Bob Bachman

Medical trailers still on the go

April 26, 2012
by Philip F. Jacobus, CEO
Recently, I wrote about the changes at Oshkosh and its decision to stop taking orders for medical trailers. One of our users reminded me that Advanced Mobility is still very active in that space and suggested I reach out to Bob Bachman, CEO of Advanced Mobility to get his take.

I was reminded that Bachman was one of the founders of AK Associates - the company that became Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles when global giant Oshkosh bought AK in 1991.

So last Thursday, I spoke with Bob about that history and he shared some interesting information.

Advanced Mobility manufactures and re-manufactures trailers. Bob told me while demand for new units is much softer than it was 10 years ago, demand for re-manufacturing is strong. He also told me about a number of projects in progress at the Advanced facility outside of Chicago.

I see demand for re-manufacturing as a good sign for the mobile business. To me this is an indication that people are not giving up on the mobile business, but instead, are just being more cautious financially while looking for ways to economize.

Still purchases are being made when the need is there. For instance, Bob told me that he sees the greatest demand in mobile PET CT and in so-called specialty vehicles. He told me about a 12'x48' mobile unit Advanced Mobility delivered to an island in Alaska to house a Toshiba Titan.

Bob also said many OEMs are upgrading rather than replacing systems, and upgrading the scanners normally includes a facelift for the trailer.

On a related note, over breakfast at New York's Plaza Hotel two weeks ago, John Vartanian told me about a "specialty" mobile he has developed. I can't talk about it further just yet or John will have my head, but it is very interesting and I'll write about it soon.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.