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COMPETITIVE COMPONENTS

USPL

U.S. Plastic Lumber designs and manufactures high-quality plastic lumber products for a variety of applications. Our products are made from patented processes utilizing 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (“HDPE”), which makes them both the finest quality and the most environmentally-friendly alternative wood products ever created.

KEMLITE

Kemlite manufactures three primary fiberglass reinforced plastic (frp) products used by the Truck Trailer, Van Body, and Rail Industries:

* Translucent Roof Panel – see-through roofs for dry van trailers and truck bodies

* Liner Panels – lightweight panels used in refrigerated truck trailers and truck bodies

* Heavy Duty Scuffplate Panels – protective wear band for dry and refrigerated trailers, van bodies, and rail cars

Started in 1954, Kemlite produces product on six wide panel machines in three separate plant locations. Known as the industry leader, Kemlite is responsible for introducing Kemply® laminated panels, King-size liner panels (full width, full height), Translucent roof panels, Lightweight liner panels, Tapered liner panels, On-line wedge cut panels, LumaShield protective film, thermally efficient Reefer RoofTM, and high impact GatorPlate and Monster ScuffPlate.

Kemlite’s unique process can produce panels in a thickness range from 0.050″ up to 0.240″. Panels can be produced to your specific length and width requirements – from a 4′ X 8′ panel up to a 9′ X 600′ coil. Panel finishes are available with an embossed or smooth surface. All OEM panels include LumaShield protective surface film for enhanced cleanability and weathering.

Products produced by Kemlite must pass “real world” test requirements. These tests focus on puncture and impact strengths as well as tear strength and rivet pullout strength. Kemlite’s unique manufacturing process allows for the use of coarse, stiff fiberglass that contributes significantly to the excellent physical properties of its panels.

With its ISO 9002 certification and focus on Operational Excellence, Kemlite is not only recognized for its engineering leadership but also as the quality and service leader in the industry.

MERRITT EQUIPMENT

The Merritt Equipment Company

In March of 1951, the Merritt family purchased a small welding shop in Portland, Oregon that also repaired and built trailers. Merritt Automotive soon became known more for their new high quality wooden stake bodies and trailers than for their welding and repairs.

By 1959, Merritt had begun working almost entirely with aluminum. The operation moved into a new headquarters on North Union Ave. where a series of design innovations and assembly techniques were implemented that would revolutionize the livestock and grain trailer industry.

The first all-aluminum livestock trailers were built using aluminum front frames and rear undercarriages. The Merritt punched-side design provided more strength to the aluminum sheets and created an air vortex that increased airflow throughout the trailer. These techniques also made possible a “monocoque” design, or what is commonly known as “frameless uni-body” construction, which leaves the interior almost smooth contributing to bruise-free livestock transport.

Merritt’s unique punch-panel construction called for a higher level of quality control and in 1965 a 12,500 square foot addition was made to the Portland assembly plant. In 1967, a new facility was added in Bakersfield, CA and in 1970 a sales office and repair shop was opened in Denver, CO. An addition to the Denver facility in 1977 fostered the assembly of semis and doubles for grain.

In 1980, at the new factory in Denver, Merritt began building the new Cattle Drive trailer featuring a tapered 1″ side post that provided the largest interior width in the trailer industry.

The main Denver factory assumed all semi-trailer and truck accessory manufacturing in 1984 and became the corporate headquarters for the company. Since relocating to Denver, four expansions to the factory and service building have been completed and Merritt now enjoys more than 170,000 square feet of manufacturing, design and service space to meet your needs.

Over the last 45 years, the Merritt punch-side method of trailer construction has stood the test of time and earned the company a reputation for quality. This design has proven to be so superior to slat and post designs that all livestock trailer manufacturers have copied, but not duplicated, Merritt’s punch-side construction. While many in the livestock trailer industry continue to experiment with plastics, glues, and other approaches to improve their designs, Merritt’s method is evolving in ways that further refine our proven construction technique.

Merritt’s goals are to help make you, our customer, more profitable and to develop a lasting partnership. To do this we must provide you with an affordable trailer with a maximum payload capacity and a low operating cost for the transportation of healthy, bruise-free livestock.

We believe the real value of a trailer is determined over it’s work life. When the day comes for you to sell or trade your Merritt trailer, consider your total life cycle cost. You will realize that your Merritt trailer, cab guard or tool box was built with an uncompromising dedication to quality for lasting durability and it held it’s value.

