From an unassuming Ephrata building in a relatively quiet neighborhood over the hill from Oregon Pike, new postal trucks are emerging at a rate of about eight per day.
The first half-mile or so that they travel is along the banks of a glistening Cocalico Creek, before fanning out across the country — to states including Hawaii — where they’ll clock countless more miles hauling packages and letters.
The vehicles are being completed by the Spartan Motors plant here under a $214 million order received from the U.S. Postal Service in 2017, as LNP previously reported. It calls for more than 2,000 cargo-body fleet vehicles.
Here’s how Spartan does it — and why the work is being done here.
Spartan’s job in Ephrata is to assemble the truck body atop a chassis, attach it to a cab and outfit the entire vehicle with specific features for the Postal Service.
These trucks are 18 and 24 feet long — definitely not the kind of thing that can be assembled on a conveyor belt.
Instead, the truck bodies are put together through a series of stations manned by about 90 employees tackling the Postal Service order a step at a time.
It starts at a station where workers install side rails.