Hello, Reddit!

Current FedEx Express driver from up north, here! (Delivering in blizzards are equal parts fun and stressful!) I used to work at FedEx Home Delivery as a driver for a couple of years as well, but then switched over to FedEx Express a few years back.

Have questions about FedEx Express drivers? sweet! Have questions about FedEx Home Delivery drivers? sweet!x2

My days normally start off by arriving to my station at 4:30am, head to the airport, sort packages directly from the airplanes, then deliver First Overnight (FO) packages by 8:00am, then I continue on to do later time-commitment deliveries!

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/W8sUCCH.jpg

Blurred are: face, right to that is my station ID, right of that is my name and exp date, bottom would be the barcode.

Will answer questions tomorrow as I have to get early sleep in!

(Some answers aren't guaranteed to be a universal answer as some stations/hubs may operate a little differently)

Comments: 161 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

What-The_What36 karma

Is it company policy to stomp on each box prior to delivery?

PurpleRainPromise22 karma

We never intentionally try to damage packages (I know there are videos of us, FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc mistreating packages) but, if you're observed abusing a package, whether in a FedEx facility or outside, it is grounds for immediate termination. Sometimes the handlers that have to load Aircraft Cans have to play tetris with hundreds, sometimes thousands of packages per day and may accidentally place a heavier item on top of a more delicately constructed box. Most commonly though, the sender does a very poor job of preparing the package for delivery.. notably places like Wal mart and other retailers. The boxes are too weak for the contents, the tape is weak, and has a difficult time sustaining the endurance from point A to B. We never want to have to deliver damaged boxes though, it makes us look very unprofessional and, personally, bothers me a lot throughout the day if I ruined someones day by giving them a messed up parcel.

dougbtv30 karma

Do delivery drivers hate people who have Amazon Prime? I buy stuff from prime all the time, and I'm always thinking.... "Fedex & UPS guys must hate me."

PurpleRainPromise7 karma

Another day another delivery! Pretty sure a lot of us couriers use Amazon Prime too haha

WheresMyMoneyDenny15 karma

What was in Tom Hanks' package? Please settle this as it's been driving me crazy for years.

PurpleRainPromise16 karma

Only Fred Smith knows. This secret is guarded more than the Krabby patty formula.

AlabamaJesus11 karma

What are the exact procedures for checking packages from overseas for drugs? Asking for a friend.

PurpleRainPromise11 karma

Haha I know this is a joke, but there have been cases where substances have leaked from a package and a drug specialist was called to confirm the substance. I've even heard that, before I started working, there was one package that had illegal substances in it so the police were called and a sting was set up at the recipient's address.

AlabamaJesus7 karma

totally not a joke. so dogs aren't involved? what about customs?

PurpleRainPromise5 karma

Yes dogs are involved along with a drug specialist. I'm not familiar with international customs procedures, besides auditing international airway and automated bills.

inhumanrampager11 karma

UPS worker here. First off, keep fighting the good fight, especially through peak. Secondly, have you or your building considered the union? I'm just curious as to the Fedex opinion on unions, both from the management and worker position.

PurpleRainPromise9 karma

As BMW said, no plans for Union, but no big deal, FedEx Express treats us very fairly, good pay, great benefits, very supportive in advancement requests, etc.

inhumanrampager3 karma

Well right on then. Sometimes companies do the right thing, other times the worker has to fight for it.

PurpleRainPromise3 karma

I definitely hear you man! Take it easy out there!

Stands_on-217 karma

Are all the delivery addresses listed for you in sequential order with directions? What are job qualifications? Ladies ever make goo-goo eyes at you when u do office deliveries?

PurpleRainPromise12 karma

1 - Yes, they are ordered in sequence, however I don't get turn by turn on paper, drivers can request one, but I get a map printed out with my stops marked in numbers. So, basically you go to your first stop, then I take one look at my map and figure "okay I turn right here, left here, and a right two blocks down". Though there are times when it's plotted inefficiently and I will change the course of the route myself.

Now at Ground/HD, at least where I worked, my contractor provided me with an actual GPS that had our routes pre-loaded in the morning. That was pretty nice.

2 - I think it was you can't have any major traffic violations/accidents in the last 2 years, and you must pass your criminal, vision, and health background. You must also be 21 or older because there will be times you have to deliver alcohol or other controlled substances.

3 - I've had a few, but nothing really beyond that. Most of my stops are regular customers and we are all friendly with each other. There are times when I deliver to new offices that I feel that I am looked down on, though.

Stands_on-213 karma

Assuming a person has all the qualifications u mentioned, can they get hired directly as a driver or do they have to work their way up? How much do u get paid? Can u listen to the radio while u drive?

