Semi-Trailer Rentals Vs. Leases: How to Choose What’s Right for You

Posted by Drew Houk on Nov 9, 2020 7:00:00 AM

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If your company recently discovered it needs to expand its trailer fleet for an upcoming project, there's probably a fair amount of excitement—and stress—in the air. 

Whether it’s a short-term job like delivering cold meat and produce to a grocery store chain or a long-term venture like hauling steel to a new stadium, you might be wondering which trailer supplementation solution is best for your business.

If purchasing a new trailer isn’t in the cards, then determining whether your organization should rent or lease could be critical to ensuring your trailer fleet meets the needs of any seasonal or special projects that come up.  

The Benefits of Renting and Leasing Trailers

First, it's worth calling out that both renting and leasing have their share of advantages over ownership. 

Both options make it easier to:

  • Update your fleet with the latest trailer models and technologies 
  • Remain flexible to meet your fleet needs
  • Ensure compliance with up-to-date trailer regulations
  • Obtain equipment without large upfront costs and avoid depreciating assets
  • Receive maintenance support without needing to hire specialized mechanics in-house

However, there are several key distinctions to be aware of that will help you determine if either renting or leasing is better for your company's exact needs.

The Benefits of Renting Trailers

Duration Flexibility: Want a trailer for one day or one month? Rental contracts are always open-ended and permit you to return the trailer at any time. 

Seasonal Surges: For cyclical spikes like back-to-school or the winter holidays, renting is the perfect way to stay on top of demand when business is ramping up.

Asset Substitution: Is one of your existing trailers getting repaired and temporarily out of commission? Choosing a rental as a substitute will ensure you always have flexible capacity.

Pay-Per-Use: By only renting what you absolutely need, you can make your semi-trailer rentals work for you because underutilized trailers sitting in your yard cost you money.

Short-Term Needs: Is your upcoming project clocking in at under one year? Renting is your best bet instead of committing to a longer-term lease.

Emergency Demand: When the unexpected strikes and getting your goods from Point A to Point B is imperative, renting semi-trailers is the cost-effective choice.

Equipment Adaptability: Unsure of the exact trailer you’re looking for? Renting allows you to try out various trailers until you find the best fit for your application.

The Benefits of Leasing Trailers

Extended Needs: Whether your job requires a tractor-trailer for one year or longer, a trailer leasing company can draw up an agreement that ensures you're covered for the long haul.

Fixed-Rate Assurance: Once your lease is set, you know your prices won't fluctuate for the duration of the term, no matter what the market dictates.

Cost Savings: Leases offer the ability to lower your overall price per day—the longer the contract commitment, the more economical the semi-trailer lease costs.

More Equipment Options: Because leasing necessitates a deeper look into the lessee’s financial status, those who qualify may have more product choices, including the latest technology at their disposal. 

Ability to Customize: With a longer-term agreement, you’ll have the option to tailor your semi-trailers with custom options designed for your specific requirements.  

Brand Uniformization: Want a fleet of 20 of the same exact tractor-trailers that all have your logo prominently displayed? Leasing allows you to customize trailers to build your brand recognition. 

Guaranteed Availability: Whereas renting is often first come, first serve, your leasing agreement will ensure you have the exact equipment you need at the exact time you need it.

Project Synergy: Did your company recently win a major bid? A long-term lease can be structured in lockstep with your upcoming project to guarantee you’re covered for the entirety of your customer contract.

But Before You Hit the Road

Regardless of whether you're renting or leasing, you should be able to secure a high-performing, reliable trailer solution at a competitive price. Working with an industry-leading transportation partner ensures delivery dates and quality-of-service standards are always met. 

With over 30 years of experience, Mckinney Trailer Rentals provides the customization, flexibility and dependability companies of various sizes need to make their supply chains as efficient as possible. We provide 24/7 roadside assistance from an expert team of technicians and can meet fluctuating demands for fleet capacity and storage solutions instantly.

If you have questions about whether renting or leasing is right for you—or you want to look into our leasing and rental options—contact us today.

Topics: Semi-Trailer Leases, Semi-Trailer Rentals

Drew Houk

Written by Drew Houk

Drew Houk is the VP of Sales for the Southwest Region at Mckinney Trailer Rentals. He has been with the company for over 7 years and in the trailer leasing industry for 12 years. Drew is a Pacific Northwest native who moved to Texas in 2017 to lead the Southwest Region. Outside of work, Drew enjoys traveling, the outdoors and anything sports-related.

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