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Big John Trailers, formerly Drury's Welding, was founded in 1974 by John W. Drury (nicknamed "Big John") in Race Pond, GA, located 12 miles north of Folkston. Drury started out as a logger and a welder and worked his way into building log trailers and lowboys for his own use. His business grew until his retirement in 1984, at which time the business was purchased by Jimmie D. Gowen, who later signed on his brother Sidney, as a full partner in the corporation known as Gowen Enterprises, Inc. Since that time Big John Trailers has been growing by building and expanding its trailer line as well as operating a truck and trailer parts business.
The trailer products offered by Big John are log trailers, lowboys, knuckle boom loader trailers, and self-propelled loader carriers. These products are marketed mostly by a dealer network throughout the United States and Canada, with the strongest market area being in the Southeast.
The log trailers offered by Big John cover a wide range of designs. However, the most popular are the "Full Load Series", or lightweight, low profile plantation and four bolster styles. Lowboy trailers manufactured by Big John range from 10 ton tag-a-long style to 50 ton fixed neck lowboy style models. The standard lowboy for most loggers and contractors is the 35 ton fixed neck lowboy. All log trailers and lowboys come standard with unimount hubs with outboard brake drums, D.O.T. spec lights and reflective tape, radial tires, and one of the best warranties in the business. Big John also offers custom building for those customers who have special trailer requirements.
Loader trailers and self-propelled carriers are another very important part of Big John's product line. These trailers are primarily sold to equipment dealers and range from a basic chassis to more complex designs to handle heavier loaders and delimbers.
After over 30 years of manufacturing trailers, Big John has become a well known name in the logging industry. According to Jimmie Gowen, president and general manager, "Big John's growth is attributed to providing a high quality product at a competitive price. Quality control is at the forefront of our business. All of our employees have been trained to strive for quality and to inspect each other's work to insure our quality level remains high. Because of this, demand for our product remains strong."
Today Big John continues to manufacture it's popular line of trailers at it's facility in Folkston, GA., with the continual determination of building a high quality product at a very competitive price.