Delivering To Grocery Stores (local)

Topic 24462 | Page 1

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Rob T.'s Comment
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Im not going to do anywhere close to as in depth as I went with the foodservice diary I'd posted last year but I wanted to give new/prospective drivers another idea of jobs out there after getting their all important year of experience OTR. Today was my last day of training in my new gig delivering to grocery stores. I had about a year and half driving experience and was still put through 2 weeks of training per company policy. We primarily deliver to a popular grocery chain but this particular company is also involved in the LTL business. We are a subsidiary of the major chain but the LTL portion helps us be more profitable. We run Iowa and the 7 surrounding states. A typical day is delivering to 2 or 3 stores using an electric pallet Jack to unload, possibly picking up or dropping off the contract freight (LTL side) and making the drive back to the yard. Nearly every route is scheduled to make it back to the Terminal every day. The company I drive for has 3 pay options to choose from. One is hourly (weekdays) which pays OT after 40 , There is also the hourly (weekends) which is what I'm on, that doesn't pay OT but it pays 6 dollars more an hour due to working both weekend days. We also offer mileage pay and stop pay. Unfortunately due to company policy I'm not able to discuss things too in depth, post pictures of anything including their name, trucks or anything inside stores.

We work 4 days a week and the hours widely vary just based on what routes are available when it's your turn to bid. Many 12 to 14 hour days but we do have a fair amount of routes that can be done in under 8 hours. The first trainer I had has 27 years of service and is #24 on seniority list, its definitely a place people stay. The schedule I'm on I can be dispatched anytime from 10pm to 10am although 90-95% of the loads leave between midnight and 2am. About a year ago drivers had a set route but the grocery chains drivers (who deliver the dry products) became a union out of their warehouse and they began bidding routes daily. As a result of that despite unionization being unanimously voted down they implemented bidding routes daily. Downside is it's all seniority based and being the newest driver I have hardly any choice in where I go. We're short drivers right now so every day lately they've been asking drivers to work an off day, in which I'd pick before them as it's my normal work day however the extra drivers will pick their routes off seniority after regularly scheduled drivers do. We use a website that shows every load available that shows dispatch time, what stores as well as any backhauls of our product or contract (LTL) freight for the day. We receive a phone call the afternoon before we take off to pick our route so I usually won't know where I'm going until 12 hours before departing. Of course being low man I'll be stuck going into the nasty storms as other drivers will likely go opposite direction. Thankfully this company is very safety orientated (as any reputable company should be) and they will not force us to go out and leave it completely to the driver if we head out or push our start time back so we can leave in daylight. I was told that occasionally a backhaul will take forever (imagine that), and I'll be instructed to get a hotel as my clock will run out before I could make it back. Even if I'm off duty at a hotel I will be paid until the backhaul was time stamped. That may mean that I get paid for my 10 hr break if the backhaul took that long. I also get paid for an hour lunch break.

Funny story is today for our contract freight we delivered 1 pallet of product to the competing grocery chains warehouse. In the past they've sent a trailer with our grocery chain all over it as 90% of our trailers are that. However I guess they started to refuse the load on those trailers due to how people from the outside would perceive it so we got sent out with our company's name on it. It'd be like G-town delivering to Target with his Walmart trailer. If you're ever rolling through Iowa or surrounding states you're nearly guaranteed to see our black trucks, our parent company's red trucks (or their gold trucks for million safe miles).

Not much else I can think of that I can really talk about but if anybody has questions I'll do my best to answer them. Keep in mind there is a pretty strict social media policy in place and they have a team that spends all day finding anything that mentions them by name. That is why I didn't mention the name, although I did when I was going through hiring process.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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