This month in our industry (August)

Aug. 1, 2009
Looking back at industry milestones of the past five decades

In our first August issue…
Safety comes first.

Arrow Equipment Company of Memphis, Tennessee, is the first-place winner in the TTMA's plant-safety contest.

Meat to chew on.

TTMA's engineering committee says that an escape hatch or other method of release from the inside of a refrigerated trailer is necessary if the industry is to avoid serious accidents and bad public relations.

The great outdoors.

With food service and/or food preparation moving out of kitchens and dining halls and into mobile food units, manufacturers welcome the chance to make custom truck bodies that have built-in serving equipment.

Highway Trailer Industries Inc acquires Weber Trailer and Manufacturing and says the new entity, Highway-Weber Trailer Co, will continue to make its present lines of special and standard truck-trailers, and also will be the manufacturing outlet for Highway's trailers and cargo containers for customers west of the Rocky Mountains.

August 1969
Modifications proposed.

TTMA submits comments to the National Highway Safety Bureau, pointing out that the new underride legislation will limit the operations of several types of vehicles.

Name change.

As of July 1, the government refers only to “manufacturers” and “further manufacturers.” The truck-equipment distributor is no longer a legal description.

Tooling up.

Aetna Steel Products Co in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, is turning out 15 truck bodies and a half-dozen trailers per day for the parent GAC Corp, which also has a controlling interest in Highway Trailer Industries and Miller Trailers.

Beefing up.

Timken Roller Bearing Co announces it will spend $124 million for capital improvements in the US between 1969 and 1975.

August 1979
Regulatory roundup.

Congress is told that if it does not take action to overrule the Federal Trade Commission on exclusive territorial franchising for soft drinks, beverage body builders will lose 70% of their body and trailer sales.

Holding up.

In an effort to meet the Midwest demand for containers, Chicago Marine Container Inc opens a highly automated manufacturing plant and produces 70 steel containers a week.

You want it, you've got it.

Responding to complaints that fiberglass manufacturing is inflexible, Glasstite Inc produces compartment modules that can be infinitely varied from one foot square to 15 feet long.

It's a deal.

Polar Manufacturing Co of Holdingford, Minnesota, parent company of Polar Tank Trailer Inc, purchases American Trailers of Oklahoma City, which had sales of $24 million in 1978.

August 1989
Expanding its base.

A new shop outside of Detroit makes it possible for Scherer Truck Equipment to offer shipthrough services for all domestic brands of light-duty trucks.

Bouncing back from adversity.

Dunham Manufacturing in Minden, Louisiana, survives bomb threats, floods and protection under Chapter 11, boosted by an order for 1120 galvanized steel van trailers.

Build it yourself.

Ryder acquires the assets and some of the personnel from the defunct Mark Body Company and sets up its own plant in Columbia, Missouri, and produces 12 consumer rental trucks a day with one shift.

Never mind.

Two federal agencies drop plans to require a minimum axle track of 77 inches on 102-inch-wide trailers after concluding that the trailer industry is voluntarily adopting an axle/tire width of 102 inches.

August 1999
Taking off.

Oshkosh announces plans for its subsidiary, McNeilus Companies Inc, to invest more than $8.3 million to expand its Dodge Center, Minnesota, facility.

Blazing a big trail.

Trailmobile officially opens its new $22 million, 235,000-square-foot refrigerated trailer assembly plant in southwestern Kansas — which will double Trailmobile's plant capacity for refrigerated trailers.

Change of pace.

Frazer Inc, a Houston manufacturer of specialty oil-field geophysical modules during its early years, branches out into the field of designing ambulances.

As part of our 50th anniversary coverage, each month Trailer/Body Builders will present items of interest from archived issues.

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.