From PT sup to FT driver - words of wisdom?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by bad company, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. bad company

    bad company semi-pro

    Hey all. I am next in line for an "off-street" hire for a FT driver position. I will be going to school in roughly a month. Does anybody have some good advice on what to expect, what to study, or any thing that will increase my chances of being successful.

    I have been practicing on a P500 and P700 and doing pretty well and know the diad from being a helper and training other helpers as a pt sup. But, I know there's a lot more to learn and any advice from the experienced would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    I know a lot of part time sups that took the jump to ft driver.
    The training is pretty basic. The fun really starts when you
    go out with an on car sup.He`ll take you out with 40 stops
    and show you how easy it is to prepare you for the 120 or
    more you`ll have when you are on your own.Just do things
    exactly like they teach you,and dont let yourself get too
    stressed out from the pressure.It all comes in time.The
    diad should take you about a month to master.Good Luck!
  3. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    this is all my feelings from having been where you are heading. It is based on my experience. It is opinion only and not gospel.

    The best friends you will have will be other drivers, who will be able to help you with problems you will face daily. They will also be able to help you if you get stuck somehow on the board. Whoever you know as drivers, keep them close. Also if they think you are coming from the inside, to get six months and go full time, you likely will not get much help. The help you will get will be from mgmt in that case. Everyone thought I was an infiltrator, who wanted to sneak into the hourly ranks, and go running back to mgmt, with the goods. Nothing was further from the truth.

    If you know the route you will be on, since you are now inside, see the loader, and find out how the truck is loaded. Being on the inside, you have the opportunity that others dont, if you are now in the building you will be driving out of. Take yourself out on the route, and familiarize yourself. If possible, take the day befores driver records, and you will see why he pulls where, and how it is run.

    If you are not in good physical shape, start now or your body will be your worst enemy. Keep plenty of water with you, no matter the weather, you can dehydrate just as easily when it is 0 as when it is 100. Bring snacks. Cheese, bananas, broccoli, carrots. Try to stay away from heavy foods, til you adjust. Plan on devoting the first couple months to getting through this period and not much else. Tell your wife/husband , or sig other that they will be on the back burner, so you can get this job which pays so well. You dont need someone nagging you that they arent getting enough of your attention. They will have plenty of time to do that once you are permanent.

    Learn to breathe, seriously, it is the best way to get control if you are getting stressed out. Talk to some of the women, or men who have been through natural child birth, they know the breathing techniques.

    Good luck, keep us posted.
  4. bad company

    bad company semi-pro

    DS and TOONER - Thank you so much for your response and advice. I will be sure to send you two a big thank you once I gain seniority!
  5. mattwtrs

    mattwtrs Retired Senior Member

    Is your center on PAS ?? If so then following the methods and always working safely you should make it! Don't be afraid to ask questions. Make sure to ask your training sup what is possible to skip to be able to complete pickups on time. Have your trainer print a sparks report every day that he/she is with you too as a reference tool for later!
  6. Smile at all times. Never least not until you make seniority. Dont worry about making are going to make plenty. They dont expect you to be perfect...make sure to return to the building in one piece!
  7. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden Enlightend

    Congratulations! You are one step closer to hitting bottom.
  8. automaticP1300

    automaticP1300 New Member

    Congrats on getting the full time gig. I too was a part time sup that got the opportunity to go full time driving. I can honestly say that its the best thing that ever happened to me at UPS. The guys that posted above give some pretty good advice. There's no magic bullet secret that will make it easy for you. Give it a few days and you'll figure out how best to run the route. Work safe, follow the methods, and make sure you don't try and cut corners. You'll make seniority in no time.
    And oh yeah, the money ain't bad either---and I'm still a year away from top pay! Good luck to ya.
  9. cast

    cast New Member

    Know 5 seeing eye habits (All Good kids like milk) 8 rules to backing, and 10 point commentary know these word for word. Talking to new drivers who have been to school these are a must know. Good luck!
  10. bad company

    bad company semi-pro

    First of all, thanks to everyone who posted a response. I appreciate your advice and support. Here's my next question:

    Should I join the union or not?

