After the economic twists and turns of the RV industry in recent years, Pulliam Enterprises Inc. and its hitch-making division, PullRite, are enjoying a smooth uphill climb.

As reported by the South Bend Tribune, February was the biggest-selling month for the firm since Andrew and Leota Pulliam moved from California and started the company in the late 1970s — until the March sales came in 20% higher.

That’s on top of a 20% increase in all of last year, says Ronald Pulliam, their grandson, who works in the company’s customer service: “It was our biggest year ever as a company, even better than the high times before the recession.”

The growth landed PullRite on the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s list of Companies to Watch this year. The current success, like the startup more than 30 years ago, is linked to Andrew Pulliam’s invention.

He started the company with a new style of under-the-vehicle towing system to replace the ball-on-the-bumper arrangement. Andrew Pulliam was a pipefitter who lived in a trailer because his work was transient and knew the problems firsthand.

“It was safer because it towed like a fifth-wheel tows in feeling and handling,” Ronald Pulliam says, explaining that the invention moved the pivot point to reduce dangerous side-to-side sway in older approaches. “That business leveled off because of some of the changes in the marketplace, so we started designing for fifth-wheel trailers as well.”

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