The American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) exhibited the first trailer produced by Talbert Manufacturing, a North American leader in specialized heavy-haul solutions, during the Mid-America Truck Show.
The 80-year-old unit was displayed in the society’s booth, giving attendees an up-close look at the trailer that helped set the wheels of heavy-haul innovation in motion.
“Talbert has been developing heavy-haul solutions for 80 years, and this event was a great way to recognize how (founder) Austin (Talbert) and his inventions helped shaped the industry,” said Troy Geisler, Talbert’s vice president of sales and marketing, who was on hand to share the trailer’s history.
Austin Talbert started the company in 1938 as a heavy-haul, crane-rental and construction equipment business in Lyons IL. He became known as a pioneer in heavy-haul trailer safety after he built the first trailer with removable rear suspension.
The 60-ton fixed gooseneck unit revolutionized the way heavy equipment was loaded and unloaded. Users could remove the rear axles, set the trailer’s back end on the ground and maneuver equipment onto the trailer’s deck without hoisting it over the tires and axles.
“Our mission is to preserve the history of the trucking industry and the innovations that have brought it to where it is today,” said Mark Schroyer, ATHS’s vice president. “It’s great to see companies like Talbert do the same and honor where this industry came from.”
Arnold Braasch, 88, who’s held several roles with Talbert since he was 16 and continues to contribute to company’s day-to-day operations, co-founded the American Truck Historical Society and served as president. He’s currently on the Society’s board of directors. The ATHS often features rare and vintage equipment models in its MATS booth, but this is the first time it displayed a company’s original heavy-haul trailer.
For complete coverage of trailer manufacturers and truck body builders at MATS, see next month’s print edition of TBB.