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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 .

Full Article

Quote:
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:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
"That's why I love the engineers, they just love to continue to figure out how to make it better."
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Old 12th February 2017, 04:29   #6
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Default How UPS Trucks Saved Million of Dollars by Eliminating Left Turns

Brilliant strategy for cost saving by lateral thinking. Imagine if applied to other fleets and maybe even us normal people, the green benefit this could fetch.
http://gadgets.ndtv.com/transportati...-turns-1657808

Edit: Mods please merge if this should be in another thread. Couldn't search from the phone app.
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Old 13th February 2017, 12:28   #7
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Default Re: Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
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!
Absolutely. I recall an article too which had similar stats for UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and many other countries where 70-80% of the turns were taken to one side. And if you observe, in most of these countries, right turn (in US), or left turn (in UK, Singapore, HK etc) would be a free turn without signal, enabling free movement of traffic. In India, one turns into all directions which necessitates need for signals and therefore higher travel time plus higher chance of accidents etc
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Old 13th February 2017, 13:04   #8
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Default Re: Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

UPS always had a strong R&D team, so they keep coming up with these ideas. I had worked a few months at UPS World Technology Headquarters (NJ), about 20 years back. I was quite amazed at that time about their R&D capability.

UPS had invented their own square bar code in the 90s so that it can be read even if most of it is smudged. It looked similar to QR code, but not same. You can see it in this document.

Last edited by Samurai : 13th February 2017 at 13:06.
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Old 13th February 2017, 18:01   #9
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Default Re: Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Article applicable only to countries where people drive on the right. For us, its the other way round.
Even if you change the side,
Article applicable to countries where people drive on one side of the road to go in one direction!

For us nothing is applicable!

We like creating chaos at junctions and getting into a game of who blinks first! I seriously wonder how much money is wasted for fuel commercially in our country because we don't follow laws or due to congestion.

Last edited by N.r.K : 13th February 2017 at 18:09.
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Old 13th February 2017, 18:51   #10
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Default Re: Why UPS Trucks don't turn left

Quote:
Originally Posted by N.r.K View Post

For us nothing is applicable!
I agree with you, but not for the reason you have stated.

This policy followed by UPS works well in US as a sizable portion of the roads are parallely and perpendicularly placed to form 90 degree intersections. This makes available alternate route easily. Just take a look at any of the major cities on google maps. It is visually striking.

Our town "planners" were not such an enlightened lot. When viewed on google maps our roads look chaotic and ARE chaotic. Possible exceptions may be Chandigarh and Gandhinagar, which are well-planned cities.
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