LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The co-founder of one of Tippecanoe County's largest companies has died. Rodney Ehrlich, the co-founder and Senior Vice President of Wabash National, died at the age of 72, according to the company.
Ehrlich and his brother opened the company's doors in Lafayette in 1985. While at Wabash, Ehrlich authored more than 60 patents. 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 (FRP) models; and the industry-breakthrough DuraPlate® line of composite plate trailers that continue to transform the dry freight van business.
Ehrlich was a community leader in multiple respects. He was a graduate of Purdue University and was honored by the School of Engineering as "Alumnus of the Year" in 1997. Wabash National opened the Ehrlich Innovation Center, named after Rod, for his leadership in the company.
President and CEO Brent Yeagy released the following:
“To know Rod was to love him," said 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.”