Zieman Manufacturing Company is privately owned and operated . The company conducts operations from 9 manufacturing facilities in four states with it’s headquarters located in Whittier, California.
The company is in the transportation industry. It’s products include chassis and steel parts for the manufactured housing and recreational vehicle industry, equipment trailers, personal water craft trailers, custom boat trailers, motorcycle trailers, and snowmobile trailers.
The company prides itself on it’s employee relations and relations within the communities where we operate. Liberal benefits including vacations, holidays, 401K plans, health and life insurance, credit unions, and opportunities for promotion are geared towards retaining good employees. Each plant is encouraged to participate in their local community. Local purchasing, chamber membership, service clubs membership and support of local charities is encouraged.
Emil Zieman, the company’s founder came to California from South Dakota in the late thirties to work as a welder on a local pipeline. He settled in Whittier with his wife Hazel. During the war years he worked as an experimental welder for Convair Aircraft.
In the fall of 1945 he used his savings to purchase a small factory building in Whittier and went to work as a welder for his tenant who was making bicycles.
In the spring of that year Emil was approached by a former associate who had worked with him at Convair. He was asked if he could provide wheel and axle components for a tear drop shaped camper which was being manufactured by Kit Camper. The axle incorporated a new torque suspension eliminating the springs and reducing overall height. To assist him, he employed two other Convair friends.
The business went well and the camper was selling faster than they could make axle assemblies. Production rose from 50 per week to almost 400 per week and suddenly orders stopped. Zieman was stuck with several hundred axle assemblies and material to make several hundred more. It was then that Emil found out that a business cannot be built on just one customer. At this point Bernie Miller who worked in the office put on his sales hat and began calling on trailer manufactures and slowly the business began to develop.
In 1953 the business was incorporated and Mr. Zieman invited two of his key employees to participate in the ownership of the company. A buy sell agreement was devised to provide for transition of the company to future management and with a few minor modifications it is still in existence today.
In 1955 the company purchased a three acre site and a new larger factory was built. In 1957 an office building was completed and all operations were now housed in one location on Whittier Blvd.
1958 the company expanded it’s product lines into boat trailers and a few years later began to build equipment trailers. Today Zieman is one of the largest equipment trailer and custom boat trailer manufactures on the west coast.
In 1960 Emil Zieman succumbed to his 12 year battle with cancer. The buy sell agreement executed several years prior to his death provide a smooth transition of ownership.
The companies first expansion out of the Whittier area came in 1969 when a operation was established in McMinnville Oregon. The following year saw two additional production facilities established in California, at Woodland and at Hemet. In 1971, the corporate staff had grown to a point that it became necessary to move the corporate office from the Whittier plant site to new offices a short distance away. 1973 was another expansion year for Zieman. Our fifth operating facility was established in Idaho. One year later a sixth facility was established in Arizona. In 1978 a plant was established in San Bernardino, California, to meet the ever-increasing need for Zieman's quality equipment trailers. 1995 saw the establishment of an eighth operating facility a short distance from our current Woodland facility. Our ninth operating facility was established in Lake Havasu City in 1998 to meet our increasing penetration into the boat and water craft industry. Zieman's continuing growth has resulted from recognition by, and participation in, the ever-expanding manufactured housing, recreation, and equipment trailer industries.