MACON, MS – Courtesy of the Macon Beacon and Scott Boyd
Farmer Mike Banks got his start in the early 80’s when he made an investment in soybeans that paid off in a big way. He decided that he “wanted to take that money and start something that would last.” He took the profit and started up a business building utility trailers, cattle trailers, and the like to sell to farmers in the area, always looking to fill their needs with a solid, reliable product; he calls it “Trailboss Trailers, Inc.” He started small: “I didn’t have a fork lift, so I couldn’t build anything using parts that my tractor and forks wouldn’t pick up,” he went on to say.
Eventually, Banks wanted to expand his business, so he got a small loan from his friend and fellow farmer Errol Wedel to get some advertising done. It worked well enough that he was able to repay the loan within a year. Banks also gives credit to other members of the community that have helped his business thrive and expand: “So, I can’t say I did it all by myself,” Banks said. “There have been many people who have helped and supported me through the years, like Bob Boeckner who started working for me when I was in the old shop, about 38 years ago,” he said. Boeckner is now the manager of Trailboss’s purchasing department.
In the intervening years, the business has shifted to primarily making larger trailer units for bigger jobs, up to and including ones used by Boeing; they could not find a trailer that suited their need, so he invented one. The business has now been around for forty years and is going strong. He even built a cafeteria for his workers in the late 1990s to make sure they were well-fed, and that business now serves all sorts of hungry customers from far and wide as the Wagon Wheel Restaurant.
The Mayor of Macon, Buz McGuire expressed his admiration for Banks: “He’s not only the one behind one of our major industries, he also does much to support the community – many times in ways that most people don’t even know about. . . He saw a need for a restaurant and it has become such a valuable part of this community.”
“As a business owner, I feel I have a responsibility to contribute as much as I can to our community,” Banks said. “Noxubee County has been good to me and I enjoy giving back.”
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