Get it Delivered or Take Home Yourself?
These days you can have almost everything delivered - at a cost, but if you want to take it home yourself and save some money, make sure you can!
I recently purchased a new Eco Rainwater Harvesting Tank and, when I realised it wouldn't fit on my little 1400 bakkie, had to find an alternative means of transport. This got me to thinking about having larger items delivered and was it worth the cost?
When buying large items from a store you sometimes overlook the actual size of the item and whether or not you CAN take it home yourself. I am one of those people that tries to save money as much as possible and spending an extra R200 upwards for delivery doesn't sit well with me. Having recently purchased a large, very large, eco Rainwater Tank, I discovered that it was so big that it wouldn't fit on my bakkie and needed to arrange alternative transport as well as cords to hold it firmly in place. To prevent the same thing from happening to anyone else, here are my tips for taking larger items home if you don't want to pay for delivery.
CHECK THE SIZE AND MEASUREMENTS
Checking the actual size of the item you are buying, or the overall length, depth and height, is most definitely important. If you are buying a new appliance such as a fridge, freezer, stove, etc., make sure it will fit in your vehicle or that there will be enough space if you have a fitted canopy.
In this case, I did check the diameter of the tank, but the details on the website didn't tell me the height. If the company does not give detailed specifications on their website, it's better to phone and ask for clarification.
GOOD TO KNOW: If you are carrying items in a bakkie and they stick out over the end of the bed, you need to have a triangle or red flag or piece of red cloth to warn motorists that you are carrying dangerous cargo.
Sheets or timber or board are other types of large item that people tend to forget when buying what they need for projects. Not everything is going to fit onto the back seat of your car, especially if there are offcuts.
Don't try to be clever by overloading your transport - it can only end in disaster!
CONSIDER HIRING A TRAILER
If you are buying several items that you want to take home yourself, it might work out in your favour to hire a trailer for the morning. There are plenty of trailer-hire companies around and they offer decent rates for hiring small or large trailers. If you don't have a bakkie to transport items, consider trailer hire as an option.
HAVE THE NECESSARY ITEMS TO TRANSPORT SAFELY
Larger items, especially appliances, will need to be fastened securely to the bed of your bakkie or trailer to prevent them from moving around. Here are some items you will need for transporting items home:
• Bubble wrap to protect furniture or items that may be damaged, particularly appliances not packed in their original cartons. Or take along some old blankets.
• Cardboard to protect delicate items or piece that contain glass.
• Straps or ties to securely fasten down items
• Safety triangle, red flag of scrap of red fabric for the end of items that overhang the edge of the bakkie bed.
WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU GET HOME?
Loading items onto your own transport is done at the hardware or other store, but what about when you get home? Who will help you to offload and get items placed in your home?
When it comes to heavy or cumbersome items, you are going to need extra help to offload and carry these items to where they need to go. My Eco tank required four people to manoeuver this over the garden wall, as it did not fit through any gates. Keep in mind that not everything will fit through doors and gates easily and you may have to make alternative arrangements.
IS IT WORTH IT?
At the end of the day, you need to consider all the trouble you need to go through to get stuff home. Sometimes it might just be the better option to have large items delivered to your door.