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Why Do UPS Trucks Have No Doors? 

UPS Truck with the door open making deliveries in NYC

If you’ve ever noticed a UPS truck driving down the road, you may have wondered why there are no doors on the side of the vehicle. This may seem like a strange design choice, but there are actually several reasons why UPS trucks have no doors.

UPS trucks roll their doors out of the way and keep them open during deliveries. It allows for faster exit and entry into the truck, which speeds up their delivery time. It also helps them see better and handle large packages without worrying about maneuvering around a door. Keeping the doors open will also save some money on maintenance and allow for easier parking.

A Quick Point of Clarification

The truth is that UPS trucks DO have doors, they just don’t swing open like typical doors, they slide toward the back of the truck. If you wonder why you can see straight through the truck, it’s because they typically have the doors fully open while they’re delivering.

In my experience, UPS trucks on major roads have their doors closed (unless there’s traffic). Their doors will be open while they’re delivering around the neighborhood.

The Benefits of Keeping the Doors Open

In this section, I’ll review some of the major benefits of UPS trucks keeping their doors open during deliveries. Some of the reasons aren’t as obvious as you might have thought.

Faster Delivery

First and foremost, the lack of doors allows for faster and more efficient deliveries. UPS drivers have to make a lot of stops during their routes, and having to open and close their doors would slow them down.

Without doors, drivers can simply step out of the truck and onto the sidewalk, making their deliveries much faster.

I live on a residential street, and I see the UPS truck stop five or six times on my street alone. I couldn’t imagine if they had to open and close their door each time.

This is especially important for UPS, as the company prides itself on its fast and reliable delivery services.

UPS delivery driver in motion with background blurred in urban streets

Safety

Another reason for the lack of doors is safety. UPS trucks often carry heavy packages that can be difficult to maneuver.

Having doors on the side of the truck would require the driver to open and close the door each time they made a delivery, potentially causing them to drop the package or injure themselves.

Without doors, the driver can simply step out of the truck and onto the sidewalk, making it much easier and safer to handle the packages. This ensures that both the driver and the packages remain safe during the delivery process.

Yes, the packages are stored in the back, but the UPS driver will always carry them out of the driver’s door (unless it’s so large it needs to use the rear door). Keeping the driver’s door out of the way makes it safer for everyone.

Better Visibility

The lack of doors also allows for better visibility while driving. UPS trucks often have to navigate crowded city streets. Having closed doors on the side of the truck can obstruct the driver’s view. Without doors, the driver has a clear view of their surroundings, making it easier and safer to navigate through traffic and avoid pedestrians.

This helps to prevent accidents and keep the roads safer for everyone.

Easier Parking

If you need to fully swing open your doors, your chances of finding a parking spot are lessened. The benefit of keeping the doors open on the UPS truck is that the driver can just hop out of the car.

They can park right next to another car and don’t need to factor in the swing radius of their door — as long as there’s enough space for them to physically get out of the truck with the package, that’s all that matters.

UPS trucked parked on the city street in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Saves UPS Money

In addition to all of these benefits, the lack of opening and closing doors on UPS trucks also saves the company money. It might not amount to a lot, but it definitely adds up.

Having to open and close doors hundreds of times a day will lead to a ton of wear and tear. By simply keeping the doors open the whole time, this issue is avoided.

The tracks, rollers, door handles, and doors themselves will last longer by keeping them open at all times.

It’s Become a Branding Decision

I’d like to think that keeping the doors open isn’t just a practical decision, it’s also a branding one.

The company has been using trucks without doors since the early 1900s, and it has become a recognizable aspect of the UPS brand. The lack of doors is a unique feature that sets UPS trucks apart from other vehicles on the road. Really, it’s become part of the company’s identity.

UPS Trucks in Bad Weather

But what about inclement weather? Don’t UPS drivers have to deal with rain, snow, and other harsh conditions?

Fortunately, UPS trucks are equipped with special features to keep drivers dry and comfortable. Their first option is to close the doors between deliveries. In my area, this is the more popular option.

However, UPS trucks also have built-in umbrella holders near the seats. You don’t typically see UPS drivers using umbrellas, but the option is there if they need it.

UPS truck making deliveries in rough snowy weather in the winter season in Norwalk, Connecticut, USA

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Next, I’ll answer some common questions about UPS trucks in general.

Q: Why Are UPS Trucks Brown?

A: Believe it or not, the trademarked color was chosen as a means to hide grime on the trucks. Back in 1907, the first UPS truck was brown and that was the fact that the owners cited.

If you don’t believe it, run your finger across a UPS truck the next time you see one parked. It will likely be caked with dirt and grime and pollen.

Q: Why Do UPS Trucks Never Reverse?

A: Actually, it’s in UPS’ handbooks to never reverse unless absolutely necessary. They don’t have backup cameras, and the visibility is awful on UPS trucks.

Add in the fact that they commonly deliver in residential areas where kids are playing, and you’ll quickly understand why they avoid reversing.

Q: Do All UPS Trucks Beep After Delivery?

A: Not all UPS drivers will honk their horns after delivery, but it is strongly recommended as part of their training. It gives a quick heads-up to the resident to look outside. The hope is that you’ll notice their truck leaving and go check your front step.

Q: Do UPS Trucks Remove the Doors?

A: As I covered, UPS trucks don’t actually remove the doors. They aren’t like Jeeps. Instead, they roll the doors out of the way, so the door is hidden by the body of the truck.

I’ve never seen a UPS truck that had its doors fully removed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the lack of doors on UPS trucks may seem strange at first, but there are actually several reasons for this design choice. The lack of doors allows for faster and more efficient delivery, improved safety, better visibility, and some money saved on maintenance.

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Ernest Martynyuk

An automotive enthusiast who's been tinkering with vehicles since I was 15-years old. Repairing automotive electronics has been my main job for over a decade now and have a passion for everything technical regarding cars.

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