Recently I took a job at a Lowe's Home Improvement store. The job was driving a class B tandem axle flatbed straight truck with a Moffett forklift, delivering to customer's homes and jobsites. On paper it looked good- set schedule, home daily, 150 air mile exemption, very good hourly rate.
Unfortunately the job was a mess. I told them when I interviewed I take load securement and DOT regulations very seriously. They said something to the effect of "yeah sure great". After working with these people for a week, I would wager none of them could even tell me what 'DOT' stands for.
I found numerous defects with the truck, all of which would have been violations- straps that were shredded, a broken side box held on with a ripped ratchet strap, tires with cuts in the sides from forklifts, and nonexistent paperwork.
When I refused to drive the truck as it was, they reluctantly provided replacement straps. The delivery managers tried to argue with me that they don't have to do a DVIR. I told them that is incorrect and while they still tried to argue with me, they did provide DVIR booklets. They told me they weren't fixing the tires or the toolbox. I now had earned a reputation as a diva with management.
None of the orders being delivered were properly wrapped, banded, or palletized. The managers and order puller tried to insist that the straps would hold them. I told them that they weren't qualified to make that determination. Many items were damaged when I cranked down on the winches because they were either improperly packaged or should've been sent in a box truck. I told them I didn't care, because if the items flew off the truck, they would be damaged anyway. The kid who loaded the truck wasn't qualified to operate a mechanical pencil, much less a forklift. He was slow and had no idea how to arrange things so that they could be secured safely.
The managers are supposed to call customers and verify deliveries before I leave. They failed to do so, and as a result gave me an incorrect address to a remote area that they insisted was correct. When I got there, a contractor was there and told me I was at the wrong jobsite. I then had to reverse uphill a half mile up a one lane dirt road into a busy main road.
I later came to find that this store has gone through 6 drivers since the beginning of the year and seeing how they operate, it's no wonder. After a week of this nonsense, I told them that our ideas of safe and acceptable standard operating procedures are too different and I do not think I can continue working here. I refuse to run a truck that isn't safe or a load that can't be secured properly. I'm not risking my license for them nor am I willing to put others' safety at risk. The management is extremely underqualified with no understanding of load securement, DOT regulations or the FMCSA.
I'm sure not all Lowe's stores are like this; management is the determining factor in how good or bad this job will be, but my warning is to be very cautious with Lowe's.
Lowe's Home Improvement
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I can kind of relate to your post. I notice home improvement stores delivery trucks do a lot of sitting in their parking lots when not being used. I mean, the truck itself is not a first concern of mgmt. Running the store etc is first priority. The kid loading you probably does this once a day at most. And what do you do when not delivering ? Probably sweep the aisles or tag inbound freight. I always thought the driver grabbed a fork and loaded himself.
I would've preferred to load the truck myself, however none of the orders were labeled or tagged the way they were supposed to be, so the order puller was the only one who knew what went on the truck. Additionally the store requires a "spotter" to run the forklift in customer areas, and where they load in the parking lot is a customer area, so you are required to spot for the guy loading you, anyway.
When you aren't delivering, they expect you to be pulling orders, which is not what I signed up for. I did that job before I got into trucking. Pulling drywall, block, 6x6 lumber and concrete is not fun. That's why I got my CDL- so I didn't have to pull orders anymore.
i did a short stint at my local Lowes as well, and yes, it sucked..trucks that would not start due to dead batteries, dirty motor oil suspension parts in need of greasing, and so on and so forth.
yes, the night time order pickers would shrink wrap if they wanted to. they would band the lumber if they wanted to, other wise, that fell onto me, when i got there at 6AM to START making my deliveries...
the store is supposed to contact the company that the trucks are actually owned by, they ARE NOT owned by Lowe's..!!!
as it is now, a mega carrier (it was Cardinal) got the contract to do all the deliveries, both appliances AND building materials...they lost that account, i cannot say who does it now.
also, if there were not enough deliveries for me..?
they wanted me to work in the store, where ever they needed me for the wages of a store worker, NOT a driver.
after maybe all of about 2 weeks?
i fired myself, and went back to a real trucking job....
i only went to Lowes cuz i liked that store, it's like 1/4 mile from my house and i know all the employee's, since i am a shopper there..
HUGE difference from customer to employee.....NEVER AGAIN...!!!!!!!
they were deplorable, and that's putting it mildly...
i never was so sorry i gave them a try, worst decision i ever made.
supervisor constantly calling me, "where are you, you're supposed to be (80 miles away) by now......from your last stop...
i told that so and so stupidvisor, "call me 1 more "F" time, and i'm gonna ditch this truck........
he not only NEVER called me again that day..??
but for the remainder of my (about) 2 weeks there.
There needs to be a nationwide 1-800 number where drivers can report unsafe working conditions and incompetent management pushing drivers to do unsafe things, you should be able to text photos and evidence of unsafe conditions and then a DOT officer should show up and inspect the equipment and then the manager should be arrested and hopefully pepper sprayed and Billy Clubbed for putting the general public at risk and putting a respectable driver in a difficult position.
@buddyd157 this store used a 3rd party company to drive the box trucks. The flatbed was in-house. Some Lowe's stores use third party for both box truck and flatbed but Lowe's doesn't have a company-wide contract like Home Depot does with XPO.
The trucks are usually either Penske or Ryder leases.
I worked at a different Lowe's store for a while before getting my CDL and while it had it's bad days, it wasn't a bad job and I had good coworkers. It was nothing like this store I just left.
These managers do not seem to understand the seriousness of operating a commercial vehicle. To them, it's no different than Harry Homeowner tossing some stuff in the back of his Silverado and taking it to his house. We as drivers know that there is a lot more to it than that. There are strict laws in place regulating CMVs and as commercial drivers, we are held to a higher standard. These "managers" are ignorant to all of that and do not want to be educated about it.
the appliance guys always had more work than me. my days were always shorter than thiers.
contractors had their own trucks to pick up the materials for thier job site.
only occasionally did i deliver drywall.
most deliveries were to home owners, you know, weekend warriors.
it's been quite a long time now, that Lowes and Home depot here have a carrier do this stuff.
many times, too, i see those trucks parked in the lot.
but it could be covid/economy related as well.Another Canadian driver Thanks this.
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