A trailer is a trailer, right? Oh, far from it! Trailers for commercial trucks come in numerous sizes, shapes, workload capacities, and capabilities. Additionally, the cost of ownership for each trailer will differ, and can end up having an influence on what type of trailer is purchased.
Starting the Process
First and foremost, the trailer’s functionality must match up with your needs. Based on an average cargo haul, what size will the trailer need to be? When it comes to your trips, what will be the average length? As far as hauling is concerned, what will your loads consist of? Look at the loading docks that you will be using and how much you’ll be unloading and loading the trailer (ease of loading/unloading). Finally, in the near future, what is the probability that your cargo loads will change?
Figuring In Maintenance
This is an important and unavoidable factor. The American Transportation Research Institute published a study entitled “Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking” which calculated that $0.15 per mile was the average cost for overall truck maintenance. So, to help you bring those costs down, look for long-life components on the trailer you’re shopping for.
Brakes and Construction
To reduce corrosion, look for brake linings that have special coatings or longer life expectancies. The trailer’s construction should be evaluated as well. Your profits will be washed down the drain of a service center floor if equipment costs start piling up. Parts with longer life expectancies, however, mean a greater upfront capital outlay.
Use Less Fuel
Today, it is more important than ever to pay close attention to fuel efficiency. Heavier loads can be carried on trailers made from lightweight materials, while still making the most of the fuel you use. This aspect keeps costs down even further on return trips (empty trailer) and when moving lighter loads. Do a little investigation into the aerodynamic technology components of your trailer, as well. Certain components are a requirement in some states (California), and ever changing.
Speaking of State Requirements…
Safety equipment, insurance, and government regulations should all figure into the decision-making process when it comes to buying a trailer. A good trailer must be up to spec in terms of suspension and axle configuration, style, model, and size. As an example, when it comes to trailers with refrigeration units passing emission testing, some of the most stringent specs can be found in California.
Making the right choice of trailer is going to determine whether or not it ends up being a profit center or a business cost. Whichever trailer you choose, be sure that regular maintenance checks are a part of your daily, weekly, or monthly routine and that regularly scheduled maintenance procedures are carried out in a timely manner.
At Mickey Genuine Parts, we have used trailers that have all passed our inspection process and can supply their new owner with reliable service. The inventory of used trailers is constantly changing, so be sure to check back frequently if you are in the market. The Mickey Genuine Parts accessories, customization options, and parts we sell are top-of-the-line and backed by the Mickey guarantee. Contact us today if you have questions about what Mickey can do for you.