Combo vs Package vs Feeders

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Spoiler, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Spoiler

    Spoiler New Member

    Hey all,

    My husband has been working for UPS for over 18 years. He went Combo about 12 years ago. He is happy with his job, but would like to make more money. He has often thought about going driving for Package Car. However, although the money is good, he sees the amount of stress the drivers are under. Both of us have held back on him driving, because we don't feel the amount of money is worth the amount of stress. He recently heard from a feeder friend that they may be opening some feeder positions for Combo Workers and that they will be train for free. We know that the money for feeder positions are much higher then what he is making now ($26.00 hr) He also doesn't have a great schedule but I am guessing a good schedule will not happen with feeders for awhile either (no sleeper runs here) We are looking for some advice on this subject.
    Have any of you regretted moving up to package car? Would you have stayed Combo if you had to do it over again?
    Have any of you regretted moving up to Feeder positions?
    What is the stress level difference between Feeder and Package Car? Is it about the same? Better?
    Just looking for some general advice. Any input is appreciated!
  2. purplesky

    purplesky Active Member

    Feeders would be the way to go versus package. Some people talk about how easy feeders is but its not all fun and games in the winter and feeders can be very dangerous.

    With a combo job you don't have to worry about accidents or hitting deer or falling asleep and rolling a set or somebody hitting you.

    Seems like getting fired from a combo job would be pretty hard compared to package or feeders.

    If he wants to make more money he needs to run with the big boys driving the bigger equipment.
  3. greengrenades

    greengrenades To be the man, you gotta beat the man.

    Depends on what yall want. If you want him home at normal hours then take package. If you want the most money and don't care about the time, then go feeders. I started feeders maybe 3 months ago, and I have only been able to work nights. I usually go in anywhere from 7 to 11pm. I work about 11 hours a day on average. I make more money then I know what to do with. I do know that all the full timers and package car guys who passed up feeders since all the classes started are now second guessing themselves. Stress level of package compared to feeders is Package is a 10 and Feeders is a 4. They have got on to me about a couple things in feeders but it wasn't that big of a deal, and honestly I rarely see them say anything to anyone unless they have an accident. In feeders they taught us to slow down, take it easy and make sure we are doing everything right. The only trouble i have with the job is driving at night when it's raining. I literally can't see a thing. I'm in the process of fixing that though. With all that said, I will say it all depends on what yall want. He can stay doing what he is doing and making good money with no stress and be comfortable, go to package work semi normal hours and be bitched at about stupid :censored2: and make better money, or go to feeders work :censored2:ty hours for a few years and climb your way to the top and make great money.
  4. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    What he said. Combo is great, plus no accidents really possible.

    Also, it has been my observation that the guys who go from combo jobs straight into Feeders (as opposed to guys who come from Package into feeders) usually have a very very tough time adjusting to a tractor trailer and hence have more accidents.

    Why? Well, the guys from package already know how to drive stick shift, know how to manage the space around their vehicles , etc. The guy from combo usually doesn't know how to drive stick and did not drive a package car for 15 years and hence didn't develop that spidey sense (radar, whatever).

    i would really suggest that you look at your expenses and see what can be eliminated. With tax rates, a dollar saved is more than a dollar earned .

    Better that your husband be happy with a job that pays pretty good coin than to be miserable and be in an accident in a job he can quickly lose.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  5. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    Package is a 10 and Feeders is a 4.

    Someone said the above about Stress Levels. Maybe so, but not in the beginning, your husband will be mentally and physically sweating when he drives a tractor trailer in the beginning.

    I gave my advice above but if he wants to jump into Feeders, he should not leave the yard for at least a year. . Let him get a shifting job if they are plentiful.
  6. If he goes feeders he cold get a little fat. Is he a healthy eater? If not get a good diet and work out plan in place so he doesn't blow up.
  7. cachsux

    cachsux Wah


    Nuff said
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  8. ChickenLegs

    ChickenLegs Safety Expert

    Shifting a tractor is completely different than driving a stick in your personal vehicle. I do agree with the radar, you either have it or you don't.
  9. PT Car Washer

    PT Car Washer Well-Known Member

    My building have had several drivers come from Art 22.3 jobs. A lot more money, daylight hours, more respect are just some of the reasons to go driving. Almost all of our Art. 22.3 jobs are midnight/ preload loading jobs. Manager treats all of them like dirt.
  10. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    One major advantage he would have would be his FT seniority as a 22.3 employee -- he would be able to bid ahead of the junior drivers in feeders and would have a regular route/schedule sooner than if he was PT going into feeders.
  11. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    In my case, again, I said MY case, package car was the worst job I have had in my entire life, bar none.

