Delivering To Grocery Stores

Topic 25787 | Page 7

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Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the delay! Took advantage of the nice unseasonably cool weather and went out for a nice long hike at a local state park!

Monday I had taken a 2 store run with 1 backhaul in Rochelle Illinois at Tyson. I was scheduled to be out of the gate at 12:30am so I woke up at 1030pm and was out the door by 10:45. I clocked in just after 11:30pm. I couldn't find the tablet on the shelf that we use for logs so I went out the truck I was set to take to see if maybe someone left it in there. Not there so I had to go back inside and find a truck that wasn't being used that day. Ended up going On Duty at 1145pm. Got started doing all my typical stuff and noticed the tire inflation light was on. I figured it would go off once the tires were all at proper PSI. I was ready to leave about 20 minutes later but my light was still lit. It turns out there was a gouge missing in a trailer tire that was on the ground, hidden from view. It wasn't big enough to go flat but enough that the system needed to stay on. I'd rather spend the 20 minutes in our yard having our mechanics do it than a couple hours on the road waiting on roadside and endangering other motorists. I ended up leaving at 12:50am. I arrived at Cedar Rapids #1 at 3:05am.

CR#1 305 - 355 Clinton IA 540 - 615 Tyson Rochelle 745 - 915 Back to yard 1:40

I've been to Cedar Rapids numerous times (and documented here) it requires a blindside 90 into the dock area and you have employees that park in the way making it more difficult. Also today a light was burned out making it darker. Super easy unload and I was on my way. Clinton came off easy as well which made me happy. I was sceptical of the route due to that stop as the few times I've been there I need to move things out of the way before I can even start doing my job. Not the case today, it was all ready to go! Dock was a little tight due to construction in the dock area but I had enough room to do a straight back. Tyson in the past has been super tight and a P.I.T.A. it was tight again today but atleast there weren't any trailers across from me. I was able to pull up straight after getting the back end barely in the hole.

0926689001596645419.jpg

I ended up getting to Tyson with about 6 minutes before I needed to take my 30. Originally I planned to make it there with about 25 minutes to spare but I hit construction on a 2 lane road that required a flag person and pilot car that pushed that back. It took me about 1 hour to do post/pre trip and get paperwork squared away for the drop and hook then I took my half hour break before leaving. The trailer i hooked up to once again had the inflation light lit up and looking at previous drivers DVIR he wrote it up and that it had possible nail in tire. I didn't see a nail in the tires but while taking my break the inflation light turned off. I opted to roll with it due to not seeing, or hearing an issue. After I got back to the yard I made sure our mechanics were aware of it as the light came back on after I got parked. Relatively easy day despite the setbacks but I found the 90 miles or so of 2 lane roads to be very tiring. Having oncoming headlights in the middle of the night just feet away drains me. I made it back to the yard with 5 minutes to spare on my 14 clock.

Total miles 540

Driving 9:40

On Duty 4:30

Total paid hours 15 (plus half hour break I didn't take)

Total pay $450

0681123001596646399.jpg

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Wednesday was nearly as eventful as Monday. I woke up at 10pm for a midnight departure. Left the house 10:15 but needed to get gas on the way in so I got there about 11:15pm. Everything went smooth with the exception of my 5th wheel not fully locking around the kingpin. Our newer trucks have the air release and for some reason it didn't fully engage. The handle was sticking out a couple inches but I pushed it in and everything went decent on my day First load I took was to Cedar Rapids for 2 stores at 11:50pm.

CR #6 210 - 315

CR#2 335- 445

Back at yard 7:05. 271 miles on this load.

Next trailer was set to leave at 730am but I didn't end up leaving until nearly 9am! When I made it back I had about 15 minutes till DOT break. I used Yard Move to get everything done so after I finished break I could take off with the 2nd load. The second load was a 3rd party LTL route in town. When I went to hook up to my 2nd trailer the 5th wheel wouldn't lock. Didn't matter if i eased into it or slammed it the dang thing just wouldn't work. I walked over to the shop and got a mechanic to come take a look. He came over and tried to hook it but it wouldn't hook. He told me grab a different tractor as it needed to be sent off to the dealer. Apparently in our latest batch of 2021 volvos (I believe 18 of them) this is the 5th that's needed to go to the dealer for the same problem. First stop had me deliver some 3rd party freight to Wells Fargo's corporate office in West Des Moines.

