Another Grizzly delivery

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I am a satisfied Grizzly customer, but there has been troubles with the delivery companies.
On this week I got my second delivery from Grizzly. The driver did call before noon and asked instructions for a route to our address. The main problem was that he didn't know where he was. Not a street, not a city, and not a county. After some discussion he could locate a highschool on the map near to our address. After 5 hours he found his way. This could be the reason that the delivery company cannot give a more accurate delivery time than 9 - 5.
On the first delivery, the driver called and described where he was. This time the problem was that he didn't have a map to find our city or street. The main problem in that delivery was that he dropped my table saw. =(
Is there anything that we as customers could do to avoid the delivery problems?
Cheers, Ollie
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I usually pick up my stuff at their shipping depot. That avoids most of the opportunities for problems.
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Pick it up yourself. That, of course presents its own set of potential problems, but all carriers employ an idiot or two. Most drivers are smart, courteous, knowledgeable of their delivery area, can read a map, use a phone, can thread an 80 foot rig backwards down a twisting narrow alley at night, in the rain. Like every profession, someone graduated at the bottom of their class and can do none of the above. .
I discourage customers from picking up their own material. They come unequipped for the task. We ship an item that is packed in bundles, 48.5" x 48.5" x 107". My guys can load a trailer with 26 of them in about 30 minutes. The customer will show up to get three of them and spend two hours getting part of one to his boat trailer, or motorcycle trailer. I can imagine that Grizzly customers sometimes show up to get their cabinet saw driving a Pinto hatchback. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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You're actually supposed to call the local hub to setup delivery in advance with most freight carriers. At that time you can give detailed driving directions.
Brian.

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Brian writes:

I think they're actually supposed to call you to get directions. I request it. But around here we have about 10 trucking companies, with no way to know for sure which one will be carting our packages...and that held in other places, too. The packages often get transferred from the originating carrier to a local, or more local, carrier.
And it still makes sense to take a pick-up out to their terminal and get the items yourself. I'm not equipped to unload a semi when the tool is heavy (300+ pounds), but I can back a pick-up right up to my shop floor and offload using rollers under the pallet (rollers are 1" black pipe). Given, my current S10 doesn't fit nearly as well as my old Dodge D150 did, but 6-8" of gravel in front of the door, something I've been meaning to do (in less depth) anyway, will help.
Charlie Self "When you appeal to force, there's one thing you must never do - lose." Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Yabbut - - how many times have you done this Charlie? 150? 200? How many times have we seen the question on here about "How do I get my blurfl off my truck/trailer/skateboard and down the cellar stairs?" How many don't have a clue about maybe laying some tubafors on the stairs & skidding the blurfl down the stairs with a little help?(No offense intended to anyone) Joe Dufus still doesn't have a clue about getting it down the steps, but at least a good delivery will put the blurfl in his driveway or garage for him. Just my $.02
--
Nahmie
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On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:50:03 -0400, "Ollie"

Now that so many trucks are GPS tracked, I've always wondered why more trucking companies don't bother with a GPS display on the dash. Many independents use them, as getting lost with a big rig can be both expensive and stressful.
Barry
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One word answer - - "Money"
The cost to equip a fleet is considerable, now put in GPS display, then add the "airtime" charges!
--
Nahmie
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 11:18:25 -0400, "Norman D. Crow"

Airtime charges? <G> Do you have any idea what you're talking about?
I'm talking about a small, dash mounted unit similar to those used by boaters, real estate agents, etc... every day. The maps are in the unit, the signal is provided by tax dollars. My auto routing, color screen unit was under $600, including maps. Many independent truckers find that something like this will pay for itself in under a year.
Heck, even my local FedEx ground driver has one.
Barry
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wrote:

Yup, I believe I do. Company I drove for went satcom & GPS tracking so we could check in w/dispatch when loaded/unloaded, where to go for next load, etc. Every message went against their "allowable minutes", just like a cell phone, so we were told not to send any more messages than necessary, and make them as short as possible. They had the ability to GPS track, but every time they used it, cost extra. We could also request directions, phone #'s, etc. if they weren't on the bill of lading, or if dispatch screwed up and didn't give them to us when we left the terminal.
You say $600? Multiply that by 40-50 tractors. I can maybe see an independent buying one for himself, but not that many company drivers. FedEx, who knows, we're talking apples & oranges, because they have soooo much to do in one day they HAVE to get it done rapidly, and it's possible FedEx supplied them. Ollie said his driver "didn't know where he was". Most freight co. drivers doing the local work(ABF, CF{are they still in business?}, etc.) have drivers who know the territory and have maps. I think Ollie got stuck with a "newbie", or a delivery service from waaaaay out of town.
--
Nahmie
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The smart ones have them. They pay for themselves in short order. I've seen a lot of drivers get "lost" for hours. Their dispatcher tells us the driver is on his way from a location and estimates the time of arrival. The ones with sattellite are very reliable. Had one a couple of weeks ago on a Friday before a long weekend. . Driver was supposed to show up at our place about 10:30 AM. Dispatcher could not find him when we called at noon. Finally, he showed up at 4:50 PM. Driver went back to Nova Scotia empty. Pull that twice a year and the system is paid for.

