Fleet Maintenance - 12

VEHICLES

Keys to maximizing

trailer ROI
To optimize the utilization, performance,
and lifecycle cost of trailers, fleets can
focus on three key areas: specifying,
telematics, and preventive maintenance.
By Gregg Wartgow

[ TRAILER & TOWING ]

R

eturn on investment (ROI) of any asset, including trailers, is impacted by purchase price, operating cost, income generation, and resale/trade-in
value. Good maintenance practices will influence
three of those areas. But everything starts with
the initial purchase. A trailer's specifications and
other features should closely align with a fleet's
application needs for that specific trailer.
"The fleet needs to understand the freight it
hauls," says David Giesen, vice president of sales
for Stoughton Trailers, a manufacturer of dry vans,
refrigerated trailers, grain trailers, and intermodal transport solutions. "What freight is the most
abusive? How often does the fleet haul it? After
answering those questions, the trailer supplier can
help the fleet build a trailer that will last."
This is especially the case with reefers.
"If it is a deep-frozen load, the trailer must be
built for those conditions versus a cold load that
can have a thinner insulation package," says Ted
LeRoy, product manager for Stoughton Trailers.

Proper specifying requires
proper planning
In terms of ROI, proper specifying helps the fleet
from three perspectives: trailer productivity, maintenance costs, and safety.
"It is helpful when the specifying process
is a collaborative effort between the maintenance, operations, and safety departments,"
says Douglas Kenney, director of national fleet
accounts - platform trailers for East Mfg. East
Mfg. is a manufacturer of flatbed, drop deck,
dump, and refuse trailers.
The fleet's maintenance and sales departments
must also be on the same page.

12 Fleet Maintenance | October 2020

"Both must know how the trailer being specified
will fit into the company's 'haul lanes,'" says Mark
Sabol, product manager - platform trailers for East
Mfg. "Will the trailer be specified for a dedicated
haul or will it need to fit multiple applications?"
"A trailer is no longer just a box on wheels," says
Brett Olsen, marketing manager at Utility Trailer,
a manufacturer of reefers, dry vans, and flatbeds.
"Putting the proper specs together upfront will
not only help the fleet from a day-to-day operations standpoint, but also in terms of value in the
secondary market when it's time to trade up."
Trade-in value is an important part of ROI analysis. That is because true ownership cost is the
difference between purchase price and trade-in
(or resale) price. The higher the trade-in value, the
lower the ownership cost. The lower the ownership
cost, the better the ROI.
Used trailer value becomes especially important with refrigerated trailers. According to Olsen,
fleets typically replace reefers much sooner than
dry vans. Thus, a well-maintained reefer with the
right specs and features will typically command
a higher resale price.
When first specifying a reefer trailer, Olsen
says fleets should steer toward the best thermal
dynamics possible.
"Most modern trailers are designed well and
don't allow much heat loss," Olsen points out. "Still,
fleets need to understand the products they are
hauling. It's important to spec the appropriate
insulation for the load so the refrigeration unit
doesn't run so many hours. When a fleet goes to
trade in the reefer a few years later, the value is
partially determined by the number of hours the
refrigeration unit has run.
"If the fleet happens to be running refrigerated
cargo one way but the back haul is a dry good,

"Putting the proper
specs together upfront
will not only help the
fleet from a day-to-day
operations standpoint,
but also in terms of
value in the secondary
market when it's
time to trade up."
Brett Olsen, marketing
manager, Utility Trailer

the fleet can probably get away with a minimal
amount of insulation," Olsen continues. "But if the
fleet hauls deep-frozen one way and produce on
the back haul, that trailer is going to need more
insulation. Many fleets simply choose a standard
insulation package. But that typically won't be as
efficient as they'll need it to be if they are hauling
a lot of deep-frozen."
		┬╗When specifying a trailer, the size and weight of
the cargo likely to be transported are important
considerations, as is the manner in which the
cargo is loaded and where it is hauled. The
Beast (BST) Flatbed from East Mfg. is designed
to deliver up to 1,500 lbs more payload than
comparable composite flatbed trailers.
Photo courtesy of East Mfg.



Fleet Maintenance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance

Uptime: How Fleets Can Connect with Tech Schools
Editor's Note: The Aftertreatment Blues
Keys to Maximizing Trailer ROI
Best Practices for Maintaining Hydraulic Braking Systems
Solving the Parts Puzzle
Contending with Accelerated BEV Tire Wear
Cold Weather HVAC Considerations
Management: CMMS Marketplace
Economic Outlook: Signs of Economic Recovery
Diagnostics: Choosing the Right Diagnostic Tool for Roadside Triage
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Classifieds
Guest Editorial: The Propane-Powered Alternative
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime: How Fleets Can Connect with Tech Schools
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Editor's Note: The Aftertreatment Blues
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - Keys to Maximizing Trailer ROI
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - 18
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - Best Practices for Maintaining Hydraulic Braking Systems
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - 24
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - Solving the Parts Puzzle
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - 28
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - 30
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - Contending with Accelerated BEV Tire Wear
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - Cold Weather HVAC Considerations
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Management: CMMS Marketplace
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - 38
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - Economic Outlook: Signs of Economic Recovery
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - Diagnostics: Choosing the Right Diagnostic Tool for Roadside Triage
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - 50
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - 53
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: The Propane-Powered Alternative
Fleet Maintenance - 55
Fleet Maintenance - 56
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Fleet Maintenance - A2
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