4 Considerations to Maximize Your Pre-Owned Trailer Purchase

Purchasing a pre-owned trailer can be a smart move to find the best solution for your money. Many fleets are seeing the value in opting for pre-owned trailers to meet their equipment needs right now, and thanks to Great Dane’s vetted network of trailer distributors, you can find dependable, premium solutions across North America. When looking for pre-owned equipment, there are four considerations to keep in mind: the current used trailer market, equipment reliability, aftermarket support, and your ROI (return on investment).

1. What’s the state of the pre-owned trailer market?

If you’re thinking about used trailers, the breadth of your options entirely depends on which category your trailer needs fall into. You’ll need to narrow down what types of trailers will work for what you want to haul and for the tractors they’ll be paired with.

Here’s a rundown of the four major categories of trailer equipment.

Dry Freight Vans

Dry vans are the largest of these segments, and according to Jeff Weber, director of Pre-Owned Trailers for Great Dane, conditions are favorable for looking for pre-owned dry van units. There is plenty of opportunity to find a top-quality dry van you can trust in today’s pre-owned trailer market.

Refrigerated Trailers

The pre-owned refrigerated trailer market has seen the largest influx of pre-owned trailers over the last six months. Carriers have been taking advantage of higher trade values over the last few years, and that has created a large inventory of equipment currently available.

Flatbed Trailers

It may be more difficult right now to find a solution in the flatbed trailer segment. Due to a recent lull in infrastructure projects like oil drilling and general construction activity, lately there has been a strain on the pre-owned flatbed trailer market.

Specialty Trailers

Specialty trailers include heavy haul, chassis and other highly specialized segments. This category always welcomes queries for pre-owned trailers, and depending on your specific needs, there may be a range of availability.

2. How do you know if pre-owned equipment is reliable?

When the time comes to purchase a pre-owned trailer, you’ll want to thoroughly inspect the trailers in question. Some of the major items you should check include:

  • Brakes, including lining, pads, and shoes
  • Electrical system, especially the lighting
  • Flooring
  • Suspension
  • Tires
  • Upper coupler
  • Wheel ends

Look for wear and tear, any signs of significant damage, and also check for quality of construction and materials. Ask for the unit’s service history and the inspection standards of the seller. The peace of mind provided by working with a trusted seller, such as those in the Great Dane network, can be very valuable.

3. What role does aftermarket support play with pre-owned trailers?

Finding reliable equipment isn’t just about a one-time purchase. In some cases, finding a trusted aftermarket support provider can be a make-or-break aspect of the life of your equipment. “With any equipment expense, it’s important to understand the value of aftermarket relationships,” Weber says. “The ability to service your equipment, as well as quick and reliable parts availability, can in some cases become the most critical decision you can make.”

4. How can maintenance affect your pre-owned trailer ROI?

Maintenance is a critical component of operating pre-owned trailers. Your ROI is dependent on the trailer’s age and your specific use, but keeping up with maintenance can extend the life of your trailer, thereby extending its value for your operation. Keep track of maintenance costs to ensure you’re not losing money operating it. There’s a balance between repairing a trailer vs buying another piece of equipment. When the cost of maintaining a piece of equipment goes beyond replacement cost, it may be time to flip that trailer for another new or new-to-you solution.

Find a Pre-Owned Trailer You Can Trust

When you buy anything pre-owned, the reliability of the equipment is ultimately tied to the reliability of the seller. There can be a big difference between a distributor who sells used trailers versus a distributor who carefully inspects, verifies, and stands behind their pre-owned equipment. Purchasing pre-owned equipment is a calculated move, but any financial gain from this decision can be erased if the trailer is not trustworthy. Great Dane has a vast network of sellers, and each piece of pre-owned equipment they sell is thoroughly inspected and verified as a reliable solution.

You can buy a pre-owned Great Dane trailer for your application and rest easy, knowing that the same reputation for durability and premium quality that Great Dane has built over more than a century extends to its pre-owned solutions.

View our selection of pre-owned trailers and learn more about our nationwide network of trusted retailers.

Learn More