Our vision is to be the champion for the transportation industry by putting our leadership into action every day. This means being an advocate for our customers, standing up for their needs and providing more than bottom-line solutions.
Great Dane was founded in 1900, as the Savannah Blow Pipe Company in Savannah, Georgia. The company fabricated sheet metal systems used to move sawdust and woodchips in saw-mills, furniture and mill workplants.
By 1916 the company was manufacturing a variety of steel plate and structural steel products.
In 1931, the Savannah Blow Pipe Comany began to design and manufacture truck trailers for over-the- road freight hauling. The first Great Dane trailers built were flatbed trailers 16- to 20-feet long.
In the early 1940s, the company pioneered the refrigerated trailer field, building the first produce van with a wet ice bunker and a motor and blower cooling system, which was soon followed by the first factory-finished refrigerated van.
The company produced about 12,000 trailers on government contracts during WWII and was awarded the Army-Navy "E" for excellence five times.
In 1958, the Steel Products Company changed its name to Great Dane Trailers, Inc. The following year, Great Dane introduced a redesigned line of van trailers and perfected a new tank trailer line. It was then decided to phase out all structural steel products and further expand trailer production.
In the early 1960s, Great Dane entered the piggyback and container market and established sales outlets in 24 states across the eastern half of the country.
In 1972, Great Dane acquired a second plant when it purchased Arrow Trailers in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1974, following a period of unprecedented growth in production, a decision was made to build another manufacturing facility for van trailers. The plant was built in Brazil, Indiana, due to its centralized location to serve the western and midwestern trailer markets.
In 1988, Great Dane acquired the SuperSeal reefer product line and the Wayne, Nebraska, plant from Timpte. The addition of SuperSeal reefers created the broadest line of reefers in the industry.
In 1996, Great Dane opened a dry van plant in Terre Haute, Indiana, along with an adjacent parts distribution center.
Great Dane merged with Pines Trailers in 1997, creating the world's largest trailer company. Both Great Dane and Pines began as family, entrepreneurial ventures.
In 1999, Great Dane took on the monumental task of updating its branch locations with the expansion of the Little Rock, Arkansas, sales office to a full- service branch.
In 2000, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The early 2000s was a period of expansion for Great Dane. The company made several major acquisitions, purchasing multiple manufacturing facilities to support its growth. Great Dane also demonstrated huge strides in engineering and technology with new product additions, including the SSL dry freight van.
Due to economic strains and the need for more efficient production, the company closed its original plant in Savannah, Georgia in 2009, and built a new state-of-the-art facility in nearby Statesboro, Georgia.
In 2010, Great Dane unveiled sweeping changes to its complete product line that redefined the structure of its product offerings. The company also announced the acquisition of Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies.
In 2011, the company's name changed from "Great Dane Trailers" to "Great Dane" to reflect the growth of the company's offering beyond simply trailers.
With the improvement of innovation, two new truck bodies were introduced: The Alpine and the Sahara. The company also opened a new dry van plant in Pennsylvania and a new Savannah office, featuring a state-of-the-art R&D center.
Great Dane Gives Back
From food drives to blood drives. From 5Ks to community clean-ups. Great Dane employees aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves and donate their time, talents and resources to help improve our communities. We take pride in supporting and improving the many communities we call home.