My INTEGRAD Driver Training Experience

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by But Benefits Are Great!, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. But Benefits Are Great!

    But Benefits Are Great! Just Words On A Screen

    For those who do not know, INTEGRAD is the relatively new intensive driver training program, a hands-on course that lasts 5 days, Monday thru Friday, from 7am to 6pm daily. All potential drivers going for a full time position must take this course. Mine was located in Landover, Maryland.

    I found very little information with regards to what to expect with this course, all the way from it is boot camp, to it is easy, to it is impossible, the entire gamut. The general concensus was that it was regimented, strict, and similar to boot camp.

    I went down with thje attitude that I believed it was serious, I believed it was crucial, but how hard could it possibly be? How can you fill 5 full days with instruction on this? I began my attendance intending to get a perfect score, be the first to take the tests, come back with the best score ever, etc.

    By Weds, I was simply praying that I would pass the course at all. It is exceptionally intense. Every minute of your day is planned out. If you are not serious, you will not pass. Our class of 20 had 4 students that did not finish. The week before, less than 1/2 the class went home as graduates.

    Here would be my personal suggestions if you plan to attend INTEGRAD to become a driver;

    1. Become a Saturday Air driver first - the experience with the vehicle and DIAD are invaluable

    2. Know the 5 Seeing Habits - Know them word for word, forward & backwards, by number, completely - be comfortable reciting them.

    3. Know the 10 Point Commentary - Not word for word, necessarily, but know them & what they mean

    4. Be familiar with the DIAD - I could not imagine passing if you had not already experienced using it.

    5. Know how to drive stick. Well. - The package cars they use are approximately 370 years old. All stick.

    6. Buy an Iron - You will fail out if you are not pressed & looking sharp.

    7. Attire - Must be correct. Close is not good enough. Correct socks, polishable leather shoes, belt, white/brown tee shirt. Had a guy show up day one with green sneakers....

    8. Groom - Shave - you no shave, you no graduate.

    9. Finally, take it seriously. If you are not prepared with the above, don't waste your time, your centers time, your families time. You can't squeak thru. Be ready and it is still hard. Not prepared, you will fail.

    There is not a spare minute given in the day for anything. There is no coffee allowed in the rooms, and if you are a smoker, you are gonna be a hurting puppy - I smoke, but there was just never time to get one in.
  2. mikestrek

    mikestrek New Member

    WOW! Big changes for UPS. When I started 24 years ago. We had allready been trained from the part-time ranks. Utility, shuttle, air, splits. We just jumped wright in from part time to full time. Yea, we had to know the 5 seeing habits, Otherwise no big deal.
  3. RozUPS

    RozUPS New Member

    Regarding #1 I don't think you have a choice to drive Saturdays before you go to school.. You have to go before any driving you do for UPS. I 'm glad I went to the old training last year b4 this new course
  4. BluegrassJack

    BluegrassJack New Member

    I believe Integrad is only on the east coast right now. I read on that they're expanding to Chicago next year so more drivers can go through it. Sounds pretty cool though.
  5. But Benefits Are Great!

    But Benefits Are Great! Just Words On A Screen

    Without a doubt, YOU MAY DRIVE SATURDAYS prior to schooling. I have no idea why that is, but it is the case. I STRONGLY recommend putting in many Saturdays prior to the course.
  6. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Wow! Sounds like quite the experience!

    When I first came to UPS, the safety guy had me drive maybe three miles. You had to show you could drive standard, and you had to start on a hill without rolling back. That's it, you're a driver!
  7. Covemastah

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

    20 yrs ago you drive a stick ???? drive around block don't hit anything ok 3 days of sheet writing school, 3 days with sup on car[learn nothing] here is a map and 200 stops call me later lol oh by the way be in at 7 and if you miss anything DONT COME BACK !!!!!!!!!!
  8. hyena

    hyena Well-Known Member

    yea i heard it was pretty rough and also that the 5 seeing habits were the worst cause it was word for word. A guy told me he put "it" somewhere it didnt belong and had to retake that part of the test! Thanxs for the advice I hope to go full time after christmas. I cant wait!
  9. But Benefits Are Great!

    But Benefits Are Great! Just Words On A Screen

    The 5 seeing habit recitation was the last test I took. I'm terrible at memorization, just terrible - more I practiced, worse I got. Started to panic. You could take it once during the week, and, if you didn't pass, you had second/final chance on Friday.

