OTR wanting to get into FoodService

Discussion in 'General Food Service Discussion' started by Deonte94, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    hey guys ! I'm new to the forum. My name is Deonte and I'm out of Atlanta! Currently I work for swift and I have 9 months of clean experience. My 1 year contract will be up with swift in August , which is when I plan to apply to a food service job. (Giving me one year of clean experience)My record is spotless.

    Do I have a good shot at getting one of these jobs with one year experience?

    Im aware that good service is an active and hardworking job. However I'm in pretty good shape . Im 6'2 and 205 lbs muscular and lean and I always stay physically active (yeah I'm that weirdo truck driver you see in the middle of a Walmart or truck stop parking lot working out! )

    I'm no stranger to the hard work because I've done farm work and worked at multiple warehouses before ,also some restaurants where I helped the food service guy!

    Here in Atlanta there are plenty of food service carriers here . However I have my eye on PFG, Sysco,GFS and U.S Foods. ( I invite you to name more good companies that are worth considering that I may have missed in my research)

    How and when should I apply to these companies ? Because I really want to get off the road in August , so I was thinking I should maybe apply in June or July so my application has time to be processed so I'm not stuck at this job I hate for any longer than I have to be past August .

    With these food service carriers I expect to be working 4-5 days a week but still gross $1000+ A week. Are my expectations realistic for a driver with one year of experience coming in?

    Also what advice would you have for a noob? Thank you guys !
     
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  2. Lazlo

    Lazlo Active Member

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    Sysco KC is hiring people with permits/no experience at all. If Atlanta's anything like it is up here you'll be hired no problem. If you're 6'2"/205 of muscle they may poop their pants when you walk in because most people take a while to get into shape to do the job. Aug we tend to get busy, at least up here, when the schools start ordering so you have that in your favor too.
    Here at least you'll make anywhere from $65-$80k/yr(on the high end) depending on the routes you run. Each house pays differently, honestly I don't know for sure about Atlanta but if I had to guess I'd bet they make more than we do in KC (bigger city/higher cost of living I'm sure). Here most of us work 5 days, quite a few houses run 4/week.
     
  3. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    Wow here I am thinking I'll just barely have the minimum! Thanks for the input ! How long did you take to get hired from the time you put in your application? Like from the time you hit submit to the time they called you and you started your first day ? Thanks man
     
  4. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    I'm shocked to here you say they are hiring guys with no exp for 2 reasons . 1. Their application and job description says 1 year required and 2. Theyd really trust some with ZERO tractor trailer experience in tight spots like restaurant parking lots and high traffic and congestion areas!?
     
  5. Lazlo

    Lazlo Active Member

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    I'd apply in July. About 4yrs back they got the bright idea to centralize all the new hire processing and do all of the background checks/etc in Houston (you won't have to go, they just process everything there now). They go at their own pace so definitely apply early.
    Might even apply earlier than that. As a rule most houses have a hard time attracting/keeping applicants because no one wants to do the work. Just be upfront about your availability to start, they won't let you get away over a couple weeks. Heck up here we have a sign on bonus, if they're running one in ATL and you get hired might be enough to cover what you owe to get out of Swift commitment early.
    You'll make good money here. Some houses run layover routes (we only have like 4 or 5 total up here) but you'll be home every night. Course some nights it might only be 10hrs off...but you'll be home.
    I don't know about GFS down there but I'd encourage you to check them out. They seem to be a more employee focused company and their drivers seem to be a happier group overall.
     
  6. DonRobbie

    DonRobbie Active Member

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    It's hard to get guys who are able and willing to do groceries. Most of the no experience guys we have are guys coming from the warehouse, so we have some idea of the work ethic, etc. (and if they're hopeless as drivers they can just be sent back to the warehouse). Even with that I don't think hiring trainees has been a roaring success. Your luck in getting a foot in the door with little/no experience will probably depend on how desperate that house is and if they've been burned recently by a bad hire.
     
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  7. Lazlo

    Lazlo Active Member

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    When I started they required 2yrs experience, here at least. Now up here they'll train if you have a permit. Just can't get anyone in the door.
    Definitely wouldn't call that a success either. They're constantly training/retraining. I can't even name how many have been hired in the last year, but only know of two who have made it a full year. But keeping the cases flowing is a "success" to the guys upstairs. If the truck's driven by guy who they're renting for 4months before quitting he's never vested in 401k and doesn't earn any vacation so it probably saves them $$$.
    Believe it or not most of our accidents aren't new drivers here. They're more careful not to screw up/get fired during probation period. It seems to be guys who've been here delivering to the same place for years that take things for granted and hit stuff
     
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  8. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    GFS just opened Duglassville, GA not that long ago I'm sure you could get on there. GFS does not train people to get there CDL, but they do hire people fresh out of school so previous experience is not necessary. If you go to GFS make sure you have doubles/triples. Merchants food service is another one I would look at there down in Atlanta they have shuttle and regular delivery route positions open they would certainly be a choice for me if I was down there.
     
