Is the Oshkosh NGDV Worthy of the USPS?

For the first time in decades, the United States Postal Service is getting a new mail truck to make deliveries. Since the late 1980s, the Grumman LLV has been faithfully serving the postal service, but now it is time for a change. It tools USPS some time to determine which manufacturer would be selected for the new contract, but Oshkosh Defense wound up winning out. So now, the Oshkosh Next Generation Delivery Vehicle will be a 21st-century mail truck.

The Oshkosh NGDV is not attractive

In terms of looks, the NGDV has a funny appearance. Most have compared its front-end to looking sort of like a duck bill. But, this truck is not designed to be pretty, it is built to be functional and practical. This mail truck has a massive front windshield which should help with visibility. And that is something mail carriers are likely to appreciate. 

An Oshkosh NGDV mail truck delivers the mail.
Oshkosh Next Generation Delivery Vehicle | Oshkosh Defense

Under the unconventional looks of the Oshkosh NGDV does lie a modern platform. This vehicle comes standard with a combustion engine, but Oshkosh has stated that electric models can be ordered. After serious pushback from the EPA and other government organizations, the USPS actually increased its order of EV mail trucks.

Is the new mail truck safe?

When it comes to safety, the Oshkosh NGDV will be ahead of the Grumman LLV by significant margins. It features safety equipment like a surround-view camera, automatic braking, and blind-spot monitoring. Better yet, the NGDV will also come with air conditioning, which will help with mail carrier comfort. 

Additionally, the NGDV will be slightly more efficient than the outgoing mail truck. But according to MotorTrend, fuel consumption is not a major improvement. The electric variant means that USPS can deliver the mail without needing to fill up at the pump. And that will help reduce the environmental impact of delivering the mail. 

How old is the Grumman LLV?

The Grumman LLV mail truck has been serving the USPS since 1987. The last one to be produced rolled off the line in 1994, meaning that today’s mail trucks are quite old. The postal service employs a fleet of about 140,000 LLVs, but once the Oshkosh NGDV arrives that will change. 

A USPS mail truck sits in a local neighborhood.
Grumman LLV | IFCAR

It is unclear if the NGDV will be able to compete with the longevity of the LLV, but you have to imagine that it is being built to last. It must also be able to handle the daily demands of mail delivery, which is something that makes the bidding process so competitive. 

When will USPS start using the new mail truck?

You should expect the USPS to take delivery of the Oshkosh NGDV at some point in 2023. Some models will utilize combustion engines while others will benefit from an electric powertrain. Although there has been plenty of controversy surrounding the new mail truck, it should hopefully make life easier for those who deliver the mail. 

Moving forward, it would be exciting to see more EV orders placed by USPS. If so, that would help to keep the agency in line with Biden’s executive order regarding zero-emission vehicles. But, only time will tell.

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