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PAGE: Bilge Loads are Becoming an IssueApril 12, 2018

Please be aware that some newsprint suppliers have recently had difficulties in locating trucking companies that can reliably deliver newsprint and HiBrites in a bilge load fashion. Bilge loads are unique, as they require the paper rolls to be loaded on the curved side of the roll versus the flat end.

This requirement creates training and safety issues and trucking companies are having a difficult time retaining drivers who are willing to haul bilge loads. With the competitive trucking landscape drivers are picking the easiest, fastest, and most profitable loads and most are skipping bilge load deliveries.

If you currently receive your newsprint via bilge loads,we encourage you to review options for receiving newsprint in a traditional manner with the rolls loaded upright on their end. Of course this type of delivery generally requires a loading dock and forklift with roll clamp. Some members who previously required bilge loads have found nearby companies that would assist them with unloading such loads while others have utilized a portable ramp.

Portable ramps can be expensive but they are typically much less than other solutions including building a dock. For reference, here's a list of portable ramps recently found with a Google search.

eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aluminum-Forklift-Loading-Yard-Port...
eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ramp-Portable-yard-ramp-loading-lev...
Handi-Ramp: https://www.handiramp.com/yardramps/
Adapt-a-Ramp: http://www.portablemobileloadingdockramps.com
DuraRamp: https://www.duraramp.com/portable-loading-docks/
WM Manufacturing: http://www.forkliftramp.com

These ramps are shown as a examples and are not included as specific recommendations.

Could freight companies continue to take bilge loads for many months or years ahead? It’s possible but it is more likely that many trucking companies will phase out bilge loads and in the least any driver assistance will certainly disappear. In other words, truckers will likely gravitate to simpler and easier loads and PAGE members requiring bilge loads could be caught with few options.

If you have any questions please contact John Snyder (800-468-9568, ext 176), Steve Schroeder (800-468-9568, ext 187), or Joan Graff (800-468-9568, ext 196).
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