UPS Canada makes run at environmentally friendly fleet with Sprinter vans

by Canadian Shipper

UPS Canada has invested in a fleet of 67 fuel efficient vans, and will eventually replace the company’s remaining gas powered fleet.

The new Sprinter vans from DaimlerChrysler are low-emission and achieve over eight litres per 100 kilometres.
This order was part of the recently announced addition of 1,800 Sprinter vans to UPS’s North American fleet. The majority of Sprinter vehicles were delivered in April 2003, increasing the total number of Sprinter vans in use worldwide by the company to 2,550.

“DaimlerChrysler’s Sprinter vans bring many benefits to our ground operations in Canada,” said John Ferreira, Vice-President, Engineering, UPS Canada. “First, the Sprinter vans will provide us with efficiencies on our longer routes because of their fuel economy. But we will also realize others savings as the longer periods between maintenance translate directly into lower operational costs. Most importantly, the Sprinter meets all guidelines for Low Emission Vehicles, a crucial part of UPS’s fleet strategy.”

“The secret to the efficiency of the 2004 Dodge Sprinter is its state-of-the-art technology that extracts 154 horsepower from its Mercedes-Benz 2.7-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine,” said Rom Smith, Vice-President of Marketing, DaimlerChrysler Canada. “It features common-rail fuel injection and extended oil change intervals of 16,000 kilometres. An optional ASSYST Active Service System maintenance monitor allows even longer periods between routine service, based on driving style, distance travelled, operating conditions and engine oil quality.”

To ensure UPS Canada maintenance employees were properly educated on the new Sprinter vans, UPS had a DaimlerChrysler trainer flown in from Germany. The Sprinter has been an integral part of UPS’s Western Europe ground fleet for several years. In fact, UPS now employs the Sprinter vans in seven other countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.

Nine Sprinter delivery vehicles were put through extensive testing by UPS as part of a one-year 2002 pilot program in the United States. The 3,871-millimetre long wheelbase, high-roof vans were tested on high mileage, rural routes throughout North America. The drivers and mechanics in the pilot program all provided very positive reports on their experience with the Sprinter.

In addition to favourable reviews on manoeuvrability, handling, and overall driving performance, UPS was especially pleased with the extended maintenance intervals and exceptional fuel performance.

UPS drivers also provided some input into the latest design – for instance, drivers suggested a lower step would help them enter the vans more easily. Due to the extensive time study training completed by the company’s drivers, they are masters in identifying minor adjustments that can shave milliseconds from each delivery they make.

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