“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” That’s the creed of the U.S. Postal Service, whose trucks we see every day, whether on our home streets or on roads we’re traveling for the first time. With their boxy hoods, square headlights, and abundant mirrors, these iconic vehicles stand out in a sea of crossovers and Honda Civics. But where did they come from? And how long will they continue to deliver mail to our doorsteps?
During the 1980s, the USPS began the process of searching for a replacement vehicle for its Jeep DJs, which had been in use since the 1950s but did not have sufficient capacity for the increasing volume of mail. Rather than modify an existing vehicle for postal use, they decided to commission something tailor-made for delivering mail, designed to run all day for six days a week.