If you are delivering a load to a grocery warehouse there is a good chance you will need to use a lumper service. While there are other types of businesses that use lumper’s, they are usually associated with grocery warehouses. A lumper service is a company that warehouses use to unload the trucks at their facility. While most businesses employ the people that unload the freight from your truck some choose to use these lumper services. When you are at a warehouse and you hear the term “driver unload” this usually means that they use lumper’s. It is very rare that you are required to unload the freight yourself and no lumper service is offered.
When you have a “driver unload” dispatch consider:
The company that you drive for may allow (or even encourage) you to unload the truck yourself. Your company will usually pay you to unload the truck instead of using the lumper service. Of course there’s a catch. They will pay you a fraction of what they were going to pay the lumper’s. The guy using the forklift may charge $175.00 to unload your truck, while your company may offer you $40.00 to unload it with a pallet jack. After you unload the truck you may also be required to break down the load. When the product is loaded into your truck it is loaded in a way that allows them to put as much in the truck as possible. Most warehouses don’t want the product stacked as high so you are required to “break it down”. To do this you must move some of the product off the top of the pallets you just unloaded onto empty pallets.
If you want to unload it yourself make sure you check with your company to find out exactly what steps you need to follow to get paid. You are usually better off letting the lumper service do the work for you. Your time could be better spent resting for the next run.
When you check in at the receiving window they may ask you if you want to use a lumper. They will tell you at the window how much they charge to unload the truck or they will point you in the direction of the lumper. Find out from the lumper how much they are going to charge for your truck. Some warehouses will charge an additional fee for broken or bad pallets. You want to know what the final fee is going to be before you call your company up with the info. Most trucking companies want you to call them with the price the lumper wants before you authorize the lumper to unload your truck. Follow your companies procedures, as you do not want to pay for a lumper out of your own pocket. You will need to get a receipt from the lumper if you want to get reimbursed. When paying by check most trucking companies consider this transaction to be a cash advance. They will take the money out of your check if you do not turn in all the paperwork they require. This may not seem fair but trust me, they will deduct the amount from your check. Get your receipt: follow your companies procedures.
A lot of the lumper services will want you to pay before unloading your truck. You can pay cash but are better off using the checks your company has provided for you. If you pay by cash you may have to wait a few weeks to get reimbursed. There is no point in loaning your company a few hundred dollars for a couple of weeks. After you have paid there is nothing much left to do but wait. Sometimes you may be asked to count the freight as it is being loaded or unloaded. The lumper can let you know if you need to go back inside after unloading. If you’re lucky the lumper may bring the paperwork out to your truck after unloading.