General Information110 Rural Carrier Function
Rural letter carriers perform a vital function in the United States Postal Service serving thousands of families and businesses in rural and suburban areas while traveling millions of miles daily. Rural letter carriers are highly respected by the American public. This respect has been earned by many years of dedication to the Postal Service and to postal customers. During national and local emergencies, including prolonged periods of extreme weather conditions, rural carriers have demonstrated great responsibility in providing mail service to postal customers.
112 High Quality Service
You are a member of this fine group of outstanding employees. This handbook will help you give the high quality service that is synonymous with the rural carrier craft. Ask your postmaster or supervisor to explain any points that are not clear to you.
120 Basic Carrier Responsibilities
Your responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following items:
a. Reporting for work promptly, as scheduled.130 Basic Carrier Duties
131.1 Mailbox and Road Maintenance Assist your postmaster or supervisor in obtaining the cooperation of customers and road authorities to keep approaches to boxes open and roads passable. Request the following forms, as necessary:
b. Form 4056, Your Mailbox Needs Attention (see Exhibit 131.1b).
c. Notice 38, Approaches to Curbside or Rural Mailboxes (see Exhibit 131.1c).
131.3 Customer Information In accordance with instructions in chapter 2, maintain a roster of customers (see 230), record change of address (COA) orders (see 241), and forward or mark up all undeliverable mail (see 240).
131.4 Undeliverable Mail Forward, hand off to another carrier, or otherwise properly dispose of all undeliverable First-Class Mail before leaving to serve the route or after returning from the route with delivery point sequenced mail that was undeliverable or any other mail which you were not able to complete delivery. Properly dispose of all other classes of mail to be forwarded or delivered to a new address if you can do so and leave at the scheduled time; otherwise, mark up the mail before the end of the day's work. Endorse undeliverable mail with the reasons for non delivery in accordance with 242.21 a.
131.5 Notification of Correct Address Issue customers a Form 4052, Notice to Customer of Correct Address, advising them of their proper mailing address. Every Form 4052 must indicate (as appropriate) the customer's route and box number, or the street name and house number, and ZIP + 4 Code (see Exhibit 131.5).
131.6 Protection of Mail Check carrier cases, vehicle, and equipment daily to ensure that no mail has been left or fallen into or behind cases, under shelves, car seats, etc.
132 Delivery and Collection
132.1 Daily Responsibility Take out daily all mail intended for delivery. Mail must not be curtailed unless specifically authorized by your postmaster or supervisor.
132.2 Route Sequence Travel the route in accordance with the approved delivery sequence (Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description; see Exhibit 132.2). Do not make unnecessary deviations. Bring to the attention of your postmaster or supervisor any changes in road conditions (new roads, bridges, etc.) that may affect the mileage, travel, or delivery sequence .
132.3 Complete Service Use ingenuity and knowledge of local roads to provide as complete service as possible when portions of the route cannot be traveled with the vehicle ordinarily used. However, you are not required to provide service if it would incur excessive expense, jeopardize your safety, or require undue physical strain.
132.4 Dismount You are not required to dismount to provide service except as required in 313 and 331.2.
132.5 All Classes of Mail
132.6 Stamp Stock Sell stamp supplies and accept applications for postal money orders. You must maintain an adequate supply of stamp stock to meet the normal needs of customers on the route.
132.7 Relays Deliver relays when required on city delivery routes provided space is available in the vehicle and the official line of travel can be followed. You are not required to wait for relays.
132.8 Collection Collect mail from all collection compartments and receptacles assigned to your route.
140 Equipment and Supplies
141 Carrier Responsibilities
141.1 Vehicle Equipment You are responsible for furnishing all vehicle equipment necessary for safe and prompt handling of the mail, unless a USPS-owned/leased vehicle is assigned to the route.
141.2 Vehicle Requirements Your personal vehicle must be large enough to accommodate the normal mail volume and constructed to protect the mail from loss or damage.
141.3 Vehicle Displays Commercial advertising must not be displayed on your vehicle while serving the route.
141.4 USPS Owned/Leased Vehicle If a USPS-owned/leased vehicle is assigned to the route, you may be requested, but not required, to furnish a vehicle during emergency situations.
142 Postal Service Responsibilities
142.1 Equipment Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
142.11 When Authorized. For each day you serve a route using your own vehicle, the USPS pays you the EMA in accordance with the applicable schedule. In addition, when Acts of God prevent you from performing your duties, the postmaster may authorize administrative leave. You will receive EMA for each service day you report to the post office and are scheduled to perform delivery.
142.121 If the route is one on which a USPS owned or -leased vehicle is regularly assigned, or used on a test or emergency basis, you will not receive EMA for the days the USPS vehicle is used.
142.122 If you fail to serve any part of the route due to lack of proper endeavor, proper equipment, or other failure for which you are responsible, deductions are made from your salary or EMA. For partial failure, deductions are made at the rate of pay per mile for services on routes of 30 miles and less. For failure to perform services on that part of a route in excess of 30 miles, deductions are made at the rate of pay for such additional mileage.
142.123 Deductions are made from your salary or EMA for each scheduled day on which no service is rendered. Exception: No deduction is made if, after you have reported at the post office, it is found to be impossible to serve all or any part of your route because of weather and road conditions. On triweekly routes, deductions are made of two days' pay for each scheduled day on which no service is performed.
142.124 Unless authorized, you should not have access to mail other than mail for your own route. However, you may assist in separation of second-, third-, and fourth-class matter without receiving additional compensation, when requested, and if it is agreeable to you.
142.2 Time Certificates On the last day of the pay period, the postmaster or designee gives you a completed Form 1314, Regular Rural Carrier Time Certificate, (see Exhibit 142.2a) or Form 1314-A, Auxiliary Rural Carrier Time Certificate (see Exhibit 142.2b), to check, initial, and verify the entries, unless you are absent from duty (see Exhibit 142.2).
142.3 Equipment and Supplies The USPS supplies all additional necessary equipment, supplies, and forms.
151 Management Responsibilities
151.1 General Requirements Scheduling is the responsibility of management. Schedules must be realistic, based upon the receipt and availability of mail, the route evaluation, and other related service considerations. You will receive reasonable advance notice when your schedule is to be changed.
151.2 Performance Appraisal If the weekly time required to serve the route consistently varies more than three hours, either below or in excess of the route’s standard hours, managers should consider cor-rective action. Exceptions may be made for carriers 55 years of age or older, and carriers who have served continuously for 25 years or more, provided that their conduct and efficiency are satisfactory. When it is demonstrated that a carrier 55 or over cannot confine total working time to 48 hours per week or less, the route will be adjusted.
152.1 Work Schedule You must report to the post office, as scheduled, without regard to weather conditions, and must make every effort to perform full service.
152.2 Leaving Schedule Maintain the schedule for leaving established on Form 4240. A maximum of 20 minutes' delay in leaving time is permitted if approved by your postmaster or supervisor. An exception is made only when preferential mail cannot be cased and tied out within the 20 minutes' leeway or as provided in 153.2.
152.3 Lunch Breaks
152.31 Routine Schedule. You may stop for not more than 30 minutes for lunch, during which time mail and equipment must be protected. You may split your lunch period into segments that may be taken in the office or on the route providing the normal schedule is maintained to the extent possible. Time spent consuming coffee away from your case in the office or on the route is considered part of the 30-minute authorized lunch period and must be recorded under lunch on Form 4240.
152.32 Deviation. Any deviation from the authorized line of travel, including lunch, must be approved in advance by your postmaster or supervisor. The segments must be taken at approximately the same time and be of the same duration daily to avoid extreme schedule variations. Record the actual time of all lunch breaks or segments on Form 4240.
152.4 Regular Service Serve the route expeditiously and, as far as practicable, regulate travel to arrive at boxes at about the same time each day.
152.5 Routine Return After completing your route, follow your authorized line of travel and return promptly to the post office unless deviation is approved by your postmaster or supervisor.
152.6 Triweekly Service If you serve a triweekly route and cannot perform the scheduled duties due to climatic or other conditions beyond your control, perform the service on the next working day if conditions permit.
152.7 Time Record
152.71 Exact Time. Record daily on Form 4240 in hours and minutes the exact time of reporting, leaving, returning to the office, and completion of duties. No other time record is required. The entries must be made in accordance with chapters 2 and 4. In the absence of regular carriers, leave replacements enter their names under the Remarks column.
152.72 Exception. Carriers providing auxiliary assistance or serving an auxiliary route may be required to use time cards and/or time recording equipment, where available.
153 Management Requirements
153.1 Special Customer Service If convenient and non disruptive, postmasters, supervisors, or designated employees may deliver mail to customers of a rural route, or a nonpersonnel rural unit who call for it when the office is open to the public. Customers of an intermediate post office may call for their mail during office hours at the post office where it is held.
153.2 Delayed Departures Management may delay your departure when the principal receipt of mail is delayed, provided the later departure permits you to meet the normal dispatch schedule.
153.3 Earlier Arrivals Management may schedule you, or you may request, to report earlier on days when the mail volume is greater than normal in order to maintain regularly scheduled leaving time.
160 Rules of Conduct
161 Funds Keep postal funds separate from personal money. All funds belonging to the Postal Service must be turned in daily to your postmaster, supervisor, or a designated employee.
162 Fixed Credits
162.1 Stamp Stock Rural carriers must maintain a supply of stamp stock sufficient to meet the needs of the route. An adequate quantity of postage stamp fixed credits is issued to you, unless you prefer to purchase an adequate amount of stock with personal funds. Rural carriers must have access to stamp stock replenishment in the office and must not be required to purchase stock from a window clerk in the service lobby.
162.2 Fixed Credits The originating headout office issues and replenishes fixed credits. If you serve an intermediate office, replenish that portion of your credit equal to the stamps sold at the intermediate office to customers of that office.
162.3 Responsibility for Fixed Credit When you accept responsibility for a fixed credit, sign a Form 3369, Consigned Credit Receipt (see Exhibit 162.3), retain the duplicate, and return the original to the person who issued the stock. When it is necessary to increase or decrease the regular amount Of a fixed credit, a new Form 3369 must be signed, and the previous form canceled and returned to you. A supplemental write in Form 3369 may be used for temporary increases in a fixed credit (i.e., during Christmas or other seasonal demands). Note: If you are assigned a fixed credit or vending credit, you are strictly accountable for the amount of the credit. If any shortage occurs, you are financially liable unless you have exercised reasonable care in the performance of your duties. In this regard, management audits your fixed credit, or vending credit, no less frequently than once every 4 months.
163 Outside Employment
163.1 Allowable You may engage in outside employment and other outside activity with or without compensation, except as limited by statute, executive order, or regulations, including those listed in the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) 661, Code of Ethical Conduct.
163.2 Restricted You may not engage in outside employment or other outside activity that interferes with the duties and responsibilities of Postal Service employment. It is impossible to prescribe detailed rules to cover every type of employment or activity incompatible with postal duties and responsibilities. However, the ELM 661 provides guidance for specific situations and illustrates the manner in which the general principles should be applied.
163.3 Other Activities Do not act as an agent for, or have any interest in, the manufacture or sale of rural mail receptacles requiring official USPS approval. You may order boxes for customers if you realize no profit.
164 Service Changes
164.1 Petitions Do not circulate or encourage the circulation of petitions for changes in service. Refer questions relating to changes in service to your postmaster or supervisor.
164.2 Extensions Report potential route extensions and/or new service to your postmaster or supervisor. Do not extend service without prior approval of your postmaster or supervisor.
164.3 Route Adjustments You will be notified in advance of any route adjustments (including remeasurements) and given the opportunity to submit comments, in writing, in accordance with the USPS-NRLCA National Agreement. These comments are considered as a factor when such adjustments are under consideration and before a final decision is made.
165 Directories and Mailing Lists Do not directly or indirectly cooperate with or assist publishers or others in obtaining the names and addresses of customers on your route. Do not provide copies of the route map or description of line of travel to unauthorized personnel. However, management may require you to provide current information on individual addresses and sequence address cards. Management may request, but not require, you to correct those portions of mailing lists that apply to your route.
166 Drivers or Helpers
166.1 Unauthorized Passengers Do not carry unauthorized persons in the vehicle while on duty nor employ a driver or helper without the approval of your postmaster or supervisor.
166.2 Authorized Passengers A rural carrier craft employee may be authorized to accompany you on the route for training purposes only.
166.3 Suspension/Revocation of Driver's I.D. If your OF-346, U.S. Government Motor Vehicle Operator's Identification, is suspended or revoked (see l 72c), the provisions of Article 29, USPS NRLCA Agreement will be in effect.
167 Extra Fees Do not request or accept fees from customers for the delivery or collection of mail. Do not require the payment of postage for mail in excess of prescribed rates.
168 Political Activity For information regarding political activity, refer to the ELM 663.
169 Sanctity of Mail
169.1 Exhibition Do not exhibit mail to other than the addressee or the addressee's authorized agent.
169.2 Privacy Do not open, read, or search mail. Exception: See Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 115.
170 Traffic Safety and Accident Reporting
171 Traffic Safety
171.1 Laws and Regulations Traffic accidents frequently result in costly property damage, severe injuries, and death. For your protection and that of other motorists, drive safely at all times. Remember that rural carriers have no special driving privileges on public streets and roads. You are subject to the same traffic laws and regulations as other motorists.
171.2 Rural Boxes Rural boxes must be placed so that they may be safely and conveniently served by you without leaving your vehicle. Rural boxes must be located on the right-hand side of the road in the direction of your travel in all cases where traffic conditions are such that it would be dangerous for carriers to drive to the left in order to reach the boxes, or where their doing so would constitute a violation of traffic laws and regulations. For other exceptions, see l 32.4. Boxes must be placed to conform with state laws and highway regulations.
171.3 Obstructions Customers must remove all obstructions, including snow, that hinder or prevent delivery. Use Notice 38 and Form 4056 to notify customers to correct any deficiencies. Form 4056 must be signed by your postmaster or supervisor (see 313.2).
171.4 Safe Driver Awards All rural carriers participate in the Postal Service Safe Driver Award Program. If you drive on official business for one or more accident-free years, you are eligible to receive the nation's highest award for professional safe driving.
171.51 Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA)
171.511 Seat Belt Requirements - Driving Own Vehicle. Rural carriers are protected under FECA in the event they sustain an injury while in the performance of duty. Rural letter carriers are considered to be in the performance of duty for purposes of FECA when driving their own vehicle between their home and the post office, and between the post office and their home, provided Postal Service records indicate that the Postal Service required the carrier to furnish the vehicle. Therefore, seat belts must be worn when traveling from home to the place of employment and from the place of employment to home.
