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Top Tips On Becoming A Successful Parcel Delivery Driver.
New Year, new job ?
It is the start of another year, 2013, as I write this article. New Year's day to be precise. The time when many of us think to the future in an effort to begin to carve out a better life for ourselves. A time to take stock and perhaps try a change of direction in terms of our careers and jobs.
If this is you maybe you could benefit from my experience as a Parcel Delivery driver of almost 10 years now. In this article I will pass on my top tips for being a Parcel Delivery driver.
Mine is probably a familiar story in that I became frustrated in my chosen career of over 20 years and decided that I needed to change my life as I was in a rut. I had done a little bit of Parcel Delivery driving when my eldest son was a toddler and it was a job I had really enjoyed. My main career had been as a Store Manager for a large chain of D.I.Y Stores in the UK.
I began researching Parcel Delivery companies and found one which were looking for self employed owner drivers. Self employment had always appealed to me in the hope that I could gain a little control over my working hours, as well as being able to earn more for my family. Surprised at my findings in that I could earn as much as an owner driver as I did as a Store Manager responsible with lots of responsibility. Imagine, I could be my own boss and make more money.
The company I decided to apply for had a vacancy in my hometown and I started in the New Year of 2004. With my brand new liveried vehicle I began what was to be a very rewarding 5 years until the company was taken over by a rival who did not know how to treat their owner drivers. Sadly my association with this company ended in September 2010 and I was devastated. It was my choice to leave as it believed it was for the best for me to part with them.
Luckily I was owed a lot of money by this company which I would be paid the following month. This allowed me to take time and look for another job. I have to say that If the company had not been taken over I would have still been there. I was so proud of what I was achieving being self employed and proud to be associated with the company.
Can anyone do it ?
In my experience I would say it isn't a job that everyone can or, indeed, would want to do. This job is hard, physically demanding, fast paced with long hours, but is very rewarding. It is what I call 'a good honest job'.
If you can work on your own in all weathers it is a good start. If you need company at work from others then it is not for you.
As long as you can work without being constantly praised and appreciated by your bosses then you will be ok. You have to remember it is a service industry and you are expected to achieve set levels of service every day and you will be constantly reminded of this. The parcel industry is very competitive and only the strongest survive. It is a very serious business so don't expect the bosses to share too many jokes with you. Bless them!
The main players.
The main players in the UK parcel delivery market are :
In no particular order of size or favour,
All of these firms have good qualities and equally poor qualities like any company in any industry. There is one particularly good and very reputable company and a number of less reputable companies for one reason or another. The thing that sticks out about the best of the companies is the service levels they provide. The best companies are not always the biggest.
My top tips for becoming a parcel delivery driver are by no means a comprehensive list but I believe that they are the minimum qualities that you need to be successful in this field of employment in 2013 and beyond.
- Care about the service you provide.
- Aim to be the best.
- Be customer focused.
- Get the job done on time, first time.
- Be able to work under pressure.
- Able to work to someone else's time scales.
- Work until the job is done.
- Be organised.
- Able to work unsupervised.
What to do now if this job is for you.
If you think that this work is for you I would suggest making enquiries with the major Parcel Delivery firms about becoming a delivery driver for them. My advice to you would be to start as an employed driver and only go down the self employed route if it is absolutely necessary.
A google search for any of the above companies will take you to their web sites, all of which will have a recruitment page where you can peruse current vacancies and contact details for you to apply or enquire.
Good, experienced parcel drivers are hard to come by so when a company gets one they will want to keep him or her.
Employed versus Self - employed.
For me now this is a no brainer. After trying both ways of working I would advise working as an employed driver if you can. The reasons for this are as follows :
I have been both employed and self employed and the employed position is the one I would choose every time. You can drive someone else's van, not pay for diesel, van insurance , public liability insurance and road tax to mention just a few. There is no cost to you for maintenance of the vehicle and no penalties for having your vehicle off the road.
© poshcoffeeco ( Steve Mitchell )
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© poshcoffeeco ( Steve Mitchell )