OTTAWA — When Nelson Manufacturing, currently housed outside Ottawa, Ohio since 1952, was founded in 1947 by Jack and Virginia Nelson, no one could have fathomed the wide reaches the company would achieve. Now celebrating their 75th year in business, Nelson Manufacturing is a custom engineering and manufacturing facility for the crane, rigging, construction, heavy haul, oversize, and aerospace markets around the world.
To understand how much the company has grown, one must know its meager beginnings. Jack and Virginia saved up enough money to buy a 1946 International tractor and a small trailer. They loaded the trailer with watermelons and headed north. The Nelsons were able to talk a local automobile dealer into loaning them the use of the second floor storefront in Leipsic where the melons could be sold. These profits bought them enough steel to build the first Nelson Trailer.
In the beginning the company focused exclusively on building low boy trailers for the construction industry. In 1963 a 215-ton trailer was fabricated for export to Turkey. Today Nelson Manufacturing customers are throughout North America, Australia, and Europe. Nelson is recognized as a leader and an innovator in the trailer manufacturing industry, and custom made trailers, boom dollies, and boom launch trailers are engineered and manufactured at the Ottawa facility. Additions in 1991, 1994, and 2008 increased the size of the facility to around 130,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
“The evolution of the company from building 25-ton lowboys to designing and manufacturing dual lane transporters, boom launch trailers, self-steering trailers and satellite transporters is absolutely remarkable” said Tony Niese, president of Nelson Manufacturing.
The interaction between president Niese and his workers makes evident the value he places on his workers as he walks through the manufacturing facility. He stops to chat about work or family or about life in general. “Surviving and thriving for 75 years is truly a testament of the hardworking people that worked with us in the past and those that continue to work with the Nelson Team. We would not be where we are today without these individuals and our loyal customers,” Niese said.
The latest in technological improvements are used to meet customers’ needs. One of the custom trailers engineered and currently being manufactured at the Ottawa facility has been over a year in the making with still some more work to be completed. The trailer is built with computers on board. Legs which will automatically level the trailer are on each corner. A computer can pivot the trailer bed to easily accept the cargo allowing the trailer to be easily transported to another location.
Nelson Manufacturing is not immune to the supply chain deficiencies that all business are currently experiencing. Some of the fabrication is delayed by a shortage of various components. Yet they are still supplying customers a quality finished product.
Completed products ready to be shipped to Australia.
This custom trailer has been over a year in production.
A trailer under construction at Nelson Manufacturing in Ottawa.
Nelson Manufacturing President Tony Niese and Amy Niese in one of the facility’s manufacturing buildings. Ne
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409