Business Focus: Eastex Trailers and Storage

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Photos by Gina Turner

On a verdant plot of land on Highway 19, a trifecta of trailers, self-storage, and portable buildings come together on four acres of land to meet the needs of long-haulers, RV owners, a local civic organization, commercial businesses, individuals looking to cover their cars from the elements, and even someone turning storage into a “man-cave.” Eastex Trailers & Storage, located on 3156 State Highway 19, meets the varying needs of its customers. Owner John Cole and his mom decided to buy this piece of real estate with a couple ideas of what the business would be. “She had the idea of self-storage, and I had the idea of trailer sales. I started calling trailer manufacturers to find ones that would want me to be their dealer. One of the manufacturers told me I should contact a guy down in Katy to get his perspective. He told me I should think about renting as well as selling trailers. We also keep a few select parts on hand, like lights and jacks, things that get torn up. We also sell accessories for people who buy trailers,” John explained. Continuing his research for this project, Cole spoke with a trailer dealer in Cuero, who suggested that he contact Cook Portable Warehouses. As a result of this fortuitous meeting, Eastex also began selling portable buildings. John’s representative from Cook Portable Warehouses suggested he look into selling carports, steel buildings, and garages. “The business has evolved over time. We bought the property in April of 2016 and within six months, everything just fell into place,” Cole shared. 

Although the storefront address lists Huntsville as its town, the business is almost halfway between Sam Houston’s home and Trinity. “Some people find us on the internet, but a lot of our customers stop in simply because they were driving by. A man who rented a trailer from me recently just happened to see our sign. I have people who come from all around who buy trailers–Houston, Crockett. I had a gentleman from Tennessee Colony, Texas, who bought a livestock trailer from me recently. I have had people come from Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Mississippi to buy trailers from me,” John communicated. Customers have the opportunity to select from different brands of trailers such as Ranch King, Diamond C, Cargo Mate, and Longhorn, and varying sizes and types of cargo trailers. One can rent a dump trailer, a deck-over trailer, a small or large car-hauler, a landscape utility trailer, or a livestock trailer. Eastex offers a weekly rate and a daily rate. “The weekly rate is five-times the daily rate and can be up to seven consecutive days. You end up getting two days free if you rent it up to the full seven days,” John pointed out. “If a person wants to haul something like a riding lawn mower or a piece of furniture, our small trailer is ideal for that.” Being community-minded, Cole gives a 10% discount to Future Farmers of America and 4-H members. The business also helps to sponsor the Ag Project show at the Walker County Fair. 

On a verdant plot of land on Highway 19, a trifecta of trailers, self-storage, and portable buildings come together on four acres of land to meet the needs of long-haulers, RV owners, a local civic organization, commercial businesses, individuals looking to cover their cars from the elements, and even someone turning storage into a “man-cave.” Eastex Trailers & Storage, located on 3156 State Highway 19, meets the varying needs of its customers. Owner John Cole and his mom decided to buy this piece of real estate with a couple ideas of what the business would be. “She had the idea of self-storage, and I had the idea of trailer sales. I started calling trailer manufacturers to find ones that would want me to be their dealer. One of the manufacturers told me I should contact a guy down in Katy to get his perspective. He told me I should think about renting as well as selling trailers. We also keep a few select parts on hand, like lights and jacks, things that get torn up. We also sell accessories for people who buy trailers,” John explained. Continuing his research for this project, Cole spoke with a trailer dealer in Cuero, who suggested that he contact Cook Portable Warehouses. As a result of this fortuitous meeting, Eastex also began selling portable buildings. John’s representative from Cook Portable Warehouses suggested he look into selling carports, steel buildings, and garages. “The business has evolved over time. We bought the property in April of 2016 and within six months, everything just fell into place,” Cole shared. 

