New Driver Helper Observations

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by MyFeetHurt, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. MyFeetHurt

    MyFeetHurt New Member

    Hello -
    I've been lurking for a couple weeks and have enjoyed reading about what UPS careerists go through. I thought I would join in the fun with y'all for at least the next few days and post a note. I was hired for peak and have been helping my driver in the truck for a couple weeks now.

    I'm a 46 year-old male and had been unemployed up to this point for 10 months from my prior IT job that I held for 14 years. I've been in IT for 25 years including 4 years while in the Army in the early 80's. So let me tell you, it is a shock to the body, being a driver helper, after so many years sitting at a desk for the most part! Of course it hasn't helped for me to be so danged heavy (245).

    I've been working a residential area that has fluctuated between 210 and 290 stops, and it is definitely tough work. We also have a pickup at the end of the day of maybe 50 boxes.

    Getting in and out of the truck is tough on my knees and right arm (hoisting myself up), my back protests now and again when I carry awkward bulky stuff, my feet are pretty sore at the end of the day, and when the temperature gets above 35 I get soaking wet with sweat (one day I lost 7 lbs). Also my right fist won't close all the way right now because of the hoisting thing.

    I wasn't able to walk all that fast at first, but am able to walk briskly most of the time now. Now however there's snow and ice on the ground and it's treacherous while turning corners with a big box in my arms. Haven't fallen yet but I know it will happen.

    In general my driver handles all the locating of packages and initial scanning while I do the legwork. I only use the DIAD for signatures. We have gotten to the point where he doesn't really have to wait for me to get back in the truck, we finish our tasks about the same time now. Occasionally he will hop out and deliver a package but I do most of it and don't mind.

    I have to say I am enjoying the exercise and am getting paid for it, which is nice, though obviously not much pay. Last week I got in 32 hours though which was good. And I have dropped 15 pounds in 44 hours so far.

    I have to also say that I really never knew how demanding of a job that UPS drivers have, day in and day out. Driving, manual steering and shifting, paying attention to the road, planning out stops in advance, jumping in and out of the truck all day, avoiding dog bites, finding misloaded packages in a truck stacked to the gills, picking up packages, dealing with customers who for the most part love them but also some of whom are trying to scam them or who can be very demanding, union politics, being asked to do extra deliveries at the end of a looooong work day, the list goes on and on, those are just some of the things I have seen in 2 weeks.

    I think a driver helper should always be on-time, motivated, in shape, have a good attitude, and be prepared to do anything asked by the driver in order to get the job done. I've been very fortunate to be helping a driver who is very cool and we have a lot of laughs throughout the day.

    Anyhow just wanted to say hello and share my experiences thus far as a driver helper. It is a shame that it's gonna end in a few days because I kinda like being out there, and also that the pay is so low, but I feel blessed to have the job right now and I feel good at the end of the day (sore, but good!).

    Peace out!
  2. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Obscured by Mirrors Staff Member

  3. lostupser9234

    lostupser9234 New Member

    I'm new to the site too and I also haven't done much else but lurk. I really liked your post though and thought I might as well reply to it. I ran one year and I remember it being just as terrible as you described. You have an awesome attitude about it all. Good luck!
  4. softshoe

    softshoe Member

    The general public doesn't have a clue as to how physically demanding this job is. I had a helper who actually broke down crying, telling me he had no idea that this type of work could cause him so much pain. That happened on his 3rd day with me. He told me he was a regular at the local health club, and he thought he would have no problem being a helper. I never saw him after that, but I still remember him saying that ups drivers were worth every penny the company paid us.
  5. upshawk

    upshawk New Member

    My helper told me after helping for a few days now that whatever they're paying me I'm underpaid based on what is expected of me on a daily basis.
    I thought that was one of the funniest comments I've ever heard!
  6. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I had my first helper this year for 1.5 hours--he requested another driver.

    I have had my current helper for 1 week and will keep him throughout. He is a 19 yr old kid who had no DIAD training but is now able to do everything except for CODs and multiple left at's. His Dad has a 22.3 which is how he got in. Good worker with a great attitude.