Most of these guys are using some sort of communications with their etch a sketch boards. Ed
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wrote in message

What you say is true. It is also true that dispatchers LIE! Standard joke among drivers is the dispatcher looks @ a map & says "you can make that in 2 hrs. easy, it's only an inch!"(1in. = 150mi.). They aren't the ones sitting in that cab putting up with construction zones, accidents, blizzards, thunderstorms, and rush hour traffic.
Now that I'm finished with that, there are also drivers who consistently and conveniently get "lost". Before satcom, dispatch was hunting for one of ours, called his delivery to see if he was there yet, they said "sure, he left here 2 hr. ago. In fact, his truck is sitting across the street". They kept him on, because he was dependable about getting the delivery there on time, and was useful for other short run stuff. We had other drivers who were just too late too much, and they get weeded out after a while.
Sometimes you have to come home empty. Company tried to broker loads for me a couple times from out in nowhere on a Friday, and by 2:00PM would say "Come on home, we need you back here to go out Sunday, it's not worth leaving you out over the weekend on the hope we can get a load Monday". However, if the driver is so inept he can't read a map, find a telephone, whatever, then it's HIS fault he goes home empty. May also depend a lot on whether he gets paid for deadhead miles or not, how interested he is in getting deliveries on time & picking up backhauls.

True. They also get to know their local delivery area pretty quick.
--
Nahmie
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Unfortunately, your _understanding_ of what you think you know is lacking.

There is *no* "airtime" associated with GPS, _itself_. However, all GPS does is tell the _receiver_ 'where the receiver is'. If the 'home office' wants to know where the vehicle is, *that* requires either 'polling' the vehicle, to have it report it's location, or regular transmissions from the vehicle to the home office. *THOSE* transmissions, and -only- those, using either conventional cell-phone technology, or some form of satcom, _do_ incur 'airtime', and possible per minute or per/message expense.
A _self-contained_ system that simply tells the _driver_ "where he's at", without home-office communication capabilities, has *zero* air-time cost.

That's a price for a _fancy_ unit. basic hand-held ones are significantly less than half that.

Lets consider 50 rigs. postulate that having automated location and routing information saves a driver an hour a week. That's an extra 2500 hours of 'productive' time per year, for the fleet. Or, about the equivalent _one_additional_truck_ in the fleet. 50 GPS receivers @ a 'high' price of $600 ea, is only $30,000. Just the _driver_ for that additional truck costs the company at least 50% more than that. Not to mention the capital cost of the truck itself. And, the second year, the GPS units don't cost _anything_ (they're already paid for :), but without 'em, you'd still be paying that extra driver.
For long-haul OTR, you can add GPS and _complete_ street-level maps oft the entire U.S. to a laptop computer for about $250. The laptop is often already in the truck, for en-route records keeping, 'log', etc.
That $250 system lets you (a) plug in your original starting point, (b) any intermediate stops, and (c) your final destination -- all _before_ you set off. Given about 30 seconds, it will find 'optimum' routing to those locations, and even estimate the total travel times. The _big_ payoff comes because you _never_ have to so much as _look_ at the screen again *or*consult*a*map* for the entire trip. It does SPOKEN advance alerts of all points where you change from one highway/street to another, lets you know if it is a right/left turn, or just a 'take the left branch' at a wye, etc.
Oh yeah, if you ever _miss_ a turn, it *automatically* updates the path _from_where_you_are_NOW_ and starts providing directions to get you 'back on the established route'.
The system is _not_ perfect. It isn't much help inside large complexes where all the buildings address off the street that the complex faces, even when they're 5-6 rows of structures away from said street. And it can't do much when there _isn't_ a street address to reference -- e.g., trying to get to the 'crew shack' at a large railroad switchyard -- which may be _three_miles_ inside the yard, with no streets to reference. (Note: practically the -only- way to get to such places is to ride with somebody who 'already knows' how to get there. verbal/written directions and/or 'maps' simply don't cut it. Direct first-hand experience speaking :)
Aside from such 'pathological case' situations, however, a GPS setup _does_ make the new driver virtually as good/'productive' as the old hand. And it comes a _lot_ cheaper than the experience. <grin>

The point of GPS is that it makes that 'newbie', *or* the out-of-town driver *AS*PRODUCTIVE* as the '20-year local' with an intimate knowledge of the area.
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 21:13:15 -0400, "Norman D. Crow"

