OUR HISTORY WE KNOW QUALITY A legacy of excellence, innovation and leadership.


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.

1900-1930 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.
A black and white image showing severl factory workers loading a large piece of metal piping onto a Great Dane truck. Great Dane History timeline graphic highlighting 1900-1930.
1931-1944 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.
A cluster of black and white images showing various models of original Great Dane trucks. Great Dane timeline graphic highlighting 1931-1944.
1945-1965 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.
A cluster of black and white images showing various models of original Great Dane trucks and a news article about Great Dane trailers.
1966-1989 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.
1990's 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 one of the world's largest trailer companies. 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.
Cluster of images including Great Dane leadership at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Pines logo, and the exterior of the Great Dane Terre Haute plant. Our History timeline graphic highlighting the 1990s
2000's In 2000, the company celebrated its 100th

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.
Cluster of images including a Great Dane 100-year anniversary trailer, an SSL plate, and Great Dane leadership standing with shovels at a groundbreaking ceremony. Great Dane History timeline graphic highlighting the 2000s.
2010-Present 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.
Cluster of images including the Great Dane logo, a Great Dane trailer, and a Great Dane facility exterior. Great Dane History timeline graphic highlighting 2010-Present.

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.



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