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Some History of Sustainability with UPS
1936 UPS Electric Package Cars

As the UPS Archivist, I spend a lot of time researching documents that reveal our history and the stories of our people.

So in my search through the UPS Archives – while looking for something else I might add – I came across this document from 1933 asking for the funds for three new “Gould Batteries for two ton Walker Electric Trucks.”  These new batteries were to replace three “very old and almost useless” batteries in package cars that were serving in New York City at the time.

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UPS’s Next-Generation Mobile Devices Are Here

UPS has recently begun its global deployment of the next generation handheld devices you see our drivers carry, also known as the DIAD V.

The DIAD V features ground-breaking communications technology that enables on-the-fly switching between cellular carriers independent of cellular technology. This means that the DIAD V can automatically jump to another cellular carrier if the preferred carrier’s signal is lost. Read More »

Reporting Live from the Holiday Frontline: A Day in the Life of a UPS Driver Helper, part 3

During my short spell as a driver helper, the most invaluable resources have been the drivers, who have a reflexive knowledge of their routes that borders on clairvoyant. They can tell you not only where they will be in 30 minutes, but where all of the other nearby drivers will be, which customers will need extra time, less time, one push cart or multiple ones. If something throws a wrench into the flow of their day, they are already three steps ahead of the problem and are calling other drivers for support so nothing interrupts the deliveries and pickups. The second most valuable resource is their DIAD scanner, which they have been showing me how to use throughout the week.

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Tech Talk: The Forefather of the Smartphone As Electronic Road Kill?

It’s only natural that people associate mobile technology with UPS. Why? Mainly because of the nifty handheld computers our drivers carry and ask you to sign when they’re delivering a package that requires your signature. At UPS we call them DIADs – short for Delivery Information Acquisition Devices.

What began more than 20 years ago as a bulky, brown clipboard with a monochrome screen has grown into a sleek, curvy, handheld computer with just about every wireless communications option known to man. You could call the DIAD the forefather of the smartphone.

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DIAD V Update

I get to work on user testing to help determine what is needed in future versions of the driver handheld devices, called DIAD (Delivery Information Acquisition Device.) And to do this we ask the experts, UPS drivers:  In January 2008 a driver survey was conducted requesting user feedback, pros and cons, concerning the DIAD IV.  The results indicated three areas of concern:  1) the placement of the signature key, due to customers inadvertently hitting this key; 2) the shifted keypad, which requires the driver to toggle between alpha and numeric characters; and 3) the size of the device, too big and too heavy.  Read More »

Birth of the DIAD

A lot was happening in 1991. The beginnings of the Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the closing of Eastern Air Lines to name just a few. Less well known was the birth of the DIAD.

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