Good reefer company a tall order?

Discussion in 'Refrigerated Trucking Forum' started by Rhythmics, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. Rhythmics

    Rhythmics Bobtail Member

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    Looking for any suggestions for reefer companies

    I live in NW FL about 4hrs drive to Bham, AL/ATL/Jacksonville, FL. Willing to drive that far considering home time isn’t a big priority.

    Looking for a lane from the above region(possibly even east of Jackson,MS) to mainly CA and back.

    I’ve had my CDL since 09. I’ve driven most things with tracks/wheels. Started out doing house moves with allied/covan. I’ve done heavy haul for pipeline lowboy flat step water and fuel trucks. I’ve done crude/salt water in ND when it was $4k+/week. I’ve hauled chicken sh$t with a dump trailer I was a leaser with my own truck/trailer dispatched all my own loads Got insurance certs rate cons filed my own bols logs etc basically full on o/o just paid a fee to run under a friends authority. I’ve been at Sysco for over 1.5yrs putting 36/42’ trailers in places they have no business being unloading 15-20,000lbs of groceries at 20 stops by hand and driving 250mi a day. I ran coast to coast chicken to CA produce back to Publix before elogs were a thing and would turn a round trip 4-6k miles weekly solo. I only list some exp because it’s always asked and also as a reference point to having experienced a lot of the trucking world. A lot more than some and less than a lot I’m sure.

    I’m not terribly concerned about the pay although I don’t want to work for less than the job should pay. Mainly I’m after the lane. I loved running coast to coast (south of I-40)and although a lot of people hate the multipickup CA produce I enjoyed going out to Oxnard and Holister and Salinas Madera Thousand Hills etc...Prefer not to work at a mega but also don’t want to work for some mom and pop that expects me to run a SE>CA round trip weekly, too old to be running illegal and it’s really just not worth it. Would def prefer a smaller outfit that runs legal over a big outfit.

    With elogs I know it’s increasingly difficult to find a solo coast to coast gig as well. I’ve done teams before once was a nightmare and the other was actually a blast and made a friendship that’s lasted over a decade now. Would prefer to stay away from teams as well.

    if anyone knows anyone that has a lane as described that doesn’t pay bottom dollar and hires out of FL it would be much appreciated.

    I did look at Frozen Food Express, DOT, Magnum and one or two more that were no go for hiring drivers in FL. I’ve done a fair bit of digging before posting here but it’s hard to find those smaller off the radar word of mouth gigs.
     
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  3. xlsdraw

    xlsdraw Road Train Member

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    Leonard's Express is a roughl
     
  4. xlsdraw

    xlsdraw Road Train Member

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    Winter Haven, Florida
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    Leonard's Express is a roughly 500 truck reefer outfit with lots of long haul. I'm out of Central Florida working for an owner operator that has two trucks leased on. Our trucks are not Cali compliant. We usually pull from Florida to Minnesota. Then out to the NW. From the NW we usually pull a coast to coast load. Sometimes to the NE or back to Florida. I think there's a hundred or so trucks leased onto Leonard's. Fifty of them are Double J out of Wisconsin. I think Leonard's is four or five hundred company trucks. They do have Cali freight, we just can't pull it. I'm currently on a Boise to Boston run.
     
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  5. Weeble Kneeble

    Weeble Kneeble Heavy Load Member

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    Van Eerden Trucking out of Michigan
     
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  6. Rhythmics

    Rhythmics Bobtail Member

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    They actually look pretty solid. Any person exp with them?
     
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  7. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

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    Michigan carrier is gonna want you to take a load up there every now and then.........
     
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  8. Rhythmics

    Rhythmics Bobtail Member

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    Ya but the company looks really solid...lol. I really don’t want to run north of I-40 unless it’s CA produce picks. That can’t really be helped doing coast to coast reefer. There are a plenty of companies that do midwest and north reefer coupled with West-East coast runs not hiring in FL.

    Certainly would prefer SE FL/AL/MS/GA/LA to CA/AZ and back even if I had to live unload in TN/Caroline’s...I’m not turning up anything like that in my search and I haven’t received any solid suggestions on such yet :(

    Actually I don’t want to lie...I have seen two postings of such on indeed but one company has 2 trucks and their revenue last year was barely over 6 figures and the other is a chrome dripping chicken light Pete/Lonestar small company out of rural MS and from just a bit of glancing I already know exactly what I don’t want to be in for with them.
     
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  9. Weeble Kneeble

    Weeble Kneeble Heavy Load Member

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    I was looking at them as a possible return to OTR because local work was taking a toll on my body (from prior sports injuries). Straight shooters, answered all my questions. Living in the NW, it was out 8-12 days home for 2-3. pretty much an out and back from Michigan to the NW. Paid something like .08 cpm extra for produce. Didn't seem hard to make $80k.
     
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  10. Rhythmics

    Rhythmics Bobtail Member

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    ah gotcha. I’ll have to give them a call and see what I could expect lane wise being out of FL.

    I’m in the same boat more or less. Working for Sysco...I’m in great shape by trucker standards 5’10” 155lbs six pack abs 34yrs old lol making between 16-2100 a week home every night mon-fri work every 3rd-4th Saturday. Sounds like a dream job but sometimes you get exactly what you want and it’s not what you want. I’m def feeling the work though and doesn’t do me any good to be able to retire from them at 53 if my back, neck, knees, ankles and elbows are all shot out by then. I like getting up early but 1-2am every day is for the birds... getting home at 4-8pm exhausted. Just enough time to eat shower kill an hour get 6-7 of sleep and do it again. Weekend off is nice but I’m so wore out by fri night I don’t want to do a dang thing sat and Sunday is back in bed by 8pm to get up at 1-2 mon morning. Pair all that with the hour round trip drive to work every day...I’ve recently been having to deliver Love’s either the fruit for them and subway or all the meats/cheese/bread for their wrapsetc and found myself envying the guys hanging out shirtless on the phone or watching tv in their sleepers...dealing with 1-2customers a day tops compared to 20 as I leave the parking lot.

    Just really trying to hold out for a lane I want even if the company isn’t top notch as the money home time aren’t as big a deal to me as being happy at work because let’s be real...every trucker spends more time at work than anywhere else be it otr, regional or local.
     
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  11. Weeble Kneeble

    Weeble Kneeble Heavy Load Member

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    That pretty much sums it up. I'm 32, played football in college. Just returned to work from shoulder surgery, might be looking down the barrel of a hip surgery here in the not too distant future. Ankles and knees aren't too far behind. Making six figures but at what cost. Looking to make the same move as you but eventually going O/O. There's nothing more frustrating than working a 12-14 hour day and then sitting in traffic for an hour getting home just to eat, shower, and sleep for 6 hours (if I'm lucky) and go right back to it so you can get off early enough to try and beat traffic the next day. It's a vicious cycle.

    Van Eerden seems like a solid outfit. Seems like worst case scenario you might have to run I-75 every now and then to swing by the yard for maintenance. That's purely speculation though.
     
    slow.rider Thanks this.
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