Building innovative products that provide longevity, quality and value have been and will continue to be our goal. The Goldline livestock trailer is a working testimony to this goal and continues to be the standard against which others are measured. Merritt Equipment is proud to play a part in Agribusiness on the move.

NOSECONE

It all began in 1973 when gasoline shortages set people worrying about the price of fuel. That’s when Joseph FitzGerald found a niche for his 1965 discovery of the benefits of changing the shape of the upper portion of the trailer front wall. Sales manager for Carrier Transicold in 1965, FitzGerald suggested relocating the refrigeration evaporator to the outside front wall of the trailer as a way of providing his customers with more cargo space. Traditionally mounted inside the trailer, engineers for Transicold created a new design mounting the evaporator outside the trailer front wall. The original design encased the evaporator within a rectangular box and FitzGerald further suggested cutting the corners of the box at an angle to improve aerodynamics. Road testing of the new design brought to light unanticipated benefits, the driver reported he believed the trailer pulled better than before and that mileage had improved. FitzGerald’s suggestion proved to benefit two-fold, increasing available cargo space and reducing trailer drag.

FitzGerald consulted with leading aerodynamicists to perfect his discovery, but it was not until the oil embargo of 1973 that the industry saw a need to reduce fuel usage. And when they did, FitzGerald was ready and that’s when his sales experience paid off. FitzGerald single handedly let the nation know that changing the trailer shape would mean big dollar savings and he did it one door at a time. He became the founding father of the world’s first production aerodynamic add-on for trailers and with his son, Jim FitzGerald, trained expert in mold development, they went on to develop over 145 different aerodynamic configurations.

OVERSEAS HARDWOOD

Overseas Hardwoods Company has been developing and providing high performance products from lumber for over 30 years. OHC’s products have been utilized in literally hundreds of applications ranging from fishing lures to commercial boat decking. The largest applications are in providing increased safety and durability to the trucking industry through superior flooring and delivering better quality kiln dried lumber to the forest products industry through consistently uniform stacking sticks.

Innovation, reliability and service are the hallmarks of the firm. Through a vast knowledge of the world’s timber resources and the specific properties of their wood, OHC’s personnel solve problems and create opportunities for their customers.

OHC innovated and remains the only the manufacturer of Road Load Tested® Flooring (RLT) for the trucking industry. RLT® Flooring can double the life of flatbed trailer floors that must endure the ravages of weather, loading and unloading and thousands of hours on the roads.

OHC pioneered the use of lumber noted for its extreme hardness and durability in trailer flooring more than 30 years ago. In addition to supplying lumber as RLT® Flooring, the firm provides random length truck flooring that meets strict quality, strength and availability standards. The firm’s truck flooring services include designing floors for new trailers and preparing designs for used trailers that need to be refloored.

Stacking sticks supplied by OHC help lumberyards that kiln dry lumber produce higher quality products. The firm’s stacking sticks are provided in close dimensions to ensure even stacking in the kilns so lumber does not wrap. They are inventoried at OHC’s warehouse for JIT shipment.

PREMIER

Premier Manufacturing produces Couplings (Hitches), Drawbar Eyes (Lunette Eyes), Hinge Assemblies, Dolly Jacks and Accessories for light to heavy duty trucking industry applications.

Premier was founded in 1924 on the principal of producing reliable high quality coupling components. Over the years our customers have been instrumental in making Premier what it is today. Customer input melded with our founding principal has allowed us to produce innovative coupling components of the highest quality that meet the ever-evolving demands of the trucking industry.

BETTS SPRING

HAVCO

For more than a quarter of a century, we have made a solid commitment to our customers (and to their customers) to produce only the finest laminated oak flooring for dry van trailers, truckbodies and containers. It’s a simple goal that is hard to achieve, but we believe and our customers tell us that we have accomplished this objective 100%.

When it comes to laminated flooring, we have grown to become the most respected producer and the industry’s innovation leader. This may explain how Havco has been successful for so long:

* Continuously operating since day one, we have been in business longer than all of our major competitors combined.

* By using 100% OAK, we are producing the most durable and decay resistant flooring.

* Only company to develop and offer a high-performance composite flooring for the most demanding customers.

We will carry on these traditions with unparalleled consistency for a long time to come. We would like to thank our customers who have assisted us in making Havco the market leader and we want to assure them, and you, that our commitment, just like our flooring, is designed to stand the test of time and to simply be the best in the flooring industry.