Navistar Awarded Diesel Re-Power Development Contract for USPS Delivery Fleet

WARRENVILLE, Ill., Jun 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Navistar, Inc. has been awarded a development contract by the United States Postal Service (USPS) under which Navistar will engineer a diesel powertrain replacement for USPS delivery vehicles. Navistar’s re-powered diesel vehicle effort is designed to significantly reduce the escalating service and fuel costs associated with the USPS’s aging fleet.

Under terms of the contract, the USPS will deliver one of its Long Life Vehicles (LLV) to Navistar Engine Group’s Engineering and Technical Center in Melrose Park, Illinois, where the company’s in-house re-power engineering department will develop, install and test a diesel powertrain that features Navistar’s MaxxForce(R) 3.2-liter turbodiesel engine. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"When the USPS current fleet was first put into service, diesel fuel and advanced diesel powertrain technology were not widely available," said Andrew Dondlinger, vice president, North America operations, Navistar Engine Group. "Now, by replacing its gasoline powertrains, USPS could realize diesel’s benefits of fuel efficiency, long operational life and low service and operating costs."

A proven diesel re-power solution could be used to upgrade USPS vehicles over the next decade. It is not uncommon for diesel powertrains to achieve fuel economy gains of up to 35 percent when compared to gasoline powertrains. Further savings would be gained from diesel’s lower maintenance requirements, longer service life, and overall lower cost of ownership. Navistar estimates the USPS could realize payback on each re-powered vehicle in as little as two years depending on maintenance and fuel costs.

Beyond Navistar’s history of development work on USPS diesel re-power, the company’s reputation as an integrated truck and engine manufacturer and its proven capabilities for on-time, on-budget work for the U.S. military also influenced the contract award.

  • Roger

    A few problems: noise. This will have to be muffled in some way before all carriers go deaf. Added weight. Added cost when it SEEMS the USPS has no money. Even diesel fuel costs much more where I live. Usually diesels aren’t meant to be started hundreds of times a day. Cold weather operation may be a drawback in places like Minnesota and Alaska.

    Perhaps a better solution would be to negotiate bulk gasoline contracts with hedging like the successful airlines.

  • Mailer

    Modern turbocharged, direct injection diesels are incredibly quiet. You can run a straight pipe on them and only the turbine whistle gets louder. The bottom end of a diesel is overbuilt so that TBO is in the million mile range. Top ends usually last about a third of that.

    A turbocharger with variable vane technology has the torque peak arriving at low revs and holds steady throughout the power curve.

    I’m puzzled as to why they would test something as large as a 3.2, as this should easily produce something in excess of twice the power and torque of the current Iron Dukes (VW has a little 1.6 TDI making 105hp and 186 ft-lbs, a bit better than the current LLV motors on power and quite a bit better on torque), but perhaps they’re using a low-revving detuned engine program.

    Stopping/starting in colder weather is a major issue because the batteries must have CCA in excess of any battery designed for a gasoline engine.