U.S. Postal Service searching for vehicle replacement

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USPS vehicles are in need of replacement. What will be next?

Most of the vehicles that are iconic of the U.S. Postal Service are in desperate need of an emergency delivery. The vehicles were designed with a 24-year life cycle, and are simply getting old. Agency reports say that replacing the entire fleet with similar vehicles would cost $4.2 billion. Is replacement the only option?

Postal service LLVs

The right handed delivery trucks that the postal service uses are known as LLVs — Long Life Vehicles. The trucks were designed with a 24-year lifecycle of daily driving. That 24 year lifecycle is coming to a close. The Postal Service Inspector General has said that, over the next eight years, the Postal Service would spend more repairing the vehicles than replacing them.

Price of repairing USPS vehicles

In fiscal year 2009, the U.S. Postal Service spent $524 million on LLV repair. Generally, repairing the vehicles rather than replacing them has been a good financial decision. The average repair bill for each LLV is about $5,600, with some going as high as $40,000. The vehicles do not usually require specialized maintenance, though the right-handed driving setup can cause more expensive maintenance at times.

Replacing the LLV fleet

The cost to benefit comparison of continuing to repair the LLV fleet is quickly turning upside down. In the next eight years, the postal service will actually lose money if it repairs rather than replaces any vehicles that have a repair bill of more than $3,500. Straight-across replacement of the full LLV fleet would cost $30,000 per truck.

Testing Postal Service vehicle alternatives

The alternatives for U.S. Postal Service delivery vehicles are being heavily researched. The USPS has offered a $50,000 reward to five different firms for providing a working prototype of a USPS vehicle by August. Letter carriers in many other areas are testing three-wheeled electric vehicles, bicycles, and more traditional minivan-style vehicles for delivering the mail, rain or shine.

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0 Comments

  1. Darrell Brown on

    The US Post Office is looking for a solution to the mail truck replacement problem. But I think that this problem is only the tip of an iceberg. There are other governmental problems that are equal to this. Recently I made a suggestion to Missouri Senator Carnahan a proposal to obtain many more solutions. And I have submitted the following to other Congressional members from Missouri. The United States needs a "National Suggestion System." There is enough creative thought in the United States to clear up some of the problems.

    • Steve on

      Darrell-

      Thanks for your comment. I can see where you’d be frustrated by their not being a “National Suggestion System,” like you suggest. It seems to me that Obama had a similar idea that he presented during his campaign, via the administration’s Web presence, but I’m not sure that idea ever took off. As it stands, the old-fashioned way of writing your Congressman, Representative or other elected official is still the way to send such suggestions. Thankfully, the Web makes it easier to find ways to get in touch with them.

  2. Darrell Brown on

    Part two
    Make the rewards tax free, and commensurate with the solutions. And if possible, make the rewards anonymously for those people/organizations that do not want to be plagued for money.

    I will wait now and see what you/the USPS and government do with this before offering any other solutions. At the time of an suggestion, your web site needs a contact point and phone numbers to send suggestions to, with documentation. Also, a proposed plan of accountability.

    • Steve on

      I’m curious to see what the government will do, as well. Car Deal Expert is not affiliated, so we are not a direct source for such info. I’m curious, though – what do you think about how the USPS is looking to up the cost of postage again?

  3. Anthony Waner on

    Mag International Inc has one, its up on you tube and as far as we know the only one working, if you need to contact someone try Anthony at 714 965 2223,