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Old 03-31-2012, 01:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rural mail carrier

A person in my family delivers mail with an 08 jeep wrangler and obviously gets terrible gas mileage. Any tips to reduce gas consumption on a route especially stop and go-mail box to mail box?

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Old 03-31-2012, 02:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The amount of money being spent on fuel on a mail route in that vehicle must be near worst-case scenario. I wonder if doing the math might show that getting a more efficient vehicle would be the best way to go.

Speaking of which, I saw a Toyota Prius on a mail route for the first time just this week. A vehicle with regenerative braking + electric assist + idle stop/engine off coasting is pretty ideal for that type of use.

Not saying that specifically getting a Prius makes economic sense. But I'd definitely get your relative to crunch the numbers and see what does make sense.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mail Carrier = constant distance, route, speed requirement and thus is an EXCELLENT electric vehicle candidate!
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Having done several rural routes over several years as a subcontractor, it is of PRIME IMPORTANCE to maximize fuel economy- that is, if the point of driving the route is to make money moreso than waste your time. (Gotta just shake my head at the local pizza delivery genius' that deliver in their mud trucks. There is no hope for humanity is there. )

I've done these routes through MN winters, on rural roads (paved and gravel and dirt) and I can say without question that 4WD or AWD is NOT NEEDED (might need it if you have mountains tho'). For the low traction times you will want good tread and the heavy vehicle weight bias on the driving wheels though i.e. fwd= weight forward, throw as much of the load on the front seat and floor as you can; rwd= weight back, keep as much of the load in the back seat as you can.

The route can be completed much, much faster when your arm hanging out the window is at the same height as the boxes. Having to reach down from a tall vehicle really, really slows things down- you might even have to make complete stops.

Narrow vehicles rule!!!! When I used a Super Beetle I could deliver out of both sides of the car down deadheads, then cruise without stopping on the way out. Yeah baby!

I wouldn't even use a cosmetically "nice" vehicle for route work- it's tough on 'em. You want the lightest weight possible, with only the carrying capacity needed to get through the route. It's easier on brakes and fuel econo and maneuverability that way.

P.S. Four cylinders or even less is what you want. SERIOUSLY.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Rural mail routes, with houses miles aparts, would be best done in a gas car. I'd suggest an older import wagon, like a Civic or Tercel, because they are bombproof and good for short hops. A hybrid, while a gas saver, would worsen the environmental impact. The electric drive would be used a lot, but maintenance costs would be worse in the long run.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think the fleets of Prius city taxis disprove the "more maintenance" theory.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That may be but I wouldn't buy a Prius for route duty unless it was dirt cheap and/or the route was all on paved roads.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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For longer routes they use tiny vans with the steering wheel on the wrong side, which i assume are diesel.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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How many miles a day is it?

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