171.512 Seat Belt Requirements - Driving Own or Postal Vehicle. Seat belts must also be worn when traveling to and from the route and postal units regardless of the type of motor vehicle used. If a Postal Service-owned right-hand drive (RHD) vehicle is used on the route, seat belts must be worn whenever the vehicle is in motion. If a privately owned surplus postal vehicle or a manufactured right-hand drive (RHD) vehicle is used on the route, seat belts must be worn at all times the vehicle is in motion. In a dual control equipped vehicle, seat belts should be used whenever possible while seated in the right seat.
171.513 Seat Belt Requirements - State Law. Where state seat belt laws are applicable, rural carriers must comply with the law. Where no law is applicable and a left-hand drive (LHD) vehicle is used, seat belt use is recommended when delivery and collection activities do not unduly encumber, delay, or fatigue the rural carrier. Unless the law requires the use of seat belts (when using a LHD vehicle), seat belt use is a matter of discretion for the individual rural carrier and should be influenced by: a. Distance between stops. b. Traffic density and weather conditions. c. Road design characteristics, such as number of intersections traversed, road shoulder width, and surface conditions. d. Carrier's position while performing various tasks in the vehicle.
171.6 Authorized Passengers Only authorized passengers on official postal business are permitted to ride in postal-owned, GSA - owned, rental, or contract vehicles (including employees' privately owned vehicles when used in postal operations). All passengers must use seat belts. Where conventional passenger seats have not been provided in the vehicle, use an approved auxiliary seat, facing forward, and equipped with a backrest and seat belts. Sitting in other than an approved seat, or standing in a postal vehicle while such vehicle is in motion, is prohibited.
171.7 Vehicle Doors When traveling to and from the route and entering or crossing intersecting roadways, all vehicle doors - must be closed. When operating a RHD vehicle on delivery routes and traveling in intervals of 500 feet (l/10 mile) or less between delivery stops, the sliding door on the driver's side may be left open.
171.8Unsafe Practices DO NOT FINGER MAIL WHILE DRIVING, or engage in other unsafe practices when the vehicle is in motion.
172 Vehicle Operator's Permit You must: a. Possess a valid state driver's license. b. Obtain an OF-346. Handbook PO-701, Fleet Management, established the requirements for this permit. c. Inform your postmaster or supervisor immediately of the revocation or suspension of your state driver's license. Note: Revocation or suspension of your state driver's license necessitates suspension of your OF-346 for at least the same period of time. In the event that such revocation or suspension of the state driver's license is with the condition that the employee may operate a vehicle for employment purposes, the OF-346 is not automatically revoked.
173 Accident Reporting
173.1 Vehicle Accidents
173.11 Notify Postmaster or Supervisor. Report all accidents. Having your own automobile insurance does not relieve you of the responsibility to submit a report on Standard Form (SF) 91, Operator's Report of Motor Vehicle Accident, to your postmaster or supervisor.
173.12 Carry Report Kit. A Vehicle Accident Report Kit, Item 087-H, must be carried in the vehicle when it is used for official business (see Exhibit 173.12). Request this kit from the postmaster or supervisor and be sure the envelope is sealed. If it is not, obtain a sealed replacement.
173.13 Remain at Scene. If involved in an accident, regardless of the cause or the amount of damage, injury, or death, remain at the scene until you have:
b. Safeguarded the scene against further accident.
c. Secured and protected the mail.
d. Notified the postmaster or supervisor, or designee.
e. Notified local or state police as required.
f. Provided other drivers or principal parties to the accident the information required by law using Form 4585, Postal Driver Accident Information (see Exhibit 173.13f).
g. Obtained, as far as practicable, the names and addresses of all principals and witnesses using Form 4586, Accident information (see Exhibit 173.13g). Do not make any statements admitting personal or postal liability, or criminal negligence, or attempt to negotiate an agreement or settlement with anyone.
h. Completed SF 91. This report (see Exhibit 173.13h) may be prepared at the scene of the accident or immediately after. You must submit it to your postmaster or supervisor before going off duty on the day of the accident. Regardless of the amount of damage, injury, or deaths, accidents must be reported on SF 91 even though the other principals involved state that no claim will be filed for or against the Postal Service or its employees. SF 91 is also required for accidents involving other postal personnel, equipment, vehicles, or property. Note: If you are physically unable to comply with the preceding instruction, the postal official in charge ensures that the required investigations and reports are made.
180 Compensation for Injury or Death
FECA provides compensation for injury incurred by, or death of, postal employees in the performance of duties. For details, see ELM 540.
Office Work of Rural Carriers210 Reporting for Duty
211 Recording Arrival
Report to the office as scheduled. Immediately upon reporting, record actual reporting time, in ink, in column 2 of form 4240, Rural Carrier Trip Report, and begin work (see Exhibit 211).
212 Obtaining and Preparing Mail for Casing
212.1 Withdrawal By Carrier
As directed by your postmaster or supervisor, withdraw, measure, and record (if applicable) from the distribution cases all mail for your route that has not already been placed on your case ledge by a clerk or mailhandler. Normally, no more that two additional withdrawals should be made in the morning.
212.12 Changes. Changes in withdrawal procedures my be made only in accordance with 350 of Handbook M-38, Management of Rural Delivery Services.
212.13 Procedures for Withdrawal.
212.131 Letter Mail. Place letter mail which is to be cased on your case ledge, either in trays or stacked loose, no more than one row high. The mail must face right with stamps down whether you place it loose on the case ledge or work it directly from a tray.
212.132 Flat Mail. Place flat mail on, under, or near your case in neatly stacked piles. If received in sacks, remove flats promptly and stack them neatly on the floor or in hampers, when provided. After removing contents, examine sacks to ensure they at they are empty. Remove sack labels and deposit sacks in the designated place.
212.14 Final Withdrawal. Before leaving for your route, make a final withdrawal of preferential letters and flats from a designated case. Normally, this mail is withdrawn on the line of travel out the door to load.
212.2 Withdrawal By Other Than Carrier
212.21 Routine. If employees other that rural carriers withdraw mail intended to be cased, they must place it on your case ledge as described in 212.13.
212.22 Final Withdrawal. Although you are exempt from general mail withdrawal requirements, you must make a final withdrawal of preferential letters and flats from a designated case immediately before leaving for your route. Normally, this mail is withdrawn on the line of travel out the door to load.
213.1 Type Management determines the type of carrier case used on each route. Your manager or supervisor will provide you with adequate casing equipment.
213.21 Separation and Wing Cases. Carrier case, item 124-D, has 240 (1"wide) separations. The dividers are removable, and wider separations can be made to accommodate addresses receiving large volumes of mail and to provide added space for casing flat mail, magazines, newspapers (see Exhibit 213.21). Wing cases for Item 124-D are identified as follows:
b. 144-D, Wing Case with Table-240 separations.
213.23 Variations. In addition to the above (currently the primary equipment used for newly established rural routes), other equipment previously authorized, but no longer manufactured, for rural routes is listed below. As this equipment becomes unserviceable, a regular route becomes vacant, or a new route is established, Item 124-D and other equipment, will be established as necessary.
b. Item 126, Carrier Case - 208 (2 1/2" wide) separations.
c. Item 140, Wing Case - 63 (2 1/8" wide) separations,.
d. Item 145, One-Bundle Sliding Shelf Case (with or without table) 160 (1" wide) separations.
e. Item 146, One-Bundle Sliding Shelf Case (with or without table) 230 (1" wide) separations.
f. Various Distribution equipment.
213.31 Procedures. See Exhibit 213.31. Label the cases on rural routes according to the following:
b. Arrange labels in the exact delivery order that you serve the route. To the extent practicable, keep segments on the same row. Exception: See 225.5 for carrier segmented mail.
c. When letter separations are continued on to a wing case, Place them immediately adjacent to the letter case. Begin with the lowest shelf and extend into the wing case, as needed. Do this with the remaining shelves and attempt to keep the letter separations (on the shelves of the wing) equal in length.
d. As directed by your Postmaster or Supervisor, reserve 15 separations on a designated shelf for Undeliverable-as-Addressed mail. Label the first separation COA/Entry Mail. Use this separation for all Forms 3575, Change-of-Address-Order, and Forms 3546, Forwarding Order Change Notice, and associated mail. Use the next 10 separations for an alphabetical machinable/nonmachinable breakdown. Label the remaining 4 separations as follows:
(2) Insufficient address.
(3) Not deliverable as addressed, unable to forward.
(4) Undeliverable bulk business mail.
213.33 Two-Bundle labeling System. See part 223.4. In addition to the requirements in 213.31, all carrier cases used for the two-bundle system must: a. Begin at the left corner of the lowest shelf and end at the right corner of the top shelf. b. Place any unused space at the END of the route in the upper right corner. c. Place the labels BELOW the separations on the carrier case.
220 CASING MAIL
221 Study Plans for Learning the Case
221.1 PLAN 1
221.111 Each row has a break on the number of boxes served. For Example, Row #1 begins with box #1 and could continue through box # 26. Row # 2 would then start with box # 27, etc. For a few minutes, study the box # breaks by rows.
221.112 After studying these breaks for a few minutes, case all mail that includes the box number as part of the address. Hold out all mail that does not show the box number and that you cannot case without searching through the entire case.
221.113 Sort the mail held out alphabetically by the last name of the addressee.
221.114 Obtain the box numbers from the roster of customers and sort the mail for each row into separate piles. After separating by row, proceed to case the mail for each row.
221.115 As you follow this method, you will begin to associate the name of the addressee with the proper separation on the case.
221.12 PLAN 2
221.121 Use a 3" x 5" card for each family on the route. The face of the card should show only the name of the family. The reverse should show the box number and location of the separation on the case.
221.122 Mix the cards so they are not in delivery sequence. Pick up the cards so that the face of the top card is visible. Sort each card into the proper separation on the case. If you do not know the location of the separation, flip the card over; the location is part of the information on the back. Repeat this procedure until you are able to case each card without referring to the back.
221.2 Routes Using Streets and Names
221.21 Study. For a few minutes, study the streets and numbers in the order that the route is served. Memorize the first two rows.
221.22 Sort/Separate for Initial Rows. After a few minutes of study and with the delivery pattern fixed in your mind, sort the mail intended to be cased for the rows you have learned. Separate the remaining mail intended to be cased on the case ledge. Place the mail for each street in a separate pile. * * * * * * * * * *
221.23 Sort for Remaining Rows. After all mail intended to be cased has either been distributed in the case or sorted on the ledge, sort mail for the next street appearing on the labels of the next row. Repeat this procedure street by street and row by row until all of this mail is cased.
221.24 Continue Process. Continue the memorizing and learning process until you have learned the entire case.
222 Coordinating Eye and Hand Movements at the Case
To accomplish this, proceed as follows:
b. With your left hand, pickup a solid handful of mail from the right side of the case ledge. Since the stamps are down and facing the right, the mail will be in the proper reading position when picked up. NOTE: Mail in the left hand should be held high and close enough to the body and eyes to minimize head and eye movements. The left hand should slightly follow the movement of the right hand during the casing process.
c. Push the top letter slightly forward with the left thumb so that the right thumb and index finger can grasp the outer edge of the letter. The left thumb serves as a feeder.
d. Read the address only. Develop sight recognition of addresses as whole units: THIS: RR#1, Box 125 or 10397 Elm Street. NOT: RR#1, Box 1-2-5 or 1-0-3-9-7 Elm Street.
e. Place the letter in the proper separation.
f. As you push one letter fully into the proper separation, push the next letter forward with the left thumb and read the address. Your right hand should then return to pick up this letter to place it in the proper separation.
g. As you continue to use this procedure in casing each letter, your coordination will improve until the process becomes automatic.
h. Hold to one side letters for other routes and streets not appearing on the case. Hand off to other carriers, or place this mail in the proper separation of the throwback case, as appropriate.
223.1. General The casing systems used in rural delivery service are divided into three categories: the one-bundle system1 the modified one-bundle system, and the two bundle system. In all three casing systems, you may case delivery point sequenced mail, at your option, In accordance with 150, Schedules.
223.2 One-Bundle System
223.21 Description. When the one-bundle system is used, case both letter and flat mail into the letter case separations. Using this system, after considering the volume and mix of mail on the route, the manager determines the width of separations and number of addresses per separation. NOTE: Unless otherwise approved by your postmaster or supervisor, or as dictated by the type of distribution equipment used, no separation must be less than 2 inches wide. Management must consider volume and characteristics of the individual deliveries when determining the width.
223.22 Letters. Case letters into the case that normally is arranged with one or two addresses per 2-inch separation.
223.23 Flats and Odd-Size Pieces. Case flat mail and odd-size pieces that fit in the same separation as letter mail. Generally, case these items after letter size mail. If management approves, such items may be cased before letter-size mail if this does not delay the redistribution of missorted preferential mail or hinder the efficient casing of letter mail. Place parcels or odd-sized pieces that do not fit in the separations on the case ledge and sort into sequence of delivery. A letter may be reversed in the proper separation, or some other method may be used, to alert you that there is a parcel or odd-sized article that cannot be cased for that address.
223.3 Modified One-Bundle System In some areas, if management approves, flats or letters may be sorted and strapped out separately using only one case. This system is authorized only if it does not delay the redistribution and delivery of preferential mail.
223.4 Two-Bundle System
223.41 Description. Under the two-bundle system, case letter mail first. When the available letter mail has been cased, concentrate on the flat mail. Case flats into an Item 143-D or 144-D flat case to horizontal separations that conform to the break points on the letter case. Sort caseable odd-size pieces with flats. Handle odd-shaped articles that cannot be cased as separate pieces for delivery. Handle separately individually addressed merchandise samples, which are difficult to handle when mixed with flats. Except for average-size letters, case any odd pieces of mail with flat mail by holding it out and casing it later.
223.421 Sequence letters into the case that is normally arranged with two addresses per 1-inch separation.
223.422 Read only the essential lines necessary to sort to the proper case separation. If a delivery point receives a volume of mail that makes sorting into the normal separation difficult, your postmaster or supervisor may authorize the removal of a vertical separator to provide a sufficiently wide separation.
223.423 Your postmaster or supervisor may authorize you to sort both letters and flats to a case separation up to 10 inches wide, but this procedure should be used only in unusual situations (e.g., a delivery receiving a large volume of flats and letters). If this wide separation is justified, hand-tie or strap together the letters and flats from this separation into a separate bundle.
223.43 Flats and Odd-Size Pieces
223.431 Stance. When casing flats and odd-size pieces, stand directly in front of the flat separations. Hold approximately 50 pieces (6") in your left arm while distributing with the right. Do not work from a bundle of flats resting on the case ledge.
223.432 Reading. As with letter mail, read only the essential lines in the box number or address line.
223.433 Sequencing. If they fit, sort odd-size pieces into the flat separations. If not, handle them as separate pieces. When all the flats and odd-size pieces are cased, pull one separation; place it on the case ledge; arrange the mail in the sequence of delivery; and tray or strap it out. Repeat this procedure until all separations have been sequenced.
