Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Postal Delivery Trucks Stink. Let's Redesign Them.

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Austin: You rolling?

This is the stupidest costume ever.


This is a United States Postal Delivery Truck.

Its been around for while.

The truck is The Grumman LLV (or, Long Life Vehicle) and as the name implies, it was built

to last.

A custom order from the US government in 1986, before which, the USPS employed modified Jeeps.

The Jeeps werent getting the job done, so the Postal Service approached 3 different

companies with a list of criteria for the perfect mail truck - and this model won out.

An aluminum body which sits on top of a Chevy S10 frame, with an engine, affectionately

called the "Iron Duke" by GM, giving it a top speed of about 60 miles per hour.

A fine solution for the time, but The Grummans long life, (which was projected at just over

20 years) is well past the expiration date.

The USPS currently employs 146,000 of these trucks in their fleet.

Give them credit: the design has lasted a long time - but, it hasnt been without

its issues.

Most of the blame could probably be laid at the feet of the aluminum design.

The body is mostly riveted together, and it lacks any insulation.

No insulations means BIG problems.

You can probably guess that the LLVs dont have air conditioning, which means during

the summer, the interior temperature of the truck can rise to well over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

And during the winter, the thirty-year-old heaters are notoriously unreliable, turning

the truck into a freezer on wheels.

From experience I know that these trucks are NOT designed to handle severe winter weather.

When the snow starts falling, the solution in Missouri seems to be: "chain the tires

and hope for the best".

The LLVs also frequently have electrical problems, which lead to fires.

Theres LITERALLY a website dedicated to tracking how often these things catch fire

- and researchers have come up with a long list of reasons why, including a design flaw:

the windshield wiper fluid line is installed directly above the LLVs fusebox.

Long story short, these lines have a tendency to leak.

Windshield wiper fluid is flammable, so the fluid hits the fusebox, sparking a fire, and

a truck with no insulation, made of aluminum, filled with paper and cardboard cargo means

bad news bears.

It gets even more dangerous when you factor in the fuel tank.

The LLV runs on gas, and goes an astonishing 10 miles per gallon.

AND according to the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General:

it cost the Postal Service about $524 million to fix the LLVs in the year 2009, alone.

More than 40,000 trucks required more than $3,500 each in maintenance and another 19,000

of these required an average of $5,600 in repairs consecutively in 2008 and 2009."

As I said earlier, these are all symptoms of DESIGN flaws.

The only solution?

A NEW design.

So, today: lets redesign the USPS delivery truck.

Well start with the body.

The LLVs have a fairly iconic and minimalist design, which well endeavor to honor, but

the trucks need to handle the elements better.

OUR body will take a few design hints from some of the more vintage delivery trucks,

while providing top-of-the-line durability against harsh road conditions.

Lets take a closer look.

First, the back.

In terms of practicality, our LLV has plenty of space for packages big and small - in fact,

enough room that you can hot-swap cargo on the fly if the truck needs to be reallocated

to another part of town, and even converted to provide first aid support in the event

of a local emergency.

To make the new LLVs more drive-able than their predecessors, all-terrain truck tires

will provide versatility in all kinds of road conditions.

Both affordable and long lasting, the need for chaining tires during winter weather will

be a thing of the past.

Weve added LEDs around the body.

This serves two purposes: first it will help direct traffic around the delivery truck,

and it'll make things safer by making the truck more visible during harsh weather.

Packages can now be accessed from both the back, and side, with a sliding door that allows

the driver to exit the vehicle safely from either direction.

The current LLVs have the steering wheel on the right side for safety, but our design

eliminates that need, and, by making both left-and-right side delivery possible, allows

local mail carriers more freedom to design a quicker route.

Our truck also sits higher than the current LLV which reduced the chances that the vehicle

will be flooded out by heavy rain or stuck in snow or mud.

More often than not, motor vehicle accidents involving delivery trucks take place while

the truck is stationary, so well also install an airbag system, and modern collision detection

sensors that will deploy when they sense an immediate impact, so that the driver stays


Next, lets move to software.

Its the 21st century.

We want these trucks to last even longer than the previous model, and mail delivery is already

a complicated logistical system, so we can help make that easier by adding the trucks

to a digital network.

Most mail carriers keep a tablet on their person right now, but with a new design, we

can integrate it into the truck itself.

That way, we can monitor route analytics and truck diagnostics to design quicker safer

delivery schedules, and to monitor the trucks for maintenance issues, so we can solve big

problems before they arise.

Additionally, well install cameras on every side of the truck, which the driver can monitor.

This helps the truck move in and out of difficult or cramped areas easier, and the recorded

footage can serve a number of purposes in the event of an accident, theft, or even altercation.

Under the hood, well give the vehicle an electric motor.

I mean, why not?

Mail trucks are the perfect candidate for electric engines - their daily travel consists

of a small, localized area.

They can recharge every evening at carrier annexes, it will save a tremendous amount

of money on fuel, and if the local post office is forward-thinking, they can get on a solar

power grid and save even more money.

Last but not least, to add a bit of flair, well give it flames.

Now, I know this item probably wont make it through committee, but I CANNOT state enough

how important this feature is to the overall design.

Put it all together, and youve got the mail truck of the future.

Now, obviously, Im no design expert, but surely someone out there can take these principles

and put something together worthy of the USPS.

It truly is an urgent need.

The office of the inspector general also noted that, from 2010 to the time this video is

being filmed, the high amount of maintenance needed for the current LLVs cost $342 million

MORE than it would have cost to buy new trucks.

Thats the big reason why the United States government has gone looking for the next big


A number of vehicle manufacturers like AM General, Oshkosh, Karsan, Mahindra, and the

Workhorse Group are currently competing for a design contract to build the next generation

of USPS delivery trucks.

If only America knew a forward-thinking, billionaire electric car designer who specializes in revolutionizing

out-of-date infrastructures.


*music beat*

Got your own suggestions of how to redesign the postal delivery truck?

Let them be known in the comments!

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The Description of Postal Delivery Trucks Stink. Let's Redesign Them.