Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Mail boxes

We recently installed a new mailbox at Casa ERJ.

I went to the Mailbox Guidelines website and the first thing you see is the image shown above.

If we are to believe the image, the United States Postmaster General wants me to place the bottom of the box 41-to-45 inches, plus the height of the curb above the surface of the road. Visually scaling, that adds another four inches to the height of the box.

The Fine Print

In the fine print we learn that the United States Postmaster General wants me to place the bottom of the box 41-to-45 inches above the height of the road surface.

Due to the crown of the road, the tires closer to the mail box will be four inches lower than the tires closer to the center of the road. What part of the road surface does the Postmaster want me to use? The average? The outboard portion. To extrapolate based on the vehicle's overhang?

I installed the bottom of the mailbox 46" above the lowest portion of the road. Our postal delivery person may be a petite gal but she drives a tall vehicle. I also wanted to account for the inevitable snow buildup that occurs in the winter.

From working in the factory I believe that most people find it ergonomically friendlier to reach up a little bit rather than having to bend over.

I left a note on the door of the box. I wrote "Is this too high? I can lower it."

She indicated that she was good with 46". If she is happy then I am happy.


  1. Speaking as a newly minted Rural Carrier, the higher the box the better. Trying to load junk mail while hanging out your window to reach the cute and clever piggy box door sucks rocks.

  2. Oh, by the way, it is up to the box owner to keep snow cleared within 15' in either direction from the box. No snow shoveling, no mail, at least here in BFE Montana.

    1. Thanks for reading.

      The one and two inch snowfalls are not an issue. She just drives over it and packs it down.

      The issue are the +4 inch snow falls when the plows come through. They pitch the snow in front of the box and if you don't get right on it, it can harden right up.

      The comment about the height is that over time, and given enough 2" snow falls, the road surface might build up five or six inches with packed snow.

      The biggest problem my rural route carrier has is glare ice. The "jeep-like vehicle" they gave her is two wheel drive and the tires stink on ice.

      Again, thanks for reading and especially for commenting.


    2. In this part of the world 1 to 2 FEET of snow at one time isn't out of the norm. Out here the USPS gives us 72 cents a mile and we supply the vehicle. My choice is the Ford Explorer modified with the right hand drive mechanisms. Out here the snow plows obliterate lots of sub-standard box designs, very entertaining.