Can I be a feeder driver for UPS without any driving experience?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by danny_379, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. danny_379

    danny_379 New Member

    I just got offered a job as a seasonal package car delivery driver for UPS. Depending on my performance I can can hired again for Christmas. I have a class A CDL and I am 22 years old but I don't have any experience driving a tractor trailer. The HR lady told me there is potential to move up. I have a question though. Could I eventually become a feeder driver for UPS even though I don't have any driving experience? Has UPS ever trained guys without driving experience? I believe I gotta work on the dock first? I just here so many stories of people working on the dock for YEARS and they still have not become tractor trailer drivers. How about UPSF? Would I have a better chance with them then staying with UPS package operations? Maybe I could get a transfer. Thanks for any help you can give me.
  2. cosmictrucker

    cosmictrucker Trucking is I

    Minimum age for UPS feeder I believe is 25. Ups has hired into feeders with little or zero experience. ( a huge mistake IMHO ) The chance of a job transfer between UPS and UPSF is near zero.
  3. danny_379

    danny_379 New Member

    Why do you think it's a mistake? People have to get their start somewhere. It sure beats OTR! Also the HR lady at my local service center told me some kid worked as a package car driver for 7 months and then became a feeder driver only because some guy retired. That kid had little experience. Hopefully I wouldn't have to work on the dock or be a package driver that long. Any idea how long people have to work as a package car driver or dock worker before becoming a feeder driver?
  4. brownrod

    brownrod Active Member

    We have had part time package handlers bid into feeder because no package drivers were interested in the job.
  5. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    Danny, there are a lot of variables anymore. Such as:

    You are seasonal now. They say you MIGHT get rehired, notice, "might" for peak season. If so, good luck.

    If you DO get rehired, will it be full-time package driver? Or part-time package handler? Either way, chances are, you will get thrown away after peak is over. Not trying to be ruthless here, it is merely a part of doing business here.

    How big is the center you are/will be working out of? Huge? Small? Your chances of becoming a feeder driver depend almost entirely on this. Huge center, your chances, whether you are part-time or full-time are very slim because it's possible that many more ahead of you have been waiting. Small center...your chances are very good because, USUALLY, package drivers are pretty content with their routes and have no desire to uproot their entire life to go to feeders. How's that? In small centers, there is usually one, two, feeder drivers, at most and they all work at night. You wanna do that?

    One thing, if you're in a huge center and you get hired as package handler, it WILL be years before you get a chance to even get full-time, let alone feeder driver.

    Yes, once in and there is an opening, you don't have to have ANY experience. You will be trained in "THE UPS WAY", whether that's good or bad. Having a CDL just means you won't have to go to DMV with the supe to get one.

    Other circumstances may come into play. Here, we have had many off-the-street hires, many p/ters, many package drivers, even some mechanics go into feeders.

    We've had some package drivers that waited for years to get into feeders and when the time came, they had an important committment that couldn't be ignored. They were passed over and the next, less senior driver was picked.

    Many other variables will and can come into play. It kinda all depends on where you are, how big the center is, how desperate the center is, how many retire, and on and on.

    Good luck
  6. danny_379

    danny_379 New Member

    My local UPS centers are small. If I got hired after October, I would be a seasonal package car driver again until Xmas. After that, I can either collect unemployment or work as a part time package handler until they hire again in June. I think I can work part time and collect unemployment at the same time depending if my wages don't exceed a certain percentage of what I'm collecting. My HR lady told me it can take 2-3 years to get on as permanent employment but it could be less depending on if people quit, retire, or get fired. I don't know if this matters, but one of my centers has a lot of trucks sitting outside unused. Could it be unassigned trucks and potential openings? I'm from MA BTW.
  7. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    OK, let me just qualify whatever I say as being merely MY experience. Whatever happens in your area could be completely different, depending on need or other circumstances.

    Here, if you DID work seasonal, ANYTHING, and got hired back as p/t package handler, that is what you were locked into. I don't care if you WERE a seasonal package driver or peak driver, you get hired back after peak as p/ter, you STAY as p/ter until seniority says you can bid on ANTHING, let alone f/t.

    Also, please don't take as written in stone anything said by HR or any other person at UPS or even here, in this forum. I'll give you an example.

