UPS Safe Drivers Invited Into Prestigious Circle of Honour
Posted: July 17, 2015
TORONTO – Some run around downtown Toronto, exiting and entering their vehicles up to 80 times a day. Others have highway runs in tractor trailers. Around UPS, the tractor-trailer drivers are known as the “Feeder Group”. One Feeder driver simply hauls trailers back and forth across the Buffalo-Fort Erie border all day long. He’s done it for more than 30 years.
Some live in Montreal, others in B.C. Tim Noble, from Peterborough, ON., says he has driven 1.7 million klicks or, as he put it, “42 and a half times around the world.”
What they all have in common are their distinctive brown uniforms, pride in their work and–as of last week-membership in the prestigious United Parcel Service (a.k.a. “Big Brown”) Circle of Honour. And if you’re a member of the C-of-H, you’re a very safe driver indeed. The 32 drivers have each put in at least 25 years of accident-free driving for UPS.
In ceremonies held in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa, these top performers were singled out, feted, presented with camel-hair sports coats and then treated to a local sporting event.
This most recent group brings the total number of C-of-H inductees to 123 since UPS started delivering in Canada in 1975. (The first UPS package car was, in fact, a car: A Checker Cab. Just like the one in the photo.)
These days, UPS has about 3,000 drivers in Canada.
Before handing out the jackets at the Toronto ceremony, UPS Canada Package Operations Vice President Dominic Porporino commended the drivers and reminded them that safety is a philosophy that transcends their vehicles, or, as they call them, package cars.
“Building a strong safety culture is at — and needs to always be at — the heart of everything we do,” Porporino said. “It is not just about the safety of our employees, which is of course important, but it is also about our responsibility to protect the safety of those living in the communities where we operate.”
Commented trucking industry safety vet Raymond Mercuri, now Risk Control Consultant with Liberty International Underwriters: “UPS drivers really do ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to understanding and demonstrating safe driving techniques where it counts.
“Drivers are critiqued throughout their career with regular ride-along rides and objective road observations with feedback from management and peers.”
UPS driver turnover hovers around the zero mark.
And, Mercuri says, the safe drivers are all familiar with what he refers to as the Smith safe-driving axiom, based on the 1952 Safe Driving system invented by Harold Smith: All Good Kids Like Milk. Aim high in steering; Get the big picture; Keep your eyes moving; Leave yourself an out; Make sure they see you.
The newest members of the UPS Circle of Honour are: Robert Kerr, Jay Baynton, Barry Burkholder, Tim Charlton, Steve Zasucha, Paul McGregor, Peter Schlauch, Robert Avis, Frank Broderick, Edik Ghazarian, Dan Napier, Brian Leonard, John Mesdag, Myles Ling, Phil Rowe, Paul Wood, Lloyd Wolfreys, Tim Noble, Janos Zsadanyi, Anthony Ronchin, Robert Harrison, Victor Pulice, Darcy Grimsley, John Oliver, David Buker, Kerry Jernslet, David Bayne, Thomas Bober, Michel Chiasson, and Claude L’Heureux.