By: Peter Hempenstall, NTEA Director of Outreach
This article was published in the January 2019 edition of NTEA News.
NTEA recently caught up with Charles Rayside, founder of Rayside Truck & Trailer Inc., a distributor member in West Palm Beach, Florida. This family-owned business will celebrate its 40-year anniversary this year.
Charles founded the company in 1979 as a truck accessory and trailer business with two part-time employees. In 1987, Rayside began building truck bodies in-house — quickly adding them as successful offerings.
The business continued to expand, becoming a Ford bailment pool in 1992. In 2006, its truck manufacturing operations moved to Blue Ridge, Georgia, forming Blue Ridge Manufacturing LLC and a product line marketed as Freedom Truck Beds.
Today, Rayside is known for its work as a custom truck bed builder/upfitter with a focus on producing specialty trucks to help meet specific customer needs. The company started with production of 4x4 truck accessories and migrated into commercial truck equipment and pickup truck accessories, including truck toppers, liftgates, toolboxes, shelving, ladder racks and open/enclosed trailers. It also offers bumper-to-bumper (truck-to-trailer) product availability, often building combination units as requested.
Located on four acres in West Palm Beach, Rayside has a 27,000-square-foot building — including modern, upscale equipment and a parts showroom — and approximately 30 employees.
A Freedom Workhorse stake body upfitted with an Arrow board, strobes and removable traffic cone-setting basket. Visit rayside.com for more company details.
“With a strong Florida market, our business has grown beyond our expectations,” Charles said. “Providing for growth is challenging, but we will continue to serve this expanding market with the same quality merchandise and customer service as always.”
Charles emphasized keys to the company’s success are providing quality equipment at a fair, competitive price and maintaining constant focus on doing the right thing.
Rayside Truck & Trailer has been an NTEA member since 1986. To learn more, visit rayside.com, call 800-272-7950 or stop by 2983 S. Military Trail in West Palm Beach.