Local Food Service As A Rookie

Topic 20873 | Page 11

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Rob T.'s Comment
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I forgot to add that yesterday I had to deliver to the Wells Fargo arena as we supply one of the concession stands. The dock was a little tight but not too bad

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Today (wednesday) has been a crappy day so far, I just delivered my 11th (of 20) stops and now I'm broke down, downtown waiting on Ryder to come assist me. I believe it's just a dead battery. Unfortunately there are no jumper cables in the truck and nobody I've asked seems to have any so jump starting the truck using the reefer unit isn't an option. It's going to end up being a 16 hour day. Supposed to start at 330am tomorrow but that won't happen as I won't have hours available.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

PackRat's Comment
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Sorry, Rob! I'd be asking the company about getting some cables for all the trucks. Better days ahead! good-luck.gif

Rob T.'s Comment
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Sorry, Rob! I'd be asking the company about getting some cables for all the trucks. Better days ahead! good-luck.gif

After calling our Ryder shop to come out i called supervisor immediately to inform him. He couldn't believe we don't have them in this truck since all other trucks out there have them.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Turns out it wasn't a dead battery. This is the truck that broke down a month and a half or so ago when I'd called in with the flu. I would've been driving it that day too. It turns out whatever the issue was back then wasn't actually fixed as The dealership claimed. The Ryder mechanic that came out to me tried jumping it to no avail. He then did some stuff inside the cab and realized it's doing same thing it did the previous time. The ABS and DEF lights were flashing rapidly, and had a clicking sound just as fast. He originally told me he was going to run back to the shop to grab a computer and diagnose but instead I got a call from the wrecker company. Of course it'd be downtown with the extra traffic of state basketball tournament. I got lucky that when I park I always angle The truck to ensure I can get out. This ended up being very smart because he didn't need to block more than the 1 lane I was partially in. Truck broke down roughly 11ish, he towed me back to the yard where I grabbed a different truck as we only had 2 routes run today and 4 trucks. By the time I got rolling it was 3pm and I still had 9 stops to unload. The other driver had come and met me on the southside after he completed his day and we knocked out the 2 big stops I had left. All in all today sucked. I was loaded pretty heavy. 20 stops, 749 cases, 19k in the box, 3 hours driving, 12 ON DUTY not driving. Total of 15 and a half hours with 83 miles. Originally was scheduled to run downtown again tomorrow at 330am but due to not getting back until 7pm they put me back on my normal route with a 430am start. I won't have any hours available until 5 so I made sure to inform someone in the office. Hardest part of today was customers were frustrated (rightfully so) that I was so late. Not much i could do but apologize. Even though I was racing the clock I ended up putting 15 cases away for a customer into their freezer. The gentleman at this church looked to be in his 80s and was struggling to move. I have no problem helping in a situation like that, however I refuse to do it if the person is able bodied and just trying to be lazy. I had to send 2 stops back because they'd already left by the time i would've been able to get there so I'll likely have them tomorrow.

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The stops I delivered to today I've been to all of them and had alot less to worry about than yesterday so I guess that's one possible side of it. Biggest upside is again, I'm safe, and did not hit anything. Also was nice hearing a couple customers tell me they were worried I'd been involved in an accident or was injured as we're usually on time. They told me that despite being late they're just happy I'm ok. That sure was nice to hear since many customers can be a bit dramatic.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Thursday I ran my regular route but started it an hour later than normal due to my real late day on Wednesday. Thursday nothing real exciting happened , had a little less than normal but nothing too dramatic. Ended up putting in 11 hours because I pushed myself harder to unload to be home to take care of a few things. Friday ran my usual route, which was also easier than it has been lately. Unfortunately we lost a customer I deliver to, at 2 separate locations. It makes my day easier but I still don't like to see that happen because if it becomes a pattern we won't have the customer base that requires them to keep me around delivering. Between the 2 locations they get maybe 50 cases a week which isn't alot but it's still money the company is losing. I ended up having to deliver from the street in Marshalltown rather than the alleyway because Asian foods (st Paul mn based, sysco owned) decided to drive the wrong way down the alleyway, preventing me from getting in unless I blocked him in. I was tempted to do it but at the end of the day we're both just trying to make a living and you know what they say about karma. I was only delivering 30 cases (4 cart loads) so it wasn't the end of the world to me. Friday id had 13 stops, 9k to unload , 330 cases 12 hours. Of the 12 hours 5 hours were spent DRIVING and 7 were logged ON DUTY not driving. Also logged 230 miles. This isn't the norm in food service as this route branched out quite a bit. Biggest thing I dislike about my Friday route is having some stops in Ames which in general college students (Iowa State University) drive like idiots, driving way too fast/careless.

