I ran cover for my 1st four years. Once you learn most of the routes in your group it's not bad, til then it kinda sucks though. Management will take care of you, cuz a good cover driver is worth his weight in gold. In the end though, I have to agree with Danny's choice. Nothing beats having your own route.
A huge plus is learning all the routes, then when the senority gets up there u know which routes to bid on and which to ignore. As deliver said u sup's lov ya if ur good. Mine think i piss gold, and never question low over-alloweds
Just curious as to when UPS has drivers training other new drivers will they take over the route they are trained on? How many are trained per UPS truck? I saw my usual UPS guy with another guy & also a female to train, they took turns driving the truck! Delivering packages down the street.
Most routes are bid jobs, meaning: you cant just take over a route when you learn it. Usually, when the bid driver is on vacation or sick, thats when you cover his/her route. I was a cover driver for 5yrs before I got my own route(a fulltimer retired). Sometimes my coverdriving days would come back and haunt me because I knew every route, the sup would have me cover runs while the coverdriver ran my bid run.
For what its worth, If they take you off your bid run to run another route, and let a cover driver run yours, that is a greivable action. By the book, if there is a driver and a route, the management team should train that driver instead of taking a driver off his bid route. Lack of proper planing on their part does not constitute an emergency on yours.
That being said, there are those times when there are no other options, and you are stuck with doing it any way
I am a f/t swing driver in texas and before that i was a TCD in two different centers. the experience and confidence that you gain as a cover driver will serve you well for the remainder of your time at UPS. it is something that you really need to do. Once you learn how to manage your day in a way that you can be thrown out cold on anything---and run scratch (or close) you will be a better employee and much more valuable to the company in anything you do.
the main key to success as a cover driver is getting to work early and setting up the truck that you will be covering. and remember to take it one stop at a time.---a lot of folks get bogged down with the whole day from the word go--and it eats 'em alive.
also--when you are covering a route for the first time remember that pickups are very important. ask the OMS to get you the regular driver's pickup run report from the day before so that you can know when to start your pickup run. be sure to start your pickups early or on schedule--drop what you are doing with your deliveries and start your pickups, b/c you will find that you can get into a good bit of trouble when you are late on your pickups and customers start calling in.
It's not an easy job. I have always hated not knowing where I am going. Been there, done that. My best advice is to really care about it. I am on an extended run now and it's amazing to me that some cover drivers can be so worthless when on my run. Some just don't seem to care. Others though make a real effort and they get it done.
If you keep a run clean it is much better for all. That includes call tags. Hiding them under the spare tire is not acceptable. It's pretty simple really. Just do your best. Most times that is enough.
Yeah, alot of good advice. I'm actually an 11th year coverdriver. And getting a route in my building isn't that easy. We're a remote center, so routes just don't come up. I've seen only 3 drivers retire in my 15 year career. Just had one retire today in fact. May bid on his route. Now don't get me wrong, I've had a chance on 5 different routes I've won the bid on. But to tell you the truth, I have my choice of the premium routes and the 5 routes I could've had would've ate my body up. Probably why out of those 5 routes, they have been rebid a few hundred times. LOL.
Dannyboy, yeah, actually if it's an "emergency situation" they can switch you. But problem comes is they can do it, you can protest but still be forced to do it so you won't get the "failure to follow instructions". Then you can go and grieve, win, but still have had to do route in first place with hard feelings. From what I've seen in past, those who have openly protested have paid price in dispatch. Sometimes it's simply easier to just do it and be in good graces.
Onto more advice. Best thing to do is to NEVER stress out. Once you get flustered, you've lost the race. Just take a second to relax, regain composure, and hit the shelves. I have never been trained on a route (only had a half day ride on my training route since I was an accomplished utility driver who had covered routes for a good year and 1/2 before going f/t). Plus, we have 2 centers in our building, and I was loanded to them my 2nd day in my 30 days, insuring my f/t spot (they took me off my training route during my 30 days, which was an instant 30 days when I started driving in late 91'). I was wanted by both centers, so it was my centers way of guaranteeing I'd make it.
