Dead in the water

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by soberups, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    This week has been an unmitigated disaster.

    My route never even left the building all week. All the packages for my rural area were pulled off the car due to snow. I stayed in town and tried to help the in-town guys as much as possible. We were paged at 5:30 yesterday and told to stop and return to the building immediately. It took me 2 hours to drive 19 miles, and I brought hundreds of stops back.

    As I write this, there are at least 3 UPS trucks full of packages that had to be abandoned out on route. There is a 2-day wait for a tow truck. I took a tow rope out on route with me, and had to get pulled out of cul-de-sacs and parking lots 4 times yesterday by guys with 4x4 pickups. I towed a fellow drivers package car out of a snowbank with my package car---twice.

    We had a rain/freezing rain mix yesterday. Where the roads hadn't been plowed, there were icy 8" ruts from the tires. Its like driving across the surface of the moon. Crossing an intersection was like driving over a curb. The rain made all the ice and snow wet, and it was almost impossible to drive even on level ground. I spent an hour sitting at the bottom of a hill, with stuck vehicles going in both directions, unable to move until they got pulled out.

    There are over 50,000 service failures stored at our building. All of our retain trailers are full, and we are running out of room to store the undelivered packages.

    I own a 4x4 pickup, with chains. Every morning on my way to and from work I have pulled at least 2 people out of snowbanks and ditches. I actually pulled an elderly woman out of a snowbank with my package car, since I have a trailer hitch on it. She had been calling 911 and couldnt get any help. A couple of guys had stopped and were trying to push her, but her car was buried. I was chained up, with enough weight in the back of the pkg car that I was able to pull her out, facing backward into the oncoming lane of traffic. I dont know what UPS would think of a driver using one of its vehicles as an unauthorized tow truck, but it was an emergency and I didnt give a damn. It would have to make for good publicity at least.

    The snow falls off of peoples roofs and falls into their driveways and when I would deliver a package I was mushing through snow up to my crotch. Most people around here dont even own snow shovels. One trailer park I deliver to had a total of 9 carport roofs collapse under the weight of all the snow and ice. This is the biggest snowstorm we have had in over 40 years.

    I dont know when I will be able to deliver to my rural area. Its been 2 weeks since I have even gone up there. They got over 3 feet of snow and the roads are blocked by drifts. Its starting to melt at the lower elevations but it could be a week or more until I can get up there. There are hundreds of stops up there waiting for me.

    On the plus side, we are having our first white Christmas ever. Im at home safe, with my family and my dogs. No one at our building got injured or had any serious accidents....a couple of minor fender-benders was about it.

    Merry Christmas, everyone!!!:happy2:
  2. Box_Junkie

    Box_Junkie Member

    Wow, after reading that I have no complaints about my peak!:knockedout:
  3. New Englander

    New Englander New Member

    I wonder if UPS and The Teamsters are going to work together on this and make it possible for drivers who are willing and able to be flown out and put up in hotels etc.....

    To help bail you guys out.
  4. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    What's it going to be like when all that snow melts and seaps to lower elevation ?

    On the lighter side, try not to go postal on a customer complaining about "Where's my package ? What took it so long ?". Many will understand, but there's always a few clueless ones.
  5. spuman

    spuman New Member

    I dont think you can call those service failures if your risking your life
    to make service.Just be safe and look at the bright side....your route will still be in after peak.
  6. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    On the bright side you know you have some work for the next month.
  7. probellringer

    probellringer Member

    how bout some me the carnage...
  8. musiciansbabe

    musiciansbabe New Member

    Wow this sounds like Spokane Wa... I am a simple bounce around girl who has been summoned in for work at 1am tomorrow morning... I have been a doubler for the last couple of days starting in night sort. I have a feeling peak isn't going to go away anytime soon, more snow forecasted :(
  9. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    They wouldnt need to fly them. Centers to the south of us like Salem, Albany and Eugene didnt get hit with nearly as much snow. I heard they might have low seniority guys from those places just drive up 1-5 in surplus pkg cars to help us. So far its just a rumour but I hope its true.
  10. New Englander

    New Englander New Member

    I wasn't sure how many surplus drivers were close enough and available to make a true push on it.

