The Trail King story...

No U.S. trailer manufacturer offers a more complete line of trailers than Trail King.

With trailers ranging in load capacities from 6,000 pounds to 1,000,000 pounds, Trail King has trailers to serve a wide variety of applications for markets as diverse as construction, agriculture, transportation, waste and recycling, and specialized hauling.

And Trail King's reputation for quality, performance, and reliability are unsurpassed.


The story of how this reputation was built began in 1974, when Gordon and Shirley Thomsen founded Western Ag Sales. During the first few years, the company was primarily a distributor and sales representative for manufacturers of agricultural equipment. However, in 1978, Western Ag Sales purchased another Mitchell-based manufacturing company, Plains Industries, and moved into their manufacturing facility. With this purchase, Western Ag also brought a new line into their product offerings...

A line of trailers called "Trail King".

During the next few years, Western Ag expanded this line to include trailers with many enhanced features to better meet customers' specific hauling needs, such as hydraulic tails and detachable goosenecks. Probably most notable of these was Trail King's development of what many at the time considered the best hydraulic detachable gooseneck in the industry - a system that made hooking up and unhooking a simple, one-person "60-second connection."

As the 1970's drew to a close, the company's emphasis shifted away from the distribution of ag-related equipment in order to focus exclusively on the manufacture of Trail King Trailers.

And to reflect this commitment to the manufacture of trailers only, Western Ag Sales officially changed its name in 1983 to Trail King Industries.

This focus on trailers, and trailers only, led to an expanded product line that included trailers designed not only to address construction-related applications, but to meet the needs of the Commercial and Specialized Hauling markets as well.

Along with this product line expansion came increased sales - which, naturally, came with increased production capability demands. To address this need, Trail King built a new manufacturing plant in 1987, right down the road from its existing facility. At 67,500 square feet, this new plant went a long way toward meeting the ever-increasing demand for Trail King trailers.

But not for long.

So, in 1992, as Trail King sales continued to grow and strain production capacity at the seams, the plant was expanded.

And, only two years later, it was expanded again.

Today, the total square footage of Trail King's facilities in Mitchell alone stands at 295,000 square feet, providing state-of-the-art production capabilities for a workforce of over 450 employees.

But, in 2000, Trail King further expanded it product offerings with the purchase of Red River Manufacturing, based in West Fargo, ND. Red River had a well-deserved reputation for manufacturing outstanding live bottom and bottom dump trailers for the agricultural, waste, and construction industries. And, with the 2007 construction of a brand new 160,000-square-foot facility, it has further increased Trail King's ability to meet ever-increasing market demand in an even more timely, efficient, and quality-enhanced way.

Then, in 2010, Trail King was acquired by CC Industries, Inc (CCI). CCI is headquartered in Chicago, IL and is the holding and management company for the Crown family's privately held operating companies. This acquisition not only expanded CCI's portfolio of leading industrial manufacturers and transportation equipment companies, but it also afforded Trail King the expertise and support necessary to enhance Trail King's long-term strategic growth as North America's leading specialized trailer manufacturer.

Trail King further expanded both its product offerings and its production capacity with the acquisition of Dakota Trailer Manufacturing in May 2015. Located in Yankton, SD, Dakota Trailers produced aluminum grain hopper trailers for the agriculture market… trailers that have proven to be a nice complement to Trail King's existing line of live bottom ag trailers that are manufactured at its West Fargo facility.

In 2015, Trail King also had the distinction of achieving ISO 9001:2008 certification for its Mitchell, SD and West Fargo, ND operations. This achievement reflects Trail King's ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and operational excellence, and plans are in the works to have the Yankton, SD operation certified in the very near future.

Yes, change has been a big part of Trail King's history.

From Western Ag Sales to present day Trail King Industries, Inc.

From agricultural products distributor to trailer industry leader.

From the first "Trail King" trailer to today's specialized multi-axle behemoths.

Yet, despite all this growth and change in Trail King's past - and all that surely lies in its future - there are some things that will always remain constant...

Trail King will always strive to lead the way in the trailer industry, delivering trailers that are engineered and manufactured to the highest standards of quality, performance, and reliability.

Trail King will continue to actively participate in organizations whose missions are to elevate the trailer industry and its related industries to new levels of innovation, professionalism, and integrity.

And, as it has through all these years, Trail King will continue to value "the human element" of doing business...

Treating employees, dealers, and most important, customers...

With respect, honesty, and good will. 

Key Milestones

  • 1974
  • Western Ag Sales founded
  • 1978
  • Western Ag acquires Plains Industries
  • 1983
  • Company name changed to Trail King Industries
  • 2000
  • Trail King acquires Red River Manufacturing
  • 2010
  • Trail King acquired by CCI
  • 2015
  • Trail King acquires Dakota Trailer Manufacturing
  • 2015
  • ISO 9001:2008 certification