[Disclaimer: I don't make company policy or interpret it. These are just my observations.]
A great place to work!
I'll do my best to organize my thoughts and try not to jump around too much. My experiences are with the Atlanta Division, so not everything necessarily works the same in Florida.
The number one thing to keep in mind is that Publix does not hire truck drivers. Truck drivers come from within the company. If you already have your CDL, great, but you don't get any preferential treatment or moved to the head of the list. If not, Publix trains you in Publix equipment with Publix personnel. They pay for your road test. They pay for your medical certificate (DOT physical). You pay for your license. That's yours to keep and use off the clock, in your own vehicle.
Getting hired in the first place is probably the hardest part. Publix has such a great reputation that many people apply for the same position. Even the least desired jobs are difficult to land simply because once you're in the door, it opens up opportunities at multiple levels. If you want to be a driver, you must make sure that you apply for a position in "Functional Area: Distribution". If you don't, you could end up in the Manufacturing Plant, or somewhere else entirely, and then your time and seniority for positions doesn't bridge if you change to Distribution and get on the "Driver List".
About that "Driver List". Last I knew (before I became a driver), the list was scrapped and built from scratch every January and July. So you need to make sure you sign up to get on the list and indicate your interest in becoming a driver every six months. It's to your benefit to make sure you do so, and I'm proof. Becoming a driver is entirely Distribution seniority based, pulled from those who sign up. I became a driver with less company time than others, because they thought they were too far away from being called to bother getting on the list. I signed up every six months from the time I was hired, and beat many into a truck.
Mind your driving record. If you have more than one moving violation in the past three (maybe five, can't remember) years, at the time you are called to drive, you will be disqualified. You can sign up at the next six month period, and if they need drivers and if they get to you again and if you're down to one moving violation or less, then you can drive. Moving violations of any sort, whether in a big truck or a four wheeler, count against you. If you get up to a total of two violations on your record (off the clock small car or on the clock big truck), you get yanked out of the truck and offered a position (whatever is available) in the warehouse. So mind your speeding tickets, running red lights, and that sort of thing!
Pay is weekly, and figured by the trip. Trip pay is figured based upon mileage, number of stops, amount of unloaded and reloaded pallet spaces, and certain paid "delays" (downtime). Because we're company drivers, there are no unpaid deadheads. You might do one long trip per day, or you might do three or four short ones. You go back to the DC, and then home at the end of every day, and sleep in your own bed. There are no sleepers, daycabs only. We're on electronic logs, not paper. And we don't run illegal! If you even think about it, you're only headed for disaster. Losing your job kind of disaster. Safety is priority number one.
So, now you're ready to join Publix. Well, if you live in Florida and want to drive, get your kid to hire on straight out of high school, and s/he might be behind the wheel in fifteen years. That's what I hear through the grapevine. Anyone else will be ready to retire before they drive a big green truck. Atlanta division, in Lawrenceveille/Dacula Georgia, has been adding drivers for about three years now. Not sure how long we're gonna keep it up. But I have heard that some people are coming out of the warehouse with as little as one and a half to two years. So if you can get in the door and find something to keep you occupied that long, you could be good to go. Safe trip to all!
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Publix is voted one of the best 100 companies to work for in America every year by Forbes magazine. It is a great company. But I think their policy for hiring drivers is stupid. They are missing out on a big pool of very qualified EXPERIENCED drivers.
I did talk to an Atlanta driver a few years ago. He told me when they first started expanding in Georgia, they hired experienced drivers because they needed a lot of drivers quickly.
If you live in a state where Publix is new, get on now. They will grow, and they will bury whatever supermarket chain now dominates your area. Don't believe me? Ask Winn Dixie, or Kroger, or Ingles, or.....
I live in fl and have always heard great things about publix drivers. I would like to drive for them but my main concern is, can I survive long enough on warehouse pay before becoming a driver?
How long on avg does it take someone who already has a cdl to get promoted to driver, and what's the pay working in the warehouse?
It takes just as long for someone with a CDL as someone without a CDL to get promoted to driver. You don't get any preferential treatment for already having your license. So in FL, expect anywhere from ten to fifteen years in the warehouse. Warehouse pay is generally $10/hr up to about $15/hr, and if you're good enough to get a receiver position or inventory position, that can pay $17 to $18 per hour. If you start as a selector (back breaking, hard work), I suggest finding something else quickly, as selecting can break a person.
Only ten years of back breaking manual labor at $10 an hour to become qualified to drive a truck locally? I can't sign up fast enough!
Think ill just stick to local fuel hauling where I can get hired on immediatley and still make comparable pay, and won't have to paralyze myself and starve for a decade.
My neighbor claims that his son in law just got a truck driving job with Publix somewhere here in the Atlanta area. His son in law currently works for FedEx Ground as a yard driver. After reading your message, I don't see how he was able to get hired as a driver for Publix, unless he is working for a contractor. I will get more information from him next time I see him.
I am a Truck Driver at FedEx Express, and they hire from within like you say that Publix does. I worked as a package handler for four years before I finally got a Truck Driver position. It was a great opportunity for me and FedEx (like Publix) trained me and paid for some of the expenses.
Yeah, all I can think of is he's working for one of our contractors. The names of companies I've seen around are Davis Express (Starke FL), Davis Transfer (Carnesville GA), Crane Transport (Gainesville GA), M & W (not sure about them exactly, but I remember the logo on their trailers is green), and Rowland Transportation (Dade City FL).
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