    I asked facilitator if I could write it down then recite it, they allowed it. Otherwise I would have failed as well - it is WORD FOR WORD.

    I'm telling you - memorize the 5-10 before going to school - 1/2 your stress will be gone.
  10. outamyway

    outamyway New Member

    They'll be doing the Keiter(spelling?) audit will be here within a day or two so I had to rememorize a few things.

    I'm ready to go now.
  11. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Beni some of this is old school such as the strictness with appearance. Did you have any classes you found interesting or unusual when you went.
  12. But Benefits Are Great!

    But Benefits Are Great! Just Words On A Screen

    I actually liked each of the classes / stations. The group of 20 was split into teams of two (My partner did NOT pass, by the way) and you had a SCHEDULE OF WHAT "STATION" to be at at what time.

    Set up very well, exceptionally well organized. The classes on the diad (which had the largest percentage of class time) to me were the most interesting, as I felt I had the most to learn in that area.

    Many of the other stations had overlapping teachings, repetitive, which I found was a good thing.

    Exceptionally well planned, thought out, organized. EXCELLENT facilitators (Chris, Kim, Kelly, Joe) They needed more free/unscheduled time to practice areas where you were less than proficient (ie all diad training was with an actual DIAD, attached via Bluetooth to a computer terminal. Everything you did actually showed on screen. They needed more practice time.

    The battle-axe of a secretary was the only negative I found, and we made up in the end also. Friday morning, everyone trying to test out, waiting to recite the 5 & 10, whatever. She was walking around, asking everyone when they were going to leave, and telling us there was no more studying allowed. And she was serious. That was the only neg. 3 women 17 men. Only guys failed.
  13. outamyway

    outamyway New Member

    You didn't have to recite the 10 point and 5 seeing habits while on your last road test? That was a pain in the ass for our class.
  14. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    MAN that sounds intense.Especially to someone that knows nothing about ups.Expecting someone to master the diad in a week not to mention the habits and commentary,is asking a lot.
    But in a way they are recruiting,and looking for only the cream of the crop.Kinda like the UPS special forces.
    The ones that quit cant take pressure.
    Cant recite the words of the saftey gods...see ya later
    You in the green're fired !
    We had a huge pcm about a year ago ,and our center manager said,eventually every driver will HAVE to know the 5 and 10 word for word.I guess this is what he meant.
  15. browniehound

    browniehound Well-Known Member

    "But The Benefits Are Great",
    That was a great post. It describes my experience at the "UPS School" to a "T". It was a little less than a decade ago, but it looks like the standards haven't changed too much.

    Problem is, I have witnessed something different in the last 3-4 years. Once we introduced EDD/PAS my perception is ANY newhire cannot handle the workload in management's eyes. I'm talking about the "temp" drivers we get from the PT SUP ranks and off the street.

    The center team will grab a PT sup. and dispatch him the entire summer with 7 hours of work. Four out of six can't improve enough to take an eight hour day on from what I have seen!

    This must be bad for business but what can we do about it? It appears to me that my sup. and center manager. have absolutely no faith in ANY new-hire!

    Does anyone have a guess as why this is the case in 2008? After 2 weeks I was expected to do the entire route and then help another driver if I was light. I was expected to this right of the bat. What happened? I'm guessing PAS happened.

    The right amount of work if everything is perfect. Pefect load, sequenced and PAL-ed' stop for stop. The proper "inside building" time, the allowed to route time (no traffic), no delays in obtaining signatures, no traffic on area, making pick-ups so the customer is ready (no waiting for the "hang on I got one more it will only take a second") that takes 5-10 in reality.

    Compound all of this with the fact that we must talk to our customers. I know UPS loathes this and dosen't give us the "allowance" that is resonable for this, but it is a necessity to do business and garner the opinion "Our customers love you guys" according to management.

    If we are to follow the method that states "appear to create a sense of urgency" I believe we just look unproffesional. Seriously, our cunstomer don't want to deal with this. This pressure is what makes many drivers become jerks, and the customer simply doesn't like this.

    We drive around like maniacs, speed into their docks, rush 50 boxes on their dock, while sweating on a 45F day, then ask for a sig. out of breath, then rushing back to the truck and pull away like a bat out of hell!

