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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.

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

Do you have a unique, custom truck or trailer need? We'll help you find a solution! Submit the form or call us at 888-533-9355 to get started.

Decades of Innovation

Ledwell Innovation over the Years

For 75 years, Ledwell has continued its legacy of excellence with an expansion of services, an eye for quality, and dedicated customer service. As our customers’ needs grow and evolve, Ledwell’s innovation and product offerings.

You’ll find those developments on this timeline along with some fun facts about Ledwell, including its stint as a film distribution company in the ‘70s.

1946 Buddy Ledwell and his father start Ledwell & Son, a lumber hauling company.

1950 Ledwell shifts to building pick-up racks.

1955 Ledwell begins manufacturing dump trucks.

1955 Buddy incorporates Ledwell & Son. Moves to his new shop at the corner of Waco Street and Robison Road in Texarkana.

1957 Ledwell sells its first feed body and delivers it 100 miles away.

1966 Ledwell becomes a Bobcat dealer.

1971 Ledwell builds satellite antenna that is shipped in sections to South America.

1972 – 1975 Ledwell Film Distribution releases Legend of Boggy Creek (1972), Bootleggers (1974), and Winter Hawk (1975).

1976 Ledwell constructs first HydraTail Trailer.

1977 Ledwell builds first set of water trucks.

1980 Ledwell buys its first Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machine, a significant step for in-house parts production.

1986 Ledwell celebrates four decades of innovations and relationships.

1990 Ledwell expands and modernizes machine shop, allowing for increased production and ability.

1999 Ledwell expands its international presence with more products going into Asia, Africa, Central and South America.

2008 Ledwell opens office in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to serve customers in the area.

2009 Ledwell Machinery opens, providing Bobcat, Toro, and Stihl equipment to the Texarkana area.

2009 Ledwell partners with First Response Team of America.

2010 Ledwell enters the vacuum truck industry.

2012 Ledwell Office opens.

2013 Ledwell builds its first TMA Crash Truck.

2016 Ledwell manufactures patented Gull Wing.

2017 Ledwell adds powder coating facility.

2019 Ledwell designs and builds first TrakVac.

2019 Ledwell installs first robot welder.

2019 Ledwell manufactures patent-pending HydraTilt Truck.

2020 Ledwell manufactures patent-pending MaxTilt Trailer.

2020 Ledwell receives Innovation Award for Solar Lift Loading Ramp.

2021 Ledwell celebrates turning 75!

Manufacturing Solutions for 75 Years

Buddy Ledwell manufacturing solution

How it started

After returning from WWII in 1946, Buddy and his father L.W. Ledwell Sr. started a lumber company called Ledwell & Son in Texarkana, Texas. One day Buddy needed a certain kind of truck 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 built it.

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.

Original location of Ledwell and Son Lumber

How it’s going

Seventy-five years later, Ledwell builds custom trailers and truck bodies for just about every industry—from water and feed trucks to their own patented hydraulic trailers—for customers all over the world. If a need arises for a truck or trailer to perform a job or haul a particular piece of equipment, Ledwell finds a way to manufacture a solution.

“We build our trucks and trailers to be tough,” said Steve Ledwell.

“Things that are add-ons for other manufacturers, like stronger steel and thicker water tank linings, are standard on our products. With proper care and maintenance, we expect our customers to get decades of service out of our equipment. That’s what ‘Ledwell Made’ means to us.”

The company also prides itself on service and its US-made equipment, with more than 85% of their parts manufactured in-house.

Today, the legacy of the 75-year old business continues under the fourth generation leadership of Buddy’s granddaughter, Lesley Ledwell Dukelow. Ledwell has grown to employ more than 500 workers and has vastly expanded the company’s plant footprint in Texarkana, along with adding a location in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

“The fact that the business has grown to provide so many jobs while still maintaining a family atmosphere is something we’re very proud of,” Dukelow said. “The level of dedication and service that our team  provides our customers has only gotten stronger over the last 75 years.”

buddy ledwell with lumber
Ledwell vintage business card
Ledwell Original Pickup Rack
Early Ledwell Feed Truck
Buddy Ledwell operating chicken catcher
Ledwell Feed Truck for Purina Chow

Section179 Tax Deduction Offers Major Savings

Stake Side Flatbed for sale by Ledwell

Are you taking advantage of Section179? This part of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the total purchase price of qualifying equipment during the tax year. The U.S. government created the Section179 deduction to encourage companies to invest in themselves.