223.434 Fan Method. When a separation is pulled, place the flats to one side on the case ledge. Take the top flat and, placing it in the middle of the case ledge, sequence all remaining flats to both sides of the first flat in the shape of a fan. If the fan shape is not comfortable, sequence to both sides of the first flat in a straight line. When this method is used, after sequencing, Push the bottom flat (on the right) to the left until all of the flats on the case ledge are stacked and ready for strapping. fit caseable odd-size pieces into the bundle after sequencing has been completed and the fan shape has been assembled into a stack. Do not return the sequenced flats to the case separations. Instead, as each fan is completed, place it into a tray, or strap it out, then put it into a container or satchel for loading into the vehicle.
224 Expedited Preferential Mail (EPM) System
224.1 A.M. Casing. In offices under the EPM system, you normally sort only preferential and time value mail in the morning before leaving to serve the route.
224.2 P.M. Casing. You normally complete casing of bulk business mail and other available mail in the afternoon when you return to the delivery unit. However, on light mail volume days, it is permissible to case some bulk business mail in the morning, provided you maintain your scheduled leaving time.
225 Preparing for Delivery
225.1 General. After all mail has been placed in delivery sequence, it must be prepared in a manner that simplifies handling it on the route. The guidelines in the following sections explain in detail the preparation required.
225.2 One-Bundle System. After all available mail has been cased, strap, or tray the mail, as directed by your postmaster or supervisor. Handle merchandise samples as separate bundles or pieces, as appropriate.
225.3 Modified One-Bundle and Two-Bundle System
225.31 Letters. After all available letter mail is cased, pull mail from the case in sequence of delivery. Place the mail in trays, or strap it out, as directed by your postmaster or supervisor.
225.32 Flats and Odd-size Pieces. Place flat mail in trays or strap it out immediately after casing (modified one-bundle system) or sequencing ( Two-bundle system). Handle merchandise samples as separate bundles or pieces, as appropriate.
225.4 Segmentation Prepared by Mail Processing
225.41 Segmented Bundles Made by Mail Processing. Do not open and re-handle as separate pieces segmented bundles made by mail processing designated for a single delivery. Open and distribute into appropriate case separations, bundles of segmented mail prepared by mail processing designated for multiple delivery boxes.
225.42 Postmaster/Supervisor Determination. Your postmaster or supervisor advises you what mail is to be segmented by mail processing.
225.43 Segmented Mail for One Customer. When segmented mail is all for one customer, deliver bundles, sacks, or containers intact to the addressee.
225.44 Segments for More Than One Box. When segments prepared by mail processing are for more than one box, open bundles (sacks, containers, etc.) and distribute into appropriate case separations.
225.5 Segmentation Prepared by Carriers.
225.51 Letters. When a customer receives a large volume of letters and a minimal amount of flats, the postmaster or supervisor may require, or you may request (space permitting), a separation of sufficient size to accommodate the letter mail on the carrier case. If approved, locate this separation in the lower, easy-to-reach portion of the case, not necessarily in the sequence of delivery. The label for the separation must clearly indicate the address of the segment.
225.52 Flats. If a customer receives more flats than letters, locate a separation of sufficient size to accommodate both letter and flat mail on the case. Case both letter and flat mail for the segment to this separation.
225.53 Restrictions. Do not distribute individual letters or flats directly to sacks or other containers.
225.54 Tying Out Carrier Segmented Mail. Tie out segments that you prepare as a combined bundle of letters and flats and, when addressed to an individual customer, deliver them as a single piece.
225.6 Simplified Address Mail (Boxholders)
225.61 Distribution Without Individual Names and Addresses. Normally, you deliver one piece for each box (or one for each family). At your option, you may handle this type of mail as a separate bundle or case it with other mail.
225.62 Distribution With Individual Names and Addresses.
225.621 Distribution to Occupant (Individual Addresses). This type of mail may or may not be placed in sequence of delivery by the mailer. Normally, mail prepared in this manner should be received only on rural routes with assigned street addresses instead of rural route and box numbers. Handle this mail according to 225.61.
225.622 Distribution to Specific Name/Current Resident; or Specific Name/Current Occupant Followed by a Complete Address. Handle according to procedures outlined in 225.61.
225.623 Distribution by Using Detached Address Labels. Case detached labels for sample merchandise, magazines, combined or shared mail, and catalogs in the letter case. When individually addressed, handle detached label cards without individual addresses (simplified address) and the associated piece according to 225.61.
226 Delivery Point Sequence (DPS) Mall. When mail Is provided to you In delivery point sequence order, casing with other letter and/or flat mail is not required. Separator cards are provided In your DPS mail to give you visual assurance that there are no obvious sweeping errors. You and your manager will determine the number of cards and Intervals where they should be placed. DPS mail Is taken directly to the street and handled as a separate bundle. At your option5 you may choose to case DPS mail in accordance with 150, Schedules.
230 Roster of Customers and Route Book
231 Roster of Customers on Route
231.1 Purpose Maintain a roster of customers with assigned route and box numbers to assist leave replacements unfamiliar with the route and to make proper delivery of indefinitely addressed mail. It is not necessary to include on the roster those customers authorized to use house numbers and street names as their address.
231.21 Method. Maintain a roster of customers with box numbers using one of the following methods:
(2) When the completed form is returned, file it alphabetically in the proper section of an index file box, such as Item 0-394C.
(2) When the completed form is returned, enter the names in alphabetical order by family, with the address opposite each name, on Form 1564, Address Change Sheet. Keep Form 1564 in a loose-leaf binder, such as Item 0-391M.
232 Route Book
232.1 Contents The official route book for each rural route consists of: a. Item 9-391M (or similar) binder. b. Form 1564, Address Change Sheet, when required for the roster of customers. (When the card index system is not used, see 231.) c. Item 0-89B, Alphabetical Index Sheets (as appropriate). d. Form 1564-B, Special Orders. e. Handbook PO-603, Rural Carrier Duties and Responsibilities. f. Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description. g. Form 4240, Rural Carrier Trip Report. h. Form 4241-A, Rural Route Evaluation. i. Route map.
232.21 Order of Forms. Place Form 4240 in the front of the book followed by:
b. Form 4003
c. Route Map
d. Form 1564-B
e. Form 1564 for a roster of customers
f. Handbook PO-603
240 Undeliverable-As-Addressed Mail Information
241 Recording Address Change Information
241.1 Form 3575
241.11 Purpose. Customers complete Form 3575 (see Exhibit 241.11) to notify the Postal Service of a temporary or permanent change of address (COA). However, if a customer moves but fails to submit a change of address order within 10 days, carriers are responsible for completing form 3575.
241.121 When you receive form 3575, check it for completeness and accuracy and enter the data on Form 3982, Change of Address (see Exhibit 241.121).
241.122 Endorse Form 3575 with initials, route number, and date.
241.123 Process Form 3575 and mail for this customer in accordance with local policy.
241.124 If you maintain a roster and Form 3575 is for a customer on that roster, remove form 4232-A and deposit it in the designated location.
241.125 For customers submitting a forwarding order for special handling of their mail, record the data on Form 1564-B (see 241.4).
241.2 Form 3546
241.21 Purpose. Form 2546 (see Exhibit 241.21) is used to notify another postmaster or carrier that a customer has again changed address. This form is valid for 18 months from the date the original Form 3575 was submitted.
241.221 When you receive Form 3546, enter the appropriate data on Form 3982, Changes of Address. Process Forms 3546 in the same manner as Form 3575 (see 241.1).
b. Preparation at Office of Second Address.
(2) When a customer moved and left no address, in addition to following the instructions in 241.11, wait 10 days before sending Form 3546. If you receive a subsequent change of address order from the customer, send an amended Form 3546 to the original office.
241.31 Purpose. Leave replacements and carriers unfamiliar with the route can use Forms 3982 (see Exhibit 241.121) as a quick reference for withdrawing customer removals from the case for forwarding or return. Line out the entries so they are legible at the end of the sixth full month after the effective date of the change. For temporary changes, entries are completely lined out when the customer returns or at the end of 1 year. Forms 3982 may also be used to record special instructions (i.e., building vacant, temporary absence-hold, etc.). For offices with a large number of temporary hold orders, see 241.323.
241.321 Enter on Form 3982 all related items from Form 3575 for customers who have moved (see Exhibit 241.11).
241.322 Enter a temporary change of address in the same way, but add the inclusive dates. Hold Mail retained at the case must be verified to ensure no mail is kept beyond the retention period designated by the mailer. When the designated retention period has expired, endorse such mail Temporarily Away and process in accordance with the Central Markup System/Computerized Forwarding System (CMU/CFS) procedures.
241.323 Use only one Form 3982 for each row of letter separations, unless a large number of removals warrant additional cards, such as military, rooming house, or apartment house areas.
241.331 Immediately after casing all mail intended to be cased, start with the first row of the case and withdraw from the separation all letters that have the same address as the first entry not lined out on Form 3982. Withdraw all undeliverable mail and place it in the appropriate CMU/CFS separation. Return deliverable mail to the separation. Repeat the same procedure for each uncancelled entry on all Forms 3982.
241.332 When all spaces on Form 3982 have been used and lined out, turn the form in to your postmaster or supervisor.
241.4 Form 1564-B
241.41 Purpose. Form 1564-B is used to record customers' special requests for handling their mail. It is not to be used for permanent orders to a post office box.
241.421 Enter on Form 1564-B (see Exhibit 241.421) written orders received from customers, as follows:
b. Enter the special instructions in the last column.
241.423 Permanent special orders are active/valid until canceled. Permanent special orders are not to be used in lieu of forwarding orders. They should be limited to unique delivery instructions, such as nondelivery to businesses closed on Saturday or special hardship delivery procedures.
241.431 Review Forms 1564-B for names and addresses of callers or customers for whom there are special instructions. Follow local instructions to identify address separations with special instructions entered on Form 1564-B.
241.432 Withdraw mail for each caller or other customer listed in the same manner described for Form 3982 (see 241.33).
242 Procedures for Processing Undeliverable-as-Addressed Mail
242.1 Forwardable Mail
242.11 Casing. During the normal casing operation, case mail with active forwarding orders on file to the appropriate separations in accordance with local policy. Be sure that deliverable mail is not placed in these separation. Only forwardable mail requiring additional handling (First-, second-, fourth-, and endorsed third-class mail) is places in these separation. Do not include mail to be handled as listed in 242.21.
242.12 Preparation. Bundle or tray forwardable mail an attach any necessary facing slips in accordance with local policy.
242.13 Disposition. Transport and deposit COA, entry mail, and forwardable mail in the location designated by your postmaster or supervisor. The deposit point must be a location other than the carrier case ledge.
242.2 Undeliverable-as-Addressed Mail Requiring Carrier Endorsement
242.21 Casing. Case undeliverable mail with no active forwarding order on file to the proper separation or designated location for pieces that are:
(2) No Such Number--Nonexistent number, and the correct number is not known
(3) Refused--Addressee has refused to accept mail or pay postage charges.
(4) Vacant--House, apartment, office, or building is not occupied. Used only on First-, second-, Fourth-, and endorsed third-class mail addressed to Occupant, Resident, etc.
(5) No Mail Receptacle--Addressee has failed to provide a receptacle for the receipt of mail.
6) Unclaimed--Addressee abandons or fails to call for mail.
(7) In Dispute--Mail is returned to sender by order of the chief field counsel when it cannot be determined which of the disputing parties has the greater right to the mail.
(8) Deceased--This endorsement is used only when it is known that the addressee is deceased and the mail is not properly deliverable to another person. This endorsement must be made personally by the delivering employee and, under no circumstances, may it be rubber stamped. Mail addressed In Care Of another must be marked to indicate which person is deceased.
(2) Not Deliverable as Addressed, Unable to Forward.
(3) Undeliverable Bulk Business Mail (UBBM). (UBBM) with a specific customer name and address. When a piece of UBBM with a specific name is undeliverable-as addressed, place the mail to one side of the case ledge or in another designated location at the case. After completing casing of all mail designated for delivery that day, bundle this mail and mark the top piece UBBM, put your initials and route number on it, and leave it on the case ledge.
(4) Other Undeliverable Bulk Business Mail. UBBM addressed to Occupant, Resident, or using the exceptional address format (John Doe or Current Address). Normally, this type of mail is undeliverable only because the delivery point is vacant or the address is incorrect. Place undeliverable UBBM marked occupant, resident or current resident to one side of the case ledge, or in another designated location. After completing casing of all mail designated for delivery that day, bundle this mail and mark the top piece Other UBBM, put your initials and route number on it, and leave it on the case ledge.
242.221 Bundle or individually endorse mail with no forwarding order, or inactive forwarding order on file, and deposit in the throwback case or other designated location.
242.222 Withdraw and endorse each individual piece of mail sorted to the Carrier Endorsed Mail Separation. In addition to the endorsement, write your route number and initials on each piece.
242.223 Withdraw Insufficient Address and Undeliverable-As-Addressed Unable-To-Forward Mail. Bundle, with a rubber band, all mail for each category; attach a facing slip with the proper undeliverable-as-addressed endorsement; and enter the date and route number.
242.224 Withdraw UBBM and Other UBBM and bundle, with a rubber band, all mail for each category. Attach a facing clip with the proper endorsement. Enter the date, route number, and carrier initials and leave at carrier work station.
242.23 Disposition. Deposit other undeliverable mail on your route in the proper separations of the throwback case, or as designated by your postmaster or supervisor (see Exhibit 242.23, Suggested Layout of Carrier Throwback Case (Automated and Nonautomated Units), Item 29). Separate marked-up mail (to correspond with throwback case separations) at the time of marking-up or before depositing it in the throwback case. This eliminates the need to separate it at the throwback case and to cause other to wait.
242.3 Accountable and Signature Mail .Return this mail to the accountable clerk and explain why it is undeliverable. under no circumstances must this type of mail be obtained from or returned to the accountable clerk without establishing proper accountability. Return accountable mail or signed receipts for delivered accountable items found in your mail during the delivery process for which accountability was not established prior to your departure for the route as provided in 431.4.
242.4 No Record Mail Handle mail returned to your route from the forwarding unit and endorsed as No Record in the following manner: a. Verify that the name in the address contains the correct spelling. Verify that the mailing address is correct. Note: if there is an error in the above information, correct and return the mailing piece to the forwarding unit. b. If the mailing piece is endorsed Moved, Left No Address, verify that a Form 3575 has been filed. If an active Form 3575 is on file, return the mailing piece to your postmaster or supervisor. c. If none of the above applies, the mailing piece is returned to the sender.
242.5 Other Undeliverable Mail Other undeliverable mail that requires an endorsement includes: a. Occupant Mail. (First-, second-, fourth-, and endorsed third-class) addressed to vacant addresses. b. Excess Boxholder Mail. Place all excess boxholder mail into the appropriate container (sack, hamper, tray, etc.); endorse a facing slip In Excess of Requirements; initial the slip; and attach it to the container wit the excess boxholder mail.
