Dorsey Trailers - 1905-present - Elba, Alabama - Cartersville, Georgia - Dillon, South Carolina - Northumberland, Pennsylvania
|Atlanta GA-based Dorsey Trailers
has announced that filing a bankruptcy petition is "a distinct possibility"
- after having laid off most of its employees and halting production while
it meets with its largest lender to renegotiate its debt.
Dorsey has suspended operations at its three manufacturing plants in Elba AL, Cartersville GA, and Dillon SC.
In a company-issued press release, John L Pugh, chief executive officer, said, "Some limited production will take place in order to finish trailers that are near completion, but substantially all production is suspended as we evaluate our options."
Pugh said about 250 employees have been laid off at the company's factory in Elba, and about 50 more at its plant in Cartersville. The layoffs came a day after union employees at the Elba plant rejected a tentative contract that would have cut their wages about 25%.
About 95 employees continued working recently to finish partially completed trailers at the two plants and the company's third factory in Dillon, Pugh said.
Dorsey Trailers, Inc. was in the business of designing, manufacturing, and marketing one of the broadest lines of high quality, customized truck trailers through three plants located in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Mfg. flatbeds, dump trailers, refridgerator vans, and dry frieght vans.Elba plant is still open as of 2002
had a plant in Northumberland, PA closed in 1998
Dorsey Trailers, a company with a long history in the trailer business, is the second major trailer manufacturer that Street Asset Management has bought off the scrap heap. The company did the same thing with Fruehauf in 1996. Although Street Asset Management sold Fruehauf's domestic operation to Wabash National in 1997, it kept Fruehauf de Mexico and a lot of real estate — including much of the harbor area in Jacksonville that currently is being transformed. And Fruehauf de Mexico, which had been losing money when Street bought it, is now turning a handsome profit.
ad in 1963 GMC Truck Equipment Catalog pp108-109
It all started in 1905, in a converted livery stable located in Elba,
Alabama. Pete and Henry Dorsey established a small machine shop to repair
the power saws, boilers and trucks of the booming timber business. It wasn’t
long before the Dorsey boys started designing and building their own
Early on, the Dorsey boys began experimenting with building log skidders to support their logging customer needs. Soon the word got out that Dorsey produced durable products that were designed by people in the business and the sales took off. By 1920 the little company that started off in a stable had moved into a large building and were producing 25 to 30 logging units a day. By 1930, Dorsey engineers had developed the company’s first commercial freight trailers. Dorsey's sales increased every year, even during the depression, and by the end of the decade truckers coast-to-coast identified the trade name "Dorsey" with durability and safety.
Dorsey, in 1939, was one of a small group of companies selected by the U.S Government to design specialized military trailers as our country was moved to War. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Dorsey plant was completely mobilized to build ammo trailers. The facility doubled in size and railroad tracks were brought into the plant to speed deliveries of the thousands of trailers to transport ships waiting in Mobile Bay.
Dorsey Goes To War
After a short interlude of peace in the late 1940's, military production was resumed during the Korean Conflict. The plant was relocated and expanded to meet military and commercial demands.
As the Cold War took the U.S into the missile age in the 1960's, Dorsey was called upon again to design and build the rocket transporters, erection equipment, and electronic vans for ground support for various missile programs.
Fortune 500 Dorsey merged in the 1960s and grew into a Fortune 500
company manufacturing and selling products for transportation and packaging
industries. The company continued to grow and acquired Trailco
Manufacturing of Pennsylvania in 1971, Highway Trailer of Wisconsin in 1978
and Holan Equipment of Georgia in 1981. During this entire period, the
name Dorsey was respected for innovation and quality.
THE NEW DORSEY TRAILER In 2001 Dorsey was reborn as a debt free company. The new leadership is very experienced in the trailer business. Management appreciates and supports the highly experienced work force by providing the necessary financial support on the factory floor, while beating down unproductive overhead costs .
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