Oshkosh Corporation – leading the way at airports and beyond.
Oshkosh is a city in the north-eastern part of the US state of Wisconsin, an area known as the Fox Valley. Known for its dairy farms, lakes and ardent Green Bay Packers football fans, it’s a growing hub of industry and manufacturing companies, including its iconic namesake, the Oshkosh Corporation. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017, Oshkosh is an international manufacturing colossus, unmatched in the production of heavy-duty speciality vehicles for markets that include defence, fire and emergency, commercial and access equipment. “We are true heavy manufacturers,” says Jeff Resch, Vice President and General Manager of Oshkosh Airport Products, a business unit of Oshkosh Corporation that produces airport emergency vehicles. “We design, build and sell everything, from scratch.”
Resch and others in the Fire and Emergency segment of the company are excited about a new truck called the Striker 8×8 (the numerals refer to the number of wheels and the power to those wheels). It’s a redesigned Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicle that’s making its debut in April 2017, a mammoth eight-wheeler capable of carrying 4,500 gallons (17,000 litres) of water. “We’ve had an 8×8 before, but this new 8×8 is the highest-performing ARFF vehicle out there,” Resch explains.” He ticks off the specs: “It has all-wheel drive, can go off road, has high water capacity – just an awesome firefighting truck.”
Salim Hawi, Vice President for International Sales at Oshkosh, agrees. “This truck has so much horsepower, you put wings on it, this monster will fly!” That horsepower comes from two Scania Tier 4 final, 16-litre 770 hp V8 engines. Scania partnered with Oshkosh from the beginning of the design phase to supply the engines on the new 8×8, whose biggest markets will initially be China and the Middle East. Scania also supplies engines for Striker 6×6 and 4×4 trucks, as well as snow removal, concrete mixer and refuse trucks.
The collaboration between Oshkosh and Scania was smooth from the beginning, with both companies leaders in their fields and dedicated to high-quality products sold throughout the world. “It’s been a great relationship,” says Resch. Adds Hawi, “And Scania provides premium service and a warranty second to none.”
The Oshkosh Airport Products Group also produces snow blowers, the newest a 3,000-tonne, single-engine machine that is more manoeuvrable, less costly and requiring less maintenance than its double-engine sister. Resch explains, “Similar to the 8×8, we said we’re building a new product. What’s the right engine for us?” And the 8×8 design team pointed again to Scania products. Those Scania-powered blowers are now being used at the Metropolitan Airports Commission in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area, a region known for bitterly cold temperatures and annual snowfalls of 115 cm.
Oshkosh airport trucks have a worldwide reach. They’re custom-built to order, with available features such as the Snozzle, an extendable boom arm that can reach above or below a plane and is capable of piercing an aeroplane cabin or cargo area to spray a powerful shower of water or foam.
The vehicles also find their way out of airports. After the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, an ARFF truck came from Dulles International Airport to aid in the firefighting. And in May 2016, when Fort McMurray, in the Canadian province of Alberta, suffered a devastating wildfire that forced the evacuation of nearly 90,000 residents, two local energy-producing companies that are Oshkosh customers rushed several of their Striker 8×8 vehicles to aid firefighters.
Both Hawi and Resch point with pride to the company where they’ve worked for many years. Says Hawi, “It has a unique culture rooted in strong values, a culture of ‘people first’. Our most important capital is human capital.” Oshkosh was recently included in a listing of the world’s most ethical companies, an award given by the organisation Ethisphere. In addition, Forbes magazine named Oshkosh one of America’s best large employers in 2016.
8×8 Striker ARFF vehicle
- Newly redesigned ARFF truck debuting at Fire Department Instructors Conference in April 2017
- Carries 17,000 litres of water and 2,400 litres of foam
- 62-tonne total weight
- Top speed 110 km/h
- Dual Scania Tier 4 final 16-litre V8 engines with a max power of 770 hp and a max torque of 3,183 Nm
- Vehicle features power and manoeuvrability, ride stability, cab comfort and excellent visibility.
The company: Oshkosh Corporation is a leading maker of heavy-duty speciality vehicles and truck bodies for markets that include defence, fire and emergency, snow removal, concrete and construction.
Oshkosh by the numbers
- Founded in 1917
- Four business segments comprising defence, fire and emergency, access equipment and commercial
- 13,000 employees worldwide
- Manufacturing operations in eight US states plus Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, Mexico, Romania and China
- Net sales of USD 6.1 billion in fiscal 2015.