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Author Topic: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging  (Read 6205 times)

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Offline ward

  • Posts: 49
    • wcwfloors.com
MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« on: April 29, 2010, 05:40 PM »
Hi everyone! I'm new too Festool's and while seemingly as in love with them as the rest of you (still new and learning) i do feel pulled to write about what for me is a significant, if somewhat tangential issue with Festool / Tooltechnic quality and accountability.

Regardless of how we come to awareness of Festools, once we get bit, the progression of Festool obsession is predictable. This year i got some money back (from loosing allot in business) and decided to invest in some quality tools that would help invigorate my attitude and experience at work. I'm a Hardwood flooring contractor, so i started with the Rotex and the CT 22 and I'm thrilled with them. At the suggestion of a old friend who has his own business as well, i decided to go for the MFT 3 ~TS 55 combo as well, "no success like excess" - Yates or Blake perhaps. . .

I'm writing here to comment on the poor packaging of the MFT 3 and to a lesser extent the guide rails. I have talked with a few National on line distributors and a few Festool reps, and am sorry to hear that they seem to blame the distributors for a ongoing packaging problem.

My MFT 3 arrived looking like it had detoured through a riot, not a quiet one either. The box was torn in multiple places, the top and bottom were marred (the box, not the table) and there we many dents and crush marks. If i had been home, i would have likely refused the shipment. But here it was and boy, i was excited and happy, regardless of the condition of the carton. Perhaps it was double boxed i thought, the vacuum cleaner had been. . . I was hoping for the best.

As i carefully broke the tape seal and folded up the flaps i was greeted by crushed Styrofoam and the sight of two dents in the top pair of folding legs that faced out toward me. I was saddened and a bit angry at UPS. I has asked them to leave it in the back yard, not on my front stoop in plain view with the Rail and TS 55 but where the shipment was delivered became irrelevant as i continued to find more damage as i got the table set up and the started looking for the table presets, or stops.  Nope ! no stops, not ONE. I don't know how two or four stops disappeared, but somehow they were absent. The side rails of the table were also dented and scratched and yet i wanted to see my new toy and set it up! I mean, I'm a kid still at pushing 50 and this is like the best Christmas morning a guy could ask for (by himself at least).

So i read the directions and puzzled through the somewhat less than clear and to my aging eyes, tiny diagrams showing where there should be stops, and how to put the whole system together. as i did so, i realized that the guide rail was also damaged! two of the possible four corners were "dinged" or slightly bent and out of alignment with the body of the rail. How UPS managed to dent the rail, in a cardboard box, between the folded legs of the table made me realize that the rail had almost no padding or protection, and that one good bump could cause the rail to impact the inside of the table and bend the rail. All for the lack of a few layers of cardboard.

I am disappointed on a number of fronts. first of all that there is not double boxing of the table. Especially as i understand at one time their was, but with the addition of the Styrofoam corners, Festool decided to do away with the double boxing. Second of all that there is no perimeter reinforcement of the single wall box except for the corners. Evey possible edge of this box was banged up so it' clear that it's needed. I have had conversations with a few national distributors and they all reported multiple claims on Tables and that to add insult to injury, my complaint to Tooltechnic was forwarded without my permission to a distributor and used to blame the distributor for the lack of proper packaging on the tool that they are manufacturing. There is a bit of the worst of corporate culture here that i imagine that we don't want to acknowledge here, that Festool is in the end, no different from Goldman Sacks or Chevron, they will do what the can to maximize profits and take it out of the pocket of the distributor and the customer who has to wait for another shipment.

Now you could say, buy local and pay the 10% tax and let someone else deal with this. But that simply hides the issue. The tables and rails need better packaging and it is the manufacturers responsibility to provide it. In closing my some comments to Festool and then one of my distributor/ "dealers".

To Festool / Tooltechnic

"Another problem along with the damaged table (bent legs and  dented and scratched side rails) is that the saw guide rail had dinged corners that were obviously caused by banging around in the box. The rail that came in the ts55 was packaged much better and arrived in pristine condition, what I pay for, and expect, with Festool.

I am also missing the table preset stops. either they were not included or became loose and fell out of the torn and damaged box. Since it is mentioned in the instructions that this often happens, might i suggest covering the stops with tape to secure them while shipping? Also i found the table among the most versatile, sophisticated and well thought out pieces of equipment that Festool offers, the user manual really could be much, much better. the diagrams are small, the paper rather cheap (not a nice touch) and the quality of editing and "readability" not quite up to snuff. Perhaps there is another user developed manual I'm not aware of ?

Seemingly small things like paper quality, and quality of writing and diagrams reflect on a company. . . Especially  when your striving to remain at the top of your field, like i am, with the help of your tools.  While i know that top of the line paper is an exorbitant cost for manuals, a small increase in quality and production (writing etc) would reflect well on the company and further incline me to continue too consider purchasing Festools.

After reviewing UPS's shipping claim forms etc, it seems that from their perspective Festool's choice to go to single wall box shipping for the MFT/3 may not be in anyones interest. I don't know who made that call, but i imagine they are already regretting it. I'm old enough to realize neither my perspective or experience are unique.

The fact that it is all due to the choice to move to a single wall box is my first clear indication that there are basic wisdom / quality problems at the company. I hope in the future that they escape my notice, or at least do not affect my production schedule so directly.
And to my "Dealer"

"I am saddened to hear that Festool / Tooltechnic does not stand behind their distributors in claims with their shipper, when the problem is due to their choices in package design, likely driven buy  efforts to lower costs and extract profits at the expense of everyone else involved.

It's as if Tooltechnic has never read UPS's guide to shipping!  I'm sad to see that Tooltechnic seems to feel the need to copy the likes of bankers and oil executives in their unwillingness to accept responsibility for the consequences of their executive decisions. Then it falls on other people to shift the responsibility for that decision. No fun for anyone.

