Ask a Feeder Driver, Feeder Driver FAQ

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by 104Feeder, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    Since we don't have our own section I thought I would post this for anyone with Feeder questions.

    What's our schedule like? What did it take to qualify? Why do we get so fat? How do we stay awake on the road? What does the Dispatcher do? What do the On-roads do? Why does the Company subcontract Feeder work? What is the pay like? What do mileage runs pay? What's a layover? What's a gladhand? What's a button hook? Why are you guys so slow on the road? What happens in high winds/snow/hard rain/if you hit a deer?

    Any question is up for discussion. If you need specific information to your area be sure to post where that is as Feeder work rules vary quite a bit by location (and we are always arguing about the work rules).

    If you're in Feeders, sound off. If you are in Feeder Management or Dispatch you are welcome too and lets have some respectful discussion.
  2. jaker

    jaker trolling

    How did it effect your family life , that's the biggest issue I have
  3. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    Most Feeder drivers say it has improved their family life compared to what it was when they were a Package driver. A Feeder driver working nights might start at 2200 so they will work all night but be home to get their kids ready for school then sleep while they are gone & the spouse is working. Then they wake up in time for 'dinner' (our breakfast) with the family before heading off to work.

    The first few years can be hard as you bounce around on the Dispatch board covering different shifts. It might be nights one week, days the next, but there is a liberal sprinkling of 3 and 4 day weekends within that madness that can pay off nicely (and some weeks where your 'weekend' is 34 hours). I enjoyed my time on the dispatch board as you got a taste of all the different types of runs available to us. Sleepers can put you out 3 or 4 days at a time, usually over the weekend but then you get the rest of the week off & have time you probably never had with your family. Layovers are only 4 total days with 2 nights away and one at home so those are probably the best in my opinion.

    If you don't have a strong relationship at home, Feeders won't help. If your spouse is already taking advantage of your late nights in Package, you will find out about it pretty quick (which happens quite a lot).

    The type of work had the most effect, as you aren't so beat up and cranky after working 12+ hours. We say to expect 60 hour weeks but the reality in my area is if you turn down extra work they will stop giving it to you. It's possible to even work just 40 hour weeks during Peak (and right now they are giving days off!). Christmas Eve we don't work at all so it's like getting two days off for Christmas.

    Also, in my Dept they actually care if you are having an issue at home. I walked into a meeting once where they were discussing a Driver who had an tardiness problem and had made some minor screwups. One of the on-roads mentioned that he was going through a divorce and the matter was dropped. Contrast that to when I had to fight my Pkg Center manager tooth and nail to change a Drivers start time for 5 minutes so he could pick up his kids from his ex's house and still make it to work.
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  4. jaker

    jaker trolling

    ^^^ thank you for that , by the time I go feeder my kids will have kids really my oldest is 19 ( 20 next month and just moved out ) my youngest is 17 so kids are not a issue so much

    I just feel for my wife you are not home so much to sleep together at night anymore

    So when you start out are you doing long hauls or is that for senior drivers
  5. Old International

    Old International Now driving a Sterling

    My wife loves it. I am home during the day, and we do stuff together. I work just a basic 8-9 hour shift, and even get to crawl into bed with her each morning for a while.
    I even like Christmas now. I didn't when I was in package cars.
  6. Notretiredyet

    Notretiredyet Active Member

    My plan was to go to feeders for my last few years, but in this area they haven't hired anyone in a long time. Doesn't seem to be in the cards now.
  7. brownmonster

    brownmonster Man of Great Wisdom

    Why do you drop a set of doubles across 8 parking places so I have to park on the lawn?
  8. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    You might find that your wife doesn't mind so much especially if you snore! It's a trade off of course, but sometimes more quality time when you're awake can make up for not sleeping together most work nights.
    When I started it was crazy, a lot of 2 a.m. calls to come in ASAP to cover California turn-around runs that took about 12 hours to do. Now for the rookies it's mostly covering shifting in the yard as we red circled all our shifters and new work is going to Feeder drivers. Other than that it's mostly CPU (customer pick up) day runs and WAD coverage.

