Some of the surest ways to protect your bottom line are SIMPLE.
Key to avoiding unforeseen costs after a delivery is making good use of the bill-of-lading.
If the vehicle you are picking up has a bent stack, several holes in the roof of the cab, and a missing mirror, PROTECT YOURSELF by listing all of this on the lines provided near the bottom center of the bill of lading. DON’T STOP THERE: also mark the left side drawings to reflect these issues with the vehicle. It may even be a good idea to run arrows from the list to the pre-trip inspection diagrams.
You have clearly established that this damage existed at pick-up, and as both you and the shipper sign the bill of lading, the customer has confirmed the pre-existing damage as well. [ A smart phone will pay for itself if you also take photos of this pre-existing damage; it is helpful to take these photos in a spot when a sign or building confirms that the photos were taken at the shipper property.]
There will be no dispute about a claim filed by a consignee (receiver) of the vehicle, as you have already created a solid case that his claim is with the shipper, not with MTI or with you. The few minutes you spend to document at pick-up can save you thousands of dollars.