If you buy or lease a piece of equipment, you can deduct the total purchase price from your gross income.

By midnight on December 31, 2021, equipment must be paid for and put into service to qualify for the Section179 deduction.

The Section179 website offers various tools and educational materials to guide you through what qualifies.

There is even a Section179 calculator to assist in figuring out your potential deduction for the 2021 tax year. Follow the prompts and enter your equipment cost, from software to heavy haul trailers, to determine your deduction and lowered equipment cost after tax savings.

Ledwell manufacturer of equipment for sale qualifies for Section179

Plus, bonus depreciation allows up to 100% depreciation on qualified new and used equipment—including any Ledwell custom manufactured equipment.

Don’t wait! By purchasing or financing equipment in 2021, you can claim a deduction for these items under the existing bonus depreciation rules.

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

The Legacy of Buddy Ledwell

Mr. Ledwell posing in his office

Even as a young boy, L. W. “Buddy” Ledwell knew the importance of taking care of people and customers

Buddy grew up working on a farm in Waxahachie, Texas, plowing with steel-wheeled tractors, and in the family ice cream plant, where he waited on customers and took on a delivery route when he was just eleven years old.

When he graduated from high school, he moved to Texarkana to take a job with Safety Commissioner Warren Smith at the Red River Army Depot. Buddy began working in carpentry but quickly progressed to engineering.

After joining the army, Buddy went overseas with the Army Engineers. He attained the rank of Corporal just two weeks after he entered because he could break down an M1 rifle and put it back together in the dark. As an engineer, he spent most of his time building hospitals and roads, as well as unloading ships.

When Buddy returned from serving in World War II in 1946, he and his father, Lloy Ward Ledwell, started a lumber company called Ledwell & Son. One day Buddy needed a certain kind of truck 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 built it.

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 feed lot owner identified a problem with their equipment, Buddy and his father found a way to manufacture a solution.

Buddy Ledwell, US Army Corps of Engineers

Corporal Buddy Ledwell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Original location of Ledwell and Son Lumber

On February 12, 1950, Buddy married Mary Elizabeth Hardy—also known as Betty—a quick-witted Texarkana native who was one of the first women in the state to compete in cutting horse competitions. According to family and longtime Ledwell employees, Buddy considered Betty the “President of the World.”

In fact, he often told friends that the only person he took orders from besides General Patton was Betty. Betty stood by his side for the rest of her life. Betty was passionate about horses, and while Buddy grew his business at Ledwell, she managed the family’s farm. The two had a son, Steve, and he and his wife, Lisa, have three children—Lesley, Ben, and Morgan.

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 today—a growing manufacturing company blessed with many dedicated employees on an 82-acre site. Buddy had a keen sense of his customers’ needs, sometimes even before they did, and he customized products to respond to their business needs.

Since the company began, adapting to the customer’s needs has been a guiding force at Ledwell.

Buddy Ledwell was living proof that if you work hard and stay humble, you can truly build a legacy. Whatever the problem was, he saw a need and he fixed it.

He lived by the mantra that there are no problems, only opportunities. Buddy Ledwell never met ‘can’t,’ and as a result, neither did his employees. They soon learned that when Buddy or a customer requested a seemingly impossible task, they should say ‘Yes, we can do that,’ and then figure out how. Rather than intimidating his workers, Buddy’s can-do spirit challenged them to accomplish more than they thought was possible.

Anyone who visited Buddy’s office may have seen one of his favorite quotes hanging on the wall: “No man ever drowned in his own sweat,” by Ann Landers.

Mr. Ledwell posing in his office

If you walked into a Ledwell shop right now and asked any employee what the company means to them, chances are they’d say “Family.”

Those who knew him well said Buddy took communicating face-to-face with a handshake to an art form. Buddy started a tradition of walking through the shops at Ledwell each day to talk to his employees and see what they were working on, and that’s a tradition the family continues to this day.

Most of the time, he’d greet his workers with, “Morning, Son,” no matter what time of day it was. Buddy often said, “It’s always morning at Ledwell.”

Anyone who encountered Buddy had a good chance of hearing one of his Buddy-isms. “‘Preciate ‘cha,” he might say, or, “Son, we work best after five o’clock.” He was known for telling customers, “Son, you don’t have to pay us until you gin your cotton.” If you made a mistake, you might here, “Oh, shaw, son.” And if you did a great job on something, Buddy might tell you, “You’re so good, I’ll give you Easter off this year if it falls on a Sunday.”

