We have built over 14,000 trailers. We have got the hang of it.
We really do have a reputation for quality. We don't just talk about it. Ask our thousands of repeat customers. Is there any better proof?
No other dump trailer manufacturer offers as diverse a product line as Travis®. Others have your basic frameless, or your basic frame type, cookie-cutter models. We've got The Wave®, the Vertex™, Aerolite™, Wedge, and the Classic®, all available as frameless, quarter-frame, or frame-type, and almost any of these are available in body widths custom tailored to YOUR application, from straight 76" wide, to tapered 84" to 90" wide, tapered 90" to 96", tapered 96" to 102", straight 96" wide or straight 102" wide. You can pretty much name your side height, also. It is certainly not the easiest way for us to do it, but it gives you the most choices, and allows you to order the perfect trailer for your application. We are happy to customize it for you. There is also The WAVE® Aluminum Bottom Dump, the Classic® Live floor/tipper, and the Aerolite™ Live floor and tipper.
We also cannot overlook the newest addition to our family of aluminum dump trailers; the Alumatech®! This is the lightest aluminum half-round dump trailer ever built, which we started building in 2012.
We don't start cooking it until you order it. However, if your specifications are relatively simple, you will be happy to know that we always try to have several trailers available for immediate sale.
We have been here since 1989, never bankrupt, never closed and reopened, pretty much the same people since the beginning.
We have degreed engineers on our staff. We are equipped with CAD software, and finite element analysis. Our trailer designs are well studied before they hit the streets. We also learn even more from the streets.
Big ol' ears. None of us operate dump trailers, we just build them, so we LISTEN to, and rely on input from customers to help us build trailers that work better, last longer, are better looking, and make more money. We have dozens of examples of this, where we have implemented your ideas, to make a better trailer for everyone. Like our barn door hinges, our coal door track and handle, our sexy looking light panel, our rear latches, and several of the trailer body designs, to name a few.
Draft arms as wide as they can go, for added stability.
More aluminum in the right places, and less where not needed, to optimize the strength and weight. For example, the "heavy U" at the back of our doghouse is 1inch thick. Our trailers do not crack here. Look closely, other trailers may look similar from a distance, or say they are as good as a Travis®, but they probably aren't. We are not trying to be the lightest, or the cheapest. We ARE trying to be the best value, best constructed, longest lasting, least bothersome to maintain, and have the best resale value. This all sounds cliché, but it is working. Most of our trailers have a 5-year, limited warranty. We are that confident in their workmanship. Most of our competitors have a 1-year warranty, and often times in the past, they haven't been around to honor even that.
Q+ brake shoes are standard. This is another little feature that you may not notice unless you look closely. Most of our competitors want to give you the bare minimum. Add up a bunch of little added benefits or features on a Travis like this, and you will understand the definition of "value". You get more for your money.
Robotically solid welded side stakes. One of our competitor’s charges $3000 to solid weld their sides, and almost all of our competitors weld their sides by hand. A skip welded side stake is not just weaker; it looks bad, and allows dirt to accumulate behind it, that adds weight to the trailer. We see it all the time, repairing our competitor's trailers.
Extruded rubber seal, interlocking with a channel in our rear post, for an excellent water seal, and avoiding metal-to-metal contact at the rear, standard. One of our competitor’s charges $1000 for an optional gate seal. (Hint: Look at Mate's website.)
Solid welded gate. It simply makes sense. It keeps the gate from streaking after a wash, or a rain, and prevents dust accumulation.
Our Designs. 5.5" deep crossmembers, 4" wide at the bottom, and flared out to 7" wide at the top, on 14" centers. Only 7" apart at the top, where they weld to the floor, giving an equal spacing of 7" between, and 7" across a crossmember. Most of our competitor's crossmembers are only 4" deep, 50% less than ours, and theirs are not flared at the top, leaving a big space between 2 crossmembers, promoting wash-boarding of the floor.