PurpleRainPromise8 karma

Yes, you can apply directly for a handler or driver position. I forgot to also mention that it helps a lot , if not required, to have some kind of company driving record (like prior experience delivering for papa johns or whatever). I get paid high teens/hr. New drivers lately have been starting at $16-$17.XX/HR I hear. None of our trucks are equipped with radios, but we can have a small radio with us while driving, however no blue tooth or headphones/earbuds.

Stands_on-216 karma

I was a junior high teacher but became a stay at home dad. Kids in first grade now so I'm ready to get back to work. Don't wnna get back into teaching and I have a perfect driving record. However, I'm 43 years old. Think I'm too old for the job?

PurpleRainPromise6 karma

Definitely not too old. We have several drivers in their late 50's.

SmallTownMinds6 karma

Does FedEx Express mean you drive the vans as opposed to the giant box truck?

I've always thought driving for FedEx would be a great job but the idea of driving one of those giant trucks freaks me out.

PurpleRainPromise7 karma

We have quite a range in our fleet. From tiny cargo vans, to Mercedes Sprinters, to W700/W900 trucks. Believe me I was really intimidated by the larger trucks myself, but it's pretty comfortable once you drive them around with an instructor for about an hour. I mostly drive a Van and Sprinter though. Still... I wouldn't want to drive a huge W900 if I have routes in a major metropolitan area haha

BigFTC5 karma

I drive a W900 delivery truck for a different company, I can squeeze that bastard in places most people wont go with Honda Civics, lol.

PurpleRainPromise5 karma

Some drivers are like gods with those big ass trucks. I'm pretty comfortable driving them around, but tight parking is something I get very nervous about haha instant sweaty palms. I'll stick to my horrible-turning-radius-sprinters.

domo-chuu5 karma

Have you ever gotten a package (maybe it's from amazon or a friend) that's addressed to yourself? Is this even possible, or does it not work this way?

PurpleRainPromise5 karma

I have, yes. Very rare though. I've never delivered to my own home, but I have to friends.

laughster4 karma

How often do you look at packages and where they come from and question what's in them?

PurpleRainPromise11 karma

Used to at first, but almost never now. Only for packages that are really tiny, but weight more than a dense star.

Dramatdude4 karma

What's the deal with "hiding" packages in ridiculously obvious places? Such as the small to medium sized Amazon packages under my front door mat. Is that something you guys are required to do, or is my guy just an idiot?

PurpleRainPromise3 karma

If it's left like that, many times it's because an electronic note was attached to that particular package giving us instructions to do so, regardless of size. I think there are smart ass drivers that do it anyway because of hits it gets online, but for me, I always place it somewhere that's out of street view.

Dramatdude1 karma

So something like "leave in a discreet location"? I did live in an apartment at the time, so it's not like he could stick it behind a bush or something. I just remember seeing that multiple times and thinking... "SERIOUSLY?!"

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

Ah okay, yeah if you live at an apartment, then whatever helps to hide the package from passing eyes the better, this depends on the location of the apartment too usually. If it's a bad neighborhood I'll leave a door tag for an indirect signature or I'll try to reattempt it when they are home. If it's a nice, low risk neighborhood, we'll more likely leave the package.

subspacer4 karma

Ex-FedEx Ground employee here. Are Express drivers employees of FedEx or do you also use the contractor model?

PurpleRainPromise8 karma

We are employed by FedEx. Join the dark..ahem.. Orange side!

wtfkindashitisthat3 karma

How fast dose your truck run?

PurpleRainPromise6 karma

Our trucks are governed at 70mph, but FedEx policy is that we never go over 65mph.

Ackrynom7 karma

Then how does express shipping work?

PurpleRainPromise22 karma

We have a fleet of purple and orange unicorns capable of ludicrous speed. This service costs as much as a plane ticket though.

Flying_fisherman3 karma

Are there any penalties for delivering the product late?

PurpleRainPromise5 karma

Yes, if it's a continued problem, our drivers get disciplinary talks/meetings. On the customer side, they can request a refund if it's called in, iirc.

10009905283 karma

As someone who used to order a lot of research chemicals, I have to ask, when you see a package you just know is drugs, because as much as they talk up their stealth game, some are scary obvious, how does that make you feel? I kind of regret putting my postman in that position.

PurpleRainPromise3 karma

I deliver mostly to research labs anyway so I wouldn't really know the difference lol might be kind of suspicious of a similar kind of package with dry ice was sent to a random house though haha

10009905281 karma

Thank you for the answer :)

When you were delivering to these research labs, did you have to go through some kind of DEA approval? I'm assuming you would have, if you were delivering drugs and reagents and the like. I know I was always super worried that even though these chemicals weren't scheduled they were still explicitly illegal if human consumption is intended.

