Tex-Trude was founded in 1951 by Tom Shartle and Bruce Keckley. Mr. Shartle and Mr. Keckley owned a large steel casting company in Houston and decided that plastics was the future. They began making plastic pipe and fittings used in golf course irrigation and other commercial irrigation.
Mr. Charles Nettles, Sr. worked for the steel company as a metallurgist and engineer. He was sent to help out the struggling plastics company on a part-time basis. In 1952, the plastics company was reorganized and Mr. Nettles, Sr. took over as president. The company moved from a small 7-11 building in Galena Park to a warehouse on Clinton Drive. The company moved away from the pipe business and into glazing bead for the window and door industry and other custom profile extrusions. As the business grew, they moved to the Gulf Freeway plant and started making blown film for the garment and shirt bag industry. In the late 1950’s, they expanded the blown film business and started making sheeting for the synthetic rubber industry.
In 1965, Tex-Trude bought 20 acres on Sheldon Road in Channelview, Texas and moved the blown film operation to this location. In 1971, they bought 10 acres on Hwy. 90 and moved the PVC Profile Extrusion division. In 1995, Tex-Trude bought an additional 30 acres at Sheldon Road for a total of 50 acres.
In 1984, Mr. Nettles, Sr. and Mr. Jack Dale made a leveraged buyout of all other Tex-Trude stockholders and took control of Tex-Trude. In 1985, Charles Nettles, Jr. joined the firm and took over sales. In 1988, Mr. Nettles, Sr. put his stock in trust for his 3 children and by 1991, Tex-Trude had repurchased Mr. Jack Dale’s stock. In 1997, Mr. Charles Nettles, Jr. bought 100% of the stock.
Unexpectedly, Mr. Charles Nettles, Sr. died on November 26, 2003. He was highly respected by every employee and is greatly missed. His legacy at Tex-Trude will always live on.
In 2004, the company built a new 70,000 square foot building at the Sheldon Road site and moved the PVC Profile Extrusion division over to the main campus. Over time, the company grew at a fast pace. Revenues were $7 million in 1984, and topped $50 million in 2008.
On Saturday, November 8, 2008, Tex-Trude had a major 5 alarm fire. It took 50 fire trucks and over 200 fire fighters two days to put out the fire. It burned over 4.5 million pounds of finished goods, over 2 million pounds of resin, as well as the Shipping and Receiving, Reprocessing and Bag-making Departments totaling 170,000 square feet of buildings. Tex-Trude immediately started rebuilding and completed the new 185,000 square foot building in January 2010. While the fire was a huge loss for the company, it has also allowed Tex-Trude to analyze existing markets and to enter new markets. The new building now has six Alpine 3-layer blown film lines. It also is equipped with state-of-the-art SVT bottom weld bag machines.
In 2011, Charlie Nettles III joined Tex-Trude, LP, and he currently serves as President of Tex-Trude, LP. Tex-Trude, LP has 220 employees with sales in excess of $130 million in 2022.
In 2019, Tex-Trude Holdings formed a new joint venture called Tex-Trude Pipe Co LLC. Tex-Trude Pipe makes HDPE pipe from 6″ to 24″ diameter. This pipe serves municipal, industrial, and oil & gas markets. Charlie Nettles III is the president. Tex-Trude Pipe has 25 employees and sales in excess of $50 million in 2022.