The BEST alloys of aluminum. There are differences, you know. Some grades/alloys are cheaper than others, but may not have the tensile strength or abrasion resistance that others have. We use 5454 H-34 for the floor, AND the sides. It is about 15% stronger, and harder than cheaper alloys. We also use 5556 wire. So, what's the difference? About 15% strength. Like the 5454 H-34 sheet, every little bit of strength helps promote the longer life, and resistance to cracking. Our welding knowledge is more than just trial and error. Professional engineers study these things. If a manufacturer doesn't mention their alloy, they probably don't use the best stuff available, or the best alloy for the job. They may not even know any better.
The BEST barn door in the business. TOTALLY ground operated, with ease. Often copied, rarely duplicated. Plus, our gate gets better all the time. We have heavy-duty, steel hinges that bolt through the door, body guides, greaseable hinges and pins.
Grain/Coal door, that operates with ease, with a unique track to keep it aligned; it locks over center for a secure closure, the handle is located remotely so you won't get covered up with the load as you stand there and operate the door, and the adjustable opening has a feature that lets you tighten the position of the door to a specific opening. We will make the door as wide as you want, no extra charge. It's easy.
SST™ Technology: We started this with the introduction of the SST™ Trailer. We received a Patent from the United States Patent Office for our fully boxed rub-rail, and the integral connection of the bucket-shaped crossmember, which is solid welded to the inner face of the lower rail. This gave us the ability to describe our floor as forklift compatible, without having to add rows of stringer blocks between all of the crossmembers from front to back. Nowadays, SST™ Technology can be the terminology used to describe the innovative designs and features of all Travis® trailers. You can read more here.
Innovation starts here. Way back in 1989, we started offering a "tapered" trailer, where the body width is 96" wide at the front, and grows to 102" at the rear, a 6% increase. As the load starts to break free, it has less and less resistance as it exits the trailer. This accomplishes an earlier release of the load, at a lower, safer angle, and lessens the wear on the sidewalls as it gets wider. Soon after, we made our first trailer that is now known as the Aerolite™, a single-walled smooth side aerodynamic trailer. Then came the SST™, a smooth sided, double-walled trailer, that took advantage of serious aerodynamics, and coupled with the SST™ floor, made this the perfect over-the-road, severe-service trailer. Then, some unique lightweight trailers, like the Wedge™. Along the way was the Palletizer, a trailer optimized for dual-purpose, front-haul, back-haul versatility. Then, innovative features incorporated into the trailers used by the Rendering Industry. Now comes the Wave® and the Vertex®, the utopian smooth-sided trailer, built of extruded aluminum walls, of incredible strength.
Our Warranty. Most of our aluminum end dumps carry a 5-year limited warranty, not that you will need it. If you build them right the first time, you don't have to worry about a long warranty. If you do have a problem, you will find that we are easy to work with, and will act knowing that it is critical to get back on the road. We won't make you haul the trailer all over the country to get something fixed. Often we will work with your favorite shop, or in some cases, we will pay our customers shop to do repairs, in accordance with our guidance. It is still comforting for you to know the warranty is there, and that the Company behind it will not only be there, but will not run and hide from the problem, or fold up one day, only to reappear the next day, under a similar name, leaving all their creditors, dealers, customers in their wake. Maybe you know some companies like this....Ultralite, Alumalite, ATM, ATI, Hardee, USTS, etc., to name just a few.
Our Vendors. We use only the best components, and we treat our vendors like partners. Names like Alcoa, for our aluminum sheet, and extrusions, Hendrickson Suspensions, Watson-Chalin, Reyco, Hutchens, Custom Hoists, Truck-Lite, Meritor, Sealco, Continental General, Bridgestone, Michelin, among others.
Our Sales Network. It includes several regional salesmen, with dozens of years of experience, and our Independent Dealer network, which includes a very few carefully selected relationships with Companies who exemplify the same traits we hope you see in us.
Our Parts availability and pricing. We ship most parts orders the same day. For a big order, requiring us to assemble a large quantity of parts for a turnover repair, maybe 3-5 days. Either way, our corporate policy states that parts sales to keep existing customers trailers on the road are a priority over anything else, including new production, if there is a conflict. They are also priced reasonably. Some of our competitors charge twice as much as us for a top rail, or draft arms, or side stakes.
