SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – When you see food trailers at the county fair or see one parked outside, do you ever wonder where it was built? Many of them got their start in Mahoning County at a place called Hitch-Hiker, and it’s hiring right now.
They’re all made in Springfield Township. It started 53 years ago, and the trailers go around the world.
“When we’re getting calls, we’re getting calls from the top of the industry that are looking for the best piece of equipment,” said Holly Swartz, vice president of Hitch-Hiker.
A custom trailer gives them the production they need for their food. It starts with axles and tires, then a frame is welded together as the building progresses. Hitch-Hiker needs welders, who deal with at most a quarter-inch of steel.
“If you have any experience in MIG welding, you’d be just fine for the job,” said Stephen Coggins, welder.
When the trailer moves over from the production side to the finishing side, it really starts to get more of what people expect to see in a trailer. Hitch-Hiker is also interested in someone with experience in the paint booth, using a pressure pot gun.
“The outcome of how the paint turns out, that’s very important to us. Having that quality is something we strive for,” said Jared Swartz, painter.
Trailer production has come back strong in the last two years, and Hitch-Hiker is booked out into 2024. It will build 12 to 18 trailers a year.
Hitch-Hiker is also hiring general laborers.
“What we’re looking for is people that have some soft skills and we can train on the job here,” Holly Swartz said.
Hitch-Hiker will also install the client’s desired equipment. No two trailers are alike. It’s a big business that started 53 years ago. One tradition continues. Every finished trailer gets shown to the workers at the end, and they take pride in how it looks.
It goes outside, the sign gets put on, then we get to see it all set up with the lights turned on and everything. It’s pretty cool. It’s always cool to see the finished product knowing that you played a part in putting it together and it’s going to be used for decades,” Coggins said.
If you’re interested in working at Hitch-Hiker, you can respond on their website.