After the storm; what can we do differently?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by soberups, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Now that the worst blizzard in Western Oregon history is....history....I'd like to be a Monday-morning quarterback and offer a few suggestions to management on how the snow situation could better be handled next time.

    Snow removal; during peak, a lot of our routes are loaded outside the building on temporary MDU's made of rollers on moveable platforms. The cars inside the building cannot leave until these MDU's are disconnected and moved out of the way. The MDU's are on wheels and are normally moved by a forklift, but when the snow buried us the forklift got stuck and the MDU's were immoveable, effectively imprisoning the cars behind them. Our building needs to either own (or rent during the winter) a "bobcat" mini front-end loader that could at least clear the areas around the MDU's of snow until such time as a outside service can be called in to plow the whole lot. We had routes that were loaded and ready to go that were stuck in the building for over an hour in the AM due to this.

    Snow chains; the rule against driving inside the building with chains on (to protect the floor) needs to be overturned. Our building suffered from gridlock in the mornings as over 200 cars had to stop in the parking lot in order to chain up. It took some drivers over an hour just to get out of the gate due to the resulting traffic jam. Whatever it might cost to resurface or refinish the concrete floor cannot possibly compare to the extra overtime and service failures caused by 250 drivers having to install and remove chains each day for 2 weeks while stuck in a traffic jam.

    Helpers on bicycles; We deliberately avoided hiring peak drivers and instead chose to rely on helpers with bicycles. This plan was unrealistic to begin with, and once the snow hit the bikes were useless and we got caught with our pants down in terms of having a totally inadequate number of drivers and rental trucks available. The bicycle idea might be "green" and it may work in limited situations in warm-weather climates, but not here. Even without snow, this area is too hilly and too rainy, and during peak it gets pitch black outside by 4:45 PM. Whatever small number of stops a bike might be able to deliver will frequently be offset by the fact that the driver who supplies the stops has to (a) hook up a rental trailer full of the stops (b) tow the trailer out to the area (c) unhook it (d) take the time to sort and deliver any packages that are too large or heavy for the bicycle to deal with and then (e) plan his entire route around having to go back to that same area in the evening to retrieve the trailer and haul it back to the building. In addition, each bicycle route that is fed from a rental trailer takes up a parking space in an already horribly overcrowded building. Its a bad idea. Let it go.

    Retain trailers; We didnt have enough, nor was there enough room to park them. We wound up with twenty something retain trailers in the employee parking lot. We need more. We also need a plan to sort retain volume into multiple trailers by ZIP code, so that those trailers could perhaps be taken out on area and used as "mother ships" to feed routes instead of trying (and failing) to sort all the volume at the building.

    Pickup routes; Consider utilizing peak hires in rentals to do nothing but pickup routes. A regular driver who is chained to a pickup route must return to the building in time for his pickup volume to be processed. He must break trace in order to start that pickup route on time. He also frequently runs into containment issues, since a driver in a P700 cannot just shove 500 cubic feet of pickup volume in over the top of the 400 cubic feet of deliveries he still has left in the car at 3:00 in the afternoon. A pickup-only route also does not require a scarce parking spot in the AM. This would maximize the delivery efficiency of an experienced driver-helper team in a package car, while pickups can be seviced using the less-trained peak hires to do the low-skill "grunt work" in rental trucks.
  2. Baba gounj

    Baba gounj pensioner

    This is UPS , logic does not work here.
  3. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    You hit on several issues that would have made a difference.

    For one, UPS needs to quit the prostituting of its core value by promoting "green" delivery methods without the proper pay off. The business of ups is to make money. If we can save trees, pollute less, that is great. I am all for that.

    But unfortunately, we now have people in power at ups that dont understand the basics of our business. That of the safe and economical movement of the largest chunk of the GNP of any company on earth. And to think that boys out on bikes is the answer.........maybe in places over seas where snow and ice are not issues.

    One thing that UPS has chronically done is to under size their delivery buildings. One here was built, and never was large enough from day one. Lack of proper planning causes a lot of further issues. Many of which these same planners have to solve. So maybe they are not so stupid after all, instead of offering a good long term solution, they come up with the cheapest, knowing that they will need to be kept on to solve the additional issues from under building.

    As far as the cost of the floors, I can not speak to that. What I do know is that it takes a lot of time to get the concrete to harden enough to drive on.

