Trailer business around for long haul

Don Laing Trailers started over a decade ago and is still going strong.

Don Laing Trailers started over a decade ago and is still going strong.

Inger Laing and her husband Don started in the trailer business in 1995.

They originally were in the trailers and agricultural businesses but eventually downsized to just trailers. “It was quite labour intensive,” said Laing.

The Laing’s started in the trailer industry because it fit well with their agricultural one, and they aren’t the only ones to recognize the connection.

Laing said when she and her husband downsized they were able to keep a lot of the same customers based on needs.

Three years ago when Laing’s husband passed away the trailer business got bigger and more challenging, but she never loved the business any less. “After that I had to deal with a lot of different things. I was a major decision maker,” said Laing. “Giving up is not in my vocabulary.”

Laing learned how to handle her end of the business, such as accounting and office work as well as her husbands, such as ordering the trailers.

Laing got a handle on running the business but that didn’t stop smaller challenges. “It’s challenging, it’s fulfilling. It’s a challenge to have the right stock on the lot.”

However, Laing says their manufacturer is good at customizing and providing certain specifications as to what customers want.

Right now Laing says she’s happy with the size and direction of the business, and having it run by three people. But she wasn’t always as content.

Laing had always felt the business should sell motorsport products as well as trailers. Two years ago Laing expanded Don Laing Trailers and incorporated motorsport equipment into her stock.

“It’s always slow when you’re introducing a new product into the area,” said Laing. “It’s still getting off the ground.”

Laing does a lot of marketing at shows in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer to promote her motorsport products as well as her trailers.

Along with its challenges the business has had success over the years.

Two years ago, Charmac, which makes up much of Laing’s stock named her number one Canadian dealer. Last year they were third in North America. “That’s something we’re proud of.”

Within the last two years Laing has stocked more Alberta made trailers.

“We specifically went looking for an Alberta manufacturer. We wanted something more locally built.”

Laing now sells two Canadian lines of trailers.

During the last two years Don Laing Trailers was nominated for a business award. “It’s always an honour to be nominated,” said Laing