So they're going to redesign the Postal Vehicles again. Probably a good idea. Mail carriers deliver mostly packages now and their vehicles are set up to deliver antique letter mail from twenty years ago. But they used to change the vehicles every now and then just to rattle the crew.
I personally preferred the ones we started with in the '70s. They were little right-hand-drive Jeeps and you could reach everything you needed from the front seat without dislodging a butt cheek. Each one had its own idiosyncrasies. If you were a lowly sub, you'd get to choose something particularly quirky from the bottom tier of the fleet. It took a certain amount of mental agility to switch from the one with the window that wouldn't go down to the one where you had to stand on the gas and the brake at the same time to modulate your speed. I hadn't been working there too long before the day I tried to save time by sliding open my door as I was coasting up to a stop, and it slid clear off its rails and cartwheeled down the street behind me. Fortunately no bystanders got decapitated but I do remember looking in my rear-view mirror and thinking: even without a decapitation event, this isn't ideal. I could probably get in trouble for this. But I backed up, hauled the door off the pavement, and stuck it back on the rails good as new, making a mental note that Jeep 998 is the one where you have to be careful of the door, and if I had a choice, I'd try to get the one where the engine didn't turn off even when you took the key all the way out. Because that one had a stellar emergency brake.
|A tidy bunch|
The Jeeps were troublesome but entirely too useful and soon enough we had them all swapped out for Ford Pintos. The big hump running down the middle for the power train proved to be a pain in the ass to arrange mail trays around, but worse, Pintos were already famous for blowing up whenever someone tapped them on the rear bumper, which is probably why the Postal Service got them cheap. And whenever we drove them up to a stop sign, we could hear an ocean of fuel sloshing back and forth underneath us like an ominous tide. It was like straddling a low-tech rocket. For the first time, we had three-point seat belts, too, so we wouldn't be able to bail out immediately when we were set on fire. Nobody missed them when they were towed away.
A few forgettable station wagons (K-Car? Aerostar?) were trundled out and abandoned and then they
These are the vehicles that are being phased out now. The new ones will allow you to stand up in the back and have lots of room for packages. The mirror situation probably won't have improved. If you have to track the trajectory of your sliding door as it goes sailing down the street now, you're probably out of luck.