Ralph Lendi has been a Teamster for four decades. He’s been a delivery driver for UPS for nearly 45 years. Up and down I-65, across Illinois to Indiana and down to Kentucky, he’s logged more than seven million miles on the road. But all of those numbers pale in comparison to his most impressive: zero. That’s the number of accidents Lendi’s ever had behind the wheel as a Local 710 UPS delivery driver. He’s also been injury-free for the duration of his driving career, adding to his list of incredible accomplishments.
This summer, Lendi’s extraordinary service was center stage when he was named a recipient of the 2015 National Safety Council’s (NSC) Joseph M. Kaplan Safe Drivers of the Year Award. Lendi’s accomplishments were celebrated on UPS Founders Day on August 28 at the CACH facility (Chicago Area Consolidation Hub) in Hodgkins. He will also be honored at the NSC Expo in Atlanta later this month as one of only six drivers across the U.S. and Canada to receive this award for 2015.
The NSC’s prestigious award recognizes drivers across the country who’ve driven a substantial number of miles over their careers without a preventable accident. Lendi’s done just that, racking up enough safe miles at this point to travel to the moon and back 30 times by comparison. The Local 710 member, who is certified to drive standard and triple trailers, has remained committed to driving with the utmost safety and positivity, even in harsh weather, on hazardous roads and across great distances. Such dedication is further exemplified by his status as a longstanding UPS Circle of Honor Safe Driver.
UPS Division Manager Tony Menolascino and Manager Roberto Caballero presented Lendi with a letter of congratulations from UPS CEO David Abney.
“There’s nobody more positive than Ralph,” Caballero said. “He never has a bad day and has a strong ‘get it done’ attitude. We’re extremely proud to say that Ralph drives for UPS.”
Lendi’s safety record is an inspiration to many other UPS and Teamster transportation drivers. Local 710 Business Agent Mike Lonero represents Lendi and other members, but also trained alongside him when the two Teamsters drove together out of the CACH facility.
“Ralph is an amazing mentor,” Lonero said. “I learned so much from him at CACH and continue to be impressed by his work ethic. He’s always focused on the job, but he knows how to have fun too. He keeps a nice supply of candy in his truck to share at all times.”
The CACH facility in Hodgkins processes an average of 1.6 million packages every day. During peak season, the average practically doubles to three million packages a day. Roughly 2,000 tractors pulling 3,500 trailers are needed daily to haul the volume of packages coming through the facility. The CACH covers 80 acres or 1.5 million square feet, including 126 unloading bay doors and 1,054 loading bay doors.
Teamsters Local 710, an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, represents more than 14,000 hardworking men and women, including more than 6,000 UPS workers in the Midwest.
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