**FIRST EMAIL**/Let the Lunacy Continue!

Greetings 2009 Championship Teams:

Wow! Here we are, one week before the start of the 2009 FRC Championship event. Our trucks are loaded and on their way to Atlanta, with the FIRST FRC staff and our fantastic volunteers soon to follow. We can’t wait to get things started and to see you all down there!
Before you go, we want to remind you of the key points below. We also want to bring your attention to an important notice regarding robot transport home.

Due to the current economic conditions, *FIRST is *encouraging all teams that want to take their robot directly home to do so. This will lessen the financial impact on our valued sponsor FedEx, and also allow you to have quicker access to your robot. Therefore, we are extending our offer to allow teams to remove their robots from the event. The new request deadline is next Tuesday, April 14th 5:00 pm EST. To recap the instructions:

  • Email your request to [email protected]. Your letter will be reviewed by the Director and you will be notified of your permission;

  • The email subject line should be: “Robot Removal, “Championship Event - Team XXXX (your team #)”;

  • State your reason for the rule variation;

  • Provide a description of the vehicle you will use to transport your robot and crate.
    Please note the following rules apply:

  • The drayage company will neither help nor provide equipment for the removal, and teams will not be permitted to use the loading dock and no pallet jacks available to go out the front;

  • You may have to load out at an earlier or later time than may be convenient;

  • You will also be responsible for dismantling and removing your robot crate. Do not expect to receive assistance in those processes;

  • A $250 clean-up fee will be assessed for any crates left behind;

  • Please stop by the Pit Administration table prior to leaving the building with your robot so you can be officially “checked out” by *FIRST *
    staff! **IMPORTANT: ** Remember, if you do ship your robot home do NOT exceed the 400 lb crate limit or you will be charged accordingly! This means be very careful what you pack in with your robot (e.g., tools) that might cause you to exceed this weight stipulation. We do plan on re-weighing all crates. As always, second crates are your responsibility to ship through the Shepard shipping desk.
    **Any questions? Please contact us at [email protected]


…please read the following important information and reminders!

I wonder what the cost per hundredweight is for Fed Ex Freight?
I don’t know many teams that ship to Atlanta that aren’t over the limit.

I know the Drayage cost for being overweight…and we budget for that… but it is interesting that this information just comes out now… after we shipped everything to Atlanta…I can’t recall FIRST ever re-weighing FedEx crates on the way home.

It is also interesting that there is nothing in the Robot Transportation section of the rules that limits the crate to being 400 lbs or less… The statement in the rules (Section is that 5. All Crates MUST: Weigh 400 lbs or less when loaded to avoid drayage charges.
It says nothing about a weight limit to avoid excess Fed Ex charges…

It is also interesting that the email indicates there will be a $250 charge for crates left behind when the Robot Transportation rules specify (In Section " A $150 clean up fee will be assesses for any crates left behind…"

Our team really appreciates the Fed Ex donation… but it is difficult to make any kind of change in your shipping procedures when that change is made after your crate has already shipped and you have already made all of your other travel arrangements. FIRST is changing the “rules” in the middle of the game for shipping.

We are in Seattle and we have little choice…we can’t “drive” our tools to Georgia. We also have a difficult time because airlines are now charging for checked baggage. We are already having to pay an additional $200 in extra checked baggage fees for the totes that will bring the rest of our tools.

At this point we have little choice but to pay more again…
This is very frustrating…

If the rules had specified this we would have done our analysis and dealt with costs… but the rules don’t specify this… We have shipped twice before to Atlanta and had to pay drayage (which we knew about) but NEVER had to consider paying extra Fed Ex…

I hope that next year’s rules changes will consider this…and also consider the disadvantage that teams from far away…like the West Coast or Hawaii…have in this regard…


Good luck to everyone in Atlanta!!

Thanks for making a note of this.
This is in fact why its so difficult for more teams WEST of Hawaii to want to participate as the travel and shipping costs are horrendous if they do a regional and CMP.
I can only imagine what would happen if FEDEX stopped their contribution to FIRST.
Sign of the economic times…