Remembering An Industry Icon
Don K. Ling, former owner of Reliance Trailers and an industry icon for over 50 years, passed away August 3, 2011 from complications related to his 15-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 81 years old. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Carol, and two children. Born in San Jose, he made Santa Rosa his home since 1956. Don graduated from San Jose State University. He enjoyed a long and esteemed career in the western U.S. heavy-duty construction truck and trailer industry and was the owner of Reliance Trailer Manufacturing Company, which he relocated from San Francisco to Cotati in 1974.
Always known to do the right thing for his customers and employees, he was genuinely admired by all who knew him. He was a very humble gentleman who always tried to put the interests of others ahead of his own.
Personally, I can say that I’m happy to have known Don Ling. Like a lot of us who owned Reliance equipment, he helped guide me through my early years buying dump trailers and bodies, and was right there when I picked up my first Reliance transfer set. He was always honest and sincere, and he personally guaranteed that if I ever needed help with his products or services, he would be there for me. He was a man of his word. He promoted a great product that helped with my success in this business. His passing is a big loss to the construction industry, and I’d like to remember him for the hard work, commitment to quality services and products, and the vision he brought to our industry. Rest well, Don.
Rob McClernon and CDTOA