Compared to today, the number of municipal vehicles produced by Rosenbauer was tiny in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The reason for this was that the production was based on the framework engineering principle that was commonly used at the time, which was also the process employed by many smaller vehicle manufacturers and even metalworking shops. In addition, there were hardly any standards in place to regulate qualitative requirements. This scenario led a group of resourceful colleagues to think about new, alternative ways of building vehicles. Franz Hochdanninger from Sales and Alfred Glatzmeier from Development gave input that led to a true innovation in terms of vehicle architecture. Alfred Glatzmeier came to Rosenbauer from the world of aircraft manufacture, and thus also from the world of so-called frames (the non-visible cross-connections within the fuselage). The first sketches were drawn up on a napkin – in the course of heated discussions – in a Linz beer garden in August 1992.
A structure of self-supporting frames and longitudinal walls was to result in a torsionally rigid body. This has the advantage of enabling a significantly more compact, lighter, and more integral construction.
Through their commitment, the colleagues finally managed to realize the new concept. The functional aspects and ideas laid out at that time came to form the cornerstone of today’s vehicle technology and the backbone of the success story of the Rosenbauer AT that continues to this day.