Local Food Service As A Rookie

Topic 20873 | Page 21

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Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
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Dang simon, those are some really good miles! Atleast with co driver going with his buddy instead itll be less stress for you dealing with his bad habits. Without him guess youll need to find your own fishing spots smile.gif I think you'd be a excellent trainer from what ive seen from ya around the forum.

Yeah.... I love my DM! And she tells me that she loves me! lol Bit weird, since we've never even actually met! 😜

But; she keeps asking me to 'rescue' loads "coz I know you'll get it done!"

Flattery seems to work; methinks!?

She certainly keeps the wheels turning and she asked me again today to consider being a trainer...."coz we know they'll be trained properly!".......

More flattery! lol But the money they're offering me is insanely good...so definitely worth considering. Especially given my self-professed love of teaching....seems a bit hypocritical if I don't 'put my money where my mouth is' and do it? 😏

Cheers!

P.S. I dont fish....but felt like jumping in the Passaic river this evening as it's pretty warm here in 'Joizey' and I'm literally parked next to it!

lol

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Not much has changed, still kicking ass and taking names. Only thing worth mentioning is a newer stop we have that ive been to maybe 5 times now. It requires me to back into a driveway off a 2 lane highway with a speed limit of 55 mph. Oh yeah, it also has a curve on one side and a hill on the other. This is for a food truck/catering company that they run out of their residence. This was the view from the cab after i got backed in. 0083939001533084516.jpg Heres how close curve was to me. In this area the grain and livestock haulers love to go fast.

0980783001533084594.jpg

And the hill. Not a big hill by any means but it still makes me nervous that i cant be seen until they come over the hill.

0833566001533084692.jpg

The first couple times i went to this stop it was routed in a way that allowed me to do a 45'ish degree back while staying in my lane/shoulder until i had an opening. Last week i was routed differently and was required to drive into the oncoming traffic lane to get myself set up for a 45'ish degree back. Last week i tried once (backing after going into oncoming traffic) and wasnt happy with how it was looking so i pulled out and went to get turned around so i could do it better. It ended up adding probably 10 minutes because its a very rural area. I found a gravel road and went down that until i was able to find another gravel road to turn onto then straight line back to to back the same way I'd just came. The reason i didnt waste too much time trying to reposition the truck was because i didnt feel comfortable with how close i was to their cars (again, its their house i deliver to) and with how vulnerable of a position im in i cant afford to waste time getting in. I ended up calling my supervisor and explained why it needed to be rerouted which he happily agreed. Honestly i dont care for that stop because of how the layout is, but also because i feel the owner is an arrogant A-hole. Last week when i went had to turn around he proceeded to criticize my backing skills because he backs his 10 foot catering trailer in with his pickup no problem. Then he made some smarta$$ remark about if i cant get it in with that much space how do i get into the bakery i deliver to thats very tight. I posted that location previously. Dock sits at 45 degree angle and i have to maneuver around cars and the building which i remember mentioning you can see its been hit numerous times. I explained to the guy that driving his little pickup with a smaller trailer than i got is a piece of cake, he has enough room to pull into his driveway then pull onto road to set up a straight line. I also proceeded to tell him that the other location is a pain in the butt, however i find it much easier to get trailer exactly where i want it when i have obstacles to avoid rather than openness. A couple weeks ago he complained to me that i stacked his cases of lemons on top of each other. Claims i was crushing them and wanted me to only bring in 2 cases at a time. Told him i aint got time for that and if he expects me to waste my time order Friday when a different driver is out that way. Well, he did but decided the guys that delivered were worse than me. 1 was an experienced driver but the other just obtained his license 2 months ago and was still training. He switched back to have me deliver because he says those "idiots" were driving all over his grass trying to get out. See, the problem is these guys came from the terminal and were unaware of the delivery situation. They ended up pulling nose in. After they were done they had to back out onto the highway. To try and stop traffic the experienced driver was outside the truck while the new driver was trying to back up and allowed his frustration to make it worse. From what i heard from the customer it was terrible with how awkard of a position they had the trailer in. In the end he didnt hit anything so its a "win", i just hope he learned from it. The customer told me that pretty much to bash the "idiot driver". I told him how new the guy is and if he wants to sit and bash a guy for trying to learn he can go F himself, and that all it will take is 1 phone call to safety and/or the union explaining the unsafe nature of getting into this location and i can guarantee i won't be back. He quickly apologized although im not convinced he meant it. I really hate allowing an unprofessional side of me come out to customers but i remember how tough it was (and still is somedays) and i have zero patience for a customer to criticize us when they have no idea what we go through. Yes, its part of my job dealing with customers but that doesnt mean we deserve to be disrespected because theres days we struggle to get backed in with no pullups or adjustments. A couple other ways this guy irritates me is they converted part of their garage into their catering kitchen. They put up walls to prevent contamination so its all legit. However, this guy put real nice flooring down and gets very anal about us not "scratching" floor with the plate of my wheeler when I'm pulling out from the stack.

