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USPS may buy more Ram vans

by David Zatz on

The United States Postal Services has purchased 9,113 2016 Ram ProMaster 2500 commercial vans as extended-capacity delivery vehicles, but that might not be the end of the story. “MJAB” noted that there is a $94 million option to buy another 3,340 vans, if the post office orders them before the end of March 2016.

Ram-ProMaster-136-USPS-Web

The vans will use a powertrain familiar to the Dodge Caravan-using Post Office: the Chrysler gasoline V6 and six-speed automatic. This will maximize their existing maintenance supplies and expertise.

The total value of the initial contract is $257 million, setting the van price at $28,117, well below the retail price — even before postal add-ons are included. (See the solicitation and award documents). The additional vans would carry a similar discount.

Ram-ProMaster-USPS-Web

The Ram ProMaster is lower to the ground than competing vans, appears to have higher 2WD performance, and is far cheaper than comparable Mercedes Sprinters.

The 2500 was presumably chosen because mail can be extremely heavy; a single box of paper can easily weigh over 50 pounds. The Ram ProMaster 2500’s payload is in the neighborhood of 4,000 pounds, and the normal price is $32,515 (short wheelbase) to $33,870 (long wheelbase) without options.

The Post Office required a minimum 2,000 pound payload, the heaviest duty suspension available, pre-installed folding interior cargo shelves (capable of 50 lb/foot while riding on cobblestones at 10 mph), heavy-duty cargo partition, dual defroster, and tilt wheel, backup camera, load retainer, heavy duty air conditioning and heat, pre-installed decals (including various warning labels), and a three year, 36,000 mile warranty with extra warranty provisions for key parts, and payment to the Postal Service or private garages for warranty repair work.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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