What oil does UPS use?

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Aug 6, 2003
I saw the UPS man last night. He said he did 175 stops that day and he turns off the engine at every stop!
He then gets in and races away.

I wonder what oil they use in those trucks and how far between re-builds on the motors?

Anyone have an ides?

Originally posted by aircooled:
I saw the UPS man last night. He said he did 175 stops that day and he turns off the engine at every stop!

I have no idea, either. I'm not even certain what fuel they use. Propane, LPG? They don't smoke or sound like diesels, but... Think of the value of the merchandise in one of those vans. To walk away from it with the engine idling would be criminal neglegence. For that matter, how about the USPS vans? The carrier on my route always switches the engine off at each set of mailboxes, too.
If I'm not mistaken, they don't use diesels in the regular trucks.
IIRC they use a version of the chevy straight six.
They rev the crap out of them!!!
I thought they used the Ford 300 I-6 for their gasoline trucks. But, that could just be driver-sponsored rumor.

UPS is run by a nitpick after our own hearts. They study efficiency, both human and machine, to a degree where they mandate what hand the driver braces themselves with when they climb into the cab, and what foot goes first on the ladder! I bet their maintenance would be no less fascinating, if one could get on the inside track.

Just look at their custom truck body. Like the VW bug, it never gets updated, so it never goes out of style. Try to guess how old one is!
I'm sure it changes.
In the 80s, at an auto class at Community College in Colorado, the instructor was a mechanic for UPS.
At that time, his trucks had 300CID Ford Sixes.

His favorite job on them he said was to replace the starter. He said it took him under 15 minutes, and the book rate that they paid him for was an hour.

He also had been a Service Manager at Sears, and when they ran shock absorber specials, he said he would replace the shocks on a Chrysler compact--Dodge Dart, or whatever-- in 8 minutes. Loosening and removing as the lift went up, placing them, then tightening them as the lift lowered.

But, I digress.
Around here they use diesels, and they smoke like hell. They use the same procedure here... stop, shut off, deliver, start up, race off immediately before the starter stops turning. The ones around hear all all manual transmissions. How often do they replace starters in those things? What Diesel brand engine do they use?

There's no way oil pressure is up to the top of the engine before he's letting the clutch out. Better have a good ADBV in those filters and good film strength in the oil.

This question was discussed in a thread July 18, 2003 - do a search of this forum and it will come up for ya.
Around here they use nothing but diesels too. I get so many packages that I know the sound of a UPS truck coming a mile away...
THe engine UPS uses is propritary. It is built for them by a major engine supplier. I will ask my Dad again who it is. He mentioned to me one time the name of the company and the name of their engine rebuilder to me once.

I really was not interested so in one ear and out the other it went!
Things may have changed, but 10 years ago UPS was using nothing but new GM sixes. The one driver was telling me his truck had to go in for a major modification to convert from the no longer made GM straight six to a V-6. It is possible somebody was building a proprietary engine based on the GM block. He also insisted UPS never used rebuilt engines because nobody could rebuild one to take the hard use. I found that hard to believe. Part of what he was telling me, he pulled up on that electronic thing they were starting to carry then. The driver was dyed in the wool UPS, cut him and he would bleed brown.

They run the trucks (excuse me, package cars) forever, and then finally junk them, never reselling any. I saw some of the ages on them when they came to the brake shop I worked in to buy hard to find parts. We had the best inventory of obsolete truck brake parts in the state. The boss was also a master at finding things that would work.
At the DC I work at we get UPS trucks all the time and every single one is made by Ford. Most drivers say they are crap boxes and not maintained well. I can't say anymore on oil or maintenance, just what I hear from the drivers.
Have you guys seen the new ones? I saw one today for the first time. It looked a bit smaller than the regular ones, but very space-age looking. Almost like a cross between a Ford Windstar and the regular UPS trucks. It was brand new. I'd never seen one like it before.
So I guess UPS uses custom made Ford Chevy's with dual fuel engines that burn gasoline and diesel?

Originally posted by cvl:
Have you guys seen the new ones? I saw one today for the first time. It looked a bit smaller than the regular ones, but very space-age looking. Almost like a cross between a Ford Windstar and the regular UPS trucks. It was brand new. I'd never seen one like it before.

The new ones you see are Sprinters, the replacement for the Dodge Ram Vam. The first intelligent design for a "american" van. You can actually stand up in the back. It is assembled in the USA and uses a Mercedes diesel to power it. They do specify 10,000 mile service intervals. Basically the a European design for a cargo/airport type passenger van. Fed Ex is using them also.

I know a lot since I wrote a good portion of website for DC.
I thought they cancelled the plan to build Georgia factory to assemble Sprinter vans? As far as I know all of them are still improted from Germany, or are they doing SKD assembly here?

IMHO, Dodge Sprinter is a wonderful van, considering it's a Mercedes. I see more of them around here every day. It's cheap -- I am sure they are doing price dumping, compare to prices in Germany. It is comfortable, safe, has many modern features. Diesel 5-cylinder is up to date, refined and economical. And it is very spacial. Excellent choice for a large family vehicle! Unfortunately, it is not available with a manual gearbox, which is a sin... Diesel with automatic... kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
Both UPS and Fed-Ex are using Freightliner vans in my neighborhood. I'm guessing they use diesels from the rattle and smell. I miss the old big parcel cars, you could hear them coming by that distictive sound. Always gave me that Pavlovian response
shortyb, I'm pretty sure those little freightliners are a rebadged version of the mercedes/sprinter van. They must be economical for UPS to use them!
I personally can't stand those sprinter vans! I think they are hidious, very awkward looking in my opinion, the wheels look way to small. Also I don't agree with big american companys using foreign vehicles. The big Ford powered UPS vans have treated them well for a long time, and it keeps americans working and puts money back into the U.S. economy. I am so anal about these things that I won't even order products for my company from suppliers that use foriegn delivery vehicles!
Sorry, just venting!
Crap, I was just over at UPS a month ago to pick something up. I had to go around back and through the service bays and I saw two big barrels of oil up high on a gravity feed system and now I can't remember what brand it was.
Getting CRS disease. AFAIK the gas vans have Ford 300 I-6's and I don't know what the diesels are.
When I worked at a machine shop 12 yrs ago we rebuiltengines for UPS. They specified silvolite pistons,clevite bearings ,felpro gaskets and they had to be balanced.I dont know what oil they used
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