Tri-State Truck and Equipment, Inc. has aligned itself with a small but premium group of manufacturers in order to better serve its customer base with quality products, competitive service support, and integrated parts inventories. This alignment makes Tri-State and the manufacturers that it represents synonymous in the marketplace. While many equipment dealers have expanded the number of manufacturers represented, Tri-State has intentionally reduced its number of manufacturers in order to be recognized as the expert in the lines that it carries. This consolidation has greatly improved our focus on training, machine and parts availability, and thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
Tri-State Truck & Equipment, Inc. was founded in Billings, Montana in 1961. There were five original shareholders including L.P. Anderson, Sterling Degner, and Lyle Tisor. It was named Tri-State because it served areas in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota.
At its inception, Tri-State was a Diamond Reo dealer but quickly became the Euclid dealer by 1964. In 1965 Tri-State built and moved into a new location at 1124 Main Street, Highway 89, which was the main highway into Billings. This facility was located across the street from the Caterpillar dealership and next to Detroit Diesel. After 10 years this building was expanded to handle an increase in parts, service and sales business.
By the end of the 1960's Euclid was broken up because of anti-trust concerns and Tri-State became the Terex dealer as well as keeping the Euclid line of mining trucks. In the late 60's and early70's there was a tremendous amount of earth moving business in the area due to the development of coal reserves, power plants and the interstate highway system. By the early 1970's, Tri-State and Diamond Reo parted ways and Tri-State decided to focus on the construction and mining business.
In 1969, L.P. Anderson and two other investors decided to sell their 50% interest in Tri-State to J.D. Evans Equipment Company, the Terex Dealer in South Dakota. The ownership would remain this way until 1986 when J.D. Evans' two owners, Owen Evans and Tom W. Zimmer sold out to some of their employees. As a result of that transaction, Tom W. Zimmer ended up with J.D. Evans 50% share of Tri-State. This has since evolved into the current ownership structure with the retirement of Sterling Degner and the death of Lyle Tisor.
In 1983, DeWitt Boyd approached Tri-State about putting a location in Casper, WY and Tri-State agreed to move forward. At about the same time Tri-State became the dealer for Clark/Michigan loaders, Hitachi excavators and other various lines. In 1988, Tri-State became the WHITEGMC dealer in Montana and in 1996 the Mack dealer.
Today, Tri-State represents Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment, Gomaco, KPI, JCI, AMS, and CEC for construction equipment; and Ranco, Side Dump Industries, and Eager Beaver trailers. In the last 10 years, Tri-State has reduced the number of product lines it represents in order to serve the customer better during and after the sale. Its philosophy of doing more business with less lines has improved customer satisfaction and profitability. See above Product Lines Tab for a complete list of manufacturers.
In September, 2004 Tri-State moved into a new Billings facility located on I-90. This facility has increased our service and parts business as well as increasing our visibility in the marketplace. This facility is just slightly larger than the original building in Billings. This was due to the changing population growth in Montana. Tri-State has also opened a Branch in Glendive, MT due to the rapid growth in the Bakken Oil Field.