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What UPS drivers don't do that could mean savings for you

Posted at 5:16 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 20:16:08-04

You may not pay much attention to the UPS trucks you see on the road. But if you did, you'd probably notice there's something you rarely see them do.

That's make a left turn.

Ben Apodaca has been driving for 11 years at UPS and says, "it saves you a lot of time."

About half of his time, Apodaca uses UPS' Orion software, which has determined right turns are not only safer, but for the most part, save time and fuel, which equals money.

"It's part of my route now," Apodaca says. "I mean obviously it eliminates time at stops. The software tells you where you need to go next, so by optimizing the routes a lot of the times you are turning right."

Sometimes left turns are necessary, but Apodaca says not often.

"The way mine is laid out it's probably more right," Apodaca says.

Now this barely detectable change has brought benefits the company can't ignore.

"Our stops per mile have gone up quite a bit," says Patrick Gonzales who works with UPS' Orion Program.

The company says since it implemented it in 2012, trucks have used 10 million gallons less fuel and emitted 100,000 fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide.

"It's the time savings and the safety of it," Gonzales says.

Gonzales says he's made the right turn policy a part of his life outside of work.

"I've been out on several occasions with my family or other people that are not used to being in the car with me," Gonzales says. "And they'll ask my wife, 'well how come we didn't go in there?' and she'll say because he's going to make a right turn."

So should everyone adopt this way of driving?

"If you're going to go out and you're going to be doing several things during the day yes," Gonzales says. "If you're going to just one place no."

A different way of driving, that could make for a safer and smoother ride.

"The quicker traffic flows the better for everybody," Apodaca says.

Gonzales says although right turns only could cut down on wait times at intersections, it might also add time to your drive.