In high school, I had a friend who would pick me up in his postal truck. He wasn’t a mailman—that would make it weird—he just bought it used from the postal service for a reasonable price after they retired it, and he painted it to look like a dairy cow. It wasn’t very comfortable, and if you weren’t exactly looking to stand out, well, it might not have been the vehicle for you.
The reason I tell you all of this is because I don’t think the new postal truck looks all that bad.
Starting in 2023, the mail truck is going to start looking a LOT different. Dubbed the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (or the NGDV, which certainly rolls off the tongue), the mail truck has undergone a drastic redesign as many of the vehicles in their fleet are upwards of 30 years old. Oshkosh Defense is currently finalizing the design of the NGDV and will deliver 1650,000 trucks over the next decade. Looking to modernize their fleet, the postal service’s NGDV will have a lower engine and a broad, high windshield, hence the cartoonish quality. Now, your mail person can not only stand in the back, but they’ll have more space for packages, a much-needed requirement given our penchant for shopping online (and, unfortunately, our allergy to letters).
The new vehicles will also have air conditioning—a first—but will still have a British steering wheel to deliver mail from the right-hand side. They will even come with back-up cameras and front collision warnings, bringing the postal service into the 21st-century. A great deal of the NGDVs will be electric, though the USPS didn't state how many. However, all of the new gas-guzzling trucks will come built in such a way that they can get retrofitted as electric carriers at a later date.
The vehicles will also have airbags because they didn’t have them before—surprise!
Responses to the NGDV run the gamut, with many saying that it looks more duck than mail truck. Of course, a drastic rollout of this nature demands that a design system is in place, so maybe they should have consulted with the stamp division first. Either way, no one really likes those creepy imaginational future photos with photoshopped duck trucks and mail carriers.
Personally, I don’t know that I would dress it up like a cow, but if it means the postal service can survive by delivering more packages, then so be it.