Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Fredless, May 14, 2006.

  1. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    I started working at UPS when I was 19. I thought I'd be here forever and I stayed in school till I knew I'd be up for at least a cover driving posistion.

    I enjoyed doing the airs in the morning as an exception driver and on saturdays, and then doing my clerk job in the evening. Not great money, but for my last semester of college it was great. 2 weeks ago I was offered a cover driving job and I knew I could make more money with UPS than I ever could with my degree from USF. I have yet to re-register for fall of 2006, so if I don't I'll be a drop out with 66 credit hours.

    They put me on a route which many of the veteran drivers and two on roads for my center said was THE WORST route in the center. I literally worked 12 hours everyday, barely knew anything about the area...etc

    I had a crammed ford p1000 (thank GOD it had power steering), with 120 stops and 25 pickups on my FIRST day..and throughout the week. By wednesday, I had most of the businesses down but I was still missing some of them. It sucked, the route so far broke 3 people including me. I DQ'd myself from cover driving friday when I finally got back at 10pm.

    I never IMAGINED how hard that job would be. At this point, I have chosen to go back to my dual part time jobs. I know I can try again in 6 months, but heres my question - does it get any easier? The two other drivers on my loop said they did not cut their teeth on a route like I have. I have only been air driving since march of this year as well.

    Two drivers have said stick it out, they are around late 20's. I just turned 21 in january. However, most of the vet's have said GO BACK TO SCHOOL kid you don't want this :censored2:. I made great money, but my hands have blisters, I lost 15lbs and I have never been so sleep deprived in my life. Its like they wanted me to fail!

    A friend of mine that I went to high school went to work as a locator for verizon 2 years ago and is now making around 15 an hour with IBEW protection and benefits like I have. He said they need Fios (fiber optic internet and TV) installers badly. I am seriously considering this 8-5 job and doing part time school in the evening over just sticking it out with UPS and trying again once my experience gets better.

    Any input from old school guys?
  2. aspenleaf

    aspenleaf New Member

    I am not a driver but I gave up on my dream the first time I was in school and regretted it. I have since gone back and it is more difficult being older and with family etc. I would do whatever you need to do to finish school. With a degree you have more options than working for UPS. I like UPS but you are so young to think you want to stay with one company forever. For people my age and younger we tend to move around a bit to move up in pay. Be loyal to yourself; no company will have your back (at least it has not been my experience). I am sure the drivers can give you more feedback. Good luck in whatever you choose to do.:)
  3. sendagain

    sendagain Member

    It's tough on any job in the beginning, and especially so at UPS. You might also wonder why there is such a great need for installers for the Verizon job and how long might that last? Turnover for drivers at UPS is very small compared to a lot of companies: we have great benefits, a retirement plan and a lot more vacation than many jobs. It is hard work, but you never go home with a bad conscience, nor do you ever take your work home with you over the weekend. When you get your own route, it does improve. I thought about quiting many times over the years, but I am retired now and have money coming in for the rest of my life.
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Yes it does get better. Other drivers will retire, and then you can bid off those routes. Its a shame that your management team has you out there that late every night and not helping you learn any more than they have. But if you stick it out, it does get better.

    But if delivery is not what you want to do, take the other position. Not all people that try UPS are meant to be drivers, its only for a few. So dont take it as a failure, take it as a failure to find a good fit.

  5. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    Another option might be to stay in school and continue with your part-time job with the company.
    As soon as you get your degree make an attempt to establish yourself in your chosen field, all the while accruing serious seniority in your PT job.
    If you find you can't succeed in your chosen field you will have enough seniority to waltze right into a driving position.
    Please consider all other options before pursuing a pkg driver position because it can and will ruin your body.
    KEYPOINT: try to make something out of yourself.....if you can't there is always pkg cars.
  6. aspenleaf

    aspenleaf New Member

    I like that trick - stay in school and do the pt thing - that is working for me. Fredless I worked in telecom and they will use and abuse you but we all do what we have to to make ends meet. Just think things over. If I were your age I would stick with UPS and do the pt thing while finishing school. You have about 2 years left for a 4 year degree? So that is a long time (so it seems when you are 21). Just think of where you want to be in 20 years and work towards that goal. A degree in any field will sometimes (not always) help you get more money at many companies even if you do not use that degree.
  7. handrail_hank

    handrail_hank New Member

    fred, I am 46, and have been driving full time for almost 23 years.I wished to God that I had done something else back when I had the chance. I have a whole list of ailments ,the worst of which is degenerative disks in my back.( I was off work last year for 6 weeks with a herniated disk) . I know when you are young you feel like you can concur the world, but one day you find out you can't do what you once did and you can;t just change jobs without suffering some major consequences. This is your call and I hope you make the right choice, because once you are in this for a while it is hard to just up and walk away. Good Luck on your decision. P. S. Management was never an option because I saw early on what that group of people had to go through.
  8. 25yrvet

    25yrvet New Member

    I also started p/t when I was 19. I was invinceable, THEN. 23 yrs of driving has taken it's toll on me. Take it from Handrail, Trick & myself. Persue education while being p/t. GET YOUR DEGREE, and use the UPS safe driving rule in your career choices....LEAVE YOURSELF AN OUT!!
  9. upsdude

    upsdude Well-Known Member

    I started driving at age 30, off the street hire. Here I am 19 years later with every ache and pain imaginable. The "work" will get easier because experience will teach you things that allow you to work smarter. I'm not sure the "work load" will ever get any better. At age 21, I would stay in school and finish my studies. The degree will never hurt you, and if you had enough seniority to FT drive at 21 you'll have a chance later as well.

    My vote, stay in school and get that piece of paper.
  10. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    Thanks guys, I really appreciate it. It was only the drivers that had only been driving for a few years and were young like me, and none of them had children either; those were the ones saying the money is great stick it out blah blah.. But all of the old school vets at my center told me get out while I can.

