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Semi-Trailers and the Boat That Started it All

The history of the semi-trailer as we know it today all began in the summer of 1914 in Detroit, Michigan when lumber tycoon Frederick Sibley acquired a boat for his new summer home on a lake in upper Michigan. Getting that boat up to the lake by horse and wagon would take days, money, and a lot of horse feed. Sibley, a man ahead of his time, was already a Model T owner and consulted blacksmith and carriage maker August Charles Fruehauf to come up with "some contraption" that would allow him to use his fine new Ford to transport the boat. Fruehauf and partner Otto Neumann took up the challenge.

Fruehauf and Neumann took to their anvils to beat out and bolt up a 2-wheeler rig with a long pole which attached to the Ford roadster, and christened their new contraption the "trailer". Sibley was so happy with the success of his new trailer that he ordered bigger beefed-up versions for his lumberyard and Fruehauf Trailers was born. 

Fruehauf and Neumann quickly grew their blacksmith operation into a full-fledged trailer manufacturing facility. By February of 1918, the Fruehauf Trailer Company incorporated. By 1925 sales passed the million dollar mark for the first time, at $1,215,000 dollars. Along the way, Fruehauf introduced innovations such as the fifth wheel which later evolved into the automatic coupling still in use today. The company gained a fine reputation for its innovative ability to build trailers, customized for a wide range of industrial functions.

At J Ruble and Sons we're proud to carry on the innovative tradition of trucking pioneers like August Fruehauf. We've got day cab tractors, heavy spec cab and chassis, and high-quality refurbished trucks for all vocations. And just like August Fruehauf, we have the ability to customize cab and chassis configurations to suit your trucking needs so don't hesitate to contact us.

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