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Great Dane opens new reefer trailer plant in Georgia

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Great Dane’s new refrigerated trailer manufacturing plant in Statesboro, Ga. is officially open for business. The company hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility yesterday, with a guest list that included...


Great Dane executives and local leaders officially cut the ribbon on the company's new refrigerated trailer plant in Statesboro, Ga.
Great Dane executives and local leaders officially cut the ribbon on the company's new refrigerated trailer plant in Statesboro, Ga.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Great Dane’s new refrigerated trailer manufacturing plant in Statesboro, Ga. is officially open for business. The company hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility yesterday, with a guest list that included dignitaries from the state and local community, area business leaders, company executives and the media.

“We are thrilled to finally open the doors of our brand new production facility here in Statesboro,” said Great Dane president and CEO Bill Crown. “This building reflects the diligence and focus of countless individuals over the past two years, working together toward this day in some of the most difficult economic times we can remember. Just as Great Dane has set the standard for excellence with our products over the past century, this plant sets a new standard for cutting-edge manufacturing and efficiency. We are proud that it will serve as a model of the most technologically advanced, environmentally sound production practices in the world.”

The plant encompasses 450,000-sq. ft., including office space and a 3,000-sq. ft. climate-controlled, noise-free customer preview centre. The facility is dedicated to manufacturing the company’s all-new Everest refrigerated trailers, the TL model reefer for truckload carriers and the CL model reefer designed for the unique needs of multi-temp and foodservice operations, especially those in the Southeast.

Technologies incorporated at the new plant include the use of robotic welding, automated production processes, computer-controlled foaming operations and an optimized material handling system designed for quality and efficiency. In addition, numerous green initiatives have been put in place, including energy-efficient lighting and the use of a building management system to automatically control lights, air quality and building temperature; programs to reduce water consumption; and the use of load monitors to ensure optimal energy consumption.

The new facility is located on 118 acres in Bulloch County, just 50 miles from the company’s roots in Savannah, Ga. The location was selected for a variety of reasons, including its economy, the company said. With the state unemployment rate hovering above 9%, the plant will bring more than 400 jobs to the area.

“I am honoured to lead the team here in Statesboro and to be a part of the century-old tradition of building the best trailers in the trucking industry,” said plant manager Kevin Black. “It’s been rewarding to be a part of the start-up process, partnering with members of the community, the city of Statesboro and Bulloch County to get staff hired and trained and ready to work.”

The manufacturing plant will begin operating with one production line, with a second line and second shift to start up later in the year. At full capacity, the new facility will be able to produce more than 5,000 trailers annually.

Crown says he is optimistic about reaching this capacity quickly and about the future. “The opening of this site not only demonstrates Great Dane’s confidence in American manufacturing, but it reinforces our commitment to our customers, our dedication to our workforce and our firm belief that our products are the very best in the industry,” he said.


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