The power is out in your area as a massive tropical storm has moved through and delivered a knock-out blow. Your electric company is down for the count, but with the assistance of linesman from other states, you should have power restored to millions of customers within a week, perhaps within days.
The main transformer at one switch tower has been badly damaged and must be replaced. You located one in the next state and can send a truck to pick it up for next day delivery.
Better yet, a local hotshot company can be hired to deliver the transformer for same-day installation, a quicker delivery method that can relieve discomfort, perhaps even save lives.
When you need to place a call for hotshot delivery, please keep the following in mind:
1. Find a company
Hot shot delivery companies can handle small packages with some specializing in moving large freight. In this example, find a carrier that can handle construction and other heavy-duty equipment, describing to the dispatcher what you want to have shipped and its final destination.
2. Specify your delivery parameters
Explain to the dispatcher what you are looking to have shipped, giving this individual product dimensions including its weight and size. This information will help the dispatcher find the right driver and truck, and whether your goods must be palletized and strapped. Lighter equipment can be transferred via fork lift while most heavier equipment including a transformer will require a crane. Work with the dispatcher to arrange for the correct equipment be made available to expedite delivery and avoid needless delays.
3. Obtain pricing and place your order
Same-day deliveries are costly and for an important reason: you get expedited service and are ensured that the right driver and truck are sent to handle your job. Your dispatcher will explain your costs and discuss payment options. If you do not understand some of the terminology used, ask for an explanation.
4. Accept your delivery
Once your item is enroute, you will be given an estimated time of arrival by the dispatcher. The dispatcher will remain in contact with the driver and can alert you to potential problems. In the example of the electric company, you may want to notify the state police of the transformer’s shipment. Your state’s governor may order the state police to accompany the truck on the last leg of its journey.
An essential piece of paperwork always accompanies the hotshot driver as he makes his delivery. The waybill, sometimes known as the manifest, contains important information about your shipment.
Your hotshot dispatcher will fill out the waybill before your order is finalized and will include detailed information about the item being shipped, such as its size, weight and destination. Your waybill should include pricing for services rendered including fees, taxes and tolls, and it will require the recipient to sign it before shipment is completed.
A copy of the waybill is left with the recipient and the original heads back to the hotshot company. A copy may also be made available online or emailed to your inbox per your preferences.
Of course, not every delivery will be so impacting as a replacement power transformer. Nevertheless, your package is important to the hot shot delivery company and will be treated with the urgency you expect and require.
When you look for a company, typically a courier will operate during normal business hours with ’round the clock availability through a dispatcher. Leading companies are available every day of the year and can deliver your package morning, noon, night or overnight. Work with a provider that serves both your pickup and delivery areas, and offers a variety of trucks to meet your varied shipping needs.
Jim Scaggs is the owner of Cape Same Day Freight, a St. Louis based hot shot loads trucking business.