ED Magedson – Founder
Central Refrigerated5175 W 2100 South , Select State/Province USA
Central Refrigerated Owner Operators be ware! West Valley Utah
I am writing this in an attempt to warn prospective professional truck drivers who are considering becoming an owner operator with Central Refrigerated Service (CRS). A trucking company based in West Valley, Utah a few miles west of Salt Lake City, UT. The only story I can tell is mine and unfortunately, it is the same as all of my friends who became owner operators with CRS.
In October of 2012 I became an owner operator with CRS. Prior to that, the owner operator recruiter at the West Valley corporate headquarters monitored the miles I drove as a company driver and frequently sent me messages via the qualcom on how much money I could have made if I were an owner operator. Example, as a company driver I was averaging more than 12,000 miles a month. Recruiters would see what I was earning per mile and present me a figure much higher. So if I made $750.00 for that week, they would tell me I could have made more than $1250.00 driving those same miles as an owner operator. You are constantly promised "more miles" than company drivers and that owner operators have priority on available loads plus a brand new truck governed faster than a company truck. I finally went to see him in West Valley during one of my trips through.
On lease signing day, I was given the keys to any of the brand new trucks on display at West Valley and was told to take my pick. 2013 Peterbilt 389's, 587's, and a couple of Freightliners. All new. I chose the 2013 587 Pete 13 spd. Beautiful truck.
In the beginning, say, the first two weeks I did receive great miles and was expecting a nice check. Wrong! During the lease signing you are told that there will be no fuel deduction for the first check as an owner operator. What they didn't tell you is, all of the other fees associated with starting as an owner operator. That week I drove exactly 3157 miles. Total money made was $3,377.99. My actual take home was $127.52. When I inquired about it the next day, I was told that there were deductions for the initial "this and that" fees that come along with being an owner operator. I told payroll that none of those expenses were even discussed or mentioned during the lease signing. Her only reply was "well they were supposed to tell you." On lease signing day there were 6 other drivers becoming owner operators also. I kept in touch and still do til this day with 4 of them. All of them were having the same problems.
As for being promised "priority" on all miles, that was a complete bold faced lie. CRS would controll your miles to the point you either just break even or take home on average, less than $250.00. Again, every owner operator I knew with CRS was having the same problem. There were many many weeks where I drove plenty of miles but had a "zero" dollar check. Especially if you go home. I liked to stay on the road for anywhere from 5-8 weeks and then take 4 days off at home. What CRS doesn't tell you is that when you go home, expenses are still being piled up on you. So every mile you drive when you return to work goes to pay off the negative checks you get for almost 3 weeks after hometime. There were seveal occassions when I had a negative $1500 payday.
CRS also controlled the amount of miles you drove and when you drove them. If you call your driver manager (DM) and ask for more miles they basically tell you "there isn't any freight moving in your area." All the while I'm sitting at a truck stop or a customer watching our own company drivers come and go with freight. I actually sat at National Meats in Dodge City Kansas for 44 hours waiting on a load. These are hours where the expenses are adding up, but no miles being driven. At exactly 44 hours waiting I got a load. Just at that time a CRS company driver parked next to me. I spoke to hime and he said he was waiting on a load. I told him I just got one after waiting a couple of days. We spoke for about 5 minutes when he heard the qualcom unit in his truck go off indicating he had a message. He went and looked and he got a load going to the exact same place I was going. Miami, Florida. Just to be sure, I went stepped up into the cab of my truck to double check my load destination only to find that I was taken off that load. The company driver was given the exact load I had been waiting for. I was flaming mad. I called my DM and asked why I was taken off the load. He told me the customer cancelled. I flat out told him that was a lie and that the driver next to me got my load. He said "let me check on that." After being on hold for over 21 minutes he never came back on the line. I hung up and called him again. Another DM answered and told me that my DM had already gone home. No notes were made, nothing. I sat there for another 6 hours and finally called the CRS operations manager and complained about what was going on.
During the entire time I drove for CRS, I was only late on one load and had NEVER turned down a load. There was no excuse for being treated in that manner other than the fact that CRS controlled every mile you drive and when you drive them.
The largest check I had made as an owner operator was $452.75. Yet the company gets paid for every mile you drive. For every mile you put on the truck. They profit from you leasing the truck as well as the miles paid to them by the customers you are hauling freight for. Office employees and company drivers get health insurance, vacation time, regular checks, bonuses. As an owner operator for CRS you can count on one thing. After everyone else is paid for the work you do, you get what's left over. Pennies!
After more than 11 months of being broke, I finally parked the truck at the Fontana California CRS terminal, cleaned it out and walked out. I can go home and be broke. I now work for a company that treats drivers right. And by the way so do the other 4 former CRS drivers. We all went to the same trucking company.
I highly recommend not becoming an owner operator with Central Refrigerated Service (CRS). Many who read this will probably not take this advise with much weight. But everything I told you is a fact. I'm a stickler when it comes to documenting what I do. I still have every log book and load information since becoming a OTR driver in 1997. And yes, every macro sent to me by CRS as well as a recording of every phone call made to me by CRS.
For more information on this topic with CRS, google "Central Refrigerated Lawsuit" and read the information from the lawsuit that is ongoing as you read.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/04/2014 04:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Central-Refrigerated/Select-StateProvince/Central-Refrigerated-Owner-Operators-be-ware-West-Valley-Utah-1128300. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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