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Trailer Output Report: 2023

Feb. 22, 2024
Manufacturers took advantage of an improved supply chain to clear backlogs

Truck-trailer manufacturers in 2023 saw production totals continue at near-record levels. Many were buoyed by backlogs through mid-year, even as motor carriers weathered a freight recession that led to rising cancelations last summer and, for the first time since the post-pandemic boom, trailer dealers found inventory sitting on their lots.

Still, the hard-earned lessons picked up in managing through supply chain and labor challenges over the past two or three years made for smarter management and improved processes, with a number of manufacturers committing to significant capital investment in 2023.

The trailer totals reported here cannot be compared directly with other domestic surveys that do not include Canadian and Mexican trailer plants. This survey does not attempt to report on the many small trailer manufacturing plants scattered throughout North America, so the total trailer build is somewhat larger than the Top 25 numbers reported here.

This Trailer/Body BUILDERS survey is made by contacting a member of the management team at each manufacturing company. The ranking of the companies does not necessarily reflect their relative success in terms of profitability or revenue received, but only the number of trailers produced. The dollar value of a trailer can vary greatly depending on the design, type of construction, materials used, and quality level.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In 2021, a group of domestic intermodal chassis manufacturers successfully argued before the United States International Trade Commission that China was engaged in unfair trade practices regarding their chassis business in the U.S. As a result of tariffs imposed on Chinese chassis, domestic chassis production soared in 2022. However, in recent years the TBB survey did not include intermodal chassis in the production total, so the numbers shifted somewhat once the chassis were included here, beginning with last year’s report.]

Below is how the individual trailer manufacturers reported their trailer production for 2023:

Hyundai Translead of San Diego, California, produced 82,485 units in 2023 (including 13,804 chassis and 659 dollies).

Trailers are built at the company’s plants in Mexico.

“While 2023 presented its share of hurdles with lingering supply chain constraints impacting the availability of components and materials, and global logistics complexities, Hyundai Translead embraced the challenges by actively pursuing technological advancements and product diversification to further enhance the performance of its trailers,” the company reported. “Though economic recovery from high inflation and interest rates remains through 2024, Hyundai Translead is confident in its strategic investments and unwavering commitment to meet customer needs.”

Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. produced a total of 48,799 trailers in 2023, down from 2022. Of that, 25,011 were refrigerated trailers, 21,786 were dry van trailers, and 2,002 were flatbed trailers. The totals are adjusted for 2022-2023 “red tags,” noted Utility President Steve Bennett.

“We’re celebrating our 110th anniversary, so that’s exciting,” Bennett said. “I wish the market conditions were a little bit more exciting. We saw the dry van inventory creeping up significantly late in the third quarter. So we took action to reduce our production and tighten our belts—as we’ve done for so long.”

In a trend of note, Bennett pointed to dealer consolidation—often a matter of long-time family businesses opting to sell out to neighboring dealerships.

“When they have very similar cultures, it’s a very synergistic coupling,” he said. “These dealer companies are making big investments, not only in brick and mortar but also in technology.”

In another big development in 2023, Utility introduced German equipment giant Schmitz Cargobull to the U.S. market, bringing in their TRUs and telematics tech. And it’s just another sign of Utility’s ongoing evolution as a “transportation solutions provider,” rather than just a trailer builder, Bennett added.

Utility has six trailer manufacturing facilities. Multi-temp refrigerated trailers are built in Marion, Virginia; Clearfield, Utah, and Piedras Negras, Mexico. Dry vans are manufactured at the Glade Springs, Virginia, and Paragould, Arkansas, plants. Drop deck platforms and curtain-siders are built in the Enterprise, Alabama, plant.

Wabash shipped 43,928 new trailers in 2023, a 16% decrease compared to the year before.

Wabash also shipped 16,072 truck bodies and 523 converter dollies, not counted in the rankings.

