UPS Uses Videogames, Hands-On Training for New Drivers

Apr 14, 2010

Convinced that the bulk of its mostly 20-something driver recruits respond best to high-tech instruction and real-world practice, UPS has implemented videogame technology and hands-on learning as training tools, according to the Wall Street Journal.

With its older generation of drivers retiring in the near future, UPS is looking to boost the effectiveness of its driver training methods and hire 25,000 new recruits over the next five years.

Driver candidates now spend one week at Integrad, a UPS training center near Washington, D.C. They are trained in the company’s “340 Methods,” prescribed by UPS industrial engineers to save time and improve safety in every task from lifting and loading boxes to selecting a package from a shelf in the truck.

The new methods include a videogame that places them in the driver’s seat and has them identify obstacles, “kinetic learning” modules where candidates practice loading and unloading packages from a UPS truck, and computer simulations where they drive a real truck and must successfully execute five deliveries in 19 minutes.

Of the 1,629 trainees who have completed Integrad since it began as an experiment in 2007, only 10 percent have failed the training program, which takes a total of six weeks overall and includes 30 days driving a truck in the real world.

A second Integrad will open in the Chicago area in the summer, and the training methods will eventually go company-wide, he said.

What is your fleet doing to train new drivers?  Think about these new methods as you move your company forward.

Photo courtesy of maveric2003 under the Creative Commons License