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American Trucker Rides with the Big Dog

“Hey, that driver has a beard! What’s with that?” 

I can’t tell you how many times that question was asked when Robb Mariani, the bearded host of American Trucker, put on some browns to ride with UPS’s own safety champ Ron “Big Dog” Sowder. Though you will never see a real UPS driver with a beard, we decided to give Robb a pass on the facial hair. 

Robb and his crew were featuring UPS operations on the Speed Channel show that travels the globe featuring big trucks and the people who drive them. Robb is a real fan of trucks and truckers and his enthusiasm was obvious as he and his crew filmed at Chicago CACH, Cincinnati and Louisville Worldport operations.

Ron "Big Dog" Sowder and Robb MarianiWhile the crew was in Chicago, they toured the CACH operation and spent some time with several top Circle of Honor (COH) drivers and the mechanics who keep them on the road. It was obvious that the size and complexity of the CACH operation was a revelation to Robb. But he seemed most excited when they gave him a uniform and let him get behind the wheel. Robb managed to complete Safe Driving Day One by driving a quarter mile across the yard to hook up a trailer. This was shortly after talking to a COH driver with just over 6.5 million safe driving miles.

Then the crew headed for Cincinnati to meet up with Ron “Big Dog” Sowder, who has the longest safe driving record in the company – 49 years and still going. Ron drives every day from Dayton, Ohio, to Cincinnati and on to the Worldport operation in Louisville, Ky. The plan was to let Robb ride along.  

But all that talk of trucks and trucking history took us momentarily off plan as Robb found out that the local automotive shop was rebuilding a 1976 Diamond Reo tractor. So we headed for the shop, which is housed in the original Cincinnati building, built in 1934. There Robb was like a kid in a candy shop talking about the rebuild project with Automotive Manager John Hollis and climbing aboard a dusty tractor to experience a little UPS history. 

Finally, Robb was on his way to Worldport with Ron “Big Dog” Sowder. I can only imagine what those two were like on the road together. Robb loves trucking and Big Dog is about as close to living truck history as you can get around here.      

At Worldport, it was fun to watch Robb as he realized just how big and diverse the world of UPS operations really is. “Honestly, this whole adventure is hurting my brain,” he declared at one point during the tour. At the end of the day, you could see that he really got it. “You people really do love logistics!” he proclaimed. 

Ya, Robb, we really do.

Category: Logistics, UPS News
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    Comments [1]

  1. Great blog.

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