Shipping Woes? Car Mate Shares its' Solution

Posted By: Samantha Darling LaCount NATM News,

The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) member manufacturers work hard to ensure the product they put out is top quality. The last thing trailer manufacturers want or need is their trailer getting damaged on the way to the dealership.

Willie Bauer is the Director of Quality Control for Car Mate Trailers, Inc. out of Leeper, Pennsylvania. He has been with Car Mate for 33 years and on the NATM Compliance Committee for about seven years, including when it was called the Guidelines Committee. He says the key to their success in securely shipping their trailers comes from a good, large hauling trailer with lots of tie-down points.

“(The transport trailers) are kind of special made, some of them are called ‘hot shot’ trailers. The way they’re designed is with the track up the middle and the open areas,” Bauer said. “We have special ball couplers made that go into the track and slide.”

These slider ball couplers allow you to adjust where your trailers can be secured to best accommodate the length being transported.

“We basically let the jack run up into the channel the whole way up to the front and then the pins lock down the coupler locations so that the front can’t go anywhere,” Bauer said. “At the rear, underneath our trailer we have a piece of tube welded to the rear of the frame behind the axles that we actually run the chain up through. Everything is tied down via the big cables that come back through there along the channel, and then, we use the wench to snug up everything together once they’re on there.”

The square tube welded onto the rear of the frame is installed for the express purpose of securing the trailer during shipping without tying around the axle. Bauer says he’s seen it be used at a jack pad by users.

“Typically, I like to see guys go a little more towards the axle on the main frame rail for jacking up, but that tube will work just fine,” Bauer said.

This method has been successful for Car Mate. Bauer says the company rarely experiences damage during shipping. If they do, he says it is typically from the shipment scraping trees or other objects too close to the road and not due to the trailers not being properly secured.

“Having that coupler point is key, I think, and having ways to fasten that coupler point down at various positions,” Bauer said.

Car Mate Trailers, Inc. has been a member of NATM since 1996. To learn more about them, visit

Car Mate Trailers, Inc., established in 1982 and located in Leeper, PA, entered 2023, its 41st year in business, continuing to build high-quality American-made enclosed cargo and open utility trailers. The company is running at full capacity to supply a dealer network that spans throughout the Northeast United States and Eastern Canada. Purchasing a majority of USA-manufactured components remains a top priority at Car Mate. This process has continued to be somewhat challenging, although the extreme shortages and backorders have vastly improved since the pandemic. The trailer market surged beyond demand expectations causing lead times to exceed a year. Car Mate’s secret to success has been consistently building a high-quality trailer. Trade consumers, such as builders or contractors, which include a vast array of loyal, repeat Car Mate buyers, have found that their investment in Car Mate trailers last longer, even though they are often subjected to rigorous punishment at the job site. For the recreational buyer, it’s often found that with proper maintenance their trailer may last for decades. Car Mate frequently receives calls inquiring about 30+ year-old trailers that are still in use. In a world that is rapidly becoming overtaken with disposable products, Car Mate Trailers have been, are, and always will be Built to Work for a Living.