Official worst job for FE????? I think I have found it......
I've been training as a rural route mail carrier.
Stop, go. Stop, go and on and on for 500 or so mailboxes.
Today was my first day actually doing any part of the route itself.
I am in the midst of looking for a vehicle, my CRX just will not work.
In order to do my job I need to sit in the middle of the car and drive with my left hand and deliver the mail with my right. That not only makes for an ergonomic nightmare but also greatly limits the types of vehicles that I will be able to use.
The requirements for a vehicle (at least in my specific case, each carrier has different preferences) are as follows :
- Right hand drive - No luck at all finding one.
- Decent cargo space - In my case room enough for about 8 or so milk crates STUFFED with mail as well as packages.
- Bench or appropriate bucket seats. Appropriate meaning lacking pronounced side bolsters.
- No center console or pronounced "hump"
- Column mounted or center/dash mounted shifter.
- Fairly narrow interior - So that I don't have to lean either way to steer and deliver mail.
Having taken all of this into consideration I think that I have settled on a Toyota Matrix.
You can see here how the shifter is center / dash mounted.
Here you can see it a bit better. The center console is easily removable by taking out 4 or so bolts. I can then build some type of cushioned platform on which to sit but still be able to access the e-brake.
And here you can see the ample amount of cargo space that the vehicle has.
Questions / comments / recommendation more than welcome.
id try to find the cheapest thing ever, stop and go is what tears a car up especially the brakes(you will go thru pads in a couple of years)
our mail person has a chevy s-10 blazer. she sits in the passenger seat and drives that way. or sometimes its a late 90's tarus(they do have a center seat, the console folds up and theres a padded seat with seatbelt)
what you could do is see if you can find the company that makes the 2nd brake pedal for drivers ed cars and mount that in the pass seat. then you can sit totally on one side and hit the brake that way.
our mail person used to have an old 70;s postal jeep. bu that thing was an antique what you could do is buy a used white newer one (ya know the federal express white cubes) u can pick those up for super cheap (like $700 cheap)from the postal company,(or ask there im sure someone would know what they do with em) they get new ones every few years. since they were designed for stop and go id think that would be ur best bet.(some if not all are right and drive too).
but please for the love of all new cars dont get a new car for this job...
old cars are plenty reliable if they werent abused. its not liek if its 10 years old its gona burst into flames on you. (heck i got a 27 year old car thats started every time i wanted it to from 100+* summer to -20 winter)
new cars are sometimes less reliable than a older used car. the old car has all the kinks worked out of it. just cuz somehitngs new doesnt make it reliable...
but any car you use for mail service is gonna get torn to hell. it might as well be a used cheapy.
Clench may be on to something. Strangely enough, the '97+ Buick Century is a popular rural route vehicle around here. For about $2500, you get a big bench seat, an open footwell in the center, and gets decent mileage for its size (20/29 -- I've gotten in the low 30's with one before). But "super reliable" can be ruled out. You could chance an even older Buick or Olds with a bench and a 4-cyl (Older Century, or Cutlass Ciera) -- narrower track too.
The early Toytoa Avalons have a bench seat and good capacity + reliability.
I've seen some Jeep Cherokee Sport Right-Hand Drive versions for rural carriers as well (inefficient and hard to find).
The problem is: the combination of the open/bench seating, rules out a lot. See if you can find an Old Mini Cooper with RHD -- perfect!