Wells Fargo 935 - 955am

Iowa cold storage 1040 - 1150

Marzetti pasta 1210 - 1250

Back to yard 110 with 14 minutes remaining on my 14 clock.

Wells Fargo was a total P.I.T.A. My buddy had delivered there a couple weeks ago and told me how he did it. I thought there was more room to maneuver than there ultimately was and took a few tries to get it just right. Here is the dock

0095844001596648995.jpg

Here is the view sitting in the dock

0958168001596662582.jpg0691475001596662606.jpg Before Ieft our yard i moved my tandems all the way forward. My buddy told me to hook a right (from bottom) and back across the intersection so you have a straight shot. Although most of their workforce is working from home I still don't like the idea of backing across a roadway if possible. I opted to hook a left in then another left and get myself set up for a blindside 90. Problem is I didn't have enough space to get my trailer end all the way over. I ended up needing to readjust about 4 times to get a decent angle. After I was able to get the nose swung around I had no issues. Took me longer to hit the dock than for them to rip the pallets off. It was quite a sight though to see someone in business attire pushing a hand Jack to unload 2 pallets. Iowa cold in Altoona I had a delivery and pickup. It took about 40 minutes to unload 5 pallets then I had to move to the other end of the facility to get loaded. This was just a typical distribution center. Marzetti is a small manufacturing facility that makes noodles. First time there, nothing too extravagant. I was actually supposed to start this load at Sysco just down the street from our yard but I got a text last night about 6pm telling me that it was cancelled. Due to it being listed on my bid I'll get paid $32 despite not going there.

Total miles this leg 61.

Total miles for the day 332

Driving 6:30

On Duty 7:15

Total pay including $32 for non delivery and break not taken due to encroaching my 14 $475

Last weeks paycheck was 56:34 hours in 4 days which paid $1697 gross, took home $1131. I have Google maps setup to track my activity.

0443440001596662874.jpg with the exception or the huge blob of dots all of these are work related. It's safe to say I tend to favor the interstate over 2 lane highways.

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

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".

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

I feel for you Rob. Those grocery store docs , especially if they are part of an older shopping complex can be a huge pain.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Id say overall 95% of our docks are really easy to hit. The only exception would be some of our oldest stores, or drug stores. The backing you're doing on the Dollar accounts is far harder than what I deal with most days. A majority of our difficult backs are at backhauls or doing our 3rd party LTL freight.

This week I opted to not work any extra Thursday or Friday due to projects around the house.

Saturday I took a longer route than I normally do. It was a 1130pm 1 stop in Peru Illinois with a Drop&Hook at Kraft in Aurora Illinois. My alarm went off at 930pm but I didn't want to get up so I set it for 10pm to get an extra half hour of sleep. Out the door about 1010 and clocked in just before 11pm. Did my normal routine and I set off for Peru at 1135.

Peru 330am - 435

Kraft 550 - 800

Back to yard 1240

Nothing real exciting about the drive but one thing that really gets me upset is people, especially other trucks, flying through construction zones. A few different areas on I80 in both IA and IL speed drops from 70 to 55 and it felt like I was the only one doing 55. I did see a truck pulled over by the state police in IL just outside a work zone though. I've been to Peru and Kraft both before so it was a pretty relaxed day overall. Kraft is supposed to be a D&H but my load wasn't ready. I was told the appt was set for 8am and they have 2 hours to finish it which it'd be close to the 2 hours they're allowed. No big deal, go out to the truck and wait for dispatch to start work at 7am. I call dispatch to make sure it wasn't a hot load and get the approval to come back empty so I dont layover in a hotel for the afternoon/evening. They finally got back to me about 745 and told me come back. I told dispatch if the load would be ready within an hour I can wait on it and still make it back. I ran inside and they tell me itll be ready about 10am. Well I wouldn't be able to make it back so I call dispatch back and let them know I'm headed back empty. I spent 2 hours sitting there and went about 100 miles out of route for a backhaul that I ultimately didn't bring back. I'm still paid for it but it's definitely not cost effective.

