They want it both ways

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by soberups, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    There was a special PCM the other morning for us drivers in rural and hilly areas who are getting hammered by the record-breaking snow we are having. Automotive bought several sets of "double-rail" chains that fit over both wheels of a dual rear-wheel P700, and managements idea is to have us install the double-rail chains as well as chains on the front wheels so that we can try to make service on some of the thousands of missed packages that are piling up.

    There are two problems with this idea. First of all, it takes at least an hour to install all the chains, and we are supposed to wait to put them on until we are out on area in order to avoid wearing them out on the highway. You have to crawl all the way under the axle of the package car...on your back in the snow... in order to hook up and tighten the chains around each inside wheel. It is a job that needs to be done in a garage, not in a parking lot or by the side of the road.

    More importantly, however, is the fact that a driver who installs the chains, follows safe driving methods and does everything he possibly can to safely make service on the stops...will still wind up getting charged with an accident and getting a warning letter if he gets stuck. He will still be charged with an accident if his back end slides a foot off of a snow and ice covered driveway and bumps a mailbox. He will still get charged with an accident for driving over a customers lawn that he cant see under a snowdrift....or sliding into a tree branch and cracking a mirror....or bumping into a gate and scratching the fender.

    I want to be a safe driver who puts 110% towards getting his customers Christmas gifts delivered. I'm more than happy to bust my ass for 14 hours a day. I'm perfectly willing to crawl underneath a package car on a dark, snowy road to install or adjust tire chains if thats what it takes to get the job done. But it isnt fair to ask me for all of those things, while at the same time holding the axe of a warning or suspension letter over my head for even the most minor, trivial and insignificant incident of damage. I'm not trained to drive in the snow, and P-700's are not equipped with four wheel drive or even a limited-slip rear end. It doesnt normally snow enough here for any of us to become proficient at it. I'm doing the best I can, but stuff happens. UPS needs to be willing to distinguish between a bona fide accident and a minor property damage incident caused be severe weather, and cut the driver just a little bit of slack. Otherwise, why would any driver want to risk his career trying to take care of our customers?
  2. dillweed

    dillweed Well-Known Member

    Yep, you're fretting.

    Mechanic/union rep told me that it's our call on safety. He said that if the roads are unsafe to drive on, pull over, call the center and tell them you're not going to continue.

    When you feel ready, creep back to the center and bless your center manager's heart as he browns up and trudges out to deliver. :happy-very:
  3. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    i'm in feeders and it aint snowing where i am yet but here's my advice. I would think they would be less upset with a missed delivery than a damaged mailbox or more importantly a major accident where your truck rolls down a hill and hits another vehicle. So better to deal with a missed delivery(ies) and their reaction to that than any accidents and their reaction to that. A week from now , if not sooner, the missed deliveries will be forgotton and taken care of.An ACCIDENT, that will be remembered and the possible repercussions still lingering.
  4. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    Why do you sound so suprised Sober? In every situation know to UPS, the company wnats it both ways. Business as usual.
  5. New Englander

    New Englander New Member

    Find a local garage your friendly with. They'll be more then happy to lift your rear end up so you can get the chains on :)
  6. Paid-over-in-Maine

    Paid-over-in-Maine 15 more years of this!

    Here we go! Another storm bearing down on us and what does MGMT. do? CUT 3 runs and PREACH safety to us! Thursday we knocked off 255 stops in semi-dry conditions. Today I'll be looking at the same with snow moving in after noon.

    HEFFERNAN Huge Member

    When's the union going to get involved!! You say you are happy to put chains on outside on road. BUT I WOULDNT !!

    It's not my responsibility to put chains on my tires and it never will be. The pressure to deliver all the missed has obviously reached the higher levels of the food chain. We are drivers and not mechanics.

    PLUS, if people live in an area secluded where you have trouble delivering, then it is their fault as well. If a driveway is too steep or long and winding dirt road. SCREW THEM. If they want the packages bad enough, they can take their 4-wheel drive SUV and pick it up. It's not worth getting charged with an accident or warning. This will not be a service issue, it becomes a safety issue as well.

    PS - Obviously I have a few driveways I dread during my deliveries:wink2:
  8. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Sober, in my experience, unless you have all wheel drive, the chains on the steering wheels are too dangerous. It might give you a greater sense of control, but it does not.

    Be safe, be consistant, and be at home christmas.

  9. mattwtrs

    mattwtrs Retired Senior Member

    I was fortunate enough to work in a center that Division Managers knew not to micro manage when the weather was bad. If the volume called for 30 trips in good weather they would load 33 if their were cars & drivers available in bad weather. The Manager figured it was easier to stay cleaned up rather than play catch up and put out the fires.

    He also said that there is no package that you should risk your returning home safely tonight for.
  10. brownrodster

    brownrodster New Member

    Wow. Management here is a lot better than that. Getting stuck is not an accident. And they are telling us to use our own judgement when it comes to safety of delivering a package in this terrible storm. We also have thousands of undelivered packages because if this horrible winter storm.
  11. john346

    john346 No more Brown!

    Long ago, I asked about chains. Management's reply was "Why are you getting stuck?". That statement has stayed with me ever since. Clearly chains are for getting me out of a mess, not to push me further into one.:smart:
  12. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    There`s no way in hell I`d crawl under a truck to put on chains,period. If you choose to do so Sober I hope you find an extra safe place to do it. The last thing we need is some story in the Headlines section on you getting run over.
  13. UPSNewbie

    UPSNewbie New Member

    At that point, I would hold out the keys and ask 'wanna try?'
  14. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    I have to disagree with you. I noticed a huge improvement in my steering with the chains on the front. If you keep your speed down to 20mph max, the chains bite in and make the car go where you point in. My front end never slid once yesterday.
  15. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    I tried it once, and my experience was different. Might be you have more or deeper snow? Also the compaction of the snow could be different.

    Glad it helps out!

  16. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    Yes, they want it both ways. My eyes were once again opened last night. We have had relatively good weather for NE Ohio. But our dispatch has sucked big time for a year. Most of us are only working a 1/2 longer than we have been all year.
    But there have been many trying days. Got in last night and had an armful of pkgs to drop to the add clerk. Heavy hard to open the man door to get through, but I did. Even tho right next to it is a wide open bay door I could have walked through. Seems some mental giant has deemed that unsafe to walk through, but you can walk across it while trucks are backing in and thats fine. And I had gotten yelled at a few nights before for walking through an open door, so I just said screw it, do it like they say, if it takes longer, so be it. Its called OT. But a guy came up behind me, and walked through the open door and he got totaly berated, and screamed at. I just shook my head, punched out and went home. You would have thought he ran someone over. It was silliness to the 10th power. No Merry Christmas have a great weekend. What a way to run a railroad.
    Dont focus on the big picture, focus on the small one. I dont really care to hear how dangerous it could be to walk through those overhead doors, from someone from safety. Been doing worse things for years, sometimes you do what you do, and guess what, its all ok.
  17. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Thanks for that bit of knowledge...hope I never have to put it to use.
  18. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    Good answer when its that bad, we all need to go home. Amen
  19. dilligaf

    dilligaf IN VINO VERITAS

    I am a firm believer in this policy.................If I have to chain up I don't need to go. :happy-very:
  20. newguy1

    newguy1 New Member

    i was told by our mechanic that chains are to ONLY be used to get out when we are stuck or going up a hill that requires using chains, but when we get out from being stuck or over the hill we need to take them off and should not keep driving with them, and they always told us to never put them on the front made the comment of asking and they laughed....