Phil Castle, The Business Times
Jeff Hoffman offers what he considers the solution to the problems many people face in hauling luggage, camping equipment and sports gear from their homes to the places where they want to use all that stuff.
Hoffman operates a Grand Junction company that manufactures trailers that can transport everything from tents and sleeping bags to bicycles and kayaks — or all of the above. Moreover, the trailers are small and light enough they can be towed by even the smallest cars.
“What you’re able to do with this is limitless,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman also builds slightly larger, fully enclosed trailers to haul even more gear — for a lawn care business, for example, or the scooters some people need for mobility. But the trailers are still light enough small cars can easily pull them.
Hoffman serves as production manager of Outback Specialties, which manufactures Pulmor and Yuppie Wagon brand trailers.
The company has been in operation for about 18 months, and Hoffman is working to expand inventory, the network of dealers who sell the trailers and awareness among consumers of an alternative to heavier trailers that require larger cars or trucks to tow.
Given the popularity of outdoor sports like camping, mountain biking and kayaking — especially in Colorado — Hoffman has high hopes for the venture. “We think the opportunity is really there.”
The business initially was launched to sell a tent system along with trailers to haul them, Hoffman said. But the trailers proved more popular than the tents, so the operation changed to focus on that, he said.
Hoffman works with his father, Jim Hoffman, and a welder to assemble trailers. Lightweight steel frames accommodate roto-molded plastic bodies that offer durability and a choice of colors.
Pulmor utility cargo trailers offer 32 cubic feet of space inside a waterproof, lockable container. The entire trailer can be turned into a larger cooler to transport food for a trip or party. Optional racks can be added to carry bicycles, kayaks, skis or other gear, Hoffman said.
Yuppie Wagons offer a fully enclosed interior space that measures 86 inches long by 48 inches wide and 48 inches high. The trailers can be fitted with optional rear ramps as well as racks to haul additional gear, Hoffman said.
Yuppie Wagons offer what can be a less expensive and easier to use alternative to haul mobility scooters, he added.
One of the biggest advantages to the Pulmor and Yuppie Wagon trailers is their light weight, Hoffman said. Pulmor trailers weigh 365 pounds, while Yuppie Wagons weigh in at about 460 pounds.
The trailers are light enough, he said, that even small cars can pull them without difficulty. “You just don’t feel it.”
That means people don’t have to own a large car or pickup truck to be able to haul gear in a trailer, Hoffman said. “It just opens up the door for anyone.”
The other advantage to using the trailers is they free up space in cars otherwise used to haul gear, making for safer and more comfortable travel, he said. “It makes road trips better.”
Hoffman said he’s built and shipped trailers to dealers across the country, but hopes to develop a network of dealers to carry his products. In Grand Junction, trailers are available through Motorcycle Accessories, he said.
Meanwhile, Hoffman said he also hopes to expand his inventory of trailer frames and other components to handle more orders. He said he can assemble two or three trailers a day, but could increase production if completed frames were ready to use.
Eventually, Hoffman said he’d like the operation to expand enough to require additional staff to supply demand. “We’d like to have enough work we’d be able to hire help, to help the economy.”
For now, though, Hoffman said he wants to build awareness that a solution is available to the problems people face in hauling their stuff.
For additional information about Outback Specialties, call 200-8928 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.