1st time driver during Peak .......any advice?

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by fups, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. fups

    fups Guest

    I starting cover driving back in Feb. of this year and this will be my first year driving during peak.... i've talked to some of the drivers and they say peak is better than the summer cause its sooo damn hot out there and during peak you get sooo much help its not as bad as some say...any truth to this and what am i to see this peak?? is 9.5 thrown out the window with scratching? or is this all possible?
  2. dammor

    dammor Guest

    That's right fups. Just hang on and wait for all that help. HA! Peak is an experience to say the least. I've been through 20 driving and before that 3 loading. Good news is you will survive if you try. Bad news is it will happen again next year. It's our bread and butter though. Can't complain about that. Come the middle of December I would love to hear from you if your fingers still work. Best advice I can give is to take a run at it and try to keep a decent attitude. You will be smooth worn out, but try to remember that it only lasts a few weeks. One thing for sure, you will wonder why you ever griped about the work you were asked to do leading up to it.
    Jingle Bells,Jingle Bells..........
  3. p_d_quick

    p_d_quick Guest

    fups, listen to dammor, for he knows of what he speaks.
  4. feeder

    feeder Guest

    Peak season can be overwhelming at many times. Your stop count will increase 30 to 50 stops. It takes a positive attitude and more of a great planning to succeed everyday on peak. Just remember a helper they give you on peak, is just a new person the company trained-in classroom, and hasnt experience the real-world everyday delivery scenarios. Its your job to instill your delivery skills into him/her so that you and your helper can work nsync. Finally, Yes, you and your helper are evaluated on performances too. One more thing, what I hated on peak is that you can only keep your helper no more than 3 hours, and most drivers know that 3 hours is not enough time to train your helper effectively and succeed on your stop goals.
  5. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    Along with all the craziness try to enjoy the moment where you can. You get to be Santa Claus this year.
  6. toonertoo

    toonertoo Guest

    Do your Christmas shopping now, and enjoy the season. Every one is happy as heck when you show up at the door. People are nicer, houses are prettier, and once you start your residential in the evening, keep up the pace but enjoy your surroundings. You will be tired but it is rewarding, actually it is my favorite time of year to deliver. Get yourself a good spotlight to see numbers on houses, take extra nourishment with you, and a big thermos of coffee or hot chocolate. When you close the door on your truck in the AM leaving the building, and it is stuffed ceiling to floor, front to back, you will know how Santa feels, but he knows by morning all will be delivered and everyone is happy, in your case all will be delivered by sometime that evening!
  7. proups

    proups Guest

    toonertoo: great post....and how true! [​IMG]
  8. fups

    fups Guest

    you know some days i don't see how it could get much worse???!!!!!!! a couple days last week on the road... 106 stops, 435 pieces delivered, and about 350 pickups! Talk about needed some breathing room... i have days all the time where its loaded front to back , top to bottom.

    i'll post during peak ,letcha know how i'm doing if i have enough energy to peck at these keys.

    what do they do with the cover drivers during peak? i know about seven routes but as you know there ain't no vacation during peak sooooooo what shall i be doing....residential spilts?
  9. dammor

    dammor Guest

    Trust me props, you will feel more needed than every before. If they do things as they do here you will surely have a ton of residentials. There are plenty of positives to that though. It's really not a bad position to be in. You will be packed as usual, but if not on a regular run there should be no pickups. I have always liked delivering more than picking up. There is something about emptying the truck that is much more fun than filling it up. You will do just fine. As far as helpers, I have never really enjoyed having one. As feeder said, they are green and the last thing you will have time for is too train someone. Hang in, it is an expierence for sure.
  10. sendagain

    sendagain Guest

    If you live through peak season, you then have the satisfaction that you've survived, much like living through a war. I suggest a small, packed lunch that you can consume in 5 or 10 minutes that will save you time and keep your strength up. If you can avoid a driver helper, do so. I've found the majority of them aren't competant enough to be of any real help, and have often been relieved when they didn't show up at the meet point to render their questionable assistance. You have to reach down in your gut for something extra during December. If you're really packed, you'll get to meet some of your customers doing the family thing or having a Christmas party. They'll be very sympathetic to you and wish you a merry Christmas, maybe even handing you some cookies or that rare $. Then at the end of the day, pull over at some restaurant for the breaks you've got coming and take a load off, enjoy a nice meal while on overtime, and smile because you still haven't dropped dead.
  11. ezrider

