Freightliner Gets Postal Service Truck Contract

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp has been awarded a contract for up to 6,780 United States Postal Service (USPS) intermediate delivery vehicles, with 2,380 to be built fiscal year 2001. USPS can extend the contract for an additional two years for another 4,400 vehicles. The contract without option years is valued at more than $79 million.

Prime contractor is Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp in Gaffney SC. The company will build a new single rear wheel (SRW) walk-in van chassis for USPS. Utilimaster Corp will manufacture the body.

SRW design provides less wheel intrusion into the load space of the vehicle, increasing cargo capacity, cargo placement, and loading flexibility. The new Freightliner vehicle has a payload capacity of nearly 4,800 pounds with increased interior space of 535 cubic feet. Interior space is 85 cubic feet greater than USPS's current two-ton truck model.

The heavy-duty vehicle is equipped with Utilimaster's Aeromaster custom-designed aluminum body, Cummins ISB electronic six-cylinder diesel engine, and Allison 1000 series electronically controlled automatic transmission. The truck meets the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Fuel Fleet Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standard. Additional vehicle specifications include Michelin 225/70R 19.5 14 ply tires, Dana Spicer rear axle, Meritor front axle, and WABCO hydraulic brakes equipped with ABS.

Vehicle production is slated for fourth-quarter 2000, with delivery of the first USPS units expected before the end of 2000.

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