The Big Day's Arrived - Now What?
It’s hard to not get excited when the big day finally arrives. You have been working for several weeks on getting your property prepared for your new steel building and now it’s time for you to receive the building components that you’ve only seen on paper.
There are several steps in the building delivery process, including some pre-planning that must take place. Let’s consider these steps one by one.
Arrangements should be made for your erection contractor to be present on the delivery day to verify that all the parts and pieces are present and accounted for. If you are going to be doing your own erection, it is important for you to be careful and thorough in this step to ensure that there are no missing or damaged components.
If you are using a contractor, make sure that you have clarified in your contract who will be doing the off-loading and staging of the materials. The manufacturer does not supply labor or lift equipment to help you unload the truck once it arrives; that is your responsibility. So, your agreement with the contractor should address that. Necessary equipment could include a crane, forklift, pallet jacks, and so forth, depending on the size of your building and the layout of your building site.
On the subject of site layout, careful thought should have been given to access and staging. If your property is large and flat, this should be relatively simple. But if the site is small, odd-shaped, sloped, or covered with rocks or trees, all of these factors must have been taken into consideration when planning the truck’s entrance and exit, as well as the locations where the delivered materials will be staged.
There are two inspections that you and your contractor will perform: the unloading inspection and the unpacking inspection. The first one is done while the delivery vehicle is still there; the second one can be done later.
When your building arrives, it will obviously be in many, many pieces. These are all shrink-wrapped, bundled, bagged, and boxed in a way that is both efficient and environmentally responsible. When you were first given the design and construction plans, an inventory packing list was included in that package--it’s recommended you make a few copies before starting the inspections.
As items are taken off the truck, you will need to examine each, checking them off a master copy of the inventory packing list as you go. If any items are missing or damaged, or if there are an insufficient amount of any pieces, you will need to file a report with the carrier immediately while they’re still on site. If a package is damaged, open it and inspect the contents, reporting any damaged items. Until the unloading inspection is done and you have approved all the items, and reported damaged and missing ones, you have not officially received the shipment. This step is important as it will expedite the replacement of any missing or damaged parts.
After you’ve officially received the shipment and the carrier has left, it’s time to unpack it. Now is the time to perform an even more in-depth examination of all the delivered items. Use a second copy of the master inventory list and check off all of the items again, making sure that you not only received everything that was ordered but that there is the correct quantity of each of the items. If you find that there are any damaged or missing components that were not reported to the carrier in the unloading inspection, you have 14 days from receipt to file a report to the manufacturer.
Although these inspections may be somewhat tedious and even seem redundant, they are both extremely important. Although the computer-assisted modular design process has cut down on loss and defects in construction, mistakes can still happen. Reports and claims filed in a timely manner make the settlement process much simpler, allowing you to focus on the much more pleasant task at hand: getting your new steel building built!
1. Components should be placed as near to the point that they will be used as is practical. Heavy or unwieldy items may require lifting or moving equipment; smaller and lighter pieces can be moved by hand.
2. Columns should be unloaded near their respective positions by the anchor bolts that they correspond to. They may be placed on the foundation slab on top of even wood blocks. It is also a good idea to place slings (cables) under heavy columns and other framing members for easier lifting. End Walls are typically unloaded and laid at the ends of the slab where they will be erected.
3. It’s generally best to put all hardware packages in one place to make it easier to keep stock of them. Placing them near the center of the building helps to cut down on travel time across the building site and makes for easier access.
4. Purlins and girts should be stored near sidewalls and kept clear of other materials. Packages of sheet goods should be kept out of the way since they’re the next-to-last items to be added to the building. Place them on blocks and provide a slight slope at one end for drainage in case of rain. Accessories should also be kept out of the way; they’re the last components that will be installed after the basic steel building is constructed.
5. Ensure that all components are staged in such a way as to prevent workers from accidentally stepping on them. Depending on climate and weather conditions, the materials may need to be covered or otherwise protected from the elements so that they will be clean and dry when construction begins.