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After Thirty Years, Sundowner Still Ahead of its Time

May 31, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

COLEMAN, Okla.—Some things never change, even after 30 years. At Sundowner Trailers, the same philosophy that motivated this upstart family business back in 1976 is what keeps it at the forefront of the industry today—the desire to simply be the best.

As Sundowner celebrates its 30th anniversary, cofounders Gary, Larry and John Shipman remember how it all began. “Gary had a couple of years’ experience building trailers, and Larry was just out of the military and had a little money. I was still in high school,” recalls John. “Our dad had a barn on his place in Coleman, so we decided we would build stock trailers in that barn.”

From the beginning, the Shipman brothers wanted to produce and sell only the best quality horse and livestock trailers that money could buy. Whether it was hiring the best people, selecting the finest materials, or using the most up-to-date engineering and construction methods—everything was based on that goal. “That attitude has made us what we are today,” says Gary. “The standard for craftsmanship in the trailer industry.”

Wayne Shipman, the boys’ father, later joined the fledging company, developing sales programs and providing much-needed advice. In 1980, Jerry Shipman, a fourth brother, joined to help with production and purchasing.

Still a family business, Sundowner Trailers is today the largest manufacturer of horse and livestock trailers in the United States. Sundowner’s steady growth and outstanding reputation within the trailer industry are due in no small part to its ability to anticipate and meet customer needs. Offering quality Horse, Stock, Sport Utility and Living Quarters trailers, Sundowner is always looking for ways to improve its line—as well as to add new products that show promise.

“We’re still a family business, and that business has grown by leaps and bounds,” adds Gary. “But we could never be where we are without the continued support and loyalty of our customers. For that, we are most grateful.”

For more information, contact Sundowner Trailers at 800-438-4294. Visit Sundowner Trailers at

Leslie LeJeune
Brainstorm Creative Group