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Why is the top of a UPS truck white?

UPS TruckBecause it’s a big translucent skylight.

Which means that drivers can see what they’re doing without using electricity for internal lights. That’s a lot of electricity saved across their huge fleet.

Simple, smart ideas like this are what gives a company the extra edge it needs to be truly great.

Are you paying attention to the little things that make a big difference?

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  1. Jason November 29, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    You learn something new every day…I didn’t even know the tops of UPS trucks were white. Great post and great idea.

  2. Kevin November 29, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    That’s not true, actually. The top of the truck is white to reflect the sun. The trucks don’t have air conditioning and painting the roof white helps keep down the internal temperature of the truck. The roof is not translucent.

  3. Rana November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    @Kevin whether it were for the light or the air conditioning (or both) they’re saving electricity. Definitely a simple and smart idea ;)

  4. oliver marks November 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    It’s also because it is very hard to finish spray the roof of commercial vehicles and no one sees the color anyway. Not all UPS trucks have translucent roof panels, many are just in primer

  5. Michael French December 1, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    Hi. I am with UPS in public relations and I deal with the UPS vehicles. The white roof of a UPS package car is in fact translucent! The intent is to provide our drivers with better light so they can see and sort the packages while on route without the need for electric interior lighting in the cargo bay. Having been on routes with drivers, I can tell you that the illumination is extremely helpful when pulling packages.

  6. Kevin December 1, 2011 at 8:35 am #


    That’s interesting. In the biography of UPS (or maybe it was the founder), the author explained that the roof was simply painted white for heat control reasons.

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