I have read the recent thread ‘It’s all coming back to me why people quit pulling reefers’ and a few others. They have been educational. But, it seems some people are pro-reefer as well. Can you try to give a basic pros and cons list specific to reefer hauling as a company driver? I will try to start from what I’ve read; but, I’ve never done it. And, please correct my list if it is clearly erroneous.
Sometimes Long Hauls
Plenty of Loads
Steady Business, Even Grows in Some Economic Downturns
No Touch Freight with Some Companies
Noise of Refrigeration Machine
Wider Spot on Trailer Because of Reefer Machine
Extra Fueling Because of Reefer Machine
Odd or Late Delivery Times, Especially in Summer
Occasionally Need Trailer Wash Out
Extra Monitoring of Reefer Machine
Additional Point of Failure—Refrigeration Problems
Possibly Eratic Sleeping Schedule Because of Delivery Times
Pros & Cons of Reefer as Company Driver
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You missed the very long waits frequent to reefer customers. I've waited 10 plus hours, or had loads where there were 4 or more stops and each stop was spending 2 plus hours of waiting. Depending on how the trucking company "Detention Pay" policy works I could get paid nothing for all of the waiting because the first customer made me late for all other stops and showing up late means no possibility of detention pay.
Reefer customers typically use Lumper services and those services will require you pay them $200 or more to get loaded/unloaded, plus take hours to unload you, hours to inform you that you have been unloaded, hours to tell you what the fee is, and hours to tell you the fee has been paid and you can now get you paperwork.
Reefers equal LOTS of waiting and high probability of having some or all of your freight rejected because one part of it looks funny or the temp monitor shows wrong temps while you were sitting waiting at the dock for some drug addict to tell you they finished loading you 3 hours ago in 110 F heat and your trailer doors were open.
I did not mean the trailer requires a wider spot for parking if that is what you mean. One post I read mentioned the refrigeration machine sticking out from the trailer seemed to create some issue. Considering how they are streamlined I would think it must’ve been a particularly obscure situation. Maybe it is not worth mentioning.Another Canadian driver Thanks this.
I pulled very few reefers and did such locally. I didn't know then that Truck and Trailer were separate fuel experiences, separate tickets/receipts, so I just added the Reefer amount to the ONE fuel receipt.
Orally received a profanity laced proper technique procedure back at yard, "Okay, no one mentioned BEFORE I departed yard. Not Every Driver Knows About EVERYTHING Trucking".
I got lucky with the few times on Roads with Reefers.
NO: breakdowns, temperature flux, washout, late p/u - dlvry, or excessive waiting to load/unload.
Right now, the biggest pro is the stability when the rest of the market is going to crap. I love this time in the cycle, because my job becomes easier... my phone is ringing, and the unsolicited apps are flowing in, so I can be choosy as to whom I put in a truck (yes, those with stable job histories are given the nod over job-hoppers). I technically don't really have any more trucks for drivers, that's how stable it is.
Pay is generally higher than dry van for almost the same amount of work
Usually no-touch freight
Great job for those who prefer night driving
Sometimes get a bunch of free food from OS&D
Reefer unit can be loud, annoying
One more responsibility to undertake
Washouts can be quick, or can waste hours of your time
Lumpers take their sweet time unloading, breaking, counting, and restacking while you wait.
Many customers treat the drivers like scum of the earth (unless you get with a good contract carrier that has steady freight to the same places, they get to know you and treat you a little better than the rest)
Hope that helps.
I see way more pros than cons. As far as the long wait times for deliveries, you better learn how to deliver on a 10 hour break or split your breaks. That way, the long waits don't stress you out. I love reefer hauling. I love when it runs constantly. I get the best sleep ever.
I ran on a Reefer account with JB hunt but I had to help unload my trailer then when that account shut down I tried a different Reefer account 1 wk in I told them nope find me a different account i can adjust to the weird hours but lumpers and lumper fees? Heck no I despise them takes them forever to unload then you have to wait for them to tell you the amount then you have to wait even more for payments to clear. It’s just too long and drawn out when I get the green light I want to leave having a green light but still being forced to wait starts to feel like I’m a hostage
Last edited: Jul 18, 2022
Reason for edit: Typo
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