Special Delivery: Oshkosh Defense to build next generation of mail trucks

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 3:12 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 4:55 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The next generation of mail trucks making a delivery in your neighborhood will come from Oshkosh Defense.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced it awarded a 10-year contract with Oshkosh to build between 50,000 and 165,000 delivery vehicles. The contract is worth $482 million to begin but could reach billions of dollars.

”This is a monumental contract for both the United States Postal Service as well as Oshkosh Corporation,” says John Pfeifer, President and COO of Oshkosh Corporation.

The postal services says it “will drive the most dramatic modernization of the USPS fleet in three decades.” That fleet numbers 228,940 vehicles, and some being used to deliver mail today were put into service 30 years ago.

According to Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, “This is an historic moment for the Postal Service. It is also a critical piece of our 10 year business plan to better serve America.”

Some of the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) will use fuel-efficient gas engines and some will be electric. The battery electric powertrains will be designed for retrofits to keep up with new electric vehicle technology.

“This is the first major electrification program we’re doing. So, zero emission, battery electric vehicles in this fleet and there’s low emission internal combustion vehicles in this fleet,” adds Pfeifer.

The postal service says all of the trucks will be built in the U.S. They’ll have modern features including 360-degree cameras, advanced braking and traction control, front and rear collision avoidance systems, automatic braking, heating and air-conditioning. They’ll also be designed to carry more cargo, as the postal service delivers more packages now from the growth of online retailing.

Pfeifer says, “This is designed for safety, for productivity. Designed with the postal worker in mind to help keep them very productive and safe enabling them to do their jobs well.”

According to Car and Driver magazine, Oshkosh was one of six vehicle manufacturers competing for the contract. In a 2018 article, the magazine reported a prototype was a modified Ford Transit cargo van with a roll-up rear door and extended front and rear bumpers. Ford was not mentioned in Tuesday’s announcement.

A news release from the USPS said Oshkosh Defense is evaluating where the trucks will be built but would choose at least one of its manufacturing plants in the U.S.

The first Oshkosh Defense mail trucks could be delivering mail in your neighborhood in 2023.

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