WASHINGTON DC – After 30 years of using boxy-looking postal trucks, the United States Postal Service is modernizing its fleet to a newer, safer, more economical, and modern looking mail truck. They are calling it the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) and it has a lot of extras.
After using the current Grumman Long Life Trucks built between 1987 through 1994, mail carriers will be treated to a whole new experience by 2023. There are currently over 100,000 of the old trucks that don’t meet current safety standards, including no airbags or antilock brakes.
There are reports that the current trucks were supposed to be decommissioned before 2017. The Postal Regulatory Commission reviewed the efficiency of the Grumman trucks in 2019 and reported the vehicles were too costly to maintain and repair.
Kimberly Frum, a senior public relations representative for the USPS, touted the upgrades of the NGDV as some of the most modern automotive technology available.
“The new trucks will include air conditioning and heating, improved ergonomics, including 360-degree cameras,” she said. “They will also have advanced braking and traction control, air bags, a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning, and automatic braking.”
The futuristic vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity to carry more packages as they maximize efficiency stemming from the growth of eCommerce.
“The contract is the first part of a multi-billion-dollar 10-year effort to replace the old delivery vehicle fleet, one of the world’s largest,” Frum said. “The Postal Service fleet has more than 230,000 vehicles in every class, including both purpose-built and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles.”
She said there are approximately 190,000 letter carriers delivering mail six, and often seven, days a week in every U.S. community.
“The NGDV, along with other COTS vehicles, will replace and expand the current delivery fleet,” Frum said. “That will include many vehicles that have been in service for 30 years.”
The 10-year $482 million a year contract to build the mail trucks was awarded to Oshkosh Defense, a contractor in Oshkosh, WI with the promises to assemble 50,000 to 160,000 of them over 10 years.
USPS officials said the vehicles will be equipped with a fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric power trains and are built to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies.
“As the American institution that binds our country together, the U.S. Postal Service can have a bright and modern future if we make the investment today that positions us for excellence tomorrow,” said Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis Deloy. “The NGDV program expands our capacity for handling more package volume and supports our carriers with cleaner and more efficient technologies, more amenities, and greater comfort and security as they deliver every day on behalf of the American people.”
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage products and services to fund its operation.