Time study elements



Everyday UPS package drivers are measured against a planned day. I have never had the elements of a planned day explained. Does any driver out there have knowledge of this measurement?


There was a driver in our center years ago who had that knowledge...but he mysteriously disappeared.


There are 8 basic elements of a drivers day which are measured to determine the allowed time for that day. Each element also has additional sub elements to determine how long it should take the driver to complete the day.

On the day of the time study, the observer notes which elements the driver actualy experienced and the amount of time it took.

When the time study is analyzed, the observer determines what the driver should have done by using the proper methods. In most cases what the driver actualy did and what the proper methods call for are the same. However, there are instances where the drive failed to use proper methods and the measurement will be based on what the driver should have done, not on what the driver actualy did.

The elements are:
Travel, Select, Walk to Customer, Ring Bell/Wait, Customer Contact, Walk from Customer, Load / Prepare to Travel, and Miscellanous.

The sub elements are:

TRAVEL.....posted speed limit, traffic delays, traffic signals, and stop signs. When the vehicle comes to a complete stop for one of the delays, it is noted.

SELECT.....Cab (where the driver stops and exits without selecting a package, such as at a pickup or lunch) Bulkhead or Rear Door, number of packages
selected, and Carry Aid.

WALK TO CUSTOMER.... Distance (3 to 10 feet, 11 to 20 feet, 21 to 50 feet, and over 50 feet), Stairs, Elevator (passenger or freight), 2 wheel carry aid, and 4 wheel carry

RING BELL/WAIT.....The driver must wait for the customer to respond to compllete the delivery stop (signature required, COD, Call Tag), or a pickup.

Customer Contact.....COD, Call Tag, Signature Required, sign pickup book, verify pickup packages, and obtain pickup pakages.

WALK FROM CUSTOMER.....Same sub elements as walk to customer.

LOAD / PREPARE TO TRAVEL....Bulkhead, Rear Door, and Cab (nothing to load)

MISCELLANOUS......Inside AM time, personal time, inside PM time, Manager's time.

The allowed times for these elements have been developed by studing thousands of examples of drivers performing the elements. The fastest 25% times and the slowest 25% times were eliminated. The middle 50% were averaged to determine the time it takes for the average driver to perform the task.


ups-vette...Now tell me one thing, why dont they use this formula now? I would love to have some upper managment come ride with me, and then explain to me and my center manager(who cant figure it out either), why me and my fellowdrivers are over one hour allowed while adhering to the methods.


Is anyone aware of a new pricing scheme UPS is contemplating wherein they charge for distance only and not for service levels? This would eliminate service level options all together.


Here's a new one. After PAS and new time-studies in my center we were all told that we were given 100% time allowance for anything safety related (i.e. closing bulk head door) whether we remembered or not that day.
Can you hear it......
Now. Tell me Mr.Center Manager, if UPS really cared about the safety of my poor disabled client why wasn't he given enough time to work safely?
You just know they had to of heard that at some time because that safety allowance couldn't actually be for our safety.


Thanks Vette,
Anyone out there know the allowance for miles and travel variances?


Matt-Each defined area has it's own to and from route allowance and it's own per stop allowance within that defined area. I have 5 different defined areas on my route and each has it's own to and from allowance. The way it was explained to me was that the area that has the highest to and from allowance on that day is the one you are given credit for. It is a constant number for each area that doesn't change from day to day. On the other hand the per stop allowance within a defined area will change each day based on the number of stops delivered in that area each day. Before I became a driver I was a clerk who sometimes had to do the operations reports at my bldg (before everything was computerized). There was a large chart with the allowance per stop that I had to look up and enter. I have a program on my computer in Lotus that I set up to figure my planned day. I based it on a copy of one days computation of my day that I was given by a friend in IE. I can never get it exact because the stop allowance in each area is different from the day I based my program on. Still it comes within +.25 to -.25 each day. Hope this helps.


Ms Pacman..If you read my post you would know the allowances are based on what the driver SHOULD do, using the proper methods, NOT what the drive actually did. The methods require the driver to close the bulkhead door. The allowance is based on closing the door.

All the allowed times are based on the drive using the methods.
If the driver fails to use the proper method, the time for the proper method is built into the allowance and re training of the driver is required.


The lack of understanding of work measurement, by both drivers and center management, is a major problem within UPS. A few years before I retired. I conducted a series of Time Study Workshops for every Center Manager and On Car Supervisor in my District. It consisted of a 1 week workshop of classroom. actual on road time study of a driver, and analyzing the time study.

In addition to teaching Time Study, my responsibilities required me to review every time study WITH the driver studied and the Center team for every study in every Center.
Showing a driver where the allowance was not met and the reasons why, goes a long way in building confidence in the work measurement.

I had a District Manager and I.E. Manager who both fully believed in explaining the time studies to the drivers and Center teams, unfortunately not all District Managers feel the same and have other higher priorities.

I think of work measurement at UPS the same way I think when going to the gas station and buying 20 gallons of gas. Did I actually get 18 gallons or 22 gallons for my money. The accuracy of the pump is verified by the state to insure I get what I pay for. For UPS to insure they get what they pay for, work measurement is used. If the measurement is wrong, wheather at the gas pump or at UPS, it must be corrected.


