to unload 20 pallets of water with his forklift.

    I carry my own pallet jack.

    It was a 48,000 lb. load of water from Arrowhead.

    Got a good workout in, but I was only 8 miles from home and it was a Friday night. There are times when you can tell a lumper to go pound salt. What I don't like is when the receiver demands that you go pay for your lumper fee before you even get a door. Mandatory lumping to me requires a mandatory thumping. :bigpaddle:
    Injun likes this.
  10. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    If they are charging that much for 3 pallets there is probably a lot of breakdown.

    I have seen it where they would charge like $300. for 4 skids and then the same lumping company would only charge $150 for 6 skids.
  11. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    Brings back memories if Fleming foods....
    Blood and Hammer166 like this.
  12. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    I delivered to Meijers in Lansing MI. I don't recall paying the lumpers i think it was handled in advance. I was some pissed off! Earl,Early morning delivery and these lumpers had it unloaded quick fast.
    Hey boys, Slow your roll! I was trying to catch some sleep here:D
    ironpony likes this.
  13. geppetto425

    geppetto425 Member

    Hate everywhere that uses them because EVERY warehouse with lumpers takes at least 2 hrs minimum to get you in and out. It's ridiculous. They need to find a way to streamline all the damn paperwork and pay the lumpers extra for unloading faster and more trucks.
    rigjockey likes this.
  14. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    Absolutely! They know what the pallets are like and they know what needs to be broken down and the cost. Maybe build that into the price and leave the drivers out of it.
  15. Hammer166

    Hammer166 Instigateur №166™

    Here's what bothers me the most about the way it works with lumpers nowadays: The guys doing the actual lumping aren't making much more than they did when they all worked for themselves. The lumping company is charging to 10x - 20x as much as we used to pay. I realize they are taking on the risk of workman's comp, but it's insane what it costs to unload a truck.

    I can only see 2 benefits to the lumping companies: They'll take a comchek, and you don't get woken up a dozen times while parked in line to get in the warehouse the next morning!
    Blood likes this.
  16. PapaDough

    PapaDough Well-Known Member

    Lumpers, eh?
    Up here, some call 'em "SWAMPERS".......
    Either way you say it, ain't any complimentary, eh?:headscratch2:

Share This Page