If you’re driving along U.S. 421 between Sanford and Siler City, the growing rows of white trailers with yellow and black trim are difficult to miss. Sanford-based QualTek Recovery Logistics has been building its inventory of “sleeper trailers” at the former site of terra cotta manufacturing plant in near Gulf to help with disaster preparedness.
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SANFORD — If you’re driving along U.S. 421 between Sanford and Siler City, the growing rows of white trailers with yellow and black trim are difficult to miss.
Sanford-based QualTek Recovery Logistics has been building its inventory of “sleeper trailers” at the former site of terra cotta manufacturing plant in near Gulf to help with disaster preparedness.
Tom Mix, president and CEO of QualTek Recovery Logistics, said the company has been supplying “base camp” accommodations during natural disasters, often for power companies, for 21 years. In years past, Recovery Logistics rented trailers to companies such as Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light during hurricane season, but felt it was best to invest in its own product.
Each of the trailers on the property contains “high-end sleeping quarters.” Each trailer has “16 beds per trailer, separated into two completely independent rooms of eight,” according to promotional materials for the equipment. There are also privacy curtains, USB ports, lights, and power at each bed.
According to Mix, the company began ordering them late last year to build its own stock. Mix says that “thousands of beds” are housed at the former manufacturing plant. While originally purchased in preparation for hurricane relief, some of the stock is currently being used in New York City, one of the hardest hit areas in the country by COVID-19, to create base camps that are essentially a type of triage and testing area.
“We have thousands of beds stationed and more are arriving,” Mix said.
The company has “base camp solutions” which include housing, fuel trucks and mobile kitchens that can feed up to 50,000 meals per day. In addition to physical set-ups, Mix says the company has more than “20,000 storm workers” across the United States to respond to disasters.
“We are the guys that help the utility workers, and now healthcare providers in the country,” Mix said.
And it’s not just the sleeper trailers. The company is working with a company through FEMA to provide portapotties and handwashing stations to medical personnel and patients in New York.
Mix noted that many people have driven past the trailers, stopping to ask what is going on. He’s hoping that people realize these are the “good guys” trying to keep things going in a time of strife.
Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.