  9. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    Oh ok I don't have doubles on my license but I surely can get it id really appreciate it if you could get me on! What's life like at Gordon? Days a week? They advertise a 1100 a week minimum
     
  10. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    Seems like the competition and wait may not be as long as I thought it would be for one of these jobs . From what you guys tell me id predict that the guys who come in and quit are the ones who were either 1 out of shape and didn't wait it out or 2 wasn't raised with a good work ethic , therefore they weren't used to a good hard days work ! I'm waiting till I get my 1 year experience at the same company (which will be in August) to apply so that way I come off as stable work history , and I'd be decently competitive if they're signing guys with just permits !
     
  11. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    Usually for me 10-11 hour days 5 days a week Monday-Friday with weekends off. We do work Holidays but the loads are usually lighter sometimes your doubled up. (Usually I'm not doubled up on the Holidays, but my loads have never been all that bad and by noon I'm back at the yard plus your paid regular day pay + Holiday so I don't mind working Holiday's because it's not to hard and the money is pretty good I'm always looking to make extra money at work.)

    The loads for us weigh usually between 13,000-20,000lbs. The 20,000 are the high side usually loads are between 400-900 cases usually though 900 cases are the high end once in a while you'll get an 1000 case load, but it's not every day.

    Gordon's does a lot of doubles so you'll want that endorsement.
    I don't have to much or any push pull at all in the South East Region there, but if you go to apply to GFS you apply on there website I'll give you my employee number and you can say you were referred by another GFS employee.

    I'm in the great white north far away from Atlanta ha-ha all the way out up in the great lakes I'm actually in the Pittsburgh West Division I'm at a division yard in Cleveland. We have small drop yards with 3-6 trucks and then we have bigger drop yards 12-16 trucks those are main branch yards that have office staff and sales people and they control the smaller yards.
     
  12. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    So from what your telling me doubles is a requirement? That sounds like a pretty good day and route . Are the routes out of town like PFG routes are or are you home every night ?

    And black and yellow !! I see you steel city !
     
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  13. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    Doubles are not a requirement, by no means, but if you have that endorsement you will be able to grab extra runs over the holidays that pay buko bucks. If your on delivery you will only be doing single trailer trust me we have guys that don't have any endorsements, but there are other opportunities to come up like run transit over the holidays and while they will let you pull a single if you can do doubles it's better, because maybe one day you'll want off of delivery and on to volume truck or transit and if you have doubles you can get onto transit. It's just good to have not a requirement by any means, but it's good to have. I've do normal single trailer delivery, but I also have pulled doubles from our drop yard to the warehouse and then grabbed a volume trailer and did a 3 stop market place store route. The only thing I've never done at GFS is chain routes that's a different division from broad line those are the guys that pull 50' trailers, well the volume guys pull 50' as well. In fact my avatar picture is my truck hooked up to a 50' on Christmas day getting ready to do a volume run.
     
  14. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    Single 28ft broad line does not go out of town. Chain Alliance does go out of town. GFS is a little different then PFG and US foods. Broad line doesn't really go out of town not really each yard operates in it's own territory and that's kind of that. Chain Alliance Division does however like I said go out of town. I'll tell you this broad line does better money wise then chain does. Atlanta is a newer market for GFS so the pays going to be different then an old established market like Cleveland where I am from.
     
  15. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    Ah ok. I see your point and doubles may be well worth my while . I would think that food service would be off on a day like Christmas lol down in Atlanta they are advertising a $1100 a week salary . No incentives mentioned on the job posting . However I just went back and read it and it was in fact for chain division . It says home 2/3 times a week . Which makes me think you're home on at least 1 weekday and you work 1 weekend day instead of being off fri-sun or just sat-sun , which Is more of what I'm looking for
     
  16. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    Infact that's the main reason I'm coming off the road . To have a little fun on the weekends. lol I'm 21 , turning 22 in July and I've spent the last year on the road cooped up in a truck isolated from my friends and family. No way for a young man to live his life . My 2 most important qualities in the next job I'll take is no slow season (or a salary min if it is slow ) and off on weekends!
     
  17. Deonte94

    Deonte94 Member

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    But if it just the 1100 a week salary pay with no incentives then the work must be a little easier or there has to be something to it . To be honest if I'm gonna bust my ass id rather be on broadline with incentives haha
     
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  18. Zwilley88

    Zwilley88 Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure gfs chain guys only work 4 days 2, 2 day runs pretty nice and far as weekend at least in the market I live in the guys are off with the exception of returning on a Saturday morning or leaving late Sunday night. Guess it depends on your route.
     
  19. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    Z's right the Chains work 4 days a week, however the Chains do not make case pay and it's about the same as broad line, there is no pallet jacks or lift gates it's all dolly and ramp. Although I don't know if they throw market place stores on the chain guys or not. At any rate, you'll still be eligible for safety bonus and fuel bonus and all that other stuff.
     
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  20. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

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    If you want your weekends off go ltl. Sysco you'll be working Saturdays and every holiday except thanksgiving and Christmas. All food companies you'll only have thanksgiving and Christmas off. That's all I get at the milk company. Plus it's gonna take me 15 years to get off Saturdays. Also ask about vacation time. I won't be able to take vacation in the summer for about 20 years and that really bugs me.
     
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