WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A LEADER – IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Once the first pickup trucks hit the road, a cap to cover the cargo box couldn't be far behind. While the pickup truck bed was the ideal cargo vehicle, its contents were unsecured and exposed to the weather. Truck owners began creating makeshift covers, usually from wood and aluminum, and hundreds of small shops across the country were soon building basic truck caps for local customers.
In the late 1960s, John Collins recognized the growing market for truck caps. As he watched the recreational vehicle industry blossom in his community of Elkhart, Indiana, he realized that the same materials, manufacturing, and workforce could be used to produce truck caps. With just a few thousand dollars of start-up money, he founded LEER, and began production of truck caps.
The Names Behind The Name
When creating a name for his new company, Collins was inspired by both Shakespeare's King Lear and Learjet aircraft. The name LEER caught on, and Collin's company soon became the best-known brand in the truck cap business by bringing a higher level of quality, consistency and functionality to the product. Through hard work and aggressive promotion, LEER soon became an industry leader. Soon, trucks throughout the United States and Canada carried the slogan "LEER - The King of Caps."
Fiberglass Changes Everything
In the formative years of the truck cap business, leading producers recognized the need for improved styling and quality. Fiberglass arose as the preferred material to meet the new demands. It was remarkably strong and lightweight; it could provide a mirror-smooth finish for automotive paints, and most importantly, it could express all the styling ideas that truck cap manufacturers could imagine.
As LEER moved into fiberglass production, the company established an industry-wide reputation for leading-edge design, breaking new ground in truck cap styling. Truck caps, formerly boxy contraptions of two-by-fours and aluminum, quickly evolved into sophisticated accessories that followed the design and style lines of the trucks they fit.
Truck owners liked what they saw in the fiberglass caps of the '70s and '80s, but they wanted more choices, options, improved styling, and custom-design. As the popularity of trucks increased, thousands of businesses arose to cater to new owners. More trucks, more retails outlets and more attention to design meant that LEER was poised for explosive growth. To speed product to market, LEER invested in a huge fleet of custom-outfitted trailers. And to shorten the distances and delivery times, LEER built regional plants in the West, Midwest, East and South.
Truck Caps Go Mainstream
As the industry matured, truck caps became a dominant product category in the truck-accessory industry. More and more truck owners saw the benefits of protecting their trucks and their cargo. They also realized that a well-designed fiberglass truck cap enhanced the styling and usefulness of their vehicles. At the same time, tests were revealing that truck caps improved gas mileage by adding an aerodynamic element. Truck caps became the single most cost-effective way to enhance the styling, value and usefulness of a pickup truck - and LEER led the way at every step.
As the value of truck caps and tonneaus grew, so did the the LEER brand. LEER's success attracted the interest of J. B. Poindexter & Co., a large U.S.-based business group concentrating primarily in automotive products. J. B. Poindexter purchased LEER, and went on to expand its holdings in the truck cap and tonneau segment, forming the Truck Accessories Group, LLC, to manage production, distribution and sales.
Today, one out of every five pickup trucks in the United States and Canada have some kind of truck cap or tonneau, and they are available in a wide range of styles and prices. Manufactured in Woodland, California, Elkhart, Indiana, and Milton, Pennsylvania, LEER still the dominates the industry with its national distributor network and its well-designed, high-quality products.
As a part of the Truck Accessories Group LLC, LEER benefits from its extensive engineering, design and mold-making resources headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana. It offers products through hundreds of independent distributors located in every U.S. state and most Canadian provinces. Wherever truck caps or tonneaus are sold or seen, LEER is the leader.