United Trailers of Bristol, Ind., the Official Trailers of the United States Auto Club, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
On April 17, 1989, the first trailer came off the production line at United Trailers (formerly marketed as United Expressline). Twenty years later, the company is one of the top steel-framed enclosed cargo and specialty trailer manufacturers in the U.S.
When Warren Johnson founded United Trailers in 1989, his goal was to build a trailer that would stand out in the cargo trailer market. He believed a key to success was to listen to the customer and focus on custom manufacturing.
With that vision, United Trailers has grown to be one of the top names in the cargo trailer industry. What began in a single 50 x 150 foot building with less than 15 employees has expanded over the years to include a 70,000 square foot plant that employs over 85 people. The growth of the facility has greatly increased the number of trailers that are produced daily, along with substantially reducing the lead time. President Todd Bontrager states, "There are a couple of things that United does very well. We service the dealer better than the competitor and we stand behind our trailers 100 percent. We're also truly a custom manufacturer. If a customer can envision it, United Trailers can build it." This focus on options is United Trailers' biggest competitive advantage and is one reason the company has remained strong even in a tough economy.
Sponsorships also play a key role in United Trailers' success. With founder Warren Johnson's racing background and expertise, the company focused on the racing industry from the beginning and since then has sponsored organizations including USAC, the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, World Karting Association (WKA), and the IRA Outlaw Sprint Series. United Trailers is also the official trailer of the Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing.
It took some time to get to the level United Trailers is at today. Over the years, the company has learned the most efficient ways to build a unit and how to perfect the production process. This has allowed United Trailers to expand its model offering to fit a variety of consumer and commercial applications such as landscaping, construction, transporting of motorsports equipment including race cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATVs, and a limitless list of general hauling needs.
Today, United Trailers are sold in the U.S. and Canada through an independent dealer network of 300 dealers, primarily located in the Midwest and Eastern regions. Bontrager notes the importance of a solid, committed dealer network. "I consider us to be a quiet company, but the bottom line is that we are more profitable and more efficient and the end result is happier dealers, which is the life-blood of our company," he notes.
In celebration of their twenty years in business, United Trailers has developed a twentieth anniversary logo for use in numerous marketing materials and as a decal on every trailer produced throughout the year.
Founded in 1989, United Trailers is one of the top U.S. manufacturers of steel-framed enclosed cargo and specialty trailers. Trailers are available in a wide range of configurations, from 5-wide to 8.5-wide, and from 8 to 53 feet in length. Tag, Gooseneck and Fifth-Wheel body styles are all available.