At Calico Trailers, we pride ourselves on being more than just a company; we’re a family-owned and operated business with deep-rooted values. In an age where many businesses are owned or run by distant corporations or individuals detached from their operations, we stand apart. Our active involvement in the daily business of our company is at the heart of what makes us great.
With over 50 years of experience in the trailer manufacturing business, we’ve built a legacy that we’re proud to share. Our commitment to excellence, nurtured by our family, extends beyond our products. It’s in the relationships we’ve built, the communities we’ve supported, and the values we’ve upheld. We invite you to explore the journey and values that have shaped our legacy.
Calico Trailer traces its roots back over 40 years when Dell and Barbara Liles established the company in Quitman, a small town in north-central Arkansas. In the early days, Quitman was home to five other trailer manufacturers and a trailer supply store. Over time, those manufacturers closed their doors, leaving only Calico Trailers and the supply store. The journey began in 1983 with minimal resources, including a borrowed welder and a month’s rent paid through grace. Dell Liles’s determination, hard work, and unwavering commitment laid the foundation for the company’s success, supported by the blessings of friends, family, and faith.
Despite the common advice against hiring friends or family, Calico Trailers embraced both from the beginning. Dell and his brother, George, played pivotal roles in crafting the trailers, with George now serving as the building department supervisor. The journey expanded beyond the Liles family when the need arose to transport trailers to dealers. Overcoming a financial obstacle, Barbara sold her wedding ring to acquire the company’s first truck, a memorable orange 1967 six-cylinder Chevrolet. Barbara took on the role of driver, balancing office duties and assisting Dell in the workshop for deliveries to valued dealers.
As the years unfolded, the Calico Trailers family and team grew. Sean Johnson joined in 1988 as a welder’s helper and now serves as the company’s president, bringing extensive experience in welding, chroming, sales, and management. Susan, Dell and Barbara’s daughter and Sean’s wife, is another integral team member. Her journey with Calico Trailers began during high school and continued through college, culminating in a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. After a stint in public accounting, she returned to Calico Trailers in 2001 as the CFO and treasurer.
The family’s journey faced challenges in 2004 when Dell was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the diagnosis, he remained committed to his work during treatment. Three years later, Dell succumbed to the relentless adversary, leaving a void that can never be filled. Dell was not just a founder but also a mentor, husband, father, brother, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and a generous friend to everyone at Calico Trailers. Following Dell’s passing, Sean Johnson assumed the role of president, carrying forward the vision set in motion by Dell. Barbara is now semi-retired but remains a guiding presence, offering support as she wishes. The legacy of Calico Trailers endures, but Dell’s memory will forever remain in the hearts of those at Calico Trailers.
Watch Calico Trailers shine in real-world scenarios in featured commercials and promotions!
At Calico Trailers, we take you behind the scenes to explore our trailer construction process. From inception to completion, quality is our unwavering focus. Each product is meticulously crafted to meet your unique needs, ensuring precision, passion, and perfection in every detail
Delbert Liles, the heart of our company, was a role model to all. Raised in Hopewell, he shared love, faith, and talent. He was a gifted, humble drummer who believed in helping others.
In 1972, he met Barbara, the love of his life, and they built a beautiful family. Delbert was an ordained deacon at Hopewell Primitive Baptist Church, deeply devoted to his faith.
Cancer couldn’t break his spirit. After a valiant battle, he left us on September 29, 2007, leaving cherished memories of a loving husband, father, and friend. His legacy lives on in our hearts.