Pierce Manufacturing is an Appleton, Wisconsin based manufacturer of custom fire and rescue apparatus and a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation. Pierce was acquired by Oshkosh in 1996. The company was originally founded in 1913 by Humphrey Pierce and his son Dudley as the Pierce Auto Body Works Inc., and concentrated on building custom truck bodies for the Ford Model T. From the 1960s to the early 1980s, Pierce was primarily known for building custom bodies on commercial and other manufacturer's custom chassis, and was considered an OEM.
Although the Arrow name was used for their first custom chassis which debuted in 1979, the company has no affiliation with George N. Pierce's famous Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company of Buffalo, New York, which operated from 1901 to 1938. However, the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company coincidentally supplied 8- and 12-cylinder engines to Seagrave for use in their fire apparatus. These engines continued to be made even after Pierce-Arrow ceased operation in 1938. Seagrave continued to deliver fire apparatus with the "Pierce-Arrow" V-12 until 1970.
Throughout the years, Pierce has had partnerships with various other manufacturers, notably when it came to aerial devices (they now engineer and build all their own aerial devices in-house). Such aerial manufacturers included Snorkel, Pitman, Aerial Innovations (AI), Ladder Towers Incorporated (LTI), Smeal, Bronto Skylift and Nova Quintech (whose assets Pierce/Oshkosh acquired in 1997). In addition to their main facilities in Wisconsin, they also have facilities in Bradenton, Florida. The Florida facility is a manufacturing site for the Contender and Responder line of apparatus, as well as a refurbishment center.
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