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Upton bass arrives...BROKEN

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by azflyman, May 24, 2004.


  1. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I am so bummed out. The bass arrived today at the Yellow Freight terminal. The dock guy tried to load it in my truck without me checking the bass. I stopped them and opened the big ass box on the dock. It was beautiful, the front anyway. When I lifted it up the back had a chunk out of the back side. The back was broken right where it meets the side in a verticle split. :crying: I refused the shipment and went back home. I emailed Gary Upton and he will send out another bass Tuesday or Wednesday. He stands very much behind his product. He is sending me the bass before the broken bass is back in his shop. Gary is doing whatever it takes (stopping other projects until this bass is shipped) to get me my bass ASAP. Set up to my specifications, to sound the way I prefer. I really feel he was as bummed as I am. :bawl: Another week and a half and I hope I have my bass.

    az
     
  2. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Sorry to hear it...especially that Yellow Freight damaged it. They delivered my New Standard Cleveland in perfect condition, but then again, it was in a trunk. A bass is a pretty fragile thing to be shipped in a box, although I know it's done all the time.
     
  3. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    With all truckers being evil to some degree, it seems that last year Yellow took a serious turn for the worse (we lost 6 to damage).

    I hope this reinforces the important lesson about shipped basses, regardless of where they came from: always always always inspect before signing. There is no such thing as "hidden damage" claims, despite what they may tell you.

    Sorry about the damage AZhigh-man.
     
  4. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    that does stink...hope it all works out.
     
  5. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Ah! I knew I had heard somewhere that Yellow had become a bit suspect, but didn't want to pipe up without the facts. FWIW, I've had experience with Overnite, R&L Carriers and EGL, and I've had good luck with all of them so far (knock wood). Anyone shipping a bass may want to consider one of those carriers.

    AZ, sorry to hear about your broken bass. As John said, you did the right thing by insisting on inspecting first. It only takes a minute, and when it's a big bass viol, I find the truckers are often actually interested in seeing the contents themselves. Hopefully the next will arrive in one piece!
     
  6. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Just spoke with Gary Upton. I new bass will go out today. He spent yesterday after my email on the setup of a new bass. That's customer service. :)

    az
     
  7. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Sorry to hear that, I know I have heard "Horror" stories of electric basses coming in from UPS with all kinds of Scratches/Dings/ and sometimes Crack's in the Finish.

    But NEVER completely Broken like that! Kind of reminds me how Fragile they could be, Or how inconciderate people that move cargo could be...
     
  8. Gufenov

    Gufenov

    Jun 8, 2003
    Ouch! Trucking is my career field, first driving, then teaching and managing. I don't feel evil...
     
  9. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I had a bass (slab) shipped UPS arrive with a broken neck. The top half of the box had been obviously bent to at least a 90 degree angle and than straightened out again. The truss rod had two distinct bends in it, one form the initial bend, the other when straightened. UPS actually tried to deny the claim (claimed faulty packing) until I presented the proof Fender ships hundreds of guitars and basses through UPS the same way every month. Bastards! I only ship FedEx now.

    az
     
  10. greene

    greene

    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    I've been using Watkins for basses and New Penn for other instruments like double bass tubas etc and have to say I haven't had a single problem with either (knock on wood)
    One person out in Ohio told me a corner of the carton had been bent in when he saw it but upon inspection there wasn't a scratch. My conclusion is it's almost all about the original packer/packing ... just my two cents
    Good luck on the new one Az
     
  11. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Ouch Gufen', sorry man. It would have been more accurate to say that LTL trucking by its nature is a pretty rough environment.

    Since most drivers who know what I'm putting on the truck take an interest and often share their own little story about how Grandpa used to play at the VFW, I'm wondering if we shouldn't print a simple outline of a URB on the side of the box, maybe that will help some of the handlers recognize it and show it the love.

    I will say I haven't lost a bass since switching lines, and I can point to specific policy changes within Yellow that coincided with the demise of a handful last summer.
     