But, learn as much as you can from other drivers. As said, have OMS print out pu's and driver records. This will give you an idea of how route is run. Good luck, and give it time. Some people don't pick it up quick. And DON'T look at the WOR!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't worry about it until you get hang of way route is run. Then pump it out to get your SPORH up. Once you're in, then deliver at your pace, whatever that is. Just don't be the type who makes the rest of us bail you out daily. I get so tired of getting msg's on my DIAD asking to take 10-20 stops off the local lazy butt. I see that green light come on and I dread the message.
Kinda funny but steelhead made me remember WHY i went into coverage to begin with. I was chosen/elected/volunteered to be a driver trainer. And since I was off my bid run a bit, some drivers filed a greivance. So to settle the whole thing, I let them put my run up for bid and went into coverage. That after 15 years on the same route. If it helps any, most routes are the same, the job is the same, just different faces to deliver to. I just went after it with the attitude that if this is Chris's route, and he is well loved by his customers, and Im covering it, I can spoil the customers even more and give better service that he. Made it harder on me at first, but it paid off. At the end of the first year I had learned 51 routes, none of which I had any training on.
Then when I did bid back to one route, I picked the one I thought I could make the biggest impact with, as far as potential for volume gain and went about giving the best service possible at the UPS price. Some of you think that the route is too hard, I find it a challenge. Some see obstacles, I see oppertunities. And while those 20-35 over 70's a day might not fly off as fast as they once did, somehow they still make it off
Bottom line is your job is what you make of it, so make it something worth having.
d Steelhead, ever take your lunch fishing from a bridge on your route? Best hour you will ever spend!
Hey Dannyboy, yep, fish all the time actually. I have one salmon river on route, and TONS of good saltwater salmon/steelhead/ and cutthroat spots to fish. I plan my lunchbreak depending on tides and time of year.
Had an awesome year hitting Chum salmon on my lunchbreak. I always have either a fly rod or casting rod in package car.
Well, onto making the best of a route. DAMNED, you have 51 routes??? We only have about 30. I used to do the hump routes when I first started, but after doing the super rural routes, hard to go back. But, my friend who just retired today has a decent route. Only big problem is no fishing available
. Will be a big problem for me. Only inland route on the Peninsula I deliver on. We'll see if I win the bid in first place. As for right now, I'm keeping my options open, and focusing on the super rural routes I'm doing now.
You have to understand that managment does not have the time to commit to following drivers around all day. We should however do our job as managers and spotcheck drivers to ensure they are providing the service our customers expect. This generally takes place in the form of driver release audits to see how packages were delivered.
tieguy, Thanks for the info! Does this mean someone from UPS will call to check if I received a package? Because no one from UPS has ever called to check to see if I received a package until a few days ago it was a package that got lost sometime around Christmas, but I was patiently waiting since it's a busy & crazy time of year...no big deal it wasn't a Christmas present so I can understand. I called QVC to check if it was shipped & the C.S. Rep. said yes it was & they'd send out a replacement to me & gave me a date I should receive it by. I was @ my neighbor's house & the UPS guy delivered it to me there. Since he knows who I am & I buy alot from QVC he's here about twice a week, but Christmas was everyday! I'm not sure if this would of caused a problem it's only across the street I got the pkg. even earlier than was expected. So when the lady from UPS called to ask I said yes it even got here a few days earlier than expected she says ok she'll notify the shipper I received it! I checked the UPS website & it said MCWOMAN after he gave the pkg. to me. Doesn't this mean I received it. Should I have signed the DIAD so they know I received it? Was UPS checking up on the driver when they called me?
I'd check my tracking # @ the UPS website when expecting a pkg. but the day it was to be delivered I was home the truck went down my street more than once but never stopped @ my house. I never received a sticky note on the door, saying he was here. Later that night I checked the # again now it's saying RECEIVER NOT IN ON FIRST DELIVERY ATTEMPT so my pkg. is being rescheduled for the next day. The truck went down my street @ the time said he was here but never stopped. Now the next day a different driver shows up w/my pkg. so I asked him when he was here & I wasn't home...he says ohhh the pkg. was missed it's wriiten on it. He doesn't know it was on another truck by mistake. Now wouldn't it make sense to say missed pkg. than say I wasn't home if no delivery attempt was made!