Manufacturing Facility Tour

At Load Trail, we take pride in the rigorous manufacturing processes your trailer undergoes in order to receive the Load Trail logo and stamp of approval from a family owned business. Although we manufacture many different product lines, your trailer is subject to the same manufacturing concern and steps that were developed when the business was small and trailers were still being built by the current company owners. Since the company’s expansion, the owners have left the production floors in exchange for management positions and the processes are now overseen by hundreds of company employees. These talented craftsmen bring years of experience with them every morning, a dedication to hard work and pride in every trailer they touch. Although we have grown and our company has changed, one thing is the same: all Load Trail trailers are built right here in Sumner, Texas with the same scrutiny as if it were 1996.

assembly-line-welding

Starting with our online quote builder, dealers can accurately build quotes from data directly integrated with our new enterprise system. As quotes are formally generated, a lead time is established and a delivery date estimate is provided. This information is based on component availability and line capacity. Once the order acknowledgement is confirmed the purchasing department is instantly notified of any special order parts required for the order. Load Trail is constantly seeking new and leveraging existing technologies to provide a seemless and effortless ordering process for our dealers.

Each trailer arrives on our yard as raw steel and components. We receive raw materials including steel and lumber by the truckload on a daily basis in an endless array of sizes. Trailer components also arrive in bulk daily. Using our advanced Enterprise Resource Planning system, we order only the materials needed in the short term based on the demand created by our sales orders and stocking orders. This not only reduces our inventory and overhead – a savings passed on to our customers – but also ensures unfinished material is quickly handled and stored out of the elements. The raw materials are quickly processed by our band saws, robotic welders, plasma cutters, or other precision manufacturing devices. These devices help reduce process time, but more importantly our investment in machinery provides parts machined to perfect specifications, cuts and punches with clean and exact edges, and parts that make each built identical. After being processed, the materials are stored in our raw materials warehouse, out of the elements, where they will await consumption.

As our shop receives job orders, materials are gathered by our material handlers in the raw materials warehouse and staged for the assembly process. These materials are then carted one of our 14 welding lines in the warehouse and moved to the assembly lines where the process officially begins. Each trailer begins by a scan of the job ticket. This scan starts the manufacturing job in our enterprise system directly from a computer terminal on the shop floor. This not only provides us better insight into our business, but in conjunction with our myDealerTrack web site, dealers have real-time visibility into manufacturing of your trailer as it travels down the production line.

Your trailer is set up and welded in precision crafted jigs on our productions lines to ensure uniformity. Our trailers will be consistent within their given product lines every time. To further assure uniformity, our assembly lines are manned by the same personnel, building the same product lines on a daily basis. They are dedicated, skilled, and highly trained professionals. These traits help increase efficiencies and reduce irregularities.

After travelling down the welding line, your trailer is formally inspected at the first Quality Assurance checkpoint. Each trailer is inspected with a checklist and the construction is compared to the job order to ensure accuracy of the product build and integrity of each and every weld. After passing, the operation is recorded again in our system. Your trailer is then hung on an overhead conveyor system and put on the fast track to the finishing department.

Paint preparation is the next step in our manufacturing process. Your trailer is sandblasted in our modern sandblasting booth and all welds are mechanically ground to a professional appearance. Your trailer is then moved to our wash bay. Here the surface is prepped with a high pressure chemical wash and rust inhibitive with a phospatizing rinse. The metals leave without a trace of grease or residue that many other processes leave behind. The result is a flawless surface, perfect for surface finish adhesion.

Immediately following the wash trailer coating is applied. Two distinct finishes are avialble at Load Trail, powder coat and urethane coatings. Our larger trailers (Goosenecks, Dumps, and Pintle Hooks) receive powder coat while our smaller trailers (Car Haulers, Single Axles, Utilities) receive a polyurethane coating (paint). Load Trail powder coat is applied to your trailers upon entry to the powder booth. The automated door system opens and closes for each trailer and powder is applied in an environment free of contaminates. After application by dedicated and skilled professionals, your trailer continues along the conveyor system and arrives directly at the oven. The trailer continues to move through the 200 ft oven, baking at 360 degrees for approximately an hour. This process yields a tough finish built for the long haul. And not to be overlooked is the best paint available in the trailer market today. Our paint process is second to none and the professionals in our paint booth give every trailer a showroom shine. We use high quality allenphatic polyurathane in all paint finishes. This provides premium protection and durability, superior to that of any alkyd based coating system.

Your trailer then continues into our finishing warehouse where it is once again formally inspected. This inspection is for a uniform, glossy, and flawless finish. After passing inspection, axles are installed. Each axle is expertly hung and precision mounted to make sure your trailer tracks straight and lasts for years to come.

Wiring and lighting are next. During this phase a swarm of skilled installers encircle your trailer and insert clips for pre-fabricated, sealed, harnesses by routing them through the frame and terminating them with the appropriate towing plug. Lighting and reflectors are then mounted. Each wire is carefully secured and fastened and tested providing all mandated safety indicators.

After wiring, trailer decking is installed. During the picking process, workers carefully inspect the lumber to make sure each floor is uniform and has its best face forward. The boards are laid up on the trailer and carefully lined up uniformly before being fastened permanently. All flooring lumber is treated so your trailer will last for years to come even if stored outside.

Final assembly is the next area in the finishing warehouse. Here your trailer will receive hand-applied pin striping, all safety and regulatory stickers, all logos and the final QC process begins. Our final QC inspectors have a keen eye and a working knowledge off all product lines. Each and every trailer undergoes a formal inspection checking everything from build description to color, and from lighting functionality to number of screws in the floor. After your trailer passes final QC, the wheels and tires are affixed and torqued to factory specs to ensure no lug is damaged on the yard from an improperly affixed wheel.

Finally, your trailer is removed from the assembly line, hooked up to its first tow vehicle, placed on our yard or taken directly to our shipping area and inventory location is recorded in our computer system finalizing the process. When needed, the trailer arrives at our 30,000 square foot stacking bay with overhead cranes to be loaded on to a semi trailer (or stacked on your Gooseneck) for delivery. Your trailers are once again inspected and any additional spare parts are packed and tied down on the load that normally consists of twenty to thirty trailers per shipment. All serial numbers are scanned via handheld devices in our stacking bay and we are notified that the shipment is underway and ready to go. The drivers sign all paperwork accordingly. Documentation is recorded and trailer delivery is released from our security gate. Your trailer is ready for destination.

All of these processes and many more go into each and every Load Trail trailer. A rigorous process, executed by talented craftsmen, and monitored by a world class manufacturing system consistantly provides a trailer you can count on day after day. And a trailer produced by a family owned business that will back you, like you are one of their own.

Welcome to Load Trail and thank you for hearing our story.

Cornelius Thiessen
Owner and Founder, Load Trail