The North Bend Eagle

Dennis Inselman has been the UPS man for North BEnd and the surrounding area for 40 years. He will be retiring Oct. 31.

After 2 million miles, Inselman making final delivery

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 10/17/12

Dennis Inselman, 64, has been driving the brown UPS truck that serves the North Bend area for 40 years. Friday, Oct. 26, will be his last day to grace stores and homes with his always ready smile and friendly greeting. Everyone knows him as just Dennis, but Iselman is his last name.

Inselman’s retirement will bring about many adjustments for him, as well as things he’ll miss.

“Meeting and talking to the people,” Inselman said. “That’s the thing I’ll miss. You do it every day and all of a sudden it’s going to stop.”

UPS is the only job Inselman has had. He grew up on the family farm north of Columbus, and after graduating from high school he joined the Army. Inselman served three years in the military, including a year in Vietnam as a heavy equipment operator.

When he got out, his wife, Jan, was working for Job Services in Columbus and told him about the UPS job. He applied, was hired and has been there ever since. He spent his first Christmas with UPS in the David City area, but was then given the eastern district that served Snyder, Howells, Morse Bluff, Rogers and North Bend on the eastern edge of the Columbus district. At first Schuyler was included in this route, but then Schuyler became its own area. Inselman did have promotion opportunities, but decided to stay as a driver in his hometown.

Inselman’s day on the road begins at 8:30 a.m. when he leaves Columbus. He can put in as few as 9.5 hours, but generally it is a 10 .5 to 11 hour day. He usually puts 220 miles on the odometer every day.

Inselman is on his fourth truck in 40 years. He said that there is a mechanic at the UPS shop in Columbus who maintains the 14 trucks that the drivers take out daily. The Columbus UPS office serves east to North Bend, west to Spaulding, north to towns along Highway 91 and south to Shelby.

Another benefit of Inselman’s job is driving the country roads, though at times that could also be a detriment.

“It’s nice to get out there when the weather is nice,” Iselman said. “One thing I won’t miss: snow and ice.”

He has seen many changes in his 40 years with UPS. The biggest was the “Diad” added in 1990. The Diad is the little brown machine you sign when receiving a package.

“Before, it was all paper,” Inselman said. “[Diad] was something you get used to, and now you’d never go back to paper.”

Inselman said that vehicles have improved over the 40 years as well. They used to be all stick shifts but are now all automatics.

Another change is in the dynamic of the shipping industry.

“There is a lot of competition now,” he said. “It’s hasn’t grown too much, but it has been pretty constant. Christmas season is a big time of year - longer days, but more help is hired. If you run into bad weather you have to slow down.”

Inselman, who lives in Columbus, will not sit idle in his retirement. He has plans. He can be involved in the family farm “a little bit, if I feel like it.”

There is family to keep up with as well. Wife Jan will continue to work. One of their sons, Chad, lives in Pittsburg, Pa., and another son, Ryan, lives in Columbus.
Inselman has hobbies, too: photography, following Nebraska football, watching his grandson in sports at Columbus High School, landscaping and gardening.

“I’ll find things to do,” Inselman said. “It’ll be different, bittersweet at first. I’ve been used to talking to the people. But I’m ready to not work so hard, to do different things at my own pace.”

There will be a new UPS driver in the area on Nov. 29. Inselman said he did not know who it would be at this time, as it is given on a bid process.
Inselman will turn in his brown uniforms and be a more colorful man in his retirement. He leaves with words of appreciation to local residents.

“I want to thank everyone for their support through the years,” Inselman said. “Pulling me out of snow drifts, taking packages for neighbors, and giving directions when I first started.”

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