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Manufacturing the Future

Ledwell is expanding!

An additional 66,000 square feet of manufacturing space will be added to the existing 12 acres of space under roof.

To support growing industries, the company’s new state-of-the-art facility will offer the flexibility to fabricate, produce, or enhance machinery. Ledwell hopes to increase production efficiency by creating 100 or more jobs and adding more automation with the expansion.

“The expanded building is not just adding production capacity for our customers; it is also a strategic step toward enhancing our skilled workforce with innovative manufacturing technologies and advancements in automation, robotic welding, and material handling, “ says Michael Hawkins, Director of Operations.

Ledwell is known to meet customer challenges with innovative solutions – this time, the solution is a brand-new shop with endless possibilities.

Hanor Company Keeps the Pork Industry Moving with Ledwell Bulk Feed Trailers

Here in America, we love our pork. 

We eat an average of 264 pounds of meat per person each year, and 67 of those pounds are pork products. Back in 1978 when Hanor Company’s roots in commercial pig productions started, the average person ate just 191 pounds of meat per year. As demand for pork grew, so did pork farms across the country.

What started as a single 1000-sow farrow-to-finish operation—which includes all stages of pork production from breeding to market—has expanded to seven states and now sells 1.4 million market hogs each year. 

Hanor Company now has farms in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Iowa, and Illinois, and their genetic breeding program supports an integrated pig production system that processes 9 million pigs annually. Neal Jordan, transportation environmental manager for Hanor Companies in North Carolina, said it simply: “We raise pigs for a living.” Jordan, one of the company’s 650+ employees, has been at Hanor for 20 years. 

Raising pigs is anything but simple, though. In July, Hanor veterinarian Jon Tangen told FarmJournal’s Pork that the industry faces global threats like African swine fever and the war in Ukraine with Russia impacting grain prices and thus impacting the cost to raise meat. 

Despite global challenges and those that hit closer to home—like inflation, oil prices, and finding and retaining employees—Hanor Companies employees are dedicated to maintaining high standards when it comes to their hogs. Hanor supports the Pork Checkoff’s We Care initiative, which includes acknowledging a farm’s responsibility to produce safe food, protect and promote animal wellbeing, and ensure practices to protect public health.

“It’s of our utmost interest to make sure our pigs are well taken care of the entirety of their lifetime, until we utilize them for a nutritious protein source to feed our neighbors,” Tangen told FarmJournal’s Pork in July.

Tough bulk feed trailers with high standards for safety, sanitation and biosecurity are key in the pork industry. And while farms spent roughly 60 percent of the cost of raising pigs on feed in 2017, farmers have seen those prices jump to 70%-80% over the past few years.

That makes efficiency in feed transportation even more important. 

“I’ve been here 20 years, and Ledwell bulk feed trailers were here before me,” Jordan said. He said he’s still running a 1996 Ledwell trailer in his fleet. “Usually one that’s pulled every day, 300-400 miles a day, I try to move them out of the fleet in about 12-13 years.”

In North Carolina, Jordan is responsible for managing a fleet of about 10 tractors and 30 trailers. With skyrocketing feed costs, they have to choose transportation equipment that reduces waste and lets them get the most out of their feed.

“Ledwell bulk feed trailers are good equipment,” he said. “They’re reliable, not expensive to maintain. They’re always willing to help. They always make accommodations for what we need.” 

Ledwell works with Hanor to customize their stock bulk feed trailer with modifications specific to the needs of Hanor’s farms.

In a business with lots of rough gravel roads that can be harsh on even the best equipment, drivers don’t have time for downtime. 

“If we have a major breakdown, Ledwell is normally Johnny-on-the-spot as far as getting us what we need to get the repair done,” Jordan said. Ledwell can respond quickly to those requests because they manufacture more than 80% of their parts in-house, meaning they don’t have to wait on other suppliers. 

That’s by design. The Ledwell Made Guarantee, which backs every product, promises swift support that helps you get back to work quickly and tough-built products that last for decades with proper maintenance. 

And that’s exactly the kind of equipment that Hanor Company, one of the nation’s premier pork producers, needs to keep producing safe food for our communities.

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.

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.

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

 

Quality

Grit

Legacy

Family

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. 

Making Equipment and Careers in Texarkana

Ledwell welding and manufacturer hiring in Texarkana

Are you looking for a new career or need a job jumpstart?  Whether you are a Texarkana native, a transplant to the area, or a potential newcomer, Ledwell is looking for fresh talent. 

Are you a welder?  Machinist?  Painter?  Body mechanic?  If you are any of these, Ledwell has a position for you. 

If you consider yourself reliable, self-motivated, detail-oriented, and cooperative with a work ethic to prove it, Ledwell is the place for you. 

Do you have workable knowledge of manufacturing and mathematics, including reading a tape measure?  Do you follow directions and safety procedures?  Do you manage your time well but still pay attention to detail?  Are you willing to learn on the job site?  If you answered “yes” to embodying these skill sets, then Ledwell wants to hire you onto its team! 

Ledwell will put the “you” back into USA-made products!

Ledwell is a family-owned manufacturing and fabrication company based in Texarkana, TX. We are looking for experienced or new-to-manufacturing employees to work in the production of a variety of equipment trucks and trailers from the nuts-and-bolts stage to completion. 

Our goal is to provide quality products to our valued customers by having and valuing quality employees.

Ledwell is growing and is hiring in Texarkana, especially those workers who are looking for a trade occupation that could lead to an industry career. 

