Trudell Trailers Acquires Mid Michigan Great Dane, Michigan Trailer

May 27, 2008
Trudell Trailers has acquired all operations of Mid Michigan Great Dane Inc., including its sister firm, Michigan Trailer Service Inc.

Trudell Trailers has acquired all operations of Mid Michigan Great Dane Inc., including its sister firm, Michigan Trailer Service Inc.

All operations are based in Grand Rapids, where Mid Michigan Great Dane has been the area’s Great Dane full-service dealership since 1990. The firm serves the Western Michigan region and specializes in new and used trailer sales, trailer rentals and leasing, aftermarket parts, and trailer service capabilities including mobile service.

“The acquisition gives us the opportunity to expand our Great Dane trailer dealership business in the Upper Midwest,” said Dennis Van Lannen, executive vice president of Trudell. “And while Great Dane is a core part of our overall business, the acquisition allows us to grow all our product
offerings. We feel positive about the economy moving forward and felt the timing was right to position ourselves to provide continued long-term financial security for our employees.”

Mid Michigan Great Dane is the fourth acquisition Trudell has undertaken in the past two years. Twenty-seven people are employed at the Grand Rapids operation. No job losses will result from the acquisition, which brings total employment to 200 at Trudell.

Bruce and Dennis Hoppe started Mid Michigan Great Dane 18 years ago. In 2001 they completed the acquisition of 100 percent of Michigan Trailer Service Inc., which began in 1993. The operations of both companies will now be done under the name Trudell Trailers of Grand Rapids Inc. and continue at their current location, 4350 Clyde Park Ave. SW.

“We’ve built a loyal customer base and felt the time was right to partner with another organization to continue the business and deliver the excellent level of service our customers expect,” Dennis Hoppe said. “Bruce and I began discussing a succession plan about 18 months ago. We approached Trudell Trailers on the basis of their reputation, which was very much in line with our own philosophy of how we ran the business and what we wanted it to be in the future.”

The decision to join the two companies ultimately came down to it being a good fit. And while Dennis Hoppe has decided to retire to pursue other business opportunities, Bruce will remain with the new company.

“We had other people look at this opportunity, but we just didn¹t have the comfort factor that we have with Trudell,” Bruce Hoppe said. “We think there are a lot of similarities between our two companies. We’re confident our employees and customers won’t notice any big changes, and we like that.”

Trudell is the authorized dealership for new Great Dane semi-trailers for Wisconsin, Upper and Western Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota. It provides sales and rentals/leasing of new and used dry vans, flatbeds, refrigerated trailers, storage trailers, storage containers and tow-behind trailers.

In addition, Trudell provides repair, maintenance and painting services, and heavy-duty aftermarket parts for the trucking industry. Along with its operations in Green Bay, Fargo, N.D., and Grand Rapids, Mich., the companyhas full-service facilities in Milwaukee, Wis., and Minneapolis. Minn., and a sales facility in Wausau, Wis.