Continued....

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I understand wanting it to look nice but c'mon, its a dang kitchen floor its going to get messy. Little over a month ago i had delivered about 50 cases of canned goods and he asked me to drop them in regular garage area and he'd take them into kitchen after he opened it as they had a catering for 3,000 people. Due to condensation build up on reefer many days my trailer floor is wet. In turn, my tires on my 2 wheeler appeared wet. When i went into his garage he immediately started questioning what was leaving tire marks on his concrete floor. I told him its water, and between trailer floor and the alley I'd been in before going to him my tires were wet. He just wanted to make sure it wasnt grease. Fast forward 2 weeks and he makes sure to tell me it turned out to be old grease on my tires. I apoligized but he Insisted it wasnt a big deal as he scrubbed it clean right after I left. Well, obviously it was if he had to be sure to tell me i got his garage dirty, a couple weeks after it happened! I shared that story to show an example of how some customers are frustrating to deal with. A majority of the customers i have are very nice, and appreciative for my hard work.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
member avatar

And he's back!! I was starting to wonder.....

........and missing my nighttime reading!!

smile.gif

Glad to hear that you're still crushing it Rob!

Keep on keeping on! 👍

Cheers!

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Friday was brutal! Loaded me up just slightly heavier than normal. I had 21 stops, 796 cases totalling 19,300 pounds to unload. I knocked it all out in just over 11 hours but by the time i got back to the yard and did my paperwork it was about a 12 and a half hour day. I finished my route 1 minute ahead of schedule. Could have been done further ahead of schedule but i helped out a salesman. One of his customers had ordered too much product for a large event happening and because i was the closest truck he asked if I'd be willing to help him out. Originally he had suggested i swing by after my route but i told him i was only a couple miles away at that time and an hour ahead of schedule so I'd do it mid route. I had the 14 stops i need off by lunch now already as well (1015am) . Also by doing it this way i had his help loading it on my truck. It ended up being about 50 cases of frozen product. Here is a pic i snapped after i got it all stacked up neatly after i finished my route (which is part of why i spent so much time in the yard afterwards.

0006061001533517935.jpg due to my willingness to help the sales team out this salesman (who is relatively new, maybe 2 months) as well as his boss offered to take me out to lunch. I politely declined their offer because things go alot smoother if we all work as a team, and i dont want them to feel like they need to "reward" me for just doing my job. I told them if its something they wanted to do I'd need to take them up on it a different day as i had a new stop scheduled (first delivery from us) for 1:26pm and i really didn't want to give them a bad first impression. Its a good thing i didnt take them up on that offer as i got to that customer with 2 minutes to spare. Pretty easy place to deliver to, just pulled in the lot around to the back door and pull straight out. Plenty of space to maneuver and i didnt need to back at all.

The heat on friday was bad. I believe it got up to 97 with a heat index of 108. I went through 2 gallons of water. Of course i happened to get the truck with AC not working correctly (which i wrote up for repair upon my return). Unfortunately the guy who came from the terminal to cover a route (they've been sending someone since March as we've been short 1 driver in des Moines) didnt handle the heat well. He pulled into the lot as i was preparing to leave and i stopped to see how his day went as hes been with PFG 2 months and its his first time in our yard. Its also worth noting hes over 300 pounds. This guy was completely soaked in sweat. He didnt finish his route. He said that he was at a stop and his legs, as well as his arms started shaking uncontrollably and cramped up to the point he could hardly move. He called terminal and they asked if he felt safe to drive or if they should send me and the other driver that were in the yard up to drive him back. He said he would be ok to drive but couldnt deliver anymore. They ended up having the guy with lowest seniority in our yard finish the route Saturday morning, only 4 stops. I asked if he drank enough water as I'd gone through 2 gallons and he said he had 2 red bulls and 6 liters of water but didn't pee once. This guy drove roughly 40 minutes to the yard with the AC going and was still sweating so excessive you'd think he was actively running a marathon. I never seen anything like it before. He likely was dealing with heat exhaustion. This is just another hazard that we deal with.

