Trails West, which has built horse trailers in Preston for the last 44 years, was recently recognized for excellence in that market.
The company has been number one in unit sales for the last three years, based on what its dealers sell in the United States, said Jon Reeder general manager of the plant. Last year, for which the most recent award came, the company sold 1,268 horse trailers. That’s not counting the stock, snowmobile and side-by-side trailers it also builds.
“Horse trailers are just over half of all our units sold,” said Reeder. Some of them are basic, others have luxury living quarters included in the design.
The importance of the award, in his mind, is the team it takes to accomplish such an achievement.
The company has 165 employees, and “it takes everyone, from the top to the bottom,” to be successful, said Reeder. “The good people we have, come every morning at 6 a.m. and work hard every day,” he said. And they do work hard. Making trailers is loud, dirty, hot work, as employees bend and weld metal into the trailers, then paint, wire and fabricate wood and material into luxury living quarters.
“We have some really cool equipment, that costs several hundred thousands of dollars, but you can replace that,” said Reeder. “A company is only as good as the people in the company.”
“Without them doing their part we wouldn’t be as successful as we are,” said Jason Anderson, Trails West’s production manager. “I don’t think our people get enough credit. We have very talented people,” he said.
“We are proud of our people. We are proud of what we do,” said Anderson. “I feel like (the kind of people we have working for us) are what makes the world go round.”
“I’m still in awe with what we do,” said Reeder. “We have great salespeople, but without a great product they would have nothing to sell. We have a great product because great skill goes into (the trailers). We’d very much like to stay #1.” To do that, he said the company is willing to train its employees, and seeks their input on improvements to their process, he said.