Meet Vince King Who Loves Hauling Reefer Freight

Meet Vince King Who Loves Hauling Reefer Freight

 Vince King has been trucking since 1978 hauling dairy products, frozen chickens and fresh produce.  He loves hauling refrigerated freight, but dislikes trucking in  California and the attitudes of  many drivers.

A resident of Cuba, NY, located near Buffalo, HaulProduce caught up recently with Vince at the Pilot Truck Stop at  Warner Robins, GA.   “I haul dairy, chickens and produce — it really doesn’t matter to me which one.  The only difference is setting the temperature (on the reefer unit) right for the different loads.  I’ve grown to love that reefer unit over the years that’s behind my truck,” he relates.

Vince drives a 2009 blue Freightliner housing a 470 h.p. Detroit, equipped with a 13-speed transmission.  He pulls a 53-foot Utililty trailer with a Thermo King unit.

“I love this truck.  My boss asked me what I wanted and what color.  My previous truck was a 2004 black Freight, says, Vince, who drives for Sargent Transportation Lines Inc. of Cuba, a small fleet with 20 over-the-road trucks.  “The money is good and they keep me hopping or I  wouldn’t still be here.”

Vince, who has been with Sargent 16 years, had just delivered dairy product in Florida the previous day, which had three drops.  He was on his way to pick up frozen chicken in Doraville, GA for delivery to U.S. Foodservice near Albany, NY.  He also hauls potatoes and onions off of the West Coast.

“I don’t like California.  I used to run it every week, but now there is just too much ‘crap’ out there.”  Vince cites all of the excessive regulations on truckers in California, adding, “You can’t sneeze  there without getting a ticket.  I just took my son out there on a trip.  I’ve decided I just don’t need the hassles.”

Since becoming a trucker 34 years ago, Vince has considered buying a truck, but has always decided to remain a company driver.  “I thought about becoming an owner operator years ago, but right now I wouldn’t even consider it because of the economy.  It’s really hard to find a good company where you can make it with a lease.  Over the years I’ve seen what these companies can do, especially with these lease-purchase plans.”

One of the best aspects of trucking is simply being out on the road, Vince says.  He typically leaves the house on a Saturday evening or Sunday morning to pick up a load.  He is usually home by Friday at the latest.  If he’s doing an East Coast run, he’s usually gone only a couple of nights.

His least favorite part of trucking, which he dislikes even more than the excessive regulations, are the attitudes of a lot of drivers.

“I don’t even mean just the new breed, but some of the older drivers as well.  Sometimes it is just sickening,” he states.

What is his biggest challenge in trucking?  “Trying to figure out what the other drivers are going to do before they do it.  A majority of this is with the older drivers, the four wheelers and the campers,” he says.  “To a certain extent there is a lack of professionalism in trucking.  I”m not just talking about the baby boomers, because you have the ‘me’ generation.  It’s me, me, me.  That is not the way things should be done.”