Discussion in 'Benton Express' started by aboveall, Jun 12, 2008.
I still see Benton daily around Atlanta, GA.
Benton still in WPB FL, area.
Out of business?
Not hardly. I still see Benton running around here in NC and SC. I worked for Benton many years ago in FL (nearly 4 years). My 1st LTL job although I had been driving for about 15 years at that point. The only place I've ever worked where employees carried side arms to protect themselves from each other, criminals and the public!
I have a family member who is about to pass away who worked for Fredrickson before moving over to Benton. He was in a private motor vehicle accident and took several months to recover enough to come back to work on a 'light duty' status.
He was fired for some reason although I don't know the details. He was nearly a 40 year driver having worked for a number of companies here in the Carolinas before his career came to an abrupt end.
I've been driving for the better part of 35 years now and Benton was probably the most 'interesting'.
By 'interesting', I take it you mean Benton and Ross Neely have the same 'variety' of equipment?
LOL!!! I've forgotten all about Ross Neeley! Can't think of the last time I saw one of their trucks. Benton used to never buy new trucks; I delivered a new Sterling to them a few years back in Orlando - actually it was to a leasing company but destined for Benton. I'm a new truck transporter/tech now - things are slow at the moment(!!!).
Benton had quite a collection of classics when I first started - stuff I'd never seen or driven before or since. They were getting some better trucks when I left.
By 'interesting', I mean the in house 'employee relations team' (thug squad) that answered directly to and were reportedly hired by the Corderos after the failed attempt to bring Teamster representation into the Atlanta terminal in the mid '80s. None of the people in question had any kind of trucking or mechanical background experience - on the job training all the way! I've never seen intimidation tactics of that magnitude before or since.
The motor vehicle accidents, customer complaints, mechanical 'malfunctions' perpetrated by this choice group were legendary. One individual in particular was a dope dealer who handled his 'goods' in the open, even to the point of servicing people driving into the terminal parking lot! The original terminal manager wouldn't put up with this stuff and he wouldn't allow them in the terminal - a major reason he was fired most likely.
As soon as the new 'management' was brought in the local operation turned into a 'ghetto' nearly overnight. I'm surprised they're still in business. My relative who works in the corporate office of a major LTL carrier says Benton is one of the major jokes of the industry - I have to agree.
I used to drive for Sidney Alterman, Alterman Transport, and I would load chocolate over on Mt. Zion Road, fingerprinted the entire load. We got a lot of hours on this, and during the summer with the TK running it wasn't a bad gig, and Sidney was always good to his people, everybody knew that. Sometimes, we would also get a little 'grease' ourselves, from the TM, if you know what I mean.
And at the Alterman Terminal, you would always find a table of "Tonk", somewhere.
Ross Neely would load beside me, sometimes the same guy, with one of the two Reefers he had.
Benton would come in, never with a Reefer, load palletized candy, and the Driver didn't have a thought about opening a case and eating some, putting some in his pocket. 'Checker' never saw it.
Just 'splained a bunch to me. Didn't know about "Muscles McGirk's" running around.
I never knew Benton to have any reefer unit the time I was there. Speaking of warehouses; Bruno's(?) in Birmingham, AL was the worst. Drivers were breaking into pallets all of the time to eat as they would keep you there all day, not allow you to use their breakroom or go back into your tractor. Saw more fisticuffs at Bruno's than on the Sports Channel.
One other little story about Benton and I'll let this one rest, but this wasn't the only time and not the only Carrier I've seen this happen with.
Bi-Lo Warehousein Greenville, I was Driving for Aunt Fanny, Grant Park, waiting for a dock.
Benton pulls out, hooks the hood of a conventional, and drags it across the parking lot.
Guard wouldn't let him out, and the driver of the conventional cold cocks the Benton driver, right there.
Other Guard backs the conventional jockey away, and I had to wait until they got a wrecker to clean the place up. No cops ever came, don't know what happened to the Benton driver.
Benton = Swift?
LOL!!! The Swift 'mishaps' are legendary. When the CDL program came into being around 1990, a non-cdl chauffeur's license driver (Muscle McGirk!) was told to take the tractor I used for line haul at night and peddle freight with it using a 48' swing door. Guess he couldn't admit he had never driven a tractor-trailer combo before.
The guy had been driving straight trucks only when Benton decreed they would begin phasing them out (don't think it ever happened?). He promptly pulled the trailer over the hood of a car at his first left turn intersection and kept going! I don't recall all of the details but he sideswiped some object on the right side before he stopped (or was stopped).
He was arrested on the spot - Benton bailed him out and he was at work the next day! I was stuck with an old R Model Mack 5 speed w/airstart for a week until my regular tractor was repaired. Leaky air tank, rusted floorboards and winter time to boot (N. Florida winter) - the R model was a hoot.
I don't know what it was with Benton, I really don't. Their Customers wouldn't go to anybody else no matter what.
The drivers couldn't back for Christmas, and,
they did stuff that would put you or me in jail and got away with it.
But Retired, 62, all I can do is sit here and paint pictures with words, but when it comes to Benton, MGM and all, I just can't figure that one.
All Sidney Alterman had was Rrrs, Matey. But Jack was a whiz and he kept those bad boys, Triplex Monsters and all, purring like kittens.
You know I loved 'em.
I can't believe I forgot to mention the 'arrested Benton driver' had an expired license, this on top of the 'hit and run' charges. Benton loved this guy too and there were several more just like him on Benton's 'super trucker' list. Every single one was used as an in house 'enforcer' for intimidating 'trouble makers' (union sympathizers, etc.).
Benny Is a big problem there. I am amazed he has remained healthy there. When I worked there a shotgun was standard under your bunk for all the nice Urban areas they put there terminals. Herb was a fair man.
The Corderos (Manuel and his son Benny) called the shots as they 'bought' Benton back in the early '80s. Herb was just a pathetic 'bootlicker'. Working for Benton was quite an experience.
I heard they closed Columbia South Carolina, any truth to that?
I heard the company is out of business