250 Accountable Items
251 Definition For rural carriers, accountable items include: a. Postage due. b. Customs duty. c. Special Delivery. d. COD. e. Certified. f. Registered. g. Express Mail. h. Return receipt for merchandise. i. Receipt for recorded delivery.
252 Accountability Procedures
252.1 Acquiring Accountable Items Obtain accountable items from the finance cage or designated area. You may be called individually, in groups by route number, or by passing a paddle. At some offices1 accountable items are delivered to the carrier. When accountable Items are found in the mail after you have left for the route, follow normal delivery procedures. Return accountable items or signed receipts for any delivered accountable mail you find in your mail during the delivery process for which accountability was not established prior to your departure for the route.
252.2 Receipting for Accountable Items
242.21 Registered, Certified, Express Mail, Return Receipt for Merchandise and Receipt for Recorded Delivery. Process these items as follows:
b. Verify the number appearing on articles with the entry made by the accountable clerk on Form 3867, Registered, Express Mail, COD, Certified, and Return Receipt for Merchandise Matter Received for Delivery.
c. Sign (surname and initial) Form 38_67 opposite correct entries only. You may bracket multiple entries and enter a single signature. You are responsible for each article upon receipt (see Exhibit 252.21c).
d. Form 3883, Firm Delivery Book--Registered, Certified, and Numbered Insured Mail, may be authorized for use on any route where warranted. Verify numbers appearing on articles with the entries on the form. Date and sign the original page in the appropriate blocks. Take the original and one copy of Form 3883 with the articles listed. Have the addressee sign the original at the time of delivery. Deliver the copy with the articles to the customer. Retain the original and return receipts as proof of delivery (see Exhibit 252.21d). Note: The only COD articles to be entered on Form 3883 are COD articles being returned to the sender when collection of the COD amount is not required. Handle all other COD mail in accordance with 252.23.
252.23 COD Mail. Process CODS as follows:
b. Compare the name and address, amount due sender, and money order fee appearing on each tag with that appearing on each article. If there is a difference, return the article to the accountable clerk.
c. Verify the total number of COD articles received with the entry on Form 3867. If they agree, sign Form 3867 (see 252.21c).
b. The clerk then lists the total number of articles and the amount of postage due on Form 3584, Postage Due Log (see Exhibit 252.24b).
c. Sign Form 3584, in ink, on the appropriate line. You assume full responsibility for articles for which you sign.
d. All postal employees are expected to protect postal revenue. Postage due items found in the mail must be carried to the finance cage or designated area for processing. If mail distributed to your route is received with postage uncancelled, cancel the stamps before casing by drawing a pen line through the stamp or by using a dauber (where provided).
253 Use of Form 3849 or Form 3849-C for Accountable Mail
253.1 General As you make delivery, use Form 3849, Delivery Notice/Reminder/Receipt, or Form 3849-C, Express Mail--Notice of Attempted Delivery, as required for accountable mail. However, for identification purposes, enter the name or address in the office at the time articles are issued. (Exception: See 342, Express Mail.)
253.2 Form 3849
253.21 Use as Notice or Receipt. Use Form 3849 (see Exhibit 253.21) as a notice for mail that cannot be delivered on the first attempt or as a delivery receipt for accountable mail. When using Form 3849 as a notice for mail that cannot be delivered, enter the appropriate data on the form. Endorse the article with the date and your initials.
253.22 Return Article to Post Office. Leave Form 3849 as a notice and return the article to the post office when you complete that delivery trip.
253.23 Do not Use as Receipt. Do not use form 3849 as a delivery receipt for ordinary COD mail. The tag for COD mail continues to be used for this purpose. (Obtain a receipt for registered COD mail on the COD tag and on Form 3849.)
253.24 Use as a Marker. Place Form 3849 in the proper separation in the case as a marker for registered mail. Keep registered mail separate. Do not case or mix registered mail with other mail.
253.25 Use as Final Notice. Form 3849 is also used to notify customers of a second or final notice reminder. Case and deliver with Ordinary mail.
260 Preparing To Leave Office
261 Strapping Mail
261.1 Bundles Strap out all mail cased and, if necessary, mark each bundle in sequence of delivery. you may reverse a letter, or use some other method, as a reminder that a customer has a parcel or other article that has not been cased.
261.2 Other Containers Mail may be placed in boxes, trays, or some other type of container instead of being strapped into bundles. Ensure that the containers do not tip over or spill, mixing up the mail.
262 Loading Vehicle
262.1 General Load all mail in the vehicle so that it is in sequence of delivery to ensure that no time is lost on the route searching for the proper bundles and parcels or containers.
262.2 Final Withdrawal Make final withdrawal of preferential mail from the designated distribution case immediately prior to leaving the office. Place this mail in sequence of delivery and deliver with other mail.
262.3 Delivery Point Sequence (DPS) Mail. Normally, DPS mail will be brought to your case unless your route receives withdrawal allowance, in which event, you may obtain your DPS mail from carts or another conveyance located in close proximity to the casing area.
263 Signing out (Form 4240) Just prior to leaving for the route, record, in ink, in column 3 of Form 4240 (see Exhibit 263) the actual departure time from the office.
270 Safe Office Practices Practice good safety habits in the office and refrain from doing anything that would jeopardize your safety or the safety of others. The following are just some of the good safety practices you should employ:
b. Place discarded facing slips, twine, plastic straps, and rubber bands, etc., in designated receptacles. Do not throw them on the floor.
c. Use steps ramps, and handrails, as provided. Do not jump from one level to another from loading docks or platforms to the parking lot, etc.
d. Place empty equipment (mail sacks, hampers, etc.) in designated locations; do not leave them in aisles or walkways.
e. Do not engage in horseplay.
f. When lifting objects, including mail sacks or packages, keep your back straight placing the weight on your legs. If an item is too heavy, get help.
g. Always push rather than pull rolling equipment. Keep the load manageable.
h. Use the right-hand door when passing through double swinging doors.
i. Report hazardous conditions to your postmaster or supervisor.
281 No Signature Required
281.1 Preparation In Office
281.2 At the Delivery Point
281.21 Delivery Events
281.22 Non-Delivery Events
281.3 Return to Office
282 Reserved for Future Use
Chapter 3 Carrier Performance on Route310 Route Travel
311 Established Line of Travel Serve your route in accordance with the authorized line of travel. (See Exhibit 132.2, Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description.) The official starting and ending point of rural routes is the designated loading and unloading area.
312 Changes in Line of Travel
312.1 Emergencies and Adverse Weather Conditions
During emergencies and adverse weather conditions, you may make deviations from the route using alternate roads and reversing the line of travel, where necessary. Advise your postmaster or supervisor whenever a deviation was made in the line of travel.
312.2 Additional Mileage
When you are required to travel additional mileage because of road construction, flooding, or other conditions, record the additional travel each day in the Remarks section on Form 4240, Rural Carrier Trip Report.
Where it is necessary to make an extensive detour to effect delivery, when practical, you may ask customers to:
b. Arrange to receive their mail through another customer's mailbox.
c. Make some other arrangement for receiving their mail until regular service can be resumed.
312.5 Reasonable Effort
You are expected to make every reasonable effort to serve all customers on the route and complete scheduled services to intermediate post offices, relays, etc.
313 Dismount Delivery
313.1 Authorized Dismount Delivery A satchel may be required for dismount deliveries to avoid multiple trips to and from the vehicle. Also, the delivery vehicle must be closed and locked at any time the vehicle is not in full view. When approved and directed by your postmaster or supervisor, provide dismount delivery service to:
b. Other centralized delivery points, such as cluster box units, delivery centers, etc.
c. Individual, groups, or clusters of boxes, located behind the sidewalk where solid sidewalks abutting the curb prevent normal rural delivery service from the vehicle.
d. Other specifically authorized dismount deliveries, such as businesses, churches, hardship delivery customers, medical buildings, schools, shopping centers, etc.
e. Relays for city delivery routes (see 132.7).
When snow, vehicles, or other objects temporarily block access to individual boxes, dismount to make delivery when such service can be provided without undue physical exertion or risk of personal injury. You are not required to dismount and provide service on foot when roads or entire blocks, or equally large portions of the route, are impassable or when access to several mailboxes (along a continuous segment of the route) is blocked. Whenever necessary, request your postmaster or supervisor to inform customers with Form 4056, Your Mailbox Needs Attention (see Exhibit 131.1b), or Notice 38, Approaches to Curbside or Rural Mailboxes (see Exhibit 131.1c), to keep the approach to their boxes clear by promptly removing obstructions, including snow, that may make normal delivery of mail from a vehicle difficult or impossible.
313.3 Special Service Mail Dismount Delivery
Special service mail (registered, special delivery, certified, numbered insured, return receipt for merchandise matter received for delivery, receipt for recorded delivery, custom duty, and COD) and Express Mail must be delivered to any business or residence that is on the line of travel, or within one-half mile of the route and has a passable road leading to it.
When Express Mail is deliverable, there is no requirement to deviate from the established line of travel to effect delivery out of the normal sequence of boxes unless the salary compensation for that day is at the hourly rate. In those instances, if carriers use their own vehicles, mileage compensation is pursuant to Article 9.2.I.5. However, a carrier who traverses both sides of a roadway is expected to deliver Express Mail to a residence or business on the opposite side of the roadway when it is necessary to meet an established delivery time. Delivery in this manner is expected when it is anticipated that the carrier will not traverse the opposite side of the road until after the required delivery time for the Express Mail piece. There shall be no requirement to deviate in this manner where divided highways, limited access roads, hazardous conditions, or other unusual situations exist that may encumber delivery. If necessary, dismount to effect delivery if requested by the customer, or there is no response to your efforts to have the customer come to your vehicle.
320 Delivery of Ordinary and Simplified Address Mail
321 Ordinary Mail
321.1 Proceed to First Box
Proceed to the first box on the route where there is mail to be delivered or collected and begin service.
321.2 Verify Address
Before placing mail in the receptacle, verify address accuracy. Exception: It is not necessary to verify mail distributed in accordance with 225.41 (Segmentation Prepared by Mail Processing).
321.3 Stop for Signal Flags
While there may not be mail for delivery at a particular box, stop and make collection if the signal flag is raised indicating there is mail to collect.
321.4 Deliver Mail Collected
Deliver mail collected on the route addressed for delivery on the portion of the route still to be served, on the day it is collected if requested by the customer. Cancel the stamps before delivering the mail by writing the name of the post office, the date, and your route number across them.
321.5 Ignore Omission
Deliver ordinary mail addressed to a box and route number even though the boxholder's name is omitted.
321.6 Provide Dismount Service
Provide dismount delivery service in accordance with 313.
321.7 Provide Special Consideration
Deliver to a customer at any place on the route, if the customer's identity is known and you will not be unreasonably delayed.
321.8 Refer Recall Requests
Do not return mail collected from customers or collection boxes to any person. Refer requests for the recall of mail to your postmaster or supervisor. (See Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 152.7 for recall of mail procedures.)
322 Simplified Address Mail (Boxholders)
322.1 Distribution With Individual Names or Addresses
Deliver each piece as addressed. Note: These mailings may be for only portions of the route.
322.2 General Distribution Without Individual Names and Addresses
322.11 One Piece Per Box. Deliver one piece to each box on the route beginning with the first box and continuing until the supply is exhausted.
322.12 One Piece Per Family. If a sufficient quantity of boxholder mail is received (and the mailer has requested family coverage), deliver one piece to each family receiving mail in a box.
322.13 Excess. If the amount of boxholder mail received exceeds the number of boxes and/or families on the route:
b. Bundle all excess boxholder mail by sets. (You may use a sack, hamper, tray, etc. for this purpose.)
c. Endorse a facing slip In Excess of Requirements; initial the slip; and attach it to the bundle or container of excess boxholder mail.
d. Place the bundle or container in the designated location.
If there is not enough boxholder mail for all of the boxes or customers on your route, advise the postmaster or supervisor of the number of Boxholders needed to provide complete coverage. (Use excess boxholder mail from other individual routes to complete coverage.)
330 Ordinary Parcels
331.1 General Ordinary parcels must be taken out for delivery on the first trip after they arrive at the office.
331.2 Oversized Parcels
331.21 Attract Customer to Box. If a parcel is too large for the box, make a reasonable effort to attract the customer to the box to receive the parcel. Do this by sounding the horn or by hailing the customer. If unsuccessful, you must deliver parcels to any residence or business that is on the line of travel, or within one-half mile of the route and has a passable road leading to« it. You are required to dismount to effect delivery if there is no response to your efforts to have the customer come to the vehicle, or if the customer requests that you do so. In multi-tenant buildings, make every effort to deliver parcels to customers using existing building notification procedures.
331.22 Leave Outside the Box. Parcels must not be left outside the box or in unprotected locations unless the addressee has given written directions for an alternate delivery location or the mailer participates in the carrier release program by endorsing the package Carrier-Leave If No Response.
331.221 If a customer has filed a written order stating that parcels too Large for the box may be left outside the box or in another designated location, you may do so provided the weather is not inclement _
331.222 Mailer Authorization to Leave. When a parcel is endorsed , Carrier-Leave If No Response, and no one is available to receive it, you may leave it in a location that is concealed and protected from the weather, e.g., behind a storm door. Form 3849, Delivery/Notice/Reminder/Receipt, with the "It is located:______ " block completed must be left in the mail receptacle notifying the addressee of the mail left in the authorized alternate location Parcels must not be left where adverse weather can affect them. Mailers who participate in the carrier release program understand that there are areas where the Postal Service will not leave parcels for security reasons Mailers also understand that carriers do not leave parcels without protection from inclement weather If there is not a suitable location to leave a carrier release parcel, leave Form 3849.
331.223 Liability, By following the mailer's or addressee's instructions, the Postal Service provides customers with a more convenient way to receive parcels. You are not Liable for loss or theft when the customer's instructions and postal regulations are followed.
332. Incomplete Delivery
332.1 When the Carrier is Not Authorized to Leave Ordinary Parcels
332.11 When someone Is usually available to receive parcels. When an ordinary or unnumbered insured parcel is not delivered on the first attempt and you know that someone at the address is usually available to receive parcels, do not leave Form 3849, Delivery/Notice/Reminder/Receipt. Write the date and your initials near the address and return the parcel to the office. Place the parcel in the gurney at your case. Attempt a second delivery on the next delivery day. If the parcel is not delivered after the second attempt, complete and leave Form 3849.
332.12 When someone is not usually available to receive parcels. If no one is available to receive the parcel and you know that someone at the address is not usually available to receive parcels, complete and leave Form 3849 after the first attempt. When you do not know if someone is usually available to receive parcels, Form 3849 should be left after the first attempt. Endorse the parcel with your initials and date. Upon returning to the office, deposit the parcel in the designated place for undelivered parcels.
