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Top 10 Tips From A Parcel Delivery Driver.

Updated on January 14, 2013

Parcels and more parcels.

So you think you could be a parcel delivery driver? Read to find out exactly what you will need to know. Now you will most likely have found your way here after reading my previous article on the subject called Top Tips On Becoming A Successful Parcel Delivery Driver. You may think after reading the article that you might be suited to the work and may even believe that the job is easy. You will not be surprised if I tell you it is not at all easy and to be good at it you have got a lot to learn. Fear not, you are in the right place to get all the information you will ever need to become a top multi - drop parcel delivery driver.

Lesson 1 - If you haven't already done so read the first article by clicking the blue link above before reading any further. Once you have read it you may continue. If you had already read the article, well done! You can now start your journey to learning to be a top parcel driver.

Parcels and more parcels.
Parcels and more parcels. | Source

Your journey begins here.

Through the course of this article I shall give you all the information you will ever need. All of my tips and tricks which I have developed over the years. I learned it all from scratch, but you don't have to. Best of all it is free and will not cost you a dime. There are e-books out there written by so called professionals which cost an arm and a leg and they have probably never even been a multi - drop driver.

Down the road.
Down the road. | Source

What to expect down the road.

As a parcel delivery driver you can expect to be busy. As internet shopping develops even further and more and more companies get a web presence parcel firms will get busier. I can foresee that companies will need more drivers in the next few years which means more people like you will need guidance, training and my tips if you want to make a living in the parcel industry.

I guarantee you will never be bored as a parcel delivery driver. If you like to be busy at work then you will not be disappointed. If you like job satisfaction and a sense of achievement you will not be disappointed. Think you can hack it day in day out in all weathers? You do ? Then you need to keep reading for my tips on becoming a success in your chosen field.


Top tip #1

Organisation

Probably the kiss of death for any would be delivery driver. If you can't organise yourself, your route, your day then you may as well throw the towel in now. I have seen many a driver who comes into the industry thinking it is a breeze and that all they have to do is drive around do one or two deliveries and go home. Well let me tell you that you will be expected to do anything from 50 to 100 deliveries per day plus collections. It all depends on the area you cover whether you have large trading estates or high streets, you may even cover a rural route with a lot of distance to drive but not as many deliveries. Whatever you do you will need to be organised and will be expected to manage your time effectively during the working day.

Top tip #2

Route Planning

Second to organisation, route planning is the most important element to ensure you a successful day. Most parcel companies try to give a driver the maximum number of deliveries that he/she can handle ensuring that they make maximum profit on each consignment. If you are at your maximum it means that you will need to be switched on and make few mistakes when setting out your route before leaving your depot.

This can be the most pressured part of the day so make sure you concentrate and use everything available to you such as maps, Google maps as well as the knowledge of colleagues who know your route. Never be afraid to ask for help if it means your day will be smoother as a result.

Many companies are able to optimise your route whereby your scanner will route the parcels after scanning them. This is good but does not have your knowledge of roads like you do so where possible use your own judgement . By setting out your route using your maps will mean that you will learn the route that much more quickly. Go for this option and you will never have a problem.


Top tip #3

Parcel loading

Again a critical part of your day. You must load your van in such a way that locating your parcel while delivering will be quick and efficient. By knowing your parcels and where they are will aid you at each drop. Make sure you load from right to left in a methodical manner and strap in any larger items. A messy van will slow you down.

My best advice is to have at the back or side door, your next 4 drops ready to hand. Once those 4 are delivered get the next 4 ready. Organisation is the name of the game.

Top tip #4

On the road.

Make progress while driving using the fastest and shortest route to your drops. Be mindful of road closures, traffic lights and any delays on your route. If possible only drive down a road once. Importantly you must drive to the speed limits and allow for poor road conditions and weather.

Never ever use your mobile phone when in control of your vehicle.

Be aware of parking restrictions and always park legally and be considerate to other road users as well as pedestrians and cyclists. On rural routes watch for horses being exercised and slow right down when passing them.


If your company requires you to leave cards when a recipient is not in carry them with a pen in your pocket and you will not need to go back to your van to get one. Mobile phone also is a good idea if you need to ring in to let the depot controller know. This way you can just get back in your van and go.

Try not to over complicate the job and only think about your next delivery. Your planning has already been done in the depot, you now have to execute that plan so only deviate from it in extreme circumstances.


Top tip #5

At each stop

Knock and ring the doorbell not being afraid to give a good hard knock to make sure the recipient knows you are there. If there is ever any doubt if you are at the correct place and you have a phone number ring it. A land line number will mean that you should hear the phone ringing in the property. No number then do not hesitate to ask a neighbour or look for other clues. There might be post in a post box outside or you may be able to see post through a porch window with the details of the recipient visible. Never be afraid to look for information.

Top tip #6

You and your attitude.

Start your day in the right frame of mind. Never bring problems to work as it will affect your performance and decision making. You are the face of your company when you call on businesses and residential customers so always be polite even when they are not. Be proud of the service you provide and don't let anyone affect your mood. Your safety on the road is paramount so your attitude must always be on an even footing.

