Day in the Life of a Sydney Courier Driver
Vehicle – 2001 Toyota Hiace SBV Standard Wheelbase With Barn Style Rear Doors
Sub contract courier driver – Ad hoc
Location – Sydney, Australia
Company – Withheld
EXC – exclusive delivery triple rate, up to 1.5 hour delivery time, direct drive if possible, priority over every other delivery
VIP – Double standard rate – up to 2 hours to deliver
STD – Standard delivery rate, up to 3 hours delivery time
Weight Surcharge – Extra weight fee on deliveries over 25 kg’s, 25-50, 50-100 kg’s all have extra charges depending on weight and size (cubic weight)
7:40 AM ..From my home just east of Blacktown in Sydney’s west I log on to my data terminal situated on top of the dashboard.
Its an easy procedure by pressing ‘log on’ then entering my driver number. Immediately the screen beeps as the operator (must of been at his desk not getting a coffee as usual) clicks the link on his computer screen back at the base to acknowledge my log in followed by a ‘stand by’ message.
8:45 AM..Yes that’s correct i’ve waited more than an hour but i’ve finally been sent my first job. First pick up Northmead.
The beauty of getting a late job is you miss a lot of the peak hour hassles so getting to Northmead takes me roughly 12 minutes. Pick up details are on the data terminal screen says Northmead to Rhodes std (standard rate).
Arrived and picked up job at Northmead. Usually only takes a few seconds to pick up from a customer the parcel is usually sitting waiting at reception or at dispatch.
Back in van i’ve been sent another job Wentworthville to Parramatta std.
9:12 AM..Pick up from a solicitors office at Wentworthville 3 cartons 50kg’s meaning the customer is charged an excess weight surcharge of which i get a fixed rate over 25kg’s and up to 50kg’s.
The company i subcontact to can charge the customer whatever they like but the driver gets that set rate amount of wich has never moved more than a dollar for at least 10 years – unfair more about rates in other posts coming soon.
Forgot to mention when the job has been picked up i press the ‘pickup’ button on the data terminal, this shows the operator back at the base that you have the job on board and it also gives them a location of where you are.
Most computer dispatch systems use a colour coded system, the operator simply goes to the divers job details/screen and when the driver presses the ‘pick up’ button etc the corresponding job will turn say blue for ‘picked up’.
Two jobs onboard a Parramatta and a Rhodes because Wentworthville is close to Parramatta i slowly head there (i’m always thinking about fuel consumption) to get rid of it.
9:35 AM..Just dropped my Parramatta and ive been sent a Silverwater to Milperra exc (exclusive rate..triple the price $$$ of a std)
9:50 AM..Pick up exc from Silverwater no dramas. Have been sent another job Lidcombe to Liverpool std press ‘accept’ otherwise the terminal will keep beeping.
10:12 AM..Head to Lidcome to pick up for Liverpool. Smooth pick up,pressed pick up on my data terminal to show the base where im up to and my location. Head to Rhodes to drop off the one from Northmead.
10:22 AM..Rhodes dropped. ‘Head out’ sent by the operator because i’ve got an exclusive triple rate job on otherwise the message would have been ‘stand by’.
10:45 AM..Cut through Lidcome and Auburn im now on Woodville rd heading in the right direction.
Beep beep data terminal, i’ve been sent a Wetherill Park to Mount Druitt. Sometimes its guessing a game to know what the operator wants you to do so i press ‘accept’ the job and keep heading to Milperra to drop my exc.
10:50 AM..Dropped Milperra because it was an exclusive a p.o.d (person on delivery) name has to be typed in before it lets me press dropped..Typed in the name press ‘dropped’ that job now disappears from my screen and also the operators screen as being completed.
I’m now holding a Liverpool drop and a Wetherill Park pick up.. I head to Liverpool.
11:03 AM..All just std jobs on board and to pick up so taking it easy. Dropped Liverpool. Off to Wetherill Park for pick up. Data terminal beeps.. ‘pick up’ Arndell Park to Rockdale press ‘accept’.
11:30 AM..Pick up Wetherill park its 10 cartons approximately 120kg’s so a weight surcharge is on the screen if it wasn’t already calculated by the customer i would have to let the base know to mark the job up.
