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Thread: FedEx Freight/UPS Freight

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    tjv189 is offline Member
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    Default FedEx Freight/UPS Freight

    Is there anyone here who drives for FedEx Freight or UPS Freight, or knows someone who does? If so, I had a few questions. I'm just curious.

    How many years of tractor-trailer experience do LTL outfits like these usually require to be considered for hiring? In other words, are all the guys who drive for FedEx Freight and UPS freight experienced truck drivers, or is there another way of getting into one of the LTL driving jobs? For instance, could you start out as a dock worker at UPS and eventually end up driving for UPS Freight? Or do you need to have some tractor-trailer experience as well?

    If you know someone who drives for either FedEx Freight or UPS Freight, how did they "get their foot in the door"? Was it because they had several years of clean tractor-trailer experience under their belt? Or did they just work their way up from a lower position, such as a courier?

    I'm just curious. Because a lot of the guys I see out on the road behind the wheel of a FedEx Freight or UPS Freight truck don't really look like they would be experienced OTR truckers. But I could be wrong.

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    LTL Highway is offline Rookie
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    I'm not familiar with FXF or UPSF but most LTL carriers do not hire from off the dock or out of schools. About the minimum requirement for most is at least 1 or 2 years experience with a clean record. The closest my company comes to moving non drivers up is offering yard spotters with at least 6 months of good service further training for driving positions. LTL gets many of their drivers from other LTL carriers. LTL is a lot like tanker drivers, car haulers, livestock haulers, oversize, etc. Drivers seem get into certain areas of work and tend to stay most of their careers there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjv189 View Post
    I'm just curious. Because a lot of the guys I see out on the road behind the wheel of a FedEx Freight or UPS Freight truck don't really look like they would be experienced OTR truckers. But I could be wrong.
    LMAO What does an experienced OTR trucker look like?

    If you have 1-2 years driving experience, HazMat and Doubles endorsements, and a clean background/driving record you can get hired by an LTL carrier. It's not that hard you just have to apply. The hard part is getting by during slow times when you dont have alot of seniority yet. And yes some will train dockworkers to drive. Do you have a CDL?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman7 View Post
    LMAO What does an experienced OTR trucker look like?
    Kriss Kristopherson? Jerry Reed? Billy Jo McCaid?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman7 View Post
    LMAO What does an experienced OTR trucker look like?
    *Please see Golfhobo's avatar...

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    crb Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by LTL Highway View Post
    I'm not familiar with FXF or UPSF but most LTL carriers do not hire from off the dock or out of schools. About the minimum requirement for most is at least 1 or 2 years experience with a clean record. The closest my company comes to moving non drivers up is offering yard spotters with at least 6 months of good service further training for driving positions. LTL gets many of their drivers from other LTL carriers. LTL is a lot like tanker drivers, car haulers, livestock haulers, oversize, etc. Drivers seem get into certain areas of work and tend to stay most of their careers there.
    Actually conway freight, estes, FedEx freight do hire off the dock. They have a training program. Usually a year minimum experience if not two but remember these are highly sought after jobs.

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    For UPS (the Big Brown), you do have to start at the bottom and work your way up via seniority. The bottom being part time in the "sort"..loading and unloading trucks etc. Then after full time status comes your way, you can bid an a package car, spend years running one of those (making 70-75K a year), then bid a feeder or a sleeper bid. It can take years, but it can be a great job after you acquire seniority. I retired after 32 years with UPS. UPS Freight is a different ball of wax entirely, with a completely different contract.
    "What did BROWN do TO ME ?????

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    tjv189 is offline Member
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    Actually, I was lucky enough to get to talk to a UPS Freight driver my last time out last week. He said he had been driving for UPS Freight for almost 6 years and had 3 years OTR experience prior to that with Schneider.

    The reason I said a lot of the FedEx Freight and UPS Freight guys don't look like experienced OTR truckers is because a lot of them look surprisingly young, so I just figured that would mean that they couldn't have acquired THAT many years of experience prior to UPS/FedEx Freight, since they haven't been alive for that many years it seems (at least they look young).

    So if you had to guess, do you guys think most of the drivers for UPS Freight and FedEx Freight first started out OTR (like the driver I talked to briefly), or do you think most of them worked their way up from lower positions and got Class A CDL training in the process? I'm just wondering what I need to do to make myself a good candidate for an LTL driving job in the future.

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    I've been a road driver at UPS freight almost 5 years now. Go back and read my post again. Its not that hard to get hired. You've been a member here 5 years so I assume you're a driver? Maybe if you tell us your experience and background we could help more?

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    tjv189 is offline Member
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    Snowman, I started back in 2007 with Swift. I got 8 months OTR with them. After that, I left driving for 3 1/2 years for some personal reasons. I've been driving OTR for the past month for a smaller local company here in western PA and plan on staying with them for a few years at least. So I don't have much experience as of now, but I'm working on getting it.