    ezrider Guest

    fups have you been driving everyday since February or have you been laid off at all?If you have 10 solid months behind you that's a definite plus.The suggestions from the other posts are right on the money.I have a 1 million candle power spotlight and I know there are even more powerful lights out there.If your out in the "boonies" or the "sticks" the spotlight can be a real help if you don't know the area by heart.I always try to get my country stops done before dark and save the area that has streetlights and apartments that require a signature for after dark hours.The sticky part is the "helper" issue.If you start running a 12 hour dispatch in 9 and 1/2 hours,your going to see one stictly as a result of politics,so don't cut corners with the idea of saving time,You will just wind up with more stops the next day and possibly saddled with a temporary worker that may never be able to complete the tasks that you need fulfilled.Your gonna be faced with some situations that you may never have seen before but that's all part of the experience.If you can manage to stay objective the experience you get this Christmas is going to pay big dividends down the road.
  12. sweatyguy

    sweatyguy Guest

    You will have days when you think you will never get done...walking up to a house at 9 pm, looking for another driver to get stops from at 10 pm, or just feeling your feet turn to lead weights after 15 hours pounding the bricks. Rest assured somewhere else out there in this great country of ours, you will have 70,000 brothers and sisters that make up the visible part of the "Brown Army" who are right there with you. We all have our good days...we all have our bad days...but we are all in this together. Work hard...but have fun. Don't forget to get your Christmas shopping done early...!!!
  13. toonertoo

    toonertoo Guest

    Oh yeah, good boots if you live in a snow area, and extra socks just in case Gloves, although you wont use them much......BIG FLASHLIGHT, Good attitude, extra food, extra drink,shop early, understanding family who knows you are doing it for them, Yup I think we about covered it all. plan all parties for in between Christmas and New Years so you will be coherent enough to enjoy them. And enjoy, after Christmas your paychecks will look dismal compared to peak pays!!! Good luck.
  14. rushfan

    rushfan Guest

    Just work hard. Set a good pace, if not you'll burn out within hours. Use your handrail religiously! Don't worry about the numbers game. Yes, you will also have the support of other "brown army" members. Welcome to Bootcamp. HOORAHHH!

    (Message edited by rushfan on September 29, 2003)
  15. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    Good thread, and lots of very true issues and good advice.

    There are several issues that help in your christmas deliveries. 1 you have been delivering for most of the year, much better than someone that they are just now hiring. 2 your methods and area knowledge should be clicking right allong and that will really help you out. 3 the proper equipment will also help make it smoother for you. As mentioned before a really good flashlight helps. I like the metal ones by brinkman. Uses 6 d cell batteries. ANd most places have a belt attachment so after using, you can slide it into the holder on your belt and it is ready for the next use. They have a strong enough beam to light up the house #'s from the street, and are nice for a bad dog situation.

    Main thing is that you get some enjoyment out of delivering christmas to your customers, it DOES make it much easier to take. And the extra money doesnt hurt.

    As far as helpers go, Ive used 4 at one time before. I started my first one the week of thanksgiving. I was able to spend a day or so "training" the guy for what I needed and wanted him to do. Within a week I had my second helper and had time to train some more. By the 2nd week in dec had my third and then 4th. I heard several customers laughingly state that when the UPS truck was coming to a stop, it looked like someone tossed a grenade into the truck, they came out that fast. The first two that I trained were set off with twowheelers and 15-20 stops at different areas and the other two went with me. Basically I just spent the day shuttling packages around to who ever was done. It did make it very intense for me mentally, but physically was not too bad.

    Now mostly they just add helpers to be runners and that does not really help all that much unless you have a high density area.

    IMHO we have lost much of the home volume that we used to get. It was not unusual for me to have a package for every house on the block. Now it seems that we are lucky to have one for maybe 1/3 of the houses. Might also be that the neighborhood has "aged" and our services are not needed?

    I allways hate the cut back times right after Christmas. So I usually take 2-3 weeks off and go to FLA. That lets some of the less junior drivers come back to delivery and gives these old legs some needed days off.

    Enjoy! And I hope for you it will be only just the begining.

  16. sweatyguy

    sweatyguy Guest

    IMHO we have lost much of the home volume that we used to get. It was not unusual for me to have a package for every house on the block. Now it seems that we are lucky to have one for maybe 1/3 of the houses. Might also be that the neighborhood has "aged" and our services are not needed?

    Have you noticed a Dramatic increase in the number of home deliveries coming from "The UPS Store"...? I get a funny feeling that the 'reduced rates' that your average MBetc. used to charge is going to inspire a little more gift sending this year...maybe its just me. But seems like I'm seeing more and more of these where I did not always notice MBetc as the sender... [​IMG]
  17. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    UPS stores are not all that good a bargin for the customer. I have 3 customer counter accounts as pickups. THe UPS store is in the middle of the pricing. THe pharmacy is the least expensive and they belong to a group called PEC. THey are usually 15-35% cheaper than the UPS store.

    But then again, that particular UPS store charges every one the rezzi rate regardless of if it is or not, so they would be a bit higher

    We will see if they make a difference.

    We used to have very large corp. shippers that would ship fruit, cheese, meats to customers for christmas, but the postal service has gotten most of those.