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USPS Searching For The Mail Truck Of The Future

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Posted 02/27/2015   12:28 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Linky: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015...cmp=features

"The agency is looking to replace its aging fleet of very aptly named Long Life Vehicles (LLVs) the iconic, boxy mail trucks with the sloped hoods that have been pulling up in front of American homes since 1987 with an all-new vehicle..........."

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Posted 02/27/2015   12:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A drone?

Peter
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Posted 02/27/2015   1:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Replacing the LLVs with the quantity needed for a new fleet is not as easy (or lucrative to a potential truck manufacturer) as it might seem on the surface. There are specific requirements that must be met, including sourcing of parts to the USPS for at least two decades into the future, making the vehicle right-hand drive, customizing the vehicle to other special USPS needs, having both air conditioned and non-air conditioned models (regional) and both two wheel drive and four wheel (or all wheel) drive models available (again, regional requirements based on need) and special alternative fuel vehicles (i.e. electric, hybrid, gas, diesel) while meeting mandated fuel economy requirements, too.

There is no one vehicle currently on the market that can conform to all of these requirements, and no one manufacturer has the capacity right now to manufacture the quantity of these vehicles that would be needed, so there is a significant cost to the manufacturer to "tool" these vehicles to such specifications, hire the needed staff, and create special manufacturing plants to specifically make them.

Further complicating the matter is how much of the vehicle must be made or assembled in the USA, although there have been reports that some trade regulations allow European assembly under those bidding requirements.

Although it's a lucrative contract, it's not necessarily a "home run" in terms of profit for the selected vendor, whoever that might be, especially when you have to consider all the up-front costs and the required long life (i.e. 20+ years) of durability expected, coupled with Federal mandates for safety equipment, etc.

It seems to me Ford is the obvious front-runner, as they already supply Transit Connect vans to Canada Post, so they could potentially develop something along those lines.

Here's another article on the subject. If you link to the USPS specifications for the vehicle, it's three files in excess of 10MB in size to just outline the vehicle requirements for everything down to the windshield wipers, so it's not as easy as it might seem to be a qualified bidder:

http://www.autonews.com/article/201...plate=mobile
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Posted 02/27/2015   2:01 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not to mention there may also be a requirement to sub-contract out a certain percentage of the work to small businesses, past performace requirements, extensive maintenance requirements, etc. I've worked on US federal government bids for close to a couple decades now and they can get pretty complicated. If they are complicated enough - as this one is likely to be - it becomes a considerable expense just to submit a proposal. Total expenses just to put a bid in can total many thousands and even into the millions on the really big ones, and bidders can still come up empty handed.

And then you also need a contract administrator and sales staff to handle ongoing business and contract reporting requirements if you win. The gov't doesn't issue a single $5B order, they issue task orders as needed throughout the life of the contract, and those have to be babysat every step of the way from pre-ordering though manufacturing, delivery, and getting paid on the invoice. Detailed records have to be kept and the reporting requirements can be extensive. There would likely be service level agreements (SLA's) that the contractor will need to document whether they're meeting or not. Sound complicated? It is, but any business that regulaly does a lot of business with the gov't is used to it and they have the knowledge to wade their way through it. Gov't contracts are almost always profitable for the contractor in the end, but bidding the long-term ones can be tricky and there can be factors that can cause a contractor to end up losing money, at least during some phases of the contract.
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Posted 02/27/2015   4:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kirks to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
A drone?


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Posted 03/01/2015   09:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Why buy trucks when you can have the public do all the work...haha

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Posted 03/01/2015   8:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I Brake For Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Why buy trucks when you can have the public do all the work


If the new trucks are going to be like the examples shown in the article, that just might be what happens. If the USPS buys fleets of those trucks shown in the article, the words "corner pickup" shrivels up and down my spine for even us suburbanites. Unless those trucks will be for hauling mail as opposed to delivering it.

With their financial losses as I have heard, where are they going to get one of those pictured trucks to deliver mail to every mailbox in the US (excluding rural).

The mail delivery truck is a vehicle that was designed for a specific purpose, and as the article seems to imply, did it's job well. Can't they contract out for another "special purpose" vehicle, like the army did for the Jeep? Wouldn't that save them tons of cash?


-IBFS
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All science is either Physics or Stamp Collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford
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Posted 03/05/2015   2:36 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some updated info on the topic:

Here's What USPS Is Looking For In Its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle
http://www.postal-reporter.com/blog...ery-vehicle/


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Posted 03/05/2015   4:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All I can say is that the USPS better hurry up and find a source for their NGDVs as the LLVs are going out fast ... just take a look at these accidents over the past TWO MONTHS alone!











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Posted 03/05/2015   4:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Remind me not to buy a Grumman vehicle from that company...
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Edited by wert - 03/05/2015 4:58 pm
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Posted 03/06/2015   11:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Another one bites the dust...



It sounds like these LLVs are prone to fires these days.

Back to the matter at hand about the NGDV, here is today's (03/06/2015) NY Times article on the subject:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/a...ce.html?_r=1
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Posted 03/06/2015   7:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I Brake For Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can I play?




-IBFS
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Posted 03/07/2015   12:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Buck49 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My neighbor is a letter carrier...he is due to retire in November...and on the day he started, he was assigned a vehicle and he is still driving the same one. It wasn't new when he got it, I don't know how many miles are on it now. It's been 25 years or so.
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Posted 03/07/2015   11:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eligies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
RE: IBF ; as info, that is the USPS Northeast 'SNOW MELTER' in action.
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Posted 03/07/2015   5:52 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In another 10 or 20 years the USPS won't be much more than a package delivery service, regular first class mail will finally go the way of the dinosaur. They might as well just get the same type of truck that USP and Fedex drive now, because that's basically what these new trucks will be used for before they reach the end of their service lives, assuming our packages won't be delivered by drone by then.
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Posted 03/07/2015   6:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There was also some news commentary that the development cost for a new mail truck customized to USPS specs could equal or exceed $1 billion dollars (that's "billion" with a "b") before the first one even comes off the assembly line, as quoted below from a NY Times article:


Quote:
"Getting the Postal Service contract all by itself could justify the expense of developing an entirely new model line," said Karl Brauer, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book, adding that it takes on average about $1 billion to develop a new vehicle.


With development costs like that, coupled with the previous comments about how long these trucks will be in service for mail delivery the way we know it today, could make buying something already out there much more beneficial and simply retrofit an existing product to USPS requirements (i.e. right hand drive, etc.).

The USPS already has some nice equipment they have experimented with, although I believe this is more on the scale of a larger vehicle than they typically want for local mail delivery -- but ironically it looks pretty close to the design they want for a new mail truck as shown in a previous thread:

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Edited by wt1 - 03/07/2015 7:02 pm
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