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Oshkosh plant suspends civilian mobile medical trailer production

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | April 02, 2012
Mobile Imaging
Specialty truckmaker Oshkosh Corp. has stopped making new civilian mobile medical trailers at a Florida facility it moved production to last year and will instead concentrate on the growing military market, DOTmed News has learned.

The company's medical trailer division, called Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, stopped taking new orders for civilian mobile equipment at its Clearwater, Fla. factory at the end of March, a company representative said.

"Any business, you need to adapt yourself to the current marketplace," John Daggett, vice president of communications for Oshkosh, told DOTmed News.

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Before the switch, OSV made civilian trailers for mobile CT, MRI, mammography and PET equipment, and was certified to build in the devices of top OEMs, such as GE, Siemens, Philips and Toshiba.

The company will still make new mobile equipment at the Clearwater plant but only for military units, Daggett said. "We're going to concentrate our efforts on the growing portion of our business," he said.

A "small number of positions" might be cut from the company but most people would simply be shifted over to the military side of the business, he said. About 175 people work at the Clearwater plant, he said.

Daggett said the company would still service, repair and upgrade medical equipment owned by current and new civilian customers. "The service is going to continue as is. Nothing changes there," he said.

Also, Oshkosh hasn't quit the civilian medical trailer business entirely. SMIT Mobile Equipment B.V., the company's European medical trailer branch based in the Netherlands, will still build civilian mobile medical equipment, Daggett said.

"They can be shipped all over," he said. "We had some recent ones [ship to] the [United Arab Emirates]."

Florida move

OSV only recently moved to its new Florida home.

Lured to the Sunshine State by around $1.44 million in economic investment incentives, last year Oshkosh packed up OSV and a separate ambulance unit, Medtec Ambulance, and consolidated them with groups already operating in Florida, according to reports.

OSV finished its move from its original Harvey and Calumet City, Ill. offices in July.

Oshkosh, a $10 billion company that makes everything from urban assault vehicles to fire trucks, founded OSV after buying AK Specialty Vehicles for about $140 million in July 2006. AK dates back to the early 90s, according to the company's website.

Oshkosh is based in Oshkosh, Wis.

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