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Trail King's new West Fargo plant up and running

A special open house was held at Trail King Industries last Friday, Oct. 5, to officially celebrate the opening of their new manufacturing plant located on a 15-acre site in the West Fargo Industrial Park at 2130 3rd Ave. N.W.

A number of dignitaries were on hand for the occasion including North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven; N.D. Department of Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle, West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern, and a variety of other local dignitaries and individuals.

The new 160,000 square foot plant presently employs 175. John Rust, vice president of West Fargo operations, said the plant will employ over 225 by this time next year.

"We grew out of our old facility, and wanted to make an investment in the West Fargo community by owning our own plant," Rust said. "We've had an excellent relationship with this community, and find our employees possess an outstanding work ethic," he said. "So we're excited to be making this next step in Trail King's continued growth here in West Fargo."

Trail King has installed several new pieces of equipment, such as state of the art plasma torches and press brakes, that will increase production capabilities and allow the plant to become even more self-sufficient, Rust said.

In advance of the ribbon cutting, Trail King President Jerry Thomsen said he is "extremely proud" of the West Fargo facility. "We view this facility as a platform for growth for our company" noting that in the last four years, the plant has almost doubled its production. He added that the deciding factor in retaining the business in West Fargo was the quality and caliber of people. "We want to thank the West Fargo team and employees. You really are the reason we are here."

He also commended Olaf Anderson, the general contractor for the project, and city and state officials instrumental in seeing the process realized. "We wanted to put our money back into the community since it was a united local effort assisting us. It was fun to reinvest locally with those who helped us to build in the community."

Gov. Hoeven also plauded everyone's efforts. "This is a great project. It looks phenomenal. It takes a team of people to help out. It was an excellent city partnership with a quality company. That's how your economy grows. Primary sector businesses such as Trail King Industries create jobs and drive our State's economy. The expansion of Trail King reflects our good business climate and North Dakota's outstanding and talented workforce."

Goettle agreed. "This is a perfect example of how everyone came together to work on a project. It speaks for the quality of the work force and the quality of the product. We're all about having a positive business climate in North Dakota that facilitates this growth."

West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern reiterated similar sentiments. "What a great facility and what a great asset," he said of the new facility. "We look forward to having your employees invested in work here and we welcome them to the community."

In addition to the West Fargo plant, Trail King Industries also has manufacturing facilities in Mitchell, S.D. and Brookville, Pa., and manufactures a complete line of equipment trailers for the construction, transportation, agriculture and industrial markets - with models ranging in capacities from 6,000 pounds to 1 million pounds.

In 1995, Carlisle Companies, Inc., of Syracuse, N.Y., acquired Trail King Industries of Mitchell, S.D. With 11,000 employees in nine counties, Carlisle operates three business segments - Construction Materials, Transportation Products, and General Industry. It is traded publicly on the NYSE and CSL.

Trail King's acquisition in 2000 of Red River Manufacturing, Inc. expanded the firm's line of trailers to include live bottom trailers. Since its start in the mid 1970's Red River Manufacturing had come to be recognized as a leading manufacturer of trailers for agriculture, waste management and construction industries. Today, Trail King's plant in West Fargo also manufactures several trailers originally produced in Mitchell.