Media gathers for press conference at Universal Trailer’s ribbon-cutting

A Bristol, Ind., manufacturer took a step into the future on Friday (March 24) afternoon, unveiling a new $25 million, 200,000-square-foot plant that will create more than 200 new jobs. 

As reported by the Elkhart Truth, Universal Trailer Corp. told a group of more than three dozen people that the new facility — which sits on 43 acres located at 2020 Blakesley Parkway, just south of the Indiana Toll Road and northeast of downtown Bristol — is a cutting-edge example of the future of manufacturing.

Universal Trailer makes towables of all sizes under the Haulmark, Wells Cargo, Featherlite, Exiss and Sooner brands, along with the Haulmark Motorcoach line of motorhomes. As the largest manufacturer of commercial and lifestyle trailers in North America, company officials say the new plant will allow them to be more efficient and produce more products. 

Walking through the new factory, most of the production processes are automated, utilizing robots, conveyor belts and cranes to weld and paint steel parts. Tom Holt, category business manager for Universal Trailer, said the new facility revolutionizes the trailer industry by producing trailer kits that are shipped and assembled in other Universal Trailer plants closer to where they are going to be delivered. 

Indiana 2nd District U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski speaks via teleconference at the Universal Trailer ribbon-cutting

“That saves us on transportation costs. It is more efficient and it allows us to produce higher-quality trailers faster,” said Tom Holt. 

Several local leaders were attendance at Friday’s ribbon-cutting. 

“This county has always been a destination for building and manufacturing,” said County Commissioner Mike Yoder. “This development makes sense in this county because building trailers is in our DNA. If you talk with site selectors they like our area because of our work ethic and because of the ability for local governments and the state to come together to make developers feel welcome.” 

Bristol Town Council President Ron Norman said he was excited to see Universal Trailers invest in Bristol and that this will not only add to the town’s tax base, but also encourage future development. 

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