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Did That Bottled Water Delivery Truck Turn Left?

Fuel-efficiency. Bottled water delivery trucks.  Two things that generally don’t go together, but the smart minds at UPS have created a model for fuel-efficient fleets that every industry could use.no_left_turn1-300x285

The solution?

No left turns.

Sure, it seems counterintuitive – as if the “no left turn” rule would lead to serpentine combinations of 3 consecutive right turns to get from point A to point B. 

But computers have crunched the numbers and tell us that this saves tons of fuel. Literally. Think about it – you’ve been stuck trying to turn left … waiting … idling … waiting … idling … drat, missed the light! And then you waited and idled some more.

(If you don’t trust computers, the Mythbusters crew found that “no left turns” for saving fuel was legit. By the way, if you don’t trust computers, how are you reading this blog?)

We’ve known about UPS’s little “trick” for years, but they recently quantified this program’s effect – millions of miles shaved off of their routes:

So, with the millions of gallons of fuel burned by bottled water delivery trucks each year, they should take a page from UPS’s book and ban left turns. Yes, some bottled water companies use computer software for efficient mapping, and some even have fuel-efficient fleets.

And that’s great.

But they’re still delivering bottles, and they’re still responsible for the equivalent of 30 million barrels of oil each year in the US alone.

If reducing our dependence on foreign oil is important to you, then that’s still bad.