FFA members participated in a multi-school trailer build-off on December 6. In all, 19 schools competed to build a 10 feet by 5 feet flatbed trailer the quickest within a six hour time limit.
“The metal department has not done a lot in the past, but seeing that students are looking to compete at major shows, such as Fort Worth and Houston, we needed some kind of prep for the big events,” FFA president Ashlie Thompson said. “This was the perfect way to do that while keeping the environment fun along with friendly competition between schools.”
For the last three years, Lindale has participated in the Rains trailer build-off. This is the first year it has hosted its own.
“Participating in previous trailer build-offs taught me not to rush and to take our time,” senior Ethan Gilley said. “I learned to measure and make everything perfect.”
The decision for the event was not spur of the moment. The school had to order trailer kits and gravel, as well as coordinate with other schools.
“Mr. Morris and Mr. Hindman spent a lot of time in preparation for the event,” Thompson said. “Mr. Morris started advertising the [build-off] in September, getting the word out to schools, finding judges and lining up sponsors for prizes. He had to order the materials for each school and set up the barn grounds with gravel to support a trailer’s weight. There was a lot of preparation that went into the build off, but the result was fantastic and well worth it.”
Every group had teams of five students working together to build their trailers. Each team member had a different assignment, varying from being a welder to being a measurer.
“We built two trailers,” senior Bowen Spurlock said. “One took five hours, and the other is still not complete. It was an extremely hard task, but working as a team made it easier.”
There were more events than just trailer building going on during the day. There were chili cooks-offs, other small competitions and bonding throughout the schools.
“My favorite part of the trailer build-off competition was getting to be hands on,” FFA secretary Laramie Wedemeyer said. “Having to make sure we used the right materials and work on it as a team [was a lot of fun].”