Its product is designed to follow, but Kaufman Trailers is leading itself into a new era.
The Lexington, NC-based company is preparing to become a national player in the trailer market. A new factory has already been built in south-central Michigan and should be operational by the end of the year. It will employ approximately 10 people.
A third factory will be going up in Beaver City, NE, to be operational early next year and will employ 15 to 20 people.
In addition, another six sales representatives will join the nine already stationed in North Carolina, since all sales calls will still come through the main office.
But that’s not all.
Marketing Manager Chad Blackmon said Kaufman is looking farther west and will likely build a fourth factory in the Utah/Nevada area.
The company already has a good customer base in the Michigan area, but will be a newcomer to the Midwest and the West. The expansion also will allow its current facility to focus on the busy Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions.
It’s been quite a hectic time for the company, which was founded by Robb Kaufman in 1987 in his backyard.
“Over the past eight years, it’s really taken off,” Blackmon said.
Kaufman Trailers manufactures utility, heavy equipment and auto transport trailers that can carry up to 35 tons. It produces 45 different models, but with the different packages inside each model, that number jumps to approximately 200 possible variations.
Blackmon said the company keeps at least one of the basic models in stock at all times and, on average, can turn around a custom-made trailer in two weeks.
A drastic change in the way Kaufman did business occurred in 2003.
The company moved into a new three-story office building and 75,000-sq.-ft. welding shop constructed around its buildings on the 40-acre lot tucked away in a back corner of Lexington. The four older buildings are still being used in day-to-day operations.
It also was the year Kaufman decided to eliminate its dealers.
“It was a pretty bold move,” Blackmon said.
In the new facility, President Tim Carter, who started with the company in 2001 as general manager, has helped improve the company’s technology and has helped computerize the facility’s operations.
All Kaufman trailers are sold factory direct, which, he said, lowers the cost for its customers. Even during this time of expansion, the company will remain factory-direct.
The Lexington facility employs approximately 90 people. While the majority of the employees work day-shift, the welders are split into first and second shifts.
Kaufman ships out approximately 50 trailers per week. CEG Staff