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23 posts categorized "Dodge Center news"

February 18, 2013

McNeilus parent, OshKosh, lands $381M military contact with UAE

While its U.S. military busines plunged by 21 percent during the first quarter, Oshkosh just had a massive $381 million blast of military business from The United Arab Emirates.

Oshkosh, which owns truck maker McNeilus Cos. in Dodge Center, recently signed a contract with the UAE for 750 "mine-resistant, ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicles," according to media reports.

OnxTgG8JcoBPnQlAtclDn0GpLThe Oshkosh contract is the largest among a total of $1.4 billion or 5.2 billion dirhams defense deals, announced by the UAE today.

This is an interesting turn for a company that recently reduced its military business, which once represented about 60 percent of its sales.

It probably will not have any direct impact on McNeilus, which makes refuge trucks and cement mixers locally.

The UAE deals are  interesting from an international persective, because they also include the sale of U.S.-made unmanned drones to a Middle East country. The Emirates are buying an unknown number of Predator drones, which are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for $196 million.

"UAVs are significant for any armed forces in present times. There is a lot of demand for these," stated Major General Obeid al-Ketbi at an arms exhibition in Abu Dhabi, according to Reuters news service.

McNeilus parent, OshKosh, lands $381M military contact with UAE

While its U.S. military busines plunged by 21 percent during the first quarter, Oshkosh just had a massive $381 million blast of military business from The United Arab Emirates.
Oshkosh, which owns truck maker McNeilus Cos. in Dodge Center, recently signed a contract with the UAE for 750 "mine-resistant, ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicles," according to media reports.
The Oshkosh contract is the largest among a total of $1.4 billion or 5.2 billion dirhams defense deals, announced by the UAE today.
This is an interesting turn for a company that recently reduced its military business, which once represented about 60 percent of its sales.
It probably will not have any direct impact on McNeilus, which makes refuge trucks and cement mixers locally.
The UAE deals are  interesting from an international persective, because they also include the sale of U.S.-made unmanned drones to a Middle East country. The Emirates are buying an unknown number of Predator drones, which are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for $196 million.
"UAVs are significant for any armed forces in present times. There is a lot of demand for these," stated Major General Obeid al-Ketbi at an arms exhibition in Abu Dhabi, according to Reuters news service.

January 10, 2013

S.E. Minn. is a pretty inventive area

Wrote the latest version of the annual IBM leads all other companies with U.S. patents story for today's paper.

I always enjoy the change to chat with some of IBM's master inventors and look at their patents. I often don't understand much, but I enjoy it. Heh.

This year I decided to see how many patents issued in 2012 included residents from area cities. I found some interesting stuff, including the fact a group of guys from Hormel in Austin were issued a new patent on a bacon bits making process on Christmas Day.

I hadn't look at these community numbers, since I wrote a big package in early 2010, where I determined that Rochester was the most inventive city inMinnesota and probably the U.S. (per 100,000 residents).

It is interesting to note that Rochester people had 488 patents issued to them in 2009, so the numbers have gone up considerably since then. I may need to take a run at this story again.

 

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This is a breakdown of how many patents issued in 2012 included at least one inventor from these southeastern Minnesota cities:

• Rochester — 652 patents

• Byron — 42 patents.
Patent-Office
• Stewartville — 10 patents

• Austin — 75 patents

• Mantorville — 27 patents

• Zumbrota — 12 patents

• Pine Island — 36 patents

• Dodge Center — 10 patents

• Lewiston — 14 patents

• Oronoco — 38 patents

July 08, 2010

McNeilus recalls more than 3,000 trucks

Dodge Center-based McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing is recalling more than 3,000 garbage trucks for a possible problem with air tank connections.

The trucks, made in 2003, are ones built on an Autocar brand chassis.

Logo_mcneilus3-1 The problem, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notice, stems from air tanks being relocated when the refuse body was installed on the chassis.

Possible faulty reconnection of air lines to the holdback valve could cause serious problems.

McNeilus is telling truck owners to bring in truck for a free inspection and repair, if necessary.

The issue was first reported at the end of June and the recall began this month.

McNeilus, which is an OshKosh Corp. company, makes concrete mixers and garbage trucks.

The truck maker employs about 1,200 people.

March 11, 2010

McNeilus, Oshkosh donate $50,000

Giving back to the community is more important than ever when times are hard.

