June 18 2019 02:54 PM

The bigger space will allow the company to increase production.

Left to right: Troy Geisler, Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Jim Hall, Vice President of Operations; Andy Tanner, President; Russell Stern, Co-Owner; Jamie Myers, Vice President of Purchasing; Wayne Crayton, Talbert employee; Jim Porter, Talbert employee.
Photo: Talbert Manufacturing

Talbert Manufacturing, Rensselaer, Indiana, a specialized heavy-haul solutions manufacturer, hosted a ribbon cutting on May 14 officially opening the 58,000-square-foot expansion of its Liberty, North Carolina facility. Several Talbert representatives were on hand for the occasion, including President Andrew Tanner, Co-Owner Russ Stern, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Troy Geisler, Vice President of Operations Jim Hall and Vice President of Purchasing Jamie Myers.

The expanded Liberty Trailers LLC plant, now 120,000 total square feet, will manufacture Talbert’s Tag-A-Long Series, Traveling Axle Series and Hydraulic Tail Series trailers.

With the expansion, the manufacturer looks to increase dealer and customer support throughout North America with increased production capabilities and a support staff of 60 associates.

“In 1938, Austin Talbert set out to change the heavy-haul industry,” says Andrew Tanner, president of Talbert Manufacturing. “With the expansion of Liberty Trailers LLC Talbert Manufacturing is closer than ever to realizing his vision of customer-driven design that meets the ever-changing needs of the hauling industry. We’re able to double our current output allowing us meet the needs of our Tag-A-Long customers and dealers across the U.S. and Canada so we can continue growing together.”

The Liberty facility was originally home to Ferree Trailers, which Talbert purchased in 2014. The 60,000-square-foot building was completed in 1999. From there Ferree served a loyal following of customers in industries including transportation, construction, military, government and special original equipment manufacturing companies, producing a wide array of trailers.

With the acquisition, Talbert continued producing select Ferree products and moved production of its Tag-A-Long, Traveling Axle and Hydraulic Tail Series trailers from its Indiana facility to Liberty. As the OEM business grew so did demand for the trailer series being produced at Liberty. In 2018, Talbert began expansion of the building and staff as part of its overall growth plan.

The opening of the expansion marks the completion of the Liberty Trailer LLC upgrade. In addition to the 58,000-square-foot increase in space, the expansion also houses two state-of-the-art painting booths, overhead cranes and a large finishing area. Equipment and staging areas were designed for optimum flow throughout the manufacturing process allowing Talbert’s production at Liberty to grow even past its current goals while maintaining the high degree of safety, durability and resale value that are the pillars of the Talbert brand.

“When we purchased the facility in 2014, we had 18 employees and a modern facility to allow for the type of growth we needed,” Tanner says. “Today we have 60 employees at Liberty and are looking to staff well over 100 long term. Talbert has been able to remain on the cutting edge of heavy-haul innovations for more than 80 years because we understand the value of investing in our people as much as our products. The Liberty expansion is an investment not just in Talbert, but in our dealers and customers.”

“Part of what makes Talbert special is how the company has been able to keep Austin Talbert’s vision alive and growing in such a fast-paced industry,” comments Co-Owner Russ Stern. “Today’s Talbert might look quite different on the surface than what Austin Talbert or my father — who purchased the company in the 1970s, knew — but I know they would be proud of the high-quality trailers coming off the lines in Rensselaer and Liberty, of the dedicated dealers that make up our extensive dealer network, and the loyal customer base we have been able to grow over the past 80 years.”