Trucks on fire: USPS Long Life Vehicles outlive their lifespan

Trucks on fire: USPS Long Life Vehicles outlive their lifespanTrucks on fire: USPS Long Life Vehicles outlive their lifespan

With over 211,000 vehicles, the Postal Service operates the largest civilian fleet in the world.  About 190,000 vehicles are used to collect and deliver the mail, and about 140,000 of them are Grumman-built Long Life Vehicles (LLVs), the iconic postal trucks that are a ubiquitous presence on America’s streets and roads.

These LLVs are getting on in years, and it’s long past time to begin replacing them.  They’re getting far too expensive to maintain, they may be involved with an increasing number of accidents, and more and more of them are ending their lives in a fiery blaze with a postal worker scurrying to save the mail.

Just last week, another LLV went up in flames in Tyler, Texas, and nearly 2,000 pieces of mail were destroyed.  Along with videos of letter carriers tossing packages and pictures of cars crashing into post offices, images of postal trucks on fire have become an Internet meme.

The aging fleet

Most LLVs are Right Hand Delivery (RHD) vehicles that were purchased between 1987 and 1994.  They weren’t built to last forever.  In fact, they were designed to go for 24 years, and many of them are already well past their expected lifespan.

As this chart from a February 2015 USPS presentation shows, most RHD LLVs are now more than 24 years old.  (There are more details in this useful infographic.)

Read more from Save The Post Office

Infographic: The USPS Long Life Vehicle

Video: Postal vehicle catches fire, mail destroyed in Tyler TX

Video: Postal vehicle catches fire, mail destroyed in Tyler TX

Super Mailman: Rural Carrier saves mail after LLV catches fire

Arizona letter carrier survives LLV fire

USPS awards contract for Extended Capacity Delivery Vehicles valued at $351 million

USPS truck burns in Manitowoc, Wisconsin some mail destroyed

Postal truck burns in Colorado Springs

Photo: Mail truck catches fire in Walnut Creek CA

USPS Vehicle Catches Fire in Sandwich MA

Mail Truck catches fire in Puerto Rico

Trucks on fire: USPS Long Life Vehicles outlive their lifespan

6 thoughts on “Trucks on fire: USPS Long Life Vehicles outlive their lifespan

  1. Lets all hope the new vehicles are anything like the Chevy Uplanders we have in the mid west! These piles of junk are less than 10 years old and have had new engines installed as early as 19k!!!!!! The caravans hold up excellent!

  2. and yet VMF managers were told in Oct. that they had to maintain these vehicles for another 4 years (More realistically 6 yr) and we are to start saving money (reduce maintenance cost) to help pay for the VMF ReOrg and the good old boy promotions that went along with the ReOrg. We have heard nothing about training, nothing about the substandard wages we are trying hire tech with, and no help on the contracting out vs the union. Another top heavy org with little to no help for the people at the bottom who are actually keeping fleet running

  3. How long does the Postal Service keep their limos? Instead of paying big bucks in arbitration awards, why not purchase new trucks? How come the Postal Service isn’t charged with causing unsafe work practice? Isn’t it time to send the LLVs to Afghanistan?

  4. the usps doesnt give a crap. they r not going to buy new trucks anytime soon. this just proves that they could care less about their employees. if the carier goes up in smoke, they dont have to pay out his pension. heartless bstrds!

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