Many of our employees have been with the company for decades due to their passion for the work, the supportive workplace environment, and the way the company takes care of its employees through benefits and perks.  Ledwell provides on-the-job training, all-encompassing health insurance, and 401K retirement. 

Ledwell Manufacturer of Equipment and Parts for sale

As an employee, you will also be guaranteed overtime and paid time off.  Position advancement potential as well as raise and bonus possibilities are available.  These incentives are not just sign-on bonuses; they continue to remain available to Ledwell workers as employment progresses.

The company’s slogan for the quality of the products it manufactures also applies to the employees it hires and trains:  “Not just well made, Ledwell made.” 

If you want to be a pivotal gear in a big business that feels like family, apply at Ledwell.  Contact Ledwell (903) 838-6531 if you have questions regarding its hiring procedures or application.

Engineering Advancements

Manufacturer Ledwell Engineering Advancements
Manufacturer Ledwell Engineering Advancements

ENGINEERING THEN

In Ledwell’s early years, engineers created line drawings by hand with pencil and paper. Engineers used huge pieces of drafting paper and kept the drawings on hand to reference when needed.

Even when computers and electronics became available, the drawings were still 2D, and those engineering advancements were not as detailed as the electronic drawings we have today.

Ledwell engineer

ENGINEERING NOW

Ledwell’s engineering department has come a long way in 75 years. Today, engineers use software that allows them to draw equipment and parts using exact measurements. They can add chassis to truck
bodies to determine the weight of a finished product.

They can even go as far as moving axles to meet bridge laws in certain states. These drawings give a 360-degree view of a completed piece of equipment. Documents like the one below are sent to each shop to guide them through cutting and constructing components.

DLA Distribution Red River Team Increases Performance to 98% On-Time from 87% Thanks to Custom Gull Wing Delivery Trucks

Ledwell serves the material handling industry - Gull Win unloading

The Opportunity

During his 25-year career in the military, Seth Olmstead traveled all over the world—including Japan.

“Japan has a very narrow road network,” he said. “They have to maximize the space they have. One of the things I saw while I was in Japan was delivery trucks that opened on the sides to allow for quick, easy unloading.”

Fast forward to 2020, when Olmstead served as the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Distribution Red River Commander.

He was helping his team troubleshoot moving inventory in inclement weather. DLA services the Department of Defense and State throughout the world, Olmstead said, and when a requisition comes in for material, they fulfill it.

“We were having trouble moving material due to the rain,” he said. “We had $13 billion of inventory, but most of it was stored in cardboard boxes. When it rained, the only thing we had to move the material between warehouse and shipping locations was a flatbed trailer, but you can’t move cardboard boxes on a flatbed in the rain.”

Frustrated with the rain’s impact on his team’s performance metrics, Olmstead knew they needed a better solution—like what he’d seen in Japan.

Ledwell Gull Wing

The Solution: Ledwell Gull Wing

“I told my team to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to get one of those trucks,” he said.

His team researched trucks in Japan and began reaching out to vendors, but those companies would not export them to the United States.

Then, Olmstead’s equipment specialist came to him with good news: not only had he found that type of truck here in the U.S., but it was also made locally at Ledwell.

A meeting was immediately set for him and his team—including a driver and safety personnel—to visit Ledwell and see a Gull Wing, Ledwell’s version of the trucks Olmstead had seen in action in Japan.

Originally developed as a custom product for Wholesale Electric, Ledwell’s patented Gull Wing helped the electric wholesaler revolutionize its distribution model. Its watertight side doors keep valuable cargo dry and make it easier for delivery drivers to unload specific pieces of equipment quickly.

“Steve [Ledwell] and his team were very accommodating,” Olmstead said. “They answered every question we had no matter how crazy or off-the-wall it was. We figured out in about an hour that these vehicles would make a difference. DLA Red River purchased three of the vehicles.”

Adapting the Gull Wings to fit DLA’s unique needs is a process Ledwell is familiar with. Engineer Gary Gathright said several changes and safety features were incorporated into DLA’s Gull Wings, including a safety feature that prevents the truck from moving if one of the wings is open.

“We did the controls differently. We’ve since added those upgrades to all of the new Gull Wing units, whether it be for them or another client,” Gathright said. “We changed how things are operated in the cab, incorporated a greaseable hinge that makes the service life better for the whole unit. A lot of our improvements are customer-driven. We end up incorporating those not just into a unit for that particular customer, but into the unit as a whole, so we ultimately make our entire product line better.”

The Results

With its new Gull Wing units, Olmstead’s team was able to deliver efficiently no matter the weather.

Their performance metrics lifted from 87% on-time to 98% on time in a matter of weeks.

It’s hard to argue with that kind of success. Seeing DLA’s numbers inspired Anniston Army Depot to make their order, which Ledwell is customizing to accommodate Anniston’s lower awnings.

“It was almost seamless,” Olmstead said. “Gary was able to do the calculations for those changes on the fly, and Anniston immediately found confidence in the truck because the engineer gave them the nod that this equipment would work for their needs.”

Founded by a veteran, Ledwell has always had a soft spot for projects that help our military succeed.

“Just being a local source to provide a solution for what is ultimately a local portion of a worldwide provider of support services for our warfighters could, in the future, open up a lot of doors for us to continue our reach as a worldwide company,” Gathright said.

Truck Body Manufacturer Ledwell patented Gull Wing
Ledwell serves the material handling industry - Gull Win unloading

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