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Building Stock

How Great Dane's flatbed stock program is meeting customer demand, market needs


As the economy continues to boom, there are clear economic indicators pointing towards continued economic growth. When it comes to flatbed trailer demand, those indicators include things like construction spending and investment in energy such as the oil and gas segment, where recent record production of U.S. crude oil and natural gas liquids highlighted the strength of our nation’s energy renaissance, stated API Chief Economist Dean Foreman.

“U.S. oil production has supplied all of the growth in global oil demand so far this year and helped compensate for production losses in some OPEC nations,” Foreman said. “With continued increases in drilling activity, the U.S. is poised for further production increases in natural gas and oil.”

Couple that with the construction spending that, in the first six months of 2018 combined, was 5.1 percent higher than in January through June 2017, according to the Associated General Contractors of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson.

“Think about all the things that are typically hauled by flatbeds — lumber, drywall, shingles, you name it,” said Keith Monroe, Great Dane’s director of flatbed product sales. “We wanted to be able to meet that demand.”

Great Dane’s stock program put a hefty number of flatbeds on stock location lots by the end of January 2018 — well before the market heated up. However, given how the economy has picked up in the first and second quarters, not many of those flatbeds are left. Monroe estimated that approximately 90 percent of stock flatbeds were sold.

That said, Great Dane plans to continue to support its stock flatbed program. The company spreads its stock throughout its branches, dealerships and distribution centers. Even if the location you visit doesn’t have the exact specs you’re looking for, Great Dane can leverage its national network to find a flatbed that will work.

Great Dane’s stock program features Freedom flatbed trailers in 48- to 53-foot lengths constructed out of steel, aluminum or a combination of both in various configurations. There are also a range of options to choose from, including toolboxes, bulkheads and cargo restraints. However, it’s important to work with a Great Dane sales representative to ensure that your trailer is prepped for any options you might want to add.

“In the flatbed world,” Monroe said, “customers want to go to the Great Dane location to see it, touch it, and more than likely, customers buy right there on the lot. So having stock on the ground is a priority.”