Seasonal PT Air Driver or Seasonal PT Package Handler?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by MIapplicant, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. MIapplicant

    MIapplicant New Member

    Hi all,

    I applied for a Seasonal Package Handler job at my local hub, went to the info session and everything. But the HR lady got real jazzed when I told her I have a CDL and can drive stick; she really wants me to road test for Seasonal PM Air Driver this Fri. I have a few questions.

    1) What are the chances I can get a permanent job (either driving OR pre-loading) in the next 2 years out of this? I know the answer varies, but give me your best guess.

    2) I am doing this mostly for the PT hours (she says strictly 20/ wk). I have a FT job but have a <1 year old kid and want to stay home more for a few years. I figure this is a good time to pay my dues as seasonal for the good benefits down the road. **What are the chances she is not telling the truth and I will end up working more than 20/ wk?**

    3) How stressful is PM Air compared to the other driving jobs? It is a fixed route, right?

    4) If I ultimately want a PT permanent job, preferably driving, is it better to start as PM Air Driver or as Package Handler? I hear conflicting things.

    5) She says pay starts at $11.50 but if I read correctly online this could go up considerably in 2 years right?

    6) I think the route is in a bad part of town. How dangerous is it for a young female PM driver, really? Does the company help keep you safe? Self defense classes? Mace? On-dash camera?

    7) I read stuff about ppl flunking out of driver training. I assume this would be after I had quit my job, that I go through that training course. How hard is it? How likely am I to quit and then flunk? Could I still get a package handling job?

    8) In short, how good of a deal is this? Is it worth quitting my day job for? My current company has NO future for me, and I want to start working towards my future. I am very fit, motivated, and a hard worker. But I don't want to make a big mistake leaving my job...
  2. Driver

    Driver New Member

    Good question, I'll be researching and keeping an eye on openings at my local hub in the coming six months to a year.

    I also have a CDL A and can drive a manual.

    Only openings here right now are OTR with Hazmat (which I don't have) and I'm wanting to stay close to home within reach of my family every night.

    Interested to see the replies here.

    And good luck to you, hope everything works out.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  3. jibbs

    jibbs Long Live the Chief

    1. Seasonal preload can very easily turn into a permanent PT job. Air driving better prepares you to turn driving into a career but I haven't the slightest idea how much room for advancement or permanent employment comes with the position. I do know, however, that there are at least two seasonal drivers in my center that have been loading/unloading with the preload severa; days out of the week since late January/early February. They both still drive air at times and, I believe, cover drive for the center, but more often than not they're on the inside grindin' it out with the package handlers at 3-4am. It's good money during peak, though.

    2. I'm not best suited to answer this from a driver's perspective, but if you chose the preload position and were hired you'd be guaranteed 17.5hrs of work a week (3.5hrs per day with everything over 3.5 paid as overtime at time-and-a-half), and I'm 99.9% confident you wouldn't be working a minute over 25hrs a week. Personally, I average about 17-19 hours every week. Sometimes around 13-14 hours if I take up the chance to go home when management offers, which I've learned is a stupid, stupid thing to do (my personal opinion).

    3. I have no idea. Someone else here'll be able to give you a glimpse into the stressors of an air driver, though, I'm sure of it.

    4. I think package handling would be the more concrete route, but air driving would, in my opinion, be the much better position if you're willing and able.

    5. Semi-correct. Starting wages will increase provided the proposed contract is voted in (general consensus seems to be that the contract sucks but will get voted in anyways). Also, I believe the potential increase will occur in August of this year as opposed to 2 years down the line.

    6. UPS trucks have been targeted for robberies and auto-burglaries in the past. There's actually a whole slew of conspicuous signs to watch for that a driver might be an intended target of a crime. The best defense would be vigilance and preventative action. It's infrequent, package cars being hit, but it does happen and is a possibility. Every truck I've loaded has surveillance covering the immediate area of the truck. There may be some that lack the equipment but I've yet to come across one without.

    7. Your case is kind of special because you would be an off-the-street driver. I know with employees promoted from package handling to driving, they always have a cushion in case they drop out of Integrad. Those employees are able to fail at their new endeavor and return to their previous position inside at the rate they had earned before attempting their move up the company ladder. As an off-the-street hire, I don't know if that same cushion is automatically in place for you.

    8. Personally, I wouldn't quit my fulltime day job to work PT at UPS. No way, no how. If I were in your shoes I would be looking at potential employment with UPS as supplemental income and a stepping stone towards great (but soon-to-be-diminished, though-still-better-than-most) affordable healthcare. It takes a while to be eligible for those benefits but I think it's a worthwhile endeavor.

    Hope this helps you a bit. If you couldn't tell from the context of the post, I'm a part-time package handler with no driving experience-- hence the particular questions I'm ill-suited to provide an answer for.

    Best of luck in whatever course you choose for yourself!