Part Time -> Cover Driver troubles.

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by LS Nerd, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. LS Nerd

    LS Nerd New Member

    Hello there! First post here, relatively new to UPS. I got in at a good time, and within a short time I'm up for cover driver. The problem is that I only recently managed to get scarce practice in manual transmissions until I could drive on the roads without too much trouble in an old car, and I wasn't allowed to be yard certified until I could do so. But before I could even do that, the test hit! I failed my first test, but they're doing a rare retest shortly. My confidence is crushed, and management refuses to let me get certified in the yard before it.

    I'll definitely do the test to the best of my abilities, but the truck I'm in for the test is completely unlike anything I've driven! Not so much in size alone, but the gears! It's a 4-speed, the stick is -very- lose and hard to even properly find the gears. There's even gaps where you're too fast for the lower gear, but end up slowing down too much for the higher gear. At one point I couldn't even go into first despite being at a stop for several seconds because the gear would just grind, even holding the clutch to the floor while trying to shift from neutral! Even a cover driver that had been stuck with it during peak season couldn't believe they were testing on it.

    This seems like a rant, but I'm curious. Is this normal? Is that kind of unwieldiness on a standard transmission normal, or is the truck possibly just in poor shape? Or is it possible I'm still just very bad at changing gears? What kind of trucks did you test on? And lastly do you have any tips for an aspiring cover driver to pass his test?
  2. MC4YOU2

    MC4YOU2 Yep, not wearing brown anymore

    The fact is that most UPS trucks, and most trucks in general, have differences in how they shift, accelerate, brake and everything else. You can't blame the truck for being different. You mention you've had scarce practice, and that's the real issue.

    If you really want to pass here's what you need to do; contact as many of your local friends that drive a standard trans as possible. Let them know about your situation and ask if they'd let you drive them around for an hour or so, so you can get the hang of how their car shifts. Repeat wth as many different cars and trucks as you can arrange to help you out. Offer to pay for their gas plus maybe some extra for their trouble.

    By the time test day comes you have real actual experience AND confidence. You'll ace the test if you drive enough different vehicles.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  3. LS Nerd

    LS Nerd New Member

    Thanks for the advice. That's been the plan, it's just few and far between I find people with one, having had to go to a brother's in-law's hobby VW, and at one point a driver let me use his Jeep. There's some good people at my center! I'll do my best to practice over the weekend on what I can get my hands on. The whole thing is a mess, and it sounds like I may only have until monday.
    I looked into renting a manual U-Haul and the local rental places, but they don't have standard transmissions. I've even considered going to a dealership and test-driving some standard transmission vehicles.
  4. Indecisi0n

    Indecisi0n Well-Known Member

    Just wrap those warm hands around that long hard pulsating stick and go crazy. You'll be fine.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  5. Rick Ross

    Rick Ross I'm into distribution!!

    You need to use the accelerator to adjust the engine rpm when shifting. Not a lot, just a little and it will shift right in.

    One of my training supervisors was smooth, it was impressive. The other impressive thing is 2 out of 3 of my former supervisors actually knew what they were doing...long time former drivers. It's a lot easier to learn when the trainer has a clue and practical experience.
  6. LS Nerd

    LS Nerd New Member

    So it's moreso RPM than speed? In the VW I used the most, it was more about speed than anything else. Or so I thought. I've been doing it wrong!
    ... Wait, what's a training supervisor?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  7. 3 done 3 to go

    3 done 3 to go In control of my own destiny

    Those old 4 speeds. I started off in 2nd gear. I never used 1st
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  8. cosmo1

    cosmo1 Just another internet hooligan.

    I'd recommend either a Mustang GT-350 or a Corvette Z06.

    Good luck.
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  9. silenze

    silenze Lunch is the best part of the day

    Absolutely no cars. Any Single cab base work truck. Only 2 seats. Bring a friend and the salesman cant ride with you.
  10. Unless you are going up a hill.
  11. cosmo1

    cosmo1 Just another internet hooligan.

    In that case, I recommend a new Raptor with the twin turbo.
  12. LS Nerd

    LS Nerd New Member

    That'd be awesome since I'm fairly sure after showing I'm not experienced with manual transmissions the salesman would kick me out.
  13. Wally

    Wally Hailing from Parts Unknown.

    Get a Yugo. They shift- not so good. Great practice.
  14. Rick Ross

    Rick Ross I'm into distribution!!

    They were regular on car supervisors. In the beginning I spent some time at the bottom of the TCD list before qualifying and occasionally they would call and beg me to ride with supervisors on a route when staffing was screwed up (usually someone had an emergency at home and bailed during the day).

    At that point I got to learn from 2 older supervisors who were very good and straight shooters. Both were hourly at one time and wished they would have stayed hourly for retirement reasons. It was helpful seeing someone who didn't freak out or run when the truck and route was a mess..they worked smart. Rarely touched a package twice.

    The downside was when I was finally sent out by myself I had over 200 stops on my first day. I think I made it in around 9:20 on a Friday and took my air directly to the air load.

    I haven't driven a manual package car in years but when you go to shift try tapping the accelerator lightly and see if it helps it slide into gear. You also need to shift a little slower than in a car.

    I've seen supervisors running Saturday air let people practice on the yard. Worth a shot asking.

    Good Luck
  15. 3 done 3 to go

    3 done 3 to go In control of my own destiny

    I still started in 2nd. Unless it was real steep. Which rarely happened
  16. I have a lot of steep hills.
  17. Savvy412

    Savvy412 Active Member

    My hub let me come on Saturday and test drive . I drove that damn pc back and fourth 300 times for 3 weeks . I still kinda sucked . Took my first test . Failed . Second test , was the air sup who got me to start driving.. He basically was like dude .. You promise if I pass you , you'll keep coming and get better . (I did maybe one more week) and then went to school.. No clue how I did it . The one day I couldn't get it into 2nd and had traffic way backed up and the trainer screamed at me and got out and got in driver seat!! Lol. But it was snowing and like 0 degrees . After he apologized and said that truck sucks and it does get stuck. But passed that and my first route was a automatic and my route now is an automatic ..

    Your best bet is to go to your hub at 9am. And beg to let you practice . It's your best shot. No matter who's car you drive over the weekend.. You'll still fumble through the test again