USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Switching gears

This driving safety instructor took a few turns in his career

Erik Eicholtz, a driving safety instructor, stands near an LLV at the Paducah, KY, Post Office.
Erik Eicholtz, a driving safety instructor, stands near an LLV at the Paducah, KY, Post Office.

My name is Erik Eicholtz and I’m a driving safety instructor for Kentucky-West Virginia District.

I joined the Postal Service in 1986 as a distribution clerk on the midnight shift in Paducah, KY. I’ve been playing drums professionally for 30 years and would literally come out from behind my drum kit, still sweaty from playing for four hours, and go to work.

Some people can do it, but it was very difficult for me to work the midnight shift. I felt I could serve the American people better on a full night’s sleep, so I became a letter carrier in 1993.

I did that for 30 years before becoming a full-time driving safety instructor in 2023. Previously, I helped train drivers on an ad hoc basis for 12 years.

As many people as I’ve trained, it’s amazing how different every human is behind the wheel.

I consider myself a coach and mentor. My aim is to get people to drive as safely as possible and to save lives, time and money.

Primarily, I train new hires who need to be qualified on right-hand-drive vehicles, but also left-hand-drive 2-ton trucks and the ProMaster van, as well as forklifts, pallet jacks and Lift-A-Lofts.

In addition, I teach a defensive driving course every two weeks on HERO, initiate refresher training after collisions and conduct street observations.

My father, Jerry Eicholtz, was a postal employee from 1965 until he retired in 1999, and his job provided well for us. I’m honored to follow him.

Outside of work, I’m usually playing drums. I’m in a blues band called Lew Jetton and 61 South, and I play for my church.

I could not keep up with my very busy schedule without my lovely wife, Julie, and I’m a proud father of three.

Going to work is not a difficult thing to do when you like what you’re doing. I feel blessed to serve the American people in the Postal Service.

“On the Job,” a column on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.