Head to Arndell park for pick up to Rockdale. Taken the back way behind Prospect reservoir to end up near Eastern Creek raceway and into Arndell Park.
11:50 AM..Picked up Arndell Park and my data terminal is beeping.. New ‘pick up’ Wetherill Park.
This is the most frustrating part of the job when you just left an area a job comes through to pick up from where you just left..This is sometimes the base radio operator not doing his job properly or the job is fresh in either way its very frustrating not to mention extra fuel and wear and tear but can work out well if you get more jobs from there later on.
Press ‘accept’ and im on the way to drop Mount Druitt.
12:18..Dropped Mount Druitt. If im this far out west and i can get a radio signal i utilize the code on the data terminal ‘will i stand by’ because the last thing i want to do is get back to Wetherill Park then get sent another job to pick up from out here.
Operator sends a reply ‘head Wetherill’..Notice the need not to communicate by voice its all done from the data terminal unless there is a problem.
12:40..Heading towards Wetherill Park ‘beep beep’ data terminal new job Arndell Park to Caringbah thats good and well done operator this job will go nicely with my Rockdale.
Pick up Arndell Park then onto Wetherill Park via Eastern Creek raceway again to pick up a job to Merrylands. Picked up im now holding drops to Merrylands Rockdale and Caringbah.
I type the code ‘will i stand by’.’Head in’ is the msg on the screen from the radio operator. Start heading towards merrylands through Smithfield arrive Merrylands 10 minutes later drop the job press ‘delivered’ button on my data terminal job disappears off the screen completed.
I’m now in Merrylands holding a drop to Rockdale and Caringbah.
13:35..Still in Merrylands relaxing having a drink of water and chewing on an apple 20 minutes pass ‘beep beeep’ ‘pick up’ Villawood to Taren Point, press the ‘accept’ button on the terminal beeping stops i start heading towards Villawood through Guilford and cross Woodville road i’m here.
14:20..Pick up at Villawood press my ‘picked up’ button i’m now holding Rockdale, Taren Point and Caringbah.
I find a spot to relax for a minute or two i could ask the operators what they want me to do via the terminal but ill have a rest gather my thoughts and wait for them to tell me instead.
14:40..Radio operator sends msg via the data screen ‘head in’.I start rolling towards Rockdale taking it easy all standards on board conserving fuel looking after my motor.
15:00..Still on the way to Rockdale no real urgency im on Canterbury road at Punchbowl will head through Kingsgrove area its industrial might pick up something on the way through that will send me in the direction of home later on.
15:20..Arrived and managed to drop Rockdale without getting a ticket, a lot of Sydney’s main roads turn into clearways at 15:30.
15:30..Taking Rocky Point road past Ramsgate and over the bridge into Taren Point i drop my next job.
15:50..I’ve dropped Taren point i’m on my way next door to Caringbah to drop the job from Arndell Park.
16:05..Sitting vacant (no jobs on or left to do) at Caringbah.
16:30..Still waiting vacant at Caringbah a long way from home.
17:00..Its a quiet day on the terminal i type in the code to ask the radio operator ‘will i stand by’ reply is ‘head out keep radio on and locate’ meaning start heading home and enter unique codes for suburbs is what i type into the terminal to locate my position in case of a last minute job.
Some couriers use the satellite tracking system but a lot of the time its too slow to position.
This was a typical day in the life of a courier minus all the bad drivers and parking worries that i didn’t want to bore you with.
My opinion on the day it was quite slow some days i would double this easy and get more quality jobs. If you noted today i only received one triple rate job the rest were standard rate…
That’s life as a courier!
Northmead – Rhodes weight surcharge 46kg incl std $11.04
Wenworthville – Parramatta weight surcharge 50kg incl std $07.52
Silverwater – Milperra exc $31.68
Lidcombe – Liverpool std $11.44
Wetherill Park – Mount Druitt std $17.16
Arndell Park – Rockdale weight surcharge incl std $22.04
Wetherill Park – Merrylands weight surcharge 120kg std $14.52
Arndell Park – Caringbah std $30.36
Villawood – Taren Point std $16.72
Total $162.48 (aud)