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Mail Delivery Vehicle Needed & Questions

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by IndianaJason, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. IndianaJason

    IndianaJason Member

    I apologize if this thread and/or my questions have steered this discussion towards breaking rules..... :eek:

    The vehicle sounds great Bob, the 25 mph deal really sucks in my opinion. Nothing against the vehicle or you, just saying....stupid law/rule....... lots of distance between the route and post office, and also some of the stops. Now if it was bam bam door to door then 25 mph would never be an issue. hmmm....

    So... the vehicle is called a "Mail-Mate" from the factory? Like "Ford Bronco"..?

    You guys have them made by Suzuki? Nobody else carries this vehicle?

    Im just curious but, if they are not made specifically for delivering mail, they are called the Mail-Mate ? And what "conversion" is done, removing the seat and putting in mail tray? Reason I am asking and such, is anything can have a mail-tray and a sticker that says "Mail delivery" , but if its not made for that application, then it probably wont hold up any better than any other vehicle. I could put a Reese hitch on my Geo Metro and call it the "Econo-Hauler" or something, but that doesnt mean its gonna perform or even last pulling a trailer around. (stupid example but .....)

    The testing you mentioned sounds pretty extensive and practical. There is a tremendous amount of abuse on an automatic transmission day after day of stop and go.... Especially in the summer months with the heat.

    Can a transmission cooler be put on the Mail-Mate?
  2. andy_george

    andy_george Member

    I guess Bob can answer whether or not they are built "for" mail delivery, or converted into mail deliver vehicles. I'm not a mailman, but why does it make a difference, Jason? To me it's just physics...something that is lightweight won't take nearly the abuse with stop and go as something heavy. I would think a tranny cooler on something that small that isn't towin' anything would be useless. With low mass and a relatively low hp motor, you simply wouldn't provide the resistance needed to heat up a well built tranny.

    The laws of nature simply make a small vehicle better at that stuff. Not to mention Japan's reputation as making some amazingly reliable machines... Other than lots of cargo capacity and great reliablility, what else could a mailman desire....other than that 25mph thingy.

  3. Jason:

    It will take you two minutes to travel a mile going full blast. I know it is a drawback, but that is what we have right now. This vehicle is road legal in all 50 states as a low speed vehicle, has its own VIN and comes with a title.

    It sounds like you are not sure and that is okay. We are a few weeks away from full promotion. Why not just wait a bit and see if we sell any and how they hold up for our customers

    Since I am familiar with the incredible product quality and parts availability of the JAPANESE minitrucks, it is a no-brainer. If I were you I would borrow the money and put it to work. I would have the quality certainty any day rather than the guesswork of the Jeep. Chrysler has had what, 80 years to convince you of product reliability and you still aren't sure which vehicle to purchase.

    Wait and see. Keep your money. We will still be in business a year from now.

    P.S. We didn't change the original design much when we had it made to meet the FMVSS rules for low speed vehicles. We studied the design, output and intended use and we couldn’t think of much that needed tweaking. We did have to comply with the Part 500 requirements, but my thoughts were that if it aint broke don't fix it. Do you see what I mean?


    Good to hear from you. You are exactly right about the amount of energy it takes to stop a vehicle that weighs twice as much as the Mail-Mate. I will have to find my old physics book, but I think it takes five times the energy to stop a vehicle that weighs twice as much as the given value "X"

    (Someone else can do the math I have not solved for X in a long time.) Bottom line, the little cars just do not work as hard to get up to speed or require as much energy to stop. I agree the 25 deal is a drag, but what the heck, don't you have an Ipod?
  4. IndianaJason

    IndianaJason Member

    I guess maybe I didnt word my thoughts correctly or maybe you just didnt see what I was alluding too.

    A mail vehicle mileage is 3 to 5 times what a normal vehicles mileage would be. Like dog years... example 100k miles is 300k on a mail vehicle. This is also 6 sets of ball joints, x number of shocks, and at least 1 trans re-build in this time frame. What I was getting at and/or questioning, is if this vehicle was made "specifically" for mail delivery (stop and go conditions namely) , or just called a "Mail-Mate" and labeled with a sticker as such. Which is completely fine. My thought(s) was if it was devolped for mail delivery, and named specifically the "Mail Mate", then maybe it had heavier duty components and/or trans or trans cooler....etc.. Like I said I could put a reese hitch on my Geo Metro, a smoke stack, and call it the "Econo Hauler" or something .

