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Mark Van Herpen, CFO

Mark Van Herpen

Mark Van Herpen, Ledwell’s Chief Financial Officer, has been at Ledwell for 11 years.

“My favorite thing about Ledwell is that you never know what’s going to happen next,” he said. “I love being here, and I feel honored that I’ve had the privilege to come to work here.”

Mark Van Herpen

Before working at Ledwell, Mark served as CFO for a real estate management company that owned malls across the country. Transitioning to the manufacturing industry presented a steep learning curve.

“I didn’t know anything about manufacturing,” he said. “I just listened and learned. The most important thing I’ve learned here is that, as a company, we solve all problems.”

Mark said he loves college and professional sports, especially the L.A. Dodgers, L.A. Rams, and L.A. Lakers. Though he was raised in Arkansas, he was born in L.A., and his dad’s favorite teams rubbed off on him. He kicked off his career in finance by earning a degree in accounting from Arkansas Tech University.

Mark’s passion lies in charity work, and he supports many nonprofit organizations.

“I’m most passionate about the Alzheimer’s Alliance, which presents the Twice as Fine Texarkana Wine Festival each year,” he said. “I’ve seen how Alzheimer’s disease affects families. Proceeds from the festival benefit our local respite center, which gives families of Alzheimer’s patients a much-needed break.”

Along with his wife Cathy, Mark serves on the Alzheimer’s Alliance board. Cathy and Mark have served as chairs of the wine festival since it began six years ago.

The Ledwell Made Guarantee

Ledwell Made Guarantee on all manufactured products

We’ve been dedicated to quality since Buddy Ledwell and his father founded the company in 1946, but we want to share with you what that means to us. We back every product with this Ledwell Made Guarantee. When you become a Ledwell customer, here’s what you can expect.

Ledwell Made Guarantee on all manufactured products

Primed & Ready

You get what you need fast. With a vast stock of chassis, we build what you need with the industry’s shortest lead times.

Swift Support

You get back to work quickly. We respond to questions and service needs with unrivaled urgency.

Express Shipping

You don’t have to wait for parts. We manufacture more than 85% of our parts in-house and ship most within 24 hours of your request.

Tough Build

Your Ledwell products will last for decades with proper maintenance. We only fabricate products that stand the test of time in the field.

Visionary Engineering

You get cutting-edge machinery that works for you. From basic trailers to advanced custom fabrications, we approach every project with innovative craftsmanship.

Solid Partnerships

Our strong industry partnerships work in your favor. When you need a hand, we mobilize our network to help you get priority service around the world.

Ledwell Celebrates 75 Years

buddy ledwell with lumber

When Buddy Ledwell returned from serving in World War II in 1946, he 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 started building them.

buddy ledwell with lumber

Pretty soon, Ledwell & Son had a burgeoning side business building pickup racks and livestock trailers, and it soon became the focus of the operation. When a farmer or a feedlot owner identified a problem with their equipment, Buddy and his father found a way to manufacture a solution.

In 1955, Buddy incorporated Ledwell & Son and built his first truck shop at the corner of Robison Road and Waco Street in Texarkana, Texas. We’d say the rest is history, but in reality, it took a lot of long hours, hard work, dedication, and determination for Buddy and his family to build Ledwell into what it is 75 years later—a growing manufacturing company blessed with many dedicated employees on two sites in Texarkana with more good Ledwell people in North Carolina. Buddy had a keen sense of his customers’ needs, sometimes even before they did, and he customized products to respond to the demands of those customers. Since the company began, doing our best for our customers has been what we are known for.

‘Not just well made, Ledwell made,’ means everything to us.

When you visit our corporate office in Texarkana, Texas, look to the right when you walk in our front door. There, you’ll see an exhibit (pictured below) that celebrates the life of Betty and Buddy Ledwell and features some of our original equipment.

As we begin our 75th year, we’d like to thank our employees, customers, and community partners for their hard work, business, and support throughout the decades. It has been a pleasure to serve you.

Ledwell Hallway Mural

Maximum Versatility: The Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer

The patent-pending Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer is the powerful, versatile trailer you need in 2021.

When a rental client told us they needed a trailer that could more efficiently haul containers, we re-engineered our patent-pending HydraTilt Truck to take it to the next level. The result? One of our most powerful, versatile hauling solutions with the added benefit of little to no breakover.

Highest Tilting Main Deck

Whatever angle you need, the Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer can handle it. This trailer goes higher than ever before with a main deck that tilts up to 32 degrees. But if you don’t need that much height, don’t worry —this trailer can stop at any angle along the way.

Unmatched in Hauling

The Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer is a powerful solution for transporting containers, trucks, and other large equipment. It’s perfect for anyone who plans to use their trailer to carry a wide range of loads, such as rental and construction companies.

Unified Hinge

We introduced our patent-pending unified hinge with the Ledwell HydraTilt Truck, and it makes an appearance in the MaxTilt Trailer, too. This single unified hinge enables you to load and unload low clearance equipment thanks to little or no breakover.

