The USPS has been in need of a new postal vehicle for around 15 years. And while your mail is delivered on time, this initiative wasn’t. My former employer did not want to shell out that cold hard cash.
The beloved vehicle you see on the road today is the Grumman LLV. Initially slated to last for 20 years, the yardstick kept getting longer. Instead of actually replacing them, they just reclassified the meaning of how long they should be around.
They were originally built for 1984-1994. This means the last one produced, a.k.a the newest LLV on the road today, is nearly 27 years old. The oldest are nearing 37 years.
You can probably tell I’m critical it took so long to replace them. And that’s because I am! The Grumman is still on the road today. It’s a perfectly capable vehicle, but it is also unbearably hot in the summer and ill equipped for winter roads.
It’s a quick google search to see postal vehicles catching on fire. Or the fact that Grumman’s have no air conditioning, and no air bags. For a company that reiterates safety and uses it as a tool to shape their employees, basic accommodation isn’t met.
They’re of course not the only large shipper without air conditioning, UPS is in the same boat. Because it’s an added cost. But temperatures inside mail trucks are known to soar above those outside, as a fallen carrier experienced. There is a great story on that by inside edition on youtube.
So what am I getting to here? Well, it’s great news that there is finally a new contract. And it can’t come soon enough for the health of postal carriers. The actual details of the contract show it’s a ten year rollout. The first of these trucks won’t hit the road until 2023.
Better late than never. If you’d like to read the full press release, you can check out here at USPS’s website.