Since 1987, the Grumman Long Life Vehicle mail truck has been loyally serving the United States Postal Service. It is based on the Chevy S-10 Blazer and has been a fairly reliable mail truck throughout its lifecycle. But, after years of debate, it is finally time for the USPS to get a new delivery vehicle. This time, built by the Oshkosh Defense company, and it has not been without controversy. So, how is life with the Grumman LLV and what can we expect from the Oshkosh NGDV 2023 mail truck for USPS?
The Grumman LLV mail truck is an iconic delivery vehicle
The Grumman LLV mail truck has been an iconic vehicle for some time. It represents getting a physical piece of communication, something that can feel lost in the digital age. But, the Grumman LLV is not without its problems. According to Autotrader, it lacks an air conditioner and the stock heater is prone to failure.
Additionally, the 2.5-liter “Iron Duke” engine is not known for its efficiency. But, the engine is paired to a three-speed automatic transmission, which does come in handy for the low speeds that this vehicle typically operates at.
The Grumman LLV also has a limited lifespan, like any automobile. And now, the time has come to retire this vehicle and replace it with the 2023 USPS mail truck.
Is the Grumman LLV USPS truck being discontinued?
While the Grumman LLV still serves as a mail truck, it is being phased out. Starting in 2015, the USPS made an announcement that it would be opening up bids for a new generation of mail trucks. And finally, in 2021 the winner of the bidding process was announced as Oshkosh. The company is contracted to deliver over 160,000 units over the next 10 years, at first with combustion engines, and then later an electric option would be available.
Unsurprisingly, the process of getting new mail trucks has not been easy. Even into 2022, questions have been raised about the contract and the EPA attempted to intervene in the situation. The main issues revolve around efficiency, which apparently the Oshkosh mail truck does not excel at.
Because the USPS functions with more autonomy than other government organizations, Postmaster DeJoy was able to reject criticism by the EPA and place an official order, with the first deliveries scheduled to happen in 2023. The Oshkosh truck will be known as the NGDV, which means “Next Generation Delivery Vehicle.”
The 2023 Oshkosh NGDV is set to be an electric mail truck
As electric vehicles become more common on area roads, it makes sense for government vehicles to benefit from EV technology. For the first 50,000 orders of the new Oshkosh mail truck, a little over 10,000 models will be electric. If the EV models are cheaper to operate than combustion engine models, that could potentially mean savings in the long term. Despite the EV models costing slightly more than their gas-powered counterparts.
While the NGDV may have some issues, both contractually and in practicality, the updated vehicle will likely be appreciated by mail carriers. It should be more comfortable, and it will certainly be more modern. No matter how much the iconic Grumann LLV may be missed by the general public.