Driving Pine Trees To Palm Trees: A detailed overview of a ‘California Rounder’

Agri-Fresh is a specialized refrigerated carrier. We only move fresh produce from California and Arizona, into the Canadian Prairies.

We often get asked what a ‘California Rounder’ is like, so we have put the detailed overview below. We’ve also included a Facebook live stream featuring our CEO, and Founder, Kevin Small. He completed a rounder to document the process. 

First, here is a bit about who we are: 

We are proud to be delivering fresh and healthy every day, and since we are specialists, there are a lot of benefits for our drivers. Rather than doing a lot of picks and drops throughout the day, or even day after day, our drivers leave Winnipeg and don’t touch their load until they reach their destination. This means that your time is freed up to do what you love…drive a lot of miles!

It is worth mentioning that the lanes from the Canadian Prairies to California and Arizona are some of the most beautiful and enjoyable routes there are in our industry. Plan your resets to take advantage of the beauty and adventure that California and Arizona have to offer – especially in winter!

Typical Route: Winnipeg – California – Winnipeg

A rounder is typically around 4,500 miles over 9-10 days, and is usually done twice in a row. 

Here’s a Detailed Example: 

  • Day 1 – Winnipeg – USA Border crossing – North Dakota – Montana – 600 Miles (1000 Km)
  • Day 2 – Montana – Idaho – 600 miles (1000 km)
  • Day 3 – Idaho – Utah – Nevada – 600 Miles (1000 Km)
  • Day 4 – Nevada – California – Delivery – Get close to loading location
  • Day 5 – Californa – Load 1 or 2 picks – Drive the remaining of the time available
  • Day 6 – California – Nevada – Utah – Idaho – 600 Miles (1000 Km)
  • Day 7 – Idaho – Montana – Canada Border crossing – Alberta – 600 Miles (1000 Km)
  • Day 8 – Alberta/Saskatchewan – Delivery – 200 Miles (300 Km) / 355 Miles (600 Km)
  • Day 9 – Alberta/Saskatchewan – Return home or return to California  
By Comparison: In Europe, they work 40 hours per week and 10,000 km per month

What a Typical Day Looks Like: 

  1. Preplanning – map, weather, planning stops and fuel, road conditions, talk to dispatch, check Hours of Service (HOS). 
  2. Pre-Trip-  equipment check, freight check, 
  3. Drive 600 miles (1000 km) – 2-3 stops throughout the day (4 fuelings per rounder)
  4. Find stations to sleep for the night
  5. Paperwork, Logs, check equipment, and freight. 

Loading Procedures: 

  1. Trailer washout (Before and after every load) – clean out the trailer and prep for a new load. $10 per washing and the vendors do the washing for our drivers. 
  2. Driver/dispatch to call the shippers in advance. 
  3. Check-in at the distribution centre – wait their turn to load
  4. Secure and pulping the load – internal temperature, external temperature, enter in logs. 
  5. Contact dispatch and use a ‘Depart Macro’ communicating departure. 
  6. Leave D.C. and go to the nearest scale. 
  7. Scaling must be done to ensure proper weight and weight distribution. Drivers can find the nearest scale easily in their CAT app. 

Ready To See If We’re A Fit For Each Other? Click Below! 

Canadian Drivers Click Here To Contact Us

NON-Canadian Drivers Click Here To Contact Us


1. Do we touch the freight or do hand-bombing? No, we typically are driving pin to pin. A driver may be involved in loading and unloading if they choose, but they are not required to. In some cases, the driver is not allowed to help anyway.

2. Do drivers only work during the day? Night and day driving is typically required.

3. What are the lanes like, are they conjested or wide-open? Overall there are limited distractions and waiting time on these lanes. Border crossing is usually pretty straightforward, and highways are not congested like some large U.S. cities

4. What happens during wait time? Drivers get paid $20 for each pick-up and drop. In the unlike event of a longer delay, a driver will get paid $60 after 6 hours. After 10 hours, they get compensated $100 in total.

5. Do you drive in the mountains and is chaining required? It is common to chain on Donner’s Pass in California, however, it is not common for our drivers to need to chain up. We do compensate our drivers $50 for putting their chains on if needed.