Frozen Food Express (FFE)

Discussion in 'Discuss Your Favorite Trucking Company Here' started by Smoken0221, May 25, 2020.

  1. Smoken0221

    Smoken0221 Light Load Member

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    Hello fellow drivers,

    Last December I made the post about going to FFE to get my CDL back and get back in the business after letting my CDL go (stupidly) through not having my physical current with the Texas DMV and changing my the address on my license.. ( Which by the great state of Texas surrenders your license to a class C permanently while it’s downgraded, I had no idea ‍♂️ )

    Anyway, the company so far I would say has been 85/15 good to bad ratio 85 good 15 bad just to clarify.. So I’m gonna explain all the phases and everything as I go.

    Phase 1 classroom school / Range ( backing, parallel park etc)

    This phase was quite nice except during the whole 22 day period you did not get paid. But... We did receive a prepaid visa of 250 dollars of a 500 dollar bonus after the second week. You got the other half of the 500 upon graduating ( passing and obtaining your CDL ) which was something. And you got 3 meals a day provided at the facility kitchen which was pretty tasty and if you wanted more like my fatso self an extra plate was like 5 bucks for some decent food. The first week males are housed at the comfort inn in Desoto Tx pretty much down the street from headquarters and the trading facility in Lancaster Tx where I’m in my sleeper writing this review. It is not a bad hotel, pretty average, not bad with breakfast and clean rooms, semi comfy bed pretty decent, females stay at this hotel throughout the duration of the phase one training of 22-25 days and are shuttled to and from the facility by the hotel. After the first week males get their key card for their dorm onsite, they’re newer cleaned daily by maid staff and all around a tiny but plea to place to stay, ( satellite tv, your own toilet, shower and bed with shared laundry ) oh yea, and the rooms are single occupancy so that’s a plus, I’ve heard horror stories about swift and England with 3-5 per room YIKES.. The schooling is the first week you obtain your permit that’s the main focus.. The second week is all backing range getting ready for the maneuvers on the test, by the way the instructors are freakin top notch, the really know their stuff and are very personable but are there to teach you so if you screw up you’re gonna get an earful so don’t be a pansy lol, and also during the second week especially in the mornings you’ll hand in homework, yes homework which I’ll explain shortly, then after each PowerPoint you take a quiz The quizzes are piss easy if you pay attention. By the way you are even allowed 2 sick days during this 22 day program if you miss over that you’re gone ( we had one guy that did ). That’s pretty much the second week. Oh ya, the homework is you do a diagram of a 10 speed 10 Tomis on the paper and with arrows do the shift pattern because all the backing range and when you test out will be on a 10 speed manual transmission!! So you won’t have that annoying automatic only restriction. Then you pull a Bart Simpson and write the whole air brake test procedure out 5 times on paper. That’s it don’t be lazy it took me 30 minutes when I got to the dorm and I was done.



    The third week is pretty much the same as week 2 but you do some driving on the freeway and shifting with an instructor with 3 others as you take turns. At the end of the week you test out and get your CDL and certificate then you can go home while they paid you up with a trainer, mine took around 8 days because of my non smoking preference and it being Christmas. But you are paid 75 bucks a day while you wait which is what FFE pays for layover and they pay that like clockwork which is nice. Never had an issue getting paid layover pay especially with this virus having loads diminished but it’s starting to get better. Anyway you go out for 6 weeks with your trainer, one thing I didn’t like is they run you as a team after 1 week or until your trainer feels comfortable, you make 525 a week while training and the trainer makes like 50 cents a mile for all miles, yours and his/hers, the trainers make BANK my trainer paid for all my meals and stuff me and him got along great. After 6 weeks you test out with one of the instructors back at Lancaster and upgrade to a solo driver making .40 a mile which is ok I guess, every year anniversary you get a 1 cent raise that caps out at .52 a mile I think? Anyway while your with your trainer FFE requires you fill out a paper log on top of your elogs daily then turn them in to the instructor to grade and accept upon your upgrade so they know you know how to do paper logs if the omnitracs goes out. And that’s it for training. I had a real positive experience all the way around.



