A Question For You Reefer Drivers

Topic 20029 | Page 1

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

Some of you may have seen where I posted about a load of onions I hauled this week on my flat-bed. This was the first load I've ever pulled that was perishable. I picked it up in Santa Teresa, New Mexico and it was to deliver to OM Produce in Dallas, TX. When I delivered it they unloaded it, opened a few bags of onions and then rejected the whole load. They told me the onions were 60% bad! Then they loaded it back on my truck and sent me on my way. I called claims, and it was just a short while until they had me another dispatch up to Hearty Fresh, Inc. in Byron Center, Michigan. Those people thought the onions were beautiful and gladly took them! I was going home to Texas with that load, but that is another story that we won't go into.

My question is what happens when you guys have a perishable load that is rejected? How do you dispose of the product? Do you ever get re-routed like I did to another customer that will take the product? Do you get paid for all the miles involved in getting rid of the product?

This load really got crazy for me. There must have been at least three different brokers involved in this thing, and they were blowing up my phone! One of them even called me wanting to know if he was going to get paid for the miles to Michigan! I laughed at him and said, "Sir, I am the driver. I don't know why you think I would have any say in whether you are getting paid or not. You gave this load to someone at Knight, and I suggest you contact that person if you are worried about your paycheck. As for me, I am doing everything I can to protect these onions from the heat, and make sure they make it safely to Michigan." His response was, "Those are my onions, and I expect to be paid fully for the miles they travel. Who authorized you to take them to Michigan?" At that point I was throwing up my hands. I gave him the person's name in claims who told me to take them to Hearty Fresh, and told him he needed to contact the claims department at Knight and talk to them. Not five minutes later I got a call from another guy who claimed the onions were his, and he wanted me to take them to some place in Virginia!

You guys can have all that mess. When I haul metal to someone, they unload it, sign my bills, and I am gone.

Seriously though, if you guys could answer my questions, I am curious how things like this are dealt with. I know it is going to happen at times.

Thanks for responding...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Some of you may have seen where I posted about a load of onions I hauled this week on my flat-bed. This was the first load I've ever pulled that was perishable. I picked it up in Santa Teresa, New Mexico and it was to deliver to OM Produce in Dallas, TX. When I delivered it they unloaded it, opened a few bags of onions and then rejected the whole load. They told me the onions were 60% bad! Then they loaded it back on my truck and sent me on my way. I called claims, and it was just a short while until they had me another dispatch up to Hearty Fresh, Inc. in Byron Center, Michigan. Those people thought the onions were beautiful and gladly took them! I was going home to Texas with that load, but that is another story that we won't go into.

My question is what happens when you guys have a perishable load that is rejected? How do you dispose of the product? Do you ever get re-routed like I did to another customer that will take the product? Do you get paid for all the miles involved in getting rid of the product?

This load really got crazy for me. There must have been at least three different brokers involved in this thing, and they were blowing up my phone! One of them even called me wanting to know if he was going to get paid for the miles to Michigan! I laughed at him and said, "Sir, I am the driver. I don't know why you think I would have any say in whether you are getting paid or not. You gave this load to someone at Knight, and I suggest you contact that person if you are worried about your paycheck. As for me, I am doing everything I can to protect these onions from the heat, and make sure they make it safely to Michigan." His response was, "Those are my onions, and I expect to be paid fully for the miles they travel. Who authorized you to take them to Michigan?" At that point I was throwing up my hands. I gave him the person's name in claims who told me to take them to Hearty Fresh, and told him he needed to contact the claims department at Knight and talk to them. Not five minutes later I got a call from another guy who claimed the onions were his, and he wanted me to take them to some place in Virginia!

You guys can have all that mess. When I haul metal to someone, they unload it, sign my bills, and I am gone.

Seriously though, if you guys could answer my questions, I am curious how things like this are dealt with. I know it is going to happen at times.

Thanks for responding...

OS, I remember when I drove OTR the first time I had a CDL when I was with Stevens that there was a couple of boxes rejected on a load and my DM had me take it to an alternate customer that accepted and the company got paid for it and I got paid the extra miles plus an additional stop charge.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

I've never had an entire load flat out rejected. I've had a couple rejected initially and had to have them reworked because the freight had shifted off the pallets by a few inches, but I've never had more than half a pallet rejected.

When it's less than a dozen units (cases, bags, etc.), claims just tells me to "dispose" of them. That has actually worked to my benefit a couple of times and gotten my next load loaded faster, because I was able to bribe the shipping office and warehouse staff with free ice cream. smile.gif

In the couple of instances where I had half a pallet or so rejected, I just happened to be in the vicinity of a yard, so claims just had me put a seal on the trailer and leave the bills with it so I could get on to my next load and not have to wait around while they did their back and forth with the shipper to determine final disposition of the product. I presume another driver had to backhaul it to wherever it came from, but they never told me what they eventually did with the stuff.

Most of the time I end up with 3 or 4 units that are damaged and not salvageable, like squashed yogurt or exploded Pillsbury biscuit dough tubes. Those end up in a Hefty bag that finds itself in the first dumpster I come across.

