Posted by Dale Buss on August 17, 2012 12:22 PM
UPS trucks are big and square for a reason: it's the design that fits the most parcels. But that constraint isn't stopping the quick-delivery giant from doing everything it can to make its iconic fleet of brown vans more streamlined.
"When fuel prices got real high and totally out of hand about four years ago, I took my engineering group and said, 'We've seen the peaks and valleys of fuel pricing, and we're going to take a stand here and get serious about developing technology that brings something into place to help with fuel consumption," Dale Spencer, UPS's director of maintenance engineering, told brandchannel.
So in a new gambit, UPS has introduced composite materials to replace certain metal components in a test that lightens the trucks by 900 pounds and boosts fuel efficiency by 40 percent. UPS is purchasing 150 composite-body vehicles in a pilot program to test the materials' durability, repair qualities and structural strengths. These are the same types of materials that have shown up on the Tesla sports car and new Boeing Dreamliner passenger jet. Continue reading...