UPS driver explains how he’s been accident-free for 35 years

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UPS has thousands of drivers on the streets every day, but John Manderscheid is one of a kind.

John’s worn the UPS “browns” for four decades. 

His current route has him driving a double semi to and from Hammond, Indiana five days a week. 

He’s been accident-free for 35 years. That’s a distinction few other drivers have.

John took Local 4 News behind the wheel to find out how he stays safe.

Manderscheid’s career spans four decades and more than 4 million miles.

“You got a lot of responsibility out here every day,” Manderscheid said. 

He drives at least 2,000 miles every week and has only been in one small fender bender after all that time on the road.

“That kind of made me a better driver,” Manderscheid said.

A driver who his supervisor says everyone looks up to. 

“He takes safety seriously,” Greg Pavlicek said. “I mean we stress at UPS that you’re home for your most important stop, which is your family at the end of your day, and John’s kind of lived that throughout his career.” 

Before he gets in the truck, John goes through a safety checklist, loads his trailers and then checks again.

It’s almost a three-hour drive to Hammond. 

“Now you gotta start getting your head in the game now,” Manderscheid said. 

But instead of listening to music, John spends the drive running through what UPS calls the five keys: “Aim high in steering, get the big picture, keep your eyes moving, leave yourself an out and make sure they see you.” 

Those help keep him safe from distracted drivers, weather and of course, traffic.

“I’ve seen ladies putting make up on and texting at the same time,” Manderscheid said. “Today you almost have to make a reservation to get out of the passing lane … You come out here and use those five keys everyday, get you back home OK.” 

John’s alone on the road, but says he owes his clean driving record to the truck mechanics, management and his fellow UPS drivers.

“It’s a team effort,” Manderscheid said.  

And his supervisor says that’s the same humble attitude that’s made John one of their elite drivers.

“We all play a part, but it’s really about John,” Pavlicek said. 

Manderscheid plans to wrap up his long career fairly soon. He saidhe’s hoping to retire next year.

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