Dot’s Reading Room: US Postal Service Update, Part 1 ~ Did You Ever Wonder …

… What it’s like to ride in a US Postal Truck?

When the U.S. mail trucks come lumbering around your neighborhood did you ever wonder just how comfortable those LLVs (Long Life Vehicles) really are?  How about on a 95-degree day or a minus 3-degree day in winter?

As reported by the Washington Post, which follows US Postal Service news obsessively, the trucks don’t have airbags or air conditioning, and they get 10 miles per gallon. And they have frequent problems, including a tendency to catch on fire. At the time they came into service, back in 1987, they were considered “revolutionary.” Produced by Grumman with an expected lifetime of 24 years, they became the distinctive hallmark of the postal service.

Anyone remember these?

Prior to that, the Post Service used a jeep-like vehicle.

The LLV fleet will start to be replaced in 2023 when the “Next Generation Delivery Vehicle” (the “NGDV”) is introduced.  The NGDV is larger, can hold more packages (which makes sense now that the postal service is delivering so many packages), comes with a backup camera, has an ergonomic design, and air conditioning. A contract was offered to Oshkosh Defense in February for the vehicles but that in itself is now a source of controversy.

A company named Workhorse, which makes electric vehicles, is suing the Postal Service in an effort to block the $6 billion procurement process for the new trucks. Oshkosh got the contract based on a flexible truck model that could be converted from an internal combustion engine to a battery-electric powertrain.  Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is leading the move toward electric vehicles.

The next time the mail truck pulls up to your door, wave to the driver and ask if they are looking forward to the new vehicles.


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