Case Studies

Vantage Trailers Inc.: Behind You for the Long Haul

  • Written by: Vantage Trailers Inc.: Behind You for the Long Haul
  • Produced by: Vantage Trailers Inc.: Behind You for the Long Haul
  • Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Vantage Trailers Inc. (Vantage) was founded in 1991 by Patricia Lemmons. Texas-based Vantage specializes in the design and manufacturing of aluminum trailers for the trucking industry throughout the southern and central United States. Lemmon’s sons are also active in the business; Brian is responsible for the sales and operations, while Todd oversees the parts department in addition to being the head of part sales.

In the beginning Vantage produced only end-dump trailers. End-dump trailers are rear-unloading boxes with a hydraulic hoist, allowing operators to quickly discharge loads, often sand or gravel. Vantage continues to produce end-dumps, constantly redesigning trailers for load-efficiency, strength and aerodynamics. However, the market has pushed the company to diversify its product offerings.

Adapting to Changing Markets

Before the recession, Vantage had also been selling pneumatic trailers for a private label. The trailers are large dry bulk tanks that unload from the bottom and transport bulk goods like cement, plastic pellets or feed. When the downturn hit, Vantage had two large facilities, and utilized its resources to branch out into making its own pneumatics.

“Our name was already out there through the private label,” explains Lemmons. An existing reputation for quality carried Vantage’s success over into the returning period of growth.

Vantage has recently earned certifications through the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Department of Transportation to build crude tanks, which Lemmons agrees will be enormously beneficial to business. The company is already taking crude tank orders and is expanding its facility to include additional production lines.

A recent boom in the oil market ensures a steady flow of customers for Vantage. “Our diversification has led us to be where the sales are needed in the industry,” she explains. Vantage’s location provides the team with unique opportunities and also sustains the company’s reputation as the No. 1 aluminum end-dump producer in the United States.

Known for Quality and Customer Service

The company has the resources and know-how to provide customized service to its clients, most of whom are repeat customers supported by an extensive dealer network.

Most of Vantage’s business – outside of an 80-percent return rate – comes by word of mouth. The company’s reputation has allowed the team to take on more clients as time passes, and Vantage is constantly rolling out new innovations to appeal to its clients. The company’s aluminum trailers are not only lightweight, Vantage’s trailers are strong. Vantage offers various shapes to improve unloading capabilities as well as the aerodynamic quality of its trailers. Aerodynamics and lightweight aluminum technology offer operators far better fuel efficiency than competitors’ steel options.

Lessons Learned

Vantage took some heavy hits during the recession, but the team’s persistence and commitment to quality has offered the Lemmons some important knowledge. Now, Vantage is taking advantage of the market upswing to better prepare for future market cycles.

“We’re spending time and resources on diversifying,” says Brian Lemmons. Diversification for Vantage means catering to a number of markets; this means that if the oil industry were to take another hit, the company could focus on another aspect of Vantage product lines.

Business had dropped off dramatically in 2009 for the team. Orders were down and Vantage had to act quickly to stay afloat. “We were doing repairs and assembling flatbeds for other companies just to make ends meet,” Lemmons recalls. The company’s flexibility paid off, and today the Vantage team is using its past experiences to help improve the market for everyone. To ensure the team stays ahead of the curve, Vantage is even cross-training its own employees in anticipation of branching out into even more applications.

Despite the widespread downturn in the market only a few years ago, the company has managed to successfully diversify product lines throughout the years. The team at Vantage maintains a forward-thinking operation in addition to using the best available technology to build ultra-light and extremely dependable trailers that increase payloads and lower operating costs.

It is proven that Vantage’s trailers maintain value, and many customers find resale options very attractive when the time comes to trade in. An investment in these advanced systems is an investment in knowledge, expertise and understanding that comes from years of experience in the trailer industry, all of which the team at Vantage Trailers Inc. is proud to possess.

Published on: March 12, 2013

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