    Is this the way UPS wants us to work? Is this professional?

    Thats a no and no, but this is what is required to run scratch or for a new-hire to run a full route.

    What do you guys think? I think our cunstomers don't want to deal with a driver like this and would be happy to switch to Fed-Ex. I know I would! There are too many of us "new guys" working like this and it has to stop.
    Its not safe and it looks bad.

    I really think it looks bad! I'm sorry, but this is the perception the public has about many UPS drivers. Our customers have jobs too and can't drop everything THEY are doing to take care of US. This is what we push on them when we "convey a sense of urgency" and I think too many of us take it too far. A mad look on our face, huffing and puffing, shrugging the shoulders, are all things that our customers don't like, yet many of our "rookies" do because they feel they can't finish the route in the alloted time.

    If I never had to make customer contact (stricly house calls) and the load was set-up reasonably, I could make the numbers, but I can't (and nobody can) when we have to deal with our customers (95% of the routes).

    So my point is, give us some slack, UPS!
  16. atatbl

    atatbl Active Member

    This is a great post. Some points are a little extreme. However, I would agree that any new hire put out with a normal day's work on that specific route would be the exact driver you are talking about.

    This made me laugh a lot. It sounds so ridiculous, but every driver did this in the beginning and maybe even veterans on a bad day.:happy2:
  17. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    I started in '84. I bid straight out of the Hub and went full time to a bid route. We just had to pass a road test. I had five days with a supervisor on the car with me. I also had these six little booklets on how to sheet Delivery records and a copy of the 340 Methods. We also had the Five Seeing Habits, or "All Good Kids Love Milk", as we called them.

    The supervisor who originally trained me was Dave Jordan, a Day One Driver when UPS first started up in Georgia in 1965. He was a character, well known in Peachtree Center out of the Atlanta Hub. He said on Day One, they put him in a P400 and he had six packages. His first route was North Georgia. All of it.:surprised:
  18. Forty6and2

    Forty6and2 I'm Broken

    What exactly is the UPS definition of "a normal days work"? It seems to me that one workers 8 hour day is another workers 10 hour day.
  19. govols019

    govols019 You smell that?

    My road test consisted of driving to the local Sonic and back so our center manager could get his breakfast.

    My first day on road I was given the keys and a map. I had to use a customers phone to call in to find out how to do a COD. Man, those were the days. I swear I don't know how we did it.
  20. John19841

    John19841 Member

    Sounds a lot like the class I went through last year. Compared to the number we had at the start, not many "graduated". We started with 23 people. First day, we had to go out into the yard and drive the "buses". Whole group stands there while you walk (like you're walking to your execution) all the way across the parking lot by yourself and get into the truck. Seriously, the group stood 100ft away to watch. It was a long walk and seemed to take forever.

    Anyway, you were then expected to get in the truck, pull it out, circle around then back it in three times. Driver's side, Blind side and straight. Then, you were to pull it out again, and parallel park it between some cones. looking back, it wasn't the hardest thing in the world, but having no prior experience driving that particular truck (especially with those Spicer Tranny's) and the nerves...Well, it was bad.

    Had a bunch of people fail out on that. Touch a cone and you were gone. Other things pretty generic, 5 seeing habits, 10 pt. comm. etc. were easy if you studied. 2 people chose not to, and went home that day.

    What gets me, is Friday we were given approximately two hours to learn the DIAD. That's it. Easily the hardest thing in class to pick up on, and basically no time dedicated to it.

    All in all, of the 23 we started with, 9 were there when we finished.

    Now, I was hired off the street. Worked the two free periods last year, and was hired back. As a condition of being hired for a driving position, starting this year, I had to go back to where I had my class and meet with 5 different departments for what I call "The Interrogation." Had to recite the 5 seeing habits, 10 pt. commentary, steps to lift/lower, keys to avoid slips/falls for safety. Another one I had to demonstrate my knowledge of the 340 methods (IE). Had the appearance one (HR). Had to discuss my knowledge of COD's, (Loss Prevention or whatever it's called) and finally the sales guy, who got really upset that I hadn't submitted any sales leads...

    Anyway, that's my experience with driver training. Never have heard of Integrad. Not sure if that's what I went through or not...