    One option, believe it or not is the same product I use on the floors at the Zoos for the larger animals. Tough, flexible easy to clean, and depending on the surface treatment, slip proof. I might have to give it some thought as to approach UPS with the solution. The elephant at the Knoxville Zoo is the 5th largest in the US. And he has not been able to do any damage to the lining at all. And he lives to destroy anything in his enclosure.:happy-very:

    I also think that more part timers should be allowed to work more hours as helpers. And more hours closer together. Nothing keeps them from helping than waiting from 12 noon to 3:30 for the next driver to call them for help. All knowing that in 5 hours they need to be in bed to be able to make it in for the preload. That dead time in between is a killer.

    I hope Atlanta is paying attention to what happened at the other end of the US.

  4. old brown shoe

    old brown shoe 30 year driver

    I have a large horse stall on my route with concrete floors. The horses kept slipping on the floor so they bought strong rubber mats that interlink togeather. They have holes in them and are easily cleaned or pulled up in sections if needed. That would be a quick fix and pay for itself in a few days of drivers time in putting on and taking off chains outside.
    You have alot of other good ideas and should relay them to management and hope one of them come up with the same idea and take credit for their great idea.

    HEFFERNAN Huge Member

    The pickup route scenario makes 100% sense

    You could either have the driver do airs in hard to reach areas to keep the FT drivers away from them, then pickups or you can start them at 2PM and have them work a 6 hour pickup schedule.

    It's unfortunate that ideas like these will be turned away by upper management for some odd reason or another. Even putting in an extra route to keep dispatch in order falls on deaf ears when it's needed.

    All your ideas are not back-breaking and should be considered to help productivity grow in hefty situations like you have encountered.
  6. drewed

    drewed Shankman

    For the concrete floors, Id imagine the depth of the pad is a code issue, so resurfacing it isnt a option. Any epoxy surface coating you put on it would be torn up just as quickly with chains, Danny is the coating that youre talking about he rhinolining like product we had a discussion about awhile back? that could work but id imagine if it began to tear it would come off in chunks and youd have to tear everything off and reapply to resurface it?, the rubber mats that shoe brought up could work but the ones im picturing wouldnt last a day or two with that amount of traffic......Id say the only real option would be building an awning off the building where the drivers could pull over and put on their chains...
  7. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    The concrete floor in our building is glossy and shiny, and they sweep and polish it every day with a Zamboni-like machine. Driving on it with chains leaves marks, but as long as speeds are kept down the chains do not appear to seriously damage it. Bear in mind that mass use of chains in our building is a scenario that occurs very infrequently; most of the time only the routes that deliver to higher elevations have to chain up, and then only when out on area. We average less than 6" of snow per year, and half the time what does fall melts off by the afternoon. On the rare occasions when we do need chains we need them BAD, and if it means a few marks on a pretty floor then so be it.
  8. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    It is similar, but a lot tougher and more flexible. Also more resistant to tearing and wont crack.

    Repairs are a snap, just grind up the edges enough to get a rough finish, then prime and respray. Dont have to take up anything. A repair would only take less than an hour, but the cure time for full strength would be 24-36 hours.

    As for tearing loose, we have done several tests in the lab and in the field. In most cases, if it comes up, its bringing concrete with it. Several thousand PSI pull strength if applied properly. Has been applied to several warehouses in the area with very heavy forklift traffic and there have been no issues.

    It even comes in UPS brown

  9. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    In our center (75-80 rts during peak) our sups do the pickup routes in 24footer rentals, but only for the higher volume PU accounts such as the UPS Stores. Year round we have meet points on area where 3-5 drivers meet and one brings in all the PU volume and the other divvy up his remaining deliveries. During peak they use a sup in the rental to make the meet points. During peak they generally use all sups assigned to our building to do these meet points as well as deliver some bulk stops and sometimes even run full routes depending on staffing.

    Sober, you have some really good ideas. too bad UPS will probably never use them. You should do a little more thinking as to what else could be do and then send the proposals to every division, district, regional and corporate operating manager you can an address for. May not do any good, but it sure won't if they never hear them.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  10. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    How do they get by with sups working? They hire extra drivers here, and a lot of times the most senior driver gets to bid off his route to cover these and other situations like shuttling air, misloads etc. Usually a driver that has a working knowledge of other routes as well, so he can be used as help for those that are blown away.

    But in no way is it planned that the sups will work. All that shows is lack of proper planing and basically planing to fail.

