Sunday, January 31, 2010

Trucking ... The Nature Of The Industry - PART 1

This blog probably won't make me any friends because what I am about to tell you goes on behind the scenes of our every day lives and most of us have no clue.
I stopped driving truck full time when I finally had a reality check in Texas. I was at a huge Grocery Store Distribution Centre. I want to Say BROOKSHIRE Distribution.
I had driven all weekend from Friday on to get there for Monday Morning. I got there, but so did nearly up to 100 other trucks and drivers. It's not uncommon to wait, infact, you can wait all day at a distribution centre and not even get paid a dime for that.
I got myself into the waiting room where nearly 50 drivers sat. I stood as there was no place to sit. I scanned the room. Stinky, old, young, grubby, fat, skinny, sad, sleepy, and miserable looking drivers. I looked around the room and there I am. Freshly shaved, smelling good, fit, and ready to start another beautiful Monday.
I thought to myself as I scanned the room over and over... if I stay as a driver... will I end up this way... Tired, Fat, Miserable and so forth... I felt I was looking at my own future.
BROOKSHIRES is NOT a DRIVER FORCED UNLOAD FACILITY: Most distribution centres... its the drivers responsibility to restack skids to match the shelving of the distribution centre. It's called LUMPING... Lumpers are available at most of them where you pay for a team of people to offload your truck and restack it. If they don't have it... there you are doing it yourself.
So here I am... restacking boxes into small piles. They wanted it stacked in a configuration. At the end, they come check your work and ensure you did it right before releasing you.
It's the equivalent of you ordering someone to bring you some groceries to your door... but then you invite them in and have them put it away. Even though you ordered it, you are the user from that moment it arrives, it's the drivers responsibility to ensure it's piled in a way that is accommodating them.
Where is the logic... where is the fairness. I have just driven nearly 3,000 KM to get them their product and now it's my job to restack it so they can put it away in their warehouse? This is very very common in the industry and is expected. Most drivers bitch about it... but the customer trumps everything and we have to do what is required.
I thought to myself... whatever!
More to come!

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