Advice for Feeder School

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by pharacyde, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. pharacyde

    pharacyde Member

    I start Feeder school on the 19th (next Fri). Any advice? I already have all the stuff they want us to have memorized down (8 keys to lift/lower, 5 seeing habits, 5 keys to slips and falls, 8 yard control, 10pt commentary). The only things I'm really nervous about are shifting gears and backing. I've driven a stick all my life so I think I'll get double clutching pretty easy, and my dad was a feeder driver so I learned to back a trailer with only my mirrors pretty early as well... albeit on a smaller scale. Things are a lot different than when he started though, so he can only advise me so much.

    I'm a little paranoid because of the failure rate. Out of the last class of ten, only one made it out...
  2. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Sounds like you'll do great, you're already 5 steps ahead of some of the others.
    Don't worry, they know you're going to suck at shifting and backing, everyone does at first.

    Relax and know no-one is great at it at first!
  3. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Take the best that made you safe enough to get to feeder and throw the rest out. It's a whole new business. No cutting corners. No speeding. Calm down and be smooth. And don't try and hotdog it looking to impress anyone. We've seen it all before and will only laugh when it makes you screw up and get sent back.
  4. pretender

    pretender Active Member

    If you are coming from package car, the biggest mistake they usually make regarding shifting, is getting the RPMs too high--especially in the lower gears. Once you qualify and are on your own, don't worry about double clutching--just use the clutch for first and reverse...
  5. anonymous6

    anonymous6 Guest

    listen to the trainer and follow their instructions to a T. take some initiative and ask them if you can freestyle in the yard. they let trainees do that at my hub in the second week. ask questions but don't be a pain in the ass.

    if you are not arrogant and show enthusiasm you should have a good chance. good luck.
  6. Dracula

    Dracula Package Car is cake compared to this...

    Forget everything you ever learned in package car.
  7. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    At some point they will try and stress you out to see how you react. It's not harassment, there is a legitimate reason for it.
  8. rowan

    rowan Member

    Just don't do what I did and drop out. Made it all the way to the end and family matters got in the way. I made the right choice to stay in package for things did work out for the family. Told my trainer and we had a long talk. He told me things will work them selves out and wish I had listend. Now its a long wait to try again. Listen to your trainer, lots of respect for mine. Do a search on feeders and all questions will be answered. Sure is a whole new world there. Guys were going out of there way to give me advice. Can't wait to get another chance. Much respect to all you feeder drivers. Oh the hours were a killer for me but I guess you get use to it. Was so tired at the end of production week. Good luck and stick with it.
  9. happybob

    happybob Feeders

    It's a different company in feeders. SPORH doesn't exist any more. Get a decent run and its two stops per night. As a new driver in my barn it's almost a gurantee that you will be working nights, making a half dozen to a dozen stops per night. You can't move in and out of traffic like you do with a package car. You tail gate someone like they do in a package car and you better pray you don't have to stop fast. The people that train you have been doing this work for years, listen to them. The methods you use should rarely, if ever, change. Do it the same way you are tought and keep the same routine. Get the proper rest that your body needs. Dark curtains/shades/blinds will be important to a good days sleep. It never matters to me how long I've been sitting in my tractor, before I open that door I check my tractor break. Roll-a-ways lead to lots of time off without pay. Good luck!
  10. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

  11. MaceFremonti

    MaceFremonti Active Member

    Just a head's up...after I made it through class I worked 59.5 hours my production week and built sets one day for 13 hours straight in the rain.

    First week by myself I worked 58 hours through all times of the day and night. They pushed me to the max for those two weeks!

    I was thinking I had made a HUUUUGE mistake!

    However I'm 100% sure that was to see how I would do in the real world. It's taken me about 2 months to settle in and I can get that many hours if I want but I usually do about 45-50 depending on the weather and traffic.

    If you get frustrated just hang in there and don't give up!
  12. MaceFremonti

    MaceFremonti Active Member

    Almost forgot.....what helped me the most was being able to use a the tractor of a friend who is in feeders on the weekend when our building was empty. We setup cones and practiced parking/hooking up/downshifting/pretrips etc at our own pace without anyone looking over our shoulders.

    Try to buddy up with someone you know in feeders....
  13. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    A couple of us did this as well, once we finished the first week they told us we could drive the tractors on the property on our own. It helped a lot getting comfortable with shifting and backing.
  14. pharacyde

    pharacyde Member

    I'm trying to set this up as we speak. One of the guys my dad knew is still there and was going to help me out until my class got pushed back to the same week as his vacation. I know another guy, but he just got out of the class himself. Still, time on the yard will be great.

    Thanks so much for the advice. My dad drove for 33 years. I've bore witness to just what this job can do for you (and to you) first hand. In my case, it's the best opportunity I can foresee for myself (made it to my senior year as a Computer Science Major, but couldn't meet the foreign lang requirement). The time away from the kid will hurt, but its for the best in the long run. BTW... some of you mentioned package car.... I'm not coming from package car, I'm a PT'r on Irregs in the hub. This is only the 3rd posting I've seen for feeders in my 13yrs here. Package car has been even fewer.
  15. tranham

    tranham New Member

  16. Indecisi0n

    Indecisi0n Well-Known Member

    I think your required to be at least 15 lbs overweight to qualify.
  17. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    ‚ÄčIts mostly in the wallet.
  18. anonymous6

    anonymous6 Guest

    we have a lot of feeder drivers who run marathons. a couple years ago I completed the swim around lake Tahoe. 72 miles , buddy.
  19. Indecisi0n

    Indecisi0n Well-Known Member

    Running from the truck to the lunchroom is not a marathon...
  20. Dracula

    Dracula Package Car is cake compared to this...

    I've only been back here for 2 and a half years, so keep that in mind from my advice. But the one thing I would definitely say that has stood out to me in my time back here is, never get in a hurry. And if you do, learn to mentally downshift when you feel rushed. I won't lie, I've dropped a few trailers and I've pulled away from a few trailers with my hoses and light cords still on. The common denominator in EVERY case for me, was I was in a rush. The last time I dropped a trailer, I'm afraid to say, was because I had to drop a deuce REAL bad. So I did a fast post-trip, and completely passed up the legs, pulled the pin, pulled the hoses and pulled away. BOOM! Lucky for me, two other drivers helped crank the legs, otherwise I would have crapped my pants. All because I was in a hurry.

    Like I say, if you ask me, learn to slow down. This ain't package car, it ain't some sort aisle with sups yelling about production. If you screw up in feeders, hopefully you do something simple, like dropping a trailer, or busting a hose. Embarrassing, but ultimately harmless. But if you get in a hurry in feeders, a mistake could be on the road, and that could get deadly in an wink of an eye.