JLG To Build Cabs For New M-ATV Order
JLG Industries will build just the cabs of 1,460 armored trucks (M-ATVs) ordered by the U.S. Army last week for the war in Afghanistan, according to John Daggett, spokesperson for JLG’s parent company Oshkosh Corp.
The new M-ATV order is the seventh placed with Oshkosh since the Wisconsin-based corporation was awarded the contract in June 2009. To date, Oshkosh has received orders valued at more than $4.74 billion for 8,079 M-ATVs, as well as parts kits and aftermarket theater support.
The last order for M-ATVs was made in December and called for 400 of the armored trucks to be delivered in May 2010.
“Our armed forces have Oshkosh’s full assurance that these highly mobile, life protecting vehicles will continue to be a top priority because we understand the urgency of the situation,” Robert G. Bohn, Oshkosh Corp. chairman and CEO, said in a statement released last Tuesday announcing the order. Bohn said that Oshkosoh has been committed from the beginning to “meet or exceed” the M-ATV delivery requirements.
JLG was brought onboard by its parent company to help meet the military’s immediate need to replace the heavier M-ATVs used in Iraq with lighter armored trucks that could navigate Afghanistan’s rough terrain. Daggett told the “News” that the Afghanistan M-ATV is more of a logistical vehicle used for surveillance than the Iraq MATV. The armored truck’s independent suspension system allows the ground troops to “get in” and “get out” without getting stuck. “It takes you were the insurgents are,” Daggett said.
Daggett said JLG called back more than 650 of its workers who were laid off because of the recession to help Oshkosh meet the military’s aggressive delivery schedule. The work has been split between Oshkosh Defense plants in Wisconsin and JLG’s McConnellsburg plant, with JLG making 100 percent of the MATV cabs and completing 50 percent of the M-ATV assemblies. The remaining half of the assemblies are completed by Oshkosh Defense. This combined effort has produced 1,000 M-ATVs per month since December.
With Oshkosh beginning to gradually ramp down production of the M-ATV, complete assemblies of the new order for MATVs will take place at Oshkosh Defense plants and not at JLG. Daggett said 100 percent of the cabs will continue to be made by JLG, however.
Conversations with all employees regarding layoffs, which begin this month at JLG, have taken place, according to Daggett. Layoffs are also scheduled at JLG for April and June. Daggett said that workers were aware when they were called back that their jobs were shortterm assignments.
“All the people working on this line have made a difference. Their work has helped to protect fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for all of us ... to design, build and deliver in less than a year,” said Daggett, who noted the high praise U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had for the M-ATV effort during a visit to a Oshkosh plant in November. Gates said then that the rapid buildup of MATVs designed for the war in Afghanistan was one of the most dramatic efforts in the defense industry since World War II.