At Kentucky Trailer, we are driven to be the world leader in design, manufacturing and service solutions for the specialty trailer, custom transport and mobilized business markets.
It takes high-caliber people to do what we do, and the investments we make in our team pay dividends in the products and services we provide to our customers. We value and respect our employees and their families because inspired people do inspiring work. When you serve industries ranging from the medical field to national defense and moving personal and family belongings, there is no room for compromise.
What We Make Matters.TM
The Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing Company
Our story began in 1879 when the Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing Company was founded in Louisville, Kentucky. Known for unmatched quality and workmanship, the company produced some of the nation’s most popular horse-drawn wagons and became the largest wagon manufacturer in the world.
Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing Joins the Automobile Age
In 1916, Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing began building automobile bodies for the Hercules Motor Car Company of New Albany, Indiana. Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing later bought Hercules Motor Cars' assets and moved production to Louisville, Kentucky, making it the first automobile manufacturer in Louisville. At that site, which remained the company's primary manufacturing facility until June 2009, the Dixie Flyer motor car was designed and built. The Dixie Motor Car Company produced automobiles, delivery trucks and the Dixie Firefly speedster—the only known surviving example of which now resides at Kentucky Trailer’s main production plant in Louisville.
The R. C. Tway Legacy Begins
R.C. Tway was an early icon of the Louisville business community. He purchased the assets of Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing in 1936 and renamed it the Kentucky Manufacturing Company. Mr. Tway shifted the company’s focus to cutting-edge advances in the transportation industry. Tway’s resolute strategy was to produce truck-drawn trailers rather than rail cars—the days preferred mode of freight transportation. Tway's bold vision set the course for Kentucky Manufacturing Company for decades to come.
The U.S. Government Asked and Kentucky Trailer Delivered
The US government commissioned Kentucky Manufacturing to produce flatbed trailers for the Army.
Wartime Production Leads to New Focus on Customization
After WWII, Kentucky Manufacturing continued to design and build custom trailers for the country's evolving transportation needs. Custom manufacturing on a large scale was a revolutionary idea at the time, and Kentucky Manufacturing excelled by designing and building a wide variety of trailers, including livestock, platform, lowboy, logging, chip, and grain trailers. This focus on customization has continued through today, and Kentucky Trailer is the nation’s leading manufacturer of custom moving vans, with clients including Allied, Atlas, Mayflower, North American, United Van Lines, Wheaton World Wide Moving and many others. Other specialty-application customers include PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, FedEx Ground and UPS.
Kentucky Trailer Opens First Service Facility
In April of 2001, Kentucky Trailer opened its first service and reconditioning facility in Louisville, Kentucky. The 15,000-square-foot facility initially had 12 bays and employed 30 technicians and 10 office associates, offering complete trailer and truck body repair, reconditioning, painting and graphics. The facility later expanded to 20,000 square feet to provide additional capacity and improved service.
Trailer Technologies Division Opens Up New Possibilities
In 2003, Kentucky Manufacturing acquired Trailer Technologies of Walled Lake, Michigan, marking our entry into the specialty vehicle segment. Today we provide products for commercial, government, vehicle transport and mobile medical markets.
New Management and Ownership
Fourth-generation R.C. Tway family ownership and leadership transition occurred.
Kentucky Trailer Opens Mixed-Model Custom Production Facility
In June of 2009, Kentucky Trailer opened the doors to a new 240,000-square-foot facility in the Riverport Industrial Park at 7201 Logistics Drive in Louisville, Kentucky. This new, state-of-the-art plant was specifically designed for mixed-model trailer production and is a LEED-compliant facility, marking Kentucky Trailer's entry into eco-friendly trailer production.
Kentucky Trailer Acquires Western Truck and Trailer
Western Truck and Trailer (WTT) opened in 1963 as a trailer repair facility in Los Angeles, California. Identifying a need for better cargo protection, WTT focused on suspension improvements and aftermarket modifications. In 1987, the business moved to Fontana, California, a growing hub for the trucking industry, to better serve its clients. In January 2010, Kentucky Trailer acquired Western Truck and Trailer, adding the facility to its Service Division.
Alleghany Capital Corporation Invests in Kentucky Trailer
In January of 2014, Kentucky Trailer became a majority owned subsidiary of Alleghany Capital Corporation with the Tway family maintaining an on-going ownership interest.
Kentucky Trailer Acquires Advanced Mobility & Shelter Technologies and Mobile Medical Field Service Operation
In 2014, Kentucky Trailer announced the acquisition of Advanced Mobility & Shelter Technologies (AMST) and a complementary mobile medical field service operation. The move expanded Kentucky Trailer’s global sales footprint, a 31,000 square-foot production facility, 38 full-time service professionals and five field technicians who support 24-hour emergency roadside service as well as service and repair throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
Kentucky Trailer Acquires International Company, Smit Mobile Equipment
In October of 2015, Kentucky Trailer announced the acquisition of Smit Mobile Equipment B.V. (“Smit BV”) and Smit Mobile Equipment (UK) Ltd. (“Smit UK” and, together with Smit BV, “Smit”). Based in the Netherlands, Smit BV is a respected global provider of specialty trailers and mobile solutions to the medical sector, including mobile and relocatable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET/CT) products. Smit UK is a service organization located in the United Kingdom. Combining the capabilities of Smit and Kentucky Trailer strengthens the commitment of the company to the mobile medical market and advances the goal of delivering exceptional custom design, build and service solutions for the specialty trailer, custom transport, and mobilized business markets. Together, the two sectors offer comprehensive global solutions to our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and mobile medical imaging service providers worldwide.
Louisville-Based Service Facility Relocates
In November of 2015, the Louisville-based service center relocated to a 80,000-square-foot facility, increasing capacity from 12 to 20 bays and allowing for additional service and parts sales. The new location employs up to 36 mechanics, with expanded capabilities to service vehicle transport and mobile medical units. This division also oversees OEM parts functions company-wide.
Advanced Mobility by Kentucky Trailer Expands
Illinois-based Advanced Mobility opened a new 75,000-square-foot facility in University Park, Illinois, expanding its finish, calibration and reconditioning capacity. Products and service include mobile equipment trailers and specialty vehicles for healthcare systems worldwide. This facility employs 62 technicians and 19 office associates.
Kentucky Trailer is a Servant Leader Company. So what does that mean?
The Servant Leadership Principle means to lead effectively we must first serve, extending ourselves for others by identifying and meeting their legitimate needs.
Our KT Way Values, taken from a millenniums old definition of love, requires that in all interactions we strive to be:
A job at Kentucky Trailer is more than a paycheck. It is an opportunity to grow personally and professionally in an environment that encourages contributions from every member of the team. Our employees are challenged each day, mentally and physically. They understand what is expected of them and what our customers expect from our products. We empower them to propose new solutions, expand their skill sets and advance in the company.
Here is what you can expect from a career at Kentucky Trailer:
Kentucky Trailer Team.