332.2 Redelivery of Parcels Except as provided in 332.11, make a second attempt only if requested by the addressee. If the redelivery request is made using Form 3849, take the form back to the office and give it to the accountable mails clerk. You will receive the parcel from the accountable mails clerk on the day the addressee requested redelivery. If delivery is not made on the second attempt and the addressee did not authorize the parcel to be left, leave Form 3849, with the Final Notice block checked. Endorse the parcel to show a final notice was left and return the parcel to the designated place for holding.
340 Special Service and Express Mail
341 Special Service Mail
341.121 All special service mail and Express Mail must be delivered to the residence or business. Try to get the customer to come to the vehicle by sounding the horn or by giving some other signal. If there is no response, or the customer requests you to do so, dismount to deliver as provided in 313.3. Registered, certified, and numbered insured mail must be delivered to the addressee or an authorized agent. Do not leave it in a mailbox as a result of a telephone call or a signed Form 3849 left in the mailbox by the addressee. However, a customer may arrange for future delivery by notifying you or the post office when someone will be available for delivery.
34I.122 Form 3883, Firm Delivery Book--Registered, Certified and Numbered Insured Mail, may be authorized for use on routes where warranted. (See 252.2d for delivery instructions.)
341.123 If payment of charges is due, tell the addressee the name and address of the sender and the amount of the charges to be collected. Do not surrender the mail for examination or any other purpose until all charges due have been paid and a receipt was signed, when required.
341.124 If it is necessary to leave a notice, ensure that it contains the required information and shows the location of the delivery unit where the article is being held.
341.2 Postage Due
341.21 Delivery. Deliver the article after the customer pays the amount due. Return to the accountable clerk funds for any postage due article found in the mail and delivered while on the route, for which you had not previously signed or paid as provided in 433.1.
341.22 Incomplete Delivery. Complete and leave Form 3849 when delivery cannot be made. This includes any postage due article found in the mail while on the route, for which you had not previously signed or paid. Endorse the article with the date and your initials and return it to the post office. If, at your discretion, you elect to leave the article for the customer, attach Form 4245, Carrier’s Statement. In such cases, you are responsible for the amount of postage due. You are accountable for the total amount due for all articles for which you sign a Form 3584, Postage Due Log and for articles found while on the route. You may make a reasonable effort at a future date to collect the amount due from the customer.
Form 3584, Postage Due Log. You may make a reasonable effort at a future date to collect the amount due from the customer.
341.311 Customers may present COD articles to rural carriers for mailing with either postage and fees affixed or by paying cash for the required postage and fees. If customers desire additional insurance coverage greater than the COD amount to be collected, they must indicate how much additional insurance they want.
341.312 Issue Form 1096, Cash Receipt, endorsed temporary to show the amount of money received for postage and fees and the name of the post office of destination. Take the articles to the post office, affix stamps to cover the postage and fees, and deliver the mailer's receipt portion of Form 3816, COD Mailing and Delivery Receipt, on the next delivery day (see Exhibit 341.312a).
341.313 Customers at nonpersonnel units must meet the rural carrier at' the unit for COD services (see DMM, 914.422).
341.321 If addressees indicate that they will pay for the COD parcel, detach the COD tag (Form 3816) and have the customers sign it in the space provided.
341.322 Deliver the parcel after you have received all funds and the customer has signed Form 3816. If there is a difference between the amount of the charges shown on the tag and the amount of the package, collect the higher amount. If the money order fee is not correctly stated on the tag, correct the fee and report the error to your postmaster or supervisor.
341.323 Complete the Form 3816 showing the date of delivery and your initials, and return it with funds to the post office (see Exhibit 341.312b).
341.324 Complete and leave a Form 3849 when you cannot make a delivery. Endorse the article with the reason for nondelivery, write the date and your initials on the article, and return it with the tag intact to the post office.
341.4 Registered Mail
341.411 Customers may register an article by paying the required postage and fees.
341.412 Issue the customer a receipt on Form 3896, Receipt for Registered Article. Prepare the receipt in duplicate and give the carbon copy to the customer. Return the original Form 3896, the stub from the carbon copy, and the article to be registered to the post office (see Exhibit 341.412).
341.413 Keep registered mail accepted on the route separate from ordinary mail collected.
341.421 Deliver registered articles to anyone authorized to receive mail for the addressee. This person must sign Form 3849 before you may deliver the article. Require identification if the customer is unknown.
341.422 Articles that are not endorsed Restricted Delivery may be delivered to a competent member of the family, an agent, or to the person designated on the Form 3801-A, Agreement by a Hotel, Apartment House, or the Like, used to authorize delivery to a central point (i.e., a hotel, motel, trailer park, etc.) or Form 3801, Standing Delivery Order.
341.423 Deliver articles endorsed Restricted Delivery to addressee, or to an agent the addressee authorizes, in writing, to receive the restricted delivery mail. Form 3849, or a letter from the addressee, can be used for this authorization.
341.424 When a person other than the addressee signs for an article, the person must enter his or her own name on line headed Received By.
341.425 Complete Form 3849 to show the date of delivery and your signature (see Exhibit 253.21).
341.426 Form 3883 may be authorized for use on L routes, where warranted. (See 252.21d for delivery instructions.)
341.43 Incomplete Delivery. Complete and leave Form 3849 when delivery cannot be made. Endorse the article with the date and your initials. Return the article to the post office.
341.44 Form¡ 3811.
341.441 Have the person receiving the article sign Form 3811, Domestic Return Receipt, when this form is attached, or when the article is endorsed Return Receipt Requested. In the space provided, enter the date of delivery and ensure that the address side of the form is complete. If the article is delivered to a person other than the addressee, verify that the addressee's name and address were entered, and the signature and date of delivery blocks are complete (see Exhibit 341.441).
341.442 If the article is endorsed Return Receipt Requested--Showing Address Where Delivered, enter the address where the article was delivered.
341.5 Certified Mail
341.511 After they have paid all postage and fees, issue customers presenting mail for certification a receipt on Form 3800, Receipt for Certified Mail (see Exhibit 341.511).
341.572 If a customer requests a postmarked receipt, deliver it on the next trip.
341.521 Deliver certified articles to anyone authorized to receive mail for the addressee. This person must sign Form 3849 before you may deliver the article. Require identification if the customer is unknown.
341.522 Articles not endorsed Restricted Delivery may be delivered to a competent member of the family, an agent, or to the person designated on the Form 3801-A used to authorize delivery to a central point (i.e., a hotel, motel, trailer park, etc.) or Form 3801.
341.523 Deliver articles endorsed Restricted Delivery to addressee or to an agent the addressee authorizes, in writing, to receive the restricted delivery mail. Form 3849 or a letter from the addressee may be used for this authorization.
341.524 When„ persons other than the addressee sign for an article, they must enter their own name on the line headed Received By.
341.525 Complete Form 3849 showing the date of delivery and your signature (see Exhibit 253.21).
341.526 Form 3883, Firm Delivery Book--Registered, Certified and Numbered Insured Mail, may be authorized for use on L routes where warranted. (See 252.21d for delivery instructions.)
341.53 Incomplete Delivery. Complete and leave Form 3849 when delivery cannot be made. Endorse the article with the date and your initials. Return the article to the post office.
341.54 Form 3811.
347.541 Have the person receiving the article sign Form 3811 when this form is attached or when the article is endorsed Return Receipt Requested. Enter the date of delivery in the space provided and ensure that the address side of the form is complete. If the article is delivered to a person other than the addressee, verify that the addressee's name and address were entered, and the signature and date of delivery blocks are complete (see Exhibit 341.441).
341.542 If the article is endorsed Return Receipt Requested--Showing Address Where Delivered, enter the address where the article was delivered.
341.6 Insured Mail
341.611 Customers may obtain insurance for an article by paying the required postage and fees.
341.612 Issue Form 1096 endorsed temporary to show the amount of money received for postage and fees and the name of the post office of destination. Take the mail to the post office, affix stamps to cover the postage and fees, and deliver a completed insurance receipt on the next trip. Using Form 4245 (see Exhibit 341.612), return to the customer any excess money collected.
341.62 Delivery. Unnumbered insured parcels are delivered as ordinary parcels (see part 330).
341.621 Deliver numbered insured articles to anyone authorized to receive mail for the addressee. This person must sign Form 3849 before you may deliver the article. Require identification if the customer is unknown.
341.7 Special Delivery
341.71 Acceptance. Customers may send articles as special delivery by paying the required postage and fees.
341.721 Deliver as outlined in 341.121.
341.722 When delivery is attempted at a residence or place of business but cannot be made, leave the special delivery article in the mailbox and leave a notice of attempted delivery on Form 3849 at the residence or place of business.
341.73 Return of Article If the article is too large for the box or is accountable, complete and leave Form 3849 when delivery cannot be made. Endorse the article with the date and your initials. Return the article to the post office.
341.8 Customs Duty Mail
341.81 Acceptance. Collect duty (amount shown on Customs Form 3419, Mail Entry) plus the postage due indicated on the parcel.
341.82 Delivery. Have the addressee sign on the bottom line of the original Customs Form 3419. Sign the duplicate Customs Form 3419, and deliver it with the parcel to the addressee. Return to the post office the original Customs Form 3419 and all funds collected.
341.83 Incomplete Delivery. When, for any reason, delivery cannot be made, complete and leave Form 3849. Endorse the article with the date and your initials. Return the article with both copies of Customs Form 3419 to the post office (see Exhibit 341.83).
341.9 Delivery Confirmation
341.911 Customers may obtain delivery
confirmation by paying the required
341.912 If a customer requests a
postmarked receipt, deliver it on the next
341.921 When delivery can be made,
delivery confirmation items should be
341.922 When delivery cannot be
made, complete and leave PS Form 3849 for
342 Express Mail 342.1 Acceptance
Provide Express Mail collection service in accordance with the procedures prescribed in Handbook DM 201, Express Mail Service, available in your office.
342.21 Signature. Have the addressee or agent sign in the Signature block on the address label (Label 11-B, Express Mall Next Day Service Post Office to Addressee), or as described in Handbook DM 201. Do not use any other record or receipt (see Exhibit 342.21).
342.22 Other Information
342.23 Final Action. Retain the proof of delivery copy. Give the article to the addressee or agent and return the form to the post office ]for clearance.
342.3 Incomplete Delivery. Complete and leave Form 3849-C, Express Mail Notice of Attempted Delivery, when delivery cannot be made. Endorse Label 11-B with the exact time, date of attempted delivery, and your signature in the Attempted Delivery block. Return the article to the post office.
342.3 Incomplete Delivery
350 Collecting Mail
351 Types of Mail Collected
Accept any mailable matter from customers provided they fully prepay the postage or furnish funds equal to the required postage.
352 Collecting from Rural Boxes
352.1 Signal Flags
Open all boxes when the signal flag is raised indicating it may contain mail for collection. After collecting the articles, lower the flag and review the mail collected for Form 3227-R, Stamp
Purchase Order, notes, or other nonmailable matter. Do not raise the flag or operate any other signal device to indicate mail has been delivered. Also, check all cluster box unit (CBU) collection compartments daily.
352.2 Affixing Postage
During the month of December, you are not required to affix stamps to letter mail and greeting cards placed in a rural box for collection. During the remainder of the year, make every effort to urge rural customers to affix stamps to letter mail. You are not required to affix stamps to more than a reasonable number of pieces of letter-size mail from a box. If a customer continually leaves an unreasonable number of articles in the box requiring you to affix postage, report it to your postmaster or supervisor.
352.3 Insufficient Postage or Identity Unknown
When mail customers leave mail in the box with no postage paid or without sufficient funds for postage and the identity of the sender is known, place a note in the box stating you cannot collect the mail until they pay the necessary postage. If you do not know the identity of the sender, take the articles to the post office for handling in accordance with DMM 146.12
352.4 Mailable Matter Not Bearing Postage
When you find mailable matter in a box without postage paid addressed to, or intended for, the person in whose box it is deposited, take the matter to the post office for treatment in accordance with DMM 146.22. If general distribution of the same bill, circular, or other matter was made on the route, return two samples to your postmaster or supervisor with a statement of the number of similar pieces without postage you observed in boxes on the route
353 Collecting from Collection Boxes
Collect mail from collection boxes or other collection points designated on Form 4003 (see Exhibit 132.2).
360 Money Orders
The customer obtains Form 6387, Rural Money Order Transaction, from you and completes it (see Exhibit 361). Note: In order to minimize your waiting time on the route, you may give money order customers a supply of Form 6387 in advance.
362 Customer's Receipt
362.1 Issue Receipt
When you receive the completed application, money, and fee, issue the customer's receipt section of Form 6387 (see Exhibit 361).
362.2 Give One Receipt
Give only one receipt to a customer regardless of the number of applications. Show the total number of applications on the carrier's receipt section of Form 6387. If you cannot make correct change, show the amount due the customer.
363 Preparing the Money Order
Return the application, money, and fees to the post office. The money order clerk prepares the money order.
364 Carrier's Receipt
The money order clerk completes the carrier's receipt section of Form 6387 to acknowledge having received funds from you. Retain this portion as your record (see Exhibit 361)
Deliver the money order application and the money order to the customer on the next delivery trip. If the customer furnished a stamped addressed envelope at the time of application, the money order clerk mails the money order, and the carrier delivers the application and the money order voucher on the next delivery trip.
370 Other Services Performed by Carrier
371 Intermediate Post Offices
An intermediate post office is any post office located on the official line of travel on the rural route, included in the official route description, at which the carrier stops (daily) to perform service
371.2 Servicing Intermediate Post Offices
371.21 Customer Requirements. Customers of intermediate post offices receive rural delivery service if they request the service and erect approved rural mailboxes along the carrier's line of travel.
371.22 Processing and Delivery. Stop at intermediate post offices to process mail addressed to those offices and to deliver to customers on your route.
371.23 Holdover in Headout Office.
Hold overnight (in the headout office) any mail that is improperly addressed to an intermediate post office intended for customers residing along that part of the route already traveled. Deliver this mail on your next trip. This is not mail forwarding, and no additional postage is required.
371.3 Transporting Mail to and from Intermediate Post Offices
371.31 Authorization. When authorized by your postmaster or supervisor, transport mail to and from intermediate post offices located along your route.
371.32 Protection. Carefully protect all pouches that you transport to and from intermediate post offices. Do not open or close these pouches, or handle the mail to be pouched, or retain keys or locks for these pouches.
371.4 Nondelivery to Intermediate Post Offices.
If you are unable to make a scheduled delivery of mail to an intermediate post office, return the mail to the office where your route begins and report the reasons for nondelivery to your postmaster or supervisor
372 Nonpersonnel Rural Units
372.1 Servicing Nonpersonnel Rural Units
372.11 Be Available. Service nonpersonnel rural units each delivery day and remain at each unit at least 15 minutes to permit customers to transact postal business as required.