    Solo driver on your own

    Like I said you start out at .40 a mile with annual raises. All the trucks are freightliner cascadias 2016-2021 the 2019s and up have fridges and inverters and 2016-2018s don’t. They all have opti idle no apus which is meh. I got a 2017 with 189000 miles and had an inverter installed per safety dept because of my cpap at no charge which was cool. I got one of those koolatron cigarette lighter fridges from loves and one of those Walmart 700 watt microwaves so I’m good. Been solo since February 26th. When I first got the truck it had to go to the shop at freightliner for all new injectors and an ecu update which took like 5 days but they put me at the Glo hotel by best western down the street during it with 75 dollar a day layover so I wasn’t too upset. After it was fixed FFE does LTL terminal to terminal drop and hook linehaul. I LOVE THAT, no searching for a facility down a side street made for box trucks lol. And pretty much all the terminals have showers laundry and lounges so that’s cool. Freight was pretty steady but the virus has been killing us lately. I’ve been sitting 3 to 4 days waiting on a load sometimes, but sometimes they’ll have you do some local work which pays 24 bucks an hour with 40 dollar per stop or regional which is hourly up to 300 miles I think? But it’s been SLOW because most of our freight if not pretty much all of it is restaurants, hospitals, and schools and 2 of the 3 have been shutdown so you do the math, but it’s not FFE fault, everyone seemed really friendly and eager to help. The dispatchers are fair and accommodating for the exception of 2-3 are butt heads but what are you gonna do. The only real complaint I have with FFE so far is the shop. Those guys are straight mean ##### and talk down to you and pretty much anything advanced “well it’s gotta go to freightliner” bs. I just got off of hometime, they give you 1.5 days off per week their policy is 15 days out minimum 3 home, they’ve always gotten me home, can’t complain there, like I said, just the FFE shop sucks ###. Anyway I really like this company and plan to stay, hope everyone is healthy and safe!

    Smoken
     
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  3. Smoken0221

    Smoken0221 Light Load Member

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    Jul 13, 2015
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    Oh yea and the school is 5-6 thousand dollars I think but you don’t have to pay a cent unless you quit or get fired before a year, you fulfill the obligation after a year of safe service to FFE. You also have to sign a do not compete clause which under a year and you quit no ther company can hire you supposedly. And there is no “fleece” purchase program here at FFE just at our sister company KLLM is lease purchase available. Just some points I forgot..

    Thanks!

    Smoken
     
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  4. Smoken0221

    Smoken0221 Light Load Member

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    Ooohhh and another very important point lmao. You HAVE TO BE A TEXAS RESIDENT in order to obtain you CDL with FFE through the school.
     
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  5. Lonesome

    Lonesome Mr. Sarcasm

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    Northern Indiana
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    Great writeup! Good luck with FFE.
     
  6. Smoken0221

    Smoken0221 Light Load Member

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    Jul 13, 2015
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    Thank you sir, safe travels!
     
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  7. Hottub

    Hottub Light Load Member

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Largo, Florida
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    How are you getting along with Opti-Idle ?
     
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  8. G13Tomcat

    G13Tomcat Road Train Member

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    Ohio
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    Great review; congrats and keep rollin, Smoken~! ;)
     
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  9. Smoken0221

    Smoken0221 Light Load Member

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    It’s working very well, I’m a heavy sleeper and the reefer lulls me to sleep like a box fan so the start/stop doesn’t effect me so much, keeps the truck cool and we also have bunk heaters to stay warm. I don’t have a problem with it, but if you’re a light sleeper it’s probably not that great. Thanks for commenting.
     
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  10. Smoken0221

    Smoken0221 Light Load Member

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    Jul 13, 2015
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    I think our range for the truck to idle nonstop is 90 or above or 30 or below.
     
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  11. Smoken0221

    Smoken0221 Light Load Member

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    Jul 13, 2015
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    Thank ya! Safe travels!
     
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