Us Mail Truck For Sale, Here’s What It’s Like to Drive a Grumman LLV Mail Truck Every Day

 

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Us Mail Truck For Sale, In a past life, I proudly served as a city carrier for the us mail . In other words, i used to be a mailman. one among the most important takeaways on behalf of me in my experience delivering mail is that the stereotypes about dogs and mailmen are absolutely true.

But the thing that was simultaneously most fun and most infuriating about the work was the truck — a Grumman LLV. you recognize the one: that white, aluminum box on wheels with the red and blue stripes and therefore the refore the big eagle on the edges and the back.

Before I even started performing at the post office, I heard these trucks were miserable pieces of garbage. “What year were you born in?” the postmaster asked me in my interview. I replied, “1991,” thinking it had been some kind of administrative question. “All of our trucks are older than you,” he responded, before introducing me to the fleet.

That’s once I first got up close and private with a Grumman LLV. Grumman was mainly an aircraft company that also built bodies for trucks and buses before it became Northrop Grumman in 1994. one among their most famous vehicles is that the LLV, which stands for Long Life Vehicle. The LLV was produced from 1987 to 1994, and it had been built on a chassis supported the Chevy S-10 Blazer. the most important modification to the chassis was that the front wheels were closer together than the rear wheels to enhance the turning radius. This trick worked rather well , because the turning radius on the LLV is one among its few virtues.

You might think they would’ve gone with a 4-wheel-drive Blazer, since these trucks need to power through snow all winter during a large chunk of the country — including Wisconsin, where my route was located. Nope. These babies are rear-wheel-drive, and they are absolutely miserable to drive within the snow. No limited-slip differential, no traction control, no snow tires and no hope. It wasn’t a matter of if you ever got stuck within the snow, but when — and what to try to to about it. there have been a couple of times where I had to urge pretty clever and pretty ambitious to cross some snowy terrain, but I never got stuck to the purpose of getting to involve a rescue.

Under the hood of the LLV, which may be a pain to open and shut , lies the infamous GM 2.5-liter “Iron Duke” 4-cylinder, lashed to a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic 180 automatic drive . Fuel economy was within the single digits, because of the constant stop-and-go nature of how mail trucks are driven. Apparently, some later LLV models had a 2.2-liter motor with aluminum heads, but all I ever had the pleasure of driving was powered by an equivalent Iron Duke found in a number of the foremost pathetic vehicles GM ever made — including the 4-cylinder versions of the Camaro and Firebird from 1982 to 1985, the Chevy Citation and various badge-engineered versions of the Chevy Vega (but never the Vega itself), just like the Pontiac Astre and therefore the Oldsmobile Starfire.

During my training on the way to drive an LLV, I remember the trainer telling me it wouldn’t be as fast because the car I normally drive. Joke’s on them, i used to be driving a 3-cylinder Chevy Metro at the time, which was even slower than a mail truck (this was a really low-horsepower time in my life). An Iron Duke-powered LLV probably made about 90 horsepower when it had been new, but i might like to see one on a dyno now. once you slap on the accelerator during a mail truck, it makes tons of noise and it barely moves.

Regular driving around town was usually pretty bearable, but driving an LLV on the highway shouldn’t even be legal. I’ve only had to try to to it a couple of times, and people times were probably the foremost terrified I’ve even been while operating any automobile . Riding a motorbike over 100 mph? No problem. Merging onto the highway on a mail truck? you could not pay me to try to to it again. The sluggish acceleration, deafening noise and harsh vibration were all bad enough, but knowing the body of that vehicle would crush sort of a can in an accident is what made it such a daunting experience.

Interior amenities during a Grumman LLV include … almost nothing in the least . there is no radio, or maybe a clock. You get a 1980s Chevy Blazer gauge cluster and an easy wheel that says “CHEVROLET” within the middle. There’s just one seat, which is famously on the proper side of the vehicle. Right-hand drive is weird initially , but the training curve is surprisingly small. there have been crank windows on the 2 sliding doors and vents toward the rear that popped hospitable help the truck breathe. Next to the driver’s seat may be a big sliding tray where you set the mail, and everything behind you may be a big, empty cargo deck for parcels, with a sliding lift gate that exposes within the back. Let’s just say comfort and technology aren’t priorities within the Grumman LLV.

There’s a lot to complain about when talking about the LLV. It’s slow, ugly, unsafe and lacks any comforts in the least . But despite its many flaws, it had been quite a fun thing to drive around. After all, almost any vehicle that stands call at traffic is fun to drive — and no amount of discomfort, noise or getting stuck within the snow can take that faraway from a mail truck. Find a second hand Chevrolet S10 Blazer purchasable

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