The scoop

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
Hi guys,

This morning I was doing some homework and I called Decker of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Crete and Werner.

Grocery Thrower told me to call Crete up and I trust Grocery Thrower and I called Crete and really Crete made a very good impression, the recruiter was nice, he said the school that I go to Crete recruits out of, he was honest and said sometimes some weeks at Crete are better then others, but over all they do a good job of keeping you moving. He said training at Crete was 8 weeks so almost two months long and they make you the student pretty much do everything which is how it should be. He said Crete has a diverse customer base and they have a lot of big name brand customers, which is what I figured, but I had to ask and make sure. 90% drop and hook at Crete also, so that is not all that bad.

Crete does not run trainer student teams when you are out of hours as the student your trainer is out of hours. However they do put the trainers in the bunk towards the end of training because they want you to get used to being in the truck by your self, which makes sense and I can respect.

I asked the man at Crete if the trainers they have are any good, how many times do we hear about student trainer horror stories, the man said at Crete the trainers all have 2+ years of experience with the company and most are ex military so they take pride in producing quality.

As far as Decker goes the man at Decker was also very nice, he said they do hire students but only out of certain schools and because Decker does not run a whole lot up here in Cleveland, my school was not on the list. I kind of figured that, but I had to call and ask any how, right? I mean it could not hurt. Decker is more of a place you go if you have OTR experience and want to be a career OTR driver.

Any how if I had to choose an OTR company to go with I would say that Crete would probably be worth a shot, they made a nice impression. The man at Crete said Crete is more of an OTR company you will be going all over the place. I did ask Crete how it worked between Shaffer and Crete, and if they mix the two up, he said once in a while you may get a Shaffer load, he said if you are on dry van they try to keep you on drive van, but now and then they may have to put one on the other to keep the freight moving for the customers. Really it doesn't matter Nestle has two big facilities in Cleveland the one is the Stouffers plant in Solon, Ohio and the other is the Nestle Minors plant I know for a fact Shaffer drops trailers at the Nestle Minors plant which is about 10 minutes down the road from my house so Crete & Shaffer both are good options, I think if I have to go that route I would choose Shaffer just because I know for a fact they have a customer in my area.

As far as Werner goes I just wanted to get the scoop on their refrigerated division and Werner doesn't do refrigerated in my area so, that's out.

Any how were not their yet I have decided the best course of action is go to school like I am currently going, keep applying at the food service companies Sysco Cleveland flat out says on their web site "when market forces dictate we reserve the right to hire out side of our "requirements" meaning if they need people bad enough they will take you.

Also like a couple of the other guys have said on the other threads, go and apply down at Estes, YRC, Old Dominion with a valid CDL and them being hard up enough for drivers, well you know begger's can't be choosers.

Any how I have sometime, and I'll get it figured out I know that as the weather warms up restaurants will get busier the food companies will need more help and by that time I'll have a valid CDL and they will definitely have to polish me up as far as driving skills go, but I'll be honest and they know this, the instructor at our school said same thing Double R said just because they say 1-2 years doesn't mean they won't take you. Apply any how tell them your new, be honest if your honest and tell them your new they will know how to handle you.

Any how thank you for your time, thank you for all the good advice and thank you for your commentary over the past few days it really means a lot to me. I am also sorry for monopolizing this food service forum, it's just I went to truck driving school with the goal of being a food service driver, because I felt that was the best for me and my personality. As you can probably tell by all my long typing I like people and I like to talk and I like talking to people who are interested in what I am interested in, of course that can probably be said about anyone.

Like I like Pizza and would eat it almost everyday if it was healthy to and that's another thing if you guys ever want to talk about pizza I'll be more then happy to ha-ha! :wavey::clapping:
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
When I worked at the pizza shop we had a fair amount of people order pineapple, actually we had enough people order pineapple that we had the pineapple bin as one of the compartments on our make table and we went through a fair amount of pineapple to boot at least 1 case of pineapple a week.
 

grocerythrower

I live Here
Mike, first thank you for your kind words, second, I am of the opinion you should stay out of freight, at the bottom, you will slow down and get your hours cut some throughout the year, food really never slows, OTR at Crete will have its ups and downs but I'm sure you will roll on most of the time. I'm just not a big fan of freight, I did it for 7 long, wasted years, I wish I had stayed in food actually.

Freight just isn't my thing and I don't recommend it, its either feast or famine and typically you will get treated better by mgmt in foodservice, my experience was not good in freight, in fact what brought me back to food was starvation, lack of work, whatever you want to call it.

The food forums are YOUR forums, you post as much as you like, I like having you here and everyone reads your posts, so thank you for posting here.

GT
 

grocerythrower

I live Here
When I worked at the pizza shop we had a fair amount of people order pineapple, actually we had enough people order pineapple that we had the pineapple bin as one of the compartments on our make table and we went through a fair amount of pineapple to boot at least 1 case of pineapple a week.

