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Getting a head start

Jan. 14, 2023
The time to plan for success in 2023 is now at the latest, at least for Trailer/Body BUILDERS Trailer Output Report and any companies who wish to be included

I’m not much of a New Year’s resolution guy, mainly because I tend to be contrary—even when I impose rules that are designed to benefit myself, I resist.

Still, I consider it a small sign of improvement that I’m already getting a jump on 2023 by getting started on the annual Trailer/Body BUILDERS Trailer Output Report.

Our signature piece of content, which launched in 1994, doesn’t come out until February, but in less than a month I’ll be getting on the phone to chat with trailer manufacturers about their production totals for this year.

But this will be only the third report I’ve done myself; Paul Schenck, TBB’s founding editor, made those calls into his 90s. Early on there might have been some reluctance from manufacturers to publicize arguably proprietary information—and, more recently, to do so with me since I’m not an industry legend like Paul (who passed away last spring) was.

Or, more troublesome, people being people — and competitors being competitors—a temptation to massage the numbers is theoretically possible, too.

That’s part of the reason Paul emphasized the importance of making the phone calls, rather than shooting everyone an email (which I also do, with marginal results). Paul suggested that it’s more tempting to fudge on an impersonal form than to be deceptive in an interview. That, and he loved talking to folks about the business—and many folks have asked about him, saying how much they looked forward to hearing from him.

He also called the process largely “self-regulating.”

“Anyone in business knows pretty much what his main competitors are doing,” he told me.

If there’s a shortcoming to the survey, it would be, Paul suspected, that there are a handful of trailer manufacturers whose production totals would qualify for the Top 25, but they’ve somehow been overlooked over the years.

And that’s an opportunity. If you’re reading this, and if your company built more than 1,000 heavy-duty trailers, drop me a line in the next few weeks. (We also accept totals for intermodal chassis, smaller trailers, truck bodies, etc., but only the big trailers count for the ranking.)

But wait, there’s more opportunity to be recognized. Our parent company, Endeavor Business Media, just added several more publications to the Commercial Vehicle group that I oversee.

So, allow me to mention Construction Equipment, which puts together a Top 100 New Products list. Among the categories trailer and truck equipment manufacturers should be aware of is Trucks & Hauling. Visit to have a look.

Another title new to our group is Roads & Bridges, which covers infrastructure. R&B annually recognizes the Top 10 Bridge Projects and the Top 10 Road Projects. Chances are most TBB readers aren’t highway contractors—but many of your customers are. So do them a favor and pass along

Finally, while the prestigious title Industry Week is not part our CV group, they are a corporate cousin at EBM. IW also has program TBB readers should be interested in: the IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards. If you’re proud of your manufacturing facility, the entry deadline for the 2023 program is February 24. Visit to learn more.

So, out with 2022 and welcome 2023—let’s make it an award-winning year.