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No left turns!

by Cyrus
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Cyrus
#1
Feb7-08, 06:01 PM
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I was talking to a friend today who used to work at UPS. He told me the drivers have routes mapped out that exclude all left turns because you have to wait behind a light for them, whereas you can just go on a right turn. It saves UPS time, and money in fuel!

Thats damn clever!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=7000908

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...6/ai_n16540534

"We took a soccer mom and shaved over an hour off her chores, and shaved 24 miles off her haphazard driving. Basically we had her go in a loop." The idea is to plan ahead so that all the stops are approached from the right. "I promise you, it will save miles for anybody."
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Mech_Engineer
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Feb7-08, 06:03 PM
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Quote Quote by Cyrus View Post
I was talking to a friend today who used to work at UPS. He told me the drivers have routes mapped out that exclude all left turns because you have to wait behind a light for them, whereas you can just go on a right turn. It saves UPS time, and money in fuel!

Thats damn clever!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=7000908
Additionally, left turns have an increased risk of an accident as opposed to a right hand turn. FedEx and DHL do the same thing I think.
Jimmy Snyder
#3
Feb7-08, 06:29 PM
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This is a practical application of the adage: Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Evo
#4
Feb7-08, 06:40 PM
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No left turns!

Hmmmm, I see UPS vans turning left all the time. It makes more sense to wait to turn at a single left turn light than be stopped by traffic at three right turns. I guarantee that I will almost always turn left before someone can make it around the block, through all the traffic and three more lights.
Astronuc
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Feb7-08, 06:54 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Hmmmm, I see UPS vans turning left all the time. It makes more sense to wait to turn at a single left turn light than be stopped by traffic at three right turns. I guarantee that I will almost always turn left before someone can make it around the block, through all the traffic and three more lights.
I'll ask the UPS driver I know to see if he knows of this policy.

There is a UPS center near my home and I usually encounter several trucks doing left turns when heading back to the center. Perhaps their route just minimizes left turns.
turbo
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Feb7-08, 06:54 PM
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Across the road from my house, there is a dead-end road, and about every day, the UPS driver makes a left-hand turn up that road, and then makes a left-hand turn as he exits that road to continue on his route. The way his route is structured, he cannot make right-hand turns to serve the customers on that road.
Evo
#7
Feb7-08, 07:13 PM
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I think what they are saying is that they try to load the trucks with deliveries that when plotted would mostly send the driver to the right.

That doesn't mean a normal driver should make right turns around a block instead of a left turn. That would be silly.
Cyrus
#8
Feb7-08, 07:47 PM
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In Washington, D.C., the new route planning technology trimmed 464,000 miles, saved more than 51,000 gallons in fuel, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 506 metric tons over an 18-month period, according to spokesman Dan McMackin at UPS headquarters in Atlanta.
No one bothered to read the article. :shameonyousmiley:
Astronuc
#9
Feb7-08, 08:00 PM
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No one has objected to route optimization with mileage reduction. We just objected to routes "that exclude all left turns". I see UPS trucks doing left turns all the time.

We also have quite a few "No Right Turn on Red" signs in my area, mostly in the heavy traffic areas and high population density.
turbo
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Feb7-08, 08:02 PM
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Well, it might work out well in some urban and dense suburban areas, but in my neck of the woods, it would save little or nothing. The area is largely rural, with very few traffic lights, and long back-tracks on roads that dead-end. Here the most fuel-efficient routes are the ones that can eliminate as much back-tracking as possible while taking advantage of obscure back roads that can shave some miles of the routes based on state highways.
Evo
#11
Feb7-08, 08:07 PM
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Quote Quote by Cyrus View Post
No one bothered to read the article. :shameonyousmiley:
I guessed right without listening!!! MUWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

They load the trucks with deliveries that are plotted to go right!!!!!

MUWAHAHAHAHA!!!

As they say, it is not feasible for normal drivers. Go EVO!!!

What did I win?

