P 500's

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by dannyboy, Jan 6, 2003.

  1. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    Sly guy

    I thought I would start a thread on this subject since you did bring it up.

    P500's were touted as the way UPS was going years ago. Several upper end management envisioned that we would be much like the postal service, more drivers, more stops, tighter areas, therefor the need for smaller package cars.

    OF course things changed. O/70's, hundredweight etc. And the great influx of compitition in every aspect of our business, that takes the gravy and leaves the hard and spread out stops for UPS.

    Safty wise, they are worse than even the Hon cars that we drove years back. If UPS would have put duel wheels on the back to create a more stable vehicle, they might have been fair. But with their size and narrow wheelbase, they are just the opposite. Since we have had them, 100% of all vehicles that have been rollovers (7)were 500's. Over the last 5 years 100% of all our major accidents have involved 500's. In most of the cases they were single vehicles accidents.

    And our only major injury to a driver involved in a wreck has occured in a 500(was out for almost 2 years, had to cut him out of the wreckage and flew him from the scene). And 500's have only been 10%-15% of our vehicle makeup over the years.

    We did have a feeder driver in 99 i think that put one into a guardrail, and piledrove a set of doubles off the bridge onto the road below. Wreckage was so bad the first police on the scene called it in as a fatality. It wasnt untill hours later that they heard him moaning at the bottom of the pile of metal. Happened christmas eve morning about 130 AM.

    But that is off subject. We are currently pushing to get the 500 off the road here in our area. Most have close to or over a million miles on them and are totally worn out. IMO not too soon.

    d
     
  2. deliver_man

    deliver_man Guest

    P500's are awful. Best truck in the fleet right now,IMO, is that P700 freightliner. Automatic, power steering..oh yeah [​IMG]
     
  3. dammor

    dammor Guest

    I am in a P500 and surely understand the gripe. I have been in all, but the P500 I am in now is surely the worst because it is a walker. It will change lanes in an instant. I got some new retreads on the front and it helped some, but it is still a chalenge every day. Get on some snow and ice and just start praying. Why are they so bad?
     
  4. over9five

    over9five Guest

    "Why are they so bad? "

    Too light.
    No duallies.
    Too old.
    No power steering.
    Opening back doors covers your rear lights.
     
  5. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    I dont know, while the 700 is nice, I still like the P1000 with a 5 speed, since I have to pull the TP60 quite often. I just feel the 700 is not heavy enough. That is a personal opinion. But with 490-650 packages a day, the 700 has never been an option[​IMG].

    d
     
  6. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    IMHO they are too top heavy for the wheel base. Any wind, any ridge in the road(like paving one lane before the other), too wide a tire for the front, steering that was meant for lighter vehicles. But the bigest failure was never adding the other two tires on the rear. They could have done it VERY easily, but the cost was too high. Also in some states, they are clasified as delivery VANS, any thing with 6 tires get classified as a TRUCK. The van is cheaper to tag. That is why we are getting new vans like FDX.

    Shame, like a lot of other things UPS has done in the past, a GREAT idea gets mutilated by the number crunchers, and we end up with a pile of crap instead. I beleive had they installed those two extra tires, it would have made them really good package cars.
    d
     
  7. abuckover

    abuckover Guest

    Long time lurker, first time poster...

    Maybe it's just that I've never known anything else, but I don't mind the P500s. I've driven the same one since I started with UPS 8 years ago and the only issues I have are the lack of power steering (what cheap sumbitch gave that the go ahead) and doors you can't open from the inside. That being said, we recently got a P340(? I could be wrong on that number, it looks like a little brown ice cream truck) and that looks to be a sweet unit to drive. Every other vehicle here is either a P500 or P800 with armstrong steering and manual tranny. Automatic and power steering would definitely make my day a lot easier, however our center seems to be where UPS Canada's package cars come to die, so I'm not holding my breath for a modern vehicle. Mine was built in 1986 and is pushing 400,000 km. What are the guidelines for retiring package cars anyways?
     
  8. dammor

    dammor Guest

    adbuck,
    Unless you roll it and total it you are going to own it.Of course after that you wil get one that is worse. I'm not suggesting you do so, but you will get many new engines before they scrap the sucker. It's a money thing and I do understand, but these dogs have really gotten old. I think my main gripe,(Except for the damn thing walking into next year with no warning,) is that they are just dirty. The seals on the back doors are gone and also are the ones on the doors up front. Go down a dirt road and all of the sudden you are living on a dirt road. Bottom line it's a trade off. If you are in a smaller truck as in a P500 that means there are not 300 packages in there. I guess I am happy to eat dirt.
     