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

No I do not need DEA approval. We have 'Dangerous Goods' specialists in our station that checks certain packages and it's content though.. and maybe they'd need some kind of DEA approval? I know they do like special DG training though. But as far as I know, I could be delivering experimental animal organs, or some beakers..

BobaFettyWhopper3 karma

Do you glare at the USPS folks? Maybe have back alley fights involving tridents?

PurpleRainPromise8 karma

We makeshift our tubular packages into swords and fight to the death, then claim their truck as our own. Kidding, I always wave at my fellow couriers and they wave back :)

goodguywithoutagun2 karma

What do you think about drone package delivery?

How about drone delivery system where you still have delivery trucks but the drones deliver from the truck to the door, instead of you having to get out of the truck?

PurpleRainPromise4 karma

I'm not really sure what to think of them yet since the technology, or well.. Service, is still in the process of being realized. I've heard there are people training to become drone pilots for prospective delivery positions though! On another note, Amazon has been opening more and more warehouses with their own drivers so we are expecting a little drop in volume from Amazon. Probably more so after Amazon signed a lease for 26 Boeing 767's...

kuddle2 karma

what state do you work in?

PurpleRainPromise2 karma

MN

Rocketflyer3601 karma

Would you rather be driving the vans or flying the planes?

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

Flying. I've always wanted to become a pilot since I was a kid, but the money involved for schooling and the stress and stuff gave me doubts about it. Maybe it's not too late to start training... I heard FedEx is really strong about hiring from the military though.

Rocketflyer3601 karma

How old are you? I started flying commercially at 19, but I know of people who started at 30.

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

26!

Rocketflyer3601 karma

You've still got years left, it's not at all impossible! Even if you're in another company flying, you can get into the business in 2-3 years, and keep flying commercially until at least 65 (they're probably upping it to 70 soon).

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

I heard it's getting increasingly harder to get in though :( is that true? I'd love to fly an intl route on a 777 haha that used to be my dream. Even when the pilots walk through our station at the airport they have such an aura.

Stexen1 karma

I work at a delivery company and they're very pro union. I'm on the fence when it comes to unions for multiple reasons. They're always telling me to ask a FedEx driver how much they make and compare that with the drivers here.

So 2 questions. How do you feel not being in a union and how much can you expect to make?

PurpleRainPromise3 karma

I'm not bothered by not being in a union to be honest. The benefits here are pretty amazing and the pay potential is pretty big, also they are VERY strong about promoting from within the company. Overall really great company where I don't feel like there are any risks in any corner. Is the job comfortable? Nah, but I get paid fairly and if you come in and volunteer to work on a day off you get OT as well so, very easy to get by.

360glitch1 karma

Having worked both Home Delivery and Express, what are the pros and con's of being a subcontracted worker as compared to being a direct Fedex employee?

PurpleRainPromise2 karma

Really no pros of being subcontracted. FedEx Express is a far better place to work. Better benefits, better hours, better pay, better advancement opportunities, etc. I think many Ground workers just aren't aware of what Express has to offer and kind of brush it off as, oh just another fedex service. We are very different.

Modernfallout201 karma

How much stress is put on speed? Also, I've heard you aren't supposed to make many right turns, is that true?

PurpleRainPromise5 karma

Well we try to deliver as efficiently as possible, but we are told to never rush as that's when mistakes can pop up. I take left turns, right turns, u-turns, all the turns.

MutatedBen1 karma

What's your craziest experience?

PurpleRainPromise2 karma

Haven't had too many crazy experiences. I delivered to a house out in the middle of nowhere late afternoon and the guys driveway was like a mile long and either side was all swampy and muddy.. I get to the house and his entire yard is full of gym equipment and weights and old 80s vending machines. The house was weathered and looked scary as all hell. I get to the back of my truck to see what I have for him, and what do you know, like a hundred pounds of weights and barbells. I ring the door bell and this really old but buff looking guy answers half naked with a gun on his waist/crotch... Tells me to just "leave it on the ground" and walks back into his house and shuts the door. I GTFO out of there. I know that's a pretty mild experience to some others, but it was getting dark and I just had instantly bad vibes about delivering there.

Stratocratic1 karma

Why does my local FedEx guy feel he is in so much of a hurry he has to throw my packages? He threw a package onto my 2nd floor landing, and when it tumbled back down the stairs, he threw it again.

When it tumbled back down again, he was only stopped from throwing it once again when my downstairs neighbor started giving him grief for it.

I know you guys are busy. I've known UPS drivers, know there is pressure. But he would have spent less time walking it up.

I didn't do anything (other than thank my neighbor). But is something like this worth reporting, or will it just get a laugh back at the depot?

