Croc's Thoughts

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After so many name changes I can understand why you might be dizzy.  I am completely muddled and have to think about it before answering the simple question, "What Company do you drive for?"

Over the past few years we have changed names, let me see now ... it's hard to think with the world wobbling like this.  Anyway, it's been a number of times and finally we are back where we started.  Once again we are CFI; Contract Freighters, Inc.

CFI was a Great Company, it's the Company I signed up with ~ more years ago than I care to remember but if you consider a life expectancy of 80 years, then I have been here for more than a quarter of my life!  Wow!  I hadn't thought of it in those terms before.

I remember spending time in Laredo, which was then known to our Drivers as "Vacationland".  We would arrive on a Friday, heaven forbid we got there on Saturday and would expect to move by Sunday, maybe.  Those who arrived in Laredo on Saturday would get a load late on Monday or early Tuesday so Vacationland was a very good name.

We wouldn't waste our time in Laredo either, no sitting around bored.  Nope!  It's party time!  Barbecue was a good idea and someone always volunteered to go into town for food.  We would sit around eating and talking for hours.  I have a fuzzy memory of going into town where we had taken rooms at a Hotel.  There was a whole lot of us although I don't remember how many.  There was a party going on, we were all in a celebratory mood and as long as we didn't have any driving to do the next day we were out for a good time.  The Police showed up just a Cowboy was jumping from a second floor balcony into the pool wearing nothing but his Cowboy Hat!!

Back in those days we didn't have a Safety Meeting every week.  That was reserved for the first Saturday of every month and it was a time for Socializing and catching up with old friends.  We had the meeting and went off in Groups to have a meal in town.

On the road we waved at each other and used all of our fingers doing it.  If a CFI truck was pulled over with steam belching out from under the hood you can bet there were other CFI trucks pulled over too, trying to help even if they couldn't.

The point is were were all friends.

We were the top line haul company for Con-way Freight so they bought us expecting us to run the Truckload side of their house in the same successful manner as had been demonstrated.  We did exactly that and having spent time in the big house during the change I saw a number of areas which showed that Con-way had made a good move in buying us out.  So Con-way Truckload was now a profitable venture.  In the process we lost a number of Drivers who mistakenly believed their future wasn't as secure as they wished.  I don't think I am wrong when I say moral wasn't as high as it should have been.

Next of course, Con-way was bought out by XPO Logistics, more Drivers left (not too many but enough) and we became XPO Truckload.  Despite promises that we were not going to be sold again, someone higher than my paygrade recognized the need to reduce the company debt so we were taken to market.

Now we are owned by a pretty big company, which obviously didn't get there not knowing what they are doing.  Transforce is a Canadian company with massive holdings and we are one of their newest acquisitions.

We received a message, Qualcomm delivery because the Carrier Pigeon was sick, saying that we are a "Stand Alone Company" which I suppose is a correct statement and is not really different from the CFI of old.  We were owned by someone who let us do our thing but kept an eye on what we were doing from a distance.  I can get with this program and be happy.

Now we have to work on getting the old CFI feeling back.  Friendliness is step one.  That means that we don't need to be hiring any more like the guy in Pocahontas who hooked to a trailer without being told to do so, then after refusing to drop the trailer so I could get to work and receiving an instruction from Joplin to disconnect, thought it was okay to give Ellen and I the finger.  This is a perfect example of unfriendliness.

I recall someone under training at a school I was visiting, being told within earshot of yours truly, "He drives for CFI.  If you can get on with them you are doing very well."  We need to get back to that and if you think we are still there; look around.  Driving through the 60mph area of Stringtown, Oklahoma yesterday I was doing, you guessed it, 60mph.  Not so the CFI truck which blasted past me (no I didn't write down his number) and he didn't have his radio on.

"I don't care!" Isn't Professional.  I care, so does Ellen and think that if we stop it's time to hang up the driving gloves. (Driving Gloves is an expression only; we don't use them.  Really!  We don't!  We are not Supertruckers!

At the old CFI we were a family, we were friendly and professional.  I am not saying that we are unprofessional now but we aren't the family we once were.  We were a bunch of good people with a few weirdos thrown in for good measure.  Most have heard about the Driver who preferred to wear Cowboy Gear all the time?  The fact that he hung a nosebag on his truck when parked was acceptable but after wearing holes in the cab floor he was asked not to wear his spurs while driving.

Here's a good start. Invite someone to have dinner with you, Dutch Treat!  As long as you are going anyway, why not have some company.  It's a small thing but it's a start.

It's not the same Company but I think it's going to be.  Damn it's good to be called a CFI Driver again.

Drive Safe.

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Anyone who spends time on the road behind the wheel has time to think. Thinking can be dangerous. Well it is for me and it gets me into trouble more than I would wish.

That said, perhaps publishing my thoughts isn't a good idea; certainly these thoughts have caused more than one argument. Still, good idea or not, these are some of my thoughts.

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