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    Trip Prep Specialists

Trip Prep Specialist: Job Description, Hiring & Training Process

The foundation of our extraordinary guest experience is preparation, organization and service—and we go so far as to guarantee the quality of our trips. We're looking for Trip Prep Specialists who can do a world-class job with a sense of professionalism, pride and fun!

How do we hire TPSs? 2015 was the first year of the TPS program at Backroads and it was a huge success. We created the position with the goal to stream-line the logistics and preparation of our trip's departure and turnover and to improve the quality of our equipment, systems and guest experience.

Last year we hired TPSs from our Trip Leader applicant pool at Hiring Events. We recognized that while the TPS role requires many of the same skills as a successful Trip Leader, the role was a good match for people who had exceptional skills in organization, self-sufficiency, logistics, mechanical aptitude and attention to detail. Since then, we've hired several TPS's as Trip Leaders and we look forward to growing this program and its success.

This year we are excited to be hiring specifically for Trip Prep Specialists if the role seems more up your alley. You can specify your interest in applying for the TPS role on the Trip Leader application.

Please read the following for more general information about the TPS job at Backroads.

Meet Some of Our Trip Prep Specialists

We'd like to introduce you to some of our current TPSs. Read on to hear about their experience as a Backroads TPS.

Gregory Candeur

Gregory Candeur

Trip Prep Specialist
Meet Gregory

Rikard Vita

Rikard Vita

Trip Prep Specialist
Meet Rikard

Conor Lewis-Smith

Conor Lewis-Smith

Trip Prep Specialist
Meet Conor

Ana Matijas

Ana Matijas

Trip Prep Specialist
Meet Ana

Trip Prep Specialists Job Description, Pay & Benefits

Position Overview
Backroads hires those authorized to work in US, Canada and France as TPSs. TPSs work behind the scenes in tandem with Trip Leaders to ensure smooth Trip Logistics before and after each departure. They are key field staff who are critical to the success of Backroads trip operations. The TPS position requires someone with a systematic and methodic approach to the numerous logistical tasks, impeccable self-sufficiency, great attention to inventory detail, ability to maintain exceptional condition of all bike equipment, has great organization skills, loves keeping things in order and has desire to create a great working environment with trip leaders and global Logistic Teams. The TPS role has a tremendous impact on the quality of our trips and guest experience.

The TPS role does not work "on trip" and will be based in the hub of our many regions. As a TPS you will likely work a standard 35-40 hour work week (sometimes, more) based in the warehouse or office in the region. The amount of work each week will vary based on the number of Trip departures. You will be responsible for preparing and maintaining many aspects for trip departure and turnover. Specifically: bikes, vans, trailers, and trip-related paperwork. TPSs also may be scheduled to transport equipment from one region to another, in Backroads terms: "unit drives". This may be a quick trip from Tuscany to Southern France, or a longer haul from Utah to Alaska.

The following list of qualifications serves as our guide for exceptional TPS candidates. You'll see that we have very high expectations of our TPS. Do your skills, experiences, and aptitudes enable you to answer "yes" to most of the questions below?

  • Are you committed to delivering the highest level of quality and service to our guests and leaders?
  • Are you good at anticipating and solving challenging problems independently and as part of a team?
  • Are you comfortable working long hours and doing very physically challenging work?
  • Are you a self-starter and do you take initiative?
  • Do you have an unwavering positive attitude and take pride in a job well done?
  • Do you have a good mechanical aptitude and are you a quick learner?
  • Do you have strong organizational skills and attention to detail?

We are looking to hire TPSs to work in the following regions: In Europe: Tuscany, Provence, Loire Valley, Croatia, Sicily, Puglia, Catalonia, Iceland, Ireland. In the US: Anchorage, AK; Whitefish, MT; Jackson Hole, WY; Berkeley, CA; Anacortes, WA; Stowe, VT; St. George, UT. In Canada: Canmore, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Gulf Islands, Quebec. First year TPSs typically work in 1-2 different regions throughout the season (May- October). You will receive your specific schedule assignment during Training.

Pay & Allowances
TPSs receive a competitive rate of pay. Detailed information about the compensation will be provided during the interview stage of our hiring process. Food allowances are provided for travel days and drive days

Housing is provided in all regions so Backroads field staff will not incur any out of pocket expenses for lodging during the entire season. Many of our regions worldwide have staff houses in wonderful places that are available to staff free of charge while working, and in between trips. Standard with these accommodations are computers, wireless internet and access to bikes for personal use.

Backroads provides all work related travel throughout the course of the season. It is your responsibility to travel to your hub (Salt Lake City, Utah, Canmore, Alberta or Pernes Les Fontaines, France) at the beginning of the season and home at the end of the season. You’ll enjoy keeping their own frequent flyer miles for personal travel, and may choose to stopover or extend their stay in desired locales within work-sponsored itineraries.

Recreational Benefits
Backroads also offers several benefits to TPS that are of a more recreational nature, including (but not limited to) generous discounts with brand-name equipment and clothing companies; Backroads labeled gear (items vary each year); Backroads trip discounts to family and friends; and our version of the company picnic: a weeklong "Staff Ride" in Northern Thailand, Slovenia, Crete, Spain, Tuscany, Mallorca or the California coast (to name a recent few).

