After much deliberation I chose to buy more scaffolding for a project I was working on. Why would a photographer need scaffolding? Well I don’t need it for photography at this point and am instead residing my house because I am rather a jack of all trades. Surprising to many I am very good at many things but choose to shoot photographs because I enjoy it the most out of all the things I have abilities in. There is future image plans for the scaffolding though. We are slowly venturing into video production and are planning on having the scaffolding on hand to hold lights high above or to get a higher perspective for a camera angle.
I searched the local area in Austin for scaffolding and came up rather empty except for one place and it was rather expensive. I trolled Craigslist for months trying to find something at an affordable price but scaffolding is far and few between there and the people who do have it think it’s value is more than I was willing to pay.
So online I went and visited many website obsessing about scaffolding, pricing and shipping and one place kept coming to the top of the heap; Scaffolding Mart . Never have I been to a website for tools and construction machinery that was so ridiculously excited about what they sell. Someone spent a good deal of their life going on about the wonders and magic of scaffolding. Literally there are 50-pages of text about their scaffolding and how magical it is and they went into great detail about the quality and the manufacturing. They posted videos of the construction of some of their scaffolds, braces and walk boards which were elaborate and detailed. These people appear to eat, sleep and breath scaffolding but it almost sounded too good to be true.
So I took the plunge and bought the scaffolding that I needed. With a purchase over $600 they shipped the entire order for free. I was very skeptical because it had to be hundreds of pounds of steel that was being shipped to me. They shipped using Yellow-Roadway, a logistics and trucking company and estimated that the order would be to me by the middle of the following week.
Yellow-Roadway was kind of a pain to deal with. They gave conflicting stories about where the freight was and when it would be delivered. Their phone support was the most polite and helpful sounding group of people I’d ever spoken to but what they said on the phone what actually happened were two different things. For two days I waited for the promised truck to come and drop off my scaffolding but nothing showed. I called at the end of each day and they promised it the next day. At the end of day two I asked if I could just pick it up at their local hub. I spoke with the local hub over the phone and arranged to pick it up at around 6 p.m. the next day, but he said to call about an hour beforehand so they could get it off the truck.
The next day at about 5:30 I called and said I wanted to come and pick up the freight in about an hour. The tired sounding fellow told me I couldn’t because there wasn’t anyone left at the hub to unload it. This was the same fellow I had talked to the day before and arranged the pick-up with so I was somewhat annoyed and gave him a small piece of my mind about how non-logistical this logistics company was. His manager wasn’t there so I told him that I wanted to see the scaffolding at my home the next day and not a day later. I told him this in such terms to motivate him to actually make something happen.
The next day it showed up. 750 pounds of steel and wood found its way off the truck and into my front yard. I thanked the driver and sent him on his way without incident.
I looked over the Scaffold Mart scaffolding and found it was very nice, simple to put together and seemed to be made to take a lot of punishment. I don’t know how they sell it as cheap as they do. It really is very nice. I’m sure my tiny order was probably not even worth sneezing at but I called them on a couple of occasions during the shipping debacle and while they didn’t always answer the phone they always called me back including a call after hours. I was very impressed that they cared enough to call. It was refreshing after dealing with large corporations for so many years who say one thing and do another. I would definitely give a five out of five rating to Scaffold Mart for quality of their product and support that was top notch.
Yellow-Roadway, on the other hand, is in desperate need of a more accurate tracking system and logistics that are actually logical. I was very surprised at how little people seemed to know about what was really going on. But seeing as the shipping was free, what can I say? At least I didn’t have to pay for the poor quality service. As a side note, has it ever bothered anyone else driving on the freeway that the Yellow-Roadway logo is orange?