Line One
Truckers Speak Out

Been there, done that, quit that

by Bob Rutherford of Climax, NC

I just read "Hauling Produce" in Land Line. Good drivers aren't hard to find. There are plenty, but finding drivers that are willing to put up with all the bull that goes along with hauling produce is the problem. I hauled produce for over 20 years until last year. I've probably only had two claims in all that time, thanks to a good teacher, Ed Boatwright, at Fulmer Bros. in Fresno, CA. He taught me what to watch for and what to do in case I had any problems. I've delivered to nearly every produce and grocery warehouse you could think of. Go to any Food Lion or Harris Teeter, Bruno's, Publix, Kroger's, Chelsea Market, Hunts Point Market, SYSCO Foods (that's just a few, there's more) and they want to play mobile freezer storage or want you to sort pallets for them or will not let you use electric pallet jacks. Ever try to pull 2,500 to 3,000 lbs. on a wet or frozen floor on an incline? Or, what if your stuff is on four-way pallets, but they want it on smaller pallets? Guess what? You get the privilege of paying them for this or do it yourself after driving 3,000 miles.

Have you gone to a Food Lion warehouse and tried to get fair pallet exchange? They require you to bring it in on good pallets, but try to get good ones back. Guess what? You have to do the sorting. They tell you if you want good pallets back, sort them out yourself after you just got done sorting and separating their product for them for free. Yeah, right! Or, you don't want to pay their lumpers, which is a rip off. They finally let you back in a door at noon, then tell you if you aren't done at a certain time you get to come back the next day and go through the same crap again.

I guess you get my point. Been there, done that, quit that. Good drivers aren't hard to find. Let's tell it like it is.


by Alan Forsyth of Patchogue, NY

I just want to say something to these truckstop owners out there. First of all, they're talking about making the parking lots bigger for truck parking, which is great, but they want to charge us for parking again, around $300 a year. I would just like to say to all my brother and sister drivers out there, I hope all of you start to avoid these major truckstops. It's just a shame they forget so fast who built them up. All they are worried about are the tourists.

In most of the travel centers they have done away with the reserved for professional drivers areas. The Truckers' Store is now called The Travel Store, stocked with all kinds of gifts for the tourists out there. They give the motor homes fuel discount prices on diesel we don't get. They don't give a damn about you and me, all they care about is making a stop for a tourist a happy one. The professional driver is just a dollar sign in their eyes.