Ventura UPS driver reaches 25 years accident-free

TROY HARVEY/THE STAR
UPS driver Richard Miskiewicz loads packages onto a cart before making a delivery at a business on Ventura Avenue on a recent Monday morning.

Photo by Troy Harvey, Ventura County Star // Buy this photo

TROY HARVEY/THE STAR UPS driver Richard Miskiewicz loads packages onto a cart before making a delivery at a business on Ventura Avenue on a recent Monday morning.

Richard Miskiewicz loves dogs, but alas, the feeling is not mutual.

Day after day, year after year, the canines along Ventura Avenue hear him coming a mile away and faithfully alert neighborhood pets that their nemesis in the big brown truck is back.

Once, two angry watch dogs corralled him into their absent owner’s house and kept him there for 45 minutes.

“I’m not sure of the breed, but they wore studded collars, and that can never be good,” said Miskiewicz, a UPS driver of 27 years whose route stretches from the beach up Ventura Avenue to Canada Larga. He was eventually freed by police and the dog owner’s sister.

“Something I learned: A smart UPS driver always carries dog biscuits,” he said.

Despite close calls with pets and the rising number of cars on the road, Miskiewicz wouldn’t choose any other job. He recently achieved a milestone among his peers: 25 years behind the wheel without an accident, which places him in the company’s Circle of Honor.

Miskiewicz has delivered more than 1.8 million packages and driven more than 400,000 miles without an accident since he was hired 27 years ago.

UPS has 6,486 drivers who have 25 years or more without an accident out of 65,000 in the U.S. and 100,000 globally. The delivery service spends $118 million a year on safety training and has a policy barring drivers from texting and email messaging.

Miskiewicz and two other drivers from Fillmore received the recognition after a 15-year stretch when no one reached the record. It’s a difficult feat, given the pressure for speedy on-time deliveries, said Keith Rini, station manager of the UPS facility in Ventura.

Miskiewicz said the 25-year record is part luck, part familiarity with the route and a basic principle of good driving: awareness.

“You have to be very aware of your surroundings, every traffic light, every car around you,” Miskiewicz said. “It’s really important because we have to make deliveries under time standards for our routes.”

The number of traffic lights, cars on the road and steps a driver will make from the truck to a front door or gate are all measured by UPS time study officers who then prescribe how long deliveries should take along business and residential routes. Drivers are expected to make deliveries within those times.

Days begin at 8:30 a.m. and end nine or 10 hours later. A driver’s pay averages about $80,000 excluding routine overtime, Miskiewicz said.

The New Jersey native traveled the country before settling in Ventura in 1984. The Avenue is his neighborhood, a “good place to live,” he said, where residents are a sturdy mix of blue-collar and oil field workers.

Despite the canine prejudice he encounters each day, Miskiewicz is beloved by their owners, especially at this time of year. He’s Santa Claus in a brown uniform, a messenger who routinely delivers good news in packages.

“I’ve developed relationships over the years. ... They know me by name,” he said.

© 2013 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 8

Doxster writes:

Congratulations Mr. Miskiewicz. Job well done!!
And kudos to UPS corporate for their policy barring drivers from texting and email messaging. Smart policy.

Luvee writes:

What a great accomplishment, congratulations and keep on truckin'

juliemeryl#785103 writes:

You boys in Brown earn every dollar you make; hard workers, all. And safe drivers too! Cheers, Mr. M!

catmom writes:

Congratulations! Well done. I cannot figure out why dogs hate the sound of the UPS trucks. Good idea, carrying biscuits. All of the UPS drivers I have gotten to know who deliver to where I work in Ojai have been the nicest guys. I was glad to see our regular guy, Jerry, back at it just today. He's been out for awhile. Happy Holidays to all.

Piru_T writes:

Richard Miskiewicz you deserve a Browny Button !

And a Big Christmas Bonus !

Keep driving safely and that goes for everyone.

Pro_Pain writes:

Richard, great job and congrats!!!! I wish there were more articles about great accomplishments like this in this paper.

Hardworking_Mom writes:

Rich delivers to our facility daily and we are always met with his smile and excellent customer service. He is definitely a star for UPS!! Congrats Rich! You deserve this!

governmentleech writes:

Congratulations, but does that mean that every other ups driver with 25 years has been in an accident?

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