Read more: Trailer Output Report: 2022

“During 2023 we’ve substantially exceeded the financial performance in any year of the company’s history,” Wabash President and CEO Brent Yeagy said. “Beyond our financial accomplishments, I’m even more excited about the strategic progress we made during 2023 and how it positions us to generate stronger results going forward for our employees, our customers, and our other stakeholders. Our execution is allowing us to achieve higher levels of financial performance through all phases of the cycle, and we are confident that when market conditions strengthen for our customers, we will deliver financial performance that exceeds 2023.”

Great Dane Limited Partnership built approximately 41,000 trailers in 2023, up 2% over the previous year.

“We increased production year over year from 2022 to 2023. We expect 2024 to see fewer industry builds,” Chris Hammond, EVP of sales for Great Dane, said. “The second half of 2024 will likely see more volumes as rates and truckable freight move upwards.”

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and with additional corporate offices in Savannah, Georgia, Great Dane has 11 manufacturing plants strategically located throughout the United States.

Stoughton Trailers produced 34,000 units in 2023, up 27%. This total consists of dry vans trailers, intermodal container chassis, grain trailers, and refrigerated trailers.

“Our large increase in volume is a result of growth at all of our Wisconsin facilities, having our Waco, Texas, plant running at an increased rate, as well as making numerous improvements with our manufacturing operation in Mississippi that increased our production rate of dry vans and intermodal chassis,” said Bob Wahlin, president and CEO of Stoughton Trailers. “Our growth was also supported by increasing the capacity of our state-of-the-art component fabrication center in our Stoughton facility.

“In 2024, we will bring online additional automated component fabrication equipment, including new robotic welders, fully automated laser cutters, automated punches, robotic bend cells and autonomous material handling equipment to support all our production lines. We are also making significant automation investments in our refrigerated and grain trailer production streams.”

Vanguard National Trailer Corp. produced 21,557 trailers in 2023, a 5% increase from 2022.

Vanguard, started in Monon, Indiana in 2003, has grown to be a premier manufacturer of dry and refrigerated trailers in North America.

Fontaine Trailer Co. manufactured 10,212 trailers in 2023, up 10% after nearly doubling production in 2022 on the surge of chassis orders, the Alabama-based platform specialist reported.

“We are definitely seeing softening in the flatbed side of the business, and of course the chassis demand has completely collapsed,” Fontaine Commercial Platform President Alan Briley said.

Founded in 1945, Fontaine Trailer is a Marmon | Berkshire Hathaway company.

EnTrans International LLC of Athens, Tennessee, reports shipments of 8,617 truck-trailers in 2022. This is a 6% increase from the previous year.

EnTrans shipments include tank trailers built by Heil Trailer International of Athens, Tennessee, and Polar Tank Trailer of Holdingford, Minnesota, as well as the heavy-haul trailers built by Kalyn Siebert of Gatesville, Texas.

EnTrans International LLC is owned by American Industrial Partners, an operationally oriented middle-market private equity firm. It also owns other oil and gas related companies such as JARCO, SERVA and Polar Service Centers.

MAC Trailer Enterprises Inc. of Alliance, Ohio, built 8,617 trailers in 2023, a 6% increase over 2022 production.

“Along with a successful year of sales, we are pleased to announce that MAC Bullet Bottom Dump trailer production has been successfully relocated from Sunnyside, Washington to Haslet, Texas,” said Bill McKenzie, president of sales at MAC Trailer. “This move was not just about changing facilities; it was about transferring the essence of what makes the Bullet exceptional—its unparalleled quality and outstanding reliability. We have spent the past year ensuring that our production shift maintains the high standards the industry associates with our brand. We feel confident that 2024 will be a stable and secure year and look forward to what is to come.”

Read more: Trailer Output Report Archive

Manac Inc. of Saint-Georges, Quebec, built 7,950 trailers in 2023, up 6% from 2022.

“2024 will see a decline as early year backlogs are lower when compared to a year ago,” Charles Dutil, president of Manac, said.

Founded in 1966, Manac offers a wide range of vans, flatbeds, dumps, belt trailers, lowbeds, chip and logging trailers, as well as heavy-duty chassis for oil, gas and mining industries.

