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Old 5th August 2016, 11:44   #1
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Default Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

Sharing a great article on why UPS trucks hate to turn left. A UPS driver states that 90% of the time, they turn right and "we really, really hate left turns at UPS".

Also want to strongly recommend Priceonomics.com if you love data & long reads. Most of their write-ups are incredibly intelligent & insightful .

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In 2004, UPS announced a new policy for its drivers: the right way to get to any destination was to avoid left-hand turns. Even if that means following this route that a UPS driver described to an incredulous press member:

"We're gonna make a right turn onto 135th to Western. We'll make another right on Western down to 139th. Righ turn on 139th and go down to the end of the block and we'll make another right turn."

When better tracking systems emerged in 2001, the package delivery service took a closer look at how trucks performed when delivering packages. As a logistics company with some 96,000 trucks and several hundred aircraft, much of UPS's business can be distilled to a series of optimization problems around reducing the amount of fuel used, saving time, and using space more efficiently. (Trucks in UPS facilities park just a few inches apart with their side mirrors overlapping to save space.)
Why UPS Trucks don't turn left-ups_packagecar_2344949376_74be4af25f_o_cropped.jpg
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Old 5th August 2016, 11:48   #2
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Default Re: Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

Good share. Have read about this long back and these bits of Trivia are always a good read for Quizzers like me

Last edited by lloydofcochin : 5th August 2016 at 11:50.
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Old 5th August 2016, 12:02   #3
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Default Re: Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

Article applicable only to countries where people drive on the right. For us, its the other way round.
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Old 5th August 2016, 12:22   #4
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Default Re: Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

Matt McFarland's take on this is interesting (Washington Post piece published about the same time as the one posted here, even referencing the UPS case). He includes why left hand turns are the "bane of traffic engineers" and the relatively high casualty factor (especially on motorbikes) that UPS touches on only in passing- obviously efficiency of delivery is a higher priority for them.

Relevant to this discussion:
It’s important to note that UPS policy is not a 100 percent ban on left-hand turns. One UPS official estimated that the company’s trucks turn right 90 percent of the time. If in a residential area where traffic is light, a left-hand turn is sensible. Or if a series of right-hand turns would take a driver far out of his way, a left-hand turn is efficient.
In fact I had read a piece a long time ago which stated that disproportionately high number of turns made by an American car in its lifetime (70-80%, don't remember) are right-handers. In India (flip right for left as smartcat suggests), where we typically have only one way of going from A to B (identical with the return trip), it's closer to the 50:50 split you'd expect. And no doubt accounts for disproportionately high accidents and traffic snarls as well, though we are a long way from actually monitoring those stats!
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Old 5th August 2016, 14:03   #5
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Default Re: Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

Interesting !

I was browsing the Tata @ AutoExpo 2016 thread earlier today, where Viddy had posted a pic with the slogan "Trust Me, I am an engineer" ..

and the UPS article says:
"That's why I love the engineers, they just love to continue to figure out how to make it better."
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