    My record is relatively clean, with the exception of grazing a stop sign while making a tight right turn and bending the sign a little bit. It wasn't reportable to my knowledge (I didn't receive any citation of any sort) and there was no money in it, but I'm not sure if this would count against me or not.

    So can you tell me a little bit about your background before you got hired at UPS Freight? How much experience did you have prior to UPS Freight? Was it over the road experience? And did you ever have any minor incidents similar to the one I described above? If so, did they count against you in any way when you applied to UPS Freight?

    Knowing what I told you above, what do you think I should do to make myself a good candidate for an LTL company in the future?

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    I wouldnt worry about the sign incident. If you have 1-2 years experience, doubles and hazmat endorsement, a clean liscence and a clean criminal background you can get hired by us or anyone else. I had a year of regional OTR, home weekends, and got hired at Conway Freight then 6 mos later UPS Freight.

    You see experience is not the big factor. You have to realize that alot of drivers have criminal or driving backgrounds (including DUI) that make them unhireable. The other thing is alot of drivers are unwilling to start at the bottom. They dont want to sit by the phone or work the dock, all things that newbies have to go thru. An established OTR driver making 50-60k would be looking at a pay cut and a harder job so they're not willing to put their time in. Everyone wants to be a road driver with a set run making 90k but they dont want to wait for it. Our road drivers make on average 70-100k and its not that hard a job. So you have to drive a fork lift sometimes. big deal. Getting hired is not hard, the job is not hard, the hard part is feeding your family when work is slow and you have no seniority.

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    crb Guest

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    I had a year and a half OTR at cfi/cwtl before getting into LTL. They required 2 years but gave me credit for truck driving school. I had a clean record no tickets and one incident at cwtl where I blew a steer and it busted some plastic. I've been here 6 weeks shy of three years and still have a clean record 1 ticket and an incident with a deer. The big thing is a clean record. I'm young by the way at 27 in two days and I have 4.5 years experience. I've had my cdl since 19 years old. I had only pulled 53' trailers when I came here. Ltl is a great side of the industry but not for everyone. I like the hometime.
    Last edited by crb; 05-01-2011 at 04:20 AM.

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    tjv189 is offline Member
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    Thanks guys for your responses. crb, when you say the big thing is a clean record, what would qualify as something that makes your record not clean? You mean like a rollover, rear ender accident, those kinds of things? Or are DOT inspection fines enough to make most LTL companies hesitate to hire you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjv189 View Post
    Thanks guys for your responses. crb, when you say the big thing is a clean record, what would qualify as something that makes your record not clean? You mean like a rollover, rear ender accident, those kinds of things? Or are DOT inspection fines enough to make most LTL companies hesitate to hire you?
    Yes the accidents are the big thing. You want your MVR as clean as possible because there are hundreds of applications for the open LTL positions, lots of people want to make the big bucks a clean record could put you ahead of person with more experience if their record isn't as clean.

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    tjv189 is offline Member
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    Are DOT inspection fines something that they will hold against you? Because most guys tell me that almost everyone gets a DOT inspection fine eventually since DOT will find something to nail you for if they want to.

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    crb Guest

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    As long as you don't have excessive CSA points you will be fine.

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    Ok snowman this ones for you. This is probably a stupid question but I know you can set me straight. What is the difference between a UPS Freight driver and a UPS driver? And I'm not just talking about the money, how can I tell them apart out on the road? Are all UPS Freight trucks O/O's? Are both union? I live in southwest Florida and see UPS freight trucks a lot and wondered what kind of money they make and if it would be a good move from where I am now? I deliver LTL Food locally with liftgate service and quite a bit of hand trucking but I make around $67K a year working about 57 hrs a week. What's your two cents? And anybody else's that wants to chime in?
    Chrome might not get you home but it might get ya laid (over polishing in a parking lot). lol

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    [QUOTE=poorboy126;497298]Ok snowman this ones for you. This is probably a stupid question but I know you can set me straight. What is the difference between a UPS Freight driver and a UPS driver? And I'm not just talking about the money, how can I tell them apart out on the road?

    UPS is the larger and original division we are all familiar with. They handle small package and parcel. UPS Freight is a heavy freight division. We handle palletized freight using docks and forklifts. UPS Freight was formerly called Overnite before UPS bought us. Alot of our equipment still has the blue and grey Overnite paint scheme. The new and rebranded equipment look similar to UPS equipment but if you notice the trailers have the word Freight after UPS. The Freight tractors are Brown and Grey instead of the traditional all brown. We also have left over equipment from Motor Cargo which was a freight company purchased by Overnite before UPS bought the whole thing. The two divisions are operated separately with different terminals, equipment, uniforms and pay plans.

