Innovative Equipment Engineered to Last

Since 1997: This Barreto Tiller Outlasts

05142024_Tri State Rentals StorefrontTri State Rentals has been in business since 1978 and operates in Newton, New Jersey. “I’ve been here for 40 of those 46 years,” said Ed Caffrey, Equipment Manager. “Our owner, Tim, is still in the office every day, and his son now runs our Kubota division.” Their shop supplies both party and equipment rentals, and they also sell Kubota equipment.

“We are still renting our first Barreto tiller that we purchased in 1997,” said Ed. At 27 years old the tiller still runs strong, and he chuckled when he told us the story of its initial arrival at Tri State - the first time he met Barreto sales rep, Howard Heller. 

05142024_Caffrey_010“Howard repped a lot of different companies and he was very successful in the business. He was the one who first brought us a Barreto 16HP tiller demo unit.” 

“Back when he was just starting out, one time he pulled up in our driveway in this old little ranger pickup truck with this tiller in the bed of it.” 

Sales reps often “tow-and-show” equipment to potential customers, and on this particular occasion, the tiller was comically almost as big as the truck carting it around. According to Caffrey, it was quite the spectacle.

Here was Howard, obviously very new to handling large equipment like this, and Ed said he and his seasoned crew “watched as this new guy struggled to unload the thing all by himself. We were thinking to ourselves, ‘...he is not going to make it in this industry…’ 

Well, Howard figured out how to unload and went on to sell many more pieces of equipment over the years. Of course, he became one of the most successful reps in the area. Howard passed away just last year after retiring a few years ago around COVID. Ed recalls him as “THE sweetest, most humble man” that he had worked with through many years in business.

“We were just at the ARA show this year, and I was thinking to myself, ‘I can still see Howard with his little rolly bag at the trade shows - hassling us around every corner with ‘come see me at this booth! Now come see me at that booth!’” Ed has fond memories of good times and an even better man. 

For those of us at Barreto Manufacturing, it’s a joy to hear stories like Ed’s and Howard’s. The rental industry is not just made up of equipment - it’s all about the great people behind the equipment that make it what it is. From customers to salesmen - everyone plays a role in building the relationships that make it tick.

05142024_Caffrey_002We asked about the other Barreto units Ed has in his fleet, and his store also owns a 916 tiller that has been in rental for almost as many years as the 1620.

“We also owned a couple of your trenchers - a 2-wheel drive one and a 4-wheel drive one. Those came shortly after we bought the first tiller. We ended up using them for scavenger parts and sold them eventually, but we told the buyer they would have to take both of them at the same time. As far as I know, the person who bought them is still running them.”

“The 1620 is still in rental today - since 1997. We JUST replaced the shaft on it over winter - it’s the only thing we’ve replaced on it so far,” says Ed.

05072024_Caffrey_SGBeyond durability, Barreto equipment has proven itself attractive and user friendly. Ed said, “We have repeat customers that come back and ask specifically for Barretos in the spring and fall. We just took delivery of one of your 30SG stump grinders, and since posting about it on our social media and putting it out on display in front of the shop, we’ve had people stopping in to look at it.”

“I’ve wanted this one for a while now,” he said. “We came to the ARA show with the number #1 goal of buying that SG when we were there.”

We asked which unit has brought the best ROI - and without pause, Ed said, “Definitely the tiller. We have good luck with the trenchers, but that tiller has been tried and true. It still has the original engine.”

Tri State Rentals is an excellent example of a rental business with roots - like many small businesses around the country, it prioritizes relationships and hard work, both of which reap many great rewards for all who encounter it. You can read more about Tri State Rentals by visiting their website here, and if you’re a customer near Newton, New Jersey, be sure to try them out for all your party and equipment rental needs.