2009-04-23 / Front Page

JLG To Build 268 Army Telehandlers

$37 million contracts won't call back laid-off workers
By Lindsay R. Mellott STAFF WRITER

ATLAS II Army Telehandler ATLAS II Army Telehandler Access equipment manufacturer JLG Industries announced last week that the U.S. Army has made two orders for military telehandlers totaling a little more than $37 million.

In a statement released last Thursday, JLG said it would build 214 All Terrain Lifter Army System (ATLAS) II telehandlers for $33.7 million.

The ATLAS II will be engineered with significant upgrades from the original ATLAS design, which has been in production since 1998.

This new military contract, however, will not call back any of the 1,670 employees JLG has laid off in the last nine months in response to falling demand for its products.

"The order will help us maintain our current status and not immediately impact employment," Jeff Ford, marketing communications senior manager, said Monday.

With four-wheel drive, high ground clearance and 173 hp, the ATLAS II is built to go through the most rugged terrain. It is designed to reach into trucks or shipping containers, lift loads over obstacles and pick up loads from both above and below grade.

The ATLAS II has a maximum reach of 28 feet and loads of up to 10,000 pounds can be lifted as high as 17 feet. Upgrades include reduced emissions, interchangeable "quick" attachments and increased load handling capabilities.

"We are excited about the ATLAS II and its ability to build on the stellar reputation for material handling versatility, superior reach and the rough terrain performance of the original ATLAS machines," said Denny Buterbaugh, JLG government products and programs vice president.

Currently, there are more than 2,500 ATLAS machines working in the field for the U.S. Army.

"The ATLAS units are deployed to many bases and then deployed worldwide. So they could end up most anywhere we have an Army base," said Ford.

The first ATLAS II units are scheduled for delivery in September.

The company also got a Foreign Military Sales order valued at $3.6 million from the U.S. Army's Tank-automotive Armaments Command (TACOM) for 54 JLG G6-23A telehandlers. JLG said in a statement released Friday that this order is the latest under a 2006 contract with TACOM for JLG telehandlers. It brings the total value of that contract to $26 million and 386 units, all of which are working in the field for the Afghan and Iraqi governments.

The G6-23A telehandler has a maximum lifting capacity of 6,600 pounds and a maximum lifting height of 23 feet. It can be used with a side range of attachments, including buckets, bale clamps and work platforms, to enhance its flexibility.

"JLG telehandlers have a myriad of applications and have proven to be exceptionally useful and reliable tools for military forces around the world," said Buterbaugh,

Delivery of the 54 telehandlers, which, according to Buterbaugh, are headed to Iraq to assist the Iraqi military with construction and rebuilding, is scheduled to begin in August.

Both the ATLAS II and the G6-23A will be built at JLG's McConnellsburg plant.

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