The purpose of this email is to let you know what to expect while your order is in transit, and what to expect when it arrives.
When I set up your shipment I included your email address in the online airbill. Therefore, Pilot Air Freight’s tracking system should alert you when it hits various points along the route. You want to watch for “arrived at destination,” which means the terminal on your end, and “out for delivery,” the meaning of which is obvious!
Receiving or Pick Up:
Make sure that someone is at your receiving address to receive, inspect for damage, and sign for the shipment. Trucker drivers hate hunting for the receiving party, and they REALLY hate making a second trip. If a second trip is necessary, you may incur extra charges. I’d like to help you avoid these if at all possible!
If you have elected to have the shipment “held at terminal” on your end in order to save on shipping costs, you will receive a call from the terminal once it arrives. (I included your phone number or the phone number at the receiving address in the online setup, as well.) Generally, all but the largest shipments can be picked up in even a light pickup. For the largest shipments (full rebody kits) you may need a full-size truck. Either way, make sure you bring some padding and some ratchet straps to secure your parts for your drive home.
If your shipment is a full body kit (vs. a much smaller crate for fenders and/or hoods, etc.), make sure you are mindful of overhead clearance on your drive home, as the crate is very tall. Going through the drive-through for a celebratory happy meal might not end so happily. Also, the crate may be a bit top heavy, therefore you NOT should do any high-g lane-change maneuvers. You may want to consider uncrating the parts at the terminal and laying them in, or across the bed of your truck. This will also give an opportunity to note any shipping damage while still at the terminal. However, please be considerate and stay out of the way of the guys that work in the terminal, and clean up any crating or packing materials before you leave.
You are welcome to pick your kit up at my facility if it is convenient for you and/or you want to save a little money vs. crating and shipping. I’m happy to help you tie it down securely, but you have to check the load often to make sure it remains secure, and drive appropriately.
Most kits will fit in even a small pickup truck, but they may have to hang over the side a bit. A small trailer is usually better, and a small enclosed trailer is best. The widest part of any of my kits is about 6 feet, so plan accordingly, especially with an enclosed trailer. You can tie these parts down to just about any open trailer, but if you can get them through the door, the enclosed trailer won’t work.
Make sure you bring blankets, old rugs, towels, carpet padding, etc., to protect the pieces from rubbing each other, and/or rubbing your truck or trailer. Motorcycle tie downs or ratchet straps work best, but rope will do in a pinch. Please make sure you bring your own. They are not that expensive, and I hate loaning mine out and never getting them back.
Once your shipment leaves my dock it is a little bit like letting a child go out into the world. I’ve done my best to make a good-quality part and protect it the best and most economically I can for the journey. I think I’ve done a good job of selecting good, yet cost-effective packaging. I have a long, good history with the company I use for shipping. Nevertheless, there is a point where it is beyond my control. Therefore…
If your shipment is door-to-door, please have your receiving party look the crate over carefully for damage. I’ve only had a couple of problems in my 15 years in the biz, but it definitely taught me that the time to catch shipping damage is when the crate arrives. You should be able to note any damage on the bill of lading before signing to accept the shipment.
Ideally, you should uncrate the parts and inspect them at this time, too. I have insured your shipment for an appropriate amount, but time is of the essence for filing damage claims. Once you’ve accepted the shipment, it can be very difficult to convince the carrier that they caused any damage not previously noted.
Your order may consist of several smaller parts, or a large part plus several smaller parts. In that case, you will find that the small parts will usually be wrapped individually, nested together pretty tightly, and usually toward the bottom of the container or tucked tightly into the larger parts. While this can make for a bit of a puzzle getting everything out, we do this intentionally to minimize the parts sliding, shifting, or banging around during shipment.
Many of my products are designed for racing and/or are made with “vintage” tooling (i.e., it has been around a while). One of my big objectives in operating my business is to save you money. One of the ways I do that is to nurse my tooling as long as possible. This allows me to tightly control the tooling cost that has to be amortized into every order I ship. The downside is that some of my products are not glossy right out of the box. However, all the steps required to finish and paint the parts are exactly the same as if they WERE shiny, so please do not be concerned that I have sent you substandard parts. I feel it is far more important to ship strong parts that will stand up to sanding, painting, and real use, at a fair price.
In particular, the YZ molds are some of the oldest that I have. Thus, the surface finish isn’t very good. However, I can assure you that the materials and layup schedule is consistent with all the other parts I build. Thus, the parts are just as strong and durable as even the shiniest parts I build.
Another appearance issue is mold lines. On many of the parts I make, the shape of the part includes areas of “negative draft.” Like an ice cube tray, if the part at the bottom is bigger than the part at the top, the fiberglass won’t come out of the mold. The only practical way to solve this is to make the mold in several pieces which can be separated and removed individually as the fiberglass is pulled from the mold. There will be some resultant mold line discontinuities in the gel-coat finish that may make your part(s) appear as if they are several pieces bonded together. I assure you this is not the case! Look at the inside of your parts to see that they are indeed one continuous piece of fiberglass.
Sometimes during shipping parts rub against each other or against the outside packaging. This rubbing can abrade the surface of the gel-coat but should not affect the structural integrity of the part.
Also, sometimes when removing the parts from the molds plastic wedges must be used along with gentle persuasion by tapping the outside of the mold. In a few cases this has resulted in cracking of the gel-coat finish of the inside of the mold. If you see what looks like “spider web cracks” on your parts, please realize that these have transferred or imprinted from the mold, and your part is NOT cracked.
Lastly, it is possible that your parts may have some visible repair areas. I assure you that they are not “seconds” or substandard in any way. Sometimes when we are doing the layups we encounter issues that can wrinkle the gel-coat when the first layer of fiberglass goes on. This is usually due to atmospheric conditions (too much or too little humidity, too high or too low temperature), or slight inconsistencies in the chemistry of the gel-coat or resin, etc. When this occurs, we sand off the alligation (so named because it looks wrinkled like alligator skin) in the affected area, and do a spot repair with high-quality body filler. This will in no way affect the strength, integrity, or final finish of your parts.
Notes for bus service: I have been shipping a lot of medium size parts (fenders, quarter panels, and airdams) by bus lately, to help save shipping cost. I have to drive the parts to the bus station vs. normal truck pickup at my facility, so I try to cover my time and gas in whatever I’ve charged you for shipping. You’ll have to pick up at the bus station on your end, too.
Greyhound will accept parts unpackaged, which saves a bit on crating, too. I do try to protect sharp corners with cardboard, however.
Because the parts are unpackaged, it is possible they may be scuffed in transit. Light scuffing will be filled as part of the normal surface finishing process when you prep your car for paint. However, if you feel there is damage beyond what is anticipated, please call me before you accept delivery.
Ditto for damage from any kind of shipping: if any of these cosmetic issues concern you or you feel what you see goes beyond the level of cosmetics, please let me know and we will take a look at it.
When you unpack the shipment make sure you do not discard any additional items that may have been included with the big stuff. For example, with my fiberglass hoods if you order the bolt-on style I will include the hinge brackets and bolts to bolt it to the stock hinges. I usually try to put these in a separate box or tape them to the hood. However, things can get jostled a bit in shipping so make sure you look in the bottom of the box, etc., and let me know if you are missing something you expected.
Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions about the shipment or the installation. You can also feel free to pass along my phone number and email address to your installation shop.
As always, photos of your masterpiece-in-progress and of the completed car are always appreciated. When I get around to updating my website, I want to do an extensive “customer gallery” to feature the many unique and beautiful cars that have been created using my humble parts as a starting point.