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Early warning reporting

June 7, 2004
Filed under Features

Early warning reporting
Effective August 31, 2003, all manufacturers building 500 or more trailers a year must report quarterly to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on all injury and damage claims and notices, warranty claims, consumer complaints, field notices, and production numbers, with reports coded by component involved. Efforts by the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) to minimize the impact on manufacturers have been unsuccessful despite significant Congressional support, due in part to heavy opposition by the “consumer” lobby.
“It’s unfortunate that they’re penalizing our industry for automotive shortcomings,” opined Classic Trailers President Wade Wolf.
“It’s another layer of reporting,” said Triton Corporation
President Rochelle Priesgen, “so we’ve had to incur costs for new software, and we will probably have to add another staff member, so it is another internal cost of doing business that increases overhead.”
But Don Rusch at Midwest Industries sees things in a different light. “It has forced us into doing a more effective job of tracking our costs of quality and warranty,” he commented. “After we understood what we had to do, we developed our own system. It did end up costing us a little bit of money.”
Floe’s Don Vander Mey summed up the prevalent attitude of the industry. “We definitely aren’t celebrating the whole thing, but we’re going to do what we have to do.”
For More Information on EWR and other issues:
National Association of Trailer Manufacturers
2951 SW Wanamaker Drive, Suite A
Topeka, KS 66614-5320
(785) 272-4433 psb
—David Wells
Consolidation continues
Buy-outs are big news this year. The most recent deal inked involves the acquisition of Michigan-based Classic Manufacturing by Indiana-based Obsidian Enterprises, an OTC-traded mini-conglomerate with a diverse collection of subsidiaries that includes United Trailers, Evans Trailers, Champion Trailers, and Danzer Morrison trailers and truck bodies.
Founded in 1964, Classic manufactures a full line of trailers, including cargo, fifth wheel, gooseneck, motorcycle, race, snowmobile and stacker/lift trailers as well as all-aluminum trailers and camper and bike packages. It is the “Official Trailer” brand for the IHRA (International Hot Rod Association), ClearChannel/SFX Super Cross/Arena Cross series, Kalamazoo Speedway, Berlin Speedway, Norwalk Raceway Park, Red Bud Track & Trail, Dutch Sport Park and SJO Productions.
Classic’s current co-owners Brad Baker and Wade Wolf will continue to serve as CEO and president, respectively.
The company’s current 63,220 square foot facility services the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast U.S. and Canada, and company officials say the addition of a new Lewisville, Texas, facility will help meet the needs of dealers and customers located in the Western and Southwestern portion of the U.S.
In another recently completed deal, Thule Car Rack Systems acquired Maine-based C & C Distributors, manufacturers of SnoPro and CargoPro trailers. The company is now known as Thule Trailers. C & C co-owner Ed Cullivan said he and Bill Cleaves will continue to run the operation. “We plan to continue (expansion) westward; CargoPro will expand to the south,” Cullivan said.
In the west, Zieman Trailers has been purchased by Lippert Components, a manufacturer of housing and travel trailers, and itself a subsidiary of NYSE-listed holding company Drew Industries (DW). Bill Boyles, Manager of Zieman’s Idaho plant, indicated that nationwide distribution is ahead. “They purchased Zieman for the name and products,” he said. “They have 42 plants, and with us, 50 plants.” psb
—David Wells

