Cabinet and Millwork Installation

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Commercial Millwork Deliveries

Kevin Basto

Hello all,
On a current commercial install job of over 30+ rooms of millwork where our install contract is with the GC we have received millwork from the fabricator via tractor trailer ( pretty common for us), its part of our contract to unload...
We have never done any installs from this fabricator before , to our surprise millwork and cabinetry was packed into a trailer (Tetris style) without pallets and without a lift gate... a ramp was supplied on the truck. Even if we had equipment to unload this it would've been moot as not even a pallet jack could get under the items; additionally items were hapazardly labeled , and packed with no logical order (eg: 5 cabinets for one area of the job stacked with 5 other cabinets for another area of the job 2000ft away....). close to 40 man hrs later items where unloaded over 600 pcs on two 53 foot trailers loaded fully to the ends and ceiling. After the 1st truck like this we threatened to refuse any further deliveries packed in such an idiotic way, driver would be sent back from wherever he came; sorry bud..... what is your alls take on this?

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View higher quality, full size image (3024 X 4032)

12/30/23       #3: Commercial Millwork Deliveries ...

Those cabinets survived without any cardboard/foam wrap??

12/30/23       #4: Commercial Millwork Deliveries ...
Kevin Basto

To my surprise they did, they took the care to turn them upside down !!!

1/11/24       #5: Commercial Millwork Deliveries ...

I've sold & installed casework for quite a few of the large national manufacturers over the years. That's pretty typical on large commercial jobs. I'd say most of the time we don't even get the ramp. Also, we typically only have 4 hours to unload the trailer & get the driver gone or fees start to apply. It's not fun.

1/13/24       #6: Commercial Millwork Deliveries ...
The MW Studio  Member


Oh man, that sounds like an absolute rollercoaster of frustration! Unloading a truckload of millwork without pallets or a lift gate? It's like someone turned your job into an extreme sport.

And the Tetris-style packing? I mean, kudos for the creativity, but in real life, it's a whole different story, right? Trying to find cabinets for one area while you're 2000 feet away dealing with another bunch that's a level of chaos no one signs up for.

Threatening to refuse further deliveries sounds like a survival move. I mean, who needs that kind of headache repeatedly, right? Sometimes you gotta put your foot down, or in this case, your forklift.

Hopefully, the fabricator gets the memo and starts playing on your team, making your life a bit easier on the unloading front

1/16/24       #7: Commercial Millwork Deliveries ...
Kevin Basto

Yes, all true no packing list or list of delivered items either... I'll just say the Owner of this outfit will be getting a nice Christmas card from me ; )

3/27/24       #8: Commercial Millwork Deliveries ...
AmarisOpal Member


The situation you've described sounds incredibly frustrating and inefficient. It's essential for fabricators and suppliers to understand the practicalities of installation processes. Packing items in a way that hampers unloading and causes confusion only leads to wasted time and resources. It's entirely reasonable to demand better organization and packaging standards, especially for a large-scale project like yours. Communicating your concerns firmly, as you did, is crucial for ensuring smoother operations moving forward. Hopefully, your feedback prompts the necessary changes for future deliveries.

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