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John Williams

Meet John Williams, an integral part of the Ledwell family since 2005. From day one, he took on the challenging role of handling electrical maintenance, demonstrating his commitment to the company’s success. 

John’s favorite projects at Ledwell involve installing cranes, a task he has accomplished approximately 40 times over the years.

He meticulously wires all the components together and programs them to operate seamlessly, making work more efficient for our employees. His passion for this work shines through in every crane he sets up.

At Ledwell, John’s role is not without its challenges. He faces intermittent opportunities that require his expertise to resolve swiftly and efficiently. His ability to tackle these issues head-on showcases his problem-solving skills and dedication to ensuring the smooth operation of our equipment.

Before joining Ledwell, John spent a significant part of his life serving our nation.

He proudly served for ten years in the Navy, showcasing his determination and commitment to a higher purpose. His military background instilled discipline, precision, and a strong work ethic, qualities that have translated seamlessly into his role at Ledwell.

Outside of work, John’s passion for marine life takes center stage. He has several aquariums, including one housing elegant angel fish and another featuring vibrant tiger barbs. The most unique part of his aquariums is his collection of coral from the Indian Sea, collected while deployed in the area.

John draws inspiration from a higher power, relying on his faith to guide him through life’s challenges.

“ Knowing someone is there to carry the weight of the world for you is so inspiring,” he said.

John Williams is not just an employee but a dedicated team member who embodies Ledwell’s values. His journey from the Navy to our family at Ledwell showcases his dedication to a higher purpose and his determination to make a difference in everything he does. We are proud to have John as a part of our team, and we look forward to many more years of his exceptional contributions.

Don Fox

Ledwell Employee Spotlight August 2023

Ledwell is proud to spotlight Don Fox, a member of our Quality Control Team. His dedication and expertise make him invaluable to our company.

Don’s career at Ledwell started in 2006 in the Machine Shop, where he quickly became a natural. Despite having no prior knowledge of programming CNC machines, Don took on the challenge. It wasn’t long before he mastered the art of writing code to instruct the machines, transforming raw materials into perfectly crafted parts for our equipment.

Don has always strived for excellence, taking great pride in his work. His commitment earned him a crucial role in Quality Control, performing DOT inspections with efficiency.

When asked about his work in Quality Control, Don beamed enthusiastically, “I enjoy the fast-paced nature of the job; it keeps me on my toes and offers the chance to solve different challenges.”

Ledwell Employee Spotlight August 2023 - Don Fox

Don treasures his family above all else. He has been married to his wife Sheri for 16 years. He enjoys the time spent with his family, which includes three sons and four grandchildren – with one more on the way! Taking every opportunity to create lasting memories with the family often results in camping adventures during his free time.

When asked about his inspirations, Don fondly recalls Mr. Buddy, a mentor who impacted him.

“Mr. Buddy embodied the same work ethic as my father: getting the job done right and done once,” he said. This guiding principle has become a foundation of Don’s work, stressing the importance of being safe, accurate, and responsible.

At Ledwell, Don Fox is more than a great employee; he embodies our values. Through his dedication to excellence, passion for his craft, and devotion to his family, Don exemplifies the qualities that make our company thrive. We are truly honored to have Don as part of our team.

Ledwell Employee Spotlight August 2023

Jeff Harlow

Ledwell Employee Spotlight - Jeff Harlow
Ledwell Employee Spotlight

Meet Jeff Harlow, a dedicated member of the Ledwell team since 2016. Jeff plays a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations for Ledwell’s logistics department.

When you reach out to Ledwell, chances are Jeff will be the friendly voice on the other end of the line or the smiling face greeting you when you visit in person.

Jeff’s strong work ethic can be traced back to his upbringing. From a young age, his father instilled in him the value of doing his best in everything he undertakes. “No matter what you do, do it right,” his father would say. This principle has guided Jeff throughout his career, and he consistently strives for excellence in his work.

For Jeff, success is synonymous with happiness. He believes true success is achieved when you find joy in what you do. This belief has driven him to pursue a career that aligns with his passions and interests, making his contributions to Ledwell all the more meaningful.

When he’s not at work, Jeff indulges in his hobbies and finds solace in the great outdoors. Golfing at local courses and kayaking near Broken Bow are two activities he thoroughly enjoys, allowing him to unwind and recharge. 

Jeff’s commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond his professional and personal life. He dedicates his time to volunteer work, supporting organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Alliance Tri-State and the Texarkana Children Charities Open. Through his involvement, Jeff strives to make a difference in the lives of others and give back to the community.

