Purchasing a trailer can be a pain in the neck, but it doesn’t have to be. We have created a list of things to consider when you’re ready to make that purchase. Plus, this is your livelihood. Let’s make it smooth…like Tennessee whiskey.
1) What are you hauling?
It’s important to know what you’re hauling or expecting to haul. If you’re hauling packed beef from Wisconsin, you may not need that reefer unit with a higher cooling power meant for transporting ice cream. Having the wrong unit means higher maintenance costs and higher operating costs. Quite simply, having the wrong spec takes money out of your pocket. Talking to the right dealer can help you identify these things and provide options for you based on what you need.
2) Does your dealer know what they’re talking about?
Bottom line, you want to be dealing with someone who knows what they are talking about. Here are some questions to think about:
· Does your dealership have specialized sales reps who know the equipment inside and out?
· Does your dealer understand what you’re hauling and the right spec to get the job done?
· Does your dealer have your best interests in mind?
· In other words, does your dealer care about your bottom line?
These are all important questions to ask yourself. This type of knowledge will help you get the right trailer for the right job. Not only that, it will save you time and get you back on the road faster.
3) Open up!
Come to the conversation with an open mind from spec to payment. There has to be a level of trust with you and your sales representative. So, qualify them first. Then, trust them to get you what you need. Work with your rep to help them understand your needs. If you have a certain spec in mind, why do you have that spec in mind? Do you really need 48’ dry van trailer? How about those swing doors? Would an overhead door better fit your application? Really analyze that spec or notion you have in your mind. Let your sales rep help you drill down and really identify the right equipment for your job. Again, it all comes down to money, right? Let’s say it again: wrong spec equals more money out of your pocket.
4) Make sure you’re not just ‘getting a trailer.’
Value. What value are you getting with this trailer? Is it inspected? Do those tires need changed? Does that reefer unit need service? Make sure you are getting value with your buy. Make sure your trailer is road ready. And make sure your dealership and sales rep are going to stand behind their product. You don’t want to get three loads deep and worry about that reefer unit shutting down on you because it wasn’t serviced. Or getting pulled over because you didn’t get a fresh FHWA before you left the dealership. These are all things your sales rep should be managing for you, or at least negotiating with you. Make sure they’re standing behind their product. High value means more money in your pocket. And money talks, right?
5) Cash or Check? Or…Finance?
Even if financing isn’t what you plan on doing, we recommend completing the credit application. There are advantages to both. Sometimes it’s best to use the bank's money to make this purchase. The right interest rate and the right monthly payment could lower your upfront cost. Then again, owning your trailer has it’s perks too. Your sales rep can discuss the options with you and help you decide the best option. Again, it’s all about your bottom line.
In conclusion, finding the right dealership and sales representative, and building a trusting relationship is key. Make sure they are putting your business first and don’t be afraid to open up and allow them to work for you. They’re not going to get where they want to go without you, and you’re not going to get where you want to go without them. And quite simply, neither is your customer’s product.