Talbert Manufacturing Inc honored its founder, Austin Talbert, at a dedication ceremony and party held at the Rensselaer, Indiana, factory September 16. Talbert and 15 family members joined more than 500 friends, employees, and local officials in the celebration. Talbert President Rick Odle unveiled a bronze plaque emblazoned with the Talbert history and presented Austin Talbert with a gold-plated commemorative model of the first Talbert trailer. The original trailer, built in 1938 and freshly restored, was displayed on the factory's front lawn.
Odle gave Talbert a guided tour of the factory, which has quadrupled in size since he left, and he pointed out the significant upgrades in facility and tools, including a six-axis welding robot, computerized plasma water table, and warehouse management system. The newly finished shop addition of 12,000 square feet, which is almost as large as Talbert's original shop, brings the total area to more than 100,000 square feet. Talbert was delighted to see that the company he started more than 60 years ago has become a major lowbed manufacturer.
Austin Talbert holds 24 of the company employees' 50 patents - many developed during the heavy haul industry's infancy, and some of which remain in use today. Recognized as a pioneer by his company, the 87-year-old Talbert lives in Carson City, Nevada.