Ledwell is privileged to have Jeff Harlow as a valuable team member. His dedication, positive attitude, and customer-centric approach make him an invaluable asset to the company. Whether he’s assisting customers, pursuing his passions, or giving back, Jeff exemplifies the spirit of Ledwell and embodies the values that drive its success.

Ledwell Employee Spotlight - Jeff Harlow

Hugo Olvera

Hugo Olvera - Ledwell Employee Spotlight
Hugo Olvera - Ledwell Employee Spotlight

Meet Hugo Olvera, a valuable member of the Ledwell team who has been working as a welder in the Trailer Shop for the past 16 years.

He has spent his entire career in the Trailer Shop and has gained significant experience and expertise in manufacturing and repairing trailers.

Hugo takes great pride in his work and always looks for the most efficient way to fix a repair trailer. He knows that time is of the essence and that every minute counts. He is also known for his positive attitude and willingness to help whenever needed.

The most challenging part of Hugo’s job is his unwavering belief that everything has a solution. This mindset requires him to think creatively and outside the box to come up with unique solutions to complex problems.

One thing that helps Hugo stay focused and motivated at work is listening to music. He believes that it helps him remain calm and relaxed, which in turn allows him to perform at his best.

Hugo enjoys spending time with his children when he is not at work. He is a family man, and his children are his biggest motivation. They encourage him to keep going and never to give up, no matter how difficult the task may seem.

Growing up, Hugo wanted to be a professional soccer player, but he found his true calling in welding. His passion for his work is evident in everything he does, and he takes great pride in being part of the Ledwell team. His dedication, hard work, and positive attitude inspire us all, and we are proud to have him on our team.

Tyler Cowling

Ledwell Employee Spotlight 2023 - Tyler Cowling

When he was a teen, Tyler Cowling thought deer hunting would provide a way to make ends meet. Then he grew up. He started his career at Ledwell in early 2012 as the Production Coordinator – entering manufacturing work orders and ensuring they went through the production shop promptly.

Over time, he transitioned from Production Coordinator to Inside Sales and eventually to his current position as Regional Sales Manager in the Midwest. Tyler travels throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, and the surrounding states.

A job is never without challenges. “There have been a few more than usual in the last few years due to supply chain disruptions. I believe Ledwell has managed better than most companies,” Tyler explained, “largely due to the number of products we manufacture in-house.”

Tyler has not let that stop him from taking care of his customers. His goal is to create the feed trailer or truck body that each client dreams of. That moment of satisfaction when the dream becomes a reality is priceless for him.

“I really enjoy working with a customer on a problem that needs a solution. Mainly when it includes all of our experts from production to engineering to delivering something that allows them to do their job better, faster, and safer,” he said about working at Ledwell.

Born and raised in Southwest Arkansas, Tyler enjoys hunting, fishing, and anything outside. He has been married to his wife, Brittany, for ten years, and they have a six-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son.

Tyler said, “My family inspires me the most. They are my reason and focus for everything I do.”

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.”

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.

Shane “Lefty” Miller

When a CDL is required to operate equipment

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.

When a CDL is required to operate equipment

Cliff Harvin

According to Cliff Harvin, the mindset to learn a trade skill is only half of what you need for success.

As he put it, “You will be more motivated to succeed in a trade such as welding when you put your heart into it.”

In fact, Cliff put his heart into Ledwell over 25 years ago when he embarked on his career.

Initially, he worked in our Trailer Shop, manufacturing multiple components for our HydraTail Trailers.

Following that, he detoured to the Maintenance Department before returning to the Trailer Shop, where he’s currently the foreman.

“Mr. Ledwell knew I had experience in roofing, so when the Maintenance Department needed help replacing the roof on one of the shops, he sent me to help. I stayed in Maintenance for three years until Mr. Ledwell said I was better in the Trailer Shop and moved back.”

His motivation to get up and work each day comes from knowing that there is a different puzzle to solve each day.

Throughout his time as a foreman, he has developed better people skills. In the last year and a half, he has learned how to communicate with other departments and be a leader.

One of his favorite experiences was building a home for the children at Watersprings Ranch. “I am happy to give back whenever I can to those kids or any great organization.”

Cliff has been married for 13 years to Stephanie. The couple has three daughters, a son, and eight grandchildren.

In addition to his job, Cliff serves as the Constable for his county district. When not working, Cliff enjoys fishing and hunting whenever they are in season.

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