Top tip #7

Follow the correct procedures

Now this an area where many have not mastered. I think I said in my earlier article - Top tips to becoming a successful parcel delivery driver.the parcel industry is a very serious business and this is reflected in procedures, particularly out in the field. My best advice is never ever cut corners as you will always be found out. If you do everything by the book you will have a long and rewarding association with the company you work for.

Procedures in the industry are there to protect you as much as for good customer service and it should always be remembered.

Top tip #8

Never get too good.

Unless, that is you like to be taken advantage of. The reason for this is - the more you do, the more you will be expected to do. And this is where the parcel industry becomes very ugly. You see there are those who do enough just to keep their jobs, get help when they are busy and constantly moan about their lot in life. Then there are the do anything for anyone type people who get everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them during the working day because they just get on with it and don't complain.

So many times I have seen good workers who, day after day get ran into the ground until they can take it no more then leave. The plodders then get to plod a little more until someone else qualifies for the get crapped on daily award. Don't let this happen to you. By all means work hard and do a good job, but play the game and don't let the b******s get you down, ignore them and tell them in a positive and calm way when they are taking advantage of your good nature.

Top tip #9

Go a stage further in your planning.

When you become comfortable with your daily routines and organisation of your route you can take route planning a stage further. This entails really thinking about the drops you have to do, where they are and which part of the van you will put them in with relation to side door or at the rear doors so you can access them as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You can even think about your route and which way you will run in to a delivery, right side or left side of van and locate the parcel accordingly. Little tweaks can save so much time and allow you to make the delivery so much faster. You can then keep momentum going.


Top tip #10

Review your days deliveries.

Once you have finished your days deliveries you should see an empty van. This is the point where I review the route I took and maybe just think a few minutes where I could have done things a little more efficiently. It is also a good point to pat yourself on the back on a good job done. By the same token you can learn from the things which didn't go quite so well. This way you can make a mental note not to repeat the things which don't work for you.

© poshcoffeeco ( Steve Mitchell )

The copyright of the work of poshcoffeeco is protected. Please do not publish any work of Steve Mitchell without first receiving his personal permission. Any attempt to illegally copy his work will be subject to the laws of the land of Great Britain at the time of publishing.

© poshcoffeeco ( Steve Mitchell )

Comments

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  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Always exploring, your drivers have obviously not read this article yet. When there is a bell on a door I still knock as well....loudly. I like to deliver all of my parcels. It can take longer to write a card out. Thanks for reading.

    Tirelesstraveller, thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    Austinstar, welcome back. I bet they were really pleased they helped.

  • Austinstar profile image

    Lela 

    5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

    I just tipped two delivery drivers $20 each because they went above and beyond delivering my new hot tub. They are only supposed to deliver to curb side and that's it. But they helped us to get the 500 pound spa all the way down to my deck and I thought that was pretty awesome.

    They said delivery services are in demand and I can safely say that if I were looking for a job, I would certainly look into this.

  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 

    5 years ago from California

    Nice organized hub on the life of a Parcel Delivery Driver. I would not be a good candidate. Not that organized.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    5 years ago from Southern Illinois

    Great article and tips. We have a real problem here with UPS not leaving a package when you're at home. I had this happen two weeks ago and i was at home. They didn't come to the front door where i have a bell, thiy went to a side door by the garage and knocked. My house is big and i didn't hear them, i had to leave a note on the side door telling them i was at home and please come to the front door and ring the bell. Who would do that? UPS..Ha. Thank's

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Lela, I understand where you are coming from. It is good that you have made arrangements for your parcel's to be left for you.

  • Austinstar profile image

    Lela 

    5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

    Well, I totally hate telephones. It's a quirk my husband and I have. We rarely give out our phone number and then only when it's required. We absolutely do not give out our cell phone numbers unless required. And our phones are generally answered by voice mail. But I suppose they could hear it ringing to know it's the right place.

    Mostly our drivers just leave packages in the carport or inside the gate. Only very small packages get lost and I can't seem to get Amazon to understand that. I ordered a memory disc about the size of a thumbnail and it got lost in our carport (wind?), but Amazon wants me to return it before I can get a refund. Huh? How can I return something I don't have? Strange.

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Hey Lela, thanks for a great contribution in answer to my article. It is always a difficult task delivering in rural areas. Make sure when ordering that the company will provide your phone number to the carrier. That way he can always ring if there is a problem.

  • Austinstar profile image

    Lela 

    5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

    Well written and kept my interest even though I was looking for tips to help my delivery driver. As a customer, I want it to be really easy for him or her to find my house and have as easy a time as possible to delivery my internet shopping.

    I live in a rural subdivision and the roads out here are not well marked so I put up a big sign at the end of my driveway with our name and address on it. I think that helps a lot. If I was in a homeowners association with rules against that, I think I would use as conspicuous address marker as allowed.

    But, one thing, I think you are so right about job increases in the delivery business because as I age, I shop more from home. I hate going out and driving through traffic to go from store to store looking for something that I can find in ten seconds on my computer. I wish I had bought Amazon stock right away. What a great business model!

    Anyway, thanks for supporting the delivery driver!

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Shiningirisheyes , hi, I am glad you agree. Hope the boss doesn't see it!

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 

    5 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Very useful tips. I especially agree with the "never get too good" advice. This tip should be heeded throughout many other areas as well!

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Mhatter99, glad you found it interesting and thanks.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 

    5 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you for these useful tips.

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