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Grow with Us: The People of Felling - Chad Steinhofer, Lead Welder

Felling Trailers has been proudly manufacturing trailers for over 45 years. Join us as we take a look back and see how much our company, along with our employees, has grown. Many of you may already know the history of Felling Trailers – how we started as a small fabrication shop in downtown Sauk Centre in 1974. Continuing to add to this story, we invite you to read our “Grow with Us Series – 9.” Here you will meet the people of Felling; we will share a bit about the people that have played a part in what our company is today and where we will be tomorrow. Some of the people you will meet have been with us for many years, some decades, and then others are just starting their careers with us. To continue our series, we would like you to meet Chad Steinhofer, Lead Welder for Felling Trailers, Inc., Sauk Centre.

Chad SteinhoferSteinhofer, Chad Lead Welder Felling Trailers, Welding Careers
Lead Welder at Felling Trailers

Name: Chad Steinhofer
Status: 28 years
Title: Lead Welder

Masonry to Welding

Chad joined the Felling Trailer’s Team in April of 1990 as a welder, where he was part of the Drop-Deck Weld Production Team. Before his time with Felling, Chad had initially started working in the field of Masonry. “I graduated from Glenwood High School, then went to work for my Dad as a Mason’s Tender. I started laying some block and brick with him until Dad retired,” said Chad. From there, Chad went on to work for other area manufacturers in Glenwood, Clyde Machines, and WASP, where he gained experience as a welder. With some welding experience under his belt, Chad applied at Felling Trailers in early 1990 and was hired on.

Building and Welding Trailers

As part of the team, Chad started welding/building Felling’s Pan style, E series, and Hydraulic Dump drop-deck trailers. As a welder, there is a bit of flexibility that comes with the position. Based on workflow, trailer orders, and product demand, a welder can work in a variety of build areas, from small trailers to large, to specialty, to project weld, and to repair. “I worked in repair when needed, but pretty much have been building/welding trailers all these years,” said Chad.

Custom Builds and 240 Models of Trailers

Welding Careers at Felling Trailers, Lead WelderThrough the years with Felling, Chad has had the opportunity to work in a variety of build areas, including Felling’s Specialty/ Custom area, where he currently resides as Lead Welder. As a Lead Welder, Chad manages his team and coordinates the welding of parts and components for their build area, ensuring that the product produced meets Felling Trailers’ quality standards and work is completed to meet the production schedule. In this building area, a team member can be building a variety of trailers with very custom features. An example of this is utility pole trailers that transport high-line telephone poles to generator trailers that will be mounted with massive generators. As Lead Welder, Chad works along with Felling’s Engineering Team to ensure that a trailer is built to the customer’s and the intended cargo’s specifications. Felling manufactures 240 different models of trailers, Chad said some of the most interesting trailers to build are “our new utility pole trailers (UPT), I like building them, and anything custom is fun to build too.”

Growing Successfully Together

When asked why Chad chose Felling to be where he worked, he said, “They (Felling) have stuck behind me through all these years, all of my ups and downs, and I’ll never forget that,” said Chad. Since Chad joined the Felling Trailers team over 25 years ago, he has seen and been a part of much of the company’s growth. “Wow! The facility, 20-25 years ago, was much smaller. I’ve seen the Blast and Paint line put in, all the additions, and expansions; it’s been incredible to be a part of that. I love success!” said Steinhofer. We are glad to have Chad as part of our team. Thank you, Chad!

“Wow! The facility, 20-25 years ago, was much smaller. I’ve seen the Blast and Paint line put in, all the additions, expansions; it’s been incredible to be a part of that. I love success!” – Chad Steinhofer, Lead Welder at Felling Trailers

Are you interested in becoming part of the Felling Team? Learn more about a career at Felling Trailers and grow with us!

This is the ninth feature in our “Grow with Us” series.  Read the other stories about Benji Hudalla, Final Inspector, Nathan Uphus, Sales, Sheri Leonard, Human Resource & Safety Coordinator, and Kristie Moritz, Scheduling Coordinator.


  1. Kathy VanVickle says

    I am so happy to see these posts. Chad is my brother, and has been with Felling for a long time. Chad gets his work ethic from our dad. He has always loved putting things together, making sure everything is exactly right. Keep up the good work brother, so proud of you.

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