Total miles 604

Driving 10:20

On duty 4:10

Total paid hours 14:15 (plus 30 minute break due to 14 hour rule, and needing 10 hours off for next days route)

Pay $442

0490814001596977671.jpg

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
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the delay! I've been so busy with projects around the house and cleaning up after that super nasty wind storm I haven't had the time to update.

Sunday I ended up taking the same route as the previous week up to Mankato #2 and Hampton with the same backhaul. The day was nearly identical. I ended up getting about 14 hours.

Monday was much more eventful. There was only 1 route that looked like I'd get decent hours on but it was 650 miles and I was feeling pretty beat due to the long hours I've been putting in over the last couple weeks. I ended up taking a 2 trailer load with the first load going to the east side of town in Altoona. I woke up at 11pm to be out the door 1115 so I could clock in at midnight for a 1am departure. My load wasn't ready until 1250. I ended up departing at 125.

Altoona 150 - 250

Back to yard 315

Miles on this run 24

I've been to altoona numerous times and it's always pretty laid back. I don't believe I've been there since Covid-19 panic began but they moved their online shopping to an area that made backing in more difficult. The way their dock is setup is I can pull in and follow the circle to setup for a nearly straight back

0024531001597391115.jpg

They've now moved the online shopping pickup in that area. I pulled in and realized that the pickup area using a storage container and signs everywhere now took up over half that circle. I had to pull into the customer parking area (thank you for being empty!) To get turned around. I took the dock that has a truck hooked up in pic, with the Hyvee frozen truck being in the middle. It was really tight blindsiding between the compactor and the other truck while making sure I cleared the signs in front of the dock. When I got inside I seen the Hyvee driver had a pallet fall so I gave him a hand getting it picked up before I started unloading. After talking to the guy it was his first run solo after only driving for us part time as he's worked in the warehouse FT for several years.

2nd trailer was set to leave at 3am but I didnt end up leaving until 415. This was a longer run but still nothing to write home about. This one took me north to Mason City. I arrived at Mason City # 2 at 605.

Mason City #2 605 - 705

Mason City #1 720 - 815

Pickup Kraft MC 9 - 950

Back at yard 325

What a brutal day. I came into the day expecting to take it easy and only put in about 10 hours. It ended up being 16 by the time I clocked out. I had taken my first 30 minute break before leaving the parking lot of MC #1. While sitting there I talked to my wife and she told me it was getting dark and looked like rain. Sweet! We haven't really had significant rain at our house for about a month. While I was sitting at Kraft (super fast by the way, only 25 minutes to live load a full trailer despite missing appt time due to warehouse delay) my wife said it was getting extremely dark and she was concerned. In Mason City (hour north of my house) it was getting cloudy and started down pouring. I needed to scale out anyways so I opted to take my 2nd 30 minute break after getting that taken care of. Holy crap am I glad I did that. We had a derecho wind storm come through that caused MASSIVE damage. These are pics of the relatively small damage at my home

0350997001597392016.jpg0215995001597392069.jpg

The 2nd pic shows a huge branch just barely hanging on resting on our roof dangling on the powerline. I contemplated trying to remove it but my luck ld either electrocute myself or cause it to come down and lose power. It's been over 4 1/2 days and there's still 160k people without power out of the 970k customers they service. Mid America in Des Moines still has 260k without power.

Continued.....

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Anyways, on the way back I got only a few miles from where I live and traffic came to a near complete stop. 3 trucks on their sides within a 1 mile stretch. I later found out shortly after I came through that area that a truck rear ended another vehicle and BURNED TO THE GROUND! Traffic was diverted off the interstate at the 133 in Ellsworth by the Kum & Go and Loves just to get back on. State patrol was down there directing traffic. I needed to use the restroom but didn't want to deal with that nightmare down there so I figured I'd stop at the rest stop another 10 miles south. Wrong! That place was so packed full I didnt think I'd be able to even get out of there. Well crap theres another rest stop 20 miles south that's quite large always with room. I get to highway 30 (MM 111) and traffic is being diverted. DAMN! We were being diverted over to US hwy 69 in Ames. I'm not sure what the heck ISP was thinking sending us that way, it was an absolute war zone. I drove past Lowes on the Southside of Ames and they had their sheds all ripped apart thrown everywhere, playground from their lot was sitting in the median and no stop lights working. After leaving Ames traffic started moving great for about 8 miles till we came to the small town of Huxley. Here are some pics I snapped of their destruction

