Photo by Ledwell
Ledwell Hydra Tilt Truck

Texas Trailer Manufacturer Ledwell Celebrates 75th-Year Anniversary

Sept. 17, 2021
The company was founded in 1946 by Buddy Ledwell and his father.

Posted by Brooke Just

This year a family-owned custom truck equipment and trailer manufacturer Ledwell, celebrates its 75th year in business. Headquartered in Texarkana, Texas, the company was founded in 1946 by Buddy Ledwell and his father.

After returning from WWII, Buddy and his father L.W. Ledwell Sr. started a lumber company called Ledwell & Son. One day Buddy needed a certain kind of trailer to haul lumber, so he rolled up his sleeves and welded the frame he needed to get the job done. A neighboring farmer saw the trailer and asked, “Where’d you get that? I need one!” So, Buddy built it for him.

Today, Ledwell builds custom trailers and truck bodies for just about every industry—from water and feed trucks to hydraulic trailers and vacuum—for customers all over the world. If a need arises for a truck or trailer to perform a job or haul a particular piece of equipment or product, Ledwell finds a way to create a solution.

“We build our bodies and trailers to be tough,” said Lesley Ledwell Dukelow, president. “Things that are add-ons for other manufacturers, like stronger steel and thicker water tank linings, are standard on our products. With proper care and maintenance, we expect our customers to get decades of service out of our equipment. That’s what ‘Ledwell Made’ means to us.”

Ledwell also prides itself on service and its US-made equipment, with more than 90percent of its  parts manufactured in-house.

“We take care of our customers,” said Jill Launius, sales coordinator. “Once they buy Ledwell, they’re part of the family. We know that downtime can be costly for a business, so we work hard to make sure parts are in stock and shipped fast and that service is easily accessible for our customers.”

As one of Ledwell’s customers tells the story: “I had a logger call me on New Year’s Eve needing to buy a couple of trucks that day for tax reasons,” said Adam Arrington, executive vice-president of sales for Lonestar Truck Group. “I called at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Eve and Ledwell said, ‘Bring it on.’ They had a team of people waiting for me. They got the order finished and delivered. The customer was happy. I was happy. That’s the way the Ledwell culture is.”

Today, the legacy of the 75-year-old business continues under the third and fourth generation leadership of Buddy’s son, Steve and granddaughter, Lesley. Ledwell has grown to employ more than 500 workers and with that growth, “we still maintain a family atmosphere – that’s something we’re very proud of,” Lesley said. “That and the fact that the level of service our team provides our customers has only gotten stronger over the last 75 years.”

In 2019, Ledwell won the Miscellaneous category in RER’s Innovative Product Awards for its Solar Lift Loading Ramp, described by RER as one of the half dozen most unique and uplifting products of the year.

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