Congressman to introduce bill that would require U.S. Postal Service to have AC in mail trucks

Six months after a mail carrier died in her truck on a searing day in the San Fernando Valley, Rep. Tony Cárdenas said he plans to introduce a bill in the coming weeks that if successful would ensure that all U.S. Postal Service delivery vehicles have air-conditioning.

Veteran carrier Peggy Frank, 63, was found dead in her non-air-conditioned mail truck in Woodland Hills on July 6, a day that temperatures soared to 117 degrees. Los Angeles County coroner’s officials have said that Frank, a North Hills resident, died of hyperthermia, an abnormally high body temperature caused by a failure of the body to deal with heat coming from the environment.

The bill would ensure that each vehicle has air-conditioning and heating units that are “modern, safe and effective” to protect workers, the congressman said.“For any vehicle that is owned by the federal government not to have this simple technology … is just unconscionable,” Cárdenas, D-Panorama City, told the Southern California News Group on Friday.

Since 2003, all motor vehicles purchased by the Postal Service have been equipped with air conditioning, a U.S. Postal spokeswoman has said.

Overall, 63,000-plus Postal Service vehicles have air conditioning. The fleet had more than 230,000 vehicles as of fall 2017. All postal vehicles apparently have heating.

The Postal Service has yet to determine whether its next-generation vehicles will have air conditioning, according to a Nov. 30 reply from Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan to Cárdenas. The congressman had spearheaded a letter in October urging the Postal Service to “strongly consider” having climate-control units in all of its mail trucks in light of Frank’s death. More than 30 Congress members signed that letter.

A decision on what the next-generation vehicles will be equipped with is expected later this year.


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My LLV is 27 yrs old. Will they be putting air conditioning in that. During the summer it’s so hot inside that I have to keep my tennis shoes off the ground or they will melt. And on the steps leading into the cab there is a steele plate on it and if you drop your leg down by it you will get a awful burn from it.

you are right!! LLV since 1996 or so…hired 1993…I usually switch shoes on route during summer. The heat is UNBEARABLE and now we are in truck 6 hrs or MORE going from 200 mail boxes to 665 and still drive 20 miles !

Having AC is one thing, maintenance of it is a complete other. We will see if employee safety is truly a priority. I suspect I will retire driving the best technology the 1980s had to offer as I do today in 2019.

This is bullshit the trucks do not have AC in them

Please include in that bill that all “outdated” vehicles be retired, scrapped, or recycled. There are too many catching on fire. Stop…..before casualties!

That being said, why is their no fire extinguishers in the trucks?

Agree I burnt one down to the ground in 2004 from oil dropped from the transmission. That had been wrote up 7 times about burnt a house down.

Used to work for the Postal Service… Pretty sure the casualties issue would only concern them if there were consequences to upper management… Otherwise, not too much concern for employees, at L’Enfant Plaza.

A/c Wouldnt matter, we are constantly in and out of the trucks, doors are always open and shut…nice thought though!

Some of us use portable a/c units that sit next to you but again, not much relief. The key is to know your body, know the symptoms, drink lots of water and honestly, put yourself in better shape physically. its a physically challenging job in the heat-and a different kind of challenging in the snow storms.

They will still make a difference just like the heaters in the winter.

AC will make the difference cause you know when don’t feel right put the window up and AC on till you do then continue delivery.some routes have no way to stop and cool off . apparently you never trained a new person sitting in jump seat in the summer it’s not even fair to them

Yes but it will still be available for breakes to have a chance to cool down. Just like in winter you hop inside and take a minute to warm up.

What portable a/c unit are you using? I tried one, but it was more of a mister, and just got the mail wet. I stayed cool (relatively) but the mail got soaked.

Air conditioning should be put in all postal vehicles for the safety of its employees. The windows can be modified to operate like a swinging door that opens at each mailbox and closes automatically from the movement of the truck to the next mailbox. This will eliminate keeping the window all the way down which would be a drain on the motor from the air conditioning. These window attachments are currently offered for sale in the postal carrier magazines for privately owned postal vehicles. A simple modification to the window on the future new postal delivery vehicles will keep carriers… Read more »

ALSO HAVE ALL FANS MOVE CLOSER TO A WINDOW.When the fan was put on the dashboard it was bad place to put a fan it pickup the heat from the engine.

They have these on ebuy for the LLv where our postmaster buys supplies

Just the fact that usps is more reactive rather than proactive and carriers have to die, should be alarming. Stop talking about change, NALC should protect us in next contract negotiations anything short of that is failure on both sides.

If the Post Office cared about its employees safety, they wouldn’t have PAID to remove the ac that is on its vehicle’s! That’s right, they actually spent money removing the tech that could have saved that woman’s life!

If they could just convince Chrysler/Dodge to make the express van in a RHD, with all wheel drive, and replace the extra front seat with a mail tray- BAM! Perfect new postal vehicle.
The sliding doors on both sides with the hatch on the back is fabulous for accessing loaded parcels.

At Minnesota State Convention I tried to introduce a resolution to go to national, for an “exemption for rural letter carriers” to import used right hand drive vehicles (Honda crv etc) newer than 25 years old just for purposes as this. Our state Secretary argued against it and it got voted down with his statements of concerns for safety, ,, why does he think a 25 year old vehicle is safer than a newer one?

“Since 2003, all motor vehicles purchased by the Postal Service have been equipped with air conditioning, a U.S. Postal spokeswoman has said.” That said, all vehicles purchased by USPS have been vans for supervisors, express only, or contract tractor-trailers. The usps hasn’t purchased any vehicles for the actual mail deliverers since the 1990s. I would love a/c and maybe intermittent wipers!! Having to turn them on and off every 5 seconds while driving is a PITA!

How about decent lighting to read the mail. One dome light for all the trays just is not enough.

Never going to happen in our life time. As we all know the word safety” in the postal service does not mean anything but talk. I guess this story will run for awhile to make everybody forget about the carrier who died in California this year because of the 117 degrees in the LLV. If the postal service and the UNION really cared about this issue, it would of been addressed years ago. All this is, is putting a bandage on a broken bone. Won’t fix anything, just covers it up for awhile until it happens again.

Maybe we can start by taking out the A/C’s in all the govt. issued vehicles being driven around by useless people in management.

Cool Dat Azz chair… YOU need to buy one. I bought one it’s a life saver.

I agree as a rural carrier in maryland this is a joke. They have no air in the llv . Yesterday it bout 100 degrees but inside that tin bread box it is way hotter. They are so quick to talk about safety but at end of day we driving death traps that are always breaking down etc.