April 4 2019 09:52 AM

Roadie will transport virtually anything that a driver can fit in his own vehicle for less than other delivery companies charge.

A new delivery platform called Roadie could be a boon for landscape and irrigation companies who need supplies — tools, fertilizer, pavers, parts, pipes, plants, anything, really — delivered to their shop or job site the same day. The company calls it a “game changer” for professional landscapers, nurseries or any small business.

Calling itself the first “on-the-way” delivery service, Roadie is best described as Uber or Lyft for stuff, where anyone can make a delivery using his own vehicle. The pitch to potential drivers is, “You’re going to that destination anyway, why not drop something off and make money?” If a wanna-be driver can pass the prescreening process, which includes a background check, they’re in.

The company works with gardening centers, nurseries and big-box retailers, and says it can deliver anything, including riding lawn mowers, table saws, miter saws, wet/dry tile saws, power generators, air compressors and most tools or power equipment, as long as it can fit in a spacious pickup, trailer or passenger vehicle. It can’t handle very large commercial equipment such as excavators, bulldozers, skid steers or forklifts, however.

Roadie claims that delivery through its network costs less than traditional carriers or courier services. It offers real-time tracking with text updates along the way and proof of delivery, including photos of the item or items at both pickup and dropoff. It also promises there will be no surprise fees based on zip codes or fuel charges. There are no upcharges for after hours, weekend or holiday deliveries, either.

Delivery items are automatically insured for $500 up to $10,000 in value. For materials worth more than $10,000 additional insurance may be purchased through U.S. Capital.