And as always, we can customize your Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer to meet your specific needs.

“Our new MaxTilt Trailer is ideal for unloading containers or dead equipment. It extends up high enough to allow containers or equipment to slide off easily. Everyone needs a MaxTilt Trailer in their fleet.” –Jill Launius, Sales Coordinator

Top 5 Qualities to Look for in a Water Truck

4000 Gallon Water Truck by Ledwell

Thinking about buying a water truck?

Shifting from renting to buying is a significant investment, and the vast options available on water trucks can be daunting. Whether you need a customized water truck or a stock water truck, you must consider several important qualities before you buy.

1. Tough keel

Opting for a quad-bent design in the tank’s foundation ensures you’ll have a heavy-duty, stout truck. Also look for scalloped, interior-welded seams. This makes it harder for the seams to crack, making the tank last a very long time—possibly longer than the chassis it sits on. Internal piping should be welded before the tank is installed, and your manufacturer should test it to 120 psi before it leaves the plant.

2000 Gallon Water Trucks For Sale

2. Heavy-duty liner

The thicker the liner, the better. Our standard is a 30-millimeter finished thickness, which is the thickest in the industry. A good liner protects the tank’s interior from corroding, so the thicker the liner, the longer your tank will live. Look for a tank that’s blasted inside and out for a smooth finish. And pay attention to the type of liner you’re getting. If you’ll be carrying drinking water, your tank needs to have a potable compliant liner.

3. Strong pump and valves

A water truck’s pump is like the heart of the truck—it keeps everything moving. Selecting a water tank with an American-made two-bearing system with at least a 1.25″ input shaft and 3″ diameter driveline will help to keep water flowing. Incorporating in-cab air-operated controls is the best choice to work in tandem with the pump for maximum spraying.

Ledwell Water Tank Trucks For Sale
4000 Gallon Water Truck by Ledwell

4. Sturdy, well-protected hose reel

Keeping your water truck’s hose protected is key to making it last longer. A good water truck will have a rear internal hose reel mounted inside a frame that protects it from the elements. Mounting the hose reel inside of a frame also reinforces the reel to be sturdier. When it comes to your reel, extra storage is always a plus. Look for a water truck that has a storage box for side nozzles, suction hoses, and other accessories right where you need them.

5. Dependable service

Ask about the water truck’s warranty, and ask about service after the warranty runs out. Will you be able to get parts quickly? Will the company be able to repair your equipment at a reasonable cost? Will the service team continue to help you troubleshoot issues with your equipment for the duration of your ownership? These are essential factors to consider when you’re talking with references and peers in the industry.

We hope these top five qualities will help you when looking to purchase your next water truck. If you would like more information on a Ledwell Water Truck reach out to us here.

Fred Gomez

Ledwell Employee Spotlight for December 2020

A good forklift driver knows what each bay needs next, depending on where they are in the building process.

“Like a puzzle,” said Fred Gomez, forklift operator for the Trailer Shop. “I was the first dedicated forklift driver, and now four shops each have their own.”

Ledwell Employee Spotlight for December 2020 Fred, who has worked at Ledwell for almost a decade, said he has learned many skills since he started at Ledwell in 2011.

“You have to be able to work as a team,” he said.

“As a forklift driver, there are times when an object is too bulky for just one of us to lift. It takes a team to move it properly.”

Fred said sticking to a routine is vital for keeping a shop running successfully and efficiently.

“When your team is set up for success, they will be happier, which makes the day go smoothly,” he said.

Fred and his wife Sandy have two daughters and one grandson. When he isn’t at work, he spends most of his time with his family and watching football. 

“Watching the Cowboys lose is a great day,” he said.

Family, Fred said, is what inspires him.

“Keeping everyone full and safe—that’s what’s important to me,” he said.

The Ultimate Bulk Feed Trailer Maintenance Checklist

Ledwell Drop Deck Bulk Feed Trailer

A change in season is the perfect time to perform routine maintenance on Ledwell equipment. Regularly servicing bulk feed trucks and trailers will help keep your equipment running as smoothly as possible. To help, we created a list for you to follow to make sure everything on your bulk haul equipment is running smoothly.

Before inspecting any Ledwell equipment, make sure to set the parking brake, turn on safety lights, and chock the wheels. Be aware of your surroundings while walking around your bulk feedbody.

Bulk Haul Preventative Maintenance Checklist

LIGHTS

  • Lights, wiring, reflectors, and conspicuity – working and adequately mounted.
  • Ensure No rubbing or chaffing and sufficiently insulated. Check the work lights.

