Fontaine Modification will launch Fontaine Auto Transport Modification Services in the fourth quarter of this year, it said. The new business segment and its accompanying modification center will be located in Gainesville, GA, near Cottrell Trailers, a provider of auto transport trailers.

“Most auto transportation companies in North America today own vehicles that are 10 to 15 years old and reaching the end of their lifecycles. Therefore, we believe there will be a serious upturn in the market in the next three to five years,” said Will Trantham, president of Fontaine Modification. “More than 80% of the tractors Fontaine has modified for auto hauler purposes over the last two years have been sent to Cottrell to be fully converted into auto transport carriers. Dedicating a business segment to this growing market and placing it near the auto transport equipment leader was a natural decision.”

According to Fontaine, emissions regulations have resulted in many tractors converted for auto transport have gained as much as four inches in height over the last 10 years. That has impacted hauling capacity, Fontaine said, adding that in order to maintain the same hauling capacity, most auto transport companies have the cabs of new trucks modified.

Jeff Martin, vice president of sales for Cottrell, said that having the Fontaine modification process so close to his company’s facility will improve customer service.

“The large majority of day cab tractor conversions go through Fontaine before coming to us,” said Martin. “Having a dedicated Fontaine Modification Center within five miles of our facility will improve communication between all parties and result in shorter delivery times for our customers.”

The Fontaine Auto Transport Modification Services team will provide the modifications needed to convert tractors for use as auto haulers, including lowering cab heights. The facility will also offer APU installation, fleet service packages and any post-production services auto hauler customers may need.

Ivan Barnes has been promoted to general manager of the Fontaine Auto Transport Modification Services business segment and will relocate to Gainesville, Ga., in August. Aaron Gravely, production manager for the Volvo Auto Transport production line in Dublin, Va., has been promoted to operations manager of the Gainesville facility. He will report directly to Barnes.