New Member--Many Questions...

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by pretender, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. pretender

    pretender Guest


    I recently came across your site--and it is just what I have been looking for. I have often wondered about the opinions of other UPSers across the country.

    First, a brief background--I started at UPS in 1973, as a part-timer. I began driving in 1977, and went into Feeders in 1983. I am in Grand Rapids, MI.

    I have many questions, but I will start out with just one. As I said, I have been a Feeder driver for 20 years. For the past several years, I have worked out of one of the package car centers, making deliveries and pickups out of a tractor trailer. (It used to be called TDP/CPU, but I don't know if there is even a name for it any longer.) I was part of the plan that brought Feeder Drivers into the centers--back in the mid to late 90s. There were a few unforeseen flaws in this set-up, but overall, things worked well.

    My question is: I was told recently, that we in Grand Rapids, are the only ones in the country that are still operating under this system--Evidently, it was a failure, and long ago, everyone else went back to the old way of doing things--whatever that may have been.

    To make a long story short, as everyone knows, the volume has gone down, and there have been many changes--one of which, is that I am now delivering out of a straight truck (we call them BBTs--big brown trucks) in the morning, and coming back for my tractor trailer in the afternoon. Ironically, I am delivering more out of this truck (with no rollers) than I did out of the trailer.

    I am curious what the set-up is in various places across the country.

  2. brown39

    brown39 Guest

    It goes back to union contract language saving feeder drivers layoffs due to low volume. More Volume = more jobs.
  3. wkmac

    wkmac Guest

    It might (I say might because I don't know) be more because of cost savings too. That BBT may be cheaper to operate for delivery and cheaper to load on the preload where the Tractor-Trailer is more cost effective to load for the driver and then for the sort to unload using an extendo UNL-16/18 verses a metro unload device in a BBT. Also is it more productive for you as the driver to use the trailer or the package car?

    The contract language may very well be a primary point but I'll also bet cost effectiveness will factor in somewhere in this equation.

    Welcome to the frey and the object here is to tackle the man with the ball. Only problem is someone threw away the ball long ago so we just tackle each other for no reason at all.
  4. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    Yours is still a fairly common practice.
  5. rdwarrior

    rdwarrior Guest

    We have a couple of feeder drivers that carry truckloads of packages to other towns and offload about 50 stops onto a package car that stays in that town all the time.They deliver those stops then come back to the ctr and make pickups in the feeder. These 50 stops was a route that was cut by management and added to the feeder route to get feeder drivers stops per onroad hour up.It looks good on paper even if it butchered up 6 good routes to make it work.
    The volume being down hasn't helped either.I wondered if something like this was going on in other centers.Ask some more questions.
  6. local804

    local804 Guest

    Oh Man does that suck...First thing they told the guys in feeder class was to forget about packages.The 30 minute pretrip was the most important thing the job required.If these feeder drivers want to do pickups and deliver packages have the union pull their butts back into the package center.There is a reason why one is called Package car and one is called feeder. That really takes alot of balls to do.I still cant believe they did that.What state??
  7. pretender

    pretender Guest

    Thanks for all of the responses so far...I am not sure that I stated my question in the best way. I will think it over and re-post this weekend--trying to be more clear and/or provide more details.
  8. feederdryver

    feederdryver Guest


    Welcome to Cheryl's Brown cafe..

    You are innocent until Cheryl proves you guilty.
    (In other words.. "don't piss her off")

    (lol..just kidding Cheryl)

    First off..why that name?

    Secondly.. I guess I'm the guy your looking to talk to. I'm a TDP driver out of the Cleveland, Ohio area. We have about 23 routes. The practice is still the same here. Yes volume is down, but it's also a little more depressed here because many companies in the Cleveland and suburban areas are being bought out by bigger companies from California, New York, and Chicago. And to top it off, Cleveland is going to through a face-lift right now, and their new mayor has her priorities all backwards. OfficeMax (based out of Mayfield, Ohio) was just bought by Boise/ who knows if they'll be sticking around.
    Anyways... we have a straight truck too, but it's operated soley by the package car centers (3 centers in our Hub). A package car driver out of one of our neighboring centers got his run chopped earlier this year and he was actually put to work in customer counter for the first part of his day. Now that has changed, and he's driving their straight truck and then switches to a P600 at the end of the day for late Air P/U's.

    Unlike you, I went from part time sorting right into Feeders without going into Packages, so I can't speak for the package car drivers, except that I know they work their "arse's" off.

    Stick will learn alot on this board.
    It's gets real funny sometimes...

    If you got any other questions..feel free to ask me or some of these other goons that frequent this board.

    There's another feeder driver here. He goes by Feeder. He's probably more on your level of experience.

