Help A New Guy Figure Something Out

Topic 22293 | Page 2

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millionmiler24's Comment
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Do you drive for UPS, TZ? If so, I may have a couple of questions for ya.

Nope, I don't drive for UPS. I'm just observant & have talked to several drivers (package & freight) in multiple facilities that I have worked in. Info from management, HR, & drivers all seem to be consistent with what I've heard but I'll answer what I can if you want to ask.

Usually UPS drivers that I've met at truck stops or on deliveries don't seem to know much about current hiring practices or they will know what it was like back in the day. Going by them alone, you would think you need 5+ years OTR experience before UPS would consider you but that's no longer the case in NJ at least. It looks like UPS is losing drivers to non-union competitors.

Fedex CDL drivers supposedly start at $24/hour.

It's possible the next union bid will increase starting CDL wages to $24/hour on the Freight side to match Fedex, but it ultimately depends on the collective bargaining process. I don't know if it's the same union in each facility or if they are different depending on location or subsidiary.

I thought as much in terms of the experience required as is. Thanks, I appreciate it.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Connor T.'s Comment
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I can't drive for UPS until I am 25. Insurance purposes. Also, I can't be turned down a job for lack of experience. It's all based on seniority and as long as I pass a DOT physical then I'm in. There's no way I'm going to be able to find a job at my age driving and 18-wheeler and I thought Class B would be a good idea to get some experience. I already told my friend that I will drive for him, so I am going to do that it is just a matter of whether I want to spend more time and money to get my Class A or not. I have 3 months experience as a yard jockey driving an 18-wheeler, but I don't think it'll be enough to get me a real driving job.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Connor T.'s Comment
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Depending on your job at UPS, the way to become a CDL driver is by being a dockworker on the UPS Freight side (LTL, Longhaul-overnight between hubs) & getting trained as a yard jockey, full time dockworker w/ CDL & moving up to full time driver or being a feeder driver (UPS Package side).

From what I've been told, the way to become a feeder (CDL driver going from hub to hub, day cab position, overnights in a hotel if necessary) is by being a package delivery driver first if you work for Brown.

It also depends on when the union bids on the next contract; if there's an open spot as a driver (there should be, seems less people want to drive for UPS that already work for UPS) & your level of seniority in your current position. Your union shop steward would have more info on this.

On the Freight side, 2 drivers were just hired w/ 1 year of OTR experience each, both got LTL jobs w/ UPS-Freight starting at $17/hour. Takes 4-5 years to max out at $35/hour. Feeder & Longhaul get paid per mile & I don't know the current rate but its competitive w/ other LTL companies.

The above has been my experience in Northern NJ, it's possible it's different depending on what region you live/work in.

I will be driving delivery when I turn 21, but I won't be able to go full time right away. I am only planning on doing this dump truck thing for a few years just to get a little extra experience and time behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. It would also be a nice second job as I don't make much from UPS as just a part-time package handler. Also, the jobs work really well with my schedule. I'll be hauling asphalt and the season for that ends during the winter, which is when the season starts to pick up at UPS and then it dies down again around February and the asphalt season picks up around March again. It would be perfect to have both jobs until I can go full time at UPS, which I would say is at least 2 or 3 years away.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Good luck with the dump truck gig; just be super-careful obviously. I don't know of anyone on here with that type of experience to lend you advice, but the challenges are well-known. It's almost reckless to begin driving them at such a young age with no experience, but I'd be a hypocrite if I thought it wasn't reckless for my own company to cut me loose on the roads driving tankers, with only about 8 days experience driving. Keep coming back here for questions as you have them, there's great emotional support to be found here as well as the particulars of driving big trucks.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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