Knee Problems

Discussion in 'Health and Medical Topics' started by SeekYeFirst, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. SeekYeFirst

    SeekYeFirst New Member

    I worked as a UPS Driver Helper for about two weeks in the old style truck, and for the first time in my life I'm experiencing a lot of knee pain. It was to the point that I had to take pain relievers throughout the day to keep going. Even my driver noticed that my running turned into a very forced brisk walk. Before this, I was a healthy person who never experienced pain. In fact, I sort of thought people that did were just complainers. Now I know what knee pain is like. Are these problems common among UPS workers?
  2. tarbar66

    tarbar66 Active Member

    My comments will be limited to why were you running to start with? Brisk walk is the method. I'll bet that you were jumping out of the car instead of stepping out softly. Some UPS drivers have knee problems but many have bigger problems higher up on their body.
  3. splozi

    splozi Guest

    Expect a lot of unhelpful comments in this thread.

    I experienced the same thing, except my pain occurred three days after helping, not two weeks. Eventually I couldn't even walk briskly, I could only limp slowly.
    My guess is that your driver had high expectations of you, and never instructed you on the "methods" and how to work safely. My first driver specifically stated that some safety rules will have to be broken to get things done. He expected me to run, so I ran, until I couldn't anymore. Yours likely did the same I presume? Unless the running was solely your choice.

    As I learned, the keys to keeping your knees in good order are: walk at a brisk pace, don't run & use the handrail when entering or exiting the package car.
    I learned my lesson quickly, and suffered through three weeks of unbearable knee pain for my mistakes.

    To answer your question, I would say it is not uncommon to find drivers with knee problems. My third and final driver has had two surgeries performed on his right knee. These problems, if not preexisting, were likely caused early in their driving, while trying to keep up and satisfy management.

    Your knee(s) will probably become stronger when you recover from the pain. Mine did.
  4. Coldworld

    Coldworld Taking it all back.....

    These are 2 good examples of why the numbers are so out of wack. Driver is given x number of stops and the driver and helper get them done...but they are running to do it. When the he'll will there be some accountability with ie. Everyone knows this happens at peak and at the regular time of year...but all that seems to happen is we continue to loose time. I know people say don't worry about it, but I'm sick and tired of seeing all of my coworkers beat down with injuries and rides. On a side note to the two helpers, this job will screw you up regardless if you follow the methods....the methods will help you stay safe but they are NO guarantee.
  5. splozi

    splozi Guest

    Working in preload, the only thing I can imagine is potential back problems. "Bending at the knees" repeatedly to pick up boxes inside of a buff is not practical.

    But, helping? That won't screw you up as long as you watch out for yourself. You'll just be sore as hell.
  6. SeekYeFirst

    SeekYeFirst New Member

    The workload during the peak season and limiting a driver's amount of backups in a day makes it impossible to complete the task without running to the houses. Some of these driveways are quite long but there is no way to easily turn the truck around. I used the rail, but it doesn't completely remove the high stress of getting in and out of the truck. I think perhaps the drivers fare better because they are not as rushed when they work alone and when the workload is high someone other than them is dropping the packages.

    Having said that, my driver is cool.
  7. Johney

    Johney Well-Known Member

    Your body is designed to be able run if your in shape. Should you do it for UPS? No, but if you are having problems with your knees then 1. You didn't use the hand rail or 2. You are just out of shape. I've worked 24 years and never had a problem with my knees. Yes the drivers are rushed with or without a helper. Is it easier on a drivers body with a helper? Sure to some point but they are still sorting and handling boxes.
  8. rocket man

    rocket man Well-Known Member

    ( one good thing about pain ? it lets you know your not dead. when i j STARTED i knew i was not dead the whole time O U C H. WELCOME TO THE UPS WORLD YOUR NORMAL.
  9. AssistantSanta

    AssistantSanta New Member

    I'm not sure what anyone can do for you at this point for what already happened. If it bothers you ice & heat may help. Other than that, you should go seek a doctor or a nurse practitioner.

    Someone made a thread with same concerns a little while ago:

    Are you in a good shape and any history of knee problems? How old are you?

    Here's how I did it. Might not be for everyone but maybe some will find it helpful.

    I exercise once in a while and never had a physically demanding job before. This season, I worked every day as a helper except holidays/weekends. I put close to 200 hours in.

    I was sore everywhere pretty much everyday(probably can attribute to lack of regular physical workout) but I didn't have any bothersome pain or any blisters on my feet.

    After I started noticing soreness, I made conscious effort to spread out the stress. So, if I have a habit of always stepping in/out with one foot, I made sure I used one foot to get out, and the other to step in. If its sorer than usual, I gave myself more pull with my right arm as I get in.

