Discussion in 'Roadway Express' started by Jeff, Jan 6, 2011.
Roadway Express Aquisition Letter - Truckingboards Truck Driver Forums
The beginning of the end of the trucking industry as a place to make a decent living. Rot in hell William Zollars.
I spent 28 good years at the Big "R" out of Indy. When I first heard about the aquisition I thought somebody had it backwards. Yellow buying Roadway? No way.
I retired Sept. 2004. Times were still good. I hate it for the Roadway and Yellow employees because this has become a cluster....well, you know. Too bad it cost so many their jobs. I hate that for my teamster brothers from both companys.
Hopefully this YRC thing will work out. But I don't see how.
Think you're right BF. Huge debt, equipment getting older by the day, they've sold off just about anything of value. Even if they ever do get to profitability, FedEx and UPSFreight can turn up the screws on them anytime they want by taking losses on freight subsidized by profits on package. Who knows now, it might have worked out a little better if Yellow had bought just Roadway, although I have my doubts, but buying Holland especiallly for more money than they paid for Roadway, New Penn, Reimer combined, was the fatal blunder. Not that Holland is a bad company, just that the price tag was too high and Yellow had already assumed way too much debt. I had 35yrs. at Roadway, linehaul driver, retired in 2010. I really never knew how good Roadway was until Yellow came along.
I just joined and was reading some post when I read this. I was forced into retirement due to health issues that would not allow me to pass the DOT physical's in Feb. 2002. When I saw that Yellow was buying out Roadway, the first thing that came to my mind was Yellow was going to do the same thing to Roadway as they did to the 151 Line. That was Yellow would take whatever money they could get their hands on then take the company down. And that's just what they did. SHAME on Yellow CEO's etc! Shame!!! It's too bad the Big R employee's couldn't have bought Roadway and owned it instead. Roadway would still be as great as it was or at least would have been able to stand up against Yellow still. I always thought there was a boogie in the woodpile over the sale of Roadway to Yellow. Yeah, I know no one wanted USP or Fed-Ex or one of the other parcel companies to get ahold of Roadway. It's too bad it came down to Yellow getting their hands on Roadway. I never believed the two together would be greater.
I started at Roadway June 1, 1979 and never thought I'd see Roadway go down like this.
Hey Shadow. You worked out of 251? It's been a while, was that Akron or Toledo? I worked at 120, the "ski lodge". Were you linehaul? Did you run into 120?
Yep! I ran out of Toledo and ran to 120 quite a bit. Last several years I ran to Harrisburg on bid. I was on the extra board June 1, 1979 until about 1987, then ran Michigan bid for about 3 or 4 years, then ran Harrisburg. I didn't have enough stripe's to run Stroudsburg on bid at that time, although I would have liked to go now and then.
I used Google Earth to see the 120 terminal recently. Sad to see it empty. It was a booming terminal for a long long time.
Where did you go to in the several change of operations?
I started there in the mid 70's, you're right, it was a very busy place. There were times when they ran out of space in the yard to park the trailers. Two docks, one for inbound, one for outbound, going 24hrs. a day 7 days a week. Do you remember Charlie S., used to Armorall the floor mats and then spread newspaper over it. I'm retired now. We didn't think much of it back then, but we were lucky to be in the industry at that time, I wouldn't want anything to do with it today.
I remember some the times when units were double and triple parked!!! Kind of felt small when walking through all of them parked to get to the office.
I don't remember ever seeing any floors Armoralled though. Must not have gotten that lucky to get a really clean truck. I used to spend about 10 minutes spraying everything a driver would touch and cleaning the cab. Swept them out, tossed garbage with fried chicken bones, news papers, coffee cups etc out and cleaned the windows and seat before I hooked up my radio and got out of the yard. Figured if I was going to be spending 10 hours or so in the cab, it was going to be halfway decent to be in. Some of them stunk so bad I even used lemon furniture wax to get rid of the smell. Got tired of smelling like the stink.
