Besides lots of peanuts and bubble wrap, is there anything special you need to do to mail a speedometer?? It is rebuilt and ready to install.Any advice is appreciated.
Be aware that USPS insurance applies only to store bought items with a receipt. Otherwise it's a waste of money.
It seems like over-kill, but a box inside a box is great insurance--lots of shredded paper between them-assume the box will be dropped from 6' onto a concrete floor.
I know this seem crazy, but I have received packages where that's what had to have happened! It's why I don't do mail-order toy train repairs anymore--HAND delivery only!
I have mailed and received mail containing many speedometers. One was damaged. I paid $15 for a Stewart speedometer on eBay. The knucklehead put the speedometer in a 6" square USPS flat rate box wit no padding. That speedometer came out of the box in multiple unrepairable pieces.
Anything that you ship needs to be packaged well enough that you would not be afraid to see it fall five feet to a concrete floor.
I use USPS insurance anyway, hoping that it will suggest to the handlers that it get better treatment. They don't know what's inside. Yes, I'm dreaming, I know.
I have no illusions of ever collecting on USPS insurance however.
Six foot drop onto concrete??
Earlier this year I was involved with a damage claim against UPS. I seem to recall that they recommended items be packaged so as to survive a fall of FIFTEEN feet onto a concrete surface.
In shipping almost anything, when is a package fifteen feet above the ground, unless in an aircraft?
If any of us actually work for UPS please speak up in defense of your fine company and their stellar reputation. Or hang your head in shame.
Royce is spot on with that last bit of advice. Consider that ALL shipped items will be
left for a few days in the ape house before being moved forward. I have worked for both
UPS and USPS and trust me, you all would cringe at the rough handling packages are
subjected to. From the ramps that indiscriminately load Uncle Henry's Model A block
on top of Grandma Pittipoo's heirloom crystal, to the asian ladies throwing three pointers
with someone's medical calibration tool into the canvas baskets along the wall, some 30'
away. No one has the time to look for silly "FRAGILE!" stickers or pleas of "DO NOT BEND".
It all goes into the same bin or trailer in the order it comes down the ramp. From Seattle
to Harrisburg, that package might go through this process FIVE times.
If it matters, pack for war.
You can take my advice or suffer the consequences. I've got hundreds of eBay sales and have not had a single lost or damaged part shipped by me. If you ever go to a USPS, UPS, FedEx or DHL shipping / sorting facility you will see boxes falling occasionally from the line. If you pack properly it is not a problem. Put your head in the sand and it becomes a problem.
Remember High School science class: Drop an egg off the back of the stadium. Pack accordingly.
I shipped a set front wheel bearings in poor shape in a $13 USPS box. When the customer received the box it was empty. I filed a claim for the $25 for the bearings and the shipping, I received a full insurance refund of $38.
Over-the-road shipping starts with a trailer being loaded at what they call "the sort".
Trucks from all over the continent, as well as the local delivery/pickup trucks all bring
their parcels in, where they are unloaded on to roller ramps that feed out onto powered
conveyor belts. In my sort (Redmond, Wa.) they told us there was six miles of these
belt lines feeding all the docks and sorting platforms. Everyone talks about the falling
of packages, but the real damage happened on those roller ramps as the trailers were
being loaded for forward movement.
I worked both ends, .... unload, and then load out. Unload *might* see an occasional
crash of boxes, but on the loadout, ALL boxes came down that roller ramp for the 20 of
us (in 20 different trailers) to build "walls" out of, filling the trailer from front to back, stuffing
every last inch of the space with anything that came down the ramp.
We had two priorities that fed a single priority, ... check ALL parcels to ensure the zip
code present matched those included in the destination of that trailer. Mis-routing cost
the company. The other was speed in combining the checking of zip codes with the building
of the aforementioned walls. The overall priority was stuffing an empty trailer to the gills
in 20 minutes or less in a way where shifting loads were minimized to minimize damage
caused by that shifting. But here was the rub ...
What came down that ramp was as random as random could be. One 3x5x1 inch box
filled with shoelaces might be followed by a paper-wrapped bundle of tractor axles. And
as a loader, you had a half second to check the zip and decide where in the wall these
packages should best go. Ten more boxes might come down the ramp before one could
place these two.
My method was to build 3 walls deep at the same time, all heavy stuff going low in the
walls and as they got taller, use the lighter stuff to finish to the roof, always moving outward
to the rear with more and more walls as more stuff came down the ramp and walls were
finished. But I know for a fact that few, if any of my co-workers gave the job this level of
attention. Most just tossed those axles right on top of the pithy-light box that probably
held some under-packed irreplaceable antiquity that some dumbass brainlessly figured
we loaders had all day to examine and see his or her little notes on the box that the contents
were fragile. Yeah ....
My job at USPS was security related, and we operated with law enforcement to stop internal
theft and fraud. Often posing as construction teams, we just "went to work" around the sorts
and observed a suspected target. More often than not, the night sorts involved the tossing of
boxes some 10 - 30 feet to awaiting sort bins to save the worker the walk over to the desired
bin. They often missed and the bin or made a rim shot that then hit the floor. There goes that
speedometer or delicate brass lamp !
What Burger describes is exactly what I would expect from all the carriers. Best possible scenario would be an item sees two trucks for a local mailing but three or more trucks for most domestic shipments. All transfers executed by folks getting pushed to move things as rapidly as possible. Oh, and those folks in Aus and NZ can expect their part sometime, maybe.
Anytime you ship an item that is fragile ALWAYS double box the item. You also can wrap the item in bubble wrap or a piece of cardboard and then box it. If you box an item and then shake the box in your hand and the item flops around its a sure sign it will be damaged in shipment. Sounds to simple but it will happen.
I've shipped heavy radio's, ham equipment, T parts and etc and never had any insurance claims for my item's packaging. Almost all of the time its how an item is packed if it will arrive safely.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats plenty of crumpled up newspaper.
I hate those "peanuts' with a passion.