The Finances of Buying a Truck Trailer


Not only is the United States home to a massive sector for manufacturing and farming, but it also boasts an equally impressive freight delivery network. Many carrier companies large and small alike are delivering goods and food for shipper clients, and the larger ones may offer jets, trains, and ships to make deliveries. Ships carry cargo across the ocean and trade at the world’s ports, while jets can make very fast deliveries and can fly over any sort of terrain. Most carrier companies today are on the smaller side, and while they can’t afford jets or ships, they certainly have semi trucks. A company’s fleet of trucks can deliver goods across the many American roads, and this is price friendly for everyone involved. These may include reefer trailers, too, but what is a reefer trailer? And when it comes to purchases, a new reefer trailer may appeal to a wholesale buyer, or perhaps used reefer trailers, such as used Thermo King refrigeration units. When a company owner does decide to buy a new reefer trailer, they may turn to finance options such as truck lenders to afford that purchase.

Reefer Trailers and Their Work

When it comes to new reefer trailers and used ones alike, a buyer should know what they are like. A reefer trailer is a refrigerated truck trailer equipped with air conditioning units, so that it can cool down the interior and maintain a temperature ranging from 70 degrees to -20 degrees Fahrenheit inside. That truck trailer will also feature wall insulation to maintain that internal temperature. Such trailer units may vary size, 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. The global market for these trailers is massive and still growing, and in the United States alone, 500,000 of them are currently in operation. Around the world, experts say that the global market for reefers may grow at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2016 to 2022, and by 2022, it may hit a market value of $7.65 billion or so.

Most often, these chilled trailers are used to deliver food and other cold-sensitive items to grocery stores, restaurants, and the like. Meat, dairy, and frozen processed foods would suffer in a regular truck trailer, but not in a reefer. Often, these reefer trucks will travel to and from warehouses and grocery stores that their own fridges and freezer units to keep that food chilled.

Purchasing Used and New Reefer Trailers

As for a carrier company, a company owner may decide to purchase some reefer units to expand that company’s delivery options. With one or more reefers on hand, that company can deliver for many food-based establishments, so the owner may go browsing for new reefer trailers or gently used units on the wholesale market. A new trailer will probably cost the most, but it will be in perfect shape, and may have modern features. Meanwhile, a gently used unit may be bought at a discount, though the buyer should look it over first and check for wear and tear. This includes inspecting the air coolers and the wheels, axles, and hitch, among other hardware.

When a carrier owner is ready to finance a reefer trailer, they will probably not turn to big banks, which are often reluctant to approve loans for smaller companies. Instead, that company owner may turn to specialized truck lenders, who are used to working with smaller carrier companies. Those lenders may review a borrower’s personal and credit history, and check for red flags such as previous bankruptcies or delinquent payments. With favorable conditions, a borrower might get as much as 100% of the reefer truck’s value in the loan, and at a low interest rate. Even borrowers with poor credit scores may get approved, though with high interest rates and smaller loans. What is more, the truck itself serves as collateral to make that a secured loan. The borrower might also take out a loan on a truck they currently own, and share information to the lender such as the truck’s make, age, its travel distances, and photographic evidence of its condition. This truck acts as collateral for that loan.

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