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Date: 03/11/17 13:29
renzenberger drivers?
Author: SPbird

Good afternoon all,

A buddy of mine drives for Gordon trucking in CA, OR, WA and was wondering about going to renzenberger and what might be some good was to go about it? Advice? Any info greatly appreciated,


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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/17 13:40 by SPbird.

Date: 03/11/17 14:03
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: RHicks

Tell your friend to stay right where he is.

Date: 03/11/17 14:36
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: WJEX

  Tell your friend that there is NOTHING good about working for Renzenberger or PTI...........

Date: 03/11/17 14:47
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: TedS-P

Yeah, no... unless there's ulterior motive (like wanting to be around the RR), don't do it.  Regret will riddle the decision early on.

Ted S-P

Date: 03/11/17 15:06
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: ExSPCondr

Whatever he does, DON'T!

When I retired, Renzenberger paid $0.17 per loaded mile, and the drivers had to wait 45 minutes before they went on waiting time, which was minimum wage.  After about 2 years, you could work up to $0.19/mile.
There is no schedule, you are on call 24/7 until you have your daily hours in, if you get them.  When you will run out of time on a return trip, you will get paid for the loaded trip over, but will have to return empty.

I haven't seen a post on the craziness of Renzenberger on here for several months now, so I guess that is why the question has come up again?

Four personal experiences with Renzenberger drivers in Roseville and Sparks:

1.  Guido was driving me and Larry M. from Roseville to Sparks on a cool winter day. Larry was in the front seat. The heater control was on defrost, the fan on high, and the temperature lever was on cold. It was a clear dry day, but as we know, most newer vehicles on defrost have the air conditioning on to help dehumidify.  Larry asked the driver for a little heat, so he moved the control from defrost to heat, but did nothing else.  Five minutes later, Larry got upset and told him he wanted some heat! Guido slammed the temperature control to hot, and in two minutes the van was really hot, and Guido's head was nodding.
It turns out he had been driving for over 20 hours, and the only way he could stay awake was to keep the van cold.  
Renzenberger wouldn't say anything at the time, because they were short on drivers.  Guido would buy us candy and soft drinks on his gas card to keep us quiet, and RB didn't say anything because he drove anywhere.  He was getting a divorce and living in the van, and it smelled like it.  All this came to an end when he had to turn in his yearly DMV report, and they found out he had a license that was suspended for two years, and there was a warrant out for him.

2.  An old lady took four of us from Roseville to Dunsmuir after dark (210 miles.)  She put the seat all the way forward, hung her head over the wheel, put the high beams on, and got in the fast lane of I-5 at fifty miles an hour in a 65 zone.  Everybody behind and in front of her was blinking their lights at us, and finally somebody said something to her about going slow in the fast lane with the high beams on. We said if you want to go slow, do it in the right lane with the low beams on.  She said "this is the way I drive," which was the wrong thing to say and do!  All four of us told her to pull over to the right lane or pull off, and she decided to pull off, and we radioed for another driver.  We never saw her before or since.

3.  A lady at Sparks who had been self-employed, but was now a little old, started driving for RB.  The only problem was that she didn't get her rest, and couldn't stay awake.  After we had been on duty for 12 hours, and awake for 16-20, we didn't want to stay awake to watch her, but somebody had to!  Two crews were being deadheaded from Sparks to Elko (313 miles.)  She went to sleep about 4am halfway down the offramp of I-80 at Lovelock Nv, where we made our usual halfway pit stop.  When one of us woke up, we were stopped halfway down the ramp, the van was in drive, and she had gone to sleep with her foot on the brake just enough that we made a gentle stop.  About 6 months later, she took a crew to Gerlach at night, and came back empty.  Their dispatch couldn't find her for the next run after she was due back, and their GPS tracking didn't show the van anywhere.  At daylight a trucker saw the wreck off the road, she had flipped the van end for end, and was still alive although badly injured.

4.  The lead driver in Roseville took a cell phone call from one of his drivers while hauling us.  The driver had to turn himself in to jail Sunday evening, and wondered if RB would keep his job until he got out 30 days later. The lead driver told him to bring the van to the yard office and he would have somebody drive him over to the jail, and yes, there would be a job when he got out.

I don't have enough imagination to make this stuff up!

Date: 03/11/17 15:13
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: alamedafrank

Anybody would have to be crazy to want a job like that! On call, weird hours, low pay, critical train crews, etc, etc. Frank

Date: 03/11/17 15:16
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: ExSPCondr

Hey, we weren't critical, just tired and grumpy!  But you're right!

