Maxxd Trailers thrives in its market thanks to its high product standards. By Alan Dorich
When Maxxd Trailers builds a product, it holds itself to a higher standard than many of its competitors do. “We’ve always wanted to have the better product out there,” CEO Kendall Kornelsen declares.
The Brookston, Texas-based trailer company has achieved that goal by never cutting corners. “Companies are always trying to cost cut and make it cheaper,” he says. “We’ve focused on making the product better, which always adds value.”
His father, Allen Kornelsen, started Maxxd in 1999 after working for several trailer companies. After briefly leaving the industry, he returned when one of his friends presented him with the opportunity to build trailers in his shop.
As he did, Kornelsen built the trailers from start to finish, doing everything from sourcing the materials to cutting them to welding the parts together and painting them. Over time, he sought out other clients and built his first facility, which originally spanned 9,600 square feet.
Today, Maxxd has more than 200,000 square feet and manufactures products such as its flatbed, dump, specialty, roll-off and car/equipment haulers. The company, which celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this October, has watched its business grow by 141 percent in the last three years.
“Our workforce had to double to keep up with all that,” Kornelson says, noting that MAXXD employs a staff of 160 and has built more than 70,000 trailers to date. Currently, its products are sold through 80 active dealers across the country.
He adds that Maxxd’s products are particularly popular in the construction industry. “We’ve got trailers for the equipment they use,” he says, adding that its Drop-N-Load products also have earned recognition for their ability to haul cars.
Featuring an airbag suspension, the trailer gives the car a smooth ride and a low angle for loading low-ground clearance cars and equipment. “The people we talk to often have a buddy that has one,” Kornelsen says. “They’ll say, ‘They have this cool car, but that trailer gets more attention than the car does.’”
Pride in People
Kornelsen is a longtime veteran of Maxxd. “I grew up all around the company,” he recalls, explaining that he would spend his summers at its location. “I’d come here and play around with stuff, and sometimes even help in the manufacturing.”
In 2009, he joined Maxxd full-time before eventually taking his current role. He is proud of his employees at the company who share its passion for quality. “We’ve got so many people who want the best for the company, want to grow and want to learn,” Kornelsen says.
Maxxd has helped promote this culture through its efforts to keep turnover low. “We have to keep the people,” he says, noting that this has been accomplished through the addition of a 401(k) program.
But the company has no plans to stop there. “We’re also working on a full benefits package with things coming next year to try and attract and keep the highly talented people,” he says.
A Wise Investment
Another source of pride for Kornelsen is Maxxd’s new finishing shop with a powder coating facility. Just as the company has spared no expense with its final products, it has done the same with its manufacturing procedures.
“Almost every company I know of tried to cut corners with the powder coat process,” Kornelsen says. “But we’re not going to skip a single step.”
Although this commitment may cost Maxxd more, the company feels that it is well worth it. “We’re going to make sure we have the best powder coating process and equipment we can get,” he asserts.
A Dream Place
Kornelsen sees a strong future for Maxxd, which has many product updates coming in 2020. “We’ve got a few new models for next year,” he says, noting that the company also plans to build a new R&D facility.
This will give Maxxd the ability to do more custom work on its trailers. Although the vast majority of clients want a standard product, “There’s a niche market,” he says, noting that this will give the company’s creative associates an opportunity “to help out with the custom manufacturing.”
Maxxd also plans to continue bettering its products while also growing its people and building a better training curriculum. “I’ve got a goal of being a dream place where people want to work at and even retire at,” Kornelsen states. “The team is ultimately going to be building the great company we want to it be.”