372.12 Collect Mail. Collect all mail deposited in the letter drop each day you service the unit.
372.13 Check Supplies Daily. Check each day to see if:
b. A usable ball-point pen is attached to the chain provided for this purpose.
372.15 Report Malfunctioning. As soon as you return to the office, report to your postmaster or supervisor any malfunctioning of the unit, including the vending machine.
372.2 Delivering Oversized Parcels
If a customer has checked the appropriate block on Form 4232-A, Customer's Name and Address, you may leave parcels outside the unit if the parcels are too large for the parcel post delivery boxes and do not require receipts (see 331.22).
372.3 Servicing Vending Equipment
372.31 Stamp Stock Credit. If you service a nonpersonnel unit equipped with a vending machine, you will be issued sufficient stamp stock credit to properly service the vending machine in addition to the normal fixed credit
372.32 Vending Machine Readings. At least once each accounting period, remove from the vending machine all accumulated funds. Take the readings on the counters (if the machine is so equipped) each time you remove postage funds from the vending machine. When you return to your office, record the counter readings by denomination on the reverse of Form 4240.
372.33 Trust Fund Account All postal revenue removed from the vending machine is credited to a trust fund account established by your postmaster or supervisor. Your postmaster or supervisor gives you a receipt for all deposits to the trust fund account on Form 3544, Post Office Receipt for Money. Retain these receipts with your fixed credit to keep the credit in balance.
372.34 Stamp Requisition. Use Form 17, Stamp Requisition, to purchase additional stamp stock supplies to replenish the vending machine. Withdraw the necessary funds from the trust fund account
372.35 Consigned Credit Receipt. Only one Form 3369, Consigned Credit Receipt, is obtained from a rural carrier servicing a nonpersonnel rural unit. However, the additional credit for the vending machine is identified separately on the consigned credit receipt.
372.36 Shortages. You are accountable for shortages in fixed or vending credits in accordance with Article 28 of the USPS-NRLCA National Agreement.
372.4 Transferring Accountability
372.41 Between Rural Routes. When a transfer of territory between rural routes requires the responsibility for a nonpersonnel rural unit to be transferred from one rural carrier to another, both the carriers and the postmaster or supervisor must make a complete inventory of the vending machine.
372.42 Between Rural and Leave Replacement Carrier
372.421 When a leave replacement carrier serves the rural route for a short period of time and the vending machine inventory is adequate, the leave replacement is not assigned the key to the cylinder type inner lock on the vending machine.
372.422 When a leave replacement carrier serves a rural route for an extended period of time and it is likely that it will be necessary to replenish the machine's inventory during that time, the regular and leave replacement carrier must verify the vending machine credit before the regular carrier goes on extended leave, and again when the regular carrier returns. In emergencies, the postmaster or supervisor, and either the regular carrier or leave replacement, may make the required verification.
380 Stamps Purchase Order
As a courtesy to your customers, you may give them a Form 3227-R to purchase stamps. Rural customers can purchase a variety of stamps and postal products by using this form. The form provides clear instructions in a simplified format to assist you with financial recordkeeping. Also, the size and construction of the form make processing it easy when filling customer orders.
Provide the customer with Form 3227-R (see Exhibit 382). In order to minimize waiting time on the route, you may provide this form to your customers in advance.
383 Receipt À When you receive a Form 3227-R from a customer, fill the request immediately, if possible. If the customer requests items you do not have, separate the form from your collection mail and fill the request when you return to the office.
Take necessary protective measures to provide adequate security for all funds and stamp stock items in your possession.
Deliver stamp products to the customer as soon as you receive the request, or on your next delivery.
Chapter 4 Office Work After Return from Route410 Use of Form 4240
411 Time Entries
411.1 Record Return Time As soon as you return to the office, enter the time, in ink, in column 4 of Form 4240, Rural Carrier Trip Report (see Exhibit 411.1)
411.2 Record Lunch Break At this time, also record in column 6, in ink, the total lunch time. If no lunch time was used, leave this column blank.
412 Route Entries In the Remarks column, explain any failure to serve the entire route, include miles actually served, and state the reason for any deviation from schedule. Notify your postmaster or supervisor immediately about these failures.
413 Vending Equipment Entries On the reverse of Form 4240, record vending machine readings from nonpersonnel rural units (see 372.32).
414 Route Change Entries As they occur, record on the reverse of Form 4240 route changes (addition of new boxes not previously served or deletion of boxes) and other required delivery data. At the end of the accounting period, the net change is added to or subtracted from the total number of boxes on the route (vacant boxes are deleted after 90 days). During the accounting period, if a sufficient number of boxes are added to or subtracted from a route to trigger a change in the route's evaluation, the postmaster or supervisor promptly completes Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description, to adjust the compensation.
420 Disposition of Mail Collected/Accepted on Route
421 Ordinary Mail
421.1 Affixing Postage Affix stamps on all unstamped mail for which the customer has left a sufficient amount of funds. 421.3 Undeliverable Ordinary Mail Returned from the Route Case or dispose of all mail which you were unable to deliver on the route in accordance with handling procedures required for the class and type of mail.
421.2 Facing and Depositing Face and deposit mail in the location designated by your postmaster or supervisor. Facing of mail may not be required in those offices where area mail processing is in operation.
422 Special Service Mail
422.1 Registered Mail
422.11 Form 3896. Give the postmaster or supervisor, or designee, Forms 3896, Receipt for Registered Article; the articles to be registered; and the funds for postage and fees.
422.12 Clearance Receipt. The clearing employee initials and removes the original of Forms 3896 and returns the receipt book as your clearance receipt.
422.2 Certified Mail Deposit certified mail with outgoing mail, or in a designated location, as directed by your postmaster or supervisor.
422.3 Insured Mail
422.31 Form 3813. Carriers must issue a receipt on Form 3813, Receipt for Domestic Insured Parcel, for an article insured for $50 or less (see Exhibit 422.31).
422.32 Form 3813-P. Carriers must issue a receipt on Form 3813-P, Receipt for Insured Mail-Domestic-International, for domestic articles insured for more than $50. Carriers must issue Form 3813-P for all international articles regardless of the insured value (see Exhibit 422.32).
422.4 Special Delivery Mail Deposit with outgoing mail, or in a designated location, as directed by your postmaster or supervisor.
422.5 Money Orders
422.51 Form 6387. Give Form 6387, Rural Money Order Transaction, and all necessary money to the postmaster or supervisor, or designee, for handling (see 360).
422.52 Carrier's Receipt. The carrier's receipt portion of Form 6387 is your record of and receipt for money remitted. Retain this form for 2 years.
422.6 Express Mail
422.61 Handling. Give your postmaster or supervisor, or designee, all articles accepted and the accompanying forms.
422.71 Handling. After Affixing stamps to cover postage and fees, give the article and tag to the postmaster or supervisor, or designee, for handling. The clearing employee provides you with the mailer's receipt portion of Form 3816, COD Mailing and Delivery Receipt. Deliver the mailer's receipt on the next delivery day.
422.8 Delivery Confirmation Mail
430 Clearance and Disposition of Accountable Items
431 Registered, Certified, and Express Mail
431.1 Handling Give the postmaster or supervisor, or designee, all of the following for all articles attempted for delivery: a. Undeliverable registers. b. Certified and Express Mail articles. c. Forms 3849, Delivery Notice/Reminder/Receipt. d. Forms 3811, Domestic Return Receipt. e. Labels 11-B, Express Mail Next Day Service Post Office to Addressee.
431.2 Clearance The postmaster or supervisor, or designee, clears each item on Form 3867, Registered Express Mail, COD, Certified, and Return Receipt for Merchandise Matter Received for Delivery (see Exhibit 431.2).
431.3 Form 3883 Where the use of Form 3883, Firm Delivery Book--Registered, Certified and Numbered Insured Mail, has been authorized, return the original bill (as proof of delivery) and all return receipts for articles listed for clearance.
431.4 Form 3821 Complete Form 3821, Clearance Receipt, showing the number of receipts and undeliverable articles returned for clearance. If the form is properly completed, the clearing employee signs and returns it to you. This relieves you of further responsibility for the items (see Exhibit 431.4).
432.1 Handling Return to the postmaster or supervisor, or designee, all tags and funds for delivered and undelivered COD articles.
432.2 Clearance The postmaster or supervisor, or designee, clears each item on Form 3867 (see Exhibit 252.21c).
432.3 Form 3821 for Delivered Articles Complete a separate Form 3821 for each COD article delivered. If you completed the form correctly, the clearing employee signs and returns it to you. This relieves you of further responsibility (see Exhibit 431.4).
432.4 Form 3821 for Articles Not Delivered Complete one Form 3821 for all CODs not delivered. If you completed this form correctly, the clearing employee signs and returns it to you. This relieves you of further responsibility. Note: If a Form 3821 was completed for clearance of registered, certified, or Express Mail, include on that form CODs not delivered. Do not complete another Form 3821.
432.5 Retention of Receipts
Keep all clearance receipts in your locker, or in another secure location, for possible future reference. (The required retention period for this form is 2 years. Filing such items at the case does not provide adequate security and clutters the work area.)
433 Postage Due
433.1 Collected Funds Return to the postmaster or supervisor, or designee, all funds collected on postage due mail and for any undelivered articles.
433.2 Form 3584 The clearing employee enters the number of articles returned in the Pieces column and the amount of postage due remitted in the Amount column of Form 3584, Postage Due Log.
434 Customs Duty Mail
434.1 Handling Return to the postmaster or supervisor, or designee, any undelivered articles, Customs Form 3419, Mail Entry, and all funds collected for custom duty mail.
434.2 Form 2944 After the clearing employee has entered the amount of funds and the number of returned parcels on Form 2944, Receipt for Customs Duty Mail, verify the entries. Then sign the form on the line opposite the clearing employee's name (see Exhibit 252.22c). 434.3 Records Place the first copy of Form 2944 in the locked receptacle provided. Keep the second copy for 3 months from the last day of issuance.
440 Disposition of Signed Forms for Numbered Insured Mail
Give to the clearing employee Forms 3849 and Form 3811 obtained for numbered insured mail. Where the use of Form 3883 has been authorized, return the original bill (as proof of delivery) and all receipts for articles listed.
450 Disposition of Undeliverable Ordinary and Insured Parcels
Verify that the article has been endorsed by dating and initialing it; then place it in the designated location.
460 Expedited Preferential Mail (EPM) Delivery System
461 EPM Offices In EPM offices, case all available mail unless otherwise directed by your postmaster or supervisor.
470 Ending Tour of Duty
471 General Perform other described rural carrier duties as directed by your postmaster or supervisor, or as required to maintain the case, route book, and card index file in good condition.
472 Form 4240 Record the actual ending time, in ink, in column 5 on Form 4240 (see Exhibit 472).
480 Saturday Clearance
481 Security Pouch and Rotary Lock At offices that do not schedule clerical employees to work on Saturday afternoon, use the following procedures:
b. After returning from the route, place in the pouch the fixed credit, funds collected, and all accountable items (including undeliverable mail) and lock it with the rotary lock. Place the pouch in a locked and secure place designated by your postmaster or supervisor.
c. Prepare all prepaid outgoing mail for dispatch and place it in the designated location.
d. On the next delivery day, you and the postmaster or supervisor check the lock and rotary number on the trip report with the lock on the pouch. If they match, your postmaster or supervisor opens the pouch in your presence and gives you the contents. If you are absent on the next delivery day, the lock and rotary are checked in the presence of the leave replacement carrier. If they match, your postmaster or supervisor opens the pouch, verifies the contents, and gives them to the leave replacement for disposition.
e. If the number recorded on Form 4240 and the rotary lock do not match, your postmaster or supervisor opens the pouch in your presence and takes the following actions:
(2) If the contents have not been tampered with, the postmaster or supervisor makes a notation of the facts on form 4240 and proceeds as described in d. above.
Chapter 5 Inspection, Count, and Adjustment of Rural Routes510 Types of Rural Routes
511 Evaluated Rural Routes
An evaluated route is one based on weekly workload evaluation. Compensation is authorized on the basis of evaluated time as determined by office and route time standards after subtracting any relief time.
511.2 Types of Evaluated Rural Routes
511.21 H Routes. The regular carrier works 6 days a week.
511.22 J Routes. The regular carrier has a relief day every other week.
511.23 K Routes. The regular carrier has a relief day every week.
511.24 Auxiliary Routes. The carriers work 6 days a week. Normally, these routes are evaluated at less than 39 hours.
512 Mileage Routes Salary for rural carrier positions on routes classified as mileage (M) is determined under the Rural Carrier Schedule (RCS), which provides a combined rate based on fixed annual compensation and specified rates per mile of route. Each rural carrier's salary is based on the length of the route as determined by the official measurement.
513 High Density L Routes Any route having a density of 12 boxes or more per mile is classified as an L route, and the evaluation is determined according to L route standards. The route retains the L route classification as long as the 12-box-per-mile density is maintained, as verified by a mail count. However, when the results of a national or special mail count indicate that the box density of an L route has decreased to less than 12 boxes per mile, the route is evaluated and removed from the L route classification.
520 Rural Route Inspections
521 Definition The inspection of a rural route is the physical inspection of a route and route conditions made by the postmaster or a designee while accompanying the carrier on the route.
522 Purpose The purpose of the inspection is to obtain current and accurate data, including (but not limited to) route and delivery conditions; number and types of boxes served; minimum stops necessary to serve all boxes on the route; location, time, and frequency of authorized dismounts; and dismount distances. Route layout is reviewed by management to identify necessary route travel changes to improve efficiency and economy of service. in addition, the postmaster examines hazardous conditions and takes appropriate action to correct them.
523 Frequency Management schedules at least one annual inspection of rural routes.
524 Carrier Responsibilities
524.1 General During the rural route inspection, rural carriers must: a. Travel the route and deliver the mail precisely as they do the rest of the year. b. Inform the postmaster or designee making the inspection of any boxes that have remained vacant for over 90 days. c. Assist in identifying hazards or hazardous conditions on the route and recommend actions to eliminate or reduce them to the maximum extent practicable.
524.2 Providing Vehicle If the vehicle (normally used on the route) does not accommodate the route inspector, the carrier's postmaster or supervisor may ask (but not require) the carrier to supply an appropriate vehicle. The carrier receives Equipment Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in accordance with 142.1.
530 Rural Route Mail Counts
531.1 Purpose These instructions provide standardized and uniform procedures for conducting mail counts on rural routes. An understanding of these instructions by rural carriers and manager helps ensure accuracy of mail count data, and prompt evaluation and correct classification of rural routes. Postmasters, supervisor, and rural carriers must ensure that mail counts are properly conducted and that data is accurately reported.
531.2 Definition A count of mail is physically counting and recording, at specified times, the number of pieces of mail delivered, collected, or handled on rural routes. This includes both national and special mail counts. Mail counts are used to assemble data that provides the basis for individual route evaluations. These route statistics indicate:
b. Amount of office and route time used by the carrier.
c. Adequacy of service to rural customers.
d. Efficiency and performance of the carrier.
