Finally joined BrownCafe! - Input on Package Car Driver job

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by DickNose, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. Hello, Been lurking in the forums here since 2014 peak. I joined last October and so far have worked in just about every area of the HUB. I don't know if its a good thing but my supervisor likes to move me a lot so I've done time loading, unloading, sort and smalls.

    So far I like the job because the people I work with all seem pretty cool, kind of like a frat house vibe. The only annoying thing which is minor really, is that you always have 4-5 different supervisors telling you to do something else and thus I always get asked "Who told you to do that?" They really should just communicate more cause the process does get old. Anyway, like I said, a minor annoyance that I can put up with.

    I recently got my name on the list for package car driver. I've read and heard that sometimes it takes years to get called, but the my local H.R. person said that demand for drivers is up now due to the combination of the list being short and peak coming up.

    I'd like to get some input from the veteran PC drivers, as I really want to do well with this job should I be given a chance. In particular, I would like to find out:

    - What are some of the common mistakes that rookies make while out on their route?

    - In my hub, I was told that the driving test involves a manual transmission, which is ok, I can drive a manual, but how different is it from driving a manual package car?

    - Are there different shifts for Package Car drivers? or is it just one shift? If there are different shifts, what are the time slots?

    - I heard newbies are given the most difficult routes, what makes a route difficult?

    - How are routes planned? Are we given maps and a list of delivery addresses and then its up to us to layout and plan the route?.....or is everything computerized and technology tells us where to go next?

    Sorry for all the questions, this may sound crazy, but I REALLY want this job and the challenges that go with it. I know people say its one of the toughest jobs in the HUB but I truly think based on my personality (I'm really organized) and physical ability(workaholic by nature), that I am built for this type of job.
  2. cheryl

    cheryl I started this. Staff Member

    Hi, I'm gonna move your post into UPS Discussions. You've got a better chance of getting replies there. Also please change your username.
  3. Lead Belly

    Lead Belly BANNED

    Richard Nose?????
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  4. SCV good to go sir.

    SCV good to go sir. Active Member

    First off, welcome to Browncafe. Don't apologize. This place is a great resource for getting answers to questions. The fact that you have a gung go attitude and a passion for the job is the most important thing. My initial trainer hit the nail on the head about this job, "It's a hard job, but it's a good job." You're going to face a lot of bull :censored2: that will piss you off, there might be times where you want to cry for your momma, and sometimes you'll look at a map for 10 minutes knowing how to get where you need to go and you'll still be lost. If you can hold on to that positive attitude and take things in stride, you'll be able to overcome those challenges. It's a great job.

    It sounds like your initial driving experience will be during peak. If that's the case you'll probably get really easy residential routes (that's how it is at my center). Understand that many aspects of this job vary from center to center so don't be surprised if you get a bunch of different answers or find that your own experience varies. A lot of factors contribute to route difficulty: # of apartments with lots of stairs, gated communities (sometimes you don't have the code or key), finding parking especially in areas with lots of traffic and often times no safe parking for commercial vehicles, pick ups with lots of packages, # of business stops, etc.

    The gears are set much lower in the package cars compared to regular cars. You'll find that you can easily get going in 2nd gear and everyone does. You should two to save wear and tear on your knees. The only exception is when a supervisor is riding along with you and during the test so that you don't get dinged. The vast majority of package cars that I've driven didn't have a tachometer so you have to shift based on the engine noise. Give the gearbox a good second when moving from one gear to the next.

    I only know of one shift.

    If you need maps you can print them at the center. I personally carry a laminated Thomas Guide in my backpack just in case technology fails me. The diad will have all your delivery addresses on it. There are two modes for viewing it: ODO (Orion) or RDO (EDD). Your truck is loaded according to EDD and EDD is very intuitive. Most of us will strongly encourage you to follow EDD. Orion is supposed to save miles, sometimes it works well, sometimes you need to avoid that :censored2: like the plague. Regardless of how you run the route here are the 2 things that matter most:

    1) No safety incidents
    2) No service issues - That means no late air and no missed business (including schools and churches)

    Repeat after me, "No safety incidents, no service issues, no problem." Get that tattooed on you somewhere.

    Not doing their pretrip and running out of gas.

    Not validating their air before they leave.

    Being anxious and getting overwhelmed. This is kind of unavoidable since the real learning experience is going to be a trial by fire. If you find yourself paralyzed, driving in literal circles or in hazardous manner.. STOP. Take a deep breath. Have a sip of water, take a deep breath, everything is going to be alright. Take another deep breath.