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

Any questionable or unethical practices are worth reporting in my opinion. I'm a regular customer just like anyone else when I'm not delivering and I would absolutely hate to see my packages being handled poorly. Was it a Ground employee (Purple and Green) or Express? (Purple and Orange).

Stratocratic1 karma

I'd have to check to see if my neighbor remembers, but I've never paid for anything other than Ground/Home Delivery.

PurpleRainPromise2 karma

Yeah, not to crap on fellow fedex drivers, but Ground and Home Delivery guys are not nearly as disciplined as FedEx Express. My prior experience gave me a slight advantage when I joined Express, but I retrained for like two straight months, whereas at ground, the training was like a week, if that lol. It's the Express way or the highway!

sgtkickarse1 karma

Ever had to deliver in a dangerous/sketchy neighborhood?

PurpleRainPromise2 karma

Yes, at night. It makes me really uneasy. I just hope the people notice the "No Cash Onboard" sign above my door. Generally we are pretty safe though.

ELEMENTALITYNES1 karma

How often do you hear about porch pirates? And how often do you experience people attempting to steal packages from your truck?

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

We hear about them from time to time, especially during holidays. But there are some that make false claims as well. We try to keep the packages out of street view as best as we can though!

lyinggrump1 karma

Do you like working at FedEx?

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

Yeah it's not too bad all in all, every day is different and you're not stuck in a cubicle. No that there's anything wrong with that, but I like to be more active.

Hellmark1 karma

What are common hold ups on getting it loaded into the truck at the sort facility?

A couple weeks back, had a package make it to the hub, and sat there for 3 days before it was finally loaded on the truck for delivery. Just kinda curious about this sorta situation.

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

This depends on the type of service that was selected. For example, If your package is supposed to be delivered Within 5 days, but gets to your nearest hub in 3 days, other time/day sensitive packages take priority over yours and that can cause your package to take a backseat for a day or two. This is usually the case for Ground/Home Delivery and not Express.

DoopSlayer1 karma

I used to work at a shipping store, you guys were great and always so friendly.

Do you have to pay for your own vehicle like DHL does? also among couriers/drivers what's the opinion of each company (I know that obviously you're probably going to be pro fedex)

At the store we always ranked it 1. USPS 2. Fedex 3. UPS and way in last place DHL. What's your ranking?

PurpleRainPromise2 karma

Thank you! Being positive with customers is incredibly important to us, and it's a HUGE part of the FedEx model. (jeeze what am I a fedex rep?? lol, but really, it's constantly brought up to us the importance of customer satisfaction)

We do not have to pay. Contractors for FedEx Home Delivery/Ground have to, though. But FedEx Express is its own entity. We all have our ups and downs in this particular field, and I've heard many good things of UPS (have friends who work there) and have nothing but respect for fellow couriers, but as far as workplace environment, politics, etc, FedEx is the place for me.

I'd rank USPS at #1 as well, nothing but massive respect towards them. And while UPS may seem more serious and professional in some regards, I feel like we're a little brighter and fun, if that makes sense haha. And yeah DHL, Speedy, etc I'd rank last or NA since I don't really interact with them at all.

hells_flower1 karma

Are you barred from working at UPS or USPS while working at FedEx or for a period after you quit FedEx?

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

I am not.

agnisflugen1 karma

did you make a 2nd attempt on all your business dex 08's today? that's a hot topic right now...how do you feel about DRA? and lastly, do you usually make your RTB?

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

I make 2nd attempts even on resi's. I thought the hot topic right now was late FO's haha.

PurpleRainPromise1 karma

I haven't been in the system long enough to really criticize it too much. I can understand why the veteran drivers would dislike it, I probably wouldn't like it either. But it helps a lot if I'm thrown into a route I've never been on before.

Thestiffone10 karma

Do you know who your company sponsors in nascar?

PurpleRainPromise3 karma

Looks like Denny Hamlin of the #11 Car! Had to look that up haha.

nipdriver0 karma

What are the chances you could please stop throwing my shit over the fence?

PurpleRainPromise2 karma

I'm not going to protect couriers who mishandle packages, you should report them immediately if you see that kind of crap. As I've said earlier, I'm a regular customer too when I'm not delivering and I would hate to see my packages being tossed over a fence. If it's a Purple and Green logo courier, then you call FedEx Ground for complaints. If it's a Purple and Orange logo courier, then call FedEx Express. Hope you get it resolved man!

Nik_tortor0 karma

How come it's legal for you to touch my mailbox but for anybody else it would be a felony?

PurpleRainPromise3 karma

It's not legal. In fact, we also aren't allowed to leave door tags on apartment mailboxes, or well.. Any mail box.