Fruehauf trailer parent acquires East

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Fultra, the parent company of Fruehauf, has acquired Randolph, Ohio-based East Manufacturing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Fruehauf is a poineer of the semi trailer and in acquiring East onboards its lineup of aluminum flatbed, drop deck, dump, round bottom and refuse trailers as well as steel dump trailers and aluminum truck bodies.

“We are thrilled to welcome East Manufacturing to the family,” said Fultra CEO Jorge Martinez. “East really fits with our vision to be the trusted solutions partner for the commercial vehicle market in North America. We are confident that our employees and communities as well as customers, dealers and suppliers, will benefit from our combined strengths. We are honored and proud to be the stewards of two iconic brands like East and Fruehauf in North America.”

Howard D. Booher, founder and President/CEO of East Manufacturing for 54 years, died in March 2022. His son, Howard Booher Jr., had been serving as president. 

"We had a lot of companies that wanted to buy East," said co-founder Robert Bruce, "but at the end of the day, we selected Fultra because it has a demonstrated track record of taking care of its employees, customers and communities. We are proud to have Fultra carry forward and grow the East brand and legacy established over the past 55 years.”

East will continue to operate as a standalone entity with all existing management and employees, according to Fruehauf President Tom Wiseman, who will take over as CEO of both East and Fruehauf Inc. "We will build on East’s strengths combined with group synergies to deliver even greater value to our customers and dealers.”

Fruehauf opened a 125,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2022 with two production lines that assemble its dry vans. The company has a distribution network of four dealers. East sells through a network of more than 70 dealer locations across North America.

Wiseman told CCJ Wednesday that there "could well be" some dealership sales and service crossover, but "we have not fully analyzed the networks synergies. We plan to grow both of these aspects of the business (parts and service)."

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]
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