With Christmas fast approaching, couriers such as UPS and FedEx look to temporary drivers to help them cope with the extra workload the period places on their shoulders. As a freshly contracted driver, what challenges can be expected over the peak time of the year? To help you understand what a day’s work looks like for a peak driver, we have interviewed the professionals and we will tell their tales and share their tips with you.
A normal day for a UPS driver will see them make 100 stops as they deliver goods across the country, but during this Christmas period drivers can expect their stops to skyrocket. While this may make the winter period seem unbelievable, the season is not without its perks. One Driver we spoke to happily reminisced about the times that they could bring a smile to the faces of people they delivered to. “I’ve delivered Christmas stuff to people. That means a lot, it makes me feel good. I’ve delivered cool tools to old guys who work their whole life in the garden. I’ve delivered skateboards to eleven-year-old kids who chase you up the street screaming “Yeah!” when you pull up to their house.”
Most driving tips have been learnt through years of hard graft and are either picked up naturally or are handed down from one driver to another.
How to Have a Successful Christmas
- You must stay hydrated. When the adrenaline starts to flow you often don’t realise time passing or how hard you are working. Hydration is good for the body and the mind, look after yourself and you will find that you can manage the shift just fine.
- Keep organised; make sure that you have planned the most effective delivery route and have your parcels packed into your van in order of your delivery route.
- Have your bulk deliveries stored at the back on the floor so you can unload them in the most time-efficient way.
- Deliver to businesses first and then residential addresses. As you get more familiar with your route, you will remember when your frequent stops are and will be able to factor in residential addresses along the way.
- Make sure that you have a good torch, finding your way around a dark street while trying to find house numbers is much easier with a good torch or strong mobile flash.
- Take note of where you should be along the route at certain times of day to make sure that you are keeping things on track.
- Put your safety first, do not take unnecessary risks. If you get injured then you, your employers and your recipients will be at a loss.
If this all makes you want to deliver Christmas this year, then simply search sites such as indeed.co.uk for “delivery driver.” You will see the full range of temp and permanent delivery roles that are available. The courier partners that ParcelHero have give their staff full Christmas delivery training; you will be prepared for any situation the winter months may throw at you.
A delivery driver who finds himself making the rounds around the Christmas period will be snowed under (pun intended) with parcels and cards. We all appreciate the extra effort that they will put in this winter, so here are some little things that you can do to help them over the busiest period of their year.
How to Help Christmas Delivery Drivers Survive the Winter
- If you have an outside light, make sure that it is kept on if you are expecting a delivery. This saves the driver having to fumble around trying to find a torch or the doorbell.
- If you are feeling generous, a particularly famous Christmas delivery driver has a tradition of being offered mince pies…most delivery drivers will gladly accept a delicious treat on their journey.
- When you hear the doorbell or a knock at the door, then answer the door as soon as you can. While you may be nice and toasty inside, your delivery driver is shivering on your doorstep. The sooner you open the door, the sooner he can warm up.
- If you are having a parcel collected, make sure that it is ready and waiting near your door, any delay for your courier can make his day more stressful.
- As generous as it may be, offering a delivery driver a beer is not as nice as you may think; drinking and driving is illegal for a reason and no one wants to turn down such a generous offer over the festive period.
- If you live in an apartment building, be sure to give your couriers the correct code to get into the building. It is sometimes impossible to find the right recipient in a large apartment building.
- If it is snowing, icy or frosty outside, please clear your driveway and stairs using salt and a shovel. The last thing anyone wants is a delivery driver in hospital.