The frames are not those used on typical trailers produced by Stoughton Trailers. Instead, they’re built for containers that are often seen stacked on train cars or tiered on ships. When the containers are unloaded, each is placed on a chassis which is then trucked to warehouses, distribution centers and stores.
The Waco facility is located approximately 200 miles from the Port of Houston and approximately 90 miles south of major rail terminals in Dallas and Fort Worth. Once facilities at Waco, Stoughton and Evansville are operating at full capacity, Wahlin expects his company to produce 20,000 to 25,000 frames per year.
These efforts are made possible by the United States International Trade Commission, which in April issued a tariff of 44.3% for the next five years on chassis and subassemblies, and the United States Department of Commerce, which issued a similar ruling that is expected to bring the total tariff to 221%.
“We think this will cover us well in the south and that there may be future possibilities in the west and northeast,” Wahlin said. “We realize, especially with workforce challenges, that we may need to go where there is a more available workforce. We find it very difficult to develop our facilities.
Wahlin, whose company has 1,300 employees, said he has 500 job openings with wages starting at $ 18 an hour for assemblers and $ 20 an hour for welders, workers second team receiving an additional $ 2 per hour.