I've picked up loads of onions many times, and often wondered why, if I'm supposed to keep them at a controlled temperature because they're perishable, they also load them on skateboards. wtf-2.gif

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
I've picked up loads of onions many times, and often wondered why, if I'm supposed to keep them at a controlled temperature because they're perishable, they also load them on skateboards.

I am with you on that one Fatsquatch!

I picked those onions up under record heat over in New Mexico, and had them on a Conestoga trailer. That thing acts like a green house back there. I kept the back of the trailer open the whole trip just so the onions would get some ventilation. I saw some posters at the place I picked up at stating that the reefer drivers were to maintain sixty degrees for their loads of onions, and I was scratching my head in wonder. I can't even tell you how many times another driver would get me on the radio and tell me, "Hey driver, you left the back of your trailer open!" Several cars came up beside me honking and waving hysterically, and pointing to the back of my trailer. It was quite a trip!

I had to laugh at myself when I got unloaded in Dallas. I went right inside to get my bills, and they looked at me like I was crazy. "It is going to be at least an hour and a half until we can check your load and make sure it is up to our standards or not. "Just stay in your dock and wait for us to come and get you," was their response. Sure enough they loaded all twenty pallets right back on my truck!

What was bizarre was that after driving those onions on up to Michigan, that customer was well pleased with the product!

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

I've had two rejection instances, and both different.

1. In training, yoplait yogurt a few cases had been smoothed and rejected along with s few cases of biscuits. Claims just said takecwhst you want and toss the rest. Not enough to find another home fir them. So we face some to other drivers and the security guards.

2. About 16 pallets of cherries. We contacted claims they do all the work to find s new home fir the product. We drove to s truck stop and waited. We got routed about 150 miles away we got paid fir and the downtime waiting we got paid fir.

OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
member avatar

Bad onions made me miss my daughters graduation from high school my second week into OTR.. I'm still sore about bad onions. We took them to a place for wayward onions.. Producer had a wearhouse in Dallas. Imagine they resold them.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Man, sour grapes over bad onions. That stinks. I don't blame ya. I'd feel the same way, missing a graduation like that.

Man, onions sure are getting a bad rap around here these days. They're like the 'terminal rats' of the produce industry.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Han Solo Cup (aka, Pablo)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for posting this, OS. I was curious how the mileage would work out since you were contracted to Dallas. I also didn't realize your day was made all the more "interesting" by brokers contacting you.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

I had to laugh at myself when I got unloaded in Dallas. I went right inside to get my bills, and they looked at me like I was crazy. "It is going to be at least an hour and a half until we can check your load and make sure it is up to our standards or not. "Just stay in your dock and wait for us to come and get you," was their response. Sure enough they loaded all twenty pallets right back on my truck!

What was bizarre was that after driving those onions on up to Michigan, that customer was well pleased with the product!

Ha ha I got rid of my load of onions from Cali to Philly because I dropped them in Springfield so I could test out my student. I hated that load. Perishable stuff is awful. I remember thinking, Steel is so much easier to deal with. It doesn't rot.

One time my dispatcher sent a message to all of us, "To whoever left the bag of onions at my desk with the note, 'Thanks for the onion load,' you're welcome."

And having the brokers call you about getting paid! I would have been very tempted to mess with them. I wouldn't have, but I would've been tempted.

And I've never had anyone reject a load of steel or shingles or drywall or lumber or aluminum or eauipment or anything else you can put on a flatbed.

"This aerial platform is the wrong color. Send it back." Then, "Take it to Sunwest. They'll take anything!" Then, "Am I getting paid for the miles for you taking that aerial work platform to Houston?" The reefer world is truly bizarre.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
having the brokers call you about getting paid! I would have been very tempted to mess with them. I wouldn't have, but I would've been tempted.

Trust me Bud, the synapses were firing off all kinds of responses in my brain while on the phone with those brokers. I had to bite my tongue to keep it somewhat on a professional level.

Here's another strange twist in the whole scenario. One of the brokers (the one who wanted me to take the onions to Virginia) sent a nasty email to my driver manager complaining about me. He said he had called the receiver in Michigan and they said that I had not contacted them to set an appointment. He also claimed I had lied and told him I'd be there on Monday, when the truth was that I spoke to him on Monday and told him I would deliver on Tuesday, and that I had already set my appointnet with the customer. There was actually about five lies he told my dispatcher. Dispatcher calls me and says he's got to call the guy when there are complaints like that, but he wants me to tell him exactly what has taken place first.

My response was, "Do you mind if I call him and straighten this out, because you know nothing in that email is correct." He says, "Go right ahead Dale, I hate dealing with these snakes."

Broker is perturbed that I'm the one responsing to his email with a phone call, and wants to know how I know what is in his private emails to another person. I tell him it's called "communication," and that's what we do to make sure his product is delivered properly. I remind him of the exact times of our conversations, and the content of each one. I also remind him that I'm on a cell phone, all my calls to his number are logged with dates and times. I calmly and professionally let him know that if he had some legitimate complaints about me he had better have them substantiated, if not then he needs to let my driver manager know he was mistaken.

Five minutes later my dispatcher calls again saying he got a new email from the broker apologizing and saying he got this load confused with another one! What a piece of work these brokers can be!

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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