November 2, 2020
50,000 Trailers: An American Journey
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“A bunch of trailers, a bunch people, and a bunch of good experiences along the way.” -Texas Pride Trailers CEO, Jim Bray
Looking back at where the idea for trailers started- a one-person operation, a 4-month turnaround, a move from Florida to Texas- allows us to appreciate just how far we’ve come. The journey to 50,000th Texas Pride trailer has been just that: a journey.
This trailer is more than a piece of heavy equipment, it demonstrates the humble beginnings of Texas Pride Trailers. In this installment, Jim looks back, celebrates the present, and offers a glimpse of where we go next.
50,000 Trailers: An American Made Journey
Jim Bray 00:11
Why did I start building trailers? Honest answer that question is I had bills to pay. (laughs) First trailer I built was a 5×10 utility trailer. Yeah, I still remember it clearly, it took me about four months total. Started out on the weekend as a little something extra to do to make some extra money. I had to teach myself how to weld; I bought a little cracker jack buzz box welder at Home Depot and bought a book on welding. I finished it. I still remember the day it was April 15, which is Income Tax Day 1998. And I built another one and then I built another one. And it just kept on going; from the day that I began making them, I just never could make them fast enough. It just always seems like there’s just incredible demand for them. I had one customer who came in and he said, “Hey, I’ve got a brother in law. He’s a good welder. If you need somebody part time.” That was the first guy hired, seems like most of them were characters and they still are to this day. Texas was the trailer capital of the world and realized it was for a reason. It’s in the Sunbelt. We picked Madisonville. One of the reasons we chose it was that it was centrally located to most of big population centers in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston. And I had made a phone call to a realtor here and I said, “Listen, this is what we’re doing this what we want to do, and I’m looking for some property.” And he said, “Well, you know, we have an industrial park out by the interstate and a prime location on the interstate is still for sale.” And I literally drove 14 hours straight from Florida to Texas. When I came out here, all of this facility, everything up front here was just all cow pasture. There was literally nothing here. So in 2005, I sold what I had in Florida, came out here and started another company and put up millions of dollars worth of buildings and hundreds of thousands of square feet and put a lot of people to work and it’s just been a lot of fun. Just been going and blowing ever since.
You guys are literally hand building every single trailer. That’s unheard of. That’s wow. That’s really a true dedication to craftsmanship. I totally believe that. Like you’re not having a robot do all your work for you, you’re doing it.
Jim Bray 03:08
It represents a milestone, I try to keep in mind that it’s a journey. Before I would have said well that’s 50,000 I want 100,000 now, but trying to take it one day at a time just enjoy that journey and a bunch of trailers, a bunch of people, a bunch of good experiences along the way. And that’s that’s really what makes it fun.
The customer is the ultimate goal and the one in mind with every trailer that we build. We promise the perfect trailer, it’s gonna be perfect, no matter how much time and effort it takes to make sure that it’s right and the customer’s happy.
Jim Bray 03:49
Whoever gets number 50,000, congratulations. We appreciate you. This one we wanted to give away just to say thank you and specifically and to say thank you to all our customers for being what makes us who we are. We appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts. From here, same mission is always how much trouble can we get into every day. That’s what’s fun. (laughs)