Use as Needed

Yesterday when I stopped by the surplus vehicle auction for NYS I admit that I was hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the more rare pieces of equipment that hide behind the iron walls of the Region 3 Headquarters. Fate was on my side. Check out this monster.

Oshkosh Blower

At the time I had no idea of the specifics. I knew it was an Oshkosh. I knew it was old. I knew it was cool. But at the end of the day the story needs a little more meat on the bones to help you walk away from the table feeling satisfied. To the Google! I’ve found recently when trying to identify old trucks that heading directly for the image search is the best way to go. The traditional text search simply returns to many dead links from past auction websites. I now have good reason to believe this is an Oshkosh W700-15R with a Sincard Blower. Power to the blower comes from a Cat D348 V-12 churning out 850 brake HP. I believe this information to be factual as it comes from man who has thousands of Oshkosh photos in his Flickr feed.


Does that rear end look big enough to house a V-12? I think so. The green hubs suggest a previous tenure with the military, most likely Air Force. I don’t think a single state agency every bought one of these trucks new. Military surplus seemed to be the usual chain of custody. One question remains. What is the year of manufacture? Some sources suggest 80’s but those trucks often sport new style cabs so that is most likely a remanufactured date. With those narrow windows and long rounded hood I’m think late 50’s to early 60’s is a safe bet. Anyone know any better?

And guess what? They actually have two of these rigs! This one was parked closer to the front gate.


I did a walk around video of the first truck with some basic observations. Static photos are nice but sometimes video can pickup the overlooked details.

Tomorrow coverage wraps of my gawking visit.

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3 Responses to Use as Needed

  1. Joe says:

    These are probably W712-15R model Oshkosh’s with the “R” standing for rebuild, a military program to completely rebuild these trucks from the frame rails up and replace their original gas engines with CAT diesels. The truck probably has a 1673 or perhaps the later 3306 depending on the rebuild date, although some of these went through two rebuild cycles before being auctioned off. The original truck power plant was the Continental 572 in-line six gas. If that is a Sicard BX blower, then yes a CAT D348 V-12 is under the hood replacing the original Continental V-12 gas engine.

    These were originally manufactured from about 1958 through 1964. The rebuild program started in 1971 or ’72 and lasted through 1991. Like I mentioned, some trucks saw a second round of rebuilds in the 1980’s after first being done in the early ’70’s. The original serial numbers in the trucks were reused, however after the rebuilds would have an “R” then two digits indicating the year of the rebuild. For example: 8057-R79 would be a 1964 era truck, rebuilt in 1979 by Oshkosh for the Air Force.

    Some of these included the upgraded Oshkosh cab, but these two still have the old W-series version with the upgraded, later style fenders.

    Jim Mennard is THE expert on these trucks. His book on the bigger Oshkosh WT-2206 truck is a detail lovers dream.

  2. Jim Menard says:

    It is most likely a W-700-15R the R usually stands for rotary. The front engine would most likely be a Cat 3306 with a D-343 to power the blower in the rear.

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