Talbert Manufacturing Founder Dies

Austin G. Talbert, founder of Talbert Manufacturing, Rensselaer, Ind., passed away on March 31st. Talbert held 24 of the company's patents, many of which he developed during the heavy-haul industry's infancy and some of which remain in use today.

According to the Talbert company website, Talbert Construction Equipment Co. was founded in 1938 by Talbert in Lyons, Ill., to provide crane and construction machinery rental and heavy haul transport in the Chicago area. In 1957 a new plant was built in Rensselaer, devoted to specialty trailer manufacturing. Ultimately, the facility in Lyons was closed as Talbert and his team focused on production of trailers in Indiana.

The company quickly became known for innovation, as groundbreaking new ideas were introduced including the first lowbed removable gooseneck; the first hydraulic removable gooseneck (non ground engaging); the first trailer manufacturer to use high-strength heat-treated steel (T1A); the first trailer manufacturer to design and incorporate air suspensions; and the first trailer to use self steering axles. Several of these innovations were patented, and remain in use today.