Tri-State Trailer Sales excels with huge product offering, customer responsiveness commitment

Tri-State Trailer Sales building front

The hours on the door don’t mean much at Tri-State Trailer Sales. When a customer is in need, President Joe Mancino says there’s no such thing as 9-to-5.

“We’re not one of those places that turn the phones off at 5 p.m.,” he says. “We’re available. That’s something I can say for myself and for our sales team. We always tell our customers, ‘When you’re working with us, we’re here 24/7 to help you.’”

In the high stakes and time-sensitive world of commercial transportation, Mancino says he can’t imagine running his business any other way.

Tri-State Trailer Sales’ customers run the gamut from single owner-operators with specialty trailer equipment to large LTL and private fleets operating thousands of units per day. Despite those operational differences, Mancino says Tri-State views all customers equally and works hard to provide consistent service no matter a customer’s traits. It doesn’t matter if a customer has one trailer or 100, he says, their load still has to reach its destination on time. Mancino says Tri-State does everything it can to make sure its customers are able to do that each day.

“We understand everyone’s time is valuable so we work really hard to help our customers in a prompt, timely manner,” he says. “We have it written on our business cards that ‘We make busy easy, guaranteed.’”

He adds, “When we’re working with a customer, we try to spend the least amount of time possible with them to meet their needs because we know they want to be helping their customers.”

Tri-State Trailer Sales front buildingTri-State Trailer Sales has four locations — two in Pennsylvania and two in Ohio. But the company's customer service capabilities go beyond its store hours. The business is built on its ability to support customers at all times.

Tri-State helps its customer base in many ways, all of which have helped the company be named one of five finalists for the inaugural Trailblazer Award, powered by Successful Dealer.

Tri-State Trailer Sales was founded by Frank Mancino in 1985 and today has four locations across Pennsylvania and Ohio and a workforce of more than 100 people. Known for its huge selection of 13 trailer brands, Mancino says he’s not aware of any other trailer dealers who support as many brands as well as Tri-State.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever said no” to supporting a brand, he says. Customers and manufacturers alike often come to Tri-State with requests to support new equipment because of the company’s sterling reputation for doing so, and Mancino says he’s always open to taking on a new product line. Constantly focused on customer success, Mancino says if a customer’s willing to come to Tri-State to ask for new equipment, then he sees no reason why not to consider it.

“I think that’s one of the things that sets us apart,” he says.

Tri-State Trailer Sales associatesTri-State Trailer Sales' has more than 100 associates across its facilities and the business works hard to invest in recruiting practices to bring in new talent.

Adds April Slebonick, the company’s secretary/treasurer and Mancino’s sister, “We’ll go that extra mile for customers and they really appreciate that.”

Another way the company goes the extra mile is with its leasing operation. Tri-State has more than 600 trailers in operation at any time and, like its brand list, the company prides itself on a having wide selection to serve any customer request. Mancino admits keeping highly specialized trailers in the fleet requires clever marketing, but he says when customers discover everything Tri-State stocks, they are often overjoyed.

“Most [lease and rental] companies stay away from those, so for customers who need them it can be hard to find them,” he says. “When they find we have them they are so appreciative.”

Other ways the business stands out in its region is its industry outreach and support of the trailer business.

Mancino participates in state and regional trade associations and has relationships with local tech schools that both help the company recruit technicians and informs educators of the importance of including trailer training in heavy truck curriculums.

“There’s no trailer repair school you can go to,” he says. “The diesel side is more attractive — it’s a higher wage — but not every tech is cut out for diesel repair. Trailer service is different.”

Adds Slebonick, “Our techs physically work much harder than most truck techs.”

Which is why when the company recruits in new talent, they work hard to educate them.

“We’ll bring on kids working part-time who are in school. We’re willing to train them and show them how to be successful,” Mancino says.

Tri-State rewards good work, too. The company’s bonus programs use department success when calculating bonus payments and do not cap associates on how large of a bonus they can earn.

“I’ve heard of other dealers who put a cap on how much somebody can make in trailer sales. I don’t understand that,” Mancino says. “When you do that, why would an employee take extra time and effort to help customers if they’re not going to be paid any more?

“We want our team to help our customers whenever they need us.”

The Trailblazer Award was created in 2023 recognize and honor North America’s trailer dealer community for their essential support of the transportation industry. The Trailblazer Award is graciously sponsored by Hendrickson and Procede Software. To learn more about the program, go the award page.

Tri-State Trailer Sales stockyardTri-State Trailer Sales supports more than a dozen trailer brands to ensure it can always provide the right trailer to support a customer's unique needs.

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