I have worked for Celadon Trucking for almost a year. This experience, to say the least, has been a consistent exercise in frustration and disappointment. This company gives the impression that the driver is it's most important asset. This impression ends on the last day of orientation, usually the during the last presentation; our's started 45 minutes late, was rushed through. We were then told we were going over to truck assignments to be issued our trucks. Drivers were not allowed to get their coats or jackets from their rooms, because the presenter was in a hurry. The temperature was well below freezing and the assignment office is over 100yds from the main building; the walk is completely exposed to the elements. Needless to say, within 10 minutes of getting to the assignment office, our presenter told us to find our trucks on an outside lot with over 50 trucks in it, after they had been assigned, then bid us farewell. Although the trucks are newer, if not brand new equipment, they had been sitting for a considerable spell, vandalized and not well maintained for their short lifespan; broken windshields, mirrors, grease on upholstery, stained cloth seats, broken sun visors, etc. We were required to do a complete inspection on these filthy trucks, w/out proper attire in freezing cold temperatures, some of the trucks wouldn't even start because of poor battery maintainence; no heat source for those of us w/out coats. The trucks were dirty, which hides damage, the light was low due to the lateness of the hour and the fact that none of us were allowed to get proper lighting to assist us in our job. Without proper lighting, without proper protective clothing and a complete lack of guidance from a management staff, who had already left for the day (a Friday), we were not going to experience much success in our inspections. Every truck gets a pre-pass, some didn't have it pre installed, some trucks also get EZ-pass, the person who could issues these passes left at 1700 w/everyone else...... stuck til Monday w/out pay!
During orientation, teams are told they have an excellent opportunity to make bonus. My co-driver and I didn't make a bonus for 4 months, we only made it because of a less than plesant phone conversation I had w/our driver manager. We only made bonus for that month. We typically stayed out for 2-3 weeks at a time. The lack of income and broken promises caused my co driver to quit, costing me a minimum of 10k for the year.
I have been waiting for three weeks for layover pay which was promised to me by the operations manager a month ago. I've spoken to him about it twice, he has promised twice, still no compensation; he is typical of how Celadon works.
Here's the bottom line. Celadon is not a good company to work for and heres why:
1. Solo drivers starting wage is well below the industry average.
2. There are no pay raises.
3. You will sit, w/out compensation, for days on end, regardless of how positive and polite you behave towards management.
4. The company pays nothing towards your health insurance, my current premium on a family plan is just over $540/mo. I work one week a month just to pay my insurance.
5. Miles are spuratic, one week 3500, the next 1200, enjoy your sit.
6. The company's "no idle" policy is dangerous, your truck will not sustain an extended idle if the outside temps are between 20 and 70 degrees farenheit. The auxillary heater runs off of your batteries, you will use them up every night, then have broken sleep due to freezing your a*s off. Yes, my batteries have been checked by the company and are deemed fit by their standards.
7. You will pay tolls out of your own pocket, then get reimbursed, unless you're a team driver, as a team member, you will have an EZ-pass for tolls. The problem here lies in the scanning of receipts, if the scan is bad, you don't get paid. Payroll will not notify you! You can, however, take an advance on your own pay for paying tolls, then be reimbursed when you scan your receipts. YOU PAY FOR EVERYTHING OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET, EXCEPT MAJOR REPAIRS.
8. A vast majority of the driver managers have no trucking experience......they are clueless as to how things work on the road. The planners have never made their money this way and have no vested interest in giving you the opportunity to make a respectable living.
9. The night and weekend staff is so understaffed, they can not help you, regardless of the emergency or problem. They are a staff of about 5-10 people working w/nearly 3000 trucks. Take a number, we'll see what we can do on Monday!
10. The Mexican subsidiary, Jaguar Trucking, is filled w/happy contented drivers; they average 30k/US a year, compaired to the US drivers who average just below 35k a year. A considerable difference in pay, when you consider the fact that you can live in Mexico for about 60% of what it costs to live in the US.
11. The company has failed to use computer advancements in communication between it's departments. Road maintainece does not communicate w/the driver managers or load planners, it is up to the driver to coordinate between the three; the driver managers, load planners and road maintainece are located at the same facility.
12. I have been directly told by management that it's primary concern is to make the payments on the equipment that has been purchased by the company. If you have the ability to read between the lines, this means your pay doesn't matter!
13. This company is in survival mode; your survival is not part of that mode. Their primary concern is their shareholders, period.
14. The CEO of this company has a total possible compensation pkg of around 4 million/US a yr. He took a 20% salary cut this year, but cut driver vacation and bonus pay by 40% and froze pay raises. Solo drivers recieve only vacation bonuses, not mileage or safety bonuses.
15. This is not a driver's company. This is a company that epitimizes corporate greed at the cost of those whose families make the biggest sacrifice. I have been here almost a yr. and have met hundreds of drivers for Celadon. So far, not one solo company driver, that I have met, makes over 40k a yr.
16. The company pays via House Hold Movers guide, but routes you via PC-Miler miles, avoiding toll ways, which they probably charge the customer for anyway. They will not route or pay you practicle miles. Your time is of no importance to them, they just want their money.
In summary, Celadon has a high driver turnover rate, in excess of 120%/yr. Thus the need for two orientation classes a week. They rest firmly on the fact that the economy is bad and will use it against you as a driver; while in the same breath, telling you that freight is over booked. They can't sell off their excess trucks, due to the economy, so they hire too many drivers for far too little freight. When they have excess freight, they don't manage their driver resources properly to get that freight delivered.
The Customer Service Rep's for Celadon have poor communication skills and even worse time management. They are either clueless as to the time frames in which drivers work, or they just don't give a d**n. They supply poor directions and do not fact check through the use of GPS software, as to what the proper directions are for truck routing. In general, the management at Celadon is lazy as hell and wouldn't know due diligence if it bit them in their a**es.
The drivers for Celadon, some of the lowest paid in the industry, are forced to shoulder the burden of the loose ends of poor management, broken promises, rhetoric, and bushel baskets full of excuses why you're sitting in yet another truck stop, shipper, reciever or some place w/no facilities, waiting for management to make a decision on what to do next; giving no consideration for your 14 hour work window or financial compensation.
Celadon is not a premier carrier. They are, at best, substandard in regard to the care of their greatest resource, their driver. They are, from past experience, every bit as awful as Swift, but Swift has an excuse, they are a training company. WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE CELADON?