A request from a California-based company prompted Donahue Manufacturing in Durham to design a new flatbed trailer.
“We had a dealer in California that manufactures a soil conditioner that is pulled behind by 3-point hitch tractor and is 20 feet wide,” owner Doug Kjellin said, “so it could not go down California highways or freeways. They had no way to get it up onto a flatbed, so we built the flatbed to come up to the implement.”
It took a team led by Mike Stika and Jason Stika three months to design and build the first prototype of the DB-22-G detachable flatbed trailer, which, according to a press release, “utilizes on-board hydraulics to allow an operator to effortlessly lower a platform, bed, or box directly to the ground.”
Equipment can then be driven up onto the bed while it is 8 inches off the ground, and can then be lifted, while on the bed back, onto the trailer.
While Donahue manufactures trailers that can be used for farm equipment, they can also be used for other equipment as well.
“I’ve already had people come in here saying ‘Well, that would work good for this application,’” Kjellin said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have success in the agriculture industry, but that doesn’t mean we can’t branch out into other areas.”
Though the economy has made it difficult for farmers to afford equipment, that hasn’t stopped customers at Donahue. The company already has sold four of the DB-22-G trailers.
“When times get tough, leaders innovate,” Kjellin said. “This was something that was requested that we try, and when things get tight, you try to find new ways to do things.”