Fantastic Plastic?

This Plastic Delivery Truck Is The Future Of UPS

There isn’t a better way to catch my attention than using a Star Trek analogy. Well, done UPS.

It’s kinda like how in Star Trek III, Scotty sees a lot of unexplored potential in the ol’ Enterprise, but the brass are telling him she’s scrap because the new Excelsior’s “transwarp” engine is the only future worth having. Then we learn the Enterprise is still the only hope for their mission, while the Excelsior can’t cut it. Granted, there was some sabotage in there somewhere… but the underlying message is the same!

UPS is constantly trying to counter increasing fuel prices. This is likely true with every company in transportation, but UPS recently announced and demo’d its mostly plastic delivery truck that’s 40% more fuel efficient than the current. By ditching the sheet metal for plastic, these trucks are said to be 1,000 lbs lighter. This allows for a smaller diesel engine, which lends greatly to the lower fuel consumption. But back to that Star Trek line.

It seems by way of that Star Trek story that UPS doesn’t see next-gen powertrains being reliable enough for widespread use just yet. Current technology can be further advanced while the bugs are being worked out of upcoming tech.

It’s not like UPS hasn’t already embraced EVs. The company blog points out that they already have 1,900 EVs delievery packages. But these are smaller vehicles whose limited range cannot match that of the classic diesel trucks. This truck is an intermediary step whose innovations seem easily carried forward to the EV age. Fast Company explains that this truck is part of the firm’s goal to increase efficiency 20% across its entire fleet by 2020 over the baseline established in 2000.

The plastic brown trucks are still in the prototype stage so your UPS man will still be driving the ol’ ironside for some time.

Congress Underpaid?


The Ticket

Are members of Congress paid enough?

By Chris Moody


(Charles Dharapak/AP)

     Everyone complains about their job now and then, and members of Congress are no exception.
     A few lawmakers have suggested in recent months that despite a $174,000 annual salary, generous health care and pensions, and perks for things like travel and mail, being one of the elite 435 ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be. And when you calculate the hours they put in, the pay isn’t stellar either, they say.
     The Florida Capital News reported last week on a speech Steve Southerland, a Republican representative, gave to a retirement community in Tallahassee in which he complained about some of the parts of his new job:
     “He said his $174,000 salary is not so much, considering the hours a member of the House puts in, and that he had to sever ties with his family business in Panama City. Southerland also said there are no instant pensions or free health insurance, as some of his constituents often ask him about in Congress.
“‘And by the way, did I mention? They’re shooting at us. There is law-enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?” Southerland told about 125 people in an auditorium at the Westminster Oaks retirement community. “If you think this job pays too much, with those kinds of risks and cutting me off from my family business, I’ll just tell you: This job don’t mean that much to me. I had a good life in Panama City.’
“…He added that ‘if you took the hours that I work and divided it into my pay,’ the $174,000 salary would not seem so high.”
Southerland, a freshman, ran a family funeral home business in Panama City and earned about $90,000 before joining Congress in January.
     His sentiments were not unlike those expressed by Sean Duffy, a Republican representative from Wisconsin, when he said in March it was a “struggle” to pay his mortgage and student loans with his congressional salary. “At this point, I’m not living high on the hog,” Duffy, a father of six, said. (Compared to his colleagues, Duffy is one of the least wealthy members of Congress.)
     At the height of the debate over a possible government shutdown last spring, Linda Sánchez, a Democratic representative from California, said during an MSNBC interview that she was living “paycheck to paycheck” on her congressional salary. And she wasn’t the only one. Renee Ellmers, a Republican representative from North Carolina, was asked if she would forgo her pay in the case of a shutdown. Ellmers declined, saying, “I need my paycheck.”
     Are times really so tough that even members of Congress are struggling to get by? The numbers suggest otherwise. A recent analysis of congressional pay found that members of Congress earn about 3.4 times the salary of the average American worker. Using that standard, members of Congress are among the highest paid legislators in the developed world.
     This talk probably won’t help Congress’ approval rating. The federal government is the worst-rated industry in the country, viewed favorably by only 17 percent of Americans, according to a new Gallup survey.

