Thursday, May 19, 2011

Push, pull, or drag -- The postal vehicle fleet is aging

The average age of our 192,000 delivery vehicles is around 20 years old. And there's really no plan to replace any of them.

We spend about $750 million a year maintaining vehicles. To buy new ones, according to the Government Adminstrative Office, would cost about $5.8 billion. They also estimate it would cost $3.5 billion to refurbish the fleet.

Maintaining these older vehicles is becoming an issue. The GAO reports that 77 percent of our fleet costs less than $3,500 a year in maintenance, about three percent required more than $7,000 a year and 662 vehicles cost more than $10,500 a year to maintain.

Complicating things, is the lack of any U.S. auto maker that manufactures right-hand drive vehicles.

And of course, we have no money.

What do you think we should do? Comment here.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Take the oil company subsidy money and direct it to the Postal Service to add new vehicles.

Anonymous said...

Heaven help us, We may have to deliver on foot again, or maybe pony, bicycle- Let's be creative, I'm sure our carriers would have some really good suggestions.

grannybunny said...

We're just going to have to wait until we have the money. Of course, if we don't get some meaningful relief from Congress -- from their back-breaking financial requirements -- it's all academic anyway, because, at that point, our total survival as an institution will be in doubt.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the city carriers be like the rural carriers and use their own vehicles? They could get mileage like the rural carriers and be responsible for maintaining their own vehicles.

Jeanine Lerten said...

Another reason going to 5-day delivery is a no brainer: slow down miles driven/maintenance required relationship to spread out maintenance costs...by 20% at one whack! Imagine the green savings in this one step! Imagine the improved customer service with 20 % fewer not-the-regular-carrier issues complicating customer service & improved employee assignment accountability! Imagine decreasing OT & POT with trying to cover current 6-day responsibilities with the current FTR complement! Imagine less pivoting of routes! Imagine improved family & emotional life for those employees currently working the OT & 6th days! Imagine...just imagine!

Anonymous said...

Jeanine, imagine this. Imagine coming into your rural office EVERY MONDAY to find twice the volume of mail because your carriers were not there on Saturday. Imagine it taking twice as long for them to case, making them get out of the office late, which, in turn, makes them late getting back to the office. Imagine the collection mail that you would now have to deal with because they missed the last transport to the plant. Imagine having to pay them OT EVERY WEEK!!
Just imagine!!

Anonymous said...

This just appeared in the USPS National News Release for May 19, 2011 "Despite a year-to-date (YTD) reduction of 16 million work hours compared to last year, the Postal Service experienced operating costs $100 million above plan in quarter 2 (Jan. 1 to March 31) — ending the quarter with a YTD net loss of $2.6 billion." Really $100 million ABOVE PLAN..WOW in the normal world if a financial planner for the operating budget was off by this much they would be FIRED. This makes me wonder how accurate all these numbers truly are. In addition, in the USPS News Link for May 17, 2011 the PMG announced TWO NEW VP's- Kelly Sigmon & Michael Amato--Again how accurate are the numbers coming out of Washington if we can afford to hire not one but two new VP’s. I work in one of the "consolidated" districts; how many of upper management REALLY LOST THEIR JOBS? I know in my area managers and supervisors were just moved around and given new job titles and re-classified. As of today May 20, 2011 I have not seen one person in upper management who was actually lost their job.

Exhume said...

Eventually you are going to need to pony up for replacements. If you choose to wait it does not change the fact that you are still paying for a vehicle that you know you are going to replace.
Start with the worst offenders, the vehicles that cost the most to maintain. Replace them and then the next batch of costly vehicles. Choose the Tri-pod like delivery vehicle...flexible fuel..or straight gas LLV. That vehicle will pay for itself in a few years versus the maintenance of what it replaced.

I realize that there are many financial problems that I am not aware of. However choosing to continue to dump money in to vehicles that have no future seems like we are making another poor decision.