Fortunately , I no longer have to deal with any of them . There are some good brokers that are worth their fees . If OOIDA was at all able to accomplish anything worthwhile for truckers the lumper issue would have gone away long ago and O/O 's would know they would get ALL the fuel surcharge . Comdata fees are outrageous . When I did have to use ComData for pay and advances I'd direct deposit the money in my business checking account .
The deal on ComData is you pay a fee every time you use it . Like I said , I had it set up where as soon as money was loaded on the ComData card I could call and have it direct deposited to my business checking account . I had a debit card for that . Some O/O's use Fleet One cards for fuel purchases to get the cash price . Others use the Frequent Fueler card at Flying J with a cash return credit card . The deal on lumpers was I quit pulling loads that used them and I won't drive for a company that doesn't pay detention fees . Somebody starting out may have to put up with that crap but experienced drivers can work their way out of it .
Of couse I do. The company I was leased to, did everything in its power, to destroy my enjoyment of trucking. Trucking did alot for me, but I have such a sour taste from them, that I havent even cleaned out my truck to sell it yet.
As for brokers, as was mentioned, some are worth their salt, but many aren't. Somewhere, there used to be a 'bad broker' list. It may have been sponsored through OOIDA, I dont remember. In the past, it was not uncommon for a broker to owe alot of drivers, money, and for him to pack up and skip town, only to open under a new name and number, elsewhere. I believe that that has been changed, by the broker being required to put up a rather large bond, to keep from bailing out on his dues.
In the past, I have dealt with brokers and agents, and I have as of yet, to meet one that I trusted. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, regardless of what they tell you, has an agenda.
Thanks for asking....
Lumpers are essentially free labor for the warehouses as they force truck drivers and/or carriers to pay for their services. These people, (often illegal aliens,) contract their services to load and unload trucks. Either you pay them, or the company does. Most carriers use Comdata to pay the lumpers.
You call the company, give them the extortionist's rates,the company gives you a Comdata number to place on the check, and eventually, your truck will be unloaded.
If you choose not to use a lumper, assuming you are not at a warehouse that requires you to use a lumper, you must unload the truck yourself. You will also have to break down each pallet to the way the warehouse wants is done. This can mean anything from re stacking an entire pallet, or maybe just taking the top layer or two off and placing those boxes on another pallet. Each warehouse is different, but they will normally give you a breakdown sheet that shows how each pallet will be.
Hope this helps your understanding.
I assume that you make sure your contract with the broker says that he/she pays for the lumpers to unload, and the broker gives you a number for the ComData check and the amount. Right? At what point do you usually get the number and amount from the broker? I would like that info before I roll because who knows if I would be able to get it later as crap happens, like not being able to get him/her on the phone or worse. How do you verify that the lumper deal will come together with the money that they want, etc. Or that there is actually someone there to unload every time. I would want to cma before I spend all the money moving it. Is it that you just trust the broker because their not getting paid either if the stuff isn't unloaded?
This whole lumper thing puzzled the hell out me. I found out that the receiver (i.e grocery warehouse) looks at it this way. They see it as basically advertising and selling your product and if you want to have your product put in my store on the shelves then you must pay for us to unload your truck, which to me is stupid. They figure that they are doing you a favor by even wanting to sell your product and that it is your duty to supply the labor to unload the truck, which they happily furnish at ridicilous rates. It's a legalized labor scam to me. Everybody wants to be on the all profit side of the equation.
Why should I have to pay you to unload my product at your warehouse?
I sat at a dock many days adding up just the basic unload fees that the lumper service charges the trucker or company and man that adds up real quick. Let's say $50.00 a truck at 100 truck a day. That's $5000.00 a day!
Man I am in the wrong business!
That's not counting the reefer loads or the ones that need to be broken down to smaller wood, etc. Trucking really has gone to pot huh?
The time to address this is when negotiating with the broker for your rate, but only after your rate to haul the load is settled. Lumper pay should not be part of your pay for the truck as some try to do. Simply ask the broker if he is paying lumper fees, and how much he is willing to pay. At least get the broker to agree, in writing on the agreement, to pay for lumper fees, even if the amount is not negotiated. After all, if you have never been to a particular warehouse, or hauled that particular load, you likely will not know how much the lumper's want for that load.
The problem with making an agreement with the broker on a specific sum for the lumper is that these fees can vary considerably. I once had a load where the broker agreed to pay up to $250.00 for the lumper. Thinking this should more than cover the fees, I accepted. When I got to the warehouse, I was told that it would cost over $400.00 to lump the load as it had to be broken down into over 100 pallets, some only holding one small box. The load was cosmetics from Cheesburough Ponds,and was delivered to a Von's warehouse in the LA area.
Sometimes the broker will pay the lumper with a Comcheck, sometimes you have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed. Ask the broker.
If this is a warehouse you have not been to before, it is likely you will not know anything about them until you get there, unless you can find someone who had delivered there and can tell you what to expect.
I hate to say that lumpers seem to be a necessary evil in this business (at least for the products we haul). I have gotten to the point that all I care about is the phrase "loading/unloading paid with receipt". It stinks that an O/O has to pay a lumper and wait to be reimbursed with the settlement, but it is a lot smoother sometimes. Just include the original (keep a copy) of the receipt with the invoice. Has never been a problem for us.
Some brokers will issue a comcheck for the lumper. I will do this IF there are NO fees attached to the comcheck. If they try to charge any fees, would just rather pay cash. I have negotiated comchecks with no fess only to have to fight the A/P department later for the fees. Too much time for a tiny bit of money!
We do not not know the amount of the lumper until we arrive at the warehouse and they see the load, breakdown, etc. I never get an amount up front from the broker, just that magical phrase in the confirmation.
If a comcheck is issued, the lumper service takes the number and usually has their own comchecks to fill out. I have drivers carry a few just in case. I also tell drivers to have at least $300 cash on them when they go in. Saves a lot of problems in the long run.
Why is a lumper ever a needed? The product is bought by a customer from a shipper.. All the drivers responcibility is to get it from point A to point B.. Is that to hard to understand?? If unloading charges are needed they should be made with the shipper. Why is a driver the middleman? I never understood it. It feels like being a armored car driver all we are doing is transporting $$ along with the load... to hand to the receiver with the load...
Why don't shippers take whatever the "fee" is for the unloading and remove it from the sale price of the product? Then no money would have to change hands.. everything done behind the scenes.. too simple right?
Pretty stupid system we have, The costs of lumpers got to be too much for me.. What in the world do they think? Do they think that what it is they are doing is "skilled labor" Then WHY do they charge 100's of dollars for a little bit of sweat.. Now with the government stepping in "lumping companies" are becoming required.. that means workmans comp, benifits, insurance for the workers.. It's a company within a company... why?? Pretty Dumb .. I'll never pay another lumper as long as I own a truck.. If they start charging us to unload out flatbeds, and stepdecks.. I'll quit driving!
OOIDA is fighting Supervalue .. once the ice is broken and case presidence set, then other dominoes will fall. The courts are slow! It takes years to see a court case through to compleation and all appeals are exausted..
http://ooida.com/legal_action/Supervalu ... index.html
My input on the subject..... any one else?? Haha
US Army veteran of 7 years, however 6 yrs USMC.. Once a Marine always a Marine.. Semper Fi!
Thanks for the info on the mechanics of the lumper deal people.
Does anybody take credit cards for this? That would be so helpful. They probably will eventually if they don't already.
Seems like Ramman and glowplug are both saying that this is important to have on the paper work
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