Fruehauf North America produced 7,045 units in 2023, a 17% increase over 2022, when the company re-launched U.S. production with a new dry van facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The total includes dry vans, flatbeds, dumps, chassis, and tank trailers built in the U.S. and Mexico.

“The outlook for the 2024 trailer industry is anticipated to bring a return to a more normal market environment compared to the previous year,” said Fruehauf Inc. President Tom Wiseman. “In 2023, supply chain issues eased, and labor shortages were still prevalent. However, as the year progressed, demand started to soften, resulting in price drops. Many dealers found themselves with excess stock at higher costs, while customers remained on the sidelines, waiting for price reductions.

“Our expectation for 2024 is that the trailer industry will see pricing and demand continue to trend back to a more normal market conditions. The overall economy will play a crucial role in driving freight and equipment demand, so it remains to be seen if the second half of 2024 will meet the projected market forecasts.”

Strick Trailers/Cheetah Chassis built 6,300 truck-trailers in 2023, a 8% increase from the year before.

This includes 3,700 chassis, 1,500 dry freight vans, and 100 logging and flatbed trailers.

“For most of 2023 we continued to see demand that was well above average. However, this demand began to moderate towards the end of the year,” said Ben Katz, VP of sales. “Overall, we are expecting most of 2024 to be a relatively slow period for the trailer industry as things realign from the some of the excesses of the previous couple of years.”

The Strick Group of Companies is made up of Cheetah Chassis Corp, Evans Trailers and Strick Trailers.

Timpte Inc. in David City, Nebraska, built 5,035 hopper trailers for hauling grain and other bulk materials, an increase of 11% from 2022.

“It was a real strong year—the backlog is still very, very large, strong backlog all through 2023,” said Dale Jones, who stepped down as president and CEO in 2023, but who remains on the Timpte board. Supplier issues improved significantly last year, and our throughput improved. So we’re heading into 2024 feeling pretty optimistic. We’ve got a nice, healthy backlog and our daily rate is up. Our supply chain is still operating much better than it was in 2021 and 2022.”

Also for 2024, the company is building a new, 200,000 sq.-ft. facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, to supplement manufacturing operations in David City.

Reitnouer Inc., in Birdsboro, Pennslyvania, built 4,306 trailers in 2023, a 21% increase from 2022.

“Especially the second half of the year, the supply chain and even labor improved a lot, but we still weren’t able to keep up with demand,” Bud Reitnouer, company president, said. “For 2024, I’d say new business isn’t as good as it was, but it’s still putting us up for one of our better years. It can change, obviously, but as we see it right now, we think we’re going to be in that same range, 4,000-4,500 trailers.”

The aluminum flatbed manufacturer plans to expand this spring for additional capacity, after delaying the project due to supply chain challenges and cost increases over the past year or two, Reitnouer added.



Kentucky Trailer of Louisville, Ky., built 3,372 trailers in 20213, increase of 23%. The company also built 680 truck bodies in what David Smith, director of strategic sourcing, called “a good year!”

Dorsey Trailer LLC, of Elba, Alabama,built 3,356 flatbeds (steel, combo, and all-aluminum), lowboys, and chip trailers in 2023, a 4% improvement over 2022.

Dorsey President Trey Gary was quick to thank the company’s dedicated employees “because it takes everyone to make Dorsey Trailer LLC the most dependable trailer on the road,” he said.

Capital Investments for 2023/2024 -include three new paint booths, a new blast booth, and various renovations throughout the plant.

“This year will be a tough one, but a great dealer network and great craftsmen that are employed here allow Dorsey Trailer to have a wide range of products that can be produced this year,” he said.

Di-Mond Trailers, based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, built 2,798 trailers in 2022, up 49%.

That total includes 2,789 dry vans and 9 flatbeds, along with a couple of truck bodies, GM Frank Piccolo reported.

