At Air Products, our drivers are "the face of the company" to our customers and the public. Their hard work, unsurpassed safety focus, and professional demeanor uphold our reputation for excellence every day, everywhere. Meet some of our drivers and learn how they stay safe behind the wheel.
Saint-Augustin, Québec (Canada)
Avoid Stress and Nothing Can Distract You from the View Ahead
Raymond Piché is the most senior driver at our St-Augustin, Canada terminal. Despite more than 38 years of professional driving-- 25 years of it while serving Air Products’ customers in Eastern Canada and the New England states of the U.S.—Raymond’s enthusiasm remains high. His outlook on life and career is both positive and sensible.
“No office has my view,” says Raymond, of the natural scenic beauty he enjoys through the windshield on his journeys to haul LIN/LOX/LAR in our Microbulk trucks.
Raymond’s driving history is testament to his skill and professionalism. Despite travel through some of the most treacherous weather conditions imaginable and through high traffic areas and other challenges, he achieved his personal Million Mile Safe Driving award in 2006, and his safety performance remains dependably high. His success is due to solid process methodology combined with sage wisdom.
Raymond sums it up in a few words that anyone can take to heart. “I avoid useless stress. I look for a routine. And I don’t want to be back home from my trip before I even leave,” says Raymond.
That astute assessment of what’s important is right in line with Raymond’s personality and demeanor. He advocates “aim high in steering”—a key component of the Smith System for driving. That means looking farther ahead on the road, rather than just in front of your car, and it results in greater security and preparedness. He also keeps his mind in the here-and-now, avoiding distractions and keeping ever-vigilant of possible roadway challenges and dangers. One such unsafe behavior he sees in other motorists is the habit of “cutting off” other drivers, moving into their safe-space, and causing the potential for an incident through carelessness or aggressive driving.
Aim high in steering—figuratively and literally speaking-- and mindfulness of the present seem to be a balanced, winning combination that any of us can apply to our work or home lives. In fact, Raymond brings his safety skills and habits home as well, always choosing the right tools and process for the job at hand and wearing the right PPE. It keeps him safe and looking forward to the next drive at work.
Creighton, Pennsylvania (U.S.)
From Truck Driver to Distribution Supervisor
Rich Erb drove on behalf of Air Products for nearly three decades and more than a million safe miles before handing in his keys to assume a role as distribution supervisor in 2016. While Rich's current position takes him out from behind the wheel, his heart is still in the job, and his caring and expertise now back up the whole Creighton distribution team. Rich's down-to-earth approach and sound tactics kept him and other motorists out of accidents mile-after-mile; now he shares valuable wisdom and emphasizes common sense to ensure other drivers follow in his tread tracks.
"My tip for other drivers to stay safe is to not get out of your routine," says Rich. "If you find yourself getting distracted then stop, and if you have to start over again, do it. It's only a matter of a minute or so [to get your attention on focus] and the difference could be having an accident or not."
Rich brings safety strategy such as the Smith System and G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Look)—always a part of his daily focus as a driver—home as well. He doesn't hesitate to attest to the effectiveness of these techniques and can cite examples of times that G.O.A.L. prevented what would otherwise have been an incident or injury. Tried-and-tested methods like these can help keep everyone safe, whether driving as a career or just making a trip to the local grocery store. What's more, Rich found that the total safety philosophy practiced at Air Products came through in his personal life in other ways besides driving. Rich wears personal protective equipment (PPE) when working in his home or yard and makes sure others do the same.
Unfortunately, not everyone is so safety savvy, especially on the road. Rich shared that he often saw unsafe behaviors by other motorists while driving for Air Products and continues to notice them now. The main culprits, as one might suspect, are texting or talking on the phone while operating the vehicle or simply not paying enough attention to surroundings and traffic.
Rich avoided distraction whenever possible, "There were a lot of times that I didn't even listen to the radio while driving," he said. "I found it to be a peaceful time to just have my thoughts about anything."
Bethlehem, Pa. (U.S.)
Safety is an Attitude
Joe Quinn says he has experienced or seen everything that can happen on the road. He’s a truck driver that delivers industrial gases to customers in eastern Pennsylvania, southern Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York City and Long Island, New York. Considering his route, Joe says getting through the day safely is the most challenging part of his job.
He describes the company's attitude toward safety as “extreme,” but quickly adds, “That’s a good thing.”
His terminal also recently completed a six-month competition called “Commit to be Fit.” The program offered tools and tips to help participants make lifestyle changes that would lead to lower blood pressure and weight. Safely bringing our drivers home to their families is Job #1 at Air Products.