UPS Driver

If you were a UPS driver (or FedEx for that matter), would you be willing to take a pay cut in order to have air conditioning in your truck? What if it was a $1,500 yr pay cut?

If FedEx offered air conditioning suddenly (ignore the installation cost for a second) do you think that would be a big enough incentive to make working at FedEx a premium over UPS?

Yesterday Tom and I were talking with this UPS guy over a bite of lunch and he said he is still driving a 1985 UPS Truck with no power steering and no air conditioning. In Arizona, that’s what you call an oven, and work ethic. He’s been at it 12 years.

28 responses to “UPS Driver”

  1. No. I wouldnt take a pay cut for a/c in the truck. It’s really not efficient for the driver, the company or the truck. I would think drivers are out of their trucks more often than no, so any advantage of cooling off will only soon be diminished by loading or unloading at another stop. It’s an increased load on the engine, therefore putting more trucks into the repair center, costing the company more money in downtime…

    Rather, I would give up a few bucks to see UPS put some development into the innovation of my uniform. Some type of cool suit that maybe has a cool gel packet system of somesort. Maybe something activated by the airflowing around the driver as he’s driving or even moving about on his / her feet.

  2. Mark, I’ll play devils advocate even though I agree with much of what you’re saying.

    There are tons of refridgerated trucks on the roads these days that keep flowers, beer, wine, and all kinds of fresh produce cool. It can’t be that difficult.

    The UPS Driver we spoke with said he could only stay in the back of the truck about 10 seconds, so he said it was important to find the package fast.

  3. Ok Chris, I’ll play Satan to your devil. 😉

    It’s the economics, you allude to it yourself. Flowers, ice cream, some beers and produce…wine(?) absolutely must be delivered in a cool environment in order for that economy to survive. Most packages delivered by UPS / FedEx aren’t temperature dependant — however, the quick and timely delivery of them are critical.

    UPS beancounters probably think it’s a cool (irony) thing that their drivers can only stand to be in the containment area of their trucks for 10 seconds — get in get out, move on to the next.

    Make the truck more comfortable — a place of refuge from the heat outside and things will slow down. However, if you change the uniform to cool better as body heat rises, then everything is better, as the driver is more comfortable — no cool environment for him to chill in, no excessive heat to wear him down.

  4. I worked a seasonal job at UPS as a driver helper. Almost the whole time I was riding around in the truck both doors were open since we were constantly stopping. I worked with two drivers who had been there 20+ years and neither thought the weather was a big deal, even when it was raining. I think what would be even better is if UPS installed a miniature fridge on one of the shelves and stocked it with water or gatorade every night. The guy’s always take their own lunch and drinks and need a place to put it.

  5. I also failed to mention the driving. I’ve never seen a flower truck move with as much aggression (driving and as many frequent starts and stops — engine on and off…) as a package delivery truck.

    That alone would bring in the question of feasability.

  6. Yeah, that’s the trouble. Those engines start and stop probably 100 times a day. And they’d have to install doors or something to make sure the cool air didn’t escape.

  7. Constantly hopping in and out of an air-conditioned vehicle can’t be good for you. Seems like that’d get you sick in a hurry.

    (And no sneaking after my dream job. I call dibs!)

  8. There are already clothes and items developed that provide cool down. There are coolvests with pockets to insert cooled packets. I learned this at a chemical plant where the workers must wear flammable resistant coveralls. These are not made of cotton and they do not breathe. They are the equivalent of wearing a plastic bag in the summer heat.

  9. A driver shouldn’t have to sacrifice any part of their income as incentive for UPS to care about their employees.

    When it comes to hardships as a UPS driver, the heat doesn’t even come close to the top of the list.

  10. Air conditioning would not work because of the frequent stops. Plus the vans have no insulation what so ever. The metal floor,shelves, and dash get too hot.

  11. ………..bring it up with the union…thats why we have one…right? The 2008 contract is being/been voted on tho….no hopes of implementing any ac.

  12. I had my first day on the job as a Driver’s Helper. Joey P, I have a starting pay of $11.76…not bad for a 19 year old about to start college in 3 months.

    Driver’s Helpers are rarly needed in summer time so they usually hire for the Dec. 1-27th span which is called “peak” since the high volume of packages due to the holidays.

    As for the AC question….it was my first day today and we didn’t have too many packages to deliver but I did about 20 stops today and was in the truck for a MAX total of 3 minutes in between stops. AC would have no affect since its NON-STOP.

    But as far as today, this is by far he best job I ever had. (Subway, local Pizza place don’t hold much competition!) But it’s a great job for a month.

    They also hire A LOT of helpers so its a fairly easy job to get. I was in and out of my interview within 10 minutes with most of the time being reading and my interviewer putting my info in the CPU. My local UPS hired 27 drivers thus far and will top out at 42 within two weeks of Christmas.

    Look into it!

  13. I am currently working as a driver’s helper for UPS. I have been doing it since the beginning of the week. I’m not getting any $11.76 an hour, I’m making $8.50 and hour for 4 1/2 hours a day (or more if I’m lucky). It’s MUCH more than 20 stops and you have to be FAST. My whole body hurts. But, despite the crappy pay rate, short hours and the rough conditions, I and having a blast! I don’t think I’d ever want to be a driver, though. O.o

  14. I’m a driver helper for UPS also. I just got hired yesterday (12/13/07). Like the person above me, I’m making $8.50/hr. I haven’t been out on the package car yet since how my uniforms haven’t came in yet.

  15. I’m only making 8.50 an hour as well. I think it depends where you live though, because I live in Tallahassee and it’s extremely hard to get a decent paying job doing anything here, whereas in South Carolina i was offered the same exact December position for 10 dollars an hour.

  16. I got hired on as a loader AND a driver helper. When I am loading I get 8.50 an hour. As a Driver helper I get 11.76
    Pretty crappy for a 28 year old. While most people were going to college and making something of themselves, I was dropping acid, snorting ecstacy and getting laid.
    The good thing: College- here I come.

  17. I currently am a UPS Driver Helper in jersey. my last day is monday and i make $14.18 an hour and i work from about 10:30-7:30ish every day with a one hour lunch break. but ive been done as early as 7 or as late as 9. i have made about 750 bucks so far in the 8 days ive worked….not too hard either..drivers are great guys

  18. As a ups driver, I would be wiling to take a pay cut in order to drive a vehicle with power steering and a lower height to get into an out of the truck.

  19. I would be happy with no pay cut and some common sense cotton uniform shirts for June July August and September. Come on!

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