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Looking For a Reefer Trailer For Purchase

The United States is home to a vast manufacturing and farming sector, and many goods and foodstuffs are produced every single year. These goods are transported to warehouses and distributors with vehicles such as trains, jets, ships, and most of all, trucks. Fast deliveries are done by jet and overseas trade is done with ships, but on land, it is trucks that can most conveniently carry goods around. So, modern carrier companies are always on the lookout for shipper clients who need goods transported for them. Most truck companies are on the smaller side, and they will have a small but hardworking fleet of vehicles ready for a job. Some trucks and their trailers are generalists, while others, such as reefer units (such as used Thermo King refrigeration units) are specialized to carry certain cargo correctly. But what is a reefer trailer, and how can a business owner choose a used reefer trailer to add to their truck fleet? When it comes time to choose a used reefer trailer, a company owner may want to review their finances as well as find a reefer model that suits their needs.

Before You Choose a Reefer Trailer

A truck company owner should first have a good grip on their company’s finances, as well as know whether they even need a reefer trailer at all. In short, a reefer trailer is a semi truck trailer with one or more air conditioner units built in, which can chill the interior from 70 degrees Fahrenheit all the way down to -20 degrees, based on the needs of the cargo. Such trailers also have insulated walls and bodies to help keep the interior from warming up during hot weather. These trailers vary somewhat in size, with the shortest being 28 feet long and the largest being 53 feet long. The biggest models may be as tall as 13.5 feet in some cases, and may weigh up to 44,000 pounds.

There’s a big market for this, and it’s still growing. As of 2015, the world’s refrigerated market was valued at $5 billion, and estimates place it at $7 billion by the year 2022. Similarly, the worldwide refrigerated trailer market is going to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2016 to 2022 according to estimates, and reach a value of $7.65 by the year 2022. Often, these reefer units are delivering perishable goods that are sensitive to temperature, often for grocery stores and the like. These trucks may stop at a warehouse, where workers will unload cold food items and place them in the reefer (meat, dairy, frozen food, etc). The reefer truck will arrive at a grocery store, then the dock crew will unload those goods and place them in freezer and cooler units on the premises. Ordinary good such as pasta and canned goods may arrive in a regular trailer, where temperature is not an issue.

How to Choose a Used Reefer Trailer

Reefer trailers available for wholesale may be either new models, which are in good condition and come with a warranty, or used trailers, which are often available at a discounted price. When the time comes to choose a used reefer trailer, the buyer is urged to look over a trailer in person before committing to a deal, such as making sure that the trailer’s cooler units can produce the desired temperature. The trailer should be in decent shape, and ready to endure the rigors of the road without falling apart.

How to afford such a purchase? A customer may buy a truck and its reefer trailer with a loan, and often, borrowers turn to specialized truck lenders for this. Big banks are reluctant to make these loans, but truck lenders may have more flexible terms. If the borrower has a good personal credit score and a good business credit score, they may be able to get as much as 100% of the truck’s value in a loan, and with a low interest rate. The truck and trailer act as collateral, which help make this a secured loan. Still, these lenders may look into a borrower’s financial history for reference, looking for red flags such as previous bankruptcies or defaulting on a previous loan.

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