BODY

  • Gladhand seals – inspect and replace as needed.
  • Inspect upper coupler, no broken welds or cracks. Inspect kingpin and kingpin
  • Landing gear is straight, with no cracks or breaks in braces and mounting brackets.
  • Check crank handles for proper operation and condition.
  • Inspect the top cover of each leg for holes or missing. Remove all dirt and grease.
  • Plate for wear or damage. Grease all points – lubricate all grease fittings on the landing gear.
  • Mudflaps and mounting – present, intact, and securely mounted.
  • Air hoses and lines – no leaks, cuts, bulges, improper joints.
  • Ensure no rubbing or chaffing and proper routing and insulation.
  • ICC bumper – no cracks, mounted adequately.
  • Power spray dirt and feed from the top of the kingpin plate. Every 30 days.
  • Frame and cross members – inspect, no cracks, bends, broken welds, and end clip fasteners in place.
  • Ladder and Catwalks – not bent, broken, or loose, all fasteners present and tight.
  • Tarps – inspect the condition, replace if damaged. Check tarp rod and grease as needed.
  • Check tension on the pull cord on the front.
  • Top doors – proper mounting, seals and operation, grease handles if applicable.
  • Drain moisture from all air tanks.

WHEELS & TIRES

  • Tires – no flats (75 psi). No cuts, breaks, bumps, bulges, or knots.
  • Free of contact with any part of the vehicle. Air tires to 110 psi and mark per procedure.
  • Record tread depth 32nds: RFI: /32 RFO: /32 RRI: /32 RRO: /32 LFI· /32 LFO· /32 LRI· /32 LFO: /32
  • Wheels – wheel nuts and lugs tight and none missing (torqued to 450-500-foot pounds), no cracks.
  • Valve cap extenders in place; replace it if missing. Valve stems are correctly aligned.
  • Hub oilers-check all hub oilers. No leaks or cracks in the glass.
  • Check oil level and condition. Check for metal with a magnet.
  • Visually inspect wheel seals for leaks.
  • Brakes replace if the lining is less than 5/16″ measured at the center of the lining.
  • Record brake thickness RF: ___ RR· ___ LF· ___ LR: ___
  • Check brake adjustment by checking the pushrod travel. (Max travel on the short-stroke chamber is 2″ and 2 1/2″ on the long-stroke).
  • Lubricate all fittings on brake slack adjusters and all s-cam bushings. The sleeve should be full.

AXLES & SUSPENSION

  • Inspect springs, hangers, u-bolts, and brake drums – none are broken, loose, or cracked leaves, bolts, hangers, or axle housing.
  • No displaced spring leaves.
  • Check air ride suspension, hangers, spacers, bushings, shocks, airbags, and brackets are in good condition.
  • No cracks check ride height and adjust if needed.

DELIVERY SYSTEM

  • Inspect discharge to upright clamp rings—grease weekly.
  • Inspect upright to floor transition—grease weekly.
  • Fill, cycle, and check the operation of the auto-lube system if equipped.
  • Drag chain – remove covers front and rear. Inspect all sprockets, none loose, in proper alignment.
  • Inspect all chain links for wear or breaks – pins and links.
  • Inspect adjusters and lubricate, adjust the chain to proper tension.
  • Vertical auger chain – inspect for wear, adjustment, and loose or broken chain links.
  • Chainguard is mounted correctly and bolts tight. Lubricate chain.
  • Grease all augers, all points. – 5 pumps of grease. Every 30 days.

HYDRAULICS

  • Hydraulic Hoses – inspect all, no leaks, breaks, bulges, rubbing, chaffing, proper routing, insulation, and installation.
  • Hydraulic Motors and Valves – inspect, mounting bolts tight, none missing, no leaks.
  • Check controls – function properly, no excessive slack.
  • Check the oil level in all torque converters and gearboxes. Inspect for leaks and proper mounting.
  • Check bearings. Fill with 7SW90 – 5 pumps of grease. Every 30 days.

We hope this checklist was helpful!

To make it even easier to perform routine inspections on Ledwell Feed equipment – download a copy for your shop.

Change in Season: Time For Preventative Maintenance

Ledwell 6 Yard Dump TruckSeason change means different behaviors for your trusted equipment. But you can make sure that this doesn’t affect your work on the job. There are a variety of actions you can take that your equipment needs in order to stay efficient and running, and one of them is preventative maintenance. Not all equipment is as easy as your typical ramp – having to grease the landing gear only once a year. But maintenance is imperative for longevity.

We believe wholeheartedly that maintenance schedules will allow your equipment a long, happy life, no matter the piece.

In fact, we’ve devised several Preventative Maintenance sheets for your benefit. These outline the ways in which you can prepare your equipment for various conditions, and what you must do in order to get the most out of your money. You can find those here, or via each individual product page on our website.

You can also tune into our social media, on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. We know it’s tough trying to remember when your equipment needs routine maintenance when you have a million other things happening on the job. That’s why we do our best to provide you easy access, like adding preventative maintenance questions and answers to those above mentioned social media outlets.

If these just aren’t enough for you, and you’re looking for something a little more specific, you can always check out our FAQ page on our website or give us a call. One way or another, Ledwell is determined to gain your satisfaction through equipment performance.