Whether you need to rent or lease semi trailers regularly or infrequently, you should find a source you can rely on and trust. In other words, you want to identify a semi trailer leasing partner, not a provider.
The difference in terms may sound like “splitting hairs,” but there is an important distinction between them. Any company that has semi trailers can provide you with one or more of them. Just find the dry van, flatbed, reefer, liftgate or other semi trailer you need, sign the paperwork and off you go.
It’s easy—that is, until you discover that the equipment is damaged or hasn’t been well maintained, the provider doesn’t offer any type of support, or they can’t meet your additional or expanding trailer needs. Now you have to look for another company that leases or rents semi trailers, which takes additional time and effort.
A much better approach is finding a leasing partner right from the start. A partner is different from a provider in several ways:
- They get to know you personally.
- They take the time to understand your business and transportation needs.
- They’re transparent about everything from how well they service their equipment to how they support you while you’re leasing it.
- They value your business and hope to sustain a long, mutually beneficial relationship.
But how do you identify your ideal semi trailer leasing partner? The key is to be prepared and methodical in interacting with potential partners. That means having a list of questions to ask each company you interview.
It’s too easy to be swayed by standard promises like: “We’ve got everything you need!” or “We’ll take care of you!” A solid partner doesn’t just make those claims but can also back them up. However, the only way you’ll know if you’re dealing with a contender or pretender is to ask direct questions.
What You Need To Learn in Semi Trailer Leasing Partner Interviews
When looking for a leasing partner, be sure to get all the information you need to make a well-informed decision by asking these nine questions:
1. What equipment do you think I need? An experienced semi trailer leasing expert can listen to you describe your business operations and quickly reply with sound advice on the best way to meet your transportation needs. You may already know what you’re looking for, but it’s still a good idea to ask this question as a way to gauge the potential partner’s knowledge and industry expertise.
2. How are your semi trailers maintained? The potential partner must have a program for performing routine maintenance and regular inspections for its semi trailers.
3. What features do your semi trailers have? It may be that a “bare-bones” trailer is all you need, but it’s helpful to know if advanced functionality like GPS tracking is available.
4. What are the trailer rental or leasing terms? You’ll want the potential provider to be very detailed in answering this question. Companies may offer many different terms (weekly, monthly, etc.), each with its own rates—including for cartage, over-the-road (OTR) and storage use. If so, it’s vital to understand your options.
5. What are the maintenance terms and conditions for rented or leased semi trailers? Some companies will offer service contracts covering everything from routine maintenance to repairs. Maybe you intend to have your internal team handle those tasks, but it’s still good to know whether the partner can do the work and what it will cost in case your situation changes.
6. Where are you located, and can you deliver trailers to me? Will it be convenient for you to work with this company?
7. How are equipment problems handled on the road? A well-maintained semi trailer is unlikely to have a mechanical problem. However, Boxwheel provides 24/7/365 nationwide assistance should you ever need it.
8. What is the business owner’s industry background? There are many reasons to go with a company with deep industry expertise. They include their understanding of the equipment, their network of contacts and other advantages.
9. What is the company’s rental or leasing process? If you plan to do business with the company on an ongoing basis, it’s helpful if their process for obtaining equipment is fast and efficient.
Leased Semi Trailers: Flexibility in Today’s Volatile Business Environment
Companies are increasingly looking to semi trailer rental and leasing companies to help them meet operational challenges. That’s due, in part, to how rapidly their transportation and storage requirements are can change.
Finding a partner they can count on gives them the flexibility necessary to adapt to changing business needs and market conditions. Issues like pandemic-driven business closures, supply chain disruptions and other problems that most businesses had never before experienced are now top of mind with decision-makers.
For example, purchasing a fleet of semi tractors and trailers when business is booming can be a costly mistake if the economy takes a sudden, sharp downturn. But having a relationship with a reliable trailer leasing partner enables you to change your shipping and warehousing strategies as needed to ensure you have the capacity you require without expensive owned equipment sitting idle.
And, of course, finding your ideal trailer leasing partner doesn’t mean you have to start using their equipment immediately. Many businesses find it reassuring to identify a partner and establish a relationship before they require any trailers. That way, when a need suddenly arises, they don’t have to research and vet semi trailer leasing companies quickly. That scenario greatly increases the risk of making a decision you’ll regret later.
Contact Boxwheel Trailer Leasing today to learn more about us and our inventory of dry van, flatbed, reefer and other trailers from leading manufacturers like Great Dane, Wabash, and Utility. We work with great companies throughout the Southwest U.S., including in the Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Reno and El Paso areas.