Pros and Cons of Renting and Buying Trailers

Trailers can be a tremendous asset in many professions, from agriculture to construction. Many business owners decide to invest in trailers and other vehicles to better serve customers and expand their business. Other business owners prefer to rent what they need for as long as they need it and no longer, assuming it avoids long-term maintenance costs. Ultimately, any business owner who relies on trailers will need to decide between renting and buying at some point. The best way to make a prudent decision is to weigh the total cost of ownership and decide if it’s worth the investment.

Understanding Total Cost of Ownership

Imagine a business owner needs a special trailer to fulfill an order for one of his most steady clients. Buying the trailer would cost $3,000, while renting it for a week would only cost $700. It would seem like the $700 investment would be the easier choice. However, if that interaction leads to more similar orders, the business owner would effectively need to pay $700 each time he or she needs the trailer. If orders of this nature become the norm for operations, then the $3,000 investment may not seem as expensive since it will provide a trailer that is ready for use whenever needed. However, renting does avoid the long-term costs of ownership.

Many people think of ownership simply as paying to own something. However, business owners need to think about how much money it costs them to keep the things they own in serviceable condition. A truck or trailer will certainly require an upfront investment to cover the purchase price, but then the owner must consider yearly maintenance, repair costs, inspection fees, wear and tear, warranty coverage, future upgrades, and many more considerations that increase the total cost of owning the item.

On the other hand, renting allows business owners to avoid these long-term costs. It may cost more to rent a trailer for a short time, but if the business owner only needs the trailer occasionally, then renting is clearly the better option. Renting is often a great short-term solution for new business owners who need to quickly bridge the gap to their customers. Over time, renting typically gives way to buying and investing in the company’s growth.

Unsure? Ask!

If you’re considering a trailer purchase but wonder if renting may be a more financially prudent option, ask one of the I69 Trailer Center team members. Ultimately, renting is only preferable to  buying if you only need the vehicle or trailer for a one-off event or a short time, whereas buying makes more sense if you want to invest in the future of your business and have more control over your vehicles. Reach out to the I69 Trailer Center team for more information about renting or buying trailers in the Fort Wayne area.

Winter is Coming: Prepare Your Trailer!

The summer is drawing to a close, and soon the cold weather will hit most of the United States. Many trailer owners park their trailers in garages or storage centers during the winter when not in use, and it’s a good idea to “winterize” your trailer before letting it sit for months. Without the right preparation, a trailer can suffer significant damage from rust, water, weather damage, pests, and other problems.

Step One: Clean Everything

Make sure your trailer is as clean as possible before putting it in winter storage. Consider checking the air levels of the tires, and check the metal fixtures on the exterior for rust. Once you’re certain the trailer is clean and ready for storage, clean the area where you intend to store it. Dust, debris, dirt, and clutter are breeding grounds for bacteria and also attract pests. Make sure your storage space is clean and then park your trailer. 

Step Two: Secure the Trailer

Most trailers have cords that connect to the vehicles pulling them and may have other dangling connections as well. Make sure these are secure and covered when possible. Rodents love chewing on wires, so you may open your storage area in the spring to find that mice have made a meal out of your trailer’s wiring. 

It’s also wise to purchase a cover for your trailer in some cases, but it’s best to consult with experts as covering can sometimes cause moisture buildup, which, in turn, can create mold, mildew, and attract insects. However, covering will make it harder for animals to make their way inside or otherwise damage your trailer. Tire covers may also help preserve your trailer’s tires if the trailer will be sitting for a long time.

Step Three: Pest-Proofing and Weatherproofing

After parking your trailer in the storage space, take a moment to ensure the space isn’t open to the elements due to broken windows, drafts, or leaky roofs. You may also wish to place insect repellant, mouse traps, and other pest deterrents in the area. Depending on your location, your local pest control specialists may have tips for handling the pests and wildlife in your area, so be sure to consult them if you’re unsure.

Preparing your trailer for winter is important, especially if the trailer won’t be in use. You can always consult the team at I69 Trailer Center for information about storage, accessories, winter preparation, or other concerns. The right preparation will mean your trailer is ready for use once spring arrives, so take care of your trailer and prepare for storage before winter arrives.