Imagine this: it’s the middle of the summer, temperatures are soaring across the country, and your reefer trailer just bit the dust. Whether this is something you’ve experienced or just a perishable driver’s worst nightmare, it’s important to have options in your back pocket just in case the time to buy a new reefer trailer ever comes calling. This is a serious purchase, one that 40,000 Americans made in January 2018, according to FTR Transportation Intelligence. Being forced to make a split-second decision about a major piece of equipment can be stressful and keep you from exploring your options, so it helps to have your specifications in mind just in case. Before you consult your reefer wholesaler, we have some questions here that can help you know what you’re looking for.

New or Used?

Perhaps the quickest and easiest decision you should make for yourself is whether you want to buy a new reefer trailer or a used one. Much like purchasing a car, the differences between new and used units can be huge in terms of reefer trailer cost, but that might not be the only thing to take into consideration. The obvious appeal of a new reefer is knowing your trailer’s history from the get-go, as well as warranties and service agreements with a dealership, both of which come with a steeper price tag. However, if you do your research, it’s possible to get excellent used reefer trailers, provided you get one from a reputable dealer. When you’re thinking about how to choose a used reefer trailer, make sure that you go in with questions prepared about the state of the equipment you’re purchasing, including information about previous owners and upkeep of routine maintenance.

How Big?

With reefer trailers available in a wide variety of sizes, it’s important to think about what size will ultimately work best for the goods your company transports, as well as the rigs they’ll be attached to. If you’re looking for a replacement trailer, take an inventory of your previous piece of equipment. How did it perform? Did you find yourself wasting space or fighting to find room? Having an eye on your needs can help you be informed when it comes time to visit your retailer.

How Powerful?

In addition to size, it’s important to have a solid idea of the cooling power your new reefer trailer will need. With temperature capabilities as low as -20 degrees, knowing how much power you’ll need will translate to making informed decisions (and getting a deal!) at your reefer retailer. When trying to calculate your temperature needs, think about the type of goods you’ll be carrying, as well as the amount and the distance you expect to travel.

Whether you’re in the market for a new reefer trailer or a reefer trailer that’s new to you, having a solid understanding of your company’s needs can help you from having to make a split-second decision in a moment of need. By considering issues such as budget, size, and power, when it comes time to replace your reefer, you can keep a cool head and get back on the road with minimal interruption. If you’ve recently purchased a new reefer trailer, what are some things you wished you’d known before you left for the retailer? If you haven’t made the jump yet, what questions or concerns are keeping you from moving forward? Let us know in the comments below.