Kalyn-Siebert Inc Purchases Fabrex, Expands Trailer Manufacturing Plant in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada

Dec. 1, 1998
KAYLN-SIEBERT purchased Fabrex, a trailer manufacturer in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada, tripled the company's manufacturing space, and added an aluminum

KAYLN-SIEBERT purchased Fabrex, a trailer manufacturer in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada, tripled the company's manufacturing space, and added an aluminum half-round dump trailer to the product line.

Fabrex' name was changed to Kalyn-Siebert Canada, which operates as a subsidiary of it's parent company, Kalyn-Siebert in Gatesville, Texas. Both companies are owned by RailAmerica in Boca, Raton, Florida.

"The acquisition of Fabrex by Kalyn is ideal because it allows them to expand manufacturing capacity while growing their product line and extending their market," says Gary Marino, president and chief executive officer of Rail America Inc in Boca Raton, Florida.

Following the $3-million acquisition of Fabrex in January 1998, manufacturing space tripled quickly with the $1.2-million purchase of an adjacent 105,000-sq-ft manufacturing plant in April. In the next three years, Kalyn-Siebert Canada says it will spend $5 million on capital improvements and equipment at the new plant and hire 150 new production employees.

The new plant has 600-ft-long bays for manufacturing trailers. Trailers built in the new plant include dropdeck platform trailers, B-train platform trailers, woodchip van trailers, B-train woodchip van trailers, and dump trailers.

The first trailer built in the new manufacturing plant was a 48-ft triaxle platform trailer with a Ridewell air suspension. The trailer was delivered in July to one of Kalyn-Siebert Canada's dealers, Volume Truck and Trailer in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Kalyn-Seibert has a backlog until September 1999 for some of its trailers. Kalyn moved some production of platform trailers, pintle-hook drawbar trailers, and B-trains from the plant in Gatesville, Texas, to the plant in Trois-Rivieres.

Trailer Production Moved One of the main reasons some production was moved from Texas to Canada is that there is not enough available labor in Gatesville, says Wesley Chandler vice-president of sales and marketing of Kalyn-Siebert Canada. The US Army base at Fort Hood and a half-dozen state prisons consume most of the available labor force.

"Workers in Quebec are highly qualified to work in trailer manufacturing plants," Chandler says.

The newest product built by Kalyn-Siebert Canada is a half-round aluminum dump trailer. One of the first half-round aluminum dumps was displayed by the company at TruckCan `98, Canada's national truck show held every two years in Toronto, Ontario.

The half-round dump trailer has a 34-ft aluminum body and a 37-ft steel frame. The trailer was built for use in Canada, and has a three-axle suspension and weighs 14,000 lb (6,350 kilograms).

Kalyn-Siebert Canada is designing and plans to build a half-round aluminum dump trailer for use in the United States. The trailer will have a 1/4-length steel frame and a tandem-axle suspension.

"When marketing this trailer in New England, we'll have a lot of advantages provided by the purchase of Fabrex and expansion of the Trois-Rivieres plant," Chandler says. "One of the biggest advantages is that freight will be cheaper."

Advantages in Canada Another advantage is that Kalyn-Siebert dealers in Canada will no longer have to pay import duties. Kalyn-Siebert has five dealers in Canada and 120 in the US. The purchase and expansion of Fabrex provides Kalyn-Siebert with an additional 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Kalyn-Siebert has 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space at its plant in Gatesville.

The added production capacity will allow Kalyn-Siebert to meet increasing business from government contracts and additional trailer orders from other customers at its Gatesville plant. The company hopes the added capacity will help boost its market share in Canada and the Northeastern United States.

"Kalyn's well-established dealer network, along with Fabrex' presence in Canada, will definitely make us more competitive throughout Canada and the Northeast," says Robert Coward, senior vice president of marketing at Kalyn-Siebert in Gatesville. "Fabrex will be able to increase sales because its trailers will now be sold through Kalyn-Siebert's network of 170 independent dealers in North America and several foreign countries that include Chile, Japan, and Iceland."

Purchasing Fabrex, a manufacturer of aluminum dump trailers and steel and aluminum transfer trailers, was an important goal for the corporate acquisition team of Kalyn-Siebert's parent company RailAmerica. Coward is in charge of acquisition of trailer manufacturing plants at RailAmerica.

"We anticipate that synergies gained through purchasing, manufacturing, engineering, sales, and distribution will significantly enhance the combined organization going forward," Marino says.

About the Author

Mark Nutter