That's the philosophy behind a series of three large donations totaling $50,000 this week by Dodge Center's McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing Inc. and its parent company, Oshkosh Corp.

McNeilus_Revolution_5 While donations like this were not uncommon before the recession, national numbers show substantial drops in corporate giving in 2008, 2009 and so far this year.

"Times are tough. We are all going through the worst recession any of us have seen in our careers. But these charities need us  more than than they did when the economy was booming," is how McNeilus president Mike Wuest describes the philosophy of Oshkosh CEO Bob Bohn.

For local non-profits, that means larger-than-usual contributions being made to the Dodge County Food Shelf, Channel One Food Shelf and Mayo Clinic.

Bohn and Wuest presented a check for $10,000 to the Dodge County group Wednesday and they are giving $15,000 to Channel One and $25,000 to Mayo Clinic today.

Wuest says the addition of the food shelves to this year's donation is new. "

With the unemployment rate, we thought this would be the year that those groups would need as much help as we could give them," he says.

With the concrete market at the lowest levels ever seen, McNeilus, which makes concrete mixers as well as other products, has adjusted its own employee numbers as well as pay during the past two years.

"It has been a tough couple of years and our employees had to step up from a compensation standpoint and we've been able to restore that compensation," Wuest says. "We are the company we are because of our employees and the pride they have in what they do."

Overall, the truck maker's employee numbers have stabilized at 1,200.

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"This is isn't a company that thinks of bonuses or that extra penny a share. I think every dollar invested in our community pays back tenfold," said Wuest. "I know that sounds corny, but that's true."

November 16, 2009

Action in Dodge Center

A new antique and gift shop — Cottage Treasures — opened its doors in Dodge Center about a week ago.

This makes the third business for owners Theresa and Lyle Hoaglund. They already own Center Auto, which is in the same building that houses Cottage Treasures, and Mantorville Gifts in Mantorville.Expect a selection of antiques, cards, crafts and gifts in the store at 210 Highway Street West similar to that in Mantorville Gifts.

It is across the street from where a new Subway restaurant is preparing to open.Beside enjoying working with people, Lyle Hoaglund says this store made sense for many reasons.

“The space was available. A tenant (Ed’s Auto Repair) moved out of this building,” he said. “We had plenty of inventory. So we decided to remodel a bit and open a shop.

Right now the Hoaglunds are staffing the store as well as Center Auto, but Lyle says they may add an employee or two in the future.

September 02, 2009

McNeilus Steel expanding its reach

Here's a story on McNeilus Steel of Dodge Center and its current expansion projects. 


For the record, I had a completely different and word play riddled lead on this story, but it was replaced by fuddy duddy editors for a 'straight' lead.


Here the special director's cut version of the lead as a special bonus feature for my blog readers:


DODGE CENTER – One area company is working to strengthen its mettle and extend its market in preparation for the dented economy to straighten out.


Here's how it appeared in today's dead tree edition:


DODGE CENTER — One area company is expanding in Wisconsin and North Dakota in hopes of taking advantage of a reviving economy.


McNeilus Steel will open a new warehouse in Fond du Lac, Wis., and a processing facility in Fargo, N.D., said Dan Blaisdell, chief financial officer for the steel company.


“We were affected by the recession. Business has slowed down in the last year. Now we’re hoping that we’ll be ready to go when things pick up here and move on,” Blaisdell said.


McNeilus produces and sells steel pipes, rolls, tubing, sheets and plates, and it performs contract fabrication for manufacturers. The fabrication is a growing segment for the Dodge Center company. McNeilus Steel  is not part of the McNeilus Truck in Dodge Center, which is owned by Oshkosh, Wis.-based Oshkosh Corp.


McNeilus Steel is expected to open the 110,000-square-foot warehouse in Fond du Lac by mid-October, Blaisdell said. It will be staffed by 15 employees.


“We decided we wanted to expand in eastern Wisconsin,” he says. “It will open up access to new sales. It will make it handy, and it’s an opportunity to expand in Oshkosh and Milwaukee.”


McNeilus also is building a 96,600-square-foot facility in Fargo, equipped with processing machinery previously only used in Dodge Center. The $15 million project will include a $7 million cut-to-length machine.


The company plans to break ground on the project Thursday, and the building is expected to open next summer. It will extend McNeilus Steel’s geographic sales range and make the Fargo site more self-sufficient. Currently, the three cut-to-length-line machines in Dodge Center handle prep work for Fargo.


