LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An expansion of 90,000 sq.-ft. to the Utility Trailer plant in Marion, Va. is set to increase production of the company’s 3000R reefer.
The company announced the expansion during the Mid-America Trucking Show, along with a new standard in LED lighting for its trailers. The $18 million expansion will bring the space dedicated to reefer production to 487,000 sq.-ft. and is expected to create about 150 new jobs at the plant.
“The beauty of this expansion is it will allow us to double our reefer manufacturing rate and hire 150 additional people,” explained Craig Bennett, senior vice-president of sales and marketing for Utility Trailer. “It will probably take into 2007 to reach those numbers.”
Utility also maintains a dry van manufacturing facility in Washington County, which manufactures both the thin wall 4000D-X dry vans and the 3000D dry vans. The 4000D-X represents about 45 per cent of Utility’s dry van sales, an increase of nearly 40 per cent since 2001 and the company says that percentage has already increased in the first few months of 2006.
“The 4000D-X dry van raises the standard in thin-wall trailers engineered as durable, productive and versatile,” stated Bennett. “We have a well established reputation of providing durable trailers and the 4000D-X reflects our dedication to providing a solidly engineered product to compete with other forms of thin-wall trailers, such as the plate trailer.”
Beginning May 1, Grote LED lighting will become standard equipment on Utility reefers, dry vans, flatbeds and Tautliner trailers. In addition, the company has also made Grote LED dome lights optional equipment on its reefers and dry van trailers.
“While LED marker and clearance lights and stop tail turn lights have been available as an option for some time, they have now become cost effective alternatives as a standard to the old technology for both owner/operators and fleets,” said Stephen Bennett, vice-president purchasing for Utility.
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