New custom fire chassis are first to feature frontal air bags
OSHKOSH, Wis.-Sept. 15, 2006-Oshkosh Truck Corporation (NYSE:OSK) announced today that its subsidiary, Pierce Manufacturing Inc., North America's leading manufacturer of fire and rescue apparatus, has unveiled its newest custom fire chassis, the Velocity(TM) and the Impel(TM), at the Fire Rescue International show in Dallas, Texas. The new models were designed based on extensive input from fire fighters across the country and feature five critical areas of performance improvements. These are also the first custom fire trucks to offer frontal air bags, which will be available in spring 2007.
Five critical areas of improvement are evident throughout the cab and chassis:
o Increased space
o Safety and visibility
o Storage and clutter management
o Seats designed for safety and comfort
o Easier maintenance
"These new chassis are the result of one of the most important and far-reaching product development projects we have undertaken. The voice-of-the-customer drove the entire development process and has resulted in unprecedented performance features for fire fighters. Extensive customization is a point of differentiation and pride for Pierce and is evident in these new chassis; yet, they are based on a single design platform to significantly enhance quality, increase commonality and improve manufacturability," said Robert G. Bohn, Oshkosh's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The Velocity and Impel models allow Pierce to offer a custom chassis selection that addresses the wide range of performance and budgetary considerations that fire departments grapple with daily."
"Fire fighters helped us envision the ideal fire truck. We then translated that vision into custom fire chassis that offer unparalleled performance, safety and comfort features to the fire service. These new models combine a spacious, state-of-the-art interior with industry-leading technologies. We're pleased to lead the way in redefining fire truck performance and safety," said John Randjelovic, executive vice president and president of Pierce Manufacturing.
To accommodate the increased space requirements of the new engines that are compliant with 2007 emissions standards without sacrificing valuable room for fire fighters and gear, Pierce meticulously used every inch of interior space to ensure that the occupants would have the most head, leg, shoulder and hip room available. The 100-inch-wide cab provides best-in-class seating room as the engine has moved forward 7 inches to increase foot room for the crew. In addition, the cab is 3 inches taller than previous offerings to improve head room. The cab is spacious with room for up to 10 occupants in the Velocity, and eight in the Impel.
The industry's widest doors have extra large interior and exterior door handles that can be easily gripped by gloved hands to make entry and exit safer and quicker.
Safety and Visibility
Safety was top of mind during every aspect of chassis design. As a result, Pierce is the first OEM fire truck manufacturer to offer frontal air bags in a custom fire truck to help keep fire fighters safer in the event of a frontal impact. Available in spring 2007, the frontal air bags are an integral part of the Pierce side roll protection program and its 360 degree Protection From Every Angle(TM) program.
When building the chassis, Pierce also incorporated many additional safety features. These include a single-piece bonded windshield with unobstructed visibility and three wiper blades that clear 86 percent of the windshield, up to 60 percent more than the traditional two wiper blades.
Another industry first is the new Pierce forward-mounted mirrors. The mirrors are mounted to the cab above the windshield, in place of traditional "West Coast" mirrors that are attached to the doors. In addition to aiding maneuverability by narrowing the vehicle's width by as much as eight inches, the position of these mirrors improves visibility around the truck, providing a view of the front bumper as well as the passenger side which is often obstructed by the officer. These new Pierce mirrors make the Velocity the only OEM fire truck to meet school bus FMVSS-111 standards for visibility.
Storage and Clutter Management
Fire fighters asked Pierce for more storage for maps, binders, radios, cell phones and anything else they might bring into the cab. Additional storage increases safety because fewer unsecured items can shift or travel through the cab in quick stopping situations or when tilting the cab forward during maintenance. The cab interior features easy-access storage and clutter control areas that keep the cab organized and efficient, providing a mobile office environment. There are many storage compartments in the dash, engine tunnel and overhead console, as well as a glove box and cup holders to help keep the interior clutter-free.
The Velocity and Impel chassis also feature Pierce's exclusive and highly durable rotomolded dura-panel console, designed to place road switches and instrument clusters exactly where firefighters said they would be most easily seen and reached. The console is tough enough to stand up to the boots, gear and equipment that are repeatedly placed on it.
The cab of a fire truck is also considered the "mobile office" and officers need to be able to conduct business. The console is designed to offer many switch configuration locations and storage options, as well as work space benefits. There is space for a laptop and a flat work surface area in front of the officer for writing, paperwork and other activities.
PS6(TM) Seats Designed for Safety and Comfort
Pierce's new PS6(TM) seats are the first custom-designed seats in the industry to feature built-in side roll protection. They incorporate integral air curtains and a roll sensor to monitor the movement of the rig. When it senses an imminent roll, it automatically activates occupant protection devices including a seat belt pretensioner and seat lowering system, along with the air curtains and air bags.
To enhance comfort for fire fighters, the new design features extra padding, air suspension, self-adjusting ride height, and a 7.5 degree angle of recline. It also features dual seat belt retractors and double-length, easy-to-reach seat belts that fit over turnout gear with plenty of extra belt.
In addition, the PS6 seats offer all new, inertia-activated, hands-free brackets for self-contained breathing apparatus, developed with LifeGuard Technologies, a division of IMMI, to provide easy walk-away operation without the hassle of levers or straps.
The Velocity and Impel chassis feature a fast-access, front-tilt hood for service ease and convenience when performing daily maintenance, and a check and fill door for easily servicing fluid levels. Engine and transmission fluid checks are done through the engine tunnel inside the cab so the cab doesn't need to be tilted to perform simple maintenance.
Pierce's exclusive TAK-4® independent front suspension with a heavy-duty, class 8 design experiences fewer problems over the life of the truck. This well proven suspension increases maneuverability, improves emergency stopping distances and lowers the cost of ownership by cushioning onboard equipment.
Pierce's Command Zone® advanced electronics provide easy access to breakers, fuses and solid state modules, and offers Mission Critical Logic to keep equipment functioning in the event of a module failure during critical operations.
The Velocity chassis features engines up to 525 horsepower, a 148-inch-long cab, seating for up to 10, TAK-4® independent front suspension and Side Roll Protection. The Impel chassis features engines up to 425 horsepower, a 138-inch-long cab and seating for up to eight. Many additional features and options are available on both chassis.
The Velocity and Impel chassis will replace Pierce's Saber®, Enforcer®, Dash® and Lance® models. To learn more about these chassis, visit www.piercemfg.com.
About Oshkosh Truck Corporation
Oshkosh Truck Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty commercial, fire and emergency and military trucks and truck bodies. Oshkosh's products are valued worldwide by fire and emergency units, defense forces, municipal and airport support services, and concrete placement and refuse businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount.
For more information about Oshkosh Truck Corporation, log onto the company web site at www.oshkoshtruckcorporation.com.
Oshkosh Truck Corporation
Charlie Szews (Financial), 920-233-9332
Kirsten Skyba (Media), 920-233-9621