McNeilus employs about 80 in Fargo and this expansion will need about 15 additional workers at the start, he said.

Meanwhile, McNeilus has been adding space and fabrication capabilities to its facilities in Dodge Center, which cover about 500,000 square feet and employ about 220 people.

January 27, 2009

McNeilus closing Dexter plant

Here's an interesting piece by writer Laura Gossman. I remember when the Development Corp. of Austin built this plant in Dexter. I wonder what they will do with it now? I believe this project landed some state money also.

McNeilus Trucking and Manufacturing has announced that its plant in Dexter will be S-Series_Revolution

closing.

Parent company Oshkosh Corp. spokeswoman Ann Stawski said 24 employees will lose their jobs and four employees will be transferred to the plant in Dodge Center.


The plant in Dexter built concrete mixer drums, but the demand for those products has tapered in recent months.

"It's a continuation of the economy, and we had to adjust our production," Stawski said. "There's been a decrease in residential and commercial construction, and there's been the same downward trend for concrete materials."

The closing was announced to employees on Friday, but Stawski had no details on when employees will have their final day.

The Dexter plant was built by the Development Corp. of Austin in November 2002 with a loan from Mower County and was leased to Oshkosh Corp.

The Dodge Center plant also announced layoffs this month; 40 jobs were eliminated, and 125 people are being laid off for 60 days.

The company also had laid off 50 employees last February, with 20 of those jobs coming from the Dodge Center factory.

It's part of a trend across southeastern Minnesota. In the past six months, several other area companies have laid off employees.

Earlier this month, Herff-Jones announced it would close its photo lab and memory book location in Lewiston and eliminate hundreds of jobs. In December, Northern Engraving in Spring Grove announced it would close it 208-person factory. In August, TRW announced it would reduce it Winona work force by 100 employees. 

Federal-Mogul in Lake City is in the midst of layoffs, too. A complete number hasn't been released by the company.

July 23, 2008

New energy deal blowin' in the wind

Here's a piece by Bob Freund on a local wind power deal.

I wrote about Nature Energies a while back when the Rochester branch moved into a new office.

The Rochester-based branch of a French energy company is buying stakes in 56 wind turbines at the two farms now run by the area’s pioneer wind farmer, Dodge Center businessman Garwin McNeilus. Windmill

Nature Energies has agreed to purchase portions of the 28 windpower projects in two wind farms at Dodge Center and Adams. All are managed by McNeilus and his son Grant McNeilus, but have individual owners from the McNeilus family and from related non-profit organizations, Nature Energies vice president Jeff Cook-Coyle said today.

The sale is underway, but will be completed in the future. The value of the deal is being kept private, Cook-Coyle said.

The Dodge Center farm contains 41 wind turbines and the Adams farm has 15. Together they can generate as much as 65 megawatts (million watts) electricity over a single hour.

Nature Energies will obtain ownership of available parts of the wind projects. The parties also expect to collaborate on future wind projects, a written announcement said Tuesday.

Nature Energies also currently is working on developing 450-megawatt wind farm in Dodge County.

The Rochester office is the U.S. operations branch for Nature Energies SAS of Paris. Nature Energies has 115 megawatts of wind farms in France and is developing solar energy plants in Europe as well.

May 30, 2008

Verizon Wireless upgrades

It wasn’t just a cup of coffee that jolted Rochester area Verizon Wireless users into action this morning.

An “espresso” upgrade of Internet speed awaited them on their wireless connections.
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When logging onto the Internet via a wireless modem or through their Verizon telephone, the letters “EV” should have popped up on whatever screen they were using.

That EV, which stands for Evolution-Data Optimized (I have no idea why) , means wireless connection speeds are turbo-boosted up to the same level of a tradional broadband link.

Verizon says people connecting in the Rochester area can now expect average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second to 1.4 megabits per second. That means they can download a small PowerPoint presentation or a large PDF file in about eight seconds, according to the company.

The upgrade also allows local users to have access to VCAST, a service that offers downloadable music, videos and games.

Improving the company’s existing high-speed network north of Rochester along U.S. 52 from the Twin Cities and west in Dodge County has upgraded the coverage from south of Rochester along U.S. 63 to Highway 30 in downtown Stewartville and east of Rochester to 30th Avenue Southeast.