Pros: Guarateed hours, dental, medical, pension, union
Cons: Weak management, toxic culture, bleak outlook, poor treatment of newer drivers
You punch in, get your paper work and keys, get your truck, hook up to a trailer and deliver the skids to the various stores in Calgary and the surrounding area. Usually a driver will do a 2-4 trailers a night. Most of the shifts are afternoons, 4pm until 1am.
The work is generally clean, most stores have power jacks and most stores have great people whom you get to know and like. The driving is generally local and there are postings for out of town and over night runs but it takes time to get those postings. Its generally 5 days on and 2 off, some get 4 on and 3 off.
I found the work generally mundane and that I was under utilized. Its a pretty good gig if you don't want a challenge, to advance or work hard. The union contract pays time and a half after 8 hrs, double after 10 and double on call ins. Over time and call ins are very rare in an effort to slash expenses.
The management was challenging to work with. I don't think they have much education or training, a lot of people worked up from entry level jobs and scored the opportunity by being at the right place at the right time. They are great people if they like you. However I have had the chance to work with well educated industry leaders and I feel there is a lot left to be desired in this aspect of the company.
The co-workers are mainly senior citizens, close to retirement. I had the chance to meet many good people and make a few good friends too. There are some fantastic guys there and some not so fantastic. The median age is probably around 50. I think there were 3 guys under 40. About 30-40+ – more... guys over 40. So a good place for older, near retirement age people. I felt my co-workers and management were generally condescending towards me.
The most difficult parts of the job are the toxic culture and office politics. As well as unspecified goals and no positive feedback. Its generally a very negative place and the city drivers are treated terribly. Its never good enough, fast enough, smart enough. Yet there are no specific targets or objectives for people to reach for. There is no incentive structure here either. I've found most successful companies have at least some kind of incentive and post some objectives clearly. Not here.
The most enjoyable parts of the job were the steady and predictable hours. Everyone gets paid for the hours that they work which is only fair as some companies try to play games with drivers pay. I enjoyed being busy as it made the shifts go fast and getting to talk to people at the stores or at the warehouses. Being isolated as a long haul highway driver can be difficult so having some social interaction was good.
The company, in my own opinion, is at a cross roads. Its been bought up by Sobeys and they are looking at out sourcing the transportation unit to a third party, most likely Canada Cartage. The future looks very unsure to say the least. – less