Steps to buying a Reefer, Dry Van, or Flatbed semi-Trailer that’s right for you.


Purchasing a trailer can be a pain in the neck, but it doesn’t have to be. Below is 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.

What are you hauling?

It’s important to know what you’re hauling or expecting to haul. If you’re moving packed beef from Wisconsin, you might 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 based on what you need.

Does your dealer know what they’re talking about?

The bottom line is you want to be dealing with someone who knows their stuff. So here are some questions to think about:

  • Your dealership should 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?
  • Be sure your dealer has your best interests in mind.
  • In other words, does your dealer care about your bottom line?

These are all critical questions to ask yourself. This 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.

Open up!

Come to the conversation with an open mind from spec to payment. There has to be a level of trust between 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 a 48’ dry van trailer with 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: the wrong spec equals more money out of your pocket.

Make sure you’re not just ‘getting a trailer

  • Is it inspected?
  • Do the tires need to be changed?
  • Does that reefer unit need service?

Make sure you are getting value with your purchase. 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 get 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 negotiating with you. Make sure they’re standing behind their product. A high value means more money in your pocket. And money talks, right?

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 its 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 are 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.

Call 717.400.7183 or visit to see how Utility Keystone Trailer Sales can work for you. Happy hauling!