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Taught Well With Ledwell

High school intern shooting video for Ledwell

New backpacks, clean shoes, and unopened packs of pencils indicate a new school year as much as the waxed campus floors and the straight rows of unmarked desks do. It is that time of year again—the beginning of fall semester. The newness will certainly wear off, but hopefully, the learning that will occur has a more lasting impact.

As the summer heat persists, students and teachers settle into a year of preparation for the future. Students’ rigorous school schedules might include algebra, chemistry, a foreign language, or Ledwell.

Ledwell is known for manufacturing truck bodies and trailers, but the company also collaborates with schools in the Texarkana area. Sarah Carpenter, Ledwell’s Community Outreach Director, explains, “We’ve worked hard these past few years to create long-term partnerships with organizations and schools within our community.” The goal for this involvement aims to bring awareness about programs that teach important technical, employment, and business skills essential to life after graduation.

High school intern shooting video for Ledwell

In addition to hosting and participating in a multitude of facility tours and career fairs yearly, Ledwell provides internships to high-school students who are interested in exploring their future vocation options. “Internships give [students] the option of skipping the phase of moving from job to job” when deciding on a career path straight after senior year, according to foreman Brad Stringer. Offered during the summer and the school year, internships also “build a potential base of future employees… and a stronger workforce for Ledwell and our surrounding area” Stringer continues.

“Ledwell is currently our largest internship/job placement partner, and we are excited about the opportunity to continue expanding our internship offerings [to] audio/video production students, graphic designers, business students, or any other entry-level [students]…at Ledwell,” states Jennifer Gibson, the Career and Technical Education Director at PGHS. A proud mother shares that her son “is on course for a very promising future, thanks to the collaborative efforts of both of these organizations.”

“We’ve worked hard this past year to create long-term partnerships with organizations and schools within our community. It’s important to provide another option for
students who may not attend college after high school.
Our goal is to fill gaps and for students to gain knowledge
of the opportunities right here in Texarkana.”

Sarah CarpenterCommunity Outreach Director

Interns agree that their coworkers’ patience and willingness to help have greatly impacted their experiences and work ethic at the company. Because of the on-site learning opportunities, one former student of the PGHS CTE program expresses that he is particularly proud of how far his welding skills have progressed at Ledwell. Another intern, Olivia Perry, has combined her love of accounting with a “newfound respect for mechanics” as she navigates the inner workings of a business like Ledwell. “I want to be ready and prepared for a career after I get out of college, and I think being an intern is showing me what a serious job environment looks like.”

Middle and high schools can tour the Betty and Buddy Ledwell Workforce Training Center at Texarkana College to discover other options locally besides going the traditional college route post-graduation. The site includes programs in construction technology, industrial maintenance, and other workforce trades. Admitted high-school graduates can attend day or night classes taught by experts in the field at the state-of-the-art Training Center. Upon completion of the program, participants go into the professional workforce having technical skills and strong work ethic, making them highly sought after by employers.

Ledwell’s educational outreach and partnership with local schools, in Gibson’s words, are “a way of bringing students and businesses together to fill a need for a business and launch students into the workforce to begin their next phase of life after high-school graduation.” With its outreach with local schools, Ledwell shapes more than metal—it shapes futures.

Gary Gathright

His dream of becoming an engineer had been a dream since childhood. Gary Gathright started his career at Ledwell in 1998, a couple of years after graduating from Louisiana Tech.

He began alongside Bob Nolte, Ledwell’s lead engineer at the time, who provided him with a wealth of knowledge over the years. He was an inspiration to Gary, “Bob always wanted to make things better. He probably forgot more about engineering than I knew.”

Gary works on a variety of projects each day, ranging from Vaccum Tanks to HydraTail Trailers. His challenge is also what makes his job so unique.

“We don’t manufacture ten million of one thing. We manufacture lots of different things. We have a niche in the industry that others don’t,” Gary explained.

Ledwell has met customers’ needs since day one, which sometimes makes for an exciting day.

When asked what his favorite project has been over the years, he could not just pick one – he had a top five. The projects ranged from the HydraTilt Truck to Feed Trailers for New Zealand customers, where the boom and controls were on the opposite side of the trailer, to plant facilities.

The one project he was most passionate about was the Gull Wing. Gary was involved in the project from design through improvements and obtaining a patent.

A lot of our improvements are customer-driven.” Gary said, “We incorporate those not just into a unit for that particular customer, but into the unit as a whole, so we ultimately improve our entire product line.”

Gary loves to cook, tinker around his 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, and spend time with family and friends when not working. He also volunteers for many organizations, including Alzheimer’s Alliance Tri-State and Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council (TRAHC). “My dad was an amazing example of leadership and service to others in the community. I try to emulate that by helping those organizations near and dear to my heart.”

Deduction & Depreciation – 2022 Tax Incentive

Are you taking advantage of Section 179? Businesses can deduct the total purchase price of qualifying equipment during the tax year under this part of the IRS tax code. The U.S. government created the Section 179 deduction to encourage companies to invest in themselves.

