The three largest makers of half of the truck trailers manufactured in US had repeated the last year’s history in 2001 as in that year they had also produced half of the trailers produced in the country. Whereas in 2001 all the three top producers of truck trailers had produced equal to the production in 2000.
Though Bureau of Census, Department of Commerce had not revealed the number of trailers produced in 2000 in US but according to its reports nearly 240,000 truck trailers were produced in all in that year. Whereas reports of some private groups had estimated a decline of 42% in the industry by producing 140,000 to 145,000 trailers with a fall of more than 50% in van trailers in 2001.
Production of 30 largest producers of trailers in North America, who had built upto 1,000 truck trailers in a year, is provided in the table on facing page. About 12.25 or nearly 17,000 trailers out of 139,000 produced by largest producer in North America were produced in Mexico or Canada including the Hyundai, Manac and Trailmobile Canada plants in Canada and Strick and Dorsey in Mexico.
The annual survey of Trailer or Body Builders was conducted through telephonic conversation and voluntary contribution of information by one member of management of these companies. You should not confuse this survey with others as it was conducted exclusively regarding the working of Trailer or Body Builders and had created an estimate of non-participating producers.
Wabash National Corporation
Wabash National Corporation is still among the largest producers of trailers even though it had produced half of its production in 2001 as it had produced 33,197 in all of which 31,682 are completed trailers with trailer covers, 854 container chassis, 600 containers, 43 bogies for RoadRailer bimodal trailers and 18 converter dollies. Company’s production for complete trailers was down by 52% from the production in 2000 which was 66,283. Company had a backlog of $160 million at the end of this year whereas in 2000 it was $650 million and in 1999 $1.1 billion whereas this year’s inventory of used trailers in down to $52 million nearly half of $110 million of the last year. Two assembly plants acquired by the Wabash in the Fruehauf purchase, in Scott County, Tennessee and Fort Madison, Iowa, have to be closed as all manufacturing operations are being pulled to the Lafayette, Indiana plants by the company.
Great Dane Limited Partnership
21,650 truck trailers, 54% down from 2000, were produced by the second-largest refrigerated trailer manufacturer in the US, in 2001. 43% decline from previous year was noticed in the production of 6,150 refrigerated trailers. In spite of the downturn production continued in all the eight assembly and two more added plants of the company. In December Great Dane purchased eastern manufacturing facilities of Strick Trailer Corp in Abbeville SC and Danville PA on the basis of future expectations. Overall downfall in Utility Trailer Manufacturing was recorded at 43% whereas 32% in refrigerated trailers, 52% in dry vans and 545 in platforms. Company had produced 8911 refrigerated trailers, more than 55% of its total production, as utility trailers in 2001. Though company had idled its California plant due to inclined market trend for dry vans utility trailers but in Glade Springs VA plant, company’s seventh regional plant, alongwith two other Utility assembly plants it increased production due to the future expectations of turning up of the market of utility trailers in 2002.
After last year’s good production of trailers over earlier year, Stoughton Trailers, Stoughton WI, performed poorly in 2001. In 2001, 59% drop was noticed in the 6,250 production of drop-frame vans and vans whereas production of containers in the intermodal market dropped to 2,500 by 52% and 71% in the production of container chassis which leveled upto 1700, less than one third of the previous year.
Though there are several other large manufacturers of truck trailers in US like Manac, Hyundai Translead, Strick Corp, HPA Monon, Kentucky Manufacturing Co, Trail King Industries, Road Systems Inc, Timpte Inc, Dorsey Trailer Co, Lufkin Trailers, Clement Industries, Beall Corp, Brenner Tank Inc, East Manufacturing Company, Polar Tank Trailer but the top three makers of half of all the truck trailers produced in US are discussed in brief in this article. Though, there are many other truck manufacturers are there. But the world of truck market heavily depends upon these three companies. They mostly regulate the world truck market. They come up with new technologies and the truck drivers and owners from round the world enjoy the same.