PHOENIX — UPS recently announced that 32 elite drivers from Arizona are among 1,412 newly inducted worldwide into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving.
Arizona boasts 147 Circle of Honor drivers with a combined 4,276 years of accident-free driving. There are 2,255 total full-time UPS drivers in Arizona.
In a year when their services were more important than ever, UPS drivers continued to safely help deliver 3% of the world’s GDP — about 20 million packages a day, from important documents and just-in-time business inventory; to food, clothing and baby formula; to PPE for front-line workers; and of course tens of millions of doses of the COVID 19 vaccine.
Collectively, these UPSers have driven more than 15 billion miles in the busiest cities, remotest locations and most challenging weather conditions — without an avoidable accident.
Two drivers who work in the sierra vista area were among those honored.
Chris Betancourt has 27 years safe driving. He has been a native of Sierra Vista since 1966. He drives a UPS semi-truck and his daily route is from Goodyear AZ to Sierra Vista and back. Here are a few quotes from Chris.
What is your favorite part of the job? The people. And the challenge of driving a large vehicle, being by yourself. You have to take pride in what you’re doing to be able to challenge yourself to do the best you can.
What are your biggest challenges of your job when it comes to driving on the road? Other drivers.
Best tip for other drivers? When you’re merging into traffic on an on ramp, and you see a semi is coming either get enough speed to get well in front of them, or slow down and merge behind them. The semi cannot slow down as quickly as a car and many times we cannot change lanes.
What is the secret to your safety record? Use the methods UPS teaches you. Get the big picture. What does it do for you? It keeps you away from things that block your view, and gives you an escape route, helping you avoid an accident.
Any idea how many miles you’ve logged on the job? Approximately 2,730,000 miles.
When not on the job, how do you feel about driving? No different? Would rather use Uber? I still prefer driving.
Have you noticed a change in the way drivers behave over the years you have been with UPS? People are more impatient with others. More aggressive driving.
A few fun facts: I’m scared to death of roller coasters. I’m proud that I accomplished 27 years safe driving and I’m working towards 30. Every driver when they get the patch should be proud, it’s not easy.
Aaron Petitt has 31 years safe driving. He is a native of Sierra Vista and began working for UPS in 1987. He delivers in rural Sierra Vista. Here are a few quotes from Aaron.
What do you like best about your job? Being out by myself. I’ve made many lifelong friendships on route.
What are your biggest challenges of your job when it comes to driving on the road? Watching out for other drivers.
What is the secret to your safety record? Having a good attitude, not letting things get you frustrated. When you’re upset you’re dangerous.
Any idea how many miles you’ve logged on the job? Approximately 2,145,000 miles.
When not on the job, how do you feel about driving? no different? Would rather use Uber? I still drive.
Have you noticed a change in the way drivers behave over the years you have been with UPS?
There’s so much distracted driving. Get off your phone, be alert, and just drive. You need to drive, as if you’re going to be safe for the other guy. Keep your mind on driving. Don’t let your emotions put you in danger.
Fun Facts: I go out every day with a mission to provide the best service I can; it makes the day go quicker. I like to make people laugh. I keep humor in my day. I’ve been married 37 years to my best friend, Debra.
I feel blessed, to have achieved 30-years safe driving.
I’m a previous paper boy for the Sierra Vista Herald.
Submitted by Becky Biciolis, UPS Communications