    Are all UPS Freight trucks O/O's?

    No very few but UPS does use alot of contractors to pull our equipment. This issue is in violation of our union contract and is currently being arbitrated. In the mean time UPS continues to do what they want for now.

    Are both union?

    Yes both are teamsters but with different pay plans and contracts.

    I live in southwest Florida and see UPS freight trucks a lot and wondered what kind of money they make and if it would be a good move from where I am now? I deliver LTL Food locally with liftgate service and quite a bit of hand trucking but I make around $67K a year working about 57 hrs a week. What's your two cents? And anybody else's that wants to chime in?

    That would be a pretty tough call. As I stated earlier once a guy gets established in their job its pretty hard to go backwards. You are doing pretty well and would have to go backwards to go forwards. We have two classes of drivers. The first is city drivers. They work normal business hours delivering freight around town and then picking up freight to bring back to the terminal. They are paid hourly and spend most of their day bumping docks with a 48' dry van as they run their route. We have other equipment ranging from 32' lift gates to 53's and straight trucks. Starting pay is $15/hr and tops out at $24/hr currently however our contract has built in raises. The current contract expires in less than two years and we will be at $26/hr at that time. It takes three years to get to top pay. Most guys get at least 45 hrs and some 65-70. We get time and a half for anything after 8 in a day or 40 in a week. So a guy at top rate makes 55-80k a year depending on how many hours he works. But a new guy might sit by the phone or he might get 65 hrs, hard to say. He may get some hours working the dock if freight is slow and he's not needed as a driver. Then we have road drivers like me. We work mostly at night but some terminals have day runs. We move the freight between service centers using double and triple sets of 28' pups. We are paid mileage for driving duties and hourly for non-driving duties. Starting pay is .38/mile and top rate is currently .60/mile. When this contract ends we will be at .66/mile. Hourlay rates are the same as city drivers. New road drivers sit by the phone usually but can still get alot of miles. Senior guys usually have set runs and work anywhere from 45-70 hours making 70-100k. I work about 45 hrs and make what you make. It would be very risky for you to quit and start over. Down the road it could payoff big time but you could starve your first couple years too. No way of knowing what freight levels will be like. [/QUOTE]

    I have done well since day 1 but there is a member here who didnt do as well and had to quit for lack of work. Maybe he will chime in.

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    Hey Snowman if you are refering to me as the member who did not do so well with UPS Freight , it was not because of a lack of work but rather the amount of time I would have had to work the dock before ever seeing the driver's seat of one of their fancy 30 year old Overnite Volvo trucks and that was to just drive around Central Florida and bump 18 to 20 docks a day.. No Thanks. I was also unhappy as to how Brown and the Teamsters handles the contract as you are awarethe freight contract is drasticly different from the ground contract to which both the Teamsters and Brown hurried up to get signed early for the majority of the workers, smart move on both sides unless you are the minority worker that being you guys who work freight, hopefully greed wont take over and ground will stand beside you guys in 2013. I left UPS Freight because I feel I am to old to work the docks (work smarter not harder as you age) plus I was not thrilled with the concept of city driving and numerous dock bumping for many many years before senorita caught up to me as it stood I was told two years before I could move to a city driving position.. I made the best move of my life pulling fuel and at this stage three years later am still making more then I would have at UPS for less stress and fewer/easier stops during the course of my day.. Timberwolf

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    Sorry, I couldnt remember, I thought it was lack of work. OK so you didnt like the work right? You say even as a driver you wouldnt like bumping docks all day. Which I can understand, thats why I'm not a city driver, But I'm curious why you took the job? I have run the city before and its not that bad, not great, but I can tolerate it. The road is definately more suitable to me. To other's reading this here is an example of how LTL is not for everyone. Dock is simply a part of LTL, its what we do. We pickup small orders of a few pallets and combine them at our dock, then send them to another terminal where they get seperated again and delivered. Dockwork is always there and guys who dont have seniority will eventually have to do it. Some more than others, its different all over. We have 20 year guys doing dockwork for whatever reason, some like it. Then we have guys who never work the dock. It pays the same hourly rate as driving, work is work, better than no check. I like LTL for a number of reasons. The pay, it feels like a real job where I go home everyday, I dont sleep in a truck, If I am layed over I get a motel, the pay, I'm off on weekends and major holidays. So for me I'd rather drive a forklift once in a while than sleep in a truck. Kentla likes fuel. I think I could also like that job but around here they run 7/24 and new guys work weekends for years before getting enough seniority. Plus they run holidays too. Not me, cant do it. So we have LTL, food service, fuel, dumps, heavy eqipment....the list goes on and on. Find what meets your needs.

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