USPS OIG: The Road to a New Delivery Fleet

the-road-to-a-new-delivery-fleetWhat should the postal vehicle of the future look like? The U.S. Postal Service recently put that question to its carriers and vehicle maintenance personnel and is currently reviewing the feedback. It’s an important question because the delivery fleet is aging and the Postal Service needs to quickly replace it.   In fact, our recent audit on the topic found the current fleet can only meet delivery needs through fiscal year 2017 – and that assumes no unexpected decrease in vehicle inventory or increase in the number of motorized routes.

LLVsAbout 142,000 long-life vehicles (LLVs) out of the 190,000-vehicle total delivery fleet are near or have exceeded their expected service life. Replacing these aging vehicles is daunting, particularly given the Postal Service’s financial constraints.

But fleet replacement isn’t just a major challenge; it’s also a big opportunity. Because the LLVs are up to 27 years old, they aren’t as fuel efficient as newer models. They also lack many of the safety features now considered standard for vehicle fleets, such as back-up cameras, front airbags, and anti-lock brakes. The next generation of vehicles can incorporate the latest safety and environmental bells and whistles, which will protect employees, cut down on fuel costs, and help the Postal Service meet its sustainability goals. Also, given the growth in packages, new vehicle designs could address the challenges of larger and irregularly shaped items.

The Postal Service has a short- and long-term vehicle fleet acquisition strategy, but we found the plan lacks details such as vehicle specifications and green technology features. Also, despite 3 years of effort, the plan has not been approved or fully funded due primarily to the Postal Service’s lack of capital. Given the urgent need to upgrade the fleet, we are encouraging the Postal Service to make some incremental purchases while formalizing a more specific long-term plan for the next generation of LLVs.

What are your thoughts on future postal vehicles? What should they look like? What safety and environmental features or other technologies would you like the Postal Service to add?

via The Road to a New Delivery Fleet | Office of Inspector General.

One thought on “USPS OIG: The Road to a New Delivery Fleet

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    NALC - Irving, Texas Branch 4240
    Office held, if any
    City Letter Carrier
    Please Please save the LLV. The Grumman LLV is the best vehicle we have for city curbside delivery. Especially in cul-de-sacs. It has so much more room up front then a the Ford CRV. You have room for circulars, and you don’t to jeopardize safety, by putting things like a Schultz tray on the dash, because the CRV has no room on the floor. I would take one with 200,000. miles on it, no heat in the winter, and smoking like a chimney, before anything new that could not get close to mailboxes and cars and mailbox planters. I waste so much time with the Ford CRV, having to get out of the vehicle to deliver mail, because the bumpers are so big, or longer front end, and the turning radius is know where close to that of the LLV. And the seat belts don’t hold you in the vehicle when you have to lean out to put mail in the box. And the mirror blind spots are no better then the LLV, which boggles the mind, how that (HUGE) safety problem got past anyone, or has ever been addressed.

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