A Day in the Life of a FedEx Driver

fedex home delivery driverI have been a FedEx Home Delivery driver for a little more than three years. I am what is called a supplemental driver, meaning I work for a contractor who owns the vehicle I drive. I get paid by the day rather than the hour or by the stop, so no matter how long I work it is the same pay. Some days I get home around 5PM and some nights (around Christmas) it may be 10PM.

On my typical day at FedEx (Tuesday-Saturday) I get up at 4:30AM and get ready for work. I leave home shortly after 5 and gas up my van. When I get to the FedEx terminal around 5:45, I start scanning my packages and loading my van. I am one of the first drivers there on most mornings because I like to get the loading done and get dispatched as soon as possible.

-- See the average salaries for workers at Federal Express Corporation, FedEx Ground and FedEx Office.

My route is typically about 150-170 miles and a normal day has me doing 75-80 stops. The way my FedEx route is set up, I take pressure off of other routes by doing some of their stops. Thus my route changes slightly from day to day depending on where exactly I am running.

When I am dispatched I collect my overview maps and turn by turn directions as well as a manifest for my stops. I also get a spare scanner battery so if mine dies I won't have to return to the shop to get a new battery. When I get dispatched and on the road before 7:30AM, I am a happy camper.

Close encounters

As you may imagine, dogs are a big part of the delivery driver's day. Most are friendly -- though of course some are not. As I write this article I am recovering from a dog bite to my right leg and the dog is in quarantine with animal control.

The dog was some kind of collie and a little bit taller than knee-high to me. I was trying to deliver a package to the home right as it was getting dark. The dog was frantic and I could see he was scared of me as he ran and hid in the garage. While trying to ease the package to a spot near the garage but out of the path of any cars, the homeowner suddenly came out. As soon as he spoke to me, the dog attacked me and bit me three or four times in the same spot on my leg.

The homeowner was extremely nice about the situation and apologetic. I did not seek medical treatment but did call animal control at my boss's request so we could ascertain if the dog had rabies.

In my only previous serious dog attack, the homeowner thought it was funny and said the dog only ripped my pants and didn't bite me. I pointed out that a mystery of great proportions had taken place as I never saw pants bleed before. His German shepherd tried to bite me again on a later date but I avoided him.

I do get nipped from time to time by little ankle-biter dogs, Poodles can be a holy terror! But by and large, most dogs are barkers and not biters. Many even come up with a ball or a stick in their mouth, wanting to play. I carry dog treats to give to all the dogs on my route whether they are friendly or not.

One dog even protects the delivery drivers who come to his house. This has happened to me on several occasions and to at least one other driver that I know of. The dog is a big male German shepherd and there is a female coon dog of some sort there as well. The female wants to bite any visitors to the house. The big male escorts the driver to the porch and back to the truck. When the female moves in to bite, the big male rolls her over like a football block. He won't bite her but he knocks her down every time to protect the driver.

Dogs are not the only animals we contend with as delivery drivers. I have been chased by geese, roosters, goats and one bull who escaped his pasture. I have been hissed at by cats and wolf-whistled at by some sort of talking bird inside a house. I saw the pervert looking at me from inside his cage.

The good and the bad

What I enjoy about FedEx is meeting interesting people and learning about new places I have not seen in my home state. I have delivered to plenty of people who work in NASCAR as drivers or crew, and even to cousins of mine who I didn't know existed until then.

My pet peeves about being a delivery driver are people who don't put aggressive dogs in a pen and those who don't use address markings anywhere on their house. We always find the house, but lack of an address marking can cause a delay of a day sometimes. All in all, working as a delivery driver is a good job -- and I sure need the exercise that all the walking provides.

