Most of my deliveries go off without a hitch. Some have small challenges that are easily overcome with cooperation between trucker and consignee. For instance I had a beverage delivery in Chicago this week. The last pallets were put on the left side of the trailer. The shipper was a secured facility and the load could not be fixed – with the last pallets against the right side. I secured the freight as well as I could with a strap. 700 miles later I broke the seal and that one pallet was leaning against the strap. 42 beverage cases (7 block 6 high) had to be stacked on a new pallet. I pointed it out to the consignee and voluntarily restacked the product. It took maybe 10 minutes and within an hour I was leaving bills in hand with a happy customer.

Earlier in the week I had a more severe problem with a customer. When I showed up he was yelling and swearing at me for just being there. This is rare. It is important to remember that your main goal in this situation is to get unloaded. We shouldn't have to take abuse. Sometimes we do. Remember the main goal comes first.

The appointment window was 07:00 – 07:30 eastern time. I checked in at 07:00. The forklift driver took my bills and told me which door to back up to. This was a high value load that came with a security seal to be broken by the customer. Breaking the seal requires a 36” handled bolt cutter with a large jaw. I carry a small bolt cutter and a saw, but these tools would not break that seal. We needed the bolt cutters that the consignees are supposed to have.

When I went back to the man door to get my seal broken I was greeted with an emphatic WTF do you want. I have a delivery – Where the F is your paperwork. I pointed to the other guy and said that I gave it to him. The nice guy handed the loud guy the BOL. Loud guy told me that some EFFING driver from another carrier stole the bolt cutters and that I was SOL if I couldn't get the security seal off. I stood there for a moment knowing what I wanted to say, but biting my tongue. At that point he pointed at me, way to close to my face and told me to get the F out of there. I didn't know if he meant go back to my truck and wait or take my truck and his load and leave. He didn't give me the BOL back so I waited in my truck in his dock.

An hour later this same guy came rolling up in a pick up truck. He popped out with a shiny new set of bolt cutters and cut off the security seal. An hour after that I was empty. As a business owner, I would want to know if my employees acted out like this. Instead of contacting the customer directly, I sent an email to my company documenting the event and suggesting that they contact the customer.  

Comments (2)

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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Sadly, if you drive long enough this is going to happen. Leaving hurts you more than everyone else. I have faith that if this guy continues to act like this, it will catch up to him. I have hope that calling attention to his behavior will alter it.

August 17, 2016 14:40:26 PM

I'd say your difficult delivery sure took serious self restraint. First thing I would want to do is grab the BOL's and just leave with the load, but you don't get paid that way. It raised my blood pressure just reading your article about the way you were treated. Sorry you have to deal with idiots like that.

August 17, 2016 8:36:49 AM