    Not saying the Verizon thing is permanent, but I can make 14 or 15 an hour for 8 hours there and go to school at night or do M-F 8:30 to 5pm with ups making 12.50 an hour with airs and 10.00 an hour with my clerk job, and then have to work saturdays with UPS as well.

    My left knee was also damaged really bad on my 21st birthday (drunken fools//college kids) and I went through 2 months of rehab right before starting air driving and I fell on the steps while rushing back to the truck to try and make those numbers and its been sore again. So if you guys say the injuries will take their toll..and my left is already going now.:sad:
  11. sendagain

    sendagain Member

    Do not go into driving if you have a bad knee. The knee will never last in a package position.
  12. breadbooze

    breadbooze Member

    I've been cover driving about a year with 10 routes under the belt. There are lots of different trips out there from the industrial only with 60 stops and 60 pickups on a p1300, to the all residential with almost 200 stops a day and no pickups, though most of them are mixed commercial/resi's and take a few days to fully learn. The easiest way to learn is trip is to ask the bid driver or another swing man how it's done, usually there is a sequence to how you do the sections that is most efficient, the same applies to the pick ups. I have two associate degrees (earned while working the preload) and neither has gotten a job as great as FT driving, though I do sometimes miss how easy those jobs were. Putting in a letter would probably get you somewhere as well.
  13. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    See, its little things like that, where people want a truthful answer, and they forget some of the little things that make a big difference.

    UPS is a good career. Many people go into management, some dont. Many go into feeders, some dont. To each, you find your niche. The money is good, the benefits are great, at least for now. So a career here is not such a bad thing, regardless of how many others feel.

    Now the question of your knee. If there was more than a scrape to the skin, more like tissue damage to the joint etc, then you really need to rethink UPS as a career. If you start with damage to your knees, after 10-15 years it will magnify the problem. Instead of being sore once in a while, it will keep you awake at night.

    So if the damage was that serious to your knee as you make it out to be, then I would not go into a career with UPS unless you have your sights set on management. And if so, a college background will help in that path.

    So stay in school, work part time, get your degree, then make your move to what ever you WANT to do, or physically can do.

    By the way, we have some routes that only have 30-35 stops, and 40-50 packages, so there are many different ways to protect your knees as a driver also. Not all of them are bump and grind routes.

  14. pasfailure

    pasfailure Member

    Have a new victim in my loop as we speak. Got 22 stops off Fri by the time he started his pickups at 2:30 on a compact industrial city route. Needless to say I was 30 stops heavy today cleaning up the mess. They start the guy in the middle of this PAS mess with the DOL so screwed up I can't figure where I'm going and I've been on the route for 13 years. Then he's jammed full with 400 pieces and to top it off we started Diad 4 today. Talk about set him up to fail. The sad thing is he has no clue that he will not get hired because the last hire was off the street. We have 2 more in the same boat.
  15. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    "This is your call and I hope you make the right choice, because once you are in this for a while it is hard to just up and walk away."

    Truer words never spoken. Get on with your life while the degree is fresh. Your knee wont make it especially in the hi step cars. Its great for those of us who thought we could use our body instead of our brain, or the money is good..... where else could we make it. Make the sacrifice now to take the lower pay somewhere else, and work your way up. Its a great job til you get older, then most of the options are gone. Pay dont mean a thing especially if you do it til you're fifty, have your debt up to your earballs and they find out the knee you are complaining about now, and need to be on comp for, you did in High school or college. You will be doomed. AS said before, "leave yourself an out" Get the big picture. Keep your eyes moving, (scanning classifieds), and Good luck
  16. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    Thanks again guys. I typed up a letter just now to my center manager requesting to be put into TSG. Thats what I was going to USF for anyway (Information Systems Management).

    I really wish it had union protection because all of my shop stewards have done me right at least. My knee just got sprained really bad on my 21st birthday party back in January and it had a ton of fluid build up on it that I went through rehab to get it back to how it is now. A certain part is still hot to the touch and feels numb all the time. Only when I use it a ton, and by weeks end last week it was starting to hurt, does it hurt. But when I wake up, its barely sore and I can still work fine.
  17. I was thrown out to the dogs with 2 days of training in the 4 weeks before xmas. P=100 with 150 stops and 35 pickups. I had more in my truck every night than I did when i left. Got stuck twice, went through 3 mirrors. Hardest run in the center. Thats the test they like to give all the new cover drivers. I hated it. But when that check rolls in. You fall in love with it real fast. I wish I did the school thing, so I would have something else to fall back on. As I saw on another post in this forum. "Leave youself an out" Gotta love them habits
  18. opie

    opie Active Member

    I would stay with UPS and get your degree. You can try driving and if that doesn't work, you can fall back on your degree. Or use your degree to get a different FT job at UPS. If you become a package car driver, you don't have to be there forever. Eventually you can move up to feeders, which is a piece of cake according to the feeder drivers I've talked to. All the drivers I've talked to love their job. The money FT drivers make is more than what many college graduates make. I believe the average salary once you reach top pay is around $70,000+:drool: . And every year the top rate increases every year. I'm very close in going FT, as soon as I can master the manual transmission, I will be moving on up. Good luck!
  19. Hangingon

    Hangingon New Member

    If you have a preexisting knee injury I'd really try something else. If your knee ever goes out UPS will use that as an excuse to deny a claim.
  20. UPSBOI

    UPSBOI You don't want to know!

    Here's what I would do. Take this position for summer register for school and disqualify yourself in time to return in the fall semester. The key is you will make quite a bit more money and you will have to discipline your spending habits while making all this money otherwise you will be force to keep on driving to compensate for your increased spending.