Great Dane

Great Dane

Great Dane

Great Dane is a manufacturer of dry van trailers, refrigerated trailers (reefers), and flatbed trailers. In addition to trailers, the company also manufacturers a line of truck bodies.

Trailer Manufacturer Profile

  • Company: Great Dane
  • Parent Company:
  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
  • Founded Date: 1900
  • Founders: J.P. Wheless, T.H. McMillan
  • Traded as:
  • Subsidiaries / Brands:
  • Trailer Types:
  • Other Products:
    • Refrigerated Truck Bodies
    • Dry Van Truck Bodies
  • Website: greatdane.com
  • Learn More: Related Content
Great Dane Champion Composite Trailer
Great Dane Champion Composite Trailer

Historical Highlights

1900

Founded as the Savannah Blow Pipe Company in Savannah, Georgia. The company fabricated sheet metal systems used to move sawdust and woodchips in saw-mills, furniture, and woodwork plants.

1916

The company is manufacturing a variety of steel plate and structural steel products.

1920

The company name is changed to Steel Products Co.

1931

Company begins to design and manufacture flatbed trailers for over-the-road freight hauling.

1940s

Company builds the first produce van with wet ice bunker and motor and blower cooling system. This was followed by the first factory-finished refrigerated van.

Company produces approx 12,000 trailers on government contracts during WWII.

1958

Name changed to Great Dane Trailers, Inc.

1959

Company introduces a redesigned line of van trailers and tank trailers.

Structural steel product production is phased out and focus becomes trailer production.

1960s

Company enters the piggyback and container market and establishes sales outlets in 24 states.

1972

Company acquired a second plant when it purchased Arrow Trailers in Memphis, Tennessee.

1974

Van trailer manufacturing plant built in Brazil, Indiana.

1988

Company acquires the SuperSeal reefer product line and the Wayne, Nebraska, plant from Timpte.

1996

Company opens a dry van plant in Terre Haute, Indiana.

1997

Great Dane merges with Pines Trailers.

2000

Company celebrates 100th anniversary.

2009

Company closes original plant in Savannah, Georgia and builds a new state-of-the-art facility in nearby Statesboro, Georgia.

2010

Company acquires Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies

2011

Company names changes from Great Dane Trailers to Great Dane.

2016

Company opens new plant in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, for dry van manufacturing.

2020

Great Dane & Aurora Parts Announce Strategic Partnership