Date: 03/11/17 15:51
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: icancmp193

A co-worker's husband retired early from his management job and decided it might be fun to drive. Among the places he drove for was Renzenberger (also Swift, local fuel oil company, several transit jobs). The pay was crummy (presently $10.96/hour to start), the hours were bad, and he stopped once coming back from a run to K'Falls (van was empty) to take a short nap in the interests of safety (this person is very safety-oriented and has been in charge of small transit systems, among other things) and got chewed out for that. The romance didn't last too long. Stay with Gordon!

Tom Y

Date: 03/11/17 17:32
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: irhoghead

JUST SAY NO TO BEING A CREW VAN DRIVER. If he does it, he will hate that decision for the rest of his life.

Date: 03/11/17 18:15
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: needles_sub

Trucking is long hours, little sleep, dispatchers that want you to do the impossible. Only difference I see in the two jobs is the name on the door and what you carry for Gordan. Freight never gets grumpy or complains..

Date: 03/11/17 19:34
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: vegasrails

Here's my example of some of your friends co- workers if he hires on with RB, http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,3700128,3700128#3700128 

Date: 03/11/17 21:30
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: dt8089

It amazes me that they are not subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act.  Hauling passengers for hire should put them in the same class as Greyhound Bus drivers.  Somebody paid someone off .  Just my 2 cents.  Dan

Date: 03/11/17 23:54
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

A similar discussion thread of "war stories" regarding van drivers:


Date: 03/12/17 07:48
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: BAB

And now that many school districts are getting rid of there bus departments subbing them out they are finding the same problems as you people that ride in the vans. Poorly trained drivers, pervs, idiots who dont care and kill kids like the one this year back east I think.

Date: 03/12/17 09:23
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: ubee1964

I worked for Renzenerger for two weeks.  Cleared 250.00 for 79 hours;  Renzenberger skirts all kinds of laws and is immune from legal sanctions.  It was the worst job I had ever worked in my 72 years on the planet.  Don't recommend it to anyone, and I pray for the train crews who are forced to ride in their vans.  

Date: 03/12/17 09:44
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: Hookdragkick

He'd enjoy himself a hell of a lot more sweeping for Soviet mines in Afghanistan.

Posted from Android

Date: 03/12/17 10:00
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: dcfbalcoS1

RB doesn't care one little twit about all the dangerous people they hire or the crews lives apparently. Been getting away with it for years so might as well continue. AS long as two things happen, it will ontinue and that is: They continue to find the scum of the earth drive for these wages AND the crews continue putting their lives in danger riding with them.

Date: 03/12/17 12:10
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: Grande473

The brother of an acquaintance of mine had his railroading career ended by an accident, not a railroad accident but a van accident.

Date: 03/12/17 12:45
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: RS11

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
> RB doesn't care one little twit about all the
> dangerous people they hire or the crews lives
> apparently. Been getting away with it for years so
> might as well continue. AS long as two things
> happen, it will ontinue and that is: They continue
> to find the scum of the earth drive for these
> wages AND the crews continue putting their lives
> in danger riding with them.

Options for the crews:
1.  Ride with them
2.  Find something wrong with the van and shop it (officials attempt minor imtimidation sometimes unless glaringly obvious safety issue, then another driver or a cab is called..  They just want you headed to your destination.)
3.  Refuse to ride  (if ordered to ride and refuse get "fired" for insubordination; meaning out of work for an unknown amount of time if officials can't be convinced driver or vehicle is dangerous.  I've not seen the insubordination scenario happen but that is what was theatened.)

I once refuse to ride from Marion, OH to Crestline, OH after dogging on a train because of previous problem I had with a driver.  I toned up the Dispatcher and told him I was refusing to ride in the van with this guy and would deadhead the rest of the way in on the train.  It wasn't that far.  Conductor rode with the van.  The next day, upon returning to my home terminal, I was called in to have a chat with the trainmaster about the incident.  He must have been having a good day because I never heard anything else.  I had three problems with those Cresline PTI drivers.  Just them.  Must be something in their water.

Disclaimer:  This is the way it was before I retired.  YMMV these days, but by the looks of things it probably hasn't.    

Date: 03/12/17 17:39
Re: renzenberger drivers?
Author: PHall

Rezenberger will suck as long as their customers, the railroads, let them get away with it.

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