Fresh, frozen, or dry (canned)?
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
Fresh, frozen, or dry (canned)?

Ours were fresh from Dole they were in a can, but the can was full of pineapple juice, I think that would be fresh right, I know they were not frozen and they were any thing but dry ha-ha? Once we opened a can we put them in a plastic container and needed to keep them refrigerated they were the pineapple chunks.

I had to drain the pineapples all the time. When you cook pizza and you probably already know this, but when you cook pizza you have a couple different processes, you have your standard conveyor oven like a Middlebee Marshall Stack which has the conveyor and the pizza goes in frozen on one end and comes out the other cooked Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Dominos and all the other big chains for the most part use that kind of oven.

Then you have a Blodget deck oven which is like a big oven and the pizza just sits in their and cooks, your smaller mom and pop places will use those.
Then you also have your brick ovens where they make Neapolitan pizza which is really popular right now.

(Do you guys who work in food ever read the restaurant industry magazines? Like I read Pizza Today and Pizza Monthly and Quarterly they are free to subscribe to. I also get Limousine Charter and Tour that's the limousine and charter bus journal it is free to subscribe to as well. I haven't ever subscribed to Restaurant and Hospitality Weekly, but that's free too. Well over the summer in Pizza Today they have been talking about some really popular Neapolitan Pizzerias. I guess their is one in Atlanta that is very busy and the guy imports his cheese from Italy. )

Where I worked we had a Bowling Pizza Pro, which is a cool oven and you can do a lot with that oven and the busier old school mom and pops usually have a Bowling Pizza Pro. That oven is designed like a Blodget Deck Oven, and heats the same way it actually is supposed to simulate the cooking in like a convection stone oven, but the kicker with is it has a huge almost like ferris wheel and the ferris wheel has racks on it and it spins around slowly and you can put the pizza's or what ever you need to cook on the racks and it cooks everything right up nice and crisp. It's makes that really good greasy pizza that I like to eat :wavey: .

Where I worked we made "old world" pizza which is real stick to your ribs pizza, nothing we made was paper thin cracker stuff. The pizza shop I worked at was one of the busiest in the country independents and we were in Pizza Today's 2008 or 2009 I forget the year Top 100 Independents. Any how our pizza was always fresh , but what would happen getting back to the pineapples is, if you had to much water from the sauce and to much water from the pineapple on the pizza when it went to cook it would make the pizza soggy and to wet and that is not good, plus it would be harder to cook, because the crust would cook but the top wouldn't at times and now you have a pizza with a burnt crust and undercooked top, of which you cannot serve. At the same time like with a cheese pizza the top would cook quick, but the crust would still need time and their is nothing worse then serving undercooked pizza you never want to do that.
 

Moneyman01

Proud to be a dad!
GT I guess I'm the opposite. I did like food service but to me it's not a long term career. If you want to be in your 40s and barely able to move then go to food service. I'm glad I got out of it when I did. But again that's just me. My body feels better now that I don't. I do agree about freight. It can be hard at the bottom. But I think it depends on what freight company you drive for. And also being here in MN I wouldn't mind short days in the winter. Out of the cold and away from the idiots on the road. Someday I hope to either have a nice linehaul run or union car hauler.
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
Mike, first thank you for your kind words, second, I am of the opinion you should stay out of freight, at the bottom, you will slow down and get your hours cut some throughout the year, food really never slows, OTR at Crete will have its ups and downs but I'm sure you will roll on most of the time. I'm just not a big fan of freight, I did it for 7 long, wasted years, I wish I had stayed in food actually.

Freight just isn't my thing and I don't recommend it, its either feast or famine and typically you will get treated better by mgmt in foodservice, my experience was not good in freight, in fact what brought me back to food was starvation, lack of work, whatever you want to call it.

The food forums are YOUR forums, you post as much as you like, I like having you here and everyone reads your posts, so thank you for posting here.

GT

Thank you sir I appreciate that, glad to be aboard. LTL freight was never anything I really wanted to do to tell you honestly, I mean if I have to I have to, but how many times do we read on the LTL carriers forums about one week the terminal is hopping and the next week everyone is standing around at the terminal looking at each other going "What do we do next?"

Like YRC didn't they just have some vote to not give the company more concessions or something? I mean all I have heard for the past 6 years is how YRC is ready to fly the coop and it's not just them, I have heard some very bad things about FedEx too. As far as Estes goes and Old Dominion goes I have heard they are okay. As far as Vitran goes I know the people who worked at Vitran were trying to make the best of a bad situation, unfortunately Central Transport is a dangerous place and I wouldn't go anywhere near that company.

In Ohio especially Cleveland where I live we get the full buffet of Central Transport we get all of their operating companies up here, Central Transport, GLS Lease Co, Pro Logistics, Universal, Link and Mohecian I see all of them because they are big into auto parts hauling and Ford, Chrysler, GM and Honda all have big plants in the Cleveland area. In fact that's why Central bought Vitran from what I read, Vitran had a nice contract with GM and central wanted that contract and they simply could afford to just buy Vitran out flat out buy the company out to get the contract they wanted and that's exactly what they did.

