So whats a typical day as a feeder driver?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by dosmastr, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. dosmastr

    dosmastr New Member

    I'm told that we have a lot of guys looking to retire in the next couple years (makes sense since when things got rough the guys they bumped back into the building had 30+ years --- and they were the LOWEST seniority!)

    I'm in NJ, been told that the best bet is to go get a CDL (earn and learn might reimburse it even) and be ready.

    But all anyone ever says about feeders is the pay. "oh dude they make over 100K after 3 years" Ok that's nice...
    1. but how many hours are they out of the house?
    2. do they work all night and sleep all day?
    3. how do they balance family life?
    4. what is a typical day for a feeder driver? I've been told driving a big rig like that is incredibly stressful due to the other idiots on the road.
    5. Realistically is it possible to do that and go to school part time?
    6. What do the low seniority drivers usually get stuck doing? longer routes or shorter ones?
    6a. Do they get sent home or offered to do a22.3 jobs if there isn't enough work to be moved?
    7. how many hours are typical? what would a typical schedule be for a new and not so new driver?

    I'm an 11 year PT-mgmt UPSer I know a lot a bout the hub but not a whole lot outside it. I don't know how the package car drivers do it, in 11 years of hub work I've got a body that I didn't think would be in this bad shape (beat up, blown out etc) until I was at least 45, so I doubt I'd be good for long running around in a package car. Driving feeders appears (to me, on the outside trying to look in) to be much less physical, so maybe I could do that.
  2. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    I won't address everything point by point, but I can tell you that I had a lot of the same concerns and that I passed by the bid lists a few times because of those concerns. The night work, the long hours, driving that big rig in the snow, going back to cover after having my own route for so long, etc.
    Once I finally made the move I realized that none of those worries amounted to a hill of beans. For an hourly employee it's the best job in the company, hands down, and if you get the chance to go take it and don't look back.
  3. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

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  4. cosmo1

    cosmo1 Now, a low life jack wagon, and still loving it.

    Really, after 11 years in management, do you really think after coming in as an hourly (and starting at the bottom) that you would be able to bump 22.3's with maybe 20 years seniority?
  5. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    Take about a half hour to hook up and drive to your meet. Drop your load take a crap for twenty minutes. Drive about an hour take lunch. Get back to the building take your break (you could split them up take them in the morning or whenever) punch out. Watch how fat you get.
  6. ChickenLegs

    ChickenLegs Safety Expert

    All driving is stressful. 4 wheelers always in a hurry to get to that stoplight before you. Being aware is the key keeping your job. Believe it or not, driving is fatiguing and you will be ready to fall asleep shortly after you get home.
  7. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    .......laugh and point at PC drivers still working as you drive home.
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  8. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    Oh I forgot that part.
  9. dosmastr

    dosmastr New Member

    Cosmo1 you did not understand what I meant.

    My understanding of PC drivers is if there are 20 routes that day and 25 drivers come in, the lowest 5 get the boot and go home without pay, or have the option that if it happens a lot to go be a 22.3 until they are needed on the road

    My question is: is that the same for feeders, you aren't guaranteed time if the work isn't there, but if you only 1 or two days a week as a feeder driver, the option to do a22.3 type work is made available (if the hub can use another worker that is)

    Thanks for all the info guys,

    anonymous is kinda along the lines of what I'm asking for a regular day. so in general its 14 hour days and out of the house for 15-16 hours a day?

    Do they have an integrad type thing also or?

    Chickenlegs I know what you mean about being ready for bed after a drive... I used to drive 7 hours to Vermont a few times a year... by hour #5 I was about ready to list my house and move 3 hours closer... and always was arguing with wife "we'll just unload it later honey, c'mon I need a nap"

    so for example it might be leave the house at 6pm, get to WILPA at 635pm pretrip the vehicle, take a load from willow grove to new stanton, which takes from 7pm to 1230am, 30 min layover, grab food, take a new Stanton load to WILPA, arrive at 530am, post trip vehicle, maybe real quick run a wilpa to lawnside preload 1hr bring back an empty another 1hr and be done 8am ish home 830am ish....

    ?? I'm just throwing out there my impression and asking where its not quite accurate....or quite wrong lol...
  10. cosmo1

    cosmo1 Now, a low life jack wagon, and still loving it.

    I doubt it.
  11. dosmastr

    dosmastr New Member

    well I suppose they wouldn't put people out there for the first time only to not have work for them.. I guess that was a silly question
  12. Jackburton

    Jackburton Gone Fish'n

    The day starts out with Dunkin.
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  13. oldngray

    oldngray nowhere special

    I thought it was usually Waffle House.
  14. Jackburton

    Jackburton Gone Fish'n

    They serve more than one food group.
  15. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    1. usually 8-14 hours plus your commute time. If you plan on 12 total you are rarely disappointed.

    2. Sometimes, but we have more day runs than ever. A new Feeder Driver should plan on nights for at least 5-10 years in my area unless you like to stay on Dispatch. Extended centers are almost all nights.

    3. For many it has improved. Typically I hear guys get home as the wife & kids are getting up so they get to enjoy breakfast with them then sleep til they start getting home. The stress level is less so you have more quality time. Some people need more sleep than others, but if you only need 6-8 hours or so you can have a lot of quality time.