The Bottom Line

     Remember when?A Home Run for the Bottom Line!
     If your a driver that’s been around a few years, you might remember when the company used to put together soft ball teams on the weekends. They would sponsor weekend tournaments of drivers and their families at local parks. Managers and drivers would participate on the same teams together creating a level of comradery. All to build a feeling of team spirit and loyalty among the workforce.
     Remember when there used to be a safe driving award program? Drivers were rewarded for the number of years they would go without an avoidable accident. Every driver was given a catalogue to chose a prize depending on the number of years. On the five year accomplishments the prizes were fairly substantial, such as bikes for ten years TV’s for twenty, etc. In the later years they were also given a pin with a diamond, and there was a banquet held for drivers that achieved 25 or more years.
     Remember when their was also a “Years of Service” award. Drivers were rewarded for their years of service. They were given a plaque honoring the number of years, and they again had a catalogue of prizes to choose from.
     Remember when there was a magazine published to talk about the people that worked for the company, and their achievements both at work, and off the job? The magazine was called the “Big Idea”. How many of you remember what the “Big Idea” was? Of course the “Big Idea” was “Service”. The idea of the magazine was to honor the employees that worked together to provide service within the company to that customer outside the company.
     Remember when the TV commercials bragged about the quality of their drivers? The commercials would show the extra length drivers would go to in making their deliveries. They also showed the special relationships drivers would establish with the customers. How the customer could set their watch by the driver, and that if any problem arose, the customer could always turn to that same driver for resolution.
     These are just examples of what the company, “used to be”. Most of these programs were in the days before the Public Sale of Stock. These programs were in the days of James E. Casey. These programs were in the day when the company cared as much for the people that worked for it, as they did about the customer. The programs were when the company felt that the effort was for all of us, customer and employee alike.
      Isn’t it a shame that those are the “good ‘ole days”.
     All of these programs have been replaced with EDD, and PAS, and Telematics, and Production Standards, and Discipline, and Management By Intimidation. Any of you Rank and Filers feel a sense of pride over any of these programs?
     So the inquiring driver may want to know why the change in mentality towards the employees and their success? After the company went public with it’s stock, it’s all about one thing, and one thing only!
It’s the company’s new “Big Idea”!
The Bottom Line!

Let’s See, They Lie in the Media?

New letters bring scandal closer to Rupert Murdoch

The Associated Press

Updated: 08/17/2011 04:31:37 AM MDT

LONDON—The taint of a hacking scandal is creeping closer to media baron Rupert Murdoch.
     New documents published by U.K. lawmakers investigating Britain’s phone-hacking scandal apparently contradict claims made by the News Corp. chief’s former right-hand man and cast doubt on his son James Murdoch’s testimony before Parliament.
     Among them is a letter claiming that illegal espionage was pervasive at Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid.
     Former Murdoch confidante Les Hinton said in 2009 that he’d seen no evidence that phone hacking had spread beyond a single rogue reporter at the tabloid. Yet Hinton is among those copied in on the explosive letter.
     Three former lieutenants are also challenging assertions by James Murdoch that he wasn’t told the full facts about the scandal.

Proud to Destroy the Country

Tea Party Audience Proudly Cheers The Downgrade Of America’s Credit Rating

     As the Tea Party express rolled into Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to support six Republican candidates in Tuesday’s recall election, the main speaker of the evening, Florida talk show host Andrea Shea King, was determined to pin the blame for the credit rating downgrade on Democrats.
     But after she told the audience that commentators were describing the downgrade of US debt to AA+ from AAA as the “tea party downgrade,” the audience cheered proudly that their right wing faction in Congress had caused it.
     Here is the transcript
     SHEA KING: This week—I wrote it down—they are blaming the credit downgrade on the tea party movement.
     CROWD: Yeah! [Cheers, clapping]
     SHEA KING: They are calling it “the tea party downgrade.” They are objectivizing [sic] us.
     After all the denial from Republicans that they weren’t to blame, and that the downgrade was the fault of Democrats, it would seem that the constituents of the Tea Party disagree. They are ecstatic and proud that the Tea Party shot the hostage and damaged the full faith and credit of the United States. It proves without a shadow of a doubt, that Republicans are out to slit America’s throat. And just to make it crystal clear that tea partiers are pleased about this, here is the video of the event

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