A young Navy vet who joined UPS in 1960 has just become the first driver
in the company's history to pass the 50-year mark for safe driving as a
member of UPS's "Circle of Honor."
Ron Sowder is the first driver in the history of UPS to achieve a half century of safe driving. (Photo: Business Wire)
Ron "Big Dog" Sowder (the nickname comes from being the company's
longest-tenured safe driver) began his UPS career 50 years ago as a
package car driver, delivering to businesses and private residences. In
1976, he shifted to driving tractor-trailers on the open road and has
served as a UPS feeder driver ever since. Currently, Sowder transports
packages five days a week, making a 306-mile round trip between the
distribution center here and the UPS Worldport® global air hub in
Whether driving package cars or tractor trailers, the one constant with
Sowder has been safety. More than 5,200 active UPS drivers currently are
members of the "Circle of Honor" - meaning they've gone at least 25
years without an accident - but until yesterday, no driver in the
company's history had ever hit the 50-year mark.
A native of Springboro, Ohio, Sowder figures during the course of his
career he's driven more than 4 million miles; transported more than 35
million packages, and climbed into a UPS truck more than 12,000 times.
"Ron continues to set and reset the gold standard for our drivers," said
Myron Gray, UPS's president of U.S. operations. "He is an asset to UPS,
a great example for all our drivers and a leader within his peer group
of Circle of Honor members. It's operators like Ron who help ensure UPS
is able to keep its promises to its customers."
"A lot's changed in 50 years," said Sowder. "When I started driving for
UPS, folks in cars did a better job of keeping their hands on the wheel
and their eyes on the road. Now it seems like anything goes - texting,
putting on makeup. I've even seen folks reading books behind the wheel.
The need for defensive driving, getting the big picture, leaving a space
cushion, those are more important than ever."
To help UPS drivers one day match or exceed Sowder's historic mark, all
drivers are taught safe driving methods beginning on the first day of
classroom training, including the company's comprehensive safety course,
"Space and Visibility." The training continues throughout their careers.
More information on UPS's commitment to safety is available at http://www.pressroom.ups.com/safety.
UPS (NYSE:UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range
of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating
international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more
efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS
serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company
can be found on the Web at UPS.com and its corporate blog can be found
at blog.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50146701&lang=en
Dan McMackin, 404-828-4188