How times have changed on the road

Discussion in 'The Latest UPS Headlines' started by cheryl, May 9, 2019.

  1. cheryl

    cheryl I started this. Staff Member

    How times have changed on the road - Fleet Owner

    With driver turnover remaining steady and high, Jimmy Howard is an anachronism. He drove for over 43 years, all of it at one company: UPS. He logged over 6 million accident-free miles and just retired at age 66. We talked with Howard about why he stayed with UPS for his entire career, how the industry has changed, and what advice he has for other drivers especially those starting their careers.

    Fleet Owner: Where did your driving career begin?

    Howard: I joined UPS when I was 22 years old in 1975. I started in the package cars; that's the brown delivery trucks. You had to have at least a year of safe driving with them and then you signed what they called a “feeder list” to drive a larger truck.

    UPS is a little bit different; they don't call them tractor trailers, they call them feeder units, but they're tractor trailers. I signed the list but I had absolutely no experience in driving that kind of truck. The company trained me. I went through an extensive training course and received my Class A license. It wasn't called a CDL back then. You passed that and a management person rode with you for about two weeks, and then they turned you loose on your own.
  2. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    It doesn't say when he went to feeders but CDL wasn't in effect in 1976 or 77.

    I do remember there being "Chauffeur" and "Commercial Chauffeur" licenses that were required to drive commercial vehicles.
  3. DriverNerd

    DriverNerd Active Member

    I like guys like this. No nonsense, just tells it as they see it. Honest and to the point.

    I can't help but laugh at his (fake) smile.
  4. tarbar66

    tarbar66 Active Member

    A good story from a veteran driver.

    His take on the distracted driving is spot on!
  5. olroadbeech

    olroadbeech Happy Verified UPSer

    worked 15 years more than he had to.......
  6. LarryBird

    LarryBird Well-Known Member

    Contributed to his 401k for 15 additional years, and retired at a perfectly reasonable age, one where he's immediately eligible for social security and medicare. I think he did alright for himself.

    This guy's set with money for the rest of his life and has the ability to travel and do whatever he wants now. Would he have been able to say the same if he retired at 51 years old?

    I've seen you harping on this retirement age :censored2: a few different places now - you should really realize that what worked for you(so far anyway), is not what's necessarily best for others. Some people may even enjoy working. Shocking, I know, but true.
  7. olroadbeech

    olroadbeech Happy Verified UPSer

    ya, maybe my attitude is born from experience. have seen too MANY people work too long ( few actually enjoyed it ) and then kick the bucket within the first year or 2 or retirement.

    too many. and I knew some of them. nearly all of them told me when they were sick near the end that they regretted working as long as they did. they would say don't make the same mistake.

    my Dad retired at 55 and then a couple years later went back to part time job ( which he loved ) for another 28 years. I have been out 4 years but started a nice sideline which I love working just 15-20 hours a week. yes you are right. to each his own.

    being set for life takes planning which many UPSers don't seem to do. actually this is true for the majority of Americans.
  8. LarryBird

    LarryBird Well-Known Member

    Your point is fair enough, but the last part about planning is kinda condescending. I think you're taking for granted that we're in a high paid union job with a pension when we retire. Most Americans cannot say the same thing. The reality for many, is that they're barely getting by, and some are broke before their next paycheck even arrives. That makes retirement planning a luxury in this country unfortunately.

    You and I and the others here happen to be among those who can live a comfortable life, and still set aside for our older years to remain financially secure. So we don't really have any excuses not to plan ahead, but again, our experiences are not everyone's.

    The pensions we have provide the ability to retire earlier than any of us would probably ever consider without them, but I think many, myself included, feel like working a bit longer and building up that 401k is a smart thing to do. You never know if/when your pension might cease to exist or get cut back.

    I'm definitely glad your planning has worked for you though. It gives me great hope for the future. Good luck moving forward, and I hope nothing unforseen happens to your income stream. I've seen that happen to many people, and that's not a good situation.