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Grove wins big military contract

June 13, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

SHADY GROVE, Pa. - Grove Worldwide officials announced Thursday that the Franklin County crane maker has landed a government contract for up to 450 all-terrain, mobile cranes for the Department of Defense.

The contract could mean $120 million for Grove, company spokesman Doug Zoerb said Thursday.

In April, Grove officials announced the hiring of 120 additional production workers to meet growing product demand, including the government contract they knew was coming, Zoerb said.

Grove is the country's largest supplier of cranes for the military, he said. The last major military contract awarded to the company was in 1986, when it built 254, 40-ton, all-terrain cranes.

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The latest contract initially calls for Grove to manufacture 160, 22-ton capacity all-terrain hydraulic cranes valued at $42 million, Zoerb said. Called the AT422T, the new crane is designed to operate on rough terrain as well as on paved roads and can reach speeds of 55 mph. It can fit inside C-5 and C-17 military cargo aircraft.

The military will use the new crane for loading and unloading cargo, bridging operations, general maintenance and field support. Special equipment will allow it to be used to operate a grapple, clam shell bucket, cement bucket and a pile driver.

The contract could eventually swell to 450 or more units with a value of from $80 million to $120 million, Zoerb said.

The units will undergo stringent government-supervised tests at Grove's Shady Grove plant and at the military's proving grounds in Aberdeen, Md., starting in July, Zoerb said. Two prototype models are ready for testing, he said.

Grove is the world's largest supplier of mobile and specialty cranes.

The company has more than 2,500 employees.

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