Although the storefront address lists Huntsville as its town, the business is almost halfway between Sam Houston’s home and Trinity. “Some people find us on the internet, but a lot of our customers stop in simply because they were driving by. A man who rented a trailer from me recently just happened to see our sign. I have people who come from all around who buy trailers–Houston, Crockett. I had a gentleman from Tennessee Colony, Texas, who bought a livestock trailer from me recently. I have had people come from Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Mississippi to buy trailers from me,” John communicated. Customers have the opportunity to select from different brands of trailers such as Ranch King, Diamond C, Cargo Mate, and Longhorn, and varying sizes and types of cargo trailers. One can rent a dump trailer, a deck-over trailer, a small or large car-hauler, a landscape utility trailer, or a livestock trailer. Eastex offers a weekly rate and a daily rate. “The weekly rate is five-times the daily rate and can be up to seven consecutive days. You end up getting two days free if you rent it up to the full seven days,” John pointed out. “If a person wants to haul something like a riding lawn mower or a piece of furniture, our small trailer is ideal for that.” Being community-minded, Cole gives a 10% discount to Future Farmers of America and 4-H members. The business also helps to sponsor the Ag Project show at the Walker County Fair. 

Eastex offers a weekly rate and a daily rate on trailer rentals. 

“We were going to give up selling the woodside portable buildings. Our representative had someone signed up to be a dealer, but it didn’t work out. When he came back to me, I allotted him a portion of the front lot that would not block a passerby’s view of our self-storage. The small and mid-sized buildings sell really well for me. People always ask if they can buy what is on the lot, which they can. But if we don’t have the color, size, or style they want, we can custom order it. They build these in Bastrop; it is a fast turnaround order,” John said. “Cook Portable Warehouses is a family-owned business. They are great people to work with and have a great product.” 

Walking onto the lot, one will not have to look far before spotting the Eagle Carports. Whether a consumer desires a standard carport, an enclosed storage area, a barn, an RV cover, or more, Eagle will build to a customer’s specifications. “These buildings can be set on grass, rock, concrete, asphalt, etc. Your options include 14 different colors, windows, wainscot, walk-in doors, roll-up doors, different roof styles, different lengths, and widths, etc…You can do so many different things with these buildings. Eagle Carports has a place on their website where a customer can design and receive a price online. People like that they can really see what the end product will look like. The staff at Eagle is very nice and knowledgeable,” Cole mentioned. 

Behind the trailers, carports, and portable buildings are varying storage configurations to meet just about anyone’s needs. “We cater to RVers, boaters, and anyone needing large self-storage units. All the units are very large and include electrical outlets. Every enclosed unit also has a 4’ LED light inside it. These units are 14’ wide by 30’, 40’, or 50’ in-depth on the inside. Each one has a roll-up door that is 12’ wide and 14’ tall…We have an eclectic clientele. One man, who lives in an RV park nearby, uses the unit as his man-cave. He hangs out here,” John quipped. “A local civic organization keeps their flag-trailer out here with us.” Many of the customers appreciate the wide paved area between the buildings; it makes navigating large vehicles, trailers, etc. a more manageable task. People who want to park their vehicles in a covered (but not enclosed) space have that option available to them as well. “Every tenant has their own individual code. We have cameras trained on the buildings. We have never had any issues about people breaking in or any problems whatsoever. We are well patrolled. DPS and county law enforcement are always watching out here. The lighting is solar-controlled and comes on automatically. A young man who is on the Sam Houston Fishing team keeps his boat out here. He had asked me about the lighting, because he may come out here at 3 or 4 in the morning to get his boat. Everyone has been pleased about the security. We have a good group of tenants,” John proudly commented. 

Cole adds a personal touch by writing a “Thank You” note to his customers, and he includes a business card asking the consumer to leave a review for Eastex Trailers and Storage through Google. “We are a multi-faceted business catering to so many different types of individuals–whether it is someone who only needs our services temporarily or utilizing our storage buildings over a long period of time. We support our community, support other small business owners, and support our customers with excellent service in storage, portable buildings, and trailers.” 

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