WYOMING, Minn. (WCCO) — As Tag Johnson walked up to the massive truck, he pointed to an aerial boom that’s designed to pierce the fuselage of a burning jet aircraft.
“This is the 54 foot elevated boom,” Johnson pointed out.
He is the sales coordinator for the Rosenbauer Company, which builds some of the largest and most versatile fire trucks in the world.
“This is the pump, capable of eighteen-hundred and fifty gallons per minute,” Johnson said.
But Johnson never guessed the 80,000-pound airport rescue rig the company markets by the name “Panther” would ever have caught Hollywood’s eye.
The truck, which was designed and built by Rosenbauer workers at the Wyoming fabricating plant, spent months being filmed for the newest Hollywood release of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”
“We couldn’t believe it,” said Johnson.
Painted on the side of the large red and grey truck is the image of one of the film’s main characters, “this is Sentinel Prime, right there, that’s what he looks like, yup,” Johnson said.
To anyone who has followed the Transformer saga, these robots in disguise change from ordinary cars, trucks and machinery into weapons of battle. The friendlier “Autobots” defend themselves and others against the evil forces brought by the “Decepticons” to uphold freedom and justice in the galaxy.
In the latest Transformer motion picture, the Rosenbauer fire truck transforms into a red and grey “Autobot.”
“We have heard it gets a fair amount of time. As far as minutes we don’t know so we’ll have to wait until the 29th,” Johnson said.
June 29 is when the third film in the series is set for a midnight release. A number of Rosenbauer employees will no doubt be in the theatres to see their workmanship and pride on prominent display.
However, Rosenbauer’s presence won’t end with just the film. Its truck has also been made into a Transformer action toy.
“It’s worse than a rubix cube,” said Johnson. “The toy’s many hinged parts make it next to impossible for the average adult to figure out.”
A number of years back, Jayson Kranz was one of those young boys who became hooked on the films and action toys.
He never dreamed he’d one day be working for the very company that inspired the latest “bot.”
“It’s pretty exciting. I’ve always liked working on fire trucks, but to have something going in the movies is even better,” Kranz said.