    I stretched legs, ankle, knees and arms before work every day.
    This stretching was shown to us during orientation and I included in my stretch routine

    I wore air cushion shoes meant for long walks. I thought they helped. I never ran except once when I got chased by this mean little dog.
  10. djkre8r

    djkre8r Member

    I remember my first ever peak season. I worked preload and then helped a driver on a rural route. He had less stops than other drivers but loooong drive ways (and walks for me). After about 3 days I was so sore I could barely walk. I believe the reason I was so sore was because my previous job didn't require much physical activity (I was a service tech and drove about 1200-1500 miles a week - long hours behind a wheel). I now work as a cover driver and when I am not driving I am on preload. Even the inside jobs require a lot of physical activity. I have calculated how much I walk on preload by using my Nike app and sensor in my shoe. To my surprise I normally walk around 10 miles in a morning. I have checked the calibration several times and it IS correct. My last test was on 11/16/11 and I walked 9.74 miles in 4hr 26mins (on preload).

    UPS is a physically demanding job! Stick with it and your body will get used to it. Stretch before work! Use the methods - walk at a brisk pace, don't run. Use the hand rail EVERY TIME getting in and out of the truck. Don't carry the packages out of the truck - sit them down, exit the truck using the hand rail, and then turn around and pick up the packages.
  11. BCFan

    BCFan Active Member

    File a workers comp claim Heck UPS made record profits at the expense of their employees health.....BC
  12. SeekYeFirst

    SeekYeFirst New Member

    I worked out every day before taking this job. I think the issue is not so much using the rail but only technically having my hand on the rail as I'm rushing in and out. I assume I'll heal and be back to normal. As of right now the continued workload just aggravates it and keeps it from healing.

    Some people seem mighty defensive. I'm not trying to place the blame on UPS at all. I'm sure it's my own over-zealous spirit for a low paying job that did it to me.
  13. SeekYeFirst

    SeekYeFirst New Member

    Thirty years old. No history of knee problems. I've worked physically demanding jobs for the last 10 years but have been laid off for nearly a year. I'm currently working on losing weight which would help reduce stress on my knees too. Thank you for your response. It was a bit more helpful and understanding than other responses.
  14. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    Is it a tendinitis issue? That is very painful.
  15. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    ...and people wonder why comp fraud is at an all-time high...
  16. cino321

    cino321 Active Member

    Helpers being told to run? These drivers are out of their minds.
  17. AssistantSanta

    AssistantSanta New Member

    He certainly should if needs to seek health care concerning the injury. The company making profit or not isn't relevant. Other than that, I could only suggest taking it easy until its healed. So, if he's got a plan to snowboarding this weekend that might have to be postponed.

    Now, insight for the future....

    Driver helper position experience totally depends on the driver you get since you work one on one. This is coming from my experience working with four different drivers. Three drivers for one day each, and rest with the same driver.

    If you're getting used like a yoyo while the driver sits around doing nothing, it's really aggravating. You're used as a tool to save the driver from doing the physically demanding work instead rather than working as their assistant.

    Were you like this guy?

    I wouldn't worry about it. My driver says over the years, the center has had a lot of problems with late/no show helpers. Apparently it was pretty bad as the center sent out DIAD message to all drivers EVERY DAY during the last two weeks of the peak if they've met up with their helper.

    If you can be counted on for always being at meet point the second he pulls in you have a significant advantage over faster helpers with spotty attendance.

    Look for opportunities to use your mind to shave some time. Whatever time you saved that way gives you some room to walk slower.

    I'm not sure how often this happened with your driver, but mine had me misdeliver a handful of times.

    Most memorable was my first or second day when my driver got something like 12380 Devon Rd and 12380 Lemon Rd mixed up and caused both to get misdelivered. He was made aware after one of them called in a customer complaint that she got someone else's package. This cost something like 20-30minutes of time.

    It wasn't my fault at all. I took "this package to that house".

    So he drove to caller's house and recovered the wrong package and she asked "so, where's my package?" to which I couldn't quite hear what he explained. We went to house B to deliver the package he just recovered as well as recover house A's package. Nobody was home when we got there, but they've already taken the incorrect package inside. So, he left the correct package at house B, then back we go to house A so he can go explain the whole deal. Oh boy, she was fuming.

    I thought the whole thing was freaking :rofl: but the driver didn't seem think it was funny at all. I was out past 8PM that night.

    We didn't go back to the same houses the next day, so he must have dealt with it before I met up with him.

    From then on, i started paying more attention and caught a few mistakes before they got delivered. Each near miss you catch means you can take a few extra seconds at each stop without causing a slow down.
  18. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    This is why you always compare the physical address on the package (not the PAL) with the address that you are attempting delivery at as you walk up to the delivery location.
  19. splozi

    splozi Guest

    I've caught my driver's mistakes several times throughout those weeks too. Wrong address, or sometimes telling him to stop 'cause he was too busy checking out a hot babe to notice that he was about to drive right by the next house.
  20. ups1990

    ups1990 Well-Known Member

    BCFan, this is one fascinating statement.

    To the original poster, did you use worn or cheap shoes? I ask because for me, a slight knee pain is also an indicator of needing new shoes.