Grumman LLV

Grumman LLV

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This is the typical vehicle used by letter carriers for curbside and residential delivery of mail, replacing the previous standard letter-carrier vehicle, the Jeep DJ-5. It entered service in 1987. Like the old postal-service Jeep, it features a right-handed driver's position (the opposite of the normal U.S. passenger car left-hand drive) and a large metal tray (able to hold three trays of letter mail) mounted where a passenger seat would normally be. This arrangement positions the driver on the side of the vehicle closest to the curb, enabling the carrier to easily grab sorted mail and place it into mailboxes without having to leave the seat. Other notable features are an exceptionally tight turning radius and a low-geared transmission for pulling heavy cargo.

The LLV was specifically designed for the United States Postal Service, and won a contract for production. The main design points of the vehicle in contract competition were: serviceability, handling in confined areas, and overall economical operation. As its name suggests, the LLV is easily capable of 20 years of operation without an overhaul, and existing LLVs will likely be in service for another 20. The body and final assembly is by Grumman, and the chassis is made by General Motors, with the powerplant (2.5L I-4 TBI "Iron Duke") and front suspension similar to those used in the Chevrolet S-10 pickup. The LLV's average EPA fuel economy is 17 mpg (16 city/18 highway) [http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/2008selemodelf.jsp?year=1988&make=Grumman%20Allied%20Industries] .

In some areas LLVs have been replaced with minivans, which tend to be much more comfortable for postal workers, especially in extreme climates. On some shorter routes, electric trucks with LLV bodies have replaced the original vehicles.Fact|date=March 2008

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