  11. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    I agree with your assessment on planning/failing.
    They get by with it because of contract language being put aside during peak by using the "Emergency Conditions" clause. Of course it didn't help that we had 8-10 people out on either comp or disability, helping the EC scenario.
    Our LP sup drove everyday during December, at least one OC out of three drove everyday as well as sups doing the bulk PUs and meet points.
  12. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    That is BS, and they would never get away with that here. We would grieve it and get a part-timer paid 4 hours of driver pay. Peak season happens every December. It isnt an emergency.
  13. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    What I posted isn't BS, but I agree that the way they are doing it and getting away with it is. I'm not a steward, Not up to me to file on this, and probably couldn't anyway. I worked 11-12 hours per day and would not have been effected on how or who does the other work, I sure didn't have time to do it. I'm not too sure we had any part timers qualified to drive that wasn't used. We had hired three temp drivers, got them trainned then all but one quit before Thanksgiving because they couldn't afford to set at home and wait for UPS to give them hours and much needed experience before the ****e hit the fan.
  14. drewed

    drewed Shankman

    Sounds like it would work, but the cost to benefiet would high
  15. govols019

    govols019 You smell that?

    UPS wishes every employee was like you.
  16. satellitedriver

    satellitedriver Moderator Staff Member

    A matted runway into the building would out way the cost of resurfacing a concrete floor.
    Rarely does on overcoat of concrete repair on concrete bond enough to take high traffic and weight, much less the torque of tires turning.
    In these cases, a ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.
    Danny has a great market for his product. It would also prevent slips and falls of drivers going to their cars.
    One slip/fall accident prevented would pay for a centers protection.
    Danny, go for it.
    If I did not have a full time job, I would be your best sales rep.
    Keep me in mind.
  17. InTheRed

    InTheRed New Member

    a few years back a driver came to meet us in a rental to drop off shuttle pieces and take stops to help. I strongly pushed that since he was in a rider rental he cover my pickups (3pm - 3:45) and the next guy's pickups (4pm - 4:40), as well as the factory pickups from another driver (5pm) and staples (after 5). The center agreed and all was happy.

    I guess it's just how you present it.
  18. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Why is it not up to you to file on this? You are not filing for the work, you are filing on the violation of the contract were the sups worked. Even if you maxed out daily on your hours you are still entitled for DOUBLE TIME PAY for these sups working!

    Did you at least tell your steward this is going on, or is that not up to you either! I have had a lot of respect for your posts, but this last one by you just about out weighted all of your great posts.

    I thought texans stood up for themselves, now i can see why the alamo fell!
  19. brown138

    brown138 New Member

    I work in the Portland Building... Never have I been told that we can't have chains in the building. Kept the chains on all week. Been driving 16 years and never seen any damage to the floors from use of chains.
  20. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    The purpose of the language is to keep UPS from taking work from union members by using sups, right? I was maxed out, so was every other eligible union driver we had access to, full time or part time. For me (or any other driver) to file for sups taking away our work when we could not do the work would be almost like stealing. I couldn't do that work and no other union member could.
    I didn't need to tell the shop stewards, they are all drivers except for one mechanic that was present everyday as we left the building.
    Now having said all that, it has always been my understanding (not having read it all myself) that once peak began, the rules on over 9.5s, sups working as well as a few other "rules" were contractually suspended. I admit I could be wrong.

    Hint, getting personal with cheap uneducated shots is dangerous ground.
    You sure don't know much about Texans, nor the Alamo. Texas is a right to work state because the majority of the population wants it that way. Right or wrong, smart or dumb that's the way it is.
    Most Texans are driven by a sense of what is right and stand to fight against what is wrong within their own opinions. If anyone tries to take something that is mine, they have a fight on their hands. If anyone tries to take anything away from my neighbor who can't defend himself, I offer my assistance. I fight for what I believe to be right and against what I feel to be wrong.
    As far as the falling of the Alamo, you sure showed your lack of historical knowledge. The Alamo fell do to simple mathematics, when you are out numbered 100 to 1, you are most likely going to fall. Only one person left the Alamo the day before the battle beginning and his mission was to get help that was not to come. Logistics, time and battle plans played a role in the lack of re-enforcements.

    Now if you really want to get personal, we can talk about how your beloved Teamsters failed to protect their own people from criminals that down right stole cash dollars from them.