Product Showcase
Eagle America
Manufacturing trailers since 1991, Eagle America offers aluminum units for ATVs, sleds, lawn and garden equipment, motorcycles and PWC, plus offers an assortment of ramps, slush shields and other accessories.Eagle America, Inc., 507/235-8668
R&R Powersports Trailers
R&R Trailers is a manufacturer of all aluminum powersports trailers, including enclosed in-line and side-by-side snowmobile trailers, enclosed motorcycle trailers, quad trailers, cargo trailers and utility trailers, plus open and enclosed car haulers – all available with a long list of standard features.R&R Trailers, Inc., 269/278-5310
T.O.P. Ramps
Supplying retailers nationwide, Transnational Outdoor Power offers a full line of aluminum loading ramps – bi-folds, tri-folds and arch – the receiver hitch-mounted Dyna Ramp, and a new line of lightweight aluminum ATV trailers.
Transnational Outdoor Power, 877/438-8739
ATV Rescue by Equinox
The ATV Rescue is strong, lightweight way to transfer patients. The front canopy and attendant’s bench both easily adjust for safe and secure loading and unloading. A storage compartment for a medical kit and the optional canvas cover provides added protection from the elements. The ATV Rescue also has the option of converting into a ski or sleigh rescue for use in snow. Equinox, 800/665-7487
ShoreLand ’r V-Twin Trailer
With an 80-inch-wide deck and 2,000-lb.carrying capacity, the ShoreLand ’r MC2000 V-Twin motorcycle trailer features a lightweight, all-aluminum Fold-n-Load ramp that accommodates low-clearance cruisers. Other features include a sleek protective shield of polished aluminum in front, a welded tubular-steel frame, rubber torsion axle, rubberized ramp pads, steel traction planks and an aluminum Tread-Brite deck. ShoreLand ’r, 800/859-3028
TRAC LED trailer lights
TRAC’s seven function trailer tail lights, totally sealed and submersible, meet both U.S. and Canadian DOT requirements and come with a rated life of 100,000 hours. TRAC Outdoor Products, Co., 615/309-8123
Expedition
With an all aluminum frame, stainless steel hardware, Dexter torflex suspension, custom-built wire harness and seamless roof, Expedition Trailers offers units for snowmobiles, ATVs and motorcycles. Based in Michigan, Expedition services the Northeast, Midwest andSoutheast. Expedition Trailers, Inc., 517/322-3822
Personalized Tie-Downs
These tie-downs can be personalized using a dye process that won’t wash, rub or flake away. Every strap is 1.5 inches wide with a minimum breaking strength of 1800 lbs. There are seven primary colors and eight accent colors available for the imprint, and 50 colors available for the tie straps. Cycle Express, 877/632-6699
Featherlite Enclosed
One of Featherlite’s 400 models of trailers, Model 4926 aluminum enclosed trailer can haul any powersports vehicle you own. Need to move something larger, like a car? It can handle that, as well. Available options include aluminum flooring and a workbench with cabinet in the V-nose.Featherlite Trailers, 800/800-1230
Bushtec Sport Trailer
Bushtec says all of its Performance Sport trailers feature fully independent air adjustable suspension systems guaranteed not to bounce, 16 inch motorcycle wheels with sealed wheel bearings and six-ply tires, 360-degree swivel, a heim joint and positive displacement pin for a slope free connection.
Bushtec Mfg & Sales, Inc., 423/562-9900
CargoBuckle G2
This patent-pending tie-down system utilizes a permanently mounted buckle that automatically retracts and stores up to 55 inches of Web. A built-in ratchet maximizes grip, while the 5,000 lb. web offers confidence. Easy to operate with one hand. Also available in stainless steel. IMMI Outdoor Division, 888/937-4626
Hitch Halo
Designed to end shin and knee injuries received upon hard impact with a metal trailer hitch, the Hitch Halo is made from durable and flexible polymers and installs on the drawbar. Installation requires only a screwdriver. Available in multiple colors, and with custom logos or messages.
Hoyt Electrical Instrument Works, Inc., 603/753-6321
Thor Pak Rat trailer
Thor California’s Pak Rat allows powersports enthusiasts to haul equipment and enjoy a living quarters complete with private bathroom, full kitchen and optional queen-sized bed. Exterior cargo area can hold two quads, has a rear ramp, numerous tie-downs and grate flooring for easy clean-up.
Thor California, 888/697-8467
Four Winds “All-In-One”
These Class C motorhomes are available in gas and diesel models from 27’ to 39’, with a variety floorplans to meet specific needs. Cargo areas are available in different sizes (based on model), and offer plenty of room to safely transport equipment, vehicles and personal items.Four Winds International, 574/266-1111
Pace Enclosed Trailer
Pace American manufactures in Indiana, Georgia, Utah and Texas, and has over 13 models of enclosed cargo trailers in its line-up. Pace American, 800/247-5767
Kastle West Distribution
A wholesale distributor for the Western states, including California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, Kastle deals in Triton Aluminum trailers, Top Cap covers, Bear Track ramps, Equinox ATV carts and Amsoil fluids.
Kastle West Distribution, 888/609-9378
ATV Trailer Vise
The ATV Trailer Vise by OUTdoor INovations allows ATV tires to be strapped to trailers and truck beds, allowing the quad’s suspension to absorb the bounce. OUTdoor INovations, Inc., 800/698-4562
Kendon Stand Up/Fold Up Trailer
Kendon’s Stand Up/Fold Up trailers fit one, two or three motorcycles, or two ATVs. Fold it up and store it when not in use. Kendon Industries, Inc., 800/847-5618
Big Bike Tie-Downs
Tie down bikes in trailers without damaging any surfaces with an 18 inch nylon tie-down strap. Rated for 3,500 lbs. Sold as a pair.
Big Bike Parts, Inc., 715/234-3336
Loadmaster Trailers
The “V-Line” Aluminum Frame, Fiberglass Enclosed Trailer was introduced last fall. It is a 3-place staggered snowmobile trailer, but can be used for motorcycles, atv’s, and has the option of a constuction package for industrial purposes. Inside dimentions are 80” wide x 18′ long plus an additional 5′ “V”.
H&S Manufacturing, 715/387-3414
Floe Trailers
A manufacturer of aluminum trailers and enclosures for the past 21 years, Floe builds versatile product with optional, removable accessories and the firm’s patented Versa-Track tie-down system. Floe International, Inc., 218/426-3563
Jensen trailers
Manufacturing hand-built trailers ranging from a 5×8 utility to a 45-foot fifth-wheel, Jensen is sure to have an enclosed unit designed for unique powersports applications. Also does custom fabrication.Jensen Trailers, 515/332-5963
Aquacarts Shop Carts
These heavy-duty shop carts are made of tubular steel and powder-coated for a tough finish. Aquacarts also offers aluminum beach carts and vinyl-coated PWC lift harnesses.
Aquacarts, Inc., 317/769-6318
Kimpex Ramps and Tie downs
Kimpex offers an all new Trifold ramp and tie downs, everything you need to move a powersports vehicle. The new ramps are made of heavy duty steel and come completely assembled; weigh only 36 lbs. and fold to 16”. Maximum load capacity of 1,500 lbs. The new tie downs have a 2000 lb capacity and come in 8 popular colors.
Kimpex, 800/777-7073 psb

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