One of the mechanic's or supervisor's in Toledo told me about a unit that came in from Tenn. where the driver took a poop in the chain box (remember those ammunition type and sized box's for the chains inside?) The mechanic found the stink and the garage foreman made sure that driver took it back to his terminal. Hard to believe that guys who got paid such high wages would do things like that and the damages they did to the inside of the truck's.
I guess with the body beating junk like those cabovers and what we called "over bite" tractor's that beat ya half to death and of course the old RB1's with Hendrickson suspension. I had to stand up as I drove across most of I-80 between Toledo and Stroudsburg. Then PA finally fixed it really well with thicker than normal concrete out toward the east. I thought the construction would never get finished out that way. But it was worth it. And they finally fixed the highway for the rest of the state over a few years time. By then we didn't have the RB2's and COE's though.
Yep! Those where the days though. Had a lot of fun when we ran out in groups of 10 or 15 at a time going to 120. And I used to play jokes on the smokey's across I-80 from Ohio turnpike to Stroudsburg.
Shake and Bakes, Whisper Jets, we took a beating. Before those they had the old 72-73 longnose White Road Bosses with the rubber block suspensions. They might as well have bolted the axle right to the frame. But I must say, other than the suspension they were a good truck. Ran about 72mph and pulled halfway decent for a freight truck at the time. You're right we had a lot of fun, did a lot of drinking and womanizing. It was a different era. It's all business now.
Oh, I forgot the square nosed one's were called Shake-n-Bakes LOL And I was there when the long nosed ones were there. I remember taking one to Rock Island. I thought something was wrong with the seat and was told it was bolted to the floor! I know it wouldn't go up and at 5ft 5in I was kind of short to see past the hood real well LOL I didn't do any womanizing or manizing for that matter (I'm female) I always went to my room after getting something to eat if I was hungry. Didn't hang out in the bars either...well the first time I went to 120 I agreed to go for "just one drink" because I didn't drink alcohol much. Those idiots got me falling down drunk because they were stealing my straw's away so I lost track and when my glass was half empty they'd order another...forget what it was, but it was liquor and soda. I practically crawled on my hands and knees up the steps at the Holiday Inn and swore I would never allow anyone to do that again, and never did. Boy did we all pay for it too! Middle of the summer, no AC in the trucks, I was so sick I made sure I never drank with the guys again!!! They all thought it was funny, maybe it was, I don't know. But about an hour after I got to my room I got my work call so you know I was sick!!!
But the funniest thing I can think of that happened while we stayed at the Holiday Inn was the time I went in with 3 guys to get a room. The clerk knew I'd had trouble with strangers calling me from the bar so I stopped putting my room number down until I left. The clerk would pass me a key at the end of the counter so no one knew what room I was in. Two guys were from Columbus and the 3rd guy was from somewhere else. So the clerk put down 3 keys, the two from Columbus grabbed their's and assumed the last key was mine. When I got my work call on rest, I was going to check out when the 3rd man saw me. He told me I needed to know what happened because someone would surely start a rumor I had a man in my room. He said he took the 3rd key and had seen I had a key passed to me but my room wasn't on the sign in sheet. When he went to his room, he had just laid down when a knock came on the door. He said he looked out the peephole and saw the two Columbus guys standing there. So he yelled in a deep voice, "What do you want!?" He said the two guys nearly fell over the belcony and then ran. ROFL!!!
Those boys from Ohio were some hard drinkers back then. Before the Holiday Inn they stayed at the Pocono 500 down 715 from the terminal. Roadway was their only customer. They had a restaurant and bar on premises and kept the bar open all night for the drivers. Many a work call was taken at the bar. I don't ever recall hearing of any of them having a wreck. Go figure. Must have been the diet pills.
