What are lumpers?

Lumpers people you hire who unload your truck so you don’t have to.

Now, not every place you deliver to requires you to unload the trailer yourself or hire lumpers. Its usually big store distribution centers also known as DC’s, like Safeway DC, Fred Meyers DC, Stater Bros DC, Ralph’s DC, Walmart DC has there own lumpers, you get the picture, places that have huge chain stores except for Costco DC, those guys are brilliant, you don’t even have to get out of your truck expect to open your doors. But this is not how awesome I think that Costco DC’s are.

Lumper are not employees of the customer you are delivering to, they work for a Lumper Service that is contracted out by the DC, I think the Lumper service has to pay the DC to work there, I’m not 100% sure on how that works, Most DC’s are union and they want to keep the number of employees down, so instead of hiring a bunch of people to unload trailers all day and pay them the wage of a union worker, they contract lumpers services to bring in the workers in who probably only get minimum wage to do a very hard, physical job. You will be given a choice to hire a lumper or unload the trailer yourself. Most of the time it is a rhetorical question that they know the answer to because you did not bring a forklift or a pallet jack with you to move the pallets, its certain in most cases that you will hire the Lumper Service. It’s a very very hard job, I have helped out many lumpers to unload my trailer and it can be back-breaking work.

Your company will nearly always want you to stay in the truck and not help out in the unloading of your trailer for a few reasons.

They do not want you to injure yourself, putting you out of commission to where you can not drive, not making the company money, plus the whole worker’s comp thing that they have to pay for you to still get a paycheck. I ran over my toe once with a pallet full of Gatorade once and I was out of work for 3 weeks. So my company had to pay my 3 weeks wages plus my doctor’s visits and that truck was not making money for them, all because I didn’t want to wait two hours for the lumpers to start to work on the load, it was only like 6 pallets too.

Another reason why your company wants you to stay in the sleeper and have someone else unload it is, that you are not running up hours up on your clock, because if you are on the dock working you need to be in the on-duty status and that uses up hours on your 70-hour rule.

Another reason is, it will just take you forever to unload the trailer too, what could take 4 lumpers to do it in 2 hours with forklifts, it would take you a lot longer to do by yourself with no forklift.

What does it cost to hire a lumper Service? That will depend on how much work they have to do and the lumper company. If you have a straight load, meaning all the products are on pallets and all they have to do is take the pallets off the trailer and nothing else, I could range between $40 and $100. If the pallets need to be broken down it’s going to cost you a lot more. Breaking down a pallet means removing part or all of the products and moving it to another pallet so that they can fit on the large shelves. Those shelves are 4 or 5 high in the warehouse and the pallets need to be a certain height to fit in there. The lighter the product the more chance that they are going to have to be broken down. Most DC’s that you will go to, if not all, want the same product on a pallet, they do not want them mixed up with another item. So if you are delivering 100 different products on 24 pallets, there is going to be at least 100 pallets made. I have seen one case of shampoo get its own pallet and that gets its own shelf.

Most lumping companies do not accept credit/debit cards, especially not personal checks and they are not accepting cash as much now too, do how do we pay?

ESF Checks


Comdata checks

The reason they only accept these types of checks is that they are able to call the check company and get a confirmation that the check is good. Your company will have issued you a fuel card, chances are it is a Comdata or ESF fuel card. Your company can transfer money onto that card so you can pay the lumper

common steps to do this

1. Find out how much the lumper cost is going to be.

2. Send in a request to your company for that amount.

3. Wait for a response from your company with a money/express/money code of sorts that your company has gotten for you for that amount. Or wait for your company to send that money to your fuel card.

3. If you get the money sent to your card you will need to authorize a check that your company will have issued you when you got hired. You can get these checks anywhere, chances are the lumpers have them if you don’t. Those checks are worthless until you have authorized them by doing the following. Use an app on your phone or call the fuel card number on the back of the card. Choose register check. Follow the instructions. The most important thing to not mess up is entering the check number on the top right of the check correct. When the lumper wants to find out if you check is good, that’s the number that they are going to use to check. Make sure that the amount is correct too, because the lumper will need to provide that too, and if that is not right then the check is no good.

If you use a money code you will need to write that down on the section on the check that and the lumper will use that number to make sure that the check is good.

Make sure that you keep the receipt because if you don’t send the receipt to your company, you will have ended up paying for that service yourself. When your company sent the money to your card or issued you an express code for the money, they gave you a cash advance on your next check. And if you don’t provide proof of the lumping service how are they to know how you spent the money. Plus they need that receipt to write off in their taxes as a company expense.