    Maybe a trans cooler is Not needed at all. I just dont see how it wouldnt benefit having one. With trans problems being the main issue with mail delivery vehicles and everything I have read, and people selling them offer and recommend a trans cooler, I dont see why one wouldnt be put on the MailMate, if optional. Wranglers are the worst, followed by Cherokee and Subaru being a tie based on opinion(s) and testimonials. I have heard of brand new Wranglers having the trans re-built at 10k miles. I am not sure of the weight of a Wrangler, but they arent a big heavy vehicle with high hp, resistence and arent towing anything.....
    The key word you used is "well built tranny" , which it may or may not be, especially under mail delivery use. At this point the only info we have is the 1 time testing. What about 1 month ? 1 year? 10k miles later?

    With these japanese vehicles still being new to everyone, especially the MailMate, and availibility of parts questionable, I figured I would ask as many questions that others probably will end up asking anyways.
    Especially if I am gonna drop 12 grand and rely on it every single day.

    I am in no way trying to discredit the MailMate or the person trying to sell them. I am just asking questions and providing him with an opportunity to promote the product I guess.

    Yes I agree the kei vehicles are amazing. I love my Suzuki Carry. Wish I had it 10 years ago when I bought my place. I make up reasons to use it ;)
  5. IndianaJason

    IndianaJason Member

    Yes I agree in 2 minutes you could travel a mile, etc... Which for most of the route is not a major issue. From town (post office) to the route out yonder in the country is quite a few miles. Also if I were to pick up another route in the adjacent town, that is another 10+ miles away, etc.... Just putting things into perspective in the big picture of things. Especially when the vehicle is the office so to say, and time is money.
    Not to mention if it was not speed limited I could also use it as a secondary vehicle for normal use, running errands etc, like most of the other rural carriers do with their route vehicles.
    It is a stupid law/rule in my opinion, and its unfortunate for the guys like you selling these awesome vehicles to this side of the world. In time I hope it changes, but thats a whole other subject in itself...

    No actually I am not sure yet. Especially with just learning of the MailMate. And I am going to spend up to 13 grand on whatever I buy. Lowest option right now is a 96 Cherokee with 30k miles for just under 10k total delivered.
    Actually prior to the past few days when the MailMate came into the picture, I was leaning towards a Subaru Legacy Outback over the Cherokee. The Wrngler was not even an option. Other than that a coverted GM 4 door with either a 3.1 or 3.8 v6.
    In my opinion the Cherokees are junk for the most part, and the Wranglers have junk tranny's. It makes me wonder why so many use them across the USA. ..... only thing available??? If so, then you probably have the answer. If enough postal carriers owned these, the 25mph restriction bs could probably be changed.

    (p.s.) Yes I see what you mean.
    What I meant (which I explained to Andy above a little) was did you personally/your company/"we"/Gung Ho mini trucks develop the "MailMate" thru Suzuki, or just name it a MailMate and add xxxx parts onto it and/or ???? If so, what is the actual name of the vehicle? (i.e. Ford bronco, Suzuki Carry, etc..) Was curious if it was a "heavier dutier" version of some other similar model, etc..designed specifically for the wear and abuse of a stop and go mail route, day after day...

    Just want to familiarize myself with something I might spend 12 grand on and rely on it to make me money everyday, day after day.

    I am impressed and very interested in the vehicle, whether I buy one or not.

    Thanks for all your input and answering my questions. Im sure Ill have more, and anyone else in need of a mail vehicle.
    From my experience (its gotten alot better) most mini truck dealers dont know $hit about what they are selling. And the cycle keeps on going when the person buying it knows nothing also. ;)
  6. miniman

    miniman Member

    It's a Suzuki ALTO just like the "super stalker" is just a suzuki carry
  7. Miniman is right, it is a Suzuki Alto Van in Japan. You can try, but you can't fool that Miniman!

    Jason, you are quite a writer. I will try to paraphrase your questions. The first issue is the Trans cooler.

    If the temperatures would have increased beyond the recommended operating range the engineers would have recommended a cooler, no doubt. Since a cooler is not a big thing to add on, I am going to put together a cost outline for such an option. Chances are, if you are concerned others may be also. Who knows, it might be something that extends the wear and useful life of the transmission. Good for you to think of it!

    The second issue is the availability of parts. We will end up stocking $10,000 or so in parts for the Mail-Mate. We will have all of the obvious wear items and any other parts that a person might need. Parts availability will definitely not be "questionable" in any way.

    I am glad you are interested in our product and I do not mind in the least answering any questions you have. We started the Mail-Mate venture because we got tired of getting the age old question (Can we use it on the road?) and not being able to help those people. We also discovered that there is not much out there for the delivery people to choose from. Right now they can choose our product or something that has sat around for most of its working life.

