The original Fruehauf Trailer Company was founded by August Charles Fruehauf in 1918 and credited with the invention of the semi-trailer. The Fruehauf Trailer Company introduced revolutionary inventions to trucking and transportation with hydraulic dump trailers, bulk tanker trailers, and automatic fifth wheel coupling among their over one thousand patents.
Blacksmith and carriage builder August Fruehauf is asked by a Michigan businessman, Frederic M Sibley, to build a transport trailer for his boat. He asks that the trailer be capable of being hauled behind a Ford Model T. After the success of this trailer, Sibley asks Fruehauf to build similar trailers to be used for hauling lumber. Fruehauf builds the trailers, which he calls “semi-trailers.”
August Fruehauf incorporated the Fruehauf Trailer Company.
Financial issues result in the sell-off of company divisions. The truck trailer unit continues operation as Fruehauf Trailer Corporation.
Fruehauf Trailer Corporation files for bankruptcy. Its assets are purchased by Wabash National.
Fruehauf Trailer Historical Society
The Fruehauf Trailer Historical Society was created by Ruth Fruehauf and Darlene Norman to preserve the history of the Fruehauf Trailer Company and the Fruehauf family.