Buddy Ledwell passed away on January 29, 2013, at 88 years old, preceded in death by his beloved wife Betty. He drove himself to work the day he died. Today we remember Buddy Ledwell as not just a great man, but also as the driving force behind building a lasting company that solves complex problems with an extraordinary work ethic.

Over the decades, Ledwell grew from adapting customers’ trucks and trailers to manufacturing custom bodies and trailers, along with providing parts and service. Businesses know they can rely on Ledwell to find innovative, efficient, and reliable solutions to problems no other manufacturer can solve. This reputation for quality and service was no accident.

The company culture Buddy built has fueled the creativity, dedication, and talent of several generations of workers, each one working every day to keep his legacy of hard work alive.

Custom Truck Design Helps Wholesale Electric Speed Up Daily Deliveries

Ledwell Gull Wing truck ready for delivery

The Company

Wholesale Electric is a Texarkana-based family-owned electric wholesaler that has grown to 59 branches and counting since it was opened in 1947.

The Challenge

Box trucks and stake bed trucks with tarps were inconvenient and time consuming to load and unload, and they didn’t adequately protect products from rain and moisture.

The Solution

The patented Ledwell Gull Wing Truck, a truck custom designed for electric wholesalers with aluminum sides that lift with the push of a button. The Gull Wing can be loaded from the sides via forklift and protects products from rain and moisture.

The Outcome

Wholesale Electric now has nine Gull Wings in their fleet that make multiple deliveries per day. On average, the Gull Wing truck saves 30 minutes to one hour of loading and unloading time per work day.

“We sell electrical distribution—so, as I like to describe it, anything from the light to the switch and everything in between, we sell. One thing that sets us apart from the competition is that we run trucks to every branch every single day.”

Chris McCullochVice President, Wholesale Electric

The Company

Wholesale Electric, a family-owned electric wholesaler that has grown to 59 branches and counting since it was opened in 1947.

When Amos McCulloch Sr. opened Wholesale Electric Supply in 1947, he intended to run just the one store in Texarkana, Texas.

“My grandfather and grandmother started Wholesale Electric Supply,” said Chris McCulloch, Vice President. “My grandfather was the warehouse manager, counter sales, inside sales and delivery. My grandmother was the accountant. They started the company together, and when they started having children, she stayed home, and he kept the business going.”

More than seven decades later, Wholesale Electric has grown to 59 branches and counting in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Missouri. Second and third-generation McCullochs provide the company’s leadership. They serve customers in the residential, commercial, industrial, and utility fields. 

 “We sell electrical distribution—so, as I like to describe it, anything from the light to the switch and everything in between, we sell,” Chris said. “One thing that sets us apart from the competition is that we run trucks to every branch every single day.”

At 4 a.m., Chris said, trucks leave Little Rock and Texarkana to deliver inventory to each one of the company’s 59 branches.

“The way we look at our inventory is that it isn’t just one branch’s inventory,” Chris said. “It’s Wholesale’s inventory. So unless it has already been sold, everybody in the company is entitled to that inventory. Some companies sell materials to their branches—we do not do that.”

If one of their branches needs something, they all work together to ensure that branch gets it.

“If Little Rock has something and Dallas needs it, they might meet in Texarkana,” Chris said. “That’s just our mindset. “When a customer calls on a Saturday night, our people answer the phone and make sure they are taken care of–even if that means making an out of town delivery on a Sunday morning.” 

“For us, obviously, electrical and water don't mix very well. Or actually, they mix too well. That's the problem. And we can't use box or van-style trucks because of conduit. It's tough to load 10 feet of conduit from a forklift to the back of a box truck.”

Chris McCullochVice President, Wholesale Electric
Wholesale Electric Gull Wing

The Challenge

Box trucks and stake bed trucks with tarps were inconvenient and time consuming to load and unload, and they didn’t adequately protect products from rain and moisture.

Over the decades, the Wholesale Electric team has tried different methods of shipping products to each branch. 

For 25 years, their solution for keeping their products dry was to use stake bed trucks and tarps. Each time they had to load or unload, they would remove the rails from one side of the truck, secure a heavy tarp, and then put the rails back. Chris said the rails were heavy and prone to breaking, and the tarps were expensive and didn’t always provide adequate protection from moisture.

