Friday, April 29, 2011

Longest Rural Route in the Country: "Whatever it takes"

It’s a familiar scene, one that’s 22 years old. Rural Carrier Doug Kraft loads the mail at the Gridley, KS, Post Office and rides down the road in his red Dodge truck. It’s not long before blacktop fades to gravel and he arrives at the first of 258 mailboxes that he’ll see during his long workday.

No rural carrier in the U.S. covers more ground then Kraft. At 182.8 miles, his route is the longest in the nation. “Maybe that’s why my day is pretty full,” said Kraft. “I enjoy it, and I tell people that to me, Mondays are the same as Fridays.”

Former Gridley Postmaster Paula Raaf, who worked with Kraft for more than 20 years, praises his work. “He’s dependable and he cares for every customer,” she said.
No matter the challenge, Kraft delivers. “The mail always has gotten through,” he said. “I try to get it out even if it’s late or after dark. Whatever it takes.”

But it’s not always easy. Kraft says he got stuck in the snow more times last year than during any other period in his career. “Fortunately, I have a lot of good farm friends out there,” he said. “They’re willing to get in their tractors and help me out.”

Kraft understands his role in the success of the Postal Service. “I’m just interested in doing what I can do where I’m at, and being efficient and cost-effective,” he said. “The key is customer satisfaction — without that, we won’t make it.”

Care to comment?


Anonymous said...

I don't know a lot about actually delivering the mail because I work in a plant, but that seems to be a lot of miles to cover. I don't get why two people couldn't do cover that ground, especially if he is delivering in the dark. That seems unsafe.

Joan said...

Keep up the good work Doug. Your right Customers matter!

Anonymous said...

Unless you are a rural carrier... you won't understand the dedication and commitment.
Keep up the great work Doug :)