You can deduct the total purchase price from your gross income if you purchase a piece of equipment. Equipment must be purchased or financed and put into service by December 31, 2022, To qualify for the Section179 deduction.

 Several tools and educational materials are available on the Section179 website to help determine what qualifies.

There is even a Section179 calculator to help you figure out your potential deduction for the 2022 tax year. Follow the prompts and enter your equipment cost, from software to bulk haul trailers, to determine your deduction and lowered equipment cost after tax savings.

 Additionally, bonus depreciation allows 100% depreciation on new and used equipment, including custom manufactured equipment by Ledwell.

Don’t wait! By purchasing or financing equipment in 2022, you can claim a deduction for these items under the existing bonus depreciation rules.

 Any truck bodies or trailers we manufacture at Ledwell qualify for this deduction. To order yours today, contact our sales team or browse our site.

Lane Burnett

Since 1995, Lane Burnett has worked at Ledwell in the Feedbody Shop. Initially, he repaired feed trailers that had come in for repair. 

After about five years of working in the repair shop, he began manufacturing new trailers and feed bodies from the ground up.

“I was excited to build something completely different,” Lane recalled the all-steel feedbody he built for a customer in 1998.

“The body was a unique shape and didn’t have any doors. Mr. Ledwell said it was the fastest feed truck ever. I’m not sure how true that was, but I believed him.”

Lane has transitioned into a training role in the Feedbody Shop over the past few years. His objective is to teach new employees how to construct feed equipment from start to finish with pride.

In the course of his career, Lane has learned many lessons from Buddy Ledwell, including responsibility. 

“I try to instill this responsibility in the next generation. It can be challenging to teach the upcoming crew what hard work means, but I try to remember what Mr. Ledwell would tell me, ‘Son, at least I know you’re workin’ if you messed it up,'” Lane said.

Lane has been married for 22 years to his wife, Diane. Their family includes two boys and two grandchildren. His favorite activities include hunting deer with a bow or rifle and fishing when he isn’t instilling the Ledwell legacy in the next generation of employees.

Troy McDuff

Troy McDuff enjoys the challenge of working on different assignments each day in the Tank Shop, where he has worked since he began at Ledwell in 2010.

He started welding hydraulic tanks together and has since moved to welding subframes for Ledwell Vacuum Trucks.

“It’s nice to have a little variety. I sometimes assemble tailgates or kingpins during peak season,” said Troy.

Patience is the most important lesson he has learned at Ledwell.

Throughout the years, he has worked alongside different people and has set an example of a good work ethic for his new colleagues.

Troy has two wonderful children with his wife, Deana. He enjoys spending time at ball fields watching his grandchildren play America’s favorite pastime.

He donates plasma and platelets several times a year. “It’s quite a neat process,” Troy explained that the blood is drawn and spun around to extract the plasma, “I love to give back and have several t-shirts from donating.”

In his own words, he describes himself as reliable. His actions embody one of our core values, grit. He works hard and gets the work done. He is a dedicated employee who always delivers. We are happy to have him on our team.

Summer 2022

Ledwell Newsletter Summer 2022 - sign up for the Nuts & Bolts

Nuts & Bolts: Strategic Partnership Helps Companies Grow Together


With 24 dealerships in eight states, Lonestar Truck Group isn’t your average truck dealership.

Read more

Ledwell Joins the Stellar Distributor Network


Ledwell is excited to announce it is now a part of the distribution network for Stellar Industries, an employee-owned and operated manufacturer of high-quality service trucks.

Read more

Featured Employee: Cliff Harvin, Trailer Shop Foreman


Cliff Harvin believes that having a mindset to learn a trade skill is only half of the equation.

Read more

ASME Certification Continues


In 1916 ASME began its program for certification to companies in the pressure equipment industry.

Read more

Ledwell Made Mission & Values


At Ledwell, the mission is simple: manufacturing tough, innovative equipment that moves you forward.

Read more

Congratulations to our 2022 retirees!


Thank you for everything each of you has done over the years. Your dedication is appreciated.
We wish you a happy retirement.

Jim Greger, 17 years, IT

Mike Harris, 42 years, Feedbody Shop

Chuck Kift, 22 years, Vacuum Tank QA

Andy Squillante, 11 years, Hydraulics

Tereso Tenorio, 15 years, Feedbody Shop

Roberto Torres, 31 years, Truck Shop

Expanding into the Future


As part of our continuous improvement, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our time on tasks. With the addition of a HAAS ST 45L Lathe to our Machine Shop, we can machine more sizeable parts than ever before. Our cylinder manufacturing process is now more efficient and productive due to this lathe.


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Don’t miss out on the latest innovations and happenings. Stay in the loop with the Ledwell newsletter.

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ASME Certification Continues

Ledwell continues ASME certification

In 1916 ASME began its program for certification to companies in the pressure equipment industry. This program was developed to certify quality control systems for the design, fabrication, assembly, and inspection of boiler and pressure vessel components during construction.

