Q Carriers Shakopee, MN

Discussion in 'Motor Carrier Questions - The Inside Scoop' started by hicksie, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. hicksie

    hicksie Light Load Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Franklin, North Carolina
    Anyone have any info on this company? Good or bad. I did a search and didn't find anything here. Let me know Thanks.
  2. _ton bundle

    _ton bundle Road Train Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Elevator Bay, Minnesota
    I have not driven for Q Carriers, but I have talked to plenty of drivers who have. I can tell you as much as I know, until one of their drivers respond.

    My opinion is that they are not a good carrier. I think that their dispatch is disorganized and that their drivers sit alot. They have a lot of freight from Minnesota to the southeast, mainly to NC/SC, but they run to LA and TX, too. The problem is that they don't have a lot of freight out of those areas coming back to Minnesota, which is their main freight base. They rely heavily on brokered loads to get out of those areas. Because the bulk of their fleet is always finalling in those few areas, there are alot of trucks waiting for a few loads. NC/SC/LA/TX are all difficult areas to find freight out of going back to the midwest.

    They are a reefer carrier and do a lot of food loads to grocery warehouses and cold storage warehouses. So there will be a lot of nighttime deliveries and wait time. I haven't ever spoken to one of their drivers who was really happy with the company. They have both owner operators and company drivers and they have a few vans, too. 95% reefer, I would say.

    That being said, I don't think that they are a dishonest company. All of their equipment seems fine, nothing junky or unsafe. It will all depend on your situation. If you are in a job that is ok, then I would say to stay put. If you have no job or prospects, then I would consider them. They are not a bottom feeder and I don't think that they are out to cheat their drivers. If you live in NC/SC, you will get home (or at least close) without a problem, the problem will be getting back out of the house. I think that is why they recruit so heavily out of that area.

    I hope this helps. I wish I could tell you more, and this is just from an outsider's perspective, so I could be completely wrong on them. I hope a current or former Q Carriers driver will surface to give you better answers, but some information is better than none. They only have about 100 trucks, so you may not hear from any of their drivers.
    hicksie Thanks this.
  3. jtraveler

    jtraveler Bobtail Member

    Lucky for me that I currently am employed by Q Carriers. Let me shed some light on what was said.

    On the contrary, the dispatch works very well with coordinating loads to keep drivers moving. The problems lie with outside companies underbidding Q for loads. Q has had to make some serious changes to stay competitive and in business. As far as sitting goes, no more than most companies at the beginning of the calendar year.

    Not completely true. Q Carriers does center on freight to/from the midwest area. The customer loads are the high dollar loads that keep the company afloat while the brokered loads keep the drivers moving. We haul freight to/from the following states; AL, GA, SC, LA, MS, TX, NC, VA, TN, KY, OK, FL, NJ, PA, IN, IL, WI, MN, SD, ND, MT, ID. Basically, we do not travel southwest or northeast into New England states.

    Correct. Familiarity with reefer unit operation and care as well as knowing how to deal with brokers and lumpers would be beneficial. However, most of the return loads are not food related but still may require tempeture protection.

    Doesn't sound like it.

    Not quite true. Q Carriers has always been an O/O fleet and tried an experiment a couple years back to determine if company drivers could save them money. It was a horrible mistake. once the floodgate opened, every disgruntled derelect driver came through the door. Last summer, they stopped hiring company drivers and maintain only 10. The rest is either lease or O/O.

    No dry vans, all reefer. Newer model Carrier units too. Better than the older units.

    I've had a few problems in my history with Q that was handled professionally and with respect. But, I earned that respect through hard work, good ethics, and honesty. You will have issues, it happens with every company, it's how you approach the company to solve the problem will determine their reaction and action.

    Q Carriers is aware of their limited opportunities in certain areas. They withdraw from hiring any drivers from places where freight does not flow well.

    Not to far off the track, but a good reply. Let me add some more to this.

    Q Carriers is a small Owner Operated fleet out of Shakopee, MN. They mostly cater food for Jennie-O, Land O'Lakes, and other food commodities to Sysco, PFG, US Foodservice, and so on. They do handle brokered loads to WalMart which sucks. Mainly due to WalMarts inflexibility on receiving times.

    Driver's have an option now of being paid percentage or mileage. Neither is better than the other. Due to the economic butchering of rates, Q has had to lower their payrates in order to stay in business. I won't lie, it hurt. But, those who are determined and reliable to make safe on-time deliveries will still benefit. Just do not expect a lot of home time.

    I see home as often as it is possible, my dispatch runs me by the house when it is feasible. Requested time off is different, because the bills of the truck doesn't get paid if it doesn't move. You won't get rich at Q. But you will have a stable dependable job to get you through the hard times.

    I'm quite satisfied with my employment, and I have been there for nearly 1.5 years. I have a good reputation and easy demeanor which makes my tenure more successful than others. Those who desire hometime often will not do well That's just the way it is. Those that do not mind hard work and have strong work ethics will succeed.