0656412001597392788.jpg MILES of power lines on the ground

0830689001597392840.jpg

I had a Dr appt the following day and it turns out my dr is from there. She said the middle and high schools sustained major roof damage and are only a few years old. They're bumping the starting of school back as a result. It ended up taking me about 4:30 to drive what would usually only be 1:45. All the side streets were impassable due to downed lines and trees. We ended up getting diverted a little farther down due to lines on US 69 which became an even bigger mess. It basically became a guessing game of how to get back at this point. There was a ton of traffic coming north which told me that the route they were on was safe. Problem is there is absolutely no way I'd make that turn. I opted to keep going and find a different road. I ended up finding one and got about a mile down the road and see a mega carrier BACKING UP! down this 2 lane road. I tried calling out on the CB with no response. I got 2 more miles down the road and find a road closed sign. Are you kidding me!?!?!?!? Only options are backup like other driver is (which means backing blindly across a BUSY roadway) or take a gravel road and go back how I came to get back on road I just came from. Before entering the gravel there is a pickup coming that way so i ask them if the roadway is clear. They tell me it is so off I go. Absolutely no issues with that path. Get back to where I'd turned onto the closed road and see the mega carrier backing up. I'm trying to holler at them on the radio to go back where they were and take the gravel. Still no response. Somehow nobody was involved in an accident. The rest of the trip was alot less stressful but it did have us going through residential neighborhoods with roundabouts. Really no other option given the circumstances. I clocked out with just over 16 hours on the clock and alot more stress than when I started the day. The interstate was shutdown due to about a dozen trucks on their sides in the 20 miles stretch. All this damage was caused by winds of 80 mph, some parts of the state had 100 + mph. This storm came out of no where, I'm just very thankful I opted to sit and wait before getting into it.

Miles of this trailer 256

Total miles of day 280

Paid $ 480

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Wednesday was much less eventful thankfully. I took a 1 store Lincoln NE with 1 3rd party delivery in Lincoln and a pickup at another Hyvee owned company in Omaha, D & D foods. Store came off in about an hour and I was at the delivery for about 2 hours. I'd never been to D&D before despite us picking up multiple loads daily. Man that place was somewhat tight ! This is where I was parked while waiting on dock assignment

0935391001597394521.jpg

I was told to hit the door Hyvee is in after he pulls out and hook up to the trailer to the left of that door so I got turned around to set myself up when he left

0945900001597394605.jpg

The gate to exit is along that curb I'm parked on. I ended up leaving here after just over an hour with 20k of product. D & D produces meat counter products like flavored brats, stuffed mushrooms and such that we pickup and deliver. I forgot to write down all the details so this entry is pretty short. The route was about 420 miles with a 1230 departure time. I clocked out just shy of my 14 hours.

My paycheck for last week that covered the 4 days of Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday was 59:13. Gross pay $1808.57 with $1206.66 take home. Year to date I've grossed $60869.61. If I continue to work as much as I have so far I'd make just shy of 96k. Over the winter I'll probably shorter days and not work extra as much so itll be a little smaller than that most likely.

I'm working extra today (friday) due to the massive amount of product going out. Due to a large number of communities we serve in central iowa losing power (and FOOD!) we're trying desperately to restock them. They also needed help thursday but I only had 12 hours left on my 70 clock and they want us to have atleast 14 to 16 available to take out a route. I got my reset in so I'm ready to roll for another long weekend. Because I've been working so much I figured I'd take a 235 mile 230am route with 1 store (38k product!) To sleep in a little but still be able to help out the company while still being home early enough to see the family. We have about 14 outside carriers running loads for us today as well. As I write this I've been sitting here 3 hours waiting on my load. I just called the warehouse to check the status and was informed they haven't began picking it yet and most of their selectors went home at 3am. I'll likely be here for a couple more hours. Our warehouse, unlike any I ever worked at, allows their selectors to leave after 8 (or 10 depending on their schedule) hours regardless of what's left. Every warehouse i worked at you were there until the work was done regardless of how long it took. They're frequently offering them extra money whether it's an extra $100 or even offering time and a half or double time for all hours worked extra I'm not sure if that was done today but I'd assume it was given the amount of drivers waiting. Due to the panic surrounding Covid-19 the HOS declaration has been expanded to include grocery store and distribution centers again, I called our VP yesterday to see if they're allowing us to utilize it again but he was already out of the office so I'm sure he'll call me back today. I'll post an update later about how my day ends up turning out.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

