The first customer trailer is an Everest TL refrigerated trailer.
"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," said Rowland Transportation President Doc Hyder, commenting on his family's long-standing relationship with Great Dane.
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. Currently, 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."
Great Dane's Statesboro facility encompasses 450,000 square feet, including office space and a 3,000-square-foot 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.
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.