"Manufacturers of quality trailers and truck equipment"
"We only sell trailers that we would tow ourselves, "reports Peter Armstrong, owner of On the Road, Inc., a manufacturer of open trailers and distributor of several different horse trailers. "The customer's satisfaction and safety are foremost. We know what makes a good quality trailer and we wouldn't sell it if we wouldn't buy it."
Peter's convictions come after working as marine engineer and wielding a successful career of designing open trailers. After extensive research into the construction of existing trailers, Peter saw room for improvement in New England's trailer market and dug right in. The result is a solid and unique Maine business that produces, distributes, and maintains only the best open and closed trailers, horse trailers, hitch, snow plows, and truck equipment.
A full service trailer facility, On the Road, Inc., is located off route 90 in Warren, Maine. Peter and his wife, Lauren, began the business in 1985, Lauren as the office manager Peter as the designer and manufacturer of his increasingly popular open trailers which are used to haul anything from tractors and unwieldy farm equipment to four-wheelers and snowmobiles.
Peter designs his On the Road trailers to have a quality, ease of handling and longevity that other open trailers lack. He uses an all-steel construction with minimal steel tubing (since this is an easy place for water to become trapped and cause rust), extra gussets, and a hemlock (rather than the standard ply wood) deck for easier maintenance. He also welds more parts of the trailer and wraps the welds to create a superior overall strength.
The trailers serve as their own best advertisement. Peter relates that he frequently fields phone calls from people who have seen his trailers out "on the road" and are excited that they have finally found the type of trailer they are looking for
Peter's success with open trailers led him to distribute closed cargo trailers and ultimately, in 1991 and after many requests, horse trailers. On the Road, Inc. currently offers Liberty, Merhow, Featherlite, Haulmark, Aluma, U-Dump, Venture, and Load Rite boat trailers, covering a wide range of options to meet every customer's needs. Basically if you need to tow it we have the trailer for your needs.
Peter states firmly,. "I have a trailer for everybody and I give the best price right in the beginning so that no one's time is wasted. All of our trailers are discounted and we have in-store financing so the customer can have the trailer in an hour. However, towing safety is one of our top concerns and we work to educate the customer on the best trailer for their vehicle. We won't let someone drive out of here with a trailer they can't safely haul."
On the Road's integrity and high standards of safety have led them to offer trailers that vary in weight and size while maintaining ease of handling and accessibility. Many trailer manufacturers have noted that more women purchase horse trailers than men and that women are the primary handlers and haulers. Peter confirms this trend, stating, "Ninety-five percent of our trailer sales are to women. They are concerned about their horse's safety in the trailer and the value for their dollar. We offer the horse trailers that meet those needs."
Take Liberty trailers, for example. These quality trailers are an all-steel construction, which means strength and durability as well as a relatively inexpensive price tag. Sizes range from two-horse and up, with lots of options and the ability to accommodate today's larger Warmblood sport horses.
Merhow trailers are built on a steel frame but have an aluminum skin to help guard against rust for a longer life and less maintenance. This aluminum skin has insulation between the walls which keeps the horses cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter while also providing a very quiet ride. Both Liberty and Merhow trailers are padded on the interior with attention to softness and smooth edges. The trailers are vented for effective air flow while the suspensions provide a smooth and quiet ride.
All trailers distributed by On the Road, Inc. can be ordered with living quarters, and the trailers are sent out for conversion to either Sierra or Show Time Conversions in Indiana. Making themselves a complete trailer service facility, On the Road services and maintains all trailers, even those they do not sell, and they also take trade-ins toward new trailers.
On the Road must be doing something right. When Peter opened his business 24 years ago, he had two people working with him - now he has 20 employees; and a 20 to 30 percent growth margin each year. When Lauren surrendered her duties as office manager and bookkeeper in 1997, Peter hired Pam Mason to fill the void. Pam is an active equestrian herself who rides dressage and is the proud owner of a Thoroughbred stallion, Master Chips, as well as an appendix mare, a Belgian, and two foals. Thanks to her experience trailering MasteT Chips to shows, Pam can easily help customers find the trailer that suits their needs.
Though the Armstrongs don't own any horses at the moment, Peter admits, "Well, I know it's coming. My 20-year old daughter works at a private stable three days a week in exchange for riding and she rides out of Hunter Hill Farm in Union. It's only a matter of time."
It probably won't be long before Peter will be "on the road" himself, hauling his daughter and her horse to the local shows, pulling only the highest quality trailer from On the Road, Inc. and further strengthening his motto, "We won't sell it if we wouldn't buy it"
BY HELEN PEPPE -- EQUINE JOURNAL, June 1999 vol. 12 No.2
On the Road, Inc.