Around this time last year, truck manufacturer Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK) sealed a $3 billion merger with construction equipment maker JLG Industries. Some were skeptical, and some concerns remain, but the deal's first year appears to have gone well.

On Thursday, the company announced sales of $6.3 billion for fiscal 2007, nearly doubling the previous year's pre-merger totals. Net income rose more than 30% to $268 million, and earnings per share came in at $3.58, nicely besting the $3.40 that analysts were expecting.

Oshkosh noted in its release that operating margins eclipsed the 10% level in the third and fourth quarters, no doubt thanks to the merger. Margins in the JLG portion of the company exceeded 13% in the fourth quarter, helping to compensate for the weaker fire truck business and the money-losing commercial segment.

Road closed?
But there could be rocky times ahead. The merger nearly doubles the size of Oshkosh, so this is no mere bolt-on acquisition. Integration could be difficult. And the company has misfired recently in another cooperative venture to build next-generation armored vehicles for the military. So not all of its tie-ups have been successful.

More recently, Oshkosh teamed up with Ceradyne (NASDAQ:CRDN) and Ideal Innovations to make another try at a military vehicle. In October, the three firms delivered "The Bull" to the Army for initial testing, but the verdict is still out.

This bid is part of a plan by the military to purchase more than 6,400 "mine-resistant, ambush-protected," or MRAP, vehicles of various types for use in Iraq. General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) and Force Protection (NASDAQ:FRPT) won a $1 billion contract for 1,900 vehicles, and Navistar recently announced a deal for $69 million. Also in the running are Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Textron (NYSE:TXT).

Oshkosh has not yet landed a major contract, but military officials saw enough in its first attempt to encourage the company to try again. Hopefully, that means it's just a matter of time before Oshkosh breaks through with a contract.

Yet regardless of what happens with the MRAP project, Oshkosh has made a good pickup in the JLG merger. The deal makes Oshkosh bigger, giving it more clout with suppliers. And it gives Oshkosh a way to take advantage of the global boom in infrastructure. With 14 successful acquisitions since 1997, Oshkosh knows how to make marriages work. Fools might want to give this company a closer look.

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Fool contributor Ron Vlieger doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned, but does welcome your questions or comments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.