    Then if you want jokes.. there's "Moreluck"

    If you want a brown-blooded point of view from a management person.. you can count on "TieGuy"

    If you like to listen to Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neal Peart.. get a hold of .... "Rushfan"

    If you want to debate anything ranging from mucous membranes to ceiling fans.. I'm sure "Traveler" is your man (or woman)
    ..not really sure on that one.

    Ahhh the list goes on....

    but watch out for "Kidlogic" !!
    He'll blind you with his wits.
    (actually..., it's just the sunshine coming through the hole on the other side of his head, I advise you to wear shades when conversing with this fellow)

    but anyways.. most everyone here is pretty decent..
    Cheryl does a good job on limiting the chaos that fluctuates through here.

    So have fun!
  9. proups

    proups Guest

    Isn't it more expensive to operate a tractor-trailer than it is to just put that cardboard on a big brown truck?
  10. pretender

    pretender Guest


    Thanks for the info/tips--It sounds like there is a nice variety of personalities and perspectives.

    Regarding the name-It is just the name of a Jackson Browne song that I used to like.

    Regarding Feeder drivers working for the centers--I thought it was a new program that was initiated back around 1996. There was a brief mention of it in the Feeder News tape back then. Maybe it never got off the ground...

    At any rate, here is a little history: Here in Grand Rapids, there had always been a handful of tractor-trailer drivers who worked in the centers. Back in 1983, the Michigan hub was moved here, and some of the pickups were transferred to the Feeder department, and covered by CPU drivers. However, some of the work remained in the centers--So, we had CPU Feeder drivers making pickups, and tractor trailer drivers in the centers making deliveries and pickups. In 1996, it was decided that all of this work was to be handled by the package centers, so 5 or 6 of us followed the work into the centers, where deliveries were added to our pickups. As I said in my original post, this worked well, up until recently. (However, there were some major flaws that I could bring up later.)

    At any rate, we had a total of about a dozen drivers in the beginning, and now we are down to 6. We all know the reasons--economy, cost cutting, etc.--which I would also be interested in discussing at a later point...

    My main reason for the post, was to find out how tractor trailer deliveries and pickups are handled in other parts of the country. The job I am doing now is a far cry from what I originally bid on. As I said, I am now in a straight truck in the mornings and tractor-trailer in the afternoon. Back when there were 12 of us, we had our own wing of the building where our trailers were loaded for delivery. Now there are only 3 people left in this wing. I and the other 2 drivers are on "spurs" in the centers (2 trailers and my straight truck). In addition to my regular deliveries, I am now a glorified "split" driver--taking on "dump" stops from the package cars. I never know what is going to be in my truck, and if I am going to even have time to stop for a sandwhich, before coming back to the building for my tractor trailer. I am beginning to think that if work is done out of a tractor-trailer, then it should be part of the Feeder department. Before I pursue this, it would be helpful to know how this is handled elsewhere.

    Sorry for such a long post!
  11. brown39

    brown39 Guest

    You have to look at the contract language covering CPU/Feeder operations in your local.
  12. hitthebigone

    hitthebigone Guest

    Want more power? Stop the "Feeder work rules". Let Feeder be their own bargining unit. Watch work get protection then!
  13. traveler

    traveler Guest

    Hey feederdryver,

    Looks like you forgot to mention someone in your review.
    Need another hint?
  14. feederdryver

    feederdryver Guest

    not really...
  15. traveler

    traveler Guest

  16. feederdryver

    feederdryver Guest

    if your talking about you..

    I mentioned your crazy arse already

  17. traveler

    traveler Guest

    Oops, Sounds like you are still angry about being exposed as a know nothing when it comes to historical facts!!! Get over it!

    (Message edited by traveler on August 02, 2003)
  18. kidlogic

    kidlogic Guest

    I agree about him not putting much thought into what he says. But in this case he did say this in his post"If you want to debate anything ranging from mucous membranes to ceiling fans.. I'm sure "Traveler" is your man (or woman)
    ..not really sure on that one." You need to go back and reread Traveler.
  19. traveler

    traveler Guest

    Hi kid,
    Yes, you are correct and I did see it the first time, but that is not what I was referring to. I was talking about the post here that just preceeded mine!
  20. feederdryver

    feederdryver Guest


    You want me to "get over it" because... you claim I'm "angry" ??
    Why are you so arrogant with your assumptions?

    Do you laugh at your own jokes too?

    To be honest, I forgot all about that history debate.. wasn't important to remember.
    I'm not angry at all. Actually, you make me laugh.

    Ya know what? I think you need to get lay** !!
    Go have a beer or something.

    and take boylogic with you.