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Trailer manufacturer Don-Bur celebrates 40th anniversary

Written by on 15/01/2022


Trailer manufacturer Don-Bur has just completed its 40th year of trading under its current name.

Don-Bur (Bodies and Trailers) Ltd was officially launched in 1981 after Donald Burton raised the £950,000 needed to fund the management buyout of Welford Truck Bodies, which was previously part of Bristol Street Motors.

In its early days, the company – whose name is derived from its founder – was based on a four-acre site, with a workforce of just 70, where they manufactured trailers and wooden bodies on trucks and vans up to 18 feet in length.

Over the years, the business has diversified and today incorporates five integrated divisions including servicing and repairs, graphics, parts and the manufacture of curtains and load restraints.



Don-Bur founder Donald Burton receiving the Services to Industry award at the 2021 Motor Transport Awards
Don-Bur founder Donald Burton receiving the Services to Industry award at the 2021 Motor Transport Awards

The group – whose main manufacturing site is in Adderley Green, Stoke-on-Trent – boasts a workforce of more than 500 staff, and generates an annual turnover in excess of £50 million.

It produces around 1,500 units a year covering everything from 7.5 tonne rigid bodywork to complex hydraulic moving deck trailers.

Don-Bur managing director Dave Burton credits the company’s success to innovation.

He said: “We have always excelled at designing custom-built products. In order for our customers to be more efficient than their competitors, they need a different, more highly developed product and to achieve that, we listen, design and manufacture what the customer needs. It’s a fundamental ethos that has served us well.”



An aerial view of the original Don-Bur site in 1981
An aerial view of the original Don-Bur site in 1981

Don-Bur’s first inventions were the ‘Paylowda’ tipping trailer and ‘Slide-a-Side’ rigid bodywork, and the company has invented hundreds of new concepts and products since then.

Most notably were the hydraulically powered ‘Lifting Deck’ trailers in the late 1980’s and the internationally acclaimed aerodynamic ‘Teardrop’ trailers, first designed in 2006.

Both products remain a mainstay in the Don-Bur product line-up to this day.

Mr Burton added: “We are very proud to remain in such a strong position in the market.

“Although the plant, machinery and skills surrounding us have evolved over the years, we have always remained a customer-focussed, family business who strive to build a quality product.”



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