- Business Insider spoke to five UPS employees about the most difficult parts of their jobs.
- Difficulties varied by role and included hot warehouses and multi-day road trips.
- All five employees agreed that UPS offers great pay and benefits.
In early August, when word spread that UPS drivers could earn $170,000 a year in wages and benefits, it seemed like everyone wanted to work for the company. Online searches for UPS delivery driver jobs have increased, and people have engaged in heated online debates about whether UPS workers deserved a new contract.
While some said the amount seemed too high, many UPS employees and supporters felt the raise was well-deserved given the hardships of the job.
Business Insider spoke to five UPS employees who have held a variety of roles, including in warehouses and trucks, about the worst and best parts of their jobs. They all agreed that the pay and benefits were great, but listed a number of things they didn’t like about their jobs.
These accounts covered the period from February 2022 to March last year, and most drivers requested anonymity to protect their jobs.
Learning new routes every day as a shuttle driver was difficult
A UPS driver from Arizona told BI that over the course of three years, he went from making $9.50 an hour as a warehouse worker to $30 an hour as a delivery driver.
This year, the driver’s salary increased to almost $100,000 a year – after 21 years with UPS. They said the job required a lot of physical work and their most difficult role was as a swing driver.
“I was a swing driver for 13 years,” they said. “This meant I was put on a different route every day.” The driver mentioned that learning a new route every day was stressful, but said the good pay and benefits made the job worth it.
Read more: I slept in my car to get to UPS shifts on time, which pay $9.50 an hour. Now I make almost $100,000 a year at the company – without a college degree.
Delivery drivers’ inconsistent work schedules can make life difficult
Another longtime UPS driver told BI that having a dedicated route makes a huge difference when it comes to quality of life.
“My route involves a lot more driving than actual delivery, which suits me because I like to drive,” the employee said. However, they added that even with a regular route, it is not known when the working day will end.
“Some days it can be done in nine hours, other days it can take 14 hours,” they say. “This kind of inconsistency makes life outside of work difficult, especially when you have a family like I do.”
Read more: I’m a UPS driver. I make good money and enjoy my solitude, but management still makes me want to quit my job most of the time.
The tension between UPS and the union was not favorable
“I really enjoy driving for UPS,” said another delivery driver. “Even though I don’t have a college degree, I make good money – $40 an hour.”
The driver told BI that his favorite part of the job is his independence and the fact that he doesn’t have anyone breathing over his shoulder while he’s working. The driver also said the ongoing tension between the union and the corporate side of UPS leading up to the new contract was his least favorite part of the job.
Read more: I make $40 an hour driving for UPS. I’m happy to be where I am, but there is so much drama.
Sleeping in a truck 4 nights a week is hard for a UPS driver
When Graham Jones spoke to BI in August, he said he had been with UPS for 10 years and added that he earned about $4,000 a week as a delivery driver. Jones also said UPS drivers deliver packages from major delivery hubs to other warehouses.
“I have another driver with me on my route and we leave on Sunday mornings,” Jones said. “We go from Albuquerque to Louisville, Kentucky, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and back.”
Although Jones said he is grateful for his job and enjoys working as a delivery driver, he said being on the road for five days straight and driving 11-12 hours a day is difficult.
“Sleeping in a truck four nights a week is hard, but I wanted to try it because it’s lucrative,” Jones said. “After starting this tour in April, I decided I would rather make $40,000-$50,000 less a year and spend more time at home.”
Read more: This year I will earn 140,000. dollars driving for UPS. We deserve this pay – it’s not an easy job.
Summer can be really tough at the UPS warehouse
A part-time UPS warehouse worker in the southeastern United States said spending a summer in a warehouse can be really difficult.
“It’s really tiring to spend all day in this heat,” an employee who has worked at UPS for 20 years told BI.
The warehouse worker also said UPS has offered heat training, fans and ice machines, but workers still need to look out for each other and watch for danger signs. In response to the statement, a UPS spokesperson said: “The safety and well-being of every UPS employee is our highest priority.” The spokesperson also said: “We continue to increase our efforts to protect our employees from rising temperatures, provide a safe work environment and make working at UPS a great experience for employees as they serve our customers and strengthen our community.”
Despite the summer’s hardships, the warehouse worker said his job was one of the easiest physically and he earned quite good money.
Read more: I have been a UPS warehouse employee for almost 20 years. I like my job, but going to work in the summer is just terrible.
Are you a UPS driver with an interesting story? Contact Manseen Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org.