MECHANIZING the “DELIVERY BOY” (Mar, 1941)

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MECHANIZING the “DELIVERY BOY”

From a single boy on a bicycle to a nationwide service whose trucks travel more than 20,000,000 miles per year— that’s the story of United Parcel Service which delivers hundreds of thousands of packages a year in sixteen cities. The “delivery boy” organization specializes in handling deliveries for retail stores. Above, left, driver checks up on himself before starting day’s run. Right, loading parcel-filled container on tailboard of truck. Tailboards of some trucks are elevators which hoist the containers to level of truck floor.

Circle, coils on roof of test truck help regulate motor temperature and prevent overheating during deliveries. Bottom, left, conveyor in floor moves heavy packages. Right, conveyors bring sorted packages to slides for loading.

Right, part of the driver’s job is to make a good impression. Center, typical package-handling station, with sorting, loading, special handling and other posts indicated. Note drivers’ recreation room on roof. In the station a package is never handled if a machine can move it. Conveyors are used wherever possible. For instance, the sorting device, called the Pit, has ten belt conveyors moving into and out of it at one time and a 168-foot steel-slat conveyor set in the floor moves bulk packages in the New York plant.

Right, drivers are encouraged to take safe-driving tests. This device simulates actual road conditions. At inspection each morning the drivers are given the final admonition, “Drive safely today.” Their safety record is exceptionally good. The trucks are kept spotlessly clean and the company is now experimenting with a washing system that uses a quart of chemicals, fifty gallons of water, an air blast and three minutes to turn out a spick-and-span truck. A man opens a valve and a machine does the work.

1 comment
  1. nlpnt says: April 20, 20086:53 pm

    UPS’ safety record is especially amazing due to the ultra-low-visibility dark brown trucks.

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