Up Roads and Down Dales: The Life of a Delivery Driver

The road is not always a smooth one for a delivery driver or rider. For starters, there are potholes to worry about on some of the UK’s roads – they can send a rider flying (no cape either). For others, they drive a delivery van where they get to test out the suspension for defects, as they drive up roads and down dales in the avid pursuit of on-time delivery.

Here we take a look at what life is like as a delivery driver to provide some much-needed perspective to companies looking to hire them.

What’s In it for Me?

While this may seem uncouth to ask in a job interview, for a delivery driver who’s used to managing schedules, deadlines, busy traffic, and the odd bit of road rage (by others, not them), they prefer to get straight to the point.

So, delivery drivers like to know what the rate is. But they also want to ensure they’ll stay busy if they’re paid per hour or completed delivery. Bonuses for on-time deliveries, higher customer satisfaction ratings, or other elements are welcomed too.

What’s the Culture Like?

While some delivery drivers may be on-site, others may only get notified of new delivery assignments through a mobile app or on a company supplied tablet.

Nevertheless, at all points where the delivery driver is dealing with the company, these touchpoints reflect on the culture. Are people considerate and respectful? Are they expected to do the impossible or go too quickly to make an on-time delivery putting their safety at risk? Does the company care about its drivers or say they do while setting near-impossible delivery targets all the same?

Things like this matter to delivery drivers, who are in-demand due to both Covid-19 and a boost to online shopping that’s resulted from it. Therefore, they can be choosier about for whom they drive or ride for.

How Busy Will I Be?

While you might believe that drivers or riders are out on the road all day, that’s not necessarily true.

They may be back at base at least some of the time. If they wait with their scooter or delivery van at home, then they’ll be dealing with an app where they get notified of a booking. It uses their GPS position to pinpoint their location and tracks where they are versus other available drivers.

For example, Shift.Online uses complicated logistics software that it developed over three years to match delivery bookings to available drivers. It ensures faster deliveries, which allows them to agree to one-hour delivery bookings, not all morning or all afternoon.

Will I Get Enough Time Off?

Being out on the open road and exposed to the elements is exhausting. Just driving to get down to the coast from the city can take 2-3 hours, and that will wipe out many drivers on a weekend trip. Try driving most of the day and battling rush hour traffic and see how you fare. Then do it all week!

Delivery drivers care about flexible hours, time off when they need to recover, and still being able to make a decent living. Rest for them avoids the possibility of burnout. Companies that provide this flexibility are more attractive than ones that don’t.

When you want to hire a delivery driver, do consider the salient points in this article. It provides a completely different perspective on what they go through and the kind of things an employer needs to consider offering to secure the best delivery drivers.