    They told us that Sleepers were "the wave of the Future" when we started but when the economy tanked they put most of the work back on the Rail & when Amazon came in they started subcontracting again. I expect that work to flow back to us but mostly to senior drivers.
  9. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    Things change really fast in Feeders. I was on the third page of the list when my time came. Apparently a lot of people like to turn it down every year.
  10. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    Because we can! Sometimes it's dispatch telling them to do that, sometimes it's a Sleeper team that isn't getting paid at the turn around unless it takes more than 2 hours so they just drop their set and hook up to a pre-built set, sometimes it's because they are just going into the building to refuel and can't bring the whole set in (although we have one team that loves to drive a set through the fuel islands which is scary). Perhaps they need to visit the shop to have something fixed on the trailer. Sometimes it's a staging area for outbound. Sometimes they just don't care.
  11. brownmonster

    brownmonster Man of Great Wisdom

    I'll go with the first sentence and the last.:greedy:
  12. Dracula

    Dracula Package Car is cake compared to this...

    I went back with over 20 years seniority, so I've gotten good jobs. Night jobs, but solid road jobs. The job is great, but where I'm at, the management push is worse than anything I've ever had in package car. It doesn't bother me--I do everything by the book--but it has a bad effect on the burners and more timid drivers.

    My wife doesn't like sleeping alone, but she also really likes the time we spend together during the day, before I go to bed.

    And I've never made more money. I'll probably go over 100,000 grand this year.

    I can't imagine how I could ever go back to package car.
  13. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    I should add that work rules might vary by location but I haven't heard of any that allow dovetailing. New drivers go to the bottom of the Seniority list regardless of where they are in relation to everyone else. There are quite a few in my department with more Company seniority than me because they put off the decision for too long.

    Also, some areas have an outlet where you can return to Package. We can anytime but you lose all Center seniority and go to the bottom of your Center list. After 3 years you can return if there is an opening without losing your seniority. Less than a dozen drivers have exercised this option since it was adopted in 2000.
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  14. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    I would throw you the keys and say "Park that for me sonny"! I do that to the valets at the casinos all the time and the look on their face is priceless.
  15. brown67

    brown67 Active Member

    We carry our seniority over here in Colorado. I have 20 years in and just moved to feeders and jumped over everyone with less seniority. I'm in a small center with 3 feeder routes, but I'm the highest in seniority. We can move back to packages after 3 years and take our seniority with us. That is the nice part about this area. Your full-time seniority always moves with you. Some outside hires tried to challenge it a few years ago, because they got tired of package car drivers coming into feeders and jumping over them in seniority. They lost. Union told them sorry "you should have started work here sooner."
  16. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    WOW that's insane! We have over 200 Feeder Drivers in Phoenix alone and if that rule were allowed there would be outright bloodletting. Do they manage going from P/T to Package the same way? We have some P/T that if they had a year of safe driving they could slot into the top spot in Feeders under your rules.
  17. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    That's how it is here, too. It's called "SENIORITY". That man's been with the company longer, he's been in the union longer, and he's paid his dues longer.
    No fake "classification seniority" here. We have our ONE seniority date, and we bid where we choose with it.
  18. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    Damn straight! God forbid anyone recieves a little reward for increasing their skills and value to the company by moving up early. ;)
  19. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    All we have at UPS is our seniority.

    Oh, unless I can screw my brother out of HIS seniority by inventing fake classification seniority that would benefit ME!

    Me-ster philosophy.
  20. Leftinbuilding

    Leftinbuilding Active Member

    I worked in the same Region as you, 104 and that rule kept me from ever seriously considering feeders. I had more seniority than any of the feeder drivers, so going to the bottom just was not appealing. But, I could see the point. Some of those guys had been on their run for years, and for me to just one day waltz in and knock them out, just doesn't seem right to me. I had the opportunity to bid that job before they did as I had more seniority. Just one man's opinion.