Wabash National Corporation is grieving the loss of cofounder and chief technology officer Rod Ehrlich. He was 72 years old.
“To know Rod was to love him,” says President and CEO Brent Yeagy. “Wabash National’s legacy is his legacy, and we are grateful for his friendship, mentorship and leadership. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ehrlich family as they mourn the loss of a beloved husband, father and grandparent. We ask his colleagues in the industry to join us in respecting their family time to grieve and remember his legacy.”
Ehrlich spent the majority of his lifetime shaping the trailer manufacturing industry. In relentless pursuit of superior performance through precision in engineering, Ehrlich personified innovation for Wabash National and consistently raised the bar in the industry, making a significant impact on trailer design and modern commercial transportation.
In April 1985, Ehrlich followed his brother, Jerry Ehrlich, to a new company Jerry founded called Wabash National, where Rod assumed the role of head of engineering. Over the next 30-plus years, Ehrlich helped author more than 60 patents at Wabash National that advanced the company and the industry.
Some of Ehrlich’s numerous innovations include the industry’s first thin-wall, sheet-and-post trailer; the aluminum plate trailer that replaced traditional fiberglass-reinforced-plastic models; and the DuraPlate line of composite plate trailers that continue to transform the dry freight van business. He also pioneered numerous proprietary product enhancements, some of which include vertical logistics for securing cargo; the EZ-7 modular 7-way that simplifies electrical connections and repair; the Trust-Lock door lock system that improves freight security and reduces door damage; upper ID brake lights that improve highway safety; and overhead door designs that maximize door opening height to improve freight loading and unloading operations.