Maybe more than you think. Today’s UPS driver must focus on more than just the physical tasks of delivering your package. As the company’s most visible representatives, they’re also expected to have a broad knowledge base of our products and services and know how to interact well with our customers.
That’s why we have UPS Integrad, an innovative driver training program that helps new drivers make sense of it all. The state-of-the-art program was developed as a result of almost two years of research that UPS did with some of the best minds at MIT and Virginia Tech. It incorporates technology in the form of virtual reality and simulations with classroom-based training, allowing trainees to “learn by doing.”
A typical day in the program might include walking across a treated surface that simulates ice or grease; using a touch-screen to identify potential hazards encountered while driving a typical route, or maybe even driving the truck (we call it a package car) in the parking-lot-turned-fake town of “Clarksville,” complete with little houses, street signs, a loading dock and sheds that simulate delivery stops.
The program, which launched as a pilot in 2007 in Landover, Md., has proven successful in training and retaining good drivers – so much so that UPS has expanded the program to open a second training facility in the Chicago area. This facility replicates the first one and serves as a central location where driver candidates can come to receive consistent training.
Want to become a driver now? Let me warn you, it may take a while. Most UPS drivers begin their career as part-timers, starting out by loading, unloading and sorting packages, then they work their way up through the ranks. I guess we all have to start somewhere.
Related post: Where are they now? Life After Integrad.
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