Next: Confessions of a Census Worker >>

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July 18 2014 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its not only the belligerent dogs w/c are to be blamed here but their owners who are more or less oblivious of what their dogs are capable of doing. When I first started driving, I was a bit perplexed on why my trainer was so petrified at dogs that we encounter occasionally at our delivery sites. At the mere sites of dogs, she would lose her composure and will not step out of that fedex truck. I used to find that silly since I personally grew up owning dogs as pets and I am friendly to dogs not knowing that some breeds have a tendency to bite even unprovoked. Until I had to learn the hard way when one day one of my crazy customers had insisted on trying to catch her dog who broke from her leash. The crazy woman blamed the sound of the truck was the cause of her dog escaping from her grips and "she has no time to chase after her own dog" because she has to go to work. Even though I was not stupid enough to comply with her, the crazy dog still managed to bite me on my right leg as I delivered two big boxes to her front porch, twice which tore through my pants. I was lucky enough that I was wearing a couple of layers of undergarments during the extreme cold season in Connecticut during that time and the dog bites weren't deep enough to puncture my skin. Thank goodness I am out of that route also. NO! the scanner trick does not work. You Know what really works is a stun batton that emits 1Mil volts of electric jolt. You don't even need to use it against the dogs. Just make that popping sound when they come too close, and you will see that It will fend them off. Though check with your local ordinances, it might be illegal in your state. (Drivers be careful of this address 108 Soundview Drive, Wilton, CT)

March 16 2014 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That was a good article, I worked at the ground terminal (in the building) for 5 years, left early 2013 and after lots of unhappy dead end jobs throughout the year, finally decided before peak it was destiny to deliver, will be going back as an hd driver here soon, hopefully move to make a possible career as a contractor for ground. This isn't to say it doesn't have it's cons (overworked under-payed imo), but I'd be proud to wear that uniform. Everybody loves the delivery guy.

October 24 2013 at 6:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I drive for Fex Ex as a home delivery driver. My boss is very nice, but the job isn't all it's cracked up to be. They give you a vehicle with about 300-400K miles on it and 2 uniforms. I get 100 a day and I can make 20 more per week if I do 100% for the week and I can make 20 if I deliver more than my average everyday. So I make 500 a week with no benefits. That would be ok but I work 60 hours so that's about 7.14 a hour (20 hours OT).

The Fedex manifest is a joke. Completely out of order and not grouped together at all. My county just readdressed for 911 and 70% of people have either their former address or nothing at all. My GPS doesn't have most of the streets in it. Turn by turn directions completly misses 25 -30 deliveries everyday. Roads arent marked, homes aren't marked. I have to guess home numbers more than a dozen times a day. You have to drive like a maniac to get done. Very stressful and hardly worth the money.

January 30 2013 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think FedEx is a horrible company to work for. They only care about their profit margins and thats the bottom line. I'm not a driver but I worked at a fedex office where we received packages and ran alot of print jobs. They consistently keep their stores under staffed so they don't have to pay as much. If you work in the evenings better be prepared to stay late. You can plan on being stuck there till everything is done for the morning. You also should be prepared to say Yes We Can to anything a customer might want even if you know it is not humanly possible and you don't have the equipment to do it. They also try to put so much pressure on you that you will be incredibly scared to use little if any sick time. This leads to often going to work sick and spreading sickness to customers.
They also are on a kick of hiring less educated people so they can start them off at lower wages. I think this is very exploitive and cruel. Anyway, I hope this helps some people out there. If anyone had a good experience working with FedEx than good for you! Maybe the company is different in other places.
Thought you guys might enjoy this http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2010/07/23/like-fedex-job/ check it out I think FedEx tweaked their strategy for this article. More Fedex propaganda for the masses

October 18 2012 at 4:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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October 11 2011 at 5:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it is very interesting.the dog bit his owner.but it is a colleague in your long way.

July 30 2010 at 6:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have worked for fedex express as a ramp agent for 18 years. I recently went to driving as part of my retirement plan. I can honestly tell you that it has been a wonderful expierance. Working with aircrafts and all the challenges in getting them out on time is just as important as getting that 1 package to our customer. Having had other work opportunities in life I can say that not only does fedex take care of their people but they truly understand the importance of their customer satisfaction. In saying that, I will also say that they demand a great deal in return. The benefits are great. So, if there is an opportunity to join the fedex family, I totally encourage it.

July 27 2010 at 11:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia Bourg

I am so upset with FedEX...my package was sent to fedex in Memphis on July9th today is July 27th and I am still waiting for my package. I have been told by everyone and their brother in customer svc. and tracking that the package is on the truck, but the driver can't find the address. What in the world could the problem be as I am on a main hwy. and have called and gave exact directions 3 times over the past several days.

July 27 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who still working for Fedex plz contact me simon@clickfindjob.com
I have some guy wanna join Fedex and i have some deals with you.

June 24 2010 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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