    The third issue you mentioned is the speed limitation. There is no perfect vehicle for everyone. This vehicle will work for some people and not for others. We are trying to provide a product for people that do not want to spend $10,000 for something that has absolutely no book value at all. I have bought old, low mileage cars in my life and it is a mixed bag. Sometimes they end up being okay, but other times I end up spending a bunch to keep them working. They remind me of the following joke.

    CUSTOMER: Wow! This is a nice vehicle with low miles!

    SALESMAN: Yeah! And most of the miles were behind a tow truck!

    You can see what I mean.

    The fourth issue you mentioned is the modifications to the vehicle for the US market. I can't explain all of the mods as that would give my competitors a blueprint. Like any company, we will make continual changes in the product to give our customers the most favorable result.

    I enjoy your questions and the opportunity to talk about the Mail-Mate. I think if you look at the Mail-Mate you are looking at the future of light duty delivery vehicles in the US. If you look at the Jeep you are looking at the past. I say five years from now you will either say one of two things. I am glad I didn't or I wish I had.

    Think of the story of the little girl walking in the woods who happens upon a snake in the grass. The snake asks the little girl to pick him up and carry him to town. The girl replies that she can't pick up the snake because she knows the snake will bite her. The snake begs again and finally the little girl picks up the snake which promptly bites her. "Mr. Snake, you said you wouldn't bite me, why did you bite me?

    The snake replied, "You knew I was a snake before you picked me up." You know the Jeeps are junk and you are still tempted to pick one up.

    If you buy the Mail-Mate I believe you will say, "I'm glad I did."
  8. IndianaJason

    IndianaJason Member

    Is it speed limited to 25 mph ?

    Is it all time 4wd or have transfer case or ??

    How many miles have you put on it thus far as a delivery vehicle?

    What year is it?
    Automatic or manual trans?
    Speed limited to 25 mph?

    Auto trans?
    Speed limited?

    And also to Mich Trucks who previously responded... what is the difference between a Suzuki Carry and Suzuki Every?

    Do the vans (namely Suzuki Every) utilize the same drivetrain / running gear as the mini trucks?

    The deck van you have in stock (Mich Trucks) is it speed limited??

    Thanks guys......
  9. IndianaJason

    IndianaJason Member

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  10. IndianaJason

    IndianaJason Member

    Does the Alto/MailMate utilize alot of the same parts (suspension, front end components, axles?..etc..) as the Suzuki Carry ?

    What (in brief) are the rules for the speed limitation, namely what is the cut-off year ??
  11. Well the motor is the same, but some of the chassis parts seem different. We will have the parts manual finished mid Feb and then I can look and compare.

    Well, the rules for the 25 mph is fairly clear with limited exceptions the EPA classified the Kei trucks as a non road vehicle. That means they have to be speed limited. The speed limitation does not make it road legal in all states. The vehicle has to be made to meet the Part 500, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) originally.

    We had the vehicle manufactured to meet the FMVSS for low speed vehicles. We figure that there will be other mail carriers that may not mind the speed limiting factor in exchange for substantial fuel savings each month and the ability to license in every state.

    We are also going to have the minitrucks and micro-vans street legal, but speed limited soon. I am hoping it will be a good market.

    Good luck to you and congratulations on getting the route!

  12. Mr. Obvious

    Mr. Obvious Guest

    2006 automatic 4wd and nope!
  13. joejapan

    joejapan New Member

    I bought my mitsu after I took a job reading water meters for our rural district. I couldnt imagine using anything else. Lots of stop and go some 400x, and itll run all day without a break. Ill typically use 3/4 of a tank during reading if the ground is dry and Im not pumping every pit. Also having to carry my pump and spare parts, its a no brainer. Ive never been bothered by the highway patrol while reading meters on the highway. Ill usually throw on the district signs on the doors when I do read the highway. Least they know Im not joy riding. For what its worth.
  14. zazenmaster

    zazenmaster Member

  15. Ironraven

    Ironraven Active Member

  16. zazenmaster

    zazenmaster Member

    Good spot

    Good spot, Ironraven. (Great handle, BTW.)

    There are several good candidates on that list, Honda CRV, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota RAV included. And parts shouldn't be a problem.

    I'd take that list to a reputable JDM exporter (e.g. Monky's, who I was very happy with). I'm sure there'd be something suitable available.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  17. Ironraven

    Ironraven Active Member

    Keep in mind that the only vehicles on that list that are eligible if they are right hand drive if they are listed as "RHD", and there aren't many of them.
  18. IndianaJason

    IndianaJason Member

    I have looked at what you guys are talking about.

    Talked to a guy yesterday that strictly imports Jeeps for the Postal Service and other applications, he said by spring they will be importing RHD Subaru Foresters.


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