Questions about becoming a driver

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by HFolb23, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. HFolb23

    HFolb23 New Member


    I have some general questions about the procedures to becoming a package car driver. I know that wait times vary from center to center, but from what I've read smaller facilities tend to have shorter wait times.

    I've only been with UPS less than 6 months and I won't even be 21 for another year and a half so I understand I've got plenty of time to wait. I work in a facility in NY (not near NYC) that has around 50 trucks. Any guesses on typical wait times? I've asked around the hub and have heard all kinds of answers. I guess I'm in a different spot because there's a fair number of people on my sort that are there just for the extra cash after their day jobs and not really trying to make a career out of it.

    Is there any kind of consideration to who gets offered a driving job? There are 3-4 people above me in seniority that are yard certified but seriously struggle to park the trucks at night. I'm talking broken mirrors, bent grab handles and mangled bumpers fairly often when these people park, not to mention taking twice as long as anyone else to figure out thier section. Now I'm not trying to sound like an a**, we all struggle with something and for these people it's parking and driving the trucks. Fortunately I was quick to learn and typically fly through my section and usually wind up helping others or parking spares as well. I guess my question is; is there any consideration given for people's driving abilities? I know drivers all go to the driving school but these people im referring to have been there awhile, long enough to learn it and still struggle. Will someone who demonstrates a better driving ability have a better shot at being offered a driving job?

    Is there anything I should be doing now to help better my chances at being a driver? I'm set to graduate next semester with a criminal justice degree which probably won't do crap for UPS, but does getting my CDL or attending any trade schools help my chances at all? I understand a CDL isn't required for the package cars, but I can't imagine it would look bad. I have a clean driving record, no drugs/alcohol either.

    Will taking a military leave of absence affect my seniority? I'm in the Army National Guard and will be gone for a few months this summer. I'm not so worried about losing a few months seniority especially when I'm not even eligible to drive, but down the road when deployments could come up it could really hurt me to be out almost a year.

    Thank you for reading this book.

  2. sailfish

    sailfish Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately it goes entirely by seniority so extra credentials won't really help you there. If the guys who are above you suck at driving and sign the list the same time as you, they may DQ anyway. My center sounds roughly the same size as yours and I had about six months in when I started driving.

    In your case you'll have a year and a half of seniority by the time you can sign up, and if your center is anything like mine they usually train a whole wave of new driver just before every peak, so your chances will probably be pretty good.
  3. The biggest factor will probably be if you have any retirements coming up in your center. Since we just went through a big hiring spree. But I know nothing about ny. Driving ability will only help the job, not help you get it any faster as it is all about seniority.
  4. sailfish

    sailfish Well-Known Member

    I should also probably mention that although I'm sure it probably varies from local to local and I really don't know much of anything about it, my center had a guy that went on military leave for a few years and upon coming back still had full seniority from his original day. That's something you would want to ask your union BA about.
  5. Brownslave688

    Brownslave688 You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

    It's all seniority. Put enough time in and get a shot to drive. Easy as that. Now you also need to keep your driving record clean. No DWI for 3 years no moving violations for 1 year.

    You will not lose any seniority because of military obligations.
  6. upschuck

    upschuck Well-Known Member

    You keep your seniority while on military leave, the only thing it affects is your vacation time, but you keep accruing time while actively serving. You lose some vacation time the year you are gone, but week decline more, the longer you are gone.
  7. greengrenades

    greengrenades To be the man, you gotta beat the man.

    Seniority rules at UPS. It doesn't matter how good someone is, if you have more seniority you are above them on the totem pole. Just sign the bids that come out. Check every week to make sure none have come out, sign every bid that comes across. Sign Sign Sign. You really need to find someone who has been at UPS a while and try to learn from him. This is nothing like any other job you have ever had. If you have questions you should ask your Union Steward, never management.
  8. TooTechie

    TooTechie Geek in Brown

    That was way too long to read but you have it backwards. Larger centers have more turnover and thus shorter waits to go driving.
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  9. PT Car Washer

    PT Car Washer Well-Known Member

    Only seniority gives you the chance at a FT driving job. Being a poor driver working around the yard will definitely disqualify people from even attending the school. The best thing to help you qualify driving is parking cars and getting used to all the different size trucks. Also try doing Saturday Air when the chance comes. Being in the National Guard will also improve your chances at qualifying when your turn comes. Teaches you a strong work ethic, discipline, mission first and you won't have a pony tail tucked under your hat. You keep gaining seniority while deployed or at schools or training so do as much as you can. I did 22 years in my states National Guard. Best thing I ever did.
  10. Sparkey86

    Sparkey86 Member

    As for me it was a 6 to 7 year process. When the time comes, your driving record better be clean as a whistle. Surprisingly, there have been a few young guys in my building who were disqualified from driving because they failed the on road test because they couldn't drive a straight shift! By the time you get to driving there may not be any straight shift package cars in the ups fleet but you better know how anyway. I spent most of my 7 years as a part timer as a car washer so I could handle any package cars and tractors. Take a Saturday air job as soon as you are able to. I agree with TooTechie, the smaller the center the longer the wait. But you never know.
  11. jumpman23

    jumpman23 Oh Yeah

    We have a guy like that who is in air force reserves and he was gone for bout 5 years, you don't lose seniority and I think you still get a pension credit also if you serve in the armed forces reserves.
  12. reyUpser

    reyUpser New Member

    Would anybody agree that a "combo" job is better than driving in the long term?
  13. oldngray

    oldngray nowhere special

    Combo is less money but much easier on the body and less stress so you can do it longer.
  14. reyUpser

    reyUpser New Member

    THANK YOU. Now I need a union steward....
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  15. PT Car Washer

    PT Car Washer Well-Known Member

    Depends on the combo job. Lot less money and almost all of our combo jobs are midnight/preload. Loading on one and unloading on the other with an hour and half to two hour break between sorts.
  16. Wally

    Wally Hailing from Parts Unknown.

    Search Results for Query: Becoming a driver
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  17. YellowSox

    YellowSox Member

    You make less money as a combo guy
  18. platinum9898

    platinum9898 Active Member

    Loading is worse on the body and overall health in my opinion...dust, twisting, standing, bending, no sense of accomplishment. Driving gives you a much healthier range of motion and fresh air everyday also a great work out. I've never felt better after leaving the inside. I was to the point of wearing dust masks and having back pain, throat constantly swollen. Sufficating in the summer. Driving is where you wanna be. If package is too much then feeders is an option, just watch out for the prostate cancer sitting for prolonged periods.
  19. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    So, you are saying the search function is not broke, more of a user problem.

  20. Need a beer?