Ive mentioned before about how slip seating (sharing trucks) can be a pain if the other drivers are slobs or dont perform pretrip/posttrip. This is a pic i had taken of how another driver left his truck

0353649001533519353.jpg

The most frustrating thing is he had an empty box on the dang passenger seat but couldnt put his trash in it. When another driver confronted him and asked if his house looks like that he went off about how hes single (no surprise!) And lives that way. We refuse to clean up after him so we make dang sure he gets the same truck every day. We've informed management about this guy but unfortunately they're so hard up for drivers they're willing to overlook it because groceries get delivered.....even if it is 4 hours late!

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.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Rob

WOW, that truck is disgusting. Yeah, I would show up early if need to be to NOT get that truck. Some people suck. As far as the big fella sweating so bad, I think you hit it on the head.

What are the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion?

•You may have heavy sweating. •You may feel faint, dizzy, weak, or tired. •You may have a headache. •You may breathe fast or feel like your heart is beating faster than normal. •You may have muscle cramps. •You may have nausea or vomiting.

I bet this guy took all weekend to start feeling better....Hope he is back to work today.

Safe Travels. Chris

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Army says

Hope he is back to work today.

That guy ended up calling our manager after id left and quit. They had the newer guy "Ed" and our apprentice go out saturday to finish the route. Im not sure exactly what his reasons were but he had told me that he cant believe how "bad " PFG is compared to US Foods (where he came from). Ive heard the same thing from other drivers that came to us, or left us for US Foods. From what ive gathered they dont load their trucks as full as we load ours so they have less work resulting in less hours worked. Sure it'd be nice to have lighter workload but i cant blame PFG for wanting to cram as much as possible on us. Theyre able to turn a larger profit by running the least amount of trucks and drivers. I dont mind too much, i reaaaally love the overtime pay haha.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Today sucked! Problem i ran into is that the faster i get my job done the more work/stops they give me. I had 17 stops, 697 cases, 19k weight. I logged 142 miles and put in 13 hours by the time i finished my paperwork. The first 13 stops were my normal route but then i had 2 new customers getting their first delivery from us and 2 existing stops in Des Moines after i finished in Knoxville Iowa. The first new stop was rather easy , its a small town so I'd parked on the street and wheeled it maybe 20 steps to their kitchen. The second new stop was more difficult. Whenever i go to a new location i always plug their address in to google maps to get an idea of the layout and find where im going. USUALLY the garbage dumpster is a good indicator as the kitchen door tends to be close by. When i plugged in the address it was coming up as a house out in a rural area. Before i headed that way I'd called the salesman to double check that the address was accurate. He told me the guy has converted a shed on his property into a kitchen where he makes pasta sauce and is beginning to sell it to grocery stores. When i looked at google maps i could see that it was going to require me to back in as there wasnt enough space for me to turn around in there. I had to take 3 seperate gravel roads to get here. The gravel road across had a drop off on the other side so going Into the ditch was not an option. I also needed to be careful because id had the remaining roughly 4,000 pounds of product all loaded on the drivers side. My 8th stop had a pallet jack i used to move 2 pallets over so i didnt need to use the side door the rest of the day, including the 50 cases i would've had to use the steps for at my 9th stop. This is the view from the front of the truck after i got backed in off the gravel road to ask the customer where im dropping the product, as well as get a better view of any obstacles i may face while backing up further into the driveway.

0435663001534296712.jpg

After i got backed up completely to where i was unloading.

0987431001534296825.jpg theres a power line that is out of view but the RV sits higher than my trailer and it appeared the line was higher than that but i still GOAL'd to be on the safe side. Really makes you wonder why we're delivering to these kinds of places but at the end of the day its more business. They ordered i believe $1200 worth of product. The salesmans job is to continue getting us more customers to allow our company to grow. Its my job to figure out a way to safely deliver it. The 2 stops in des Moines weren't bad, ive been to both before.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
member avatar

You are the ideal employee. And I say that coming from a restaurant management background. You don't complain you just find a way to get it done. And I admire you for that. I just hope to hell they are compensating you for going above and beyond the average worker. I know how hard food service drivers work Had some really great guys service my store... they knew how I wanted things and anytime a replacement driver filled in it was a disaster. Missing items, damaged boxes. God bless you brother I know your customers adore you.

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.
Army 's Comment
member avatar

Aint that the truth.....

Problem i ran into is that the faster i get my job done the more work/stops they give me.

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