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SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake's UPS headquarters is getting ready to say so-long to one of its long time drivers.
Get this: Steve Hiatt has driven more than 4-million miles in 3-plus decades on the road, and his safety record is perfect — no accidents or injuries. He plans to retire at the end of the month.
If you drive the stretch of I-80 between central Wyoming and Salt Lake City, chances are you've passed or been passed by Steve's semi. He's been driving for UPS for 36 years, and for the past 6, he's driven the exact same route, hauling many, many packages.
"It's thousands," Hiatt said. "You can put about 2,500 packages in one trailer."
5 days a week, Hiatt makes a 503-mile round trip to Wamsutter, Wyoming. There, he meets up with UPS drivers from Denver. They swap trailers full of packages and return to their base cities.
"He can tell you every exit, every bump in the road — everything," said UPS on-road manager Long Nguyen.
He can tell you every exit, every bump in the road — everything,
–UPS on-road manager Long Nguyen.
"It's a skill factor in knowing those mileposts because sometimes you just don't know where you're at because it's snowing so hard," said Hiatt.
At the end of this month, Hiatt will retire with an impressive record: 4.2-million miles driven — give or take a few — and not one accident, fender-bender or injury.
"He's in an elite club called the ‘Circle of Honor', [which is] all the drivers that have more than 25 years of safe driving. …for him, he's happened to have 35 years," Nguyen said.
That's equivalent to about nine round trips to the moon.
Hiatt credits his safety record to defensive driving, and the safety courses that UPS teaches all its drivers. Always anticipate what the other motorists *might* do, he says, and be ready for the unexpected. Steve will retire on August 31st, on his 39th wedding anniversary. He looks forward to travelling with his wife, and not in a big rig.
"…looking forward to going places where it's warm in the wintertime," Hiatt said.
So, if you've ever gotten a package delivered to your front porch by UPS, chances are Steve Hiatt played a big role in getting it there.