532 Types of Mail Counts
532.1 National Mail Counts A national mail count is conducted on all rural routes in accordance with the provision of the USPS/NRLCA National Agreement.
532.2 Special Mail Counts Special counts held in September are conducted during the last 12 working days of the month. Special counts held during any other month are scheduled in accordance with the provision of the USPS/NRLCA National Agreement. Special counts are not conducted in July, August, or December.
533 Procedures for National and Special Mail Counts
533.1 Responsibility 533.11 Postmasters. Postmasters must hold joint conferences with supervisors and rural carriers to discuss count procedures at least 15 days before the start of the count. In addition, the postmaster must arrange a meeting with each eligible rural carrier to discuss requirements for election of a higher classification for which the rural carrier may qualify (see 535.23k). The postmaster is also responsible for including, in writing, any questions or comments raised by the carrier after the count, forwarding Form 4241, Rural Delivery Statistics Report, with the written comments to the Management Sectional Center (MSC), and advising the carrier, in writing, of the MSC's decision. Postmasters must make every effort to immediately resolve disagreements regarding the actual number of pieces counted at the local level.
533.12 Postmasters or Supervisors. Postmasters or supervisors must make completed Forms 4241 available to carriers and ensure that all columns on Form 4241 have been completed and totaled before giving the forms to the carriers to review. The signature of the postmaster (or designee) is considered verification of the validity of the count data.
533.13 Carriers. If you agree with the count data, your signature is considered verification of the validity of the count data. When you disagree with the count data, you need not sign the form. However, you must promptly submit written comments to the postmaster explaining, in detail, the reasons for objecting the exact nature of the supposed errors or omissions.
533.14 Management Sectional Centers. The MSC is responsible for providing a prompt written reply to the postmaster advising of its decision.
533.2 Conducting the Count
533.21 General All classes of mail handled by each rural carrier must be counted daily during the official count period. Before it is cased, mail must be counted at the facility where the carrier cases the mail. The postmaster or supervisor must exercise extreme caution to ensure that all entries on the count forms are correct. Carriers may observe the mail count on their relief days or on days when they are on leave. (Any carrier who observes the mail count on a relief day, or while on leave, must be in a nonduty status and must not participate in office work activities.)
533.22 Rural Carrier Schedule Mileage Routes During the 12 days of the mail count on mileage routes, the carrier counts the mail 8 days, and the postmaster or supervisor counts 4 days (picked at random). Exception: Those mileage routes classified as high density (L) are counted by management on all days. Carriers may observe, and may also count if they wish to, on the days management makes the count. When in, management's judgment, the route borderlines evaluated status, the supervisor or postmaster makes the full 12-day count.
533.23 Evaluated, High Density L, or Auxiliary Routes On routes classified evaluated, high density (L), or auxiliary, the postmaster or supervisor makes the count on all days during the count period. (This requirement is applicable where post offices are closed on Saturday and supervisory personnel are not normally on duty.) The rural carrier may observe and also count the mail. However, the postmaster or supervisor must count the delivered and collected mail, and enter it on the daily count forms.
534 Casing of Mail by Carrier
534.1 General The principle underlying the count is that the same mail flow conditions prevail during the count period that are normally in effect the rest of the year. All mail available up to the normal cutoff time for distribution on the day preceding the count is delivered on that day; and all mail available up to the normal cutoff time on the last day of the count is included in the count and delivered.
534.2 Methods of Casing Mail The carrier chooses the method of handling or casing boxholder mail. Carriers who normally case mail upon return to the office after completing their routes are to continue this practice on the day preceding the count and during the count period. Carriers who do not case mail upon return to the office after completing their routes will not do so on the day preceding the count nor during the count period. All mail must be recorded on Form 4239, Count of Mail (Rural Route) (see Exhibit 534.2), for the day of the count on which it is cased. Therefore, mail cased on the day preceding the count is not included in the count. However mail cased after the carrier returns from serving the route on the last day of the count is credited on the same Form 4239 used earlier in the day, and is included in the count.
534.3 Available Mail Available mail is that mail distributed and placed on carrier case ledge, in hampers, trays, or on the floor beneath the carrier case, and in distribution cases up to the cutoff or final withdrawal time prior to departure time to serve the route. It does not include mail distributed after the scheduled cutoff or final withdrawal time, or mail received too late for distribution, as long as the requirements in Postal Operations Manual (POM) 612.1 are met. Note: Carriers who withdraw mail from distribution cases, or other employees who place mail at or near cases, must do so in accordance with the nationally established criteria. The withdrawal procedure established for the count period must be the same as that normally followed during the remainder of the year.
534.4 Distributed Mail is distributed to ensure a normal flow on the day preceding the count period and the last day of the count. All simplified address mail available at delivery units is distributed to rural carriers during the count period. Exception: When a commitment has been made to a mailer to deliver on a specific date other than the count period, the carrier must honor the mailer's request.
535 Mail Count Forms
535.1 Form 4239
535.11 Form 4239 (see Exhibit 534.2) is designed to function as a combination daily worksheet and mail count record. This important daily record provides the basic source of mail volume and time data that is transferred to form 4241, Rural Delivery Statistics Report, and consolidated for the count period. (Use a separate form to record each day's mail count.)
535.112 The postmaster, supervisor, or mileage route carrier responsible for making the count, prepares Form 4239 daily. Form 4239 worksheets are completed as the mail is counted. After Form 4239 has been completed each day, the postmaster retains the original, and the carrier receives the carbon copy.
535.113 When management completes form 4239, it will be shown to the carrier, upon request, before the mail is trayed or strapped out to allow verification of the count data.
535.114 The postmaster, supervisor, or mileage route carrier who makes the daily count must sign Form 4239 each day.
535.115 Carriers serving evaluated, high density (L), or auxiliary routes do not make entries on Form 4239
535.116 Form 4239 is completed at intermediate offices and forwarded under cover daily to the headout office postmaster for consolidation on form 4241. Form 4241 is not completed at intermediate offices.
535.117 On presently classified evaluated, high density (L), and auxiliary routes, Form 4239 is completed in accordance with 533.23.
535.118 On mileage routes not classified as high density (L), Form 4239 is completed in accordance with 533.22
535.12 Completion. During the entire mail count period, complete PS Form 4239 daily for each route. Transfer the totals daily from PS Form 4239 to PS Form 4241. Use the following guidelines to complete PS Form 4239:
(2) Do not include newspapers, boxholders, flats, and rolls even though they may be cased with letter mail. Count each direct or segmented bundle (see part 225.4) distributed and tied out at mail distribution cases as one parcel and enter that number in column D. Do not count direct or segmented bundles tied out at the carrier case (see part 225.5) as parcels. Do not include registered, certified, COD, numbered insured, Express Mail, and other accountable mail in this column. For special delivery articles see column F.
c. Column C--Papers, Magazines, Catalogs, Flats, Other Non-Letter Size Mail. Enter in this column newspapers, flats, magazines, catalogs, rolls, and other non-letter size mail that can be cased for delivery using carrier casing equipment. This includes catalogs cased with other mail or cased separately. This does not include those items specifically referenced in column D, Parcels. EXCEPTIONS: Count simplified address articles, including mail with detached labels, as boxholder mail and enter the number in column E. Count each direct or segmented bundle distributed and tied out at mail distribution cases (see part 225.4) as one parcel and enter the number in Column D. Do not count direct or segmented bundles tied out at the carrier case (see part 225.5) as parcels. Do not count registered, certified, COD, numbered insured mail, Express Mail, and other accountable mail in this column. For special delivery articles see column F.
d. Column D--Parcels
(b) 18 inches in length.
(c) 1 9/16 inches in width.
(2) In addition, any nonrigid article that does not fit in the letter or flat separations (where flat separations are used) with other mail is considered a parcel. (This includes articles that have not been prepared in accordance with DMM C010.8.2c, even though the mailer has endorsed them Do Not Fold or Bend. These nonrigid articles should be carried and credited as parcels, provided they do not fit in the letter or flat separation (where flat separations are used) with other mail without damage to the article.)
(3) The carrier has the option of handling odd-size articles either with flat mail or separately, regardless of how it is credited.
(4) Parcels with detached labels do not belong in this column. They are counted as boxholders in column E. Only specifically addressed samples too large to be cased are included in the parcel count.
(5) Each direct or segmented bundle distributed and tied out at the mail distribution cases (see part 225.4) is counted as a parcel. Direct or segmented bundles tied out at the carrier case (see part 225.5) are not counted as a parcel.
(6) Registered, certified, COD, numbered insured, Express Mail, and other accountable mail are not counted in this column. (For special delivery articles see column F.)
f. Column F--Registered Mail, Certified Mail, Numbered Insured Articles, Express Mail, and Other Accountable Mail.
(2) On high density (L) routes where multiple accountable items are received for one address, enter the items on PS Form 3883. The route receives credit for one accountable article per page or partial page completed. EXAMPLE: If a route received 10 accountable articles of which five were for delivery to one address, the route would receive credit for six accountable items: one item each for the five articles for delivery to individual addresses, and one item for the five articles entered on PS Form 3883, Firm Delivery Book for Accountable Mail, for delivery to the one address. Under no circumstances use a PS Form 3883 for delivery of only one accountable item.
(3) When a PS Form 3883 is authorized for use on high-density (L) routes, additional credit is allowed for handling return receipts on items listed in the book (see column T).
h. Column H--Postage Due. Enter the number of postage due articles taken out for delivery. Do not include postage due items in columns A, B, C, or L. NOTE: A carrier can receive a double credit for a postage due parcel. EXAMPLE: An ordinary parcel with postage due would be credited as a parcel in column D, Parcels and in column H, Postage Due.
i. Column I--Change of Address (COA). Enter in this column the number of change of address orders (PS Form 3575, Change of Address Order, or PS Form 3546, Forwarding Order Change Notice) received and entered during the count period. PS Form 3546, initiated by the carrier, is creditable as a forwarding order, provided it is not a duplication of a previous action. There must be no accumulation of change of address orders at the start of the count period. NOTE: Do not record the entry of a new or additional customer's name on PS Form 1564, Address Change Sheet, or PS Form 4232, Rural Delivery Customer Instructions, as a change of address order.
j. Column J--Marked Up Mailpieces
(2) In instances where mailing addresses have been changed from rural routes and box numbers to street names and numbers, mail is not credited as a markup on the route where the territory transferred to or from. This is considered a hand-off and credit is given in the original count of mail.
(3) Markup credit is provided for the following categories of undeliverable mail:
(a) Mail Sorted to the Undeliverable-as-Addressed Separations or Designated Location at the Carrier Case. Credit one markup for each bundle of the following categories of mail:
(ii) Insufficient address.
(iii) Undeliverable-as-addressed, unable to forward.
(iv) Undeliverable bulk business mail.
(v) Other undeliverable bulk business mail.
(ii) Endorse a facing slip In Excess of Requirements, initial, and attach to each bundle, and
(iii) Receive one markup credit for each set.
(ii) No Such Number.
(iv) No Mail Receptacle.
(vi) Vacant. Only First-Class Mail, Periodicals, endorsed Standard Mail (A) or Standard Mail (B) addressed to Occupant. Do not endorse undeliverable bulk business mail.
(vii) Undeliverable-as-Addressed (Parcels). Do not credit as a markup parcel post endorsed only to indicate that an attempted delivery notice was left.
(viii) No Record Mail. Credit as a markup each piece of mail given to the carrier under the provisions of 242.4, whether or not the piece is marked up by the carrier.
(ix) Other required individual carrier endorsements in DMM F010.4.2, as appropriate, and undeliverable mail the postmaster or supervisor requires the carrier to individually endorse.
l. Column L---Delivery Point Sequence (DPS) Letters. Enter in this column all mail up to 6 1/8 inches in width that is processed on automated equipment as Delivery Point Sequence mail. EXCEPTION: If less than 2,400 pieces of DPS mail are averaged per week during the entire mail count period and/or the route was not validated before the count as meeting the 98 percent quality threshold, mail processed as DPS will be cased and recorded as sector/segment mail in column B on PS Form 4241, Rural Delivery Statistics Report, or, if it does not qualify as sector/segment mail, recorded in column A, Letter Size, or column C, Newspapers, Magazines, Flats, Catalogs, and Rolls, as appropriate. NOTE: Casing of DPS mail will not change mail count procedures or time standards applied to DPS or other mail.
m. Column M--Money Order Applications. Record in this column the number of money order applications received on the route. If rural carriers reside on the route they serve and regularly purchase money orders throughout the year, they will receive credit. Postmasters or supervisors review each money order application daily.
n. Column N--Letters and Flats Collected. Enter in this column the number of letters and flats collected on the route. If mail is received in bundles, count each bundle as one piece. Do not count each piece in the bundle. Do not include mail picked up from a collection box or cluster box unit (CBU) collection compartment. Centralized delivery equipment collection compartments receive a standard allowance. Enter in column R the actual time required to open the collection boxes, remove the mail, and close the boxes.
o. Column O--Ordinary and Insured Parcels Accepted.
(b) Parcels weighing more than two pounds for which postage has been prepaid.
q. Column Q--Loading Vehicle. Enter the time spent transferring mail from the carrier's work area to the vehicle. This time should include taking mail from the work area to the vehicle, placing mail in the vehicle, and returning the equipment to a designated location. Postmasters or supervisors must observe the loading operation daily to ensure that carriers operate efficiently. Include only the time required to place mail in gurneys or hampers in loading time if mail cannot be placed in the conveyance during strap out. In offices where the carrier does not normally withdraw all mail for the route, the required final withdrawal from the designated distribution case, or other equipment, will be accomplished in conjunction with the loading operation, and the actual time required included in the loading allowance. Do not include the time used for this function if the carrier receives the withdrawal allowance. Loading time in excess of 15 minutes must be fully explained in the Comments section of PS Form 4239. However, do not interpret the loading allowance to be a minimum 15 minutes daily. The actual time shown for loading the vehicle must not include time for arranging parcels in delivery sequence; this is included in the time allowance for those items in column D.
r. Column R--Other Suitable Allowance
(2) The actual time required to place Central Markup System/Computerized Forwarding System (CMU/CFS) mail in the designated location is credited in column R.
(3) Where no office personnel are on duty when the carrier returns from serving the route on Saturday, the carrier receives actual time allowance only for those duties performed over and above the normal functions of this day and the following work day. (This does not include time spent counting mail or completing count forms.)
(4) Those carriers who serve a nonpersonnel rural unit receive a minimum allowance of 15 minutes daily for each unit served. Boxes located in these units are not included in the route totals on PS Form 4241. Additional time above 15 minutes claimed for servicing a nonpersonnel unit must be explained in the Comments section.
(5) Personal time, or time used for purchasing and checking stamp stock, should not be entered. These times are credited when the evaluation is processed at the Information Service Center (ISC).
