The history of Trailmobile trailers extends back to the end of the nineteenth century. While the brand has been owned under many different companies, it has always been a name that stood for rugged engineering and forward looking innovation. This Trailmobile history will give you an idea of its past, as well as the recent difficulties and rebirth under the ownership of Manac.
Precursor to Trailmobile
The Trailmobile Company can trace its roots back to the time of horse drawn carriages and vehicles. A man by the name of Daniel M. Sechler worked as a carriage maker in the 1840’s and started a couple carriage shops between that time and 1879 when he incorporated Sechler and Company. They quickly became one of the largest manufacturers of carriages in the world. By the end of the century motorized vehicles had begun to be developed, and the company needed to consider a new direction for growth. It was an employee named John Endebrock who realized that there was a future in trailers for the new cars and trucks that were being invented. In 1915, they introduced their trailer as the Trailmobile, which was meant to trail behind an automobile, and changed their name to The Trailmobile Company.
Invention of the Fifth Wheel
One of the great innovations that came from Trailmobile was the fifth wheel engineering for easy coupling and uncoupling of the trailer from the vehicle. This concept was patented in 1919 after several years of Endebrock searching for an easier solution to attach and disengage the semi trailer, similar to how train cars were locked together and then easily separated. Before this invention it took three men and jacks to unhook the trailer. After the introduction of the fifth wheel design, which has changed very little to this day, one man could complete the task.
Trailmobile Grows and Changes
The first and second world wars required Trailmobile to manufacture thousands of specialized trailers to meet the military needs of that time. It also established the Trailmobile brand as a trusted builder of quality trailers. Between the two wars and in the years after the company merged with other trucking manufacturers and was sold to different corporations. The name was changed for several years and then changed back in 1944 due to the respected name Trailmobile had developed over the years. Eventually the company came to be known as Trailmobile Canada Limited in the 1990’s.
The Recession Hits
The tough economic times created by a massive recession which began around 2007 had a big impact on the trucking and shipping industries. Trailmobile Canada Limited was not able to weather the storm and was forced to final bankruptcy in 2009. Manac purchased the assets of the company to broaden its number of commercial trailer offerings, and recently the Trailmobile brand has been resurrected with Manac Inc.’s reintroduction of the Trailmobile UltraPlate.
Despite its many changes over more than 100 years, Trailmobile still stands for quality construction and innovation in tractor trailers and dry vans. We hope you have enjoyed this history of Trailmobile trailers.