Plastics Deliver Massive Weight Savings for UPS - Design News United Parcel Service (UPS) is redesigning its familiar brown delivery trucks with plastics to save up to 40 percent in fuel costs compared to the standard aluminum-body vehicle. The company expects to achieve this goal by replacing metal truck bodies with composites and other plastics, which will lighten their weight by 900 pounds. It plans to buy 150 new trucks with the plastic bodies, with delivery slated for the fourth quarter of this year. The company's next step is to test the same materials in larger, heavier vehicles to determine how well they work. UPS is working with several vehicle manufacturers in an attempt to cut vehicle weight, improve miles per gallon, and increase fuel efficiency by a number of different methods, including structural and operational approaches. Other design changes to existing vehicles include prototype hoods to improve aerodynamics, perforated mud flaps on tractor-trailers for reducing wind resistance, and using telematics to help reduce miles traveled to deliver packages. UPS also has more than 2,500 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles in service.