Hauling Produce?

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Hunter G.'s Comment
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Why do some trucking companies require produce experience? Is it more significant than regular reefer hauling , what’s all involved?

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Tractor Man's Comment
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I have no first hand knowledge on the subject. Maybe it has to do with temperatures. Have you ever put a head of iceburg lettuce in a refrigerator that is too cold. It freezes and completely ruins it. I imagine other produce may be temperature sensitive as well. I'm sure someone with reefer experience will give us the scoop.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Donna M.'s Comment
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At prime we all haul produce. Just a few things different about produce. We have to be on dock to count and inspect product. Some produce has to be iced as loaded. Reefer is set on produce. Of course prime monitors our temperatures. When transporting produce especially into certain states u need permits. Oh and u usually need four load locks, they load produce 2/1 load lock.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Different produce has different weoghts and sometimes they combine various produce in one shipment, which affects the temps.

Broccoli is light, so you can load the pallets 2 by 2 from nose to the tail. Bananas are heavy, so you need a single pallet in the nose, then double pallets, then single pallet, then doubles all the way back. Otherwise your steers and drives will be overweight. Then there is the issue with California tandems needing to be forward, so you need to be careful.

The mixed produce temps cause issues with new people. Example... tomatoes should be set at 40. peppers and cucumbers at 35 and watermelon at 55. get a load with all of it and then what?

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

There are multi-zone reefer trailers that allow for different temp settings based on groupings of perishables.

I deliver freezer, dairy, deli (FDD) loads to Walmart stores and Sams Clubs frequently. Our reefers have three-zone temp control and are separated by movable, insulated bulkheads attached to overhead tracks.

As follows for FDD; dairy is set at 32’f, deli set at 33’f and frozen is set at -20’f. If you goto my profile and click “photo gallery” there are several images of the orange bulkheads and other componentry installed on multi-zone reefers.

Quite possibly the type of experience the employer is seeking.

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

G-Town,

Interesting description of the process. Does the driver actually supervise the loading of those multi-zone loads, or are they done before pickup?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Bruce asked?...

G-Town,

Interesting description of the process. Does the driver actually supervise the loading of those multi-zone loads, or are they done before pickup?

Great question.

Simple answer, for outbound perishable store or Sam's Club loads, "no". The Walmart DC preloads all of them, sets temps, positions/secures bulkheads and seals the trailer. All I need to do is review and mark my load map so I know where everything is, check temp settings/actuals against the seal card and attach my lock to the door latch. See below image, notice the 3 separate temps on the display panel...

0296677001557411293.jpg

However...there are exceptions to this, but only for few of the perishable vendor backhauls. Occasionally Nestle' and more frequently Johanna Farms (yogurt, milk/juice and frozen yogurt) require some level of load supervision. In those cases it's the drivers responsibility to correctly set the temps, position the bulkheads and seal the trailer. Joanna has two different plants within their facility, so basically it's two separate loading processes. A whole lot of fun at 2300 with 2.5 hours left on the 14 hour on-duty clock. Must hustle.

That said, the unloading and reloading process at a store is driver supervised. Probably, not what you expected to hear. For a consolidated perishable load, there could be up to 5 different store delivery stops, with intermixed product assigned to different stores within the same temp. zone. As mentioned; reviewing the trailer load map is important; it displays an overhead view of each pallet within the trailer, where it's positioned on the floor and where it is ultimately being delivered to (store number & pallet number and weight). I use 5 colored highlight markers to identify location and store owner of each pallet. At the first store stop (for instance), there might be 2 dairy and 2 freezer pallets being delivered. Thus in order to access the freezer zone, several dairy pallets will need to be unloaded and staged for reloading. I use fluorescent colored dots when they come off the trailer to identify them for reloading and where they are ultimately going. (there is a method to my madness). As a pallet comes off that is owned by that particular store I cross-it-off the load map.

Early in my Walmart career, I made many time-consuming/wasting mistakes until I understood this process and how best to manage the chaos. Keeping in mind, if a pallet is missed and left on the trailer, the driver must backtrack to the store that owns that pallet for redelivery (and NO, we are not paid extra mileage for this). Gotta pay attention. I've picked-up miss-delivered pallets and re-delivered to stores along my route, fixing other driver's mistakes.

Here are some photos of the bulkheads, overhead coolers and interior temp-control panel and display...

0734053001557412235.jpg0286695001557412447.jpg0339718001557412596.jpg0785327001557413032.jpg

I wrote an article some years back, a one-day dairy of a Wally run I made on Labor Day weekend... A Day in the Life of a Walmart Dedicated Driver

Grocery hauling, which is exactly what I do, is something that many employers want some experience with if that is what the actual job entails. We train new drivers on the account for up to 3 days until they are turned-loose. A lot to remember. For some it’s too much. Others, thrive in this job. Safe travels everyone. Peace.

0189675001557414030.jpg

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

PackRat's Comment
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Fascinating stuff. Great posts!

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Fascinating stuff. Great posts!

What PackRat said!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Fascinating stuff. Great posts!

double-quotes-end.png

What PackRat said!

Thanks guys.

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