    Hired off the street in the 70s with the promise of feeders, "...when there was an opening". They "forgot" to tell me that, once in, you had to have one year safe driving in p/c to sign the feeder bid. OK, got that. Well, now, they "forgot" to tell me that I had to allow all the seniority people to sign, go the full school, flunk out, then be too late to have another school in time for peak, hire seasonal feeder drivers off street with limited UPS schooling, call such "seasonal" feeder drivers back and get company and feeder seniority ahead of me.

    After 3 full years of p/c (OK, I know that's not much by some areas, but, remember, this was the 70s), I got in feeders. BUT, not entirely. After summer vacations were done, I got bounced back to p/c, called back up for peak, after peak, got bounced back to p/c again. That went on for another 5 years (add em 8 years with company).

    Finally got feeder seniority (ask around for definition. It's different for different parts of country) and got to stay but was at bottom of list (here, just running vacations and extras and crap). Finally got bid run (well, bid was dropped in my lap, so you can guess what it was like). This, after another 5 years, 13, in all with company. So, after not having bid in p/c, finally got feeder bid after 13 with company. Great bid, too.

    Cut to the chase. Spent most of my 32 years in feeders. Retired, almost 4 years ago. Go back to first paragraph. Package car was and still is the worst job I've ever had. As has been said before, "The worst job in feeders is still better than the best job in package car". Did shifter jobs, sleeper for 5 yrs, mileage runs, pickup jobs, the works. Would do that again in a heartbeat, even with bad weather we have here.

    Combo? Can't relate, never did, never wanted to.

    Your husband? Been here 18 years? That, to me, says he's, maybe not a youngster. P/C may not be for him. With his attitude, feeders may not be either.
  12. bleedinbrown58

    bleedinbrown58 ahhh....the mouth breathers

  13. PT Car Washer

    PT Car Washer Well-Known Member

    If package car driver is the worst job you have ever had you have been very fortunate in your life.
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  14. nystripe96

    nystripe96 Active Member

    Package car is what you make of it. I personally love it, granted there are some horrendous routes and bombed out trucks which are not fun. The good days outweigh the bad IMO. Some people just aren't well suited for package. I personally enjoy figuring out how a route should be challenged each day. Interaction with customers and working relatively normal hours. It doesn't hurt that my center management team is relatively easy to deal with

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  15. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Depending on his local.
  16. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    Let's see, does baling hay count? Cuttin beans? Carrying a 185 stop paper route count? Running Cat scraper in 110 degree weather with wind howling so bad across engine and levers that you had to wrap rags around the controls just to touch em, count? Or trying to finish a job before the ground freezes so the boss requires 7 til 11 shifts, 7 days a week, then being so cold (and with no HEATER on these things) you had to wrap up like the Michelin Man, count?

    I could go on and on, but, FORTUNATE? I was FORTUNATE to be in p/c? Did FORTUNE get me this job? Or any other? Working HARD at HARD-WORKING jobs got me here. NOT fortune. And, YES, in off times, I DID unload in the primary, loaded, swept floors, did every job in this building, including, WASHING cars and tractors and trailers and dollies.

    Not to get all huffy and defensive here but I'm not going to get into all the dirty, chitty, demeaning, low-paying, thankless, hot, cold, sweaty, jobs I've had. I stand by my statement, and I did say, "In MY case", package car was and still is, the worst job I've every had. Did I make a success of it? YES. I still hated it.
  17. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Do you even have a full year under your belt yet?
  18. nystripe96

    nystripe96 Active Member


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  19. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    I made the same jump from combo straight to feeders, and for me I haven't looked back once. My yearly gross income doubled as well as my personal job satisfaction. I don't drag myself into work everyday like I did when I worked in the hub and because of the increased income I have accomplished a lot in the last 4 years that I thought would take 10. Going into feeders is like working for a new company because the attitude is just different, not to mention the fact that I felt a combo job just wasn't a good long term career decision(lets face it combo jobs are not going to be around forever). I couldn't recommend making the jump enough, but every building is a little bit different so your husband should look into what he is getting himself into at his location. Things like what is the average wait to get a bid run, how long will he remain on call and how much will he work during slow periods like after peak. He should also find out how many jobs your building has and what times a lot of them run. I wish you both luck in making this decision and hope you make the right one!
  20. UPS4Life

    UPS4Life Active Member

    Not leave the yard for a year!?!? If I didn't do that I would have went insane. So much more you can hit and run Into in the yard I feel people let their guard down.

    I agree with feeders being a 4 I've been driving almost 3 years and my bad day is forgetting an umbrella and getting rained on or dealing with some :censored2: in construction zone trying to pass you on the right.

    It's not that bad IMO could be long hours depending where your located I know guys around my seniority date (towards the bottom) can run 2nd shift hours with an hour or two of over time a day. I liked the cover board did that for 2 years get to go somewhere new and maybe that would be good for him to see where he likes going whether it be a local pick up run or maybe a destination drive for a couple hours turn around come back. Either way just don't short yourself sleep.

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