07:44 PM

Statesboro Plant Delivers First Customer Trailer

SAVANNAH, GA – (August 31, 2012) Great Dane's new refrigerated trailer plant in Statesboro, Ga. recently celebrated the completion of the facility's first customer trailer produced to order in a commemoration ceremony with the trailer's new owner, Rowland Transportation of Dade City, Fla. The first customer trailer is an Everest TL refrigerated trailer, which features a wide range of advanced construction features designed to maximize the trailer's performance and operating efficiency.

In taking delivery of the trailer, Rowland Transportation president, Doc Hyder, commented on his family's long-standing relationship with Great Dane. "Great Dane has been a leader in the field of refrigerated transportation, which is why my family has used them for 70 years. Our relationship with Great Dane goes back to the 1940s when my great-grandfather hauled fresh produce out of Florida and North Carolina to Boston, using wet bed ice bunkers to keep the product cool."

Hyder is a Florida native with strong ties to the trucking industry. He started work with his family's business in 1983, but can trace his trucking roots back to the 1920s when his great-grandfather began Clay Hyder Truck Lines. The Hyder family expanded its business hauling commodities and foodstuffs, such as tea out of Boston and sugar from Savannah, and was one of the first carriers to haul fresh and chilled citrus products out of Florida to the Carolinas. Doc's grandfather, father and uncle continued that tradition through the years. Today Rowland Transportation mainly consists of hauling refrigerated food products throughout the country, with a focus on the Southeast region.

"It's exciting to see customer trailers rolling off of our assembly lines here in Statesboro," plant manager Kevin Black said. "We've made tremendous progress since opening our doors earlier this year--all made possible due to the hard work of our dedicated plant employees and community partners."

The Statesboro Plant

Great Dane's state-of-the-art Statesboro facility encompasses 450,000-sq. ft., including office space and a 3,000-sq. ft. climate-controlled, noise-free customer preview center. The facility is dedicated to manufacturing Everest refrigerated trailers, the TL model reefer for truckload carriers and the CL model reefer built especially for the unique needs of multi-temp and foodservice operations, especially those in the Southeast. Great Dane has remained committed to serving this market for nearly 75 years since pioneering the refrigerated trailer industry with the first wet ice bunker and gas engine and blower system for hauling produce over long distances.

Joining a network of nine strategically located Great Dane manufacturing plants, the Statesboro facility is designed and built to be the most modern and efficient in the world. Breakthrough technologies incorporated include the use of robotic welding, automated production processes, computer-controlled foaming operations and an optimized material handling system for quality and efficiency. In accordance with Great Dane's pledge to keep its environmental impact as low as possible, numerous green initiatives are in place, including energy-efficient lighting and the use of a building management system to automatically control lights, air quality and building temperature; programs to reduce water consumption; and the use of load monitors to ensure optimal energy consumption.

The Great Dane manufacturing plant in Statesboro is currently operating with one production line, with a second line and second shift to start up later in the year. At full capacity, the new facility will produce more than 5,000 trailers annually, employing more than 400 workers.

About Great Dane

Great Dane, a manufacturer of dry van, refrigerated and platform trailers, has long been regarded as the industry leader in technology, innovation and quality. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Ill., and has additional corporate offices in Savannah, Ga., with manufacturing plants and a parts distribution center strategically located throughout the United States. Great Dane's network of company-owned branches and full-line independent dealers and parts-only independent dealers offer distribution points for both trailers and aftermarket parts across North and South America. Great Dane can be accessed online at www.greatdanetrailers.com.

The company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, acquired in 2010, is the innovator and manufacturer of custom fiberglass, specialized refrigerated truck bodies and trailers that range from eight to 36-ft. in length. With headquarters in Rice Lake, Wis., markets include dairy, meat, frozen food, keg beer, live poultry, vending products, flowers and plants, and ice. Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies can be accessed online at www.johnsontruckbodies.com.