    4. A typical day is either a local run or an out-of-town run. Local is something like this: PHOAZ-TEMAZ-PHOAZ-MESAZ-SFRRR-PHOAZ which means you go from Phoenix to Tempe, back to Phoenix, then to Mesa, then to the Rail Road, then back to Phoenix. Meal would probably be taken on the MESAZ turn but there is a lot of discretion there.
    Out-of-Town is something like PHOAZ-CSMCA-PHOAZ which is starting in Phoenix, driving to Chiracao Summit CA (about 5 hours total), switching loads with your meet driver, then turning around and driving back. Meal typically taken in either direction. Sometimes they might add an Amazon, rail, or local turn to those runs and if you have a LNG tractor you have a stop for fuel on the way back.
    Here, we have lots of hybrid shifting runs where you shift for 8 hours then work local or a few go out of town for about a 4 hour turnaround. Those have the most variety of start times.

    5. Yes, but you would want to wait until you had a bid run (we re-bid every year) and be aware of the bumping process should runs be changed. Some people high on the dispatch board (think cover driver) are able to maintain a start time within a few hours doing a variety of work. I encourage everyone to finish their schooling while they are part time before going full time at UPS.

    6. It depends. The lowest get called in on a daily basis out of Package which can mean a lot of Chiracao Summit day runs and shifting. They generally want to keep them on days so they don't have to "buy" the driver for another day. The lowest on the actual weekly dispatch (bid run or dispatch board) are usually doing the shifting work.

    6a. I'm not sure what they are doing now but generally they are offered the day off and before if someone insisted they would come in and work in the hub (breaking jams, working the return slide, not actually bumping a loader) or stack pallets and sweep trailers. They have been smarter lately about scheduling the overflows so people reset for Package.

    7. Typically you will get 50+ a week. If you want extra work it's usually available, if you continue to refuse they will stop asking.

    In my area it would be impossible for an 11 year p/t management person to make it into Feeders until he/she went full time package driving for about 16 years (none of the management time counts). Someone with 11 years part time non-management would need at least 1 year safe driving in Package before they could even be eligible.
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  16. dosmastr

    dosmastr New Member

    104feeder thanks so much! I really appreciate.

    I think the only reason the opportunity MAY come up is that the entire feeders dept in my hub is retiring in the next couple years. Like I said, they pushed the lowest seniority guy inside the hub because they didn't need him, and he's got 30+ years.

    The funny thing is that unless a bunch of package car drivers and 22.3's also want it I may end up a decent distance from the bottom of the seniority ladder. I know of 3 people on the night sort that have CDL's a fellow pt supe and 2 hourlies all of whom I beat out on years of service.

    What is it for every 13 union members they can hire a guy from mgmt or off the street?

    wish I could get a look at old hub to feeders bid sheets to get an idea of how many PC drivers were willing to switch and work nights.

    Now when you guys say the lower seniority people get the crapier times, that's a given but can you flesh that out a little?

    say for example its a hub that runs 2 sorts and a preload, twi starts at 530pm and runs til 930, the night sort from 1100 to 230 and the preload from 430 to 745 ...

    What times would upper end people be grabbing up from that pie? early afternoon to early morning so they can still sleep while its dark out?

    I'm just concerned with the hours and timing because my wife will be a teacher in a couple years... and if she works 7 to 5 and I work 8 to 8 we wont see each other very much. And especially if I got this opportunity we could start a family.... just fearful they would want for nothing except a dad who isn't always sleeping and up all night on the weekends lol. How do you guys make that work? just break the sleep schedule and hang out on weekends?
    Is it like the hub where they have enough workers for a healthy Monday volume but by wed the downward trend in volume has mgmt sending 2 home each day wed-fri?

    The silly idea I got in my head is to do this for 10 years, buy a modest house and pay it off fairly quickly (I'm a pt sup married to a student... my income is what it is... but I make sure to live within my means... so if we kept our lifestyle more or less the same, even after taxes I might have a spare 30k a year (once at top rate) that I could throw at a mortgage, then in time give someone else the opportunity at feeders and goto school for something... maybe by then i'll have figured out exactly what lol

    yeah I know that would likely not happen, I'd get set in my ways and never follow through with bailing out... but even so, I'd have 30 and out and still not be 60 yet (or does it not work that way?)

    thanks again for all the patient answers, I truly appreciate it.

    Glad I got that union withdrawal card 9 years ago... never thought I'd use it but funny how life does these things.
  17. dosmastr

    dosmastr New Member

    "stay on Dispatch." What does this mean?

    also you're saying the start times can vary by a handful of hours from day to day?
  18. Pickles

    Pickles Member

    Well, the last 2 days have been driving in the night (12 hour days) with 30 mph gusts of wind in -10 degree windchill. Tomorrow there is supposed to be snow with 50 mph gusts of wind. I'm hoping and praying to wake up and see the interstates closed and have the day off. Otherwise I don't know when I'll be coming home. I hate this job sometimes.
  19. Future

    Future Victory Ride

    And ends at Dunkin!
  20. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    I usually hit Dunkin at both my breaks as well.