Reefers

Topic 9141 | Page 1

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Serah D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi reefer drivers, would you agree with the following and do you have anything to add?

Pros:

1. If you’re having trouble finding cold freight, reefer trailers can just as easily accommodate dry freight 2. Steady freight market as a result of consistent demand for fresh produce from supermarkets 3. Less waiting around trying to find a load, more time driving means higher pay

Cons:

1. Constant noise produced by the motor in the reefer trailer 2. Cleaning out trailers after every load 3. Refrigerated trailer breakdowns are an emergency maintenance issue to prevent spoilage 4. Long waits to get loaded at the shipper docks

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Serah D.'s Comment
member avatar

The following is an excerpt from Brett's article under Refrigerated Carriers regarding workers at grocery warehouses:

"To make some broad generalizations - their workers are often union guys, they don't like truck drivers very much, and they couldn't care less if you sit in their parking lot for two days waiting to be unloaded. Some of them actually prefer making you sit there and wait - they think it's funny! You think I'm kidding? Besides having delivered to dozens and dozens of these places, I'm friends with a couple of guys that work for a local grocery warehouse and they've told me hundreds of stories about tormenting the drivers. It's their favorite form of entertainment! So don't say I didn't warn ya"

Is this still ongoing?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I would agree with your assessments in the first comment.

To answer your question in the second comment, yes that kind of treatment still goes on. Grocery warehouses are a nightmare and always have been. It's a little better if you're working for a major carrier which goes into a particular warehouse regularly, but even that isn't going to save you most of the time from the endless hours of waiting and a work staff that couldn't care less about truck drivers.

Large grocery warehouses are like a little world of their own. They kind of set their own rules and have their own culture which has always been pretty poisonous toward drivers. Naturally the long wait times have triggered a lot of animosity in truckers which has in turn fueled the disregard with which we're treated. It's a vicious cycle where neither side much likes the other.

You may find some pleasant exceptions to this rule, but don't count on it. Grocery warehouses are rarely a good experience.

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

I sweep my trailer out after every load just because growing up on a low boy with heavy equipment there was always dirt rocks and chains to pick up. I'm a rookie to the van life lol. i run reefer. im yet to have a disgusting load is mostly dust and wood chips. some day there might be something I'll have to get washed out.

picking up potatoes in bakersfield they hosed it out for us before loading...

i have chicken right now continuous25 degrees... reefer i don't even notice when I'm sleeping. i do try park next to other reefrs so not to bother the dry guys...

Wal-Mart is so fast the only place they hung me out yo dry with the clothes. every where else unloads or loads within2 hours. oh the potatoes that wait was just weird...

but again... I'm just a rookie reefr guy.

I've waited longer for a Backhoe.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Smith wrote:

i do try park next to other reefrs so not to bother the dry guys...

THANK YOU! thank-you.gifthank-you.gif

Terry C.'s Comment
member avatar

I'll address the cons as the pros speak for themselves.

Grocery warehouses can be frustrating. I deliver to a few on a regular basis: Wal-Mart, Publix, food lion to name a few. First Wal-Mart has a bad reputation with many drivers and I don't understand why. I deliver to at least one a week for the past 40 or so weeks. I've only had to wait longer than 4 hours a handful of times. My longest was a very known horrible Wal-Mart DC just south of Albuquerque. I was there 7 hours. That place flat out sucks whale. I deliver to the Maclenny, FL DC regularly and have never been there longer than 4 hours.

Truth be told in my year at prime, I've rarely had to wait over 5 hours to get unloaded. Now getting LOADED is another story. I've had 2 pickups of over 20 hours at national beef in Dodge city, KS and the other in Liberal, KS. And have waited over 12 hours on 3 separate occasions at Anheuser-Busch. I hate them with a passion. Heavy loads and long wait times to get loaded.

So TLDR: it's all a part of trucking sarah. Unless you're the one unloading or loading your trailer, you're at someone else's mercy and will have to wait longer then you'd like. Accept that and you'll keep your blood pressure low. From what I understand if you want faster load/unload times go flatbed. But then you have that while slough of other headaches to worry about: 100lb tarps, strapping, bungees, standing/working in bad weather. No thanks...I'll stick with reefer any day over that flatbed garbage. No offence to my flatbed brothers and sisters. I'm very grateful YOU'RE out there so I don't have to =)

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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

Serah D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow...the reason I asked these questions was coz I heard you get paid more and are on the road for longer hours (???). Since I plan to be on the road with no home time for 3 to 4 months at a time, I thought this would take this route. Now I wonder!!!!

Talking about loading/unloading, are drivers allowed to do this if they are certified forklift operators? If so, does one use a company forklift or you would get one from the shipper/receiver?

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

You drive the truck. The shipper & receiver take care of most of the stuff past your van doors. The warehouse has its own forklift drivers, who know how & where to drive in their warehouse. You, as a driver, don't need to be in the way. Besides, there's probably no provision in your job description for driving forklift.

On the other hand, you might work for a local company, and the forklift cert might be a plus for them.

Finally, hours of service. Most drivers, once they're docked, switch to Sleeper or Off duty. You need to keep all your time available for driving.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Since I plan to be on the road with no home time for 3 to 4 months at a time, I thought this would take this route. Now I wonder!!!!

Well one big advantage to refrigerated freight is that so much of it goes coast to coast. Dry van freight overall is more regionalized. You have a much better chance of seeing the whole country and getting runs with a longer average mileage on them hauling refrigerated freight. Not many dry van companies will send a solo driver coast to coast. They'll normally have you hand those loads off to teams. Refrigerated companies will do that sometimes also, but not as often.

I don't think you'll necessarily make more money overall hauling refrigerated freight. There are a lot of factors that go into determining how many miles you run each year but I think the potential mileage and salary for the two are pretty similar. I think personally I would go with the company I feel suits me best based upon my personal preferences regardless of whether they're dry van or refrigerated. Then again you can pick a company like Roehl Transport or Prime Inc which haul more than one type of freight. That way you can try different things if you like and stay within the same company. After you get a little experience in with a company it normally isn't a big deal to switch from one division to another.

CDL:

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Serah D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies. I will be able to make better decisions in choosing what to do.

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.

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