(6) No entries are made in this column for those routes using USPS-owned or -leased vehicles. The ISC will automatically credit appropriate time allowances as indicated in 535.23. Time spent waiting for vehicle repair or tow while on the route is not a recurring function, and is not granted.
(7) All entries in column R require explanation in the Comments section. NOTE: No entries are made in this column for those routes with collection compartments, or parcel post lockers located in centralized delivery equipment.
t. Column T--Return Receipts. On high-density (L) routes, an additional credit is received only for those return receipts for accountable items handled via PS Form 3883 (see column F). Enter in this column the number of return receipts attached to those accountable items entered on PS Form 3883. Do not credit return receipts on accountable items delivered other than those listed on PS Form 3883. EXAMPLE: If a route received 10 accountable items and each had a return receipt attached, but only four of the items were listed in a firm delivery book, the route receives credit for four return receipts in column T.
u. Column U--Authorized Dismounts. The number of authorized dismounts is shown daily. (See part 313 for those instances where dismount deliveries may be authorized.) EXAMPLE: A carrier is authorized to dismount at a school. The school office is closed on Saturdays. The route would be credited with a dismount Monday through Friday, but would not receive dismount credit on Saturday. Authorized dismounts must be explained in the Comments section. When a carrier dismounts primarily to provide other services, such as delivery or pickup of accountable mail, COD, Express Mail, etc., do not authorize dismount credit; existing time allowances include time for dismounting.
v. Column V--Authorized Dismount Distance (in feet).
(b) For multiple deliveries requiring a dismount (such as multiple apartment buildings served from one park point, shopping centers, etc.), a parking location is established at the most advantageous point or points, and the authorized dismount line of travel between delivery points is laid out in the most efficient travel pattern. To avoid unnecessary trips to the vehicle and to ensure employee safety, the postmaster or supervisor may authorize the use of a carrier satchel or satchel cart.
EXAMPLE: A school is authorized as a dismount delivery point. The total dismount distance from the vehicle to the delivery point and return is 140 feet. If, on the first day of the mail count, the volume for this delivery requires only one trip by the carrier, the carrier would receive credit for one dismount in column U and 140 feet dismount distance in column V. If, however, on the second day, the volume for this delivery required two trips, the carrier would receive credit for one dismount in column U and 280 feet in dismount distance.
(3) There must be a reasonable expectation that the line of travel established for the dismount is available to the carrier at least 90% of the time. This consideration is especially important in areas that experience consistently heavy snowfalls where direct dismount routes (not coinciding with existing sidewalks) will be blocked for a large portion of the winter.
x. Column X--Waiting Time. Enter the number of minutes the carrier spent waiting for mail after the official starting time.
y. Column Y--Intermediate Offices Serviced Daily, Services Performed at Intermediate Offices.
(2) Record daily on PS Form 4239 all functions performed or services provided at intermediate offices, and forward, in a sealed envelope, to the postmaster at the carrier's originating office.
(3) When a non-L route carrier purchases stamp stock at an intermediate office, show the actual time required to perform this function, not to exceed 5 minutes daily, in the Other Suitable Allowance column and explain in the Comments section. During the mail count period, maintain the normal frequency of stamp purchases at the intermediate office. NOTE: For high-density (L) route carriers to receive this additional allowance, their purchases must meet the minimum requirements of 150 times the First-Class Mail postage rate.
(4) When completing PS Form 4241 for the week, the postmaster or supervisor at the office from which the route begins will include in the proper Total columns the items applicable to the intermediate office, and writes in above the signature line the words, "includes services performed at intermediate office." Indicate on the form, in the Comments section, the functions or services performed.
535.21 Description. Form 4241 is the source document used to determine the evaluation of all rural routes (see Exhibit 535.21, Form 4241, Rural Delivery Statistics Report.)
535.221 General. The totals of columns A-Z on Form 4239 are transferred daily by your postmaster or supervisor to the proper lines on form 4241. This information may be made available to the carrier.
535.222 Official Length of Route. Show to two decimal places the official length of the route obtained from the latest Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description (see Exhibit 122.2). Example: Show a route 61.38 miles in length as 06138.
535.223 Types of Boxes
b. Centralized Boxes. Show the number of centralized mailboxes on the route as of the last day of the count. Centralized mailboxes are defined as any mail-receiving unit where the carrier has access to more than one customer's receptacle by opening only one door. This includes such items as CBUs, apartment receptacles, delivery centers, postal centers, mailrooms, etc. Not included are boxes served through nonpersonnel rural units.
c. Vacant Boxes. Include temporarily vacant dwellings, apartments, and places of business with or without a box erected, that have not been vacant more than 90 days. Do no include abandoned boxes, permanently vacant buildings, dwellings and apartments vacant more than 90 days, buildings under construction, or dwellings and businesses receiving delivery solely through general delivery or a post office box. In resort areas, transient trailer parks, and transient mobile home parks count only the boxes being served during the mail count period.
d. NDCBU Collection Compartments. Record the total number of CBU collection compartments on the route as of the last day of the count. Normally the compartment is located in the top left separation of a CBU. If a carrier serves 40 CBUs and 20 contain collection compartments, an entry of 020 is shown. The collection compartment is not counted and entered as a centralized box in the centralized boxes block. Treat mail collected from these compartments as collection box mail. Do not count or enter this mail in column M, Letter Size and Flats Collected. (On the first day of any count, enter in the Comments section of Form 4239 the location of all CBU collection receptacles.)
e. Parcel Lockers. Record the total number of parcel locker receptacles on the route a of the mail count. Parcel lockers are used for delivery of ordinary parcels and other items too large to fit in mail receptacles. If there are 10 parcel lockers on the route and each has two parcel post receptacles, record 20 in this block. (On the first day of any count, enter in the Comments section of Form 4239 the location of all parcel lockers.)
f. Vehicle Stops for All Boxes. Enter the minimum number of vehicle stops necessary to serve all boxes on the route. Where a group of boxes can be served without moving the vehicle, count as one stop.
b. Families Served. Enter in this block the total number of families served. Example: If 325 families are served, show an entry of 0325.
c. Locked Pouch Stops. Record in this block the total number of locked pouch stops per day.
Example: If a carrier delivers two pouches to an office every day, enter the combined weight (rounded to the nearest whole pound) in column Z. However, because only one stop is required, enter one locked pouch stop, shown as 01, in this block. If a carrier stops and leaves one pouch in the a.m. and later returns and leaves another pouch or picks up a pouch, enter in this block two locked pouch stops, shown as 02. identify the location of locked pouch stops on the reverse of Form 4241.
d. Mail Withdrawal. Where a carrier withdraws all mail from distribution cases, place a check mark in the Yes block. If an employee other than the carrier daily withdraws mail and places it on the carrier's case ledge, in hampers, trays, or on the floor beneath the carrier case, place a check mark in the No block.
e. Time Used During the Count. Record in this section during the count period the total time represented by the start, leave, return, and end time as recorded on Form 4240. Record separately all office, route, and net total time used, as well as any auxiliary assistance time provided the route during the count period. Also enter the total actual time spent by the carrier waiting for or counting the mail. Example: If during a 12-day count, a total of 41 hors and 45 minutes was spent in the performance of all office activities, enter a 04175 in this column. The same procedure is applicable to route time, net total time, auxiliary assistance time, and waiting and counting time. Enter only the time the carrier used in counting the mail. (Time entries in the Waiting and Counting column do not increase or decrease the route evaluation.) Include intermediate office time in the total office time computation and subtract from the total route time.
f. Current Detour-Detour Miles. Place a check mark in the appropriate block if the route is currently serving a detour. Enter the total number of miles (to two decimal places) the carrier travels daily to serve the detour. Example: If the route is currently serving a detour requiring an additional 3.75 miles, record a 0375 in this block.
g. Follow the Instructions Below for Seasonal Routes. If this is not a seasonal route, place a check mark in the No block, and go to Block H, Equipment Maintenance Allowance.
(2) In Season. If the route miles, boxes, stops, and volume data recorded on Form 4241 represent a route In Season, place a check mar in the Yes block.
(3) Not in Season. If the route miles, boxes, stops, and volume data recorded on Form 4241 represent a seasonal route Not in Season, place a check mark in the No block.
(4) Seasonal Miles. Record the number of miles traveled daily on the seasonal portion of the route. Example: If the seasonal portion of this route represents and additional 13.2 miles, record 1320 in this block.
(5) Seasonal Boxes. Record the number of regular and centralized boxes on the seasonal portion of the route.
(2) For each fueling of the vehicle 4.5 minutes is provided. The number of fuelings is determined by multiplying the daily route miles (DRM) by 6 days and dividing the result by 100 miles per fueling.
(3) In no instance is a rural route on which an employer-provided vehicle increased in weekly evaluation by less than 30 minutes. Note: If the fueling location is not on the carrier's line of travel, use the following formula to compute the daily average deviation and include it in the total route mileage. Fueling mileage deviation times daily route miles times six divided by 100 miles per fueling divided by 6 days equals daily average deviation. i. Conversion to Regular Status. Note: This block is applicable only to auxiliary routes. If a check mark is placed in the Yes block and the route evaluates over 39:00 standard hours as a result of the mail count, the route is automatically converted to regular status on the effective date of the count. A check mark placed in the No block leaves the route in an auxiliary status.
k. High/Low Option. Any rural carrier whose route may be classified in more than one evaluated classification may elect the higher option if:
(2) Column l (explained below) is checked.
535.241 Upon request, a rural carrier may verify that the totals from Form 4239 are transferred accurately to the Form 4241 daily.
535.242 Before submitting Form 4241, the carrier must review and sign the completed form as outlined in 533.1. Carriers must be allowed up to 2 days for their review prior to submitting Form 4241.
535.3 Form 4241-A
535.31 Carrier Copy. Before the effective date of a route evaluation resulting from a national count of mail, or a special count of mail, you receive a completed copy of Form 4241-A, U.S.Postal Service Rural Route Evaluation ’(see Exhibit 535.31). This copy is for your personal records. It contains the route evaluation time credits as developed from Form 4241 completed during the count. In addition, line 6 of Form 4241-A contains your new salary information and the new route classification.
535.31 Route Copy. At the same time you receive Form 4241-A, another copy goes into the route book (see 227). This copy contains all the information on your copy of Form 4241-A except for line 6. which includes your personal salary information.
540 Compensation Adjustments
541.1 Substantial Service
541.3 Form 4003
541.4 Automation Processed Mail
541.41 Additional Compensation If a carrier on a route being compensated under DPS standards is required to case all or a significant portion (125 pieces or more) of its DPS mail, due to machine failure or other problems, additional compensation will be provided in accordance with the following formula:
The average daily DPS volume from the latest mail count (when all DPS mail is received in a raw, unprocessed state or all DPS mail is improperly processed requiring casing) or
The actual piece count (when 125 or more pieces require casing) multiplied (x) by 0.0520 minutes per piece equals (=) additional minutes payment.
Additional payment procedures will be the same as outlined in Article 9.2.M. of the National Agreement between the USPS-NRLCA.
Exception: Carriers may annotate the comments section of Form 4240, Rural Carrier Trip Report, and track DPS pieces that require casing. Form 8127, Rural Carrier Supplemental Payment, may be submitted once an accounting period rather than on an event basis.
Note:Carriers should notify their manager immediately when they receive DPS mail requiring casing. If a manager is not readily accessible, the carrier should note the number of DPS pieces they are required to case and report it to his or her manager at the first opportunity.
541.42 Formal Review of DPS Processing If a route receiving DPS mail frequently experiences signifiant decreases in the quality of the DPS mail or there is a disproportionate reduction in DPS volume in relationship to the total letter volume of the route, the carrier may make a written request asking for a formal review of the DPS processing for the route.
If the formal review indicates a zone or route is no longer being properly processed on automated equipment, quality has deteriorated significantly, or a pattern of random automated processing is revealed, management will take corrective action to ensure that the processing is returned to levels equivalent to those experienced during the previous mail count period.
However, if corrective action has not resolved the problem within 30 calendar days of the carrier’s written request, management will prepare a Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description, discontinuing the application of DPS standards. The DPS volume will be reclassified as sector/segment mail (if processing standards are achievable) or raw mail, as appropriate, and a base hour change made to adjust the route evaluation. The Form 4003 will be processed with an effective date beginning with the first day of the pay period in which the carrier provided written notification requesting a review of DPS processing.
541.43 Adjustments If, for any reason, management takes a route off of the sector/ segment or DPS sort scheme, Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description, will be prepared to appropriately adjust time allowances and processed to be effective on the first day of the pay period in which the automated processing is discontinued.
541.44 DPS Discontinuance If DPS is officially discontinued in accordance with 541.42 or 541.43 above, and then reintroduced to a route, the negation criteria in Article 9.2.C.12.a.(3) of the National Agreement between the USPS-NRLCA may not be used to requalify the route for a special mail count for purposes of applying DPS standards.
541.45 Computerized Labeling and Address Sequence System Once C.L.A.S.S. (Computerized Labeling and Address Sequence System) is introduced to a route, the carrier will begin to record necessary delivery data (boxes/stops, box number or address, residential or business type, etc.) on the edit sheet instead of on Form 1621, Delivery Management Report, or the back of Form 4240, Rural Carrier Trip Report.
On an as-needed basis, the carrier will complete the edit sheet and submit it to his or her postmaster or supervisor. Attach the last page of the edit sheet, the Route Summary sheet, to Form 4240 and file accordingly. The summary sheet for a route includes the most current route data as reflected by the edit sheet, at that time.
Time required to complete the edit sheet is in lieu of the completion of Form 1621, Form 4240, or manual case labels.
Note: Actual time required for full completion of the additional data required on the edit sheet and maintenance worksheet will be recorded under column R, Other Suitable Allowance, in any subsequent mail count. Other suitable allowance entries should reflect the average weekly time needed for completion of this additional data.
542 Box Allowance
542.1 Definition Box allowance is the time allocated for each box that the carrier serves.
542.2 Non-L Routes
542.21 Regular Boxes. The box allowance for each regular box is 2.0 minutes.
542.22 Centralized Boxes. The box allowance for each centralized box is 1.0 minute.
542.3 L Routes
542.31 Regular Boxes. The box allowance for each regular box is 1.64 minutes.
542.32 Centralized Boxes. The box allowance for each centralized box is 1.0 minute.
543 Volume Only Factor
543.1 Computing Volume Only Factor. The volume only factor is determined by converting the evaluated time from hours and minutes to minutes) only and subtracting the following:
b. Number of boxes multiplied by the appropriate factor.
c. Fixed allowances, such as replenishing stamp stock, office work not covered and personal needs, withdrawal, locked pouch, dismount, CBU collection boxes, parcel lockers, and other suitable allowances. The remaining time is divided by the total number of boxes on the route. This determines the volume only factor for the route (see Exhibit 531.3).