“It’s very easy on a two or three-hour drive for a tarp to get loose and start flapping,” he said. “And in a heavy downpour, a tarp is not going to cover everything.”

The Solution

The patent pending Ledwell Gull Wing, a truck custom designed for electric wholesalers with aluminum sides that lift with the push of a button. The Gull Wing can be loaded from the sides via forklift and protects products from rain and moisture.

Buddy McCulloch—the company’s president and Chris’s father—started looking for a better way to transport products to Wholesale Electric’s branches. He found it on a cocktail napkin. 

Buddy had known Steve Ledwell his entire life. Wholesale Electric and Ledwell & Son had grown alongside each other since both companies were founded by Buddy’s and Steve’s fathers after World War II. One evening, they sat at the bar of a local restaurant, Twisted Fork, and discussed Wholesale Electric’s transportation challenges. 

“They drew it up on a cocktail napkin,” Chris said. “That’s the story.”

Wholesale Electric’s team’s requirements included 24 feet of internal loadable space, the capacity to load six 4-foot pallets on each side, opening on the sides, and protection from moisture.

The result? A truck bed with hinged aluminum sides that lift and lower with the push of a button thanks to a central hydraulic system.

“Working with our customer, we produced several early trucks that were essentially R&D,” said John Crisp, Ledwell Regional Manager. “They’re all different—we tested the cylinders, lifted the doors at different angles, used different hinges, a different waterproofing system. We built this with a lighter structure, but still tough. In the delivery business, the trucks are stressed to their limit every day.”

Chris said the Gull Wing’s lifting aluminum sides were a game-changer for Wholesale Electric. 

“When you have that 4 a.m. truck and you’re having to unload, re-load, then tarp everything down and put the rails back on—well, now we just open the Gull Wing and load it up from the side,” he said. “Unloading is quick and easy. You open it up, and the forklift pulls the material off. We can’t load conduit from a forklift to the back of a box truck, and the rail trucks were so cumbersome to load and unload and had the added expense of replacing the tarps. The Gull Wing is the best of both worlds.”

“Ultimately, I know that with one single text or phone call to Ledwell, I can get whatever I need done, done. That matters more to me than anything else.”

Chris McCullochVice President, Wholesale Electric
Wholesale Electric Gull Wing Truck

The Outcome

Wholesale Electric now has nine Gull Wings in their fleet that make multiple deliveries per day. On average, the Gull Wing saves 30 minutes to one hour of loading and unloading time per work day.

“If you think about it, that’s a lot of time over a year for nine trucks,” he said. “Thirty minutes to an hour per truck per day is a huge advantage for us. We’re not having to stay until 6-7 p.m. loading these trucks. Time is the most valuable thing out there. Whatever can save time and get things quicker is always going to be what we choose.” 

He said speeding up the delivery process makes it easier for Wholesale Electric to fulfill their customers’ needs.

“We want to be known for providing the best service,” he said. “Electrical suppliers all sell the same stuff. What matters most is, do we have it? And can we get it to you quickly with a smile on our face?”

The Gull Wing doesn’t require a CDL to drive, which Chris said makes it easier to hire drivers. And unlike tarps, the aluminum sides can be wrapped with vinyl, turning them into moving billboards.

“They’re excellent advertisement,” said Blaire Barlow, Wholesale’s Marketing Director. “One of our locations is on a road that gets about 180,000 cars per day. So when we aren’t using it, we park it right in front of our building. It’s an outstanding billboard.”

Wholesale Electric has recently expanded into the Dallas/Fort Worth market, and the company has seen significant growth over the last decade, Chris said.

He said Ledwell has been a valuable resource for Wholesale Electric since the beginning. 

 “My granddad was a longtime resident, and Mr. Ledwell was a longtime Texarkana resident,” Chris said. “My father and Steve grew up here, and I went to high school with the Ledwell kids. This is three generations of family business working alongside each other.”

But the companies’ shared history isn’t the only reason Wholesale Electric continues to buy Ledwell trucks.

“Ultimately, I know that with one single text or phone call to Ledwell, I can get whatever I need done, done,” Chris said. “That matters more to me than anything else.”

Do you have a unique, custom truck or trailer need? We'll help you find a solution! Submit the form or call us at 888-533-9355 to get started.

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.

Our customers deserve the Ledwell Made Guarantee every day, and we work hard to deliver.

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.

Early Ledwell Feed Truck
Rollback Trucks lined up in front of original Ledwell office

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
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