The Decline Of Crete Carrier

Discussion in 'Report A BAD Trucking Company Here' started by sledge, May 10, 2008.

  1. sledge

    sledge Bobtail Member

    May 10, 2008
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    I've been with Crete for two years and observed this company decline just in that short time span. Many of the long-timers have either quit or are very unhappy with the direction the company is moving. I have spoken with probably 200 or more Crete drivers and have yet to find 1--not even 1--who speaks well of the company or their working experience with it.

    The company President, Tonn Ostergaard, is quoted as commenting: "Drivers are a 'dime-a-dozen.' Just keep hiring new drivers." This policy is increasingly reflected in the attitudes of operations and maintenance personnel. I have experienced a constant rude and disrespectful treatment. I have observed many other drivers being treated with disrespectful, even abusive, behavior.

    Crete is moving toward an all-regional driver system. Loads are becoming increasingly shorter. Two months ago, one of the Crete terminal managers told me that Ostergaard's vision is to reduce all loads to 500 miles or less; remove all drivers to regional driver status and at a lower, regional driver pay rate; and manage all drivers at approximately 2000 to 2400 miles per week.

    I would not recommend Crete to any driver or would-be driver.
  2. pawpaw

    pawpaw Medium Load Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Milan, NM
    This is too bad since Crete has been one that many have said is a good company. Unfortunately, economics is driving this. There has been talk on the Sirius trucking channel as well as in trade publications of a greater shift to regional operations with rail doing most of the cross country hauling. You would think, though, that management would still keep in mind that it is the driver that makes the company. The driver is who the customer sees on a regular basis. If that driver comes in with a professional attitude and is happy with his/her company, that attitude will be displayed to the customer and they will like working with that company. If the driver is unhappy and displays that unhappiness, the customer will question the quality of the trucking company and may begin to shop for someone else to haul the freight.
  3. coachmark1

    coachmark1 Light Load Member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Newnan, GA
    Man does that mean my Crete blog that evertrucker does is going to disappear?!:biggrin_25524:
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  4. Tip

    Tip Tipster

    Mar 18, 2006
    I guess ol' man Acklie has gotten too old to have a say in this.

    Crete was a great company when I worked for 'em. Well, they weren't great in an absolute sense. They were relatively great. Relative, that is, to the outfits I worked for before going there. Compared to those companies, Crete was a heaven-on-earth company.
  5. Lurchgs

    Lurchgs Road Train Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Denver, CO
    I'm not sure rail is capable of picking up the slack for trans-continental freight. The rail companies are running pretty close to full capacity now. If you try to add the millions of tons of freight currently hauled by truck, the system will collapse.

    Further, Rail is not.. timely. A truck can deliver a load from northern Main to southern California in a matter of a few days. Rail would take weeks, typically. Fresh produce and JIT would be a thing of the past.

    What might happen, though is more interoperability agreements between carriers. Carrier A takes the load from (say) San Diego to SLC. Carrier B gets the load to Omaha. Carrier C gets the load to Cincinatti. And so on. If done right, it would be moved at just about the same speed as a team haul. Of course, we know how likely that is, don't we? (Oh, for an example of this, take a look at how the mail is moved)

    Of course, too, it need not be a carrier-carrier exchange. Could just be a regional-regional exchange within the same carrier.

    Just some thoughts. I'll let y'all determine the worth.
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  6. Rascally Road Warrior

    Rascally Road Warrior Light Load Member

    Jul 23, 2005
    Titusville, FL
    I've been with Crete/Shaffer (Shaffer side) for more than 3 years now and I haven't heard this as of yet. That doesn't mean it's not true... I simply try not to talk shop whenever I go into a terminal mainly because most of the drivers there are complaining about all sorts of things as it is. Generally, I am not unhappy with the company but then again, I try not to engage in conversation with dispatch or my fleet manager as a rule unless I have no other choice in resolving an issue. This of course generates less friction between driver and management.

    However, I have noticed lately that my dispatched miles are running around the 500-600 miles at an average and that my weekly miles are getting seemingly less and less little by little to reflect what 'Sledge' is stating. As far as this Tonn Ostergard... I'll never to this day, understand how the heck people with such character as this guy gets to be at the level that they do practicing such disrespectful, uncivilized behavior (like father like son). The words stated in the above, "Drivers are a 'dime-a-dozen.' Just keep hiring new drivers." fits this guy's personality.
  7. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Also, they started hauling containers on trains double stacked. Many rail tunnels lack sufficient overhead clearance to accomodate this.

    Obviously, due to the nature of the freight, those loads still have to go by truck.

    In other words, a return to regulation. Is that what you are suggesting?

    Well, that's how LTL companys' linehaul operations are done, either with teams or relays.
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  8. pawpaw

    pawpaw Medium Load Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Milan, NM
    I just know what I am reading in trade publications. SNI, for example, just signed a major contract with BNSF for long haul freight. The freight is then run regionally by truck for delivery.

    Regarding timeliness, rail would not take weeks to get across country. Afterall, Amtrak can get from LA to Chicago in less than 2 days and they do not have priority. Trucks can be faster but the cost is the big issue. Cost per ton per mile to ship by rail is much less than it is by truck.
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  9. jdrentzjr

    jdrentzjr Road Train Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    All over the USA
    I'm an o/o at Ctrere for almost two years.

    Are they perfect? Not even. Show me who is.

    Are they the best? Depends on what a driver wants in an OTR company.

    Has the length of haul become shorter? It seems so. However, I think this is market driven. i.e. The shorter runs usually pays better, and with the volume of drop/hook you can still get miles. It's been a tough freight market the past 1.5+yrs, and Crete can't make shippers give them loads, or wont book none profitable ones. Therefore, we as drivers need to understand; we can't always get what we want.

    Can you prove Ostergard said what you claim? No. I was a company driver at Crete in the late '90's, and heard this claim then.

    Remember, disgruntled drivers pointing the finger have three more pointing back at them.

    Can some of the dispatchers be rude? Yes! (However, this is an exception.) Do not take it personally. I asure you it is not ment that way. I've observed a dispatcher at work, and it is a high pressure job that I do not want. This is still no reason to be rude, but when you see it from their side you can understand why some may come off that way. I've found,when I do need to speak with one on the phone, and they seem to be rude, if I stay calm and remember it is not personal, we have always been able to resolve the issue.

    I've had three minor discrepincies with payroll. A phone call solved each, and the personel have always been willing to help.

    Maybe Crete is not the company for your needs. Good luck in your endevor to find the right company.
  10. Big Duker

    Big Duker "Don Cheto"

    Sep 18, 2007
    Weatherford, TX
    Railroads are spending billions to gear up for cross country runs. There is already a weekly train from the W coast to NJ. They are guaranteeing 5 day max and are delivering on their promise. And this is all fresh produce and fruits. By 2010 UP RR will have double tracks from El Paso to LA. Don't kid your self that trains can;t and aren't busting their tails to get your freight. UP brought in some NASCAR pit stop experts to work with the people at their Bailey yard in Nebraska to help speed up service. Here in DFW area I have seen huge increase in TOFC in the last 6 months. Warren Buffet didn't acquire 20% of BNSF for nothing.
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