This will be my last post on the diary, works getting too crazy that I unfortunately don't have the time to keep up with it. So I ended up clocking in at 2am for a 230 departure time. My load was finally ready about 6am. I did a pretrip on the tractor before moving it to hookup and didnt notice anything out of the ordinary. However, after my load was ready I did one more quick walk around and noticed a drive tire looked low. Sure enough I must've ran over a nail or something to puncture it because it wasn't completely flat it definitely was leaking. Had to go find another tractor to take and I ended up leaving about 7am, nearly 5 hours later than scheduled. I made it to Iowa City and waited about 20 minutes behind the frozen truck. When I do this store they're also usually there about 330am as well, so they're definitely behind as well. I was at the store for a total of 2 1/2 hours. Due to so many people having been without power for 4 full days the place was a madhouse. I had to walk the 28 pallets across the sales floor and everybody was jockeying positions trying to get the main items before someone could beat them to it. I much prefer to deliver while stores are closed. While I was unloading I got a call from dispatch asking me to take 8 pallets of ice from that store down to Knoxville Iowa. I told him no because I wouldn't have the hours available. Shortly after I received a call from management asking me to (we're never required to do extra) and that they're allowing us to run wild due to HOS Declaration as long as we still take 10 hours off and take our 30 break as normal. If we make any inclination of being fatigued or they feel we are they will also force us to take 34 off regardless if it's normal days we work. He emphasized safety is still #1 and at no point is it ok to drive unsafe or fatigued. I got down to Knoxville, about 50 miles south of I80 and it turns out its Knoxville Nationals. They're really huge into Sprint Cars and it's a very big event. Drunk. People. Everywhere. I had some real tight turns getting there due to roads being blocked off and I'd never been there before. I was somewhat familiar with the town from my time with PFG but not the area Hyvee is. Turns out it wasn't power outage related. Everyone just needed ice to keep the beer cold. I had several people approach me after I docked asking if I had the ice and how long it'd take for the store to get it set out. I told them likely 10 minutes and that I had 8 pallets so theres plenty to go around. Apparently the store only was expecting 1 pallet but was very happy to see there was 8. I was also offered several beers, which I politely declined of course. In total I drove 256 miles for 2 stores and 1 backhaul of 2 pallets. I got 14 hours. Highlight of the day is having many people cheering as they seen my truck pulling into town. Even had some drunk guys pumping their arms wanting the air horn. They ended up spilling beer all over themselves as they celebrated the sound of my people rofl-1.gif

I bid on a 340 mile 2 stop Davenport load tomorrow. I received a call 3 hours later telling me they had to pull that route from me. Turns out our warehouse is out of many different items due to the unexpected demand and they completely cut that truck. I was instead assigned a 575 mile run with 3 stores in the Twin Cities and a full load backhaul on the north side of St Paul. I could've raised hell about it but it isnt the dispatchers fault and hes just trying to do his job. My wife was a little irritated because I took the route I did to get home a little earlier but she understands. I'll try to get a shorter run sunday. I'd rather be the guy the company can depend on to get stuff done if something unexpected happens than someone they dread talking to. They were so desperate for people to work extra today they were offering drivers that worked extra an additional $200 on top of what their route paid. Unfortunately I'm usually already working the days they do that. The load is scheduled to go out at midnight but my 10 hours is up at 212am. Dispatch told me just start then, he's working extra tomorrow so call him if anybody, whether our stores or backhaul, give me hell about it. We have 4 different dispatchers the entire fleet deals with. Unlike an OTR driver I just call the main number for dispatch and whoever answers takes care of the matter at hand. If they're unable to they transfer me to someone that can. This is proof that even as a local driver not everything is etched in stone and plans will change.

The brightside is I was the #2 driver in our fleet of roughly 150 drivers last week! They goofed up in the company newsletter and had me listed as #2 and #5 hahaha.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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