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Oshkosh Truck Introduces New TAK-4 Independent Suspension System On Pierce Fire Trucks.

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OSHKOSH, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 12, 2001

Oshkosh Truck Corporation [NASDAQ: OTRKB] announced it will introduce its TAK-4(TM) independent front suspension system on its Pierce brand fire apparatus. The system will be unveiled on Pierce's best-selling custom chassis next month at the Fire Department Instructors Conference March 3-5 in Indianapolis.

The TAK-4 system greatly improves ride comfort, provides increased performance and can extend the useful life of fire apparatus. It improves braking performance by 23 percent. A fire truck equipped with the TAK-4 system can stop from 60 mph to 0 in 200 feet, instead of 260 feet. In traffic, that's the length of two pickup trucks and a minivan. Firefighters will also notice greatly improved ride quality. Accelerometer testing quantifies a ride improvement of 340 percent over a standard straight-axle configuration.

No other fire truck manufacturer has its own independent front suspension system.

Oshkosh adapted the technology that has been in use in extreme severe-duty situations, such as off-road military and high-performance airport rescue and fire fighting vehicles for years, for the fire service.

"Today, Oshkosh is absolutely leading the way in independent suspension development and application. This is another example of how we are leveraging technology across our products and businesses to benefit customers and investors alike," said Robert G. Bohn, Oshkosh chairman, president and chief executive officer.

"Clearly, fire departments and the communities they serve will realize a tremendous benefit from the combined world-class engineering and manufacturing expertise of Oshkosh Truck Corporation and Pierce Manufacturing. Getting to a fire scene safely and in the shortest amount of time is critical for every piece of fire apparatus. By giving fire fighters a performance advantage in getting to the scene, the TAK-4 independent suspension system will give our Pierce fire apparatus a competitive advantage," said Bohn.

Setting New Performance Standards

Oshkosh continues to lead the way in bringing new technology to the fire service. The TAK-4 system is now available on the Pierce Dash(R) and Lance(R) custom chassis. Already, firefighters who have driven and ridden in fire apparatus equipped with the TAK-4 system have raved about the improvements.

"We've been field testing the Tak-4 equipped vehicles and the response is very exciting," notes Bohn. "Firefighters are saying: `You have to drive it to believe it!' Vehicle handling and ride quality are at a whole new level."

The system delivers much greater suspension travel - a full 10 inches of vertical wheel travel, which improves the ride over obstacles such as railroad tracks, speed bumps, water run-off dips and pot holes. Improved ride means shortened response times in areas where these obstacles are common.

The TAK-4 system allows a maximum front axle weight rating (FAWR) of 24,000 lbs. This increase in GVW makes it possible to add more features and equipment such as front suction connections or air conditioning.

The new system comes with a proven record of outstanding performance. A similar system is used on Oshkosh's Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR), a tactical military truck designed for tough off-road conditions that has withstood some of the most rigorous testing of any truck in the world. This technology has more than 80,000 test miles behind it, conducted in extreme environments not likely to be encountered by a typical fire department.

Oshkosh Truck Corporation [NASDAQ: OTRKB] is a leading manufacturer of specialty trucks and truck bodies for the defense, fire and emergency, concrete placement and refuse hauling markets. Oshkosh Truck is a Fortune 1000 company with products marketed under the Oshkosh, Pierce, McNeilus and Medtec brand names. The company is headquartered in Oshkosh, Wis., and had annual sales of $1.324 billion in fiscal 2000.

For more information about Oshkosh Truck Corporation, log onto its web site at www.oshkoshtruck.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 14, 2001
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