    Years ago, when I was hired, it was Sept. UPS was gearing up for peak. Needed package drivers. I didn't want that. I was a truck driver off the street. Drove trucks for yrs before even applying at UPS. I applied for feeders.

    UPS: "We don't have any openings in feeders right now. Would you be willing to do package driving until there is?"
    Me: "Sure, anything to get my foot in the door".
    UPS: "OK, first opening in feeders, you could get it".

    I was hired for peak as a package driver. Worst job I've ever had. Laid off one day after peak and returned driving. A fluke but it happened. Got my company seniority.

    Me: "Any openings in feeders yet?"
    UPS"Oh, now you have to get a year safe driving in package before you can sign feeder list".
    Me: "Un, nobody told me that when I was hired."
    UPS "Well, tough chit".

    Got my year safe driving. Feeder list went up. I signed. You know what? Now, I gotta wait for everybody else ahead of me in seniority to sign it and pass or flunk. That went on for another 3 years.

    Finally made it to feeders. Here, that meant was cover driver. Covered vacations and on-call thru summer. Thrown back to package in Sept til, maybe, Oct to run feeders thru peak. Thrown back to package again after peak til May vacations started. This went on for another 8 years. Finally got to stay in feeders but was at bottom of list for years. Didn't get bid run for 13 years in feeders. And then, you can imagine what kind it was.

    All I can say is, ask questions, be optimistic but also, don't get your hopes up. UPS has a way of, uh, let's see, how do I put this diplomatically, not telling you the whole story or maybe hiding pertinent details that could drastically affect your life.

    Again, these are just some of the things I've been thru here or seen. Your circumstance may be entirely different. Go for it.
  8. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    It`s a mistake when we get new drivers into the fold who think just because they have driven somewhere else that they know what they`re doing. Forget all you think you know. Package will teach you to drive the UPS way. Get some time in and keep your nose clean and then you can move up. When and if you go feeder it will be our way or no way. Any thoughts of being some hot dog you might as well go apply with the other guys.
  9. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    Funny you should say tht, cach, we just had a "seasoned" seasonal here that had a relay meet at a truck stop yesterday. Don't know all the details but long story short, there were others of us in there, as usual. He saw a set, hooked up and high-balled back home. Trouble is, that was a set waiting for one of your drivers to take. That set was dropped by us, waiting to continue on. Well, it was on it's way back to origin. Got caught in between, how, I don't know.

    Fast-forward. One of senior hourly drivers was told he had a rider. OK, well, did we also tell you that you and your rider are gonna pick up this misguided set where it was caught and head to CACH. To layover? How bout that? You head in to work for your regular 3-400 mile hub turn feeder run and learn that you're going on an 8 hour, one-way, lay down! No clean clothes, no toiletries, no nuttin! AND WITH A RIDER BOTH WAYS!

    I'm slashing my wrists with my electric razor as we speak just thinking of that!
  10. hondo

    hondo promoted to mediocrity

    This is actually what I thought of when I read this thread: The Package from Hell??????
  11. danny_379

    danny_379 New Member

    Well, I'll see how it goes. If they don't let me sign up for feeders or if they tell me there is a super long wait, I'll just stay there until I find a local driving job somewhere else. I don't wanna do OTR. I tried these last couple of weeks and did not like it.

    As far as UPSF goes, my local center is "taking inquires for future openings". So I did that and it just says "Pending" on the UPS jobs website. Do you think It's better to start as a dock worker for UPSF rather than staying with UPS package operations? A UPSF driver told me they have put on guys without exp, but you gotta work on the dock for like 1-3 years.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  12. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    You would be surprised how often the "hook and book" club members f up. Real shame too. Best one recently was the guy who pulled the trailer NEXT to the trailer he was supposed to pull on a friday night. Hub didn`t find the correct trailer still sitting on the wall until Mon morning. 53` of service failures looks good on a resume.
  13. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    If you`re gonna put the time in, UPS pay and benefits are better than UPSF.

    Sorry there`s no quick and happy answer to you wishes. Those of us, the majority, who are were we are got there by putting our time in.
  14. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    When I started Feeders, some big wig DM came to talk to me. He says, "In Package you can make one mistake and have one missed piece. Here if you make one mistake you can have 5,000 missed pieces".

