Of all the major refrigerated trucking companies in the US, none have a track record that comes close to Central Refrigerated. Refrigerated transportation is a complex process that requires the top logistics team to deliver your goods on time and in the best condition, and when you are looking for the best refrigerated trucking company, make sure you do your due diligence on their safety records and employee satisfaction ratings.
With Central Refrigerated, they offer one of the fastest CDL training programs in the OTR industry. You can be trained and on the road in as little as 2 weeks! With their accelerated training programs, you cut your training time in half without cutting any corners.
Commodities requiring refrigerated transport can be anything from fresh food and produce to adhesives and pharmaceuticals, each with their own refrigerated shipping characteristics. You want to find a company that has experience transporting a wide range of perishable commodities utilizing state-of-the-art air ride vans equipped with the latest in temperature control technology. Central, provides all the latest technologies for your safety and to help get your loads delivered in time. Their truckers pay rate is average to above average but the company is very efficient and do a solid job keeping you behind the wheel and limit your idle time between loads. This is one of the key advantages of specializing in refrigerated trucking, you are essentially making yourself a specialist in one area and that limits the direct competition. Trust me, in this industry, every little bit of training helps.
Not only the temperature should be of interest when shipping perishable goods. Your carrier should also provide trucks with air-ride suspension system cushions so that your product arrives in the same condition it was when loaded.
My Experience With Central Refrigerated Trucking
I started working for Central in July 2014. I consider myself quite lucky in that I got and got a very good trainer. At the time I did not realize it, but once I got out of training I heard from other drivers that had a vastly different experience with their trainers, so I was thankful for mine. I trained with an owner op in a new T2000, he had been working with Central since 2003.
I am now in a company truck, a 2005 Volvo. It is a decent older truck, the ride is pretty comfortable, though the cab blows around a good bit more than the T2 did when passed by a big truck, and it seems to pull the hills pretty well.
The lower bunk is plenty big for me alone, with a nice new Seally posturpedic matress. My first route had me pick up a load home, which was a 1300 mile run. If I had not gone home I already had a 1900 mile run preset that would have delivered just at the end of the week. I already had a truck recovery and 700 miles for the week before that. So I cannot see not getting enough milage to be a real issue. The miles are certainly there- at least in my limited experience they have been available. Just do your best to maximize your hours and keep communication going so they know to get your presets in.
My trainer had advised me that a lot of other drivers were having issues with the 2007 model Volvo’s. Computer issues, having a hard time fixing and keeping their mileage down. So I talked about this with my load board rep and I was happy to get an older truck because of this. This also puts me in line for a new truck next year if I stick around. They said they are moving away from Volvo’s for the next fleet buy, though I have yet to find out for sure what the new company truck will be. They have started to pass out off lease Kenworth T2000’s and W900’s to company drivers now, because the lease trucks are switching to Pete’s.
I am going to give it a good 6 months from now and make a determination then if I will keep it up, but so far I can say I recommend them 100% for anyone interested in starting a career in trucking.
National Refrigerated Trucking Companies
Melton Truck Lines, Inc.
Schneider National 800-447-7433
Sharkey Transportation Inc.