Going Feeders from 5 Years Part-Time "On-Topic"

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Drake, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Ya Dad

    Ya Dad Member

    I started out loading trucks, then after a couple of years went into PM Air. Did that for the next 3 years, until the Manager took my job away, along with the other part-time PM Air drivers. It was supposed to be a combo position, and since I didn't have the seniority to go combo, I was bumped out of my position for a guy that's been with the company 15 years. Fair enough I guess. They couldn't take my classification away because I was put in as a Bid Air Driver, but I work in centers now and I get my hub rate, which is about half my driver pay. Talked to a Union Steward about it, and all he had to say was, "Interested in going Combo?" >_<

    So now it seems to be that my only chance of moving up without having to wait 10 years for combo is to go Feeders. Spent the last month studying for my Class A Permit, and last week I was finally awarded it after passing my General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Combination, and Doubles/Triples tests. Turned my permit in to have it photocopied to be on file, and a few days later, got "the call". Got the drug test out of the way, filled out paperwork as well as the application to transfer to Feeders, and got my background check out of the way. Now we wait.

    So here's my question(s). I've never driven a tractor before and never went to a truck driving school. I wanna know what things I can do to best prepare myself with the time I have before I go in (which could be anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months). I've heard that a lot of people fail out because they can't back a combination, and some others fail the pretrip so they don't even make it to getting their license. I just wanna prepare the best I can so I don't drown.

    - Thanks in advance
  2. silenze

    silenze Lunch is the best part of the day

    Obviously study the pretrip and know it by heart. If you can back a trailer that helps a lot.
  3. Johney

    Johney Well-Known Member

    5 years p/t to feeder? Consider yourself lucky. Do you at least know how to drive a standard transmission? That seems to be a lost art with kids today.
  4. Cementups

    Cementups Box Monkey

    It so weird for me to hear people say that. Here you can basically get your 30 days in and move right on into feeders. Instant full time.

    Good luck OP.
  5. Johney

    Johney Well-Known Member

    I hear of mythical places like that, just never knew they really existed.
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  6. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    Thats a tough road to go down, but not impossible. The sad truth is that the company really prefers to hire of the street drivers, but it has to give the inside people a chance to fail first. My advice is to learn as much as you can as fast as you can since you only get 2 weeks of training before your actual CDL test. If you can survive till your CDL test and pass it in a reasonable number of attempts(around here I have heard of guys getting 4 shots at it) you then only need to finish out your thirty days without an accident and you are in. Use every resource available to you including your trainer as well as other drivers to try and pick up the skills you need to make it those first two weeks. The company will be looking for ways to disqualify you so they can go onto off the street hires so do your best to not give them a reason. Goodluck!
  7. Johney

    Johney Well-Known Member

    They could never hire a feeder driver off the street here, last bid they put up had three pages of signatures. That's a lot of people to DQ to get to an off the street hire.
  8. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    We get a lot of signatures on our bid sheets as well, out of the last 57 feeder drivers that have been hired here 11 were out of the building while 46 were off the street.
  9. Johney

    Johney Well-Known Member

    Wow that's amazing. There has never been a feeder job hired off the street anywhere in our district.
  10. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    Here there's really no shot at feeders. Not even what should be our own CPU work.
  11. Pickles

    Pickles Member

    Around here if you're PT going into Feeders you do a "Road test" before starting the school. Same as a seasonal.

    If you've never drove before you may be screwed if they go by the same rules as us.
  12. Turdferguson

    Turdferguson Just a turd

    Dill or sweet?
  13. Wally

    Wally Hailing from Parts Unknown.

    Ya Dad a Swede?
  14. moldsporh

    moldsporh Active Member

    Ya dad.....here's the scoop with feeders with your seniority. Generally, unless your really really lucky, once in feeders you will be on the qualified list...this means you are a delivery driver, combo driver...whatever, that is qualified to operate feeders. When needed, you will be called in seniority order. Once a position becomes avail as a full-time feeder driver, you can choose to bid full time into feeders but likely be a cover driver to start.

    It could take 6 months, it could take 10 years or more to get a bid route, 10 years is the likely scenario if not more.

    What you need to do is take a visit to your feeder office and look at the seniority list and see where you will fall, and take note of the vacations because generally the summer is not avail to most drivers unless you have alot of seniority.

    Now the other important part. ..can you drive a manual transmission? If you can then you have a long way to go because commercial trucks, especially road tractors, don't have synchronized transmissions. You need to learn to shift by matching the rpms to the road speed and know what gear correlates....it's alot harder than you think.

    You need to be able to demonstrate you can up shift and especially downshift, the backing is not your main concern right now.

    Get the shifting down, second nature, then practice backing.

    Good luck.
  15. olroadbeech

    olroadbeech Happy Verified UPSer

    what hub is this? we havent had an off the street hire in over 20 years. most of our feeders came from part timers since package drivers don't want to work at night or drive in snow and ice.
  16. olroadbeech

    olroadbeech Happy Verified UPSer

    you need to be a little aggressive and start hitting up the feeder drivers at your hub with questions and how the training was. and what you need to do to pass. 2 weeks training does not seem like too much but if you get a good trainer you will pre-trip a ton and back for hrs. you can also with permission spend extra time on pre-trips , backing, making and breaking sets. and whatever you feel you need extra time with. our hub boss let trainees take all the time they wanted.

    our trainers wanted the drivers to pass because it would not reflect favorably on them if you failed.

    good luck and come back here and let us know how it went. maybe you will have some good advice for the next guy or gal. ( don;t wait 4 years , ha ha )
  17. Ya Dad

    Ya Dad Member

    Nope. United States...unless that has some kind of double-meaning I'm not aware of.

    My personal car is a 5 speed. The gears are opposite, though (1st is left-up, 2nd is left-down, 3rd is straight up, etc.)

    Not unheard of at my hub, especially lately. No one wants to put the time into getting their Class A permit. As a result, many of our Feeders come from the street.

    Someone PM'd me, recommended going to a community college and taking a class. There's an Ivy Tech close by that offers a truck driving class. Might be time to take advantage of that good ole' UPS Tuition Reimbursement. Hopefully I don't get the call to start Feeders in the middle of the semester...

    Yeah, I've been hanging out around the yard and talking to fuelers and feeders. Unfortunately most of the Feeders have been around for so long that the training they went through is much different than the training I will be going through. There's a guy I went to high school with that got into Feeders last year, and he's only been with the company for a couple years longer. Went in from Part-Time. Gonna have to shoot him a text.

    Thanks for all the responses. Keep em coming if you've got any more helpful advice!
  18. olroadbeech

    olroadbeech Happy Verified UPSer

    it's good that you are so proactive about this. trainers like people with a good attitude. you should do just fine.

    not sure at your hub but at mine they had a number of training videos for feeder drivers and trainees to watch. stuff like pre-tripping, making and breaking sets, driving in adverse weather conditions, and other subjects. even veteran drivers could watch these any time we wanted and get paid for it as long as you got the OK.

    your center may have some feeder training videos. check that out.
  19. Covemastah

    Covemastah Suspension Ovah !!! Tom is free FU Goodell !!

    Go down to the feeder office introduce your self and ask if you can practice driving the tractor around the yard ,, this will help you learn to shift and build your confidence before you start feeder class ! Remember a tractor is unlike a car ,, hold the hand on shifter like throwing a fastball , this helps in gliding into proper gear and if you can't get in gear , while in neutral, fuel it a bit to bring up rpm
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  20. Coldworld

    Coldworld Taking it all back.....

    How is this even possible ???