After 28 years in business i know that I am often frustrated with a business partner who changes the ground rules in the middle of a transaction. While it's clear that changes need to be made, perhaps by distributors, as well, the primary responsibility lies with the manufacturer. It is not in their interests to make their products more difficult to ship or expensive for their dealers. It is in their interest to design a package that will get the tool to the end user without claims that cost everyone time, money, and patience (always in short supply).

No one is going to flinch at another $10 if it saves the hassle of a claim. It's even the kind of thing they could mention in the catalog. Fix the problem once and for all. Apple & Dell can package a computer, Festool should figure out how to package a table as well as they package everything else. Although it's clear that the rail packaging could improve also. . .  Just one more fold of cardboard would likely do the trick in that case. The table needs perimeter and crush protection. . .

While i have no idea if you inspect every tool you receive from Tooltechnic, i wonder if some damage occurs in shipping to you, that is not discovered until it reaches the customer. I can't see you opening and inspecting every tool you get, yet in the case of the MFT it's obviously (after talking to other) a chronic problem that plagues all Festool dealers.

This was not a case of routine damage, as you will see, that table was mistreated severely before it got to my door. While the corner protection did it's job, there is no protection for the rails or the legs and that is not your fault, or responsibility, to repackage a product for delivery. It is not all about the choice of shipper either, a poorly designed packaging system will continue to fail regardless of who handles it, the issue is Festools packaging design is not sufficient for the realities of the world. The manufacturer needs to follow through with their much vaunted  "continuing development" of excellence in packaging !

UPS really screwed up with their handling.  It is the responsibility of the shipper to extend reasonable care for a package clearly  marked fragile. Yet it is also the responsibility of all of us to recognize and respond to chronic problems with proactive solutions.

If how and when Festool does improve their packaging is yet to be seen.

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as i did writing, i hope you stopped long ago if you didn't. We can just "take what we need" here and leave the rest. Hopefully i have not offended anyone, or touched any sore toes.


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Online WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4137
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 06:14 PM »
I didn't read 25% of that.

Don't blame the company because of a lazy, uncaring, UPS driver, or FedEx for that matter.

I have never had anything be damaged from shipping.

Why didn't you refuse the package if it looked like it had been through  and back.

How on the earth did those little stops in the table profiles disappear?

I am rough on my mft, haul it in back of my suburban, in my trailer, up and down stairs and so on.

Never had a stop move.

I am also pretty sure it did not leave festool's warehouse with the box looking all beat to heck.

So now we have to monitor the shipping company's too?

« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 06:18 PM by WarnerConstCo. »

Offline Wim

  • Posts: 286
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2010, 06:26 PM »
When I received my MFT/3 from Bob Marino in December last year, it was packed very sturdy. It looked like it was ready for a space mission. The tabletop was protected by hardboard (if that is the proper term for the 3 mm sheets). The plastic protection of the corners was mostly intact. The carton box showed a few dents and small cuts, but no harm to the contents. I don't know if this is standard procedure from Festool or the extra care of Bob, but it worked like a charm.

Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1331
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2010, 07:23 PM »
Blame Bob, I am still reusing his packing materials from my last order back in January
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline Wim

  • Posts: 286
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2010, 07:28 PM »
Same here. The hardboard and most of the carton came in very handy. Even the crumpled white paper was good for making quick sketches.

Offline Peter Halle

  • Global Moderator
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  • Posts: 12247
  • Remington Steele - My Third Boy
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2010, 07:49 PM »
My MFT/3 arrived safely.  It was double packed.  That is something that dealer does.


Offline pprior

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 06:33 PM »
I just got a MFT, mine arrived double boxed.

Never accept a damaged shipment.

Offline Don T

  • Posts: 1967
  • Phoenix, Az
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 08:15 PM »
Sorry you had problems in shipping but it is not Festools problem.  I recently received my MFT3 and rail and everything was in perfect condition in fact I thought it was well packaged.
Now when I had an 18 Planer/Molder delivered one of the legs was heavily damaged and the truck driver through a machined shaft out the back of the truck while it was being unloaded.  All shipping companies are horrible.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Offline ward

  • Posts: 49
    • wcwfloors.com
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010, 09:53 PM »
Thanks for all the input!

I am quite happy with the 2nd table.  The box again arrived trashed but intact, again no stops! I did hold the UPS driver hostage while i unpacked it and inspected it, as he eyed me, and the door. I contacted the shipper and David from Festool (who read my post)  sent me stops and was over the top friendly, knowledgeable and  helpful with a follow up call and provided great service.

It's clear to me, from my experience, that if you buy one online do it from Bob, he really packs them right and as a result  likely does not make much on them. It's really the price i paid for shopping online and avoiding sales tax. David made it clear that they do not recommend shipping the tables and if a dealer does to double wrap it like Bob does. . . .

Now i just have to figure where to post my question about mounting a Bosh jigsaw to the Festool jigsaw guide stop. I'm not sure why i want to do this, except to see if i can. I mean, with the TS 55, why use a jig saw? but it might be handy in the field. . .

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 967
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 08:24 AM »
Based on my own experience, I would have to blame your situation on the shipper or someone along the shipping path. My MFT3 came boxed very well, looked like Festool packaging, strapped to a wood pallet. Delivery truck lowered the whole package onto the sidewalk. No dents, tears or anything.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline ward

  • Posts: 49
    • wcwfloors.com
Re: MFT 3 & Rail Packaging
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2010, 11:21 PM »
Wow ! That is an impressive delivery, I saw another trashed box (table OK) on a video I found through a link here on setting up the table. It sounds like your dealer used a  freight carrier rather than UPS or Fed Ex Ground ?I hear that's what is recommended. . .