03/10/2014 - by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter
Oshkosh Defense has been contracted to upgrade the US Marine Corps' EBFL (Extended Boom Forklift) fleet over the next five years.
Valued at up to $99 million, the contract will run until September 2019 and see the USMC's in-service EBFL's thoroughly modernised. The contract will see Oshkosh Defense supply around 100 cabs, plus spare parts.
Constructed by JLG Industries - a division of Oshkosh - the USMC's EBFLs were supplied from 2002 onwards. They take the form of a four-wheel drive forklift equipped with rubber tyres and offering a range of steering options, maximising manoeuvring capability within tight spaces.
Extended Boom Forklift
Able to traverse rocky terrain, each Extended Boom Forklift has a top speed of 35 mph and a 425 mile range. Medium-lift capable, the EBFL is at its best when lifting loads weighing between 4,000 and 11,000 pounds. Its boom system means that 4,000 pound loads can be extended out to 27 feet beyond the cab and the whole vehicle can be accommodated inside the cargo hold of a C-130 Hercules strategic airlifter.
The extended boom feature facilitates operations that involve reaching into trucks or shipping containers and getting objects lifted over other objects.
USMC Forklift Upgrades
"As the original equipment manufacturer of the EBFL, Oshkosh is very well suited to provide the best value, lowest risk solution to the Marine Corps as they look to enhance the useful life and capability of this expeditionary forklift fleet", explains Oshkosh Defense's Domestic Programs senior vice president, John Bryant, in the firm's USMC forklift upgrades press release.
"Because these forklifts operate right alongside the tactical wheeled vehicles that we build and support for the Marine Corps, we applied our operational insight to optimize the protection, loading functionality and sustainment of this forklift fleet - at an affordable cost."
Bryant concludes: "The Marine Corps will receive vehicles in like-new condition with several design improvements for significantly less cost than a brand new vehicle."