Imagine that you banged up your car and you've sent it to the factory for fixing. You can't do that, but if you own a dump or flatbed trailer, you can.
East Manufacturing's trailer repair facility will work on all makes.
East Manufacturing's trailer repair facility will work on all makes.

Send it to Mac Trailers in Alliance, Ohio, or to East Manufacturing in Randolph, Ohio.

Hundreds of truckers do so every year, according to Gary Blough, manager of Mac's service arm. His repair specialists will work on all trailer makes, so don't be sheepish.

OK, it's not the factory as such, though it started out in one corner of the plant back in 1997. Mac Trailer Service now has its own building across the street from the main plant. The service building was erected in 2005 and includes 50,000 square feet with 25 large bays and a broad central aisle. There's space for 24 mechanics, plus offices for six support and supervisory people, including Blough.

A walk through the shop on a cold and snowy day found a vehicle in almost every bay under roof, and more waiting outside. Most had been yanked off the road by errant drivers and rolled over, or tipped to one side during offloading - a common occurrence with long end dumps. Nine out of 10 wrecks that come here are rollovers, Blough said. Typically a rollover causes about $25,000 in damage, usually to the nose, sidewall sections, and sometimes the frame, hoist cylinder, axles and other running gear.

Remarking on cold and snow is entirely relevant, by the way, because more accidents occur on winter's slippery roads and repair business quickens. When we visited last month, Blough said he was thinking it was time for the annual addition of a second shift to handle the increased work.

'Fixing a Wreck is Like a Big Jigsaw Puzzle'

Another service center for dump trailers and truck bodies is also in northeast Ohio, at East Manufacturing's headquarters in Randolph. "It's a state-of-the-art facility set up primarily for dump trailers 10-12 years ago," said Charlie Wells, director of dump trailer products. He spoke for the service manager, Brian Wagoner, who was out when we called. Like the Mac facility, the East center will work on all makes.

It's got 24 bays with an overhead crane, and each bay is capable of straightening flatbeds or dump trailers with specialized equipment, including tie-downs in the floors to which pulling cables can be secured.

"We encourage East customers to bring their trailers in here, mainly because we can repair in a manner that's inconspicuous, which affects resale value," he says. "We see small shops set up here and there, but we repair so that it really takes a fine tooth comb to see the repairs. If a prospective buyer sees that, 'Hey, this thing's been turned over,' that puts a stigma on it."

"We can remove twists and side bowing typical of wrecks," Wells said. "Fixing a wreck is like a big jigsaw puzzle."

To learn more about the Mac and East facilities, see the January issue of Heavy Duty Trucking.