Ok, lets get the obvious out of the way, the most predominate feature of the new United States Postal Service trucks, designed and built by Oshkosh out of Wisconsin, is the massive duck bill front end.
But the extra low profile front bumper and exaggeratedly tall front windshield serve a purpose (other than just looking like a duckbill). Over the past decade, while traffic fatalities have been on the decline, pedestrian deaths have actually increased.
While this increase has multiple contributing factors (including the silence of electric vehicles), a large portion of the fatalities can be attributed to the increase of large, heavy trucks and SUVs on the road and their larger “strike zones.” The height of the front ends of these vehicles means that when they strike a pedestrian, the person is taking the brunt of the impact in the torso and the vital organs within.
Oshkosh’s new mail carrier is designed specifically to ‘Sweep the leg’ and take out a person out at the knees…almost as if Oshkosh contracted the design work out to Cobra Kai.
While still not an enjoyable experience, the design is for person to be thrown on the convex hood where, thanks to the curved design, they are most likely to roll off to the side. While not ideal, it is far safer than being being thrown in front of or, even worse, below the vehicle.
Like this guy!
The new vehicles will have multiple safety features, including back-up cameras, front collision warnings, automatic front and rear braking and blind spot detectors. The rear of the vehicle has more cargo space than the current USPS truck, which is important for profitability since, even before COVID, packages, rather than letters, have become the larger portion of deliveries. I think I only mailed 4 letters in all of 2020.
The new baseball cap inspired trucks will be a mix of electric and high efficiency traditional gasoline engines.
Under the contract it will build between 50,000 and 165,000 vehicles over a period of 10 years.