Products manufactured by ASME BPVC certificate holders include a certification mark in accordance with the applicable certified section also known as a “U” stamp. A company can also be certified to make repairs or alterations to pressure vessels under the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors under an “R” stamp.

Ledwell began building pressure vessels, or in our case DOT Cargo Tanks, in the spring of 2010. This past May, we successfully completed our 5th joint review for ASME and National Board certification.

The purpose of the review is to evaluate the quality program and ensure the implementation for each product manufactured for fabrication, alterations, and repairs. Each assessment ensures the applicant’s quality program is implemented successfully and complies with requirements based on the ASME standard.

Certificates are granted after a review of the previous 36 months of work, verification of record-keeping requirements, personnel training, and required knowledge of pressure vessel design and fabrication rules.

Ledwell Made Mission & Values

LW Buddy Ledwell and his father inspecting lumber truck

At Ledwell, the mission is simple: manufacturing tough, innovative equipment that moves you forward.

Whatever equipment you require for your job, you can depend on Ledwell to meet your needs. We strive for innovation. We meet customers’ challenges with a smile and a guarantee—a promise that we can handle simple to complex equipment requests with expert ingenuity.

We strive for complete customer satisfaction from start to finish and beyond.

You will be met with reliable Ledwell service every step of the way, from front-desk assistance to production-line manufacturing to service after delivery. That’s how we do business.

We have had the same values for our business and products for generations. We believe in the superior quality of our products. They are designed and manufactured to withstand the toughest jobs. The hard-working integrity of our team is what has built and grown Ledwell.

Our legacy started as a lumber company that evolved into a truck and trailer one-stop-shop. Through the years of changes in demand, a few things have remained the same: our expectations of superior quality, our ability to customize for any equipment need, and the high regard in which we hold our people.

As our company has expanded, our Ledwell family has also.

To us, family is more than a last name.

Family is our employees. Family is our customers. Family is our community. At Ledwell, we will treat you like family, with respect, as we work together to create the product you need, the product you want.

Do you value quality, grit, legacy, and family? If so, when it is time to replace aging equipment or purchase new machinery to expand your fleet, think Ledwell.

Think Ledwell tough. Think Ledwell Made.


Learn more about the origins of our mission and values.

Our Mission


Manufacturing tough, innovative equipment that moves you forward.

Our Values






Shane “Lefty” Miller

If you mentioned Shane Miller at Ledwell, the most likely response is, “Who is Shane?”.

As most Ledwell employees call him, Lefty attended Texarkana College to pursue a welding certification. He used that knowledge when he began his career 20 years ago.

He worked in the Truck Shop the first few years, installing PTOs and rebuilding rebuilt transmissions. Lefty has been driving CDL trucks and delivering equipment to our customers for the last decade.

“I enjoy a good surprise, and my job is like that. I don’t always know where I’m off to each week, but I know it will make a customer happy to see me,” he said about what motivates him to get up and go to work.

Lefty has been married for 21 years to Mary, the love of his life. There are six children and ten grandchildren between the two of them. He loves to spend time antiquing whenever he’s home, especially in Jefferson, Texas.

His dad would always say, “If you take care of the minutes, the hours will take care of themselves.” That has stuck with Lefty over the years. He tries to live those words out each day, from his pre-trip inspection to driving and unloading equipment from trailers.

Ledwell Joins the Stellar® Distributor Network

Ledwell Joins the Stellar Distributor Network

Ledwell is excited to announce it is now a part of the distribution network for Stellar Industries, an employee-owned and operated manufacturer of high-quality mechanic trucks and cranes, tire service trucks, hooklifts, roll-off cable hoists, trailers, and service truck and van accessories.

“We’re incredibly excited to join the Stellar distributor network and can’t wait to show our customers the superior lineup of Stellar Mechanics Trucks, Service Cranes and Service Truck Accessories,” says Lesley Ledwell, President of Ledwell. “Stellar’s industry-leading mechanic trucks fit nicely with the quality truck bodies and trailers we currently manufacture for our customers.”

Ledwell will offer the full line of Stellar® TMAX™ Mechanic Trucks and Telescopic Service Cranes. In addition to mechanic truck and crane products, Ledwell will also carry their complete line of work truck accessory products. That includes toolbox systems, air compressors and power units.

“Ledwell’s mission of providing top-quality equipment that is efficient, reliable and customized to the customer’s needs is directly in line with our own here at Stellar,” says Tim Davison, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Stellar. “We’re thrilled that Ledwell has chosen to add our products to their offerings and are excited about the opportunity to bring Stellar to customers in the Texarkana area.”

Ledwell Joins the Stellar Distributor Network



Stellar was founded in 1990 in Garner, Iowa, and has since expanded operations to multiple U.S. locations. Stellar is an employee-owned and operated manufacturer of high-quality work trucks and trailers, in addition to service truck and van accessories. Through the innovative, growing product line and an expanding distribution network, the company has gained an international presence and become the number one productivity choice in many markets. 

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