  12. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    The shipping box/container was designed with Yellow Freight. It was very simple in design but seemed to be protective of the bass in all the right areas. I think the bass was handled roughly somewhere between Mystic, CT and Douglas, AZ. I don't know how, it is only a ten min. drive. ;)

    az
     
  13. I am an operations supervisor for a major ltl carrier - ABF Freight System. We have one of the lowest incidences of claims in the industry, but we still damage a lot of freight :crying:

    These cartons are handled in a pretty rough environment. The pace in a cross-dock operation is necessarily pretty brisk. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good packaging, and unfortunately even that won't counteract a bonehead act by a careless teamster.

    The nature of the ltl industry is that your package goes with a whole mixture of freight on a trailer across country. The trailers have a rather primitive suspension that effectively is no suspension at all. Our company has a videotape taken of the inside of a trailer as it goes down the highway - when I saw it I was amazed at the shaking those packages take as they go down the road.

    The key in packaging is support and shock absorption, in this case I would imagine the key point of support is where the neck meets the body, and the key points of shock absorption would be the top and the back. It is important that the bass be very stable within its packaging - a lot of freight damage occurs when contents are not secured within their packages and then movement results from the shaking they get as they go down the road. If I were shipping my personal bass, I think I would put it in a crate with peanuts or bubble wrap filling in the open areas, although for a stock instrument I know that cardboard boxes are the norm.

    I would also recommend very prominent markings indicating the fragility of the contents. Dockmen normally do pay attention to those kinds of markings, and it could prevent them from loading heavy freight on top of your carton. Use something like FRAGILE - LIKE GLASS!!!!!!!!! - TOP FREIGHT ONLY .

    I will say that I have worked here for 18 years, and if I were to have to ship my bass I would use ABF. There truly is a corporate concern in handling freight the right way and preventing damages.

    Pete
     
  14. Gufenov

    Gufenov

    Jun 8, 2003
    No offense taken, John ;) I knew what you meant. One big consideration of shipping LTL (less-than-truckload) is the amount of handling your bass receives. It may, in fact, be loaded and unloaded from a number of different trailers on it's way from terminal to terminal. Often, the schedule is tight, as trailers are emptied and reloaded to the next destination in a short period of time. I believe a lot of damage claims stem from the handling the shipments receive during this process.
     
  15. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Pete and Gufen, thanks for your informative posts! Inside info can make all the difference for this kind of thing.

    A note I'll make about support for those who pack up a bass in the future: At one point we were packing with a nice brace at the neck heel and padded the butt end so it was in a pretty cushy zone. The issue that stemmed from this was that if the box were set down roughly (or shaken over the miles as Pete explained) the leverage caused by that heavy old scroll would snap the neck in two. So you need to support/isolate the scroll as well. Triangular shaped boxes are also handy, in that it prevents anyone from standing it on the scroll end, which has caused me some hurt in the past as well.

    If anyone has come up with The Perfect Packing Method, please share it with the group! :)
     
  16. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Maybe Ken will chime in on this..I helped him unpack his Martini when it came in from Italy...Hopefully he'll tell you the details of how it was packed.

    Reading Sam's thread reminded me of it.
     
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    My bass is coming to me via Amtrak. It's in a soft cover, in a box, packed in a trunk that I have to return to the luthier that I bought it from...about $75 each way...
     
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    My Martini was wrapped in bubble and foam which took me 20-30 minutes to unvail. Wrapped in it's 'mummified' suit, it was in a huge box with tons of large foam pieces and the Bass seemed to be suspended within this heavy foam. The box/crate took 2 of us, Don and I, about 20 minutes and 2 crow bars between us plus a hammer and screw driver just to get the top lid off.

    I'm not sure how much your Upton Bass cost but I think the boxing of my Bass was worth a few Hunderd $ alone. There was no cover for the Bass. The cover can only protect from scratches and the Bubble WAS the cover in this case.

    I had two Shen Basses shipped to me from CSC and they were packed nice as well but each Bass was also in a cover. Ask John about thier expences to make a Bass Crate like the ones they sent me. They were monsters in itself as well.