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USPS Not Ready to Replace Deteriorating Grumman LLV Postal Trucks

  • The Postal Service has again delayed the awarding of a contract for the replacement for its Grumman LLV.
  • The USPS has been looking for a company to award a more than $6 billion contract to since 2015.
  • The Grumman LLVs still in operation cost around $3000 a year to keep running.

    The U.S. Postal Service has been searching for a replacement for its legendary, if deteriorating, Grumman Long Life Vehicles for over half a decade now. The decision of which company would be awarded the contract to replace those trucks was slated to happen at the end of this year, but as is the modus operandi of 2020, those plans changed. That contract will be announced early next year, the USPS has announced.

    It’s not the first time the awarding of the contract has been delayed, and now, according to Trucks.com, there are only three remaining companies bidding for the contract to replace the USPS trucks. Those include Workhorse, an Ohio-based startup which is the only company offering an all-electric option; Karsan, a Turkey-based company with a plug-in hybrid design for the truck, and Oshkosh, which is based in Wisconsin and has offered an internal-combustion-engined vehicle.

    “Amid continuing COVID-19 concerns, and in order to provide for capital investment activities and required approvals, the program schedule has been revised and a decision is now planned for (January to March 2021),” a statement from the USPS read.

    Keeping those Grummans in operation isn’t cheap for the USPS. They were intended to have 24-year life spans. But, since they were manufactured between 1987 and 1994, all have surpassed that age. A 2014 report from the USPS Office of the Inspector General found that each vehicle costs roughly $3000 to keep in service each year. Couple that with trucks that return 10 mpg, and you have vehicles that desperately need to be replaced.

    And even though the USPS can keep enough running, currently around 140,000, to deliver mail, some of the trucks are finding their way into irreparable problems. Last year, Trucks.com discovered that in the five years prior, 120 of the Grumman LLVs had lit on fire –and there’s no theory as to why it has been happening.

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