    It's the absolute truth.
  15. Funfact

    Funfact Well-Known Member

    You will by a seasonal driver untill the second week in Sept when they lay you off. If they call you back It will only be until just before xmass then you will get laid off again. If and that is a big if they hire you on as a permanent PT package handler after the first of the year that will be you job untill you gain enough seniority to win a driving bid it could take a year or 10 depending on the area your in and the number of people retiring of leaving. Most likely they will lay you off right before xmass and not call you back untill next June. I know the HR person told you different but the people that they hire as PT package handlers after the first of the year are going to be the people that worked that job during peak as they don't have to train them and they know how good of a worker they are.

    You said there are a couple of centers around your area. You need to find out how many people are on the seniority lists (PT and FT) and if the list is made up of more than one building. I'm from western Ma and my local seniority list covers 3 building two small (20 and 26 routes and one large 120 + routes. There are 180+ FT people on the FT list and about 90+ on the PT list. They have hired 1 driver in the last three year in my area.

    In Mass you unemployment is based on you last 4 quarters of work add the two highest quarters together and than dividing that number by 52 to give you your base pay. You can make up to 1/3 of your base pay without effecting you unemployment.

    The number of cars in the yard doesn't mean that they need to hired more drivers. Each center has extras and some days there are more or less depending on how many routes they are running that day.
  16. Funfact

    Funfact Well-Known Member

    The wait time for that feeder driver job you want is going to be about 20 years if not more. If someone is telling you different they are lying to you.
  17. cosmictrucker

    cosmictrucker Trucking is I

    It's a mistake for UPS to believe they can run someone who has never driven anything larger than a Honda Civic through a two week training program, and have them magically know everything needed to safely drive a tractor trailer. Driver's who come "into the fold" from outside as someone said, have at least earned valuable on the job training. Driver's who've driven for other companies have had to deal with all types of driving challenges. Many docks are tight and have limited access. Driver's who have driven LTL freight have learned skills never taught or even required to drive a Feeder. There are many long time Feeder drivers who have never needed to back blind-side into a dark, narrow dock as which is common for most any other LTL or common freight carrier. Most Feeder routs never even require a Feeder to do anything more than drive straight down the road. Try that pulling a tanker of gasoline or a reefer full of produce. The drivers who end up here at UPS from other driving jobs do have a better grasp of what it takes to safely pilot a tractor trailer in all environments. PERIOD. Anyone who speaks differently simply has never done so.

    This company has a very unique fleet of package cars and feeder trailers. The dollies are like nothing else on the road. The older pup trailers with air assist hydraulic landing gear was a UPS exclusive design for a time. I think RPS copied the set up at one point. The way UPS deals with Haz Mats is also exclusive to the company. No other trucking company is allowed the freedom and flexibility to haul Haz Mats like we do. Sure, there is a strict regiment established to do so, but the honest truth is the rules aren't followed. But this is another story.

    Bottom line, UPS doesn't have the manpower today to properly teach green employees to safely drive a Feeder. The increase in accident rate may suggest this is true. Too much focus on reciting 10 point commentaries and memorizing words that have little to do with driving in today's world has started to take it's toll. Getting back to basics and use of common sense with an emphasis on driving skill set is what's needed. Proper attitude is also a must.
  18. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Depends on the area, economic health, UPS expansion,etc. I was fortunate to go package in 3 1/2 and feeder after 5 more. Each instance I caught the wave of buildings coming online in my area and the resulting need for drivers.
  19. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    I could not disagree more. Until last Oct. I had never sat behind the wheel of a semi truck, and went through UPS's two week training. I knew full well coming out that I did not know everything there was to know about driving a tractor trailer rig, but would learn more as I went along. Everyone has to get their experience somewhere, and while some did so by starting out at an LTL company or OTR driving I got mine at UPS. I don't see much wrong with that.
  20. Funfact

    Funfact Well-Known Member

    I agree with what you say there are exceptions to the norm. I was lucky enough to go package after 11 months, How ever my chance for a feeder job is years away but I still sign every feeder bid they put up becasue you never know.