UPS Vette ....I didn't read your long post and am perplexed as to why you thought that was directed at you.


UPS vette, could you tell me how much the time would vary for vehicle size, ie the time it takes to do a delivery, etc out of a 1000 vs, a p600 or p800, is it just the walk time, or does it not figure in at all. Just curious. I actually have a p1000, now and originally had a p600 when the rt was time studied, I just wonder if even tho it is much easier to sort and deliver out of it does seem like I take a hike for some deliveries. Going by the 5.8 sec loss per pkg, that we lost it seems like I have lost alot more, or else I am just a slug. Also with added area as in more commercial (pu/and delivery) does it just kinda all dovetail together or does it make a time difference?


My point being, my center manager and driver sup have both admitted that our allowances have been totally fried. However, they are scared to death to say anything. I really wish I could get the head of the IE dept. to come ride with me and see how he explains his way out of this.


Time studies were done ages ago and areas change quickly.I get up to 35 express del stops some days,about 12 10:30`s and the rest by noon.I try
to do the air and ground at the same time,because
I still have 35 stops to go before I start my pickup log.I just got my 10th on-call and managed to bang off 20 more del before 1pm.LUNCH!...ok 2pm half hour to clean up the oncalls and 5 more stops...still 10 resis left.Start my 28 reg p/u`s at 2:30...6 more on-calls...5PM and my p800 is 98% full...
I`ve been through my area 4 times by 6pm.
Aw crap,that bonehead always calls for a pickup
at 6:29 on a Friday night.Make that 5 times.
[study that]Every days a challenge.
No such thing as an average day at UPS.
I`ll be 50 in 2 weeks...sometimes I think this job is killing me,other times I wonder if its the only thing keeping me alive.Arm wrestle?


The problem with this measurement is that the sum of the parts do not equal the whole. UPS breaks it down into only the elements it chooses to and feels it can quantify. Most drivers can perform each of the elements you describe in the time allowed for each but they somehow can't complete the day in the allowed time. I would say something is missing.


What other elements of a driver's day could there possibly be besides:

TRAVEL...all time the vehicle is moving, including traffic delays.

SELECT..all time the driver spends in the car poior to exiting the vehicle, including the time walking to the rear of the vehicle to select packages or open the rear door to load pickup packages.

WALK TO CUSTOMER.....all time the driver spends walking to a customer, including walking outside a building and walking inside a building.

RING BELL/WAIT....all time the driver waits for a responce to enter a building or a customer to answer at a residential signature required stop.

CONTACT....all the time a driver spends at point of contact with the consignee or pickup.

WALK FROM CUSTOMER...all time a driver spends walking from a customer.

LOAD / PREPARE.....all time a driver spends back at the vehicle before travel.

MISCELLANOUS....all other time including inside am, sort & load, inside pm, lunch & breaks, and any other time not part of the delivery/pickup cycle.

I have personally time studied and analyzed over 150 drivers. There are 2 areas where a driver most oftens fails to meet, or beat, the allowances, SELECT and CONTACT.

I have been with drivers who spend time re-sorting their entire load several times during the day, which was not necessary. One driver moved a package 6 times before finally selecting it for delivery. I've seen drivers move packages from shelf to shelf and one side of the car to the other. All were wasted motions, not the proper methods, and no time should be allowed. I've seen cases where it was required for the driver to re-sort the load because of a poor load. As in the other case, no time is allowed for this excess sorting. The reason is you can't develope work measurement based on a poor load. The goal is to correct the load and eliminate the excess time the driver spends re-sorting. Work measurement is designed to highlight inefficenties and correct them, not hide them.

As for Contact, a driver spending an additional 20 seconds at 120 stops will be 40 minutes over allowed in contact. That may be a bit extream, but spending 1 or 2 extra minutes at 25 of the 120 stops will have the same result.

The sum of the parts DO equal the whole.


CONTACT - Hi how's it going today? Great You?, "say I have a question about a package I received yesterday". "Sorry, times up I gotta go". Sometimes I think management needs to be time studied!!


The "planned day" is a joke. Don't fall for their crap as the "planned day" changes day to day.


Work measurement is supposed to be done during a "typical day" and based on a volume which will be average during the period the allowances are in affect.
Our center was studied in AUGUST; schools were closed!
Besides not having the dolly load to each school the traffic patterns were also totally different! In the small town where I deliver school traffic makes a HUGE difference.
MGMT.'s comment:That won't make enough difference to matter! BS


Is there any serious allowance for weather. A foot of snow or a half inch of ice doesn't affect my stop count but it sure affects my day.
I would have loved to have seen what would have happened had the ice storm that has the Atlanta area bogged down this weekend, hit on Monday morning. With most drivers in the South having little or no experience driving in those conditions, I think it would have been a disaster. Especially since most have to use the freeways with the rest of the ice skaters to get on area. Heck, half of them were shut down today. So much for 10:30 commits!!!

But seriously, does it matter?