Constant Upgrading. Anytime we find a better way to do something that makes a better trailer, we change it. We can implement a change in ALL our future trailers by lunch today. Then we keep a record of the date, the change, and the first serial number affected. The list of these items has swollen to over 250, just since 1997. Some are big deals, like switching to the Q+ brake, and some are very small, like drilling a drain hole in an extrusion. But each one is furthering our attempt toward building the perfect trailer. In another place in the "Cool Stuff" section, we plan to list some of these items, to give you an idea of what we are talking about.
Resale Value. Those cheaper trailers get cheaper, and cheaper throughout their life, and really fall off the value cliff when the company who made them is no longer around to offer parts support or service. To maximize value, and resale ability, a trailer manufacturer name should be recognizable virtually anywhere, and have a good reputation for quality. It's easy to check this out; look at truckpaper.com, or any magazine that offers used trucks and trailers. With over 14,000 trailers on the road, we are pretty well known, and the people who are offering used Travis® trailers for sale seem to be getting more than the average, because of the demand for a known quality trailer. The aluminum trailers also hold a better percentage of their original price than do the steel trailers. The steel trailers always seem to need paint, or a floor overlay, or they are all dinged up, or rusty.
In-Line Quality Control. There is never a cheaper time to fix something than when it is going down the line, or during our final QC inspection. After it leaves the factory, it costs exponentially more to have anything repaired/ added/ whatever, and costs our customers aggravation, and lost revenue. Each area supervisor has a detailed checklist that must be completed, and is eventually stored with the permanent records of the trailer, before the trailer leaves his work area. His name is on the line, and says it is right. Then, before it leaves the factory, another, independent QC inspector goes over it with a 4-page checklist, and red tags any item that is not up to spec., or incomplete. The trailer cannot be shipped without his permission. He reports to the President of the Company, not the Production supervisor. Things still happen, but not because we are not trying. Hopefully, we learn from each mistake.
Happy Employees. We don't have a lot of turnover. We know the value of a tenured employee, and we care about them. We give our employees paid vacations and holidays, medical and dental insurance, 401K plan with company matching, annual reviews, and a friendly, safe working environment. A few of them that have quit in the past came back, and we welcomed them with open arms. There is more to a job than the hourly rate, they found.
Safety Program/Environmentally Compliant. We care about our employee's safety. We are OSHA compliant. We use an outside consultant to train and educate us about safety, and OSHA regulations. We conduct regular inspections, as well. Low employee turnover helps safety immensely. Our plant does not pollute the environment either. We use legitimate waste disposal companies to dispose of our by-products, and have annual EPA inspections to measure and confirm our emissions are in compliance.
International Abilities. While we're no big-time exporter, we have sold new trailers in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, South America, South Korea, and are familiar with EXIM banking, and exporting in general. We have also shipped many trailers to Hawaii, (not quite an export), and are having NO problems getting volunteers to go do follow up calls on those customers.
Corporate Clients. Our pricing, manufacturing quality, personnel, company history, financial strength, appearance, along with dozens of other closely scrutinized criteria, got Travis® named as the principal supplier of Live Floor & Tipper trailers to Waste Management in the US and Canada, except for the far Northeast, for a multi-year contract to supply millions of dollars of new equipment to them. This speaks to our overall viability as an ongoing concern, our financial strength, and our professional style of doing business.
Our Customers. It sounds cliché to say that, because so many people say it. A very large portion of our business comes from 2 sources: repeat customers, and referrals by existing customers. This is really a small world, the dump trailer owner's universe. If we did not get repeat business, we would run out of new customers in a very few years. We suspect that some of our competitors are struggling with that very issue. It is incredibly important to us that you come back. We treat every SINGLE one of you, (and most of you come one trailer at a time), like we expect you to come back for more. We are counting on it. Most of us expect to retire here, and we have to keep selling trailers to do that. It is so much easier to sell a trailer to someone who has a friend that has a Travis® that loves it. Fifteen sales calls do not equal the impact and influence of a happy customer. Our customers are also an important source of ideas. Most of the changes, and new ideas we have implemented on our trailers are a result of feedback from our customers.
We could probably think of more, but if you have read this much, you should be convinced. There are more reasons, and there is more good information on our website, www.travistrailers.com in the product descriptions, and other "cool stuff". If you know of, or can think of something we need to add, to help you make your purchase decision, let us know. We're all ears.