Plans Always Change In Trucking

Topic 29138 | Page 2

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Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I should hit about $101k this year including bonuses.

Congratulations! Sure beats working in that warehouse huh?

Unfortunately I'm going to come up a bit short of my 100k goal this year, those 2 months of short runs for COVID earlier this year hurt us. Still going to end up in the 90k range so the day cab gang getting it done.


Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
J.D.'s Comment
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ROB, it's good to know ahead of time that "plans always change in trucking"; as always, TT has been absolutely invaluable for us newbies who bother to stick around, especially for cultivating a maximally realistic, win-win attitude without high expectations for things going "the way they're supposed to". I'll probably end up doing a targeted thread on my selfishly specific sub-topic if need be, but since you posted this and got into some specifics of your particular niche, might as well do it first here cuz it's mainly you I want to target anyway after learning that you deliver to supermarkets.

Thanx again for the comment when I asked about the "D"s Sporting Goods account. In it you asked which company I'd be working for and I told you Schneider. Turned out that was a tad, but not too bad, wishful thinking-- After trying to check out those two local "D"s store situations, I then hit a strange snag with my MVR check regarding an erroneous suspension when they ran me through "Driver IQ", and it took me till end of last week to get the mess sorted out and 'splained to their satisfaction. Now I'm officially in!, with orientation and my post-training account job scheduled ("Sprouts", a huge health food store chain)... Which is as you say, a "bright side" so bright, that as the song says, I gotta wear shades, and as you do in your posting pic. Can hardly the same time am in no hurry, fortunately. The "cloud" though is is that during the delay, no surprise that I lost that "D"s account job. The real bummer though isn't that, since I like the idea of delivering to Sprouts a lot more; it's the fact that I lost my team partner I had already lined up.

[This part's optional background cuz I know most of you aren't into teaming: Met this buddy as a CDL school classmate and sensed from the start we'd be compatible co-drivers. His process turned out more accelerated than mine cuz I took a long COVID LOA due to a temporary high-risk-and-need situation at home. So he's been on the road for a different company for a couple months now, teaming with a guy who doesn't care as much about hometime... Thus it's a burn-out for my buddy, so he was gonna change horses and jump onto the ****'s account with me and take the cpm cut so he can get home every weekend. But the Schneider Sprouts account only had room for one more and that'd be we'll have to see about being co-drivers in the future.]

Anyway, Rob and/or whoever reads this and has a take on delivering to grocery store chains, naturally I'm very interested in any tips/insights/cautions, etc., and other helpful discussion threads you can direct me to (especially if you don't have enough time to deal directly much with my verbosity and nosiness here). At this point I haven't thought it through yet and don't even know enough to know what all to ask or where else to learn what I can that might help, beyond my training of course. But seems to me that expert drivers specializing in delivering to major grocery chains would be helpful no matter what s/he had to say. Good to learn whatever's important and can be learned ahead of time, with all the other challenges there'll be.

You guys may not be familiar with Sprouts; they're not completely national. No matter. (Rob I forget if you've said in what I've read, and it's not in your bio, do you say who exactly you deliver for and to? Not that that matters either. Maybe I'll just look up all the Rob D. comments and scan 'em for applicable nuggets.) It sounds like I'll mainly be based out of Phoenix and servicing AZ and the other western states south of Oregon. I think they're the second biggest health food supermarket chain in the U.S. (2nd to Whole Foods and their stores are similar). Sounds like zero driver load/unload and nearly all reefers. The coolest part for me is that the 34-hour resets are supposed to all be at home, meaning weekly hometime, which is how I'd be best to start out at least. Anything unique to the big produce accounts, like at the distribution centers or whatever they're called? Regardless, TIA to whoever!


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.


Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.


A refrigerated trailer.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
J.D.'s Comment
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Oops, of course that'd be Rob T. I meant to look up the comments of. Quite the prolific poster!

Rob T.'s Comment
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My biggest piece of advice is look up many different store locations to see exactly what you're getting into with Sprouts. I drive for Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI), which is a subsidiary of the midwest grocery chain Hy-vee. I did a small diary of my experiences you can read here about Delivering to grocery stores. A majority of our stores were built to easily accommodate trucks and even straight back to the dock. We do have a few real tight stores primarily the small town old stores that were built about 90 years ago when the company began business. For the most part most of our loads leave the warehouse between midnight and 2am. This allows us to often times get unloaded in the bigger cities we deliver to before parking lots start filling up. We can also get in and out of the Minneapolis and Kansas City areas or make it to our backhaul before rush hour hits. Anytime we're delayed it makes our job more difficult, but still not too bad. I'm currently waiting to be loaded at the warehouse with a 2 trailer load. Currently its 0140 and my load was supposed to be done by 0130. Supposedly its picked just sitting on the dock waiting to be loaded along with 6 other trucks parked near me. My 2nd trailer has a store I've not been to that's in a mall. Looking at google it doesn't look too bad but it's going to be more difficult now due to increased car traffic and getting there likely after 9am. I also have a backhaul that's FCFS (First Come First Served) that gets crazy around 1030. This delay will result in me sitting for a couple hours rather than about a half hour if I'd be able to make it there before 9am.

Typically our warehouse gets our loads done atleast 30 minutes before our gate time but with Covid and the holidays it's been a rough year for them but they're trying their best. The drivers out of the DC that does produce told me their loads are typically done about 2 hours before they're set to go out. G-town drives for Swift and delivers groceries on a Walmart dedicated account. He has a diary of A day in the life of a Walmart Dedicated driver that may be if interest as well. There's a couple other guys on here that have done walmart dedicated, and Turtle drives for Walmarts private fleet but I can't recall any other diaries of the day to day encounters. In my experience deliveries at the store level usually go off without a hitch and store personnel are happy to see their truck is there. As with any trucking job you'll have terminal rats at the distribution center. I keep conversations to a minimum with most drivers at my company and when I do talk to them it's just common courtesy (good morning, how're you today etc.) Or asking about stops I've not been to. This job is nearly perfect for me and I dont need people that have been here 30 years trying to tell me how terrible the job is. No joke, my first day of training another driver asked if I had a family. He then proceeded to tell me if I love them I need to quit because it'll ruin my marriage. He was an expert on this, he was on his 4th marriage since starting 20 years ago! Something tells me it had little to do with the job....

0200 and they're starting to load me. Feel free to create another thread with more questions you have regarding retail deliveries. You'll be surprised how many drivers have done deliveries and may offer some insight to it. Mainly around the holidays, but some companies will have OTR drivers fill in temporarily on dedicated accounts to accommodate the customers needs. Some people love delivering to stores others hate it. The good thing of starting with Schneider is if you fall into the category of not liking it you can always go OTR.


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.


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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