UPS Drivers Don’t Make Left Turns

According to this article, UPS drivers do not take left turns (well, rarely make them. Left turns take up less than 10% of UPS drivers turns. This policy of no left turns was put into place back in 2004 and has saved the company over 10 million gallons of fuel. It has also reduced traveling time and carbon emission from the trucks.

The company used math in order to come up with this new routing tactic. It seems to be paying off. This article talked about how if all people agreed to do this then it would create many benefits for the environment, traveling, and safety (less crashes).

I personally do not think people would ever agree to it, but it is extremely interesting. It is awesome to see companies making changes that help environmental issues!

2 Replies to “UPS Drivers Don’t Make Left Turns”

  1. This is pretty interesting! I did not find much about FedEx trucks but I am curious if they do the same thing and same to USPS. I found it funny the Mythbusters have done this for themselves but that definitely added some credibility to the finding. You can find that here:

    They also say at the end for smaller cars it’s more impractical but perhaps that’s just a case of needing to make it more practical through actually competent city planners/planning?

    Now I’m just dreaming…

  2. It’s interesting to think that not taking left turns would help optimize the amount of time, fuel, and money UPS trucks consume. It’s almost counter intuitive when thinking about distance: if you are going approaching a square block and you wanted to turn left off that block you would instead have to take 3 right turns(if you wanted to go left 90 degrees but could only go straight and right, you’d have to go right 270 degrees).

    As mentioned by Doreen mentioned(and by your article) the Mythbusters looked into this and saw that this is true. However, I wondered if avoiding left turns could actually help people that don’t usually don’t have to travel multiple places like UPS drivers do, and if we should implement this into our lives. Fortunately, I found an article that addressed this: Wayne Gerdes, a man who holds world records for fuel efficient driving, states “The method works well for pre-planned deliveries, but in daily driving, our routes are usually far less random,” and that “eliminating left turns cannot in many cases be incorporated into our own more rigid daily routing, so my suggestion is to map multiple routes and work them into your commute”. Huh, so I guess the answer is probably not, but trying multiple routes can always help. Thanks article.

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