UPS Drivers Will Finally Get Air Conditioning After Heated Teamsters Negotiations
UPS is recognized worldwide as one of the largest shipping and parcel services in the world and is the employer of over 530,000 people. So part of keeping a large business healthy and functioning is keeping your employees happy, and one of the main requests that delivery drivers have been asking for regularly is something many of us take for granted… air conditioning.
The first factory-produced car to come equipped with air-conditioning was the 1940 Packard. By 1949, more than half of all new vehicles being produced came with this feature. However, 83 years later, UPS has agreed to equip its delivery trucks with air conditioners to keep its delivery drivers cool and refreshed on those blistering hot summer days.
This news comes after negotiations between UPS and Teamsters agreed that heat safety is a big priority for employees, and including cooling gear in its delivery trucks is part of fulfilling its obligations to its drivers. “We care deeply about our people, and their safety remains our top priority. Heat safety is no exception,” the company said in a statement.
When Will UPS Include AC Into Its Delivery Vehicles
Starting January 1st, 2024, all new UPS delivery trucks will feature AC, and the first delivery centers to receive them will be located in the hottest parts of the U.S.
But there is a catch for the rest of the UPS fleet. All pre-existing delivery trucks will not receive the air conditioning treatment. Instead, UPS will have cab fans installed in its package cars for additional cooling airflow for its drivers. These package cars will have cab fans outfitted into them within thirty days of the contract ratification. A second fan will be added to vehicles without AC by June 1st, 2024.
Additional Cooling Features on Future UPS Delivery Vehicles
Aside from air conditioning and cooling fans, the company has agreed to implement exhaust heat shields into the floor of the vehicles in an effort to reduce heat conduction caused by the powertrain. Early tests showed that by adding these shields, the vehicle’s floor temperature can be minimized by up to 17 degrees Fahrenheit. UPS will have these heat shields implemented into the production of its new package cars, as well as its existing package cars within 18 months of the contract’s ratification.
While future drivers can take comfort in knowing that the cabin of their delivery vehicle will be cool and dry in the future, the cargo area can feel like a furnace on those steamy summer days. This is why UPS has also agreed to add an air intake vent on the passenger side to feed fresh air into the cargo bay, causing more consistent airflow through a forced induction system into its new package cars, as well as being retrofitted into its existing fleet.
“We have always remained open to solutions that keep our employees safe on hot days,” says UPS. “The Teamsters raised AC as a top priority for their members, and the new solutions we’ve agreed to will improve airflow, temperature, and comfort for our employees.”