UPS tractor-trailer driver wins National Safety Council award

Updated Aug 15, 2023
Lawrence “Jim” Sanchez

UPS tractor-trailer driver Lawrence “Jim” Sanchez recently received the National Safety Council’s prestigious Joseph M. Kaplan Safe Driver of the Year Award for his outstanding safe driving milestone.

Jim, a UPS tractor-trailer driver and resident of Yucaipa, California, has 38 years of safe driving which makes him a member of UPS’s Circle of Honor, an elite group of drivers who have achieved 25 years or more of accident-free driving. 

As a sleeper team tractor-trailer driver, Sanchez tag-teams 10-hour driving shifts with his daughter, Raquel, on routes that often span thousands of miles to UPS facilities across many states. 

In addition to his stellar safe driving record, he’s also remained injury-free for 38 years. Sanchez said with five kids he needs to make sure he works safely.

“I have a lot of responsibility to make sure I continue working to provide for my family,” Jim said.

He’s made UPS history twice:

  • In 2022, Sanchez and his daughter, Raquel, were the company’s first father-daughter sleeper team drivers on the west coast.
  • In 1997, Sanchez was on the first sleeper team out of Ontario, California when the company introduced its first four long-haul routes.

Sanchez attributes his safety success to UPS’s driver training.

“It’s always talked about and reinforced at UPS, and therefore, becomes muscle memory,” he said. He also believes his driver training allowed him to save a young woman from her burning vehicle in 2013.

The award is named in honor of Joseph M. Kaplan, who was the president of the Southern California Chapter of the National Safety Council.