Edit: Ok, I confess, I've worked with UPS, Fed EX and DHL and one of the bazillion things I do is route optimization, so it's not like I didn't already know the answer.
Jimmy Snyder
#12
Feb7-08, 08:29 PM
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This seemed like such a good idea, I decided to try it out. I often travel from Westampton to Mt. Holly, NJ along the banks of the mighty Rancocas Crick. This time I put all the parameters into my computer and came up with a route that has no left turns in it. I got to where I was going all right, and I passed through Timbuctoo. So from now on I'm using this new route. The only thing is, the route has no right turns in it either. It always was a straight run.
turbo
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Feb7-08, 08:32 PM
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I've written route optimization software for trucking companies. You see, some states rebate fuel taxes for miles not driven in their states, and some do not, or do so only at reduced rates. If you own a large trucking company, letting your drivers fuel up in narrow little NH (which does not prorate the taxes to in-state mileage) can cost you a LOT of money, so I developed a routing program that took into consideration the range of the tractor-trailers, loaded and unloaded, the routes across the various states, and the tax strategies of those states so that the dispatchers could direct the drivers where to fill up, where to top off, and where to buy enough fuel to get them to the next tax-friendly state. The program saved countless thousands of dollars for my trucking-company clients.
Cyrus
#14
Feb7-08, 08:49 PM
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No left turns for you!
Moonbear
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Feb7-08, 09:28 PM
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Most places here have left turn signals that are faster to get through than going straight or turning right (due to the amount of traffic going in the respective directions), so taking only right turns would NOT optimize the routes. However, in one shopping center, I almost always make a right turn to go left...they need a 4-way stop where there is no traffic control, and it can take forever to make a left out of a parking lot. Instead, I make a right turn, head down to the further parking area, where there is no other oncoming traffic, turn left into that lot from the center turn lane, then U-turn in the parking lot, do a right back onto the main road, and pass the car that was ahead of me still waiting to do a left turn. If they had a traffic light or 4-way stop, a left turn would be faster than all that.

How can you avoid turning left anyway? If you make a bunch of right turns, you still end up back where you started. You have to turn left at some point if you want to go left.
Ivan Seeking
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Feb7-08, 11:18 PM
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I think it was Ford who banned all left turns back in the 70s. But this was done to reduce accidents - left turns across traffic are the second most common reason [at least it was for a long time...maybe cell phones now?]. "Too fast for conditions" is number one.
Cyrus
#17
Feb8-08, 12:19 AM
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I think ford banned all sense of aesthetics and quality after the 70's.

I picture the UPS guy with a truck rigged only to turn right. The road curves to the left and he desperately tries to get the wheel to turn left, but its got stops that wont let the steering wheel turn past dead center in the left direction. He then blows straight through the turn, off the side of the mountain, rolls a few times, and explodes, and saves 5.2 gallons of fuel getting to the bottom of the mountain in the process.

http://www.pootling.net/2007/07/demo...worth1000.html
BobG
#18
Feb8-08, 08:43 AM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
Most places here have left turn signals that are faster to get through than going straight or turning right (due to the amount of traffic going in the respective directions), so taking only right turns would NOT optimize the routes. However, in one shopping center, I almost always make a right turn to go left...they need a 4-way stop where there is no traffic control, and it can take forever to make a left out of a parking lot. Instead, I make a right turn, head down to the further parking area, where there is no other oncoming traffic, turn left into that lot from the center turn lane, then U-turn in the parking lot, do a right back onto the main road, and pass the car that was ahead of me still waiting to do a left turn. If they had a traffic light or 4-way stop, a left turn would be faster than all that.

How can you avoid turning left anyway? If you make a bunch of right turns, you still end up back where you started. You have to turn left at some point if you want to go left.
That works for small delivery trucks, but not all trucks.

A better option for semis would be a route with no right turns. There's a lot of city intersections where right turns are a lot more difficult than left turns.

Mapping a good route to a delivery point is a pretty nice option, especially if it's part of a larger package designed to maintain dispatcher/truck communications, help log truck activity and coordinate drops and pickups. Geologic's Maptuit and Geologic's Mobile Max. The navigation software is an optional add-on to the overall truck management package, which combines cell-phone and satellite communications (cell-phone is cheaper, but the US still doesn't have 100% coverage over the entire country).

I like the other add-on that's gaining popularity: packages like Cold Trace. They provide an entire history of the temperature of the trailer - a big deal to stores receiving produce and meat.


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