    The reason I am being given the opportunity to drive right now is because management, from both my center and division, want me to eventually go into pkg ops mgmt after I finish my degree and get some driving experience.

    While I do plan on eventually getting out of driving a package car and possibly going into pkg ops mgmt, I also acknowledge the fact that I am very young, and may change my feelings and career ambitions along the way. My goal right now is to drive for a minimum of 2.5 years to reach top pay, gain useful "on-road" experience, and finish my degree before I even think about being a full-time sup. I would never want to try and supervise a group of drivers without having done it successfully myself. Only seems logical to me...

    Would management be offended if I joined the union? And would it potentially jeopardize my future with UPS on the management side of things? Please understand that I am very appreciative that my management team thinks so highly of me that they would offer me this opportunity at such a young age (21). I was not next in-line in the part-time sup rankings, and I also understand that this will piss off a lot other p/t sups in my building. But I have to look out for #1, and since this opportunity might not have presented itself for quite a while, I had little choice but to accept it, even if that means it may offend some others. But the way I see it, there is no seniority in management, so may the best man (or woman) win.

    On the other hand, I have seen first-hand how the union has helped a driver keep their job, especially with accidents; and while I don't plan on being a trouble maker or intentionally getting into an accident, I understand that the possibility of it exists, and for this reason alone, would want the support of the union should I ever need it.

    My personal feelings regarding the Teamsters are fairly neutral. I am not a union-basher, but I'm not exactly cheering for them neither. I am under central states, and obviously the whole pension debacle is a major turn-off. However, I have also seen some good people protected by the union, after some bad management tried to screw them over.
  11. dragracer66

    dragracer66 Active Member

    Join the union, pay your dues, forget about "stupervision" at least if you make some mistake's you have the union to back you, if you screw up as a "tie" ( no offense tieguy!!) they could blow you out or just ship you to Fargo North Dakota as a carwash sup. Plus if you play it right you will make more than most supervisor's who just got promoted will ever make!!! Get into the 401k and purchase stock through payroll deduction. Marry a smoking hot blonde and you will be just fine!!!:laugh:
  12. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    lead by example. Do the job by the methods, no whining , no complaining no favoritism. Your future drivers will remember how you did when you drove.:wink:
  13. hoser

    hoser Industrial Slob

    :thumbup1::thumbup1: When I went on-road, I had a cooler full of sandwiches, fruit, and biscuits, and that really helped. But on Friday, you gotta binge; I'd take the sprinter through the BK drivethru and get 2 combos for myself to down. But I went to the gym on friday nights, mind you...:wink:

    I knew which customers were willing enough to let me fill up on water. Some would feed me food and were receptive to the "training" that I gave them (we don't ship to PO boxes, remove all the old barcodes and labels, 3 copies of commercial invoices are needed, etc), others didn't really care/were too busy/etc. If you're on a consistent route, you'll have your regulars, and they make your job enjoyable. Train them, treat them like gold, and present yourself as having the willingness to go to the end of the world and back for them. It'll make your life a lot easier, they won't throw hissyfits when you are late, something messes up, etc, and they'd be willing to help you out, too.

    Being a driver was fun; where other people freaked out and just walked off, I thrived because I enjoyed it so much; I loved the challenges of routing boxes, getting stuff on time, etc. I'm type-A and I have extreme focus on detail, so I did well. Unlike being a package handler, I never clock-watched.

    The big thing is, just withdraw yourself. You may see your truck just crammed with bulk, relax. Withdraw. Getting upset ain't gonna change anything, just take one box at a time. Don't dick around, but don't rush. They can't fire you for being late when you get over-loaded, but they can certainly fire you when you get in a collision because you were distracted by your map book. They'll hardly recognize your good work, but they definitely will pick up on your bad work.