I came to work at Roadway the week after they moved to the Holiday Inn. I heard the war stories of the Pocono 500! Some one put a goat in the room of another after drinking all night LOL And that the snow came in around the doors. Some said they had to sleep in their clothes because it was so cold. And one told me the bugs would come and get in bed with you to get warm. That had to be a really tough place to stay in! It was a half hour ride over to the Holiday Inn. Oh and at the Holiday Inn I was told that some rooms could be looked into from the adjacent room. I thought that was just truck driver tales but it was true! I was in a room not far from the office. I'd been trying to fall asleep and was just laying there staring at a light shining above the mirror and thought it was coming in from the louvers over the door. I thought about the story of looking into the next room so I stood on the counter under the mirror and looked. Sure enough!!! I could see inside the room, the light was on. I saw a log book on the corner of the bed and a radio box on the floor!!! After that I went to the bathroom to change into my PJ's to sleep. I wonder how many other rooms were like that.
Yeah, could have been the pills that kept everyone trucking if they were in the bar all during their rest LOL
When did 120 close down. Do you know? Had to be after 2002. Did business drop off that much that they had to close it or was it because Yellow moved it to one of their barn's?
I'm not sure what year it was, around the time they jammed the 2 companies together and went with Carlisle Pa. (Roadway) and Maybrook NY (Yellow) to handle that freight. Which Holiday Inn did you stay in, the one down on Business 209 that had the Perkins Restaurant across the street?
Well they sure killed 120 with that move. I always thought Carlisle was busy enough without putting 120 with them (135). It would never have worked for Toledo to run to or from Maybrook, NY because Big R wouldn't turn the trucks up to run 70.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn at exit 50 or 52 if I remember right. I don't remember a Perkins but there was a small dinner across from them. I remember going over there to eat a few times. But the Holiday Inn had breakfast for the truck drivers and then I think they had limited hours for breakfast, maybe for lunch but were open for supper.
The Holiday Inn was on what everyone called The Ho Chi Minh Trail. Does that help? I only made one trip on the Trail, had to have some kind of pass for a truck to go up it.
Ah, yes, the Ho Chi Minh. Everybody used it before they finished the stretch of 84 from Port Jervis to Scranton. If you were headed to New England you either used the trail or payed the tolls for 95. On Sunday afternoons and evenings it would be a continuous line of trucks north bound from one end to the other. After they opened 84 they made it a park and banned trucks other than those that had operations in the area and would have to go out of the way, that's why you had to have a pass. I forgot about the Holiday over there on the 209 bypass. Do you remember the guy out of Toledo, I can picture him but can't remember his name, he used to buy a couple of sodas out of the machine and stick them in a sock and tie them to the mirror bracket to keep them cool?
I know one guy that did that now and then. But there was another one who did it all the time. Can you discribe the one you are thinking of?
Oh, he had dark hair kind of slicked straight back. Average height 5'10"- 5'11, weighed maybe 200. He was a talker, you always knew when he was in the driver's room. Ran the 120 bid for many years. Then there was "Ralph", CB handle, surely you remember him.
HMMM...I can't really remember anyone who did that and ran to 120. I do remember Circuit Judge who used to take the vents off the stand up AC unit's bolted to the back wall and floor. He would put a couple can's of soda in where the vents had been.
And then there was Holy Roller who used to run with Henrietta the rubber chicken. He'd roll his window up on her neck and sometimes put doll clothes on her. I saw him leaving 251 one winter day and told him his chicken was going to get cold hanging out there. He told me she had on her ermine nighty ROFL! And I made the mistake of ordering the chicken dinner in a restaurant when I was running with him. He called me a chicken cannibal. I could barely eat my supper after that because he kept giving me bad looks. I once saw an ad for kroger's with a pair of chicken legs with thigh's attached and they had placed a large piece of parsley strategically place between the thigh's. It was pretty suggestive LOL I had been reading a book about the use of psychology in advertising. When I saw that ad I cut it out and gave it to Holy Roller. He looked at it and started laughing that it looked like Henrietta in her prime! He told me his wife hated the rubber chicken though and she disappeared after he retired.
And yes, everyone knew about Ralph. He's teaching people how to drive 18-wheelers at Owens College in Toledo and is sometimes heard on I-275 just south of the Detroit, Mi area.
Did Big Red ever go back to work at 120 after she got hurt?