Unveiling American Trailer World’s trailblazing journey of acquisitions and innovation 

Officially in business since 2016, American Trailer World Ltd (ATW) is the largest manufacturer, retailer, and distributor of professional and consumer grade trailers, truck equipment, parts, and accessories in the US. With its customers’ needs and satisfaction in mind, ATW guarantees industry-leading, quality trailers, truck beds, and transportation equipment. Moreover, the company boasts the best sales and service professionals in the industry, operating two distinct divisions: Pro-Grade and Consumer Grade. Focusing on the Pro-Grade division, Jason Bertinetti, SVP of Pro Grade Operations, provides invaluable insights into ATW’s activities, starting with a deep dive into the company’s journey. 

welder from American Trailer World“ATW began when two companies, American Trailer Works and Big Tex Trailers, joined forces. American Trailer Works came into existence in 2010 through the merger of PJ Trailers and Carry-On Trailers, whereas Big Tex Trailers was established in 1982 and then merged with American Trailer Works in 2016, resulting in the creation of ATW. By unifying the two largest brands in the industrial trailer segment, ATW aimed to leverage engineering competency and supply chain scale to serve the largest dealer networks in the business. Further acquisitions followed to continue to strengthen our position. Today, we operate as two separate business units: Consumer Grade and Truck Equipment, encompassing CM Truck, Dakota Bodies, and RC Trailers, and the Pro-Grade side, consisting of PJ Trailers, Big Tex Trailers, and BWise Trailers. Our central procurement group manages procurement strategies across the company, while supply chain planning, manufacturing, and engineering are streamlined through the business unit operations teams,” he enlightens. 

Jason reflects on what impact the pandemic had on the trailer industry: “Despite initial uncertainty caused by Covid, the industry experienced a boom during that time and quickly doubled in market size. Post pandemic, the industry has returned to a state of normalcy with steady demand, but the previous boom resulted in an increased number of manufacturers and dealers in the market. This is putting pressure on all parties involved to improve quality, service levels, cost controls, and present end customers with continually innovative solutions to serve their hauling needs.” 

Pro Grade operates a large-scale manufacturing network, runs company-operated retail stores, and serves over 700 independent dealers. “I’m focused on empowering all our customers’ solutions to win through innovations in products and the manufacturing supply chain,” Jason states. “This ultimately comes down to providing a high-quality trailer at the right price and being a preferred partner to serve their needs.” 

Jason and his team focus their marketing efforts on identifying with these end customers. “To deliver on the value proposals, we have three different brands with varying value differentiators,” he continues. “Big Tex trailers are a more standardized trailer which aim to ship with short lead times out of finished goods. The Big Tex product line is aimed at gritty, hard-working professionals that have a need for a tough trailer at a good price. PJ Trailers offer a similar product portfolio to Big Tex but encompass dealer configuration facilitated through a tightly integrated dealer portal. PJ’s brand symbolizes a similar grit with a community centric feel. BWise Trailers target a premium market with strong fit and finish, and one of the best coating solutions in the business, supporting customers who want a premium trailer to fit their business or persona image. 

“One of the most valuable pieces of our value proposition is our scaled manufacturing and supply chain network,” he explains. “We have strong supplier partnerships with the best in the industry. They work with us to deliver high value, cost effective solutions that can position our dealers to win.” 

Manufacturing innovation

Large trailer being towed by pickup truck on a curved road

Cost and scarcity of labor are challenges facing the entire industry. “Efficiencies and capacity challenges are being achieved through automation. In short, we must look at doing more with less. Combining the right mix of products, manufacturing technology, and a marketing engine to drive leads to dealers is what drives us,” Jason sums up. 

He goes on to discuss some recently launched new products. “Big Tex and PJ have recently deployed a feature rich line with Big Tex launching the X series and PJ launching the Voyager series. For example, the X series dump trailer represents a step above the standard LP series. It offers an upgrade package including an expanded toolbox, telescopic dump cylinder, spring arm tarp, seven-gauge flooring, side extension brackets, and upgraded 14PLY tires. Additionally, ATW aims to be more competitive in the run-of-the-mill, cost-effective end of the market by offering a trailer that is very similar but not as feature-rich as the X series. This standard model approach reflects our desire to use our scale to produce high value solutions while avoiding customizable options which cause excessive complexity in the ordering, fulfillment, and manufacturing processes. Likewise, on the PJ Trailer side of the business, we are introducing the Voyager series, offering a similar upgraded feature package on a brand differentiated trailer,” he explains. 

Jason concludes with some predictions: “I think there will be more consolidation in our industry and at some point, there will be some regulation, which is a good thing for the progressive manufacturers and dealers. This would build some logical controls and force us all to rapidly adapt to provide improved solutions. Specifically, Pro Grade’s goal is to double our market share in the next five years through manufacturing innovation, supply chain optimization, and dealer enablement.”