What you've been doing for the last five years, and how bad they need you.
You've been there five years, so management in your building already has an opinion about you. The delivery sup has already talked to your pre-load sup about you. If your pre-load sup said something like "He's a hard worker, always on time, does a great job" then you have nothing to worry about. Unless you wreck the truck or beat up a customer you're in like Flynn, the qualification process will basically be a rubber stamp.
If he described you in less glowing terms, you will be scrutinized a little more closely and the question of how bad they really need you will become more of a factor. In my building, they are so desparate for drivers that you practically have to quit during the 30 day qualification period in order to not make it. It's not like that everywhere.
As far as practical advice, just drive safe and do everything by the book and you should be fine.
The test got bumped back to today because I had to take my DOT physical yesterday (which was, in turn, mis-scheduled and moved back to Friday). Anyway, I passed it, either because I am a pretty solid driver or because I was their top coverage loader for 4 years before PAS, have never had a missed-time injury, and I work hard.
I think the standard have dropped off alot of late. Maybe its just my center. But I had a great relationship with my supervisor. I worked preload for 5 years. I barely drove standard on my road test on a 500. Stalled out 5 times (once in an intersection) Then when I went to school I had the same problem. I still passed!
The only thing that helped was when I was driving alone. Figured it out for myself .200 miles in the center parking lot and 2 clutches later. Im fine!
Be ready for school, its alot harder than your road test with the on car supervisor.
Another update, I passed through driver training today, and start as a driver on Monday.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the driver I ran for this last peak, since he showed me everything I'd need to know on the DIAD last winter, so I was finished with the DIAD assessment by Tuesday morning while the rest of the guys were trying to get it finished this afternoon (I helped the other guys out as much as I could, of course). It was a massive load off of my mind that I could then focus on doing everything else right.
Welcome to the unique world of being a ups driver.Always remember when you are out there to try to remain positive when your ability to accept that "sense of accomplishment"starts to dwindle while facing impossible expectations.The phone is your best friend,and anything negative you have to deal with on the road,although you are the service provider,is ultimately ups`s problem,not yours.You will have to swallow your pride and tell them things like,I need help with 30 business deliveries or they will be missed,or I need a 5 ton to do a pickup today because they have 23 skids,and after awhile you will be able to even eat lunch.Its been said that pkg driving is NOT for everyone.In fact I`ve heard that only 3 out of every 10 end up staying because they take the abuse personal.I hope you are strong enough,and you can always come here to the cafe` for advice if you need it.
I remember when I got into the special truck with all the other newly hired drivers, all of us being shown some tips by a supervisor and each of us getting a turn at the wheel. I had a light turn red on me, which I probably should have gone through, but I locked up the brakes and skidded to a stop. In my last few years of driving, I had the same thing happen to me when a fire truck turned on his siren and entered the intersection from my left: I left a long track of rubber on the street and a cloud of smoke gradually passed my vehicle. It wasn't pretty, but I got the job done.
I am re-scheduled to take my initial road test this week. I failed the road test 3 weeks ago for 3 reasons.
1. I had horrible difficulty backing the vehicle into a marked spot.
2. I had trouble eliminating "clutch roll."
3. I had trouble finding the gears in the fine piece of machinery that I was driving.
I believe that I have figured out why I had so much trouble backing the vehicle. The On-Road Sup that gave me the test had told me how to adjust the mirrors -- the top one so that I could just barely see the top-rear corner of the car and the bottom one so that I could barely see the bottom-rear corner of the car. It didn't occur to me, until a day or so after the test, that with the bottom mirrors adjusted like that I was not going to be able to see the rear tires nor the white lines. Now it makes sense that, if I am to put the car where I want it, I have to be able to see the tires and the lines that I want to put the car in between. Problem solved(I hope!).
As for the clutch roll, during the test I solved the problem by letting the clutch out a little bit and giving the engine a little gas. I didn't know that this isn't the way that they want you to eliminate clutch roll. Am I supposed to eliminate it using the hand brake? Can someone please tell me how to properly eliminate the clutch roll?
The last problem I had, finding the gears, is probably because I am not used to the shift pattern in the 800 and how close together the gears are. The only shift pattern I have ever seen is 1st gear all the way to the left and up, 2nd left and down, 3rd middle up, 4th middle down, 5th right up, and reverse right down. I think that this problem will probably go away with practice. However, maybe someone can help me with this problem also.
If I can solve these 3 problems(and remember to keep my foot off of the clutch pedal unless I am engaging it), I believe that I will pass the road test and be in driver training W/E June 9.
1- adjust your mirrors based on the visibility you need. I like to adjust the larger mirrors such that I get 1/3 vertical coverage of the vehicle, and the horizon is 2/3 up the mirror. As for the smaller mirrors, low enough to get the blind spot of the larger mirror and a piece of the bottom rear.
2- every sup is going to get you for "clutch roll", it happened to me and every driver that came before/after me. There are two ways, the way the sup taught me is to let the clutch out just enough for the engine to catch it, then gas. The way I was taught (when I learned to drive) and do it with my personal car is to use the hand/e-brake. Sups don't want you to use that method as not all parking brakes work in all package cars.
3- I have never met a 800 with a 5th gear (nor does it matter since you probably wont be going fast enough to use one). And I have almost never used 1st gear save for some steep inclines and parking. Starting off everyone uses 2nd gear, though I would ask your sup if that's okay (my test sup did not have an issue with it).