I ended the week with 62 hours which I'll gross about $1750 for the week. There's some posts in the general categories portion of the forum where people have talked about their pay. There's a few drivers who have made what I did (or more) while driving OTR , Regional. Or dedicated. I can not begin to express how important it is to not choose this work only for the pay. There are so many situations where you're required to back in between 2 parked cars, avoiding buildings and other obstacles. If you really want to do this get the experience first. we actually have a new driver that just started with us this week. He has been driving for 6 months and is on his 3rd company. he was let go from Sysco and a produce company. All I heard is he didn't make it past the probationary period. I haven't had the opportunity to meet him yet as we have different start times so I do not want to give false information, however that goes to show this isn't for everyone. I heard the information I do have from a trusted individual in the office. Starting in food service and being involved in numerous accidents or incidents early in your career is one way to guarantee you will be looking for a new career. You will be under pressure. PFG doesn't bother their drivers unless we're 2 hours behind. Other companies are more strict and expect you to be on time for every appointment. Take for instance when my truck broke down on Wednesday. From when I broke down until I was in a different truck was 4 hours yet I still had to unload roughly half my truck. Granted I had help for 2 stops but I was still racing the clock. In that situation it is so easy to get stressed out and drive careless but the risk isn't worth it to me. I was determined to deliver to all the customers I could but wasn't going to put myself or others at risk. Instead I chose to hustle more in the unload process which is really the only way you can save time.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

OC's Comment
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Rob, Best diary on this sight, I always enjoy reading your posts. Thx for all the time and effort you put into this.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Rob, Best diary on this sight, I always enjoy reading your posts. Thx for all the time and effort you put into this.

Thank you for the kind words. This website has helped me so much over the last couple years while I researched this career and seen an area that I am knowledgeable about that I can contribute and pay it forward. There have only been 2 drivers here to my knowledge who have done food service and from what I'd seen they never really discussed it. The moderators and experienced drivers were spot on with their warnings when people inquire about it but showing first hand experience with real world situations I feel paints a much better picture.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

To say today was rough is an understatement. I had 18 stops 749 cases but ONLY 16k. Still alot but atleast it was less than the 19k last Wednesday. Most of my day was spent in downtown and the Southside. I'm really not liking this route, waaaay too much hustle required. I was moving as fast as I possibly could and still managed to be 5 minutes behind schedule. Very disappointing to be hustling that much and still not be on time. Warehouse stacked a few of my pallets terrible so I had to clean up a few messes as a few of my pallets tipped over despite being strapped as the bottom cases couldn't support the upper weight. Today I honestly was trying to figure out what the hell I did to deserve the beating I put my body through , and why I'm putting myself through it. At the end of the day the only thing that makes me keep going is the paycheck and needing to provide for my family. Ended up putting in 14 hours 3 hours driving 82 miles, and 11 hours on duty not driving. I'm still over all happy with my company, just starting to get burned out. I'll leave it at that, but hey, tomorrow's a new day it can only get better! I finished the day safe and accident free so atleast the day was a success.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Thank God this week is finally over. It seems like everything was just ****ing me off. Seemed like warehouse built pallets worse than normal, more stops, less time to do them and what really irked me was a driver sent here to train our newest guy left me with 1/8th of a tank. I've found myself this week having a very poor attitude towards the company i work for. I've made numerous suggestions as I've seen it from the warehouse perspective while working at sysco, and the guy who went back to US Foods also made suggestions but to no avail. I understand this is a different company but our suggestions seem to just fall upon deaf ears. I'm happy that I still have another 4 months with my contract because it would be tempting to look elsewhere after the week I've had. Don't get me wrong this is a decent place to work but I see so many flaws in the way things are done yet nobody I've talked to seems to really care as it's been done this way for a long time. I still talk to the guy who went back to US Foods and he sent me a picture at his 2nd (of 15) stop that he was able to get all the way to the frozen from the back end. I wasn't able to get to frozen until my last stop of the day. What really upset me today was the loader put a pallet directly inside the side door. Well they had put 7 80 pound cases of beef on the top of the pallet that I had to somehow get down while only standing on my side steps and no way to lift it properly. I've addressed that as well and nothing has changed. I plan on sticking with them for the contracted year but after that I'm most likely leaving for elsewhere. I don't mind the work but the other food companies pay more and put in less hours (in my market). I've been approached by a transportation manager from sysco talking about guarantee of 85,000 your first year with a 4500 sign in bonus, as well as Reinhardt and was told that 90% of their drivers made 100,000, last year. As I post this, 7pm with a 4am start time this morning, I'm unwinding from the day so while I'm still frustrated I felt it best to post about it. My intent isn't to bad mouth PFG but to show some struggles I've dealt with. The other companies I guarantee also have less than ideal situations. I just look at them making more money per week and being home earlier in the day and find it hard not to consider that later on. What kills me most about this is I don't get to see my kids many nights which was a huge factor in why I opted to come here rather than someone else (with 8am start time). The upside is I'm off all weekend and next week is a fresh start. One of my supervisors is coming out to sign off on the new guy going alone (after 1 week.....) so I'll make sure he comes to ride with me for a bit afterwards so I can show him exactly what my gripes are. I really hate being "that guy" but with how much time it would save us drivers with very minimal extra work for warehouse it's worth a shot. I doubt anything will change but atleast I can try. I would like to stay here longer than my contract but there's so much inefficiency that it's creating so much more work in my opinion that's unnecessary. Even though I'm paid hourly it'd be nice to actually see my family. Despite my frustration when I got behind the wheel that all went out the window. Ive been here long enough to know if you're too focused on other stuff that's when the accidents are most likely to happen. Again, I'm not trying to bad mouth anybody just wanting to give a look at the range of emotions you're likely to face in this job. granted some could very likely be from feeling burned out.

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Just came upon this diary. This is very detailed and explains a lot. I have thought about food service delivery as well after I go otr for a bit. Please keep up these informative posts. Spring is right around the corner .

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.

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