Many owners, and the data, show the trailer manufacturing industry is on the rise in Lamar County.
Lamar Trailers owner George Fehr said over the past year, his business has grown 58%.
“The market is just growing,” he said. “It’s awesome for us.”
He said Lamar Trailers has been around since 2003, and with the excellent sales, he’s looking to hire on new workers right now.
Willy Dyck, chief operating officer for Delco Trailers, agreed it’s been a good year.
“We’re expanding and adding new lines and increasing product,” he said, moving from making just livestock trailers to manufacturing utility trailers and flatbed trailers.
Dyck said this is happening with almost all manufacturers in the Lamar County area.
Isaac Dyck, chief financial officer for Maxey Trailers, backed up the other manufacturer’s claim with numbers. In the first quarter of 2019, he said, going over area industry reports his company purchases from a data company, Maxey has grown 1.1%, and, according to the data, this year all of the major trailer manufacturers in Lamar County have grown, with Norstar growing 17% and East Texas Trailers growing 1,000%. According to the data, Dyck said, Lamar County trailer manufacturing has gone up 197%.
“I think we’ll have a strong year,” he said. “Lamar County looks really strong.”
The strength of the local market flies against the national trend, Isaac Dyck said.
“Overall, it’s declining,” he said. “I would think it has to do with the upcoming elections.”
The national market is down 3.25%, and he said he believes uncertainty over Democrats taking more seats in Congress has led to hesitance from buyers, with people wondering how this would affect the economy.
According to the North American Trailer Manufacturer’s annual report for 2019, the industry is seeing problems from the supply side, with tariffs imposed in 2017 on steel and aluminum adversely affecting manufacturers, who pay extra for materials brought in from China.
Isaac Dyck’s said last year’s national numbers were down, and this year, “we see the same trend.”
But, he said, Maxey Trailers is doing well for itself.
“We grew as well,” he said. “We sold more trailers last year than we’ve ever done before.”
Kelly Koehn, a sales associate with 271 Trailers, said while the company he works for is fairly new to the area, overall, they’ve seen growth.
“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “We’re an awfully new company, but it’s been picking up.”