I work part time at a small job shop and we are a place that an LTL company would service and sometimes we ship out things 2-3 times a week FedEx LTL and other times it may be 1-2 months before we ship something out FedEx LTL and we get all the sales reps from the LTL companies into our job shop from time to time, R&L, Dayton Freight not so much YRC and the owner of the job shop used to ship out a little with ABF, but over the years my boss has had some disagreements with ABF and it wasn't always pretty so we don't see the sales reps from ABF.

My job at the job shop was originally to work in the office doing inside sales work and what ever else their was, fill in here or there you know how it goes. Well I remember in 2008 when the economy came to a stand still the woman at FedEx Freight calling us up at our little job shop asking us if we had anything to ship. I politely told her "Not really, I mean you guys are, our shipper if we have something I will certainly let you know, but right now I have nothing."

The job shop has a product line and we make office furniture replacement parts, well guess how many people were refurbishing offices, starting new companies, expanding companies or buying refurbished/used office furniture in 2008? That's right not to many actually almost nobody in fact we almost went out of business that year came very very close. Were doing better now and have crawled out of the toilet a lot since then, but you are 100% correct LTL companies service small little niche industries that service other small little niche industries and all those small little niche industries have a great potential for slow down.

Food to me is 300x's better, the old folks home is always going to need food, it does not change everyday the people at the old folks home need to eat, everyday the school cafeteria is going to need food it does not change everyday there will be kids and adults at the school cafeteria buying food at lunch time or breakfast in some cases it does not change it never goes away the school is always going to need food. The hotel is always going to need food and other supplies it does not change the hotel always will need something, weather it be packets of coffee or Styrofoam cups the hotel will always need something.

The local restaurant some will stay some will go and some do very well, they will be buying lots of food. I mean some days at the place I worked at we ordered heavier then others, but we never missed a day never did we ever forget to place an order Sysco 4 days a week was always bringing us something.

The local country club A LoPresti and Son who went out of business they were a big time produce supplier in Cleveland for oh god almost a 100 years. The depression of 2008 ran them under and that's sad because a company like them should have never gone under, but 6 days a week A LoPresti & Son was at the country club my mom used to work at (I worked there in the summer for a short time as well) delivering produce first thing in the morning A LoPresit was there 6 days a week and the minute they pulled out Sysco pulled in and the minute Sysco pulled out Northern Hasserot pulled in and the minute Northern Hasserot pulled out Gordon Food Service pulled in. Really it was like that you would have GFS, Sysco, NHB, Budweiser, Coke and Pepsi delivering all at the same time. The only one the country club did not have was US Food Service this was going back to the early 2000's and US Foods was US Food Service back in those days. However I mean it was like a parade at that country club everyday A LoPresit (gone now), Sysco, GFS, NHB, Coke, Pepsi, State Fish (gone now), Budweiser, Miller.

Beer and pop was never anything I wanted to do either for what ever reason never wanted to do beer and pop, however I would figure Coke and Pepsi are probably pretty steady, however I know that Beer believe it or not from what the bar owners tell me can be feast or famine at times, it always seems like they do good, but I have heard house of LaRose in Cleveland which is the Budweiser distributor, around August and September can tend to get a little slow.

Your right though through besides 2008 food was always constant. The people at Sysco in Cleveland always had someplace they had to go. Heck the restaurant I worked at dropped Sysco around 2010 it was all political and they went with another company and the other company they went to those guys were very busy they were never slow, I mean they would leave the terminal in the morning empty a box truck out and they were not small box trucks either 26 foot box trucks empty one of those out run back to the terminal and grab another 26 foot box truck to take out and that happened a lot. They said around the time school was ready to go back into session the Cleveland Municipal School District central kitchen was a mad house, Sysco, Hillcrest (fairly big local food service distributor from Cleveland, Ohio) GFS, NHB, US Foods and anyone else you can think of, they were all delivering to the school. The driver we would get regularly he would tell me "Yeah busy week this week the public schools are back in session and they got the warehouse and the transportation department going at full tilt."

There was never a slow down ever at any of those place some days may have been heavier then others, but they always had somewhere to go and someplace to be.
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
GT I guess I'm the opposite. I did like food service but to me it's not a long term career. If you want to be in your 40s and barely able to move then go to food service. I'm glad I got out of it when I did. But again that's just me. My body feels better now that I don't. I do agree about freight. It can be hard at the bottom. But I think it depends on what freight company you drive for. And also being here in MN I wouldn't mind short days in the winter. Out of the cold and away from the idiots on the road. Someday I hope to either have a nice linehaul run or union car hauler.

My dad was a line haul driver for Roadway Package Service now FedEx Ground he said that was the best trucking job he ever had.
 
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