    Being indecisive. Not being able to make a decision or taking too long is the worst possible thing you can do. You lose time, which ends up nullifying the benefits of the correct decision or making the wrong choice even worse. In my experience, you're usually better off making the wrong choice. Just to clarify this doesn't mean run a red light when you know there's no traffic, but more along the lines of:
    Should I go on the property when there are signs of a dog but I don't see one?
    Should I run all my air only or should I knock off some ground stops as well at some of them?
    Do I have enough time to knock out these two stops before my next pick up?
    Should I take my handcart with me to this pick up?

    Don't do anything that will jeopardize your safety (or that of others). You are more important than some box or their numbers.

    Not taking a deep breath.

    Not trusting their gut instinct. We'll use dogs for example. I don't give a flying :censored2: if the 80 year old woman tells you her angry German Shepard won't bite as she begs you to bring in a 100 pound box into her house. If you don't feel comfortable around that damn dog, that's your survival instinct kicking in. That's an unbroken line of thousands of years of evolution at work. What are you going to trust? The tried and true gut feeling that got your ancestors to ultimately produce you? Or some negligent :censored2: that owns a dog to fill up the void in her senile life who couldn't be bothered to arrange to have a friend/neighbor/family member (i.e. someone familiar with her dog) to safely move the package inside for her?

    Learn to deal with stupid :censored2:. People are going to cut you off all day and drive like retards. They're going to tell you stupid :censored2:. One time I was eating pork rinds at a red light, :censored2:ing old man next to me tells me I'm not supposed to be eating while I'm on duty. They'll you that you can't park there and then you'll see them commit traffic violations. I had one woman chastise me for getting her dog's gender wrong when I asked her to restrain it. Let that :censored2: go. Take a deep breath and go on to the next stop. Then once you get off work tell us about it so we can laugh at them.
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  5. billerz

    billerz Active Member

    If your driving over peak you prob won't get a difficult route, and you will have someone in the car with you for the first two or three days. Just focus on learning your area, and being safe.
  6. joeboodog

    joeboodog good people drink good beer

    What he said.
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  7. Wally

    Wally Hailing from Parts Unknown.

    You should know where to get socks.
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  8. dupa

    dupa On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation.

    "Cant make up time in the driver seat, have to make it up on organization"
    "Drive as if the pkg car is in a bubble, dont EVER break that bubble"

    of course..... what SCV said was spot on.
  9. DriverMD

    DriverMD Active Member

    Ive been driving for a year and a half but I think I have some experience.

    If you have to question whether or not you can get into a driveway and easily turn around, just walk it off.

    If you have any second thoughts on anything, trust your gut instinct.

    The only nice dogs are Golden Retrievers (in my experience). And little dogs will still bite you.
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  10. Thanks Cheryl, I have a pretty good idea of what I will be up against if and when I become a driver now. Thanks for all that replied!
  11. Whats with these socks that I keep reading about? Are they really required or is that some type of inside joke? What makes them so special?
  12. RonBurgandy??????????

    RonBurgandy?????????? God is Great, beer is good , People are crazy.

    Yes, they are required (but not provided) ,people often post new threads about them, asking where to get them, they are regular brown socks with a ups logo on them
  13. billerz

    billerz Active Member

    They do give the most badass tan lines.
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  14. Wally

    Wally Hailing from Parts Unknown.

    Yea, you have to have them to sport the shorts.

    Many a newbie will not bother to use the search feature to find numerous sock threads, so that's the joke.
  15. Wow, the search feature on this site is one of the best I've seen! I was hesitant to use it after being on
  16. Dr.Brownz

    Dr.Brownz Well-Known Member

    1. Dont try to rush, take your time and read the package labels and be careful driving. An accident or misdelivery will cost more time than you can save by rushing.

    2. Not sure what your asking

    3. Depends on the building, commonly one shift with staggered start times, though the company is allowed to have 2 routes per building start at noon.The contract says some stuff about when start times need to be or there is an OT penalty which leads most centers to start between 6 and 9.

    4. Routes with the most stops and/or most volume. Or routes in heavy traffic or small streets. The nice routes are the ones that are tons of miles everyday and low stops, (IE out in the countryside)

    4, Depends on building. Some have EDD: all your stops are listed out in the order UPS thinks you should do them (many times its wrong/ has stops out of order). In my small center they threw me in a truck with 300 packages and said go deliver them.
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  17. Dr.Brownz

    Dr.Brownz Well-Known Member

    If your only driving for peak dont buy socks. You will be wearing long pants anyway and it wont matter
  18. Update: After 4 months on waiting list, I got the call recently and passed my road test! Next stop, driving school! Thanks to all that shared their knowledge and provided words of support! I know there are some tough times ahead but I can't wait to hit the road!
  19. Wally

    Wally Hailing from Parts Unknown.

    Good luck! As soon as you make book, put your name on the Feeders list!
  20. joeboodog

    joeboodog good people drink good beer

    Don't get too caught up on bad days or good days. Learn from both.