  9. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    Abuckover
    You in Canada? I wish more international posters would find this site, it would be soooooo interesting to hear how the opperations differ in other parts of the country.

    I hear Alabama is the dumping ground for all "usable" cars they retire here. But usually anymore they just cut them up for scrap, and take photos to document the total destruction.

    400,000 KM only?, thats less than 250,000 miles. IN our area that is a new package car. We have some that are close to and over 1,000,000 miles, that is 1.6 million KM! I guess you will have that vehicle untill you retire[​IMG]. Best of luck.

    d
     
  10. rushfan

    rushfan Guest

    I had fun with my P500. Lots of extras. It is on a Ford chassis. Mine would backfire when coming to a stop after running high rpms. It sure was fun going through quiet residential neighborhoods, and having it backfire. The people would look at me as if I was some sort of freak. The teenagers would think it was cool. I had the mechanics look at it and they would try everything to fix the problem. One time I even blew the tail pipe off.

    If some one would run a 4 way stop, I would rev the engine. BANG, BOOM, or what ever descriptive you choose to use. The people would usually slam on their brakes. Boy I had so much fun.

    Well the fun ended, as it was decomissioned.

    It had all the comforts. There was a lip above the floor where the bulkhead door would ride. If I wasn't careful, I would trip. Where the gear shifter came out of the floor, there was some sort of riser that I would always trip on. I kept reminding myself-Keep you eyes ahead of your work.

    Lastly, the steering wheel had about 1 inch of clearance from the windshield. We nick-named that car the "knucklebuster".
     
  11. abuckover

    abuckover Guest

    A fair bit of difference between operations up here and south of the border I would think. For one we are definately not the "big dog" of couriers that we are in the states. Last number I heard was 10% market share. The king up here is Purolator courier, which is owned and subsidized by our postal system. UPS is currently in the courts with them arguing that this is an unfair practice under the NAFTA agreement, and this seems to be progressing favourably but very slowly . We are growing steadily up here, about 10-20% per year lately. I live in a city of 350,000 people and we have 13 full time drivers and 7 part timers working here with one supervisor, an accounts rep, and 2 clerks. Vehicles are 14 p500s, 2 p800s and 1 p320. We usually see 2 28-footers every morning and 2 small plane (Piper Navaho) loads of air a day. Our contract is not quite as sweet as the one you have down there and top rate for package drivers is 20.31$Cdn per hour (roughly 13.50$US)-a very good wage up here. Of course we only started to turn a profit up here a couple of years ago, so we can't expect the UPS Canada vault to be overflowing I guess. The most senior drivers here were hired 15 years ago and back then 3 drivers serviced the city. I was hired 8 years ago and we have easily doubled in size since then. Although growth in the states has flattened somewhat, I think the international operations are starting to roll.
    If anyone works in a similar sized US city I'd be interested to hear what the size of your center is like. I imagine we are pretty puny in comparison.
     
  12. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    WE have three cities here that form a triangle. Each has about 50,000 in them, but we have close to 750,000 within a 50 mile radius. We have two centers, one with 40 drivers or so. We were all in the same buildingfor years, untill about 6 years ago. My building has right at 100 delivery drivers, 15 or so feeder drivers, and close to 200 part time employees, maybe more. Last I heard was 360 employees in our building. We have 2 center managers, 5 delivery sups, 40 or so PT sups, and a handful of OMS. There are several other fulltime sups, but they work nights. I believe 12 full time management is what we have at this time in our building.

    Because of the market conditions, our delivery volume has grown some, but the pick up volume is 10% of what it was 2 years ago. One was fingerhut, that shipped out upwards of 100 trailers per week or more, shut down to consolidate, King pharm. lost the exclusive rights to augmentin, so their volume has gone to 0. There have been probably 10-12 major shippers that have gone under, consolidated plants, or gone to other shippers.

    I was in the Baniff area last summer, and while the car was 1/4 full of gas, I filled up. It took $176.CDN to fill it up. I dont see how you can make it with the cost of living as high as it is there. IT was a wonderful trip, and the veiws there were out of this world!

    d