“This substantial leap in growth can be directly attributed to a strategic shift in our product mix: By discontinuing the manufacturing of flatbeds, chassis, and aluminum dumps, we’ve refocused our efforts exclusively on producing vans,” Piccolo said. “This strategic pivot has yielded higher production volumes within a single product line, significantly enhancing our production efficiency. Capitalizing on a major Amazon order, we’ve executed long production runs, which has also bolstered our materials purchasing power.

“Furthermore, Di-mond has made substantial investments in automated machinery, including floor drill and rail gantry, sidewall press, and material handling equipment. These strategic investments have had a profound impact on enhancing production efficiency, fortifying plant safety measures, and uplifting employee morale. We’re incredibly proud of these achievements and look forward to continuing this upward trajectory in the future.”

East Manufacturing Co. of Randolph, Ohio, produced 2,719 trailers between their dump, flatbed, and refuse product lines, Chris Cooler, VP of sales and marketing, reported.

East was acquired by Fultra last year. The Mexico-based holding company is also parent to Fruehauf.

“In 2023 we made great progress in personnel recruitment and retention and noticed an easing on supply chain disruptions,” Cooler said. “2023 ended as a good year, overall. We have recently observed softening demand in certain segments, a trend we expect to continue well into 2024. However, with still robust demand in other segments we remain cautiously optimistic for continued growth in 2024.”

Felling Trailers Inc. of Sauk Centre, Minn., built 1,362 trailers with a 10K or larger axle in 2022, a 3% decrease over the previous year, Patrick Jennissen, vice-president of sales and marketing, reported. Felling also built 3,432 light-duty trailers.

“A couple of challenges for us in 2023 were costs associated with supply chain disruptions/constraints. We also faced with some operational complications with a plant expansion and a slowdown ordering in the second half of the year,” Jennissen said. “Opportunities looking into 2024 will be added capacity with a plant expansion, specifically our new powder coat paint facility and the continual lowering of product lead-times as we work through our order backlog.”

Tremcar Inc. built 1,307 tanks and trailers, up 9% from the year before, Melanie Dufresne, director of marketing and communications, reported.

“We have expanded our Ohio facility giving us greater production capacity than the previous years,” Dufresne said. “In the year to come we expect a little slow down due to interest rates and construction slow down, but nothing dramatic.”

Extreme Trailers LLC built 1,291 aluminum flatbed trailers in 2023.

The company built more than 1,000 units and made this list for the first time since it was founded in Dover, Ohio, in 2016.

“The products have been well received in the marketplace, so we’re winning fleet orders,” President and CEO Les Smith said. “With the tare weight of our product, it’s a great benefit to fleet not only for hauling extra payload, fuel mileage, and several other benefits—plus reduced maintenance costs.”

Smith noted that the relatively new company is still looking for dealers in the U.S. and Canada.

“We’ll be selective,” Smith said. “We’re looking for good, strong dealers that can help us grow our business, but most of all in a dealer, we’re looking for good, strong partners.”

Premier Trailer Manufacturing of Visalia, California, built 1,044 trailers in 2023, down 144% from the year before as key customer markets struggled.

“While Premier continues to excel in the agricultural segment with our 22-ft long ‘hopper’ bottom dump trailers and the 24-ft flatbed trailers segments, we did experience a down turn in 2023 in this segments due to crop related issues,” GM Michael McGinn said. “With that said, 2023 represented a solid start for Premier in the intermodal segment, with our 40’ gooseneck chassis getting rave reviews for its quality and price vs offshore and made outside of the USA brands.

“2024 is already yielding several production orders for the 40’ chassis, the upcoming 20’ slider chassis, and our 53’ chassis. 2024 will also see the bounce back of the agricultural segment with several purchase orders already in production for the upcoming almond, pistachio, walnut, and grain seasons.”

New for 2024, Premier will introduce to the agricultural segment its new, lightweight produce doubles weighing in at an estimated 8,300 lbs. per set, Ginn added, noting, “a clear case of less is more.” 

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TBB Staff