Who said anything about tracking? You're confusing several different services. All I'm talking about is a basic, moving map display, preloaded with a map database. The simple little devices sold by Garmin and Magellan are examples. Like these: <http://www.garmin.com/products/quest/ <http://www.garmin.com/products/gps5/
Ignore the MSRP, like most electronics, these things are heavily discounted in catalogs and online. The second unit is selling for under $300 on the street. The first will probably for about $425 in discount houses. These need nothing else to be used and do not require a subscription or monthly fees of any kind.
<http://www.garmin.com/aboutGPS/

Agreed. I don't expect a company driver to buy his own. The company could realize efficiency savings by installing them. Many companies already have.
How much does a truck that's lost for two hours a week cost?

FedEx _Ground_ is a franchise. My area is served by independently owned units, or units owned my small businesses.

I agree. However, with a handheld GPS, the driver would have known where HE was. The unit essentially places you on the map. <G>
Unfortunately, many companies that sell tracking software, Onstar, and the super-overpriced nav systems installed by auto manufacturers, have lead many to believe that GPS navigation has to be more way expensive than it is.
Barry
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Robert & Barry, I stand corrected! I was "retired" by Uncle Sam in '97(Type II diabetes on insulin). I'm speaking from knowledge of what our fleet was using @ that time. I understand what you are saying about GPS, I just haven't kept up with the technology. Maybe I was fortunate in the carrier I worked for. The drivers were quite close, and any time a "new" drop came up, the first man in would pass good directions back to dispatch, so anyone going there after that could get good directions from dispatch. We also were not a huge fleet, and most of our business was dedicated to about 5 or 6 shippers in the area(including a famous grape juice co. and a well known fish stick co.), and our backhauls were generally return raw or packaging materials for them. Glass, metal, or plastic containers for one, and raw frozen "bulk"(66lb. boxes) of Pollock for the other.
Our shippers & our dispatch were also excellent about calling in advance for directions. We also generally had only 1 or 2 drops, so can't really relate to a local delivery for a line hauler, who may have 10 - 20 stops in his day.
--
Nahmie
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Norman D. Crow wrote:

It's not really a matter of "keeping up with the technology". The technology of GPS was developed by the US Navy in the late '70s and has been essentially unchanged since that time. It has always been a receive-only system with no associated charges. What has changed is the degree of miniaturization of the receivers, with a resulting decrease in cost.
GPS basically provides two services--accurate position, with the degree of accuracy depending on whether one has a MIL-spec or civilian receiver, whether Selective Availability is on or off, whether the receiver supports WAAS, and whether one is in line of sight of a WAAS satellite--and accurate time. There is no charge of any kind for either of these services.
There are companies that provide a supplemental service called "Differential GPS" that provides increased accuracy over a limited geographical area. There is usually a charge for Differential GPS service, but it also is usually not needed--10 meters is quite sufficient for most purposes.
There are other services that various companies provide that depend on GPS. These services are not part of GPS nor does GPS depend on them. Tracking of trucks via GPS is one such service that depends on cell phone or satellite phone (different satellites from GPS--"Iridium" is the best known) to relay the tracking information--that's where the "air time" charges come from.
Simply using the GPS to drive a moving-map display involves no charges beyond the purchase price of the unit itself and possibly a subscription service to keep the maps current.

--
--John
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On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 23:57:15 -0400, "J. Clarke"

There an awful lot of vendors out there that sell vehicle tracking services as "GPS Service". In addition to services like OnStar and the various satellite radio, Internet, and TV providers, I can understand the confusion. All of them require a monthly fee. All of them also seem to love leading the purchaser to believe they are not using the same public domain GPS constellation as everyone else.
My company uses tracking software to monitor vehicle movement. Even the "GPS administrators" that work in this group are unfamiliar with consumer grade moving map receivers, so they have no idea how inexpensive basic address location can be. But then again, I had a high level IT person in the same company tell me I couldn't install an application in my PDA, because the corporation didn't have a service agreement with the hardware manufacturer. <G>
Barry
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B a r r y wrote:

Almost enough to make one want to go back into IT. However one then remembers that nobody who actually knows how to do anything ever gets promoted to a position of authority.
Barry
--
--John
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On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 10:16:19 -0400, "J. Clarke"

Absofrigginloutely!
Barry
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<snippage>

So I guess you're one of those 'pain in the ass power users', too, huh? ;-)
Our IT department kept 'reassigning' all the techs we co-opted. It got to be hazardous to one's employment to be seen eating lunch with one of my team members, and stopped being funny.
Damn rules often get in the way of actually doing business, oft times. Can the ISO manual actually say 'Employee is to use reasonable initiative, within guidelines.'?
/rant off
Patriarch
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