Trailer/chassis maker recovers after tornadoes hit headquarters

| 6/25/2003

Reinke, a leading manufacturer of over-the-road trailer/chassis equipment and mechanized irrigation systems, was assessing damage of its 80-acre plant Monday after a series of tornadoes ripped through Deshler, NE, Sunday evening.

According to Bob Friehe, Reinke president, the east end of the main trailer/chassis production building was damaged, a corner of the roof on the east end of the main office building was partially lifted up, and several overhead doors on other buildings were blown off.

Despite the structural damage, he expects the company to be able to ship orders by end of this week.

The company’s irrigation manufacturing division survived the storm with relatively little damage, and should resume production within days, according to Friehe. He said the company’s irrigation and trailer/chassis parts inventories were not damaged.

Reinke has more than 300 employees, who were all accounted for and were not hurt in the storm. The plant was closed Monday and Tuesday; however insurance agents and construction crews were on site.

In the meantime, Reinke dealers will continue to take orders and assist customers at the more than 29 trailer dealerships and 160 irrigation dealerships throughout the United States and Canada.

--by René Tankersley, feature editor

René Tankersley can be reached at