For the most part, owning and running a FedEx Ground route is a pretty safe job. There are risks, as there are with any other position, but they are minor in comparison to say, mining for coal or working on a natural gas rig. Still, it never hurts to share safety tips for FedEx Ground contractors whether you are new to the game, a veteran route owner, or are considering purchasing a route.
“I’ve had some wild things happen,” a contractor named Travis told us. “I’ve gotten stuck on icy roads, been chased by dogs, and more. Safety is always one of the first things I talk to my drivers about.”
With that in mind, here are some safety tips for FedEx Ground Contractors in 2023.
Staying Safe on the Road
The first risk is that of driving. When it comes to safety and FedEx Ground route owners, driving is what you do every single day. Here are some basic tips:
- Avoid distracted driving. If you need to look at your phone, answer a text, or do something with your delivery device, pull over first. If you must make calls, use a Bluetooth headset or a similar device.
- Watch the weather. Weather causes a lot of accidents, and many could have been prevented by being prepared and paying attention.
- Be careful backing up. Around 75% of all FedEx accidents come from backing up. First, avoid backing when possible. Second, be sure to check areas around your truck thoroughly before putting it in reverse.
- Avoid speeding. Be aware of your surroundings, including pedestrians, pets, and other hazards in neighborhoods. Never speed for any reason. This avoids expensive tickets and keeps you safe.
Finally, simply stay alert. Don’t drive tired. Get the rest you need, and stop if you are too tired to continue. Remember, safety comes even ahead of deliveries.
No matter where you are, there are always situations out of your control. Just recently a drunk man shot at police and a FedEx driver in Grand Junction, Colorado, arguably a pretty safe city.
“Strange things happen,” Travis told us. “We’ve had more than one driver end up in the middle of an odd situation, including one who interrupted a robbery while making a delivery.”
The key is to be aware of what is happening around you. If you see something strange, report it. Clear the area if something odd seems to be happening. And safeguard yourself in any situation. If you are being robbed, give up whatever the thief wants.
“There is no reason to be a hero and save someone’s package,” Jeff, the lead trainer at a FedEx facility in Idaho told us. “Nothing in that truck is worth your life.”
Dogs and other Animals
Another common encounter when it comes to safety tips for FedEx Ground contractors is dogs and other animals. Dogs have an innate distrust for delivery drivers and mailmen, and it is something to be aware of.
“We don’t know whether it is that this person comes to the door but never gets let in, or what,” Lou, a dog trainer told us. “But it’s hard to shut off that instinct no matter how great the dog might be otherwise.”
The key is to approach with caution. Many drivers and contractors carry dog treats and get to know the animals on their route. It’s a good idea, but be cautious with animals you don’t know and be sure to check with owners before dispensing treats.
It’s easy to avoid dog bites if you are careful, but “even the most careful drivers have encountered hostile dogs,” Jeff said. “Avoidance is still the best policy if possible.”
Late and Early Deliveries
Especially in the northern part of the country, it can be dark when you are delivering, either early in the day, late in the afternoon, or even in the evening. This can be tricky, especially during the winter peak season.
“Use lights, be aware, and always alert others to your presence,” Travis told us. “You can deliver in the dark safely, but it does mean you need to take your time and be careful.”
Having a spotlight to see addresses is a good idea, as is having a headlamp to light walkways and driveways so you don’t trip on your way to and from the door. And don’t run in the dark, as that is most often when you might trip.
After dark or early, some areas can be icy as well, and you might not see the hazard like you normally would.
The key above all is to be safe no matter what. You can do that all year long if you follow these common safety tips for FedEx Contractors in 2023.
And when you are ready to sell your route or buy a new one, be sure to turn to Route Advisors. We’ll be with you every step of the way.