Too Short?

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by Conundrum, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Conundrum

    Conundrum New Member

    On the second day of my three day ride of training to become a driver, the first day I drove myself, we (myself and my sup) found that I was too short to reach the pedals to safely be able to shift the vehicle. The next day I drove (third day of my three days) I was given another truck where the seat was closer to the pedals and it was an automatic. I was told I got this truck because of how short I am so that I could reach. I used this same vehicle on my training route for the remaining 30 days. I passed my probationary period to become a swing driver. However now there are issues with me trying to swing and drive different trucks because I can not reach the pedals in most of them. Management does not know what to do since they have now passed me and made an accommodation during my probationary period yet now, I'm unable to reach in most of the vehicles for routes I am swinging on. The union is beginning to file grievances for the days they send me home for the 8 hour guarantee. Everyone is trying to figure out what to do (management/union) but I wondered if someone on here would possibly be able to tell me what I can do. I am 5'1 therefore am considered of "normal height". Also - no modifications can be made to the truck or seat because it is considered unsafe (no pedal extensions or seat cushions behind my back etc). Thank you for anything you guys can help me with for this!
  2. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to Brown Cafe, Conundrum!

    Jeez, don't let them push you to drive if you can't safely operate the car. Strange, they helped you pass knowing you'd be changing cars every day as a cover driver....

    Let us know what they come up with.
  3. steward71

    steward71 Active Member

    Miracle-Grow? I'm sorry that was mean of me. Well put some in your boots that may help. I'm sorry. I can not help it this is funny as hell. I never come cross something like this. Well this not really fun becasue you are right they did give you another truck. So what is the big deal about just giving you the one you trained on and letting you use it when you drive? Seems simple it has been done in our HUB. Why not yours?
  4. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    The mechanic can move the seats forward. And back again.
  5. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    How about down? The old truck seats could be lowered, pull a hitch pin out, lower seat, put pin back in.
    Not sure about the new trucks, other than the small amount the driver can adjust.
  6. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    The last truck I drove was brand new. It could be lowered. I forgot about that. At 5'4", I just need a little nudge forward.
  7. ikoi62

    ikoi62 Member

    we have a girl who is 4ft10 she drives an old p1000 like she stole
  8. Conundrum

    Conundrum New Member

    They have tried moving the seats down, all the way forward and I even tilt it but I am still not quite close enough it is still 2 to 4 inches too far. The mechanics have checked and said there is nothing they can do. One day I had sups take like 15 minutes trying to get the pin out of one truck and lower it and I was still too far. I had about 6-8 inches between my back and the back of the chair to reach the pedals.

    As for driving the same truck, I am a swing driver and they said it is impossible because they do not know what route I will be on until in the morning, after call ins. We tried transferring all the packages to another truck one day, but say it is impossible to try to reload the truck I'll be in every day. They also keep saying for me to have my own "special" truck is showing preferential treatment and management does not approve such accommodations for any driver.

    Also they say the truck is already assigned to a route and can not pull it off. The driver who has this truck is generally in feeder, but still needs it when on the route.

    They did pass me knowing this would be a problem but I guess they did not realize how big of a problem it would be, and neither did I. Because there are so many different types of trucks I believed, and management says they did too, that I would be able to reach in another vehicle. That's hindsight for you lol.

    Thank you all for trying to help! I know its a bit of a weird situation that apparently has not been brought up very often so I am worried that no one really knows what to do.
  9. Conundrum

    Conundrum New Member

    The old p1000 is the only one that I can reach in, that's the one that I used during my training lol.
  10. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    They can move the seat on any truck. They know how to weld. :winks:
  11. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Welding would reduce the structural integrity of the seat.

    Have you tried putting blocks of wood on the pedals?:wink2:
  12. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    Have you tried a pillow behind you? They make boots with 2-3 in heels coupled with the pillow, it might work.
  13. Conundrum

    Conundrum New Member

    They do not wanting me having a pillow or cushion in the truck because they say that I am adding things to the truck and it causes safety/liability issues. They said they could not viably move the seats up in all the trucks either, mostly because they would be altering how the truck was manufactured and any of that would cause liability issues in the case of an accident.

    As for shoes I have not tried getting shoes with a bigger heel, I just did not think it would help unless they had a three or so inch sole, then I'm not sure about getting in and out of the truck, etc. But that would still only help with some of the trucks not all of them.

    My steward jokingly suggested wood blocks today lol. I am not offended by any of this, I know is a odd/funny situation :) I just want to be able to work.
  14. Conundrum

    Conundrum New Member

    I meant ** They do not want me to have .. LOL
  15. hypocrisy

    hypocrisy Banned

    We had a driver who could not physically fit in any of the old P800 or P1000 because he was too big (not fat). The steering wheel would just ram him in the gut. This was when those cars were the norm and the new diesels were a rarity and they seemed to be able to put him in a newer car without much issue. It just takes planning and we know how much UPS likes to plan.

    The pillow as a modification is complete BS. You should see how much modification we do to Feeder tractors. In their logic, hanging your jacked over the seat would be a modification. I would look at a truck stop for a vented backrest. It's a curved piece of fabric covered metal that gives you slight lower back support and allows air to circulate. That would move you forward a bit. Then I would try shoes with lifts in them or boots with as thick of a sole as you can find. I wouldn't want to limit myself to an old P1000 as those cars just tore me up in my driving years.

    Consider yourself lucky, California just passed a law that if you are 4'9" or under you'd have to be in a booster seat (ok only if you are under 8).
  16. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    The wood blocks would be half assing it. However it would be possible to make a metal pedal extension that slips over the factory pedal bracket and clamps in place with a bolt. Carry an adjustable wrench with you and you could swap them from truck to truck in minutes. Put a textured machined face on the pedal portion for foot traction and you're good to go. Any competent fabrication/street rod shop could whip up something for a minimal investment on your part.

    The pillow claim is BS as we have drivers who have various forms of back boosting devices in their trucks.

    As far as your height you're not the shortest driver I've heard of and I drove with a young lady in package who was barely 5' and drove, even when she was pregnant.

    They approved you now they're stuck. It wouldn't be hard for a lawyer to prove there's other short drivers. Failing to make reasonable accommodations would be discriminatory.
  17. NYdriver

    NYdriver New Member

    I can call you out on this having done auto body for 10 yrs.

    Not a chance in hell. A weld would be 100X stronger than the factory bolts. For that matter, you can cut the seat in half, weld it together and it will still be stronger than it was.

    Frames on cars, trucks, tractor trailers get welded...
  18. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

  19. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    It's Bush's fault.
  20. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    Okay, assuming welding can be done, what are they going to do when the regular 5' 10" driver takes possession of the truck the next day? Lengthen the seat and do a re-weld???

    Okay , to the Original Poster: We have heard here of those who are shorter than you and seemingly have no problems driving. So I am curious, on your five foot one inch frame, where's the height ? in your legs? or in your upper torso? I would suspect in your upper torso..

    I am truly sorry about your predicament here,not your height, but your problems getting a vehicle that you can drive.