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Great Dane Cuts Nearly Half Of Jobs At Arkansas Plant

Trailer maker has laid off 69 of its 140 workers in Jonesboro, a move brought by the decline in the transportation industry.

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) -- Great Dane Trailers has laid off 69 of its 140 workers in Jonesboro, a move brought by the decline in the transportation industry.

Great Dane, a privately held company, makes trailers for big-rig trucks.

"The action was the result of a sharp decrease in customer orders brought on by the continued slowdown in the transportation industry," said Brandie M. Fuller, vice president for marketing in Great Dane's Savannah, Ga., office. "Low freight volumes combined with increased fuel costs have limited our customers' ability to grow their capacities."

Fuller said the downturn began last year and the company closed a factory in Greenville, Miss., in February.

Great Dane's flatbed trailers are used to haul building materials and heavier automotive components. The box or dry vans -- such as those built in Jonesboro -- haul everything that goes inside homes and a lot of automotive components, two of the nation's larger employment segments, Fuller said.

Fuller said the company will hire back workers when business improves. Employees who have been laid off will have first priority when the time comes to rehire, she said.

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