Additional Benefits

TPSs' employed by Backroads Utah enjoy these benefits:

  • 401k plan: TPSs are eligible to contribute (up to 75% of their income) to a 401K plan after six months of employment, and Backroads will match 20% of an employee's contributions (up to 15% of pay). Employees become 20% vested in the employer match each year and are fully vested after five years of employment.
  • Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance: Backroads provides group medical, dental and vision insurance eligibility based on a Field Staff member’s status. Seasonal Field Staff working 6 months or less (this status includes all first year TPSs unless they are promoted to a different status on or around October 31st of their year of hire) are not eligible to join our group insurance plans. TPSs who fall into the extended seasonal status (season longer than 6 months) are eligible to join our group insurance plans on the first day of the month following their one year anniversary if they work 1560 hours or more in their first 12 months of employment (or 1560 or more hours during the previous calendar year in subsequent years of employment).
  • Flex Plan: TPSs are also eligible to join our "Flex Plan" after three months of employment. This plan allows employees to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualifying health and dependent daycare expenses.
  • Workers Compensation Coverage: In the unfortunate event of a work-related injury all Backroads TPSs are covered by workers compensation insurance which provides coverage for medical care, disability pay, and medically necessary transportation costs.

TPSs employed by our Canadian subsidiary enjoy these benefits:

  • RRSP plan: Backroads will provide 20% match on TPS RRSP contributions made during the year, up to a maximum of 15% of a TPSs Backroads salary. Employees become 20% vested each year and are fully vested after five years of employment.
  • A health/dental insurance program: Backroads will reimburse up to $150 CAD per month for provincial medical and/or supplemental medical insurance beginning the first day of the month following the first day of training. TPSs are eligible to receive this reimbursement during months in which they work 10 days or more.
  • Holiday Pay: Canadian TPSs receive paid holidays in accordance with Canadian Labour Code.
  • Vacation Pay: Canadian TPSs receive vacation pay at the rate of 4% of pay for employees who have been with the company for one to five years, and 6% of pay for employees who have been with the company for more than 5 years.
  • Workers Compensation Coverage: In the unfortunate event of a work-related injury all Canadian Backroads TPSs are covered by a combination of workers compensation insurance and employer paid travel medical plans (when working outside of Canada) which provides coverage for medical care, disability pay, and medically necessary transportation costs.

TPSs employed by our French subsidiary enjoy these benefits:

  • Medical Benefits: "801 France" TPSs qualify for the basic French Social Security coverage since they are employed by a French company. Coverage is effective as soon as the Leader is under contract (first day of work) in case of a work injury, and as soon as the TPS has worked 60 hours for other non-work related medical situations.
    In case of a work injury, all medical expenses are 100% covered and TPSs receive a daily stipend equivalent to 60% of their daily pay during the 1st month of their leave, and up to 80% of their daily pay for longer absences.
    For non-work related medical situations, TPSs are covered up to 65% for their medical expenses.
  • Holiday Pay: Time worked on French holidays is paid time and a half. Time worked on Sundays and on May 1st is paid double.
  • Vacation Pay: Vacation pay for European TPS is paid out at the end of each contract. The amount of vacation pay is equal to 10% of the total gross pay TPSs make during the entire duration of their contract.
  • European TPSs also qualify for French government approved retirement and unemployment plans covered by Klesia and Pole Emploi.
  • Profit Sharing: Every year in May, Backroads distributes a part of its benefits amongst its employees. The amount is based on a complex formula established by the French government and, while varying from year to year, it can average between 300€ and 400€.
  • Joie de Vivre: Perhaps the most valuable benefit is enjoying a lifestyle few can match. In addition to itineraries that feature some of the worlds' best scenery, imagine having time off in some of the most desirable locations around the world, and having the freedom to explore on your own. Being a Backroads TPS allows for a lifestyle of flexibility and variety that many value above all other benefits of the job.

The Hiring and Training Process

TPS applicants will go through the same hiring process as Trip Leader applicants (see: Hiring & Training Process) Following the Leader Hiring Event we will contact you via email or phone to let you know our decision. We may follow-up with a few questions to learn more about your skills and experiences that relate to the position. If hired, you will be invited to attend the TPS Training Program in Salt Lake City, UT or Pernes-Les-Fontaines, France. Training Dates are: May 1st-6th, 2017 (France) and May 8th-13th, 2017 (Salt Lake City). You will enter the field 1-4 weeks after your Training graduation.

The Training Program focuses on the essential skills required to be a successful TPS at Backroads:, problem solving, bike mechanics, equipment set up & overview, trailer maneuvering, internal systems, trip paperwork, etc. After you have completed Training you will travel to your region and undergo additional Training by "shadowing" an experienced member in the region.

We hope that the information we have provided gives you an understanding of the TPS position and has allowed you to evaluate if it would be the right fit for you. We look forward to addressing any additional questions that you might have during the hiring process.

Please note: The cost of travel to Hiring Events and Training is paid by the applicant.