    Basically, it comes down to what type of individual you are that will determine how well you do at Q.

    I'll finish with this. Q Carriers is a good company to work for. If you need specifics or information on who to contact, pm me and I will be happy to help out.
  4. _ton bundle

    _ton bundle Road Train Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Elevator Bay, Minnesota
    Thanks for the info. It was about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago when I spoke with the Q drivers that I wasn't impressed with. So what you are saying does make some sense. As I said, I was only doing my best as an outsider looking in. Thanks again for the update.

    Is Jason your load planner or is it Jenni?
  5. jtraveler

    jtraveler Bobtail Member

    Only an outsider?

    Jenny is the planner now. I work for Ken, my dispatcher. Jason would be the customer service representative that helps procure the loads.

    The company has had to cut some jobs and is working skeletal inside the office. It's a far cry from what it was a year ago, but in these tough times, I'm happy to be working for them and still earning money.
  6. ahappytrucker

    ahappytrucker Bobtail Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    Brainerd, MN
    I have to ask...is jtraveler a driver...or someone who works in q-carriers office?

    It seems to me, that although jtraveler seems to be in the know, it just seems to appear that the responses were more articulated by someone in management, than in the drivers seat.

    Although I only drove for Q-carriers for a short time, I do have to say they have their own set of unique problems. Get a dispatch to the south east...then to wisconsin....then either to the east coast or back to the south east. Yes they give you miles...but if you want to have your home time at home...better plan ahead...way ahead.

    The most complaints I heard when I was there, and my complaints as well...the payments and deadhead eating up the little or no profits. This coming from a guy who didnt idle his truck and was at the top on the fuel mileage and mileag charts consistently while at q-carriers. I had a Volvo that averaged 7 mpg.

    Most of the contractors I talked to were either new or were looking for another job...either because of lack of hometime were not making enough money, or were stuck in the e-logs conumbdra.

    How would I rate q-carriers on a 1-10 scale....10 for best and 1 for worst I have driven for......4.
  7. jtraveler

    jtraveler Bobtail Member

    I'm a driver, truck #7218.

    I'll take that as a compliment. I worked very hard on my communication skills when I was younger.

    I've now been employed for 3.5 years with Q and have seen a mid-tier company fall to the bottom of the industry.

    Office personnel are getting fewer and fewer, the fleet of trucks have gotten smaller and smaller, and the ability to earn good money has gotten less and less.

    I don't expect to see Q Carriers survive.

    I have stayed with Q all this time for stability as I try to help my daughter through college. But it has cost me a lot of home time and memories I will never have of her last years in high school.

    I recently leased my third truck and regret my decision due to the fact that the newer vehicle is to expensive to operate. Yes, it is my dream truck, but it is killing me in fuel costs. I can't even operate the apu to keep me warm because it costs to much.

    The E-Logs have hurt the company a lot. Even manipulating them can't make up the financial loss.

    I still make good money, but not like before. It takes a lot of work just to take one week off. But, I do what I have to, to get by until a better job presents itself.
  8. ahappytrucker

    ahappytrucker Bobtail Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    Brainerd, MN
    And there lies the probelm....drivers stuck in places they either shouldn't be or have to be because there is no place to go. You would think that after all the years of trucking companies offering the same ole same ole...someone would figure it out and treat drivers the way they would want to be treated. Decent pay, hometime, etc....

    Will this industry ever figure it out, or is it always going to be a revolving door. Seems to me, the money spent on training and recruiting could be better spent if a company would address the reasons why drivers leave.

    Happy trails.
  9. jtraveler

    jtraveler Bobtail Member

    I was browsing this post to see if any new people were interested in Q and came to realize that my last comments were somewhat negative. Given the date and circumstances that I wrote the reply, it is easy to understand why I replied like I did. Now, two months later, things have somewhat turned around for me. It isn't great, but it is far better then what it had been.

    Part of the problem for me earlier this year was a combination of dropped freight, shorter runs with longer travel times, and that #### weather that still seems to be making life hell across the States. Now, things have somewhat changed. I've been working my ### off and taking advantage of the better loads and higher miles. I'd be a fool to think of taking time off while Q is running like it is. I admit though, it is wearing me out and look forward to a much earned 34-hour restart.

    My trucks fuel mileage has finally reached a tolerable level making sure that -- after my fuel surcharge kicks in -- I am paying under $0.95 a gallon for diesel -- which is far better then the $1.34 I was paying in January and February. My profits has been decent and life has become less stressful because of it. Work is still work, but it no longer is considered a problem needing to be solved.

    Q Carriers is facing a turning point after a couple hard years of tough choices. New customers mean more dependable loads that can be relied on to keep the drivers moving. I still have a bad week here and there, which is realistic, but it doesn't cripple my income like it used to.

    Q is getting better, it isn't great yet, but it sure as hell is not what it used to be.
  10. Swaps

    Swaps Heavy Load Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    is their lease program reasonable?
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