    From the sounds of it. You guys need far more then a few drivers :)
  11. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Not the best cellphone camera is not the best...but here is a pic of our access road as we leave the building. The pkg car on the left is stuck...on level ground. I towed him out of a rut with my package car. In the distance you can see all the other pkg cars and rentals chaining up.

    They had a rule...since suspended...that drivers had to remove their chains before driving into the building in order to protect the floor. This resulted in a huge traffic jam of vehicles in the parking lot who were either stuck or trying to chain up in the morning. It took over an hour just to get out of the building. I'm parked outside on an MDU, so I never had to remove my chains. Management finally decided it would be cheaper to just resurface the floor than to pay all of us OT for chaining up and waiting to leave.
  12. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Here is another pic of our customer counter. Our building does not own any snow removal equipment. They were finally able to hire a guy with a front-end loader and a road grader to come in and plow the parking lot.

    Here is another pic of my 4x4 truck which I used to take my wife to work.

    And another one of my backyard. I had an awning over my dog run, and the weight of all the snow caused it to collapse. So much snow slid down off of the steep metal roof of my house that when I opened my back door the snow had piled up waist deep. All this in an area that gets at most 2 or 3 inches of snow per year in the valley.
  13. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    This is the street in front of my house, which is a typical residential area. The main roads have been plowed, but none of the parking lots or side streets have been. There is around 8" of snow on the road with frozen ruts in it. When it gets above freezing the ice gets wet, then at night it refreezes. The ruts are like solid, ice-covered curbs. You cant drive more than 10mph in this crap, and the ruts pull your vehicle all over the road. Every residential area in the Portland metro area is like this. It is virtually impossible to function as a peak season UPS driver in this mess. You are "penguin walking" on wet ice, wading thru crotch-deep snow to get up to someone's porch, and constantly getting stuck and having to dig your package car out with a shovel or get a pull from a friendly 4x4 owner. In a tight, 30 SPORH resi area, I was barely able to manage 8 or 9.

    To make it even better, the main highways have been plowed...which means you either drive all the way out to your area at 30MPH with chains, or install and remove your chains every day out on area. Both choices cost huge amounts of time.

    I love the snow, but not this much. I just want it to be over.
  14. brownman15

    brownman15 New Member

    me 2 i had a bad peak but nothing like that
  15. brownman15

    brownman15 New Member

    if they paid my way out there and expenses i am in
  16. ol'browneye

    ol'browneye Active Member

    Well at least you have good taste in trucks!:tank:
  17. wadep

    wadep New Member

    Thats a normal winter delivery day in the great white north. When the drifts are up over your hear, and your trudgeing through hip deep snow in minus 49 degree weather. Thats when the true challenge begins. Mid you I feel your pain,you where afterall blindsided by the weather. Your home, your safe, and the packages will be there a little late. Guaranteed OT after peak. Gotta love it!!
  18. Re-Raise

    Re-Raise Well-Known Member

    Mother nature can be a real bi$#@. We had ice here in Ill which was a real pain. Nothing like what you are dealing with though Sober.

    Hopefully the temps will rise and you can get back to business. They are just packages , stay safe.
  19. Dutch Dawg

    Dutch Dawg Active Member

    I feel your pain.

    Getting caught up on my Brown Cafe today only because I have no desire to deal with our 3rd Ice storm in two weeks. Don't believe when it comes to either Ice or Snow Storms there is a lesser of two evils, so if asked which I'd rather experience, you're sure to hear neither from me.

    In spite of the 'HOT' little weathergirl continuing to taunt us with forecasts in the upper 40's. We've yet to see much of anything melt other than me when she gets up there in front of the weather map and wiggles.'s almost time for the afternoon weather update, gotta go..........
  20. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    I was at one of my pick ups today and the owner said that he just got off the phone with a center in Oregon. A NDA saver that he sent on Monday, was being delivered today. The Oregon people told him that the truck it went out on got stuck so bad that it was loaded into another truck that had a helper. The helper was sent out with a tobaggon and the package and the person assured my guy that the package would be delivered within the hour.