What to Look For in a Used Reefer Trailer

The modern manufacturing and farming industries in the United States are enormous, but these factories and farms need a way to transport their goods. This is where the carrier industry comes in, where large ships can deliver many tons of goods via shipping containers to the world’s ports. Trains can make enormous deliveries by land, and jets can make very fast deliveries over any type of terrain. Meanwhile, what about trucks? Semi trucks companies are highly numerous and are quite affordable for smaller shipments, where a train or jet is not needed. Most carrier companies are small, and while they cannot afford a jet or ship, they can certainly afford to buy trucks and trailers, and this includes wholesale reefer units. But what is a reefer trailer, and how can a carrier company owner find a reefer trailer for sale and finance it? How big is the market for reefer units, anyway?

All About Reefer Trailers

A reefer trailer is a refrigeration unit, a specialized truck trailer designed to haul cold items and protect them from the heat. A carrier reefer features wall insulation to keep the warmth out, and it will also have one or more air conditioners to generate and maintain the desired temperature inside. Such reefer units can create a temperature anywhere from -20 to 70 degrees inside for the needs of various cargo, often frozen foods or dairy or meat for grocery stores. Also, reefer units vary somewhat in size; they range from 28 to 53 feet in length, and the largest of them may be 13.5 feet tall and weigh as much as 44,000 pounds.

These trailers are quite popular, and more and more of them are being built, bought, and used in the United States and beyond. Today, over 500,000 reefer units are in operation, and every year, the total number of orders continues to increase. For example, the total number of reefer trailer orders grew 250% from January 2017 to January 2018. Meanwhile, the global reefer trailer market weighed in at $5 billion or so in 2015, and experts say that this market will grow at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2016 to 2022, to hit an estimated value of $7.65 billion or so. Often, truck carrier company owners look for a reefer trailer for sale so they can start making deliveries to grocery stores and similar customers, and based on these numbers, it is a smart business decision to add reefer trailers to any truck fleet. Now, how can a company owner choose a reefer trailer for sale, and finance it correctly?

Finding New Or Used Reefer Trailers For Sale

Reefer units are bought and sold wholesale, or business to business, and an interested buyer will start looking online to find some units for sale in their area. A buyer can look for a new reefer trailer for sale, or a used one, or even compare new and gently used ones to find the best deal. A new reefer will probably cost more, but it will be in perfect shape and will probably also have the most modern features and construction standards, not to mention a factory warranty. A gently used unit can be bought at a serious discount, though the buyer is urged to look over the unit in person before committing to a purchase. They should check out the trailer’s wheels and axles, brake lights, hitch, air conditioning wiring, and more for any problems.

As for financing a new reefer trailer, take note that big banks are reluctant to approve loans to borrowers such as small truck company owners, since that is seen as risky. Instead, a business owner buying a reefer trailer can turn to specialized truck lending companies, which understand the risks and will have more favorable lending terms. Such lenders will look over the borrower’s business and personal credit scores, and a borrower with a good score might get as much as 100% of the trailer’s value in a loan, and with low interest. Even borrowers with iffy or poor credit may get a loan, though with higher interest. Either way, the trailer itself acts as collateral, making this a secure loan and thus more attractive to the lender.

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