Loaded with potential

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The 53-foot Utility 3000R reefer features Kemlite FRP interior lining.

Is a trailer worth the investment? For many owner-operators, yes. And it should take less than four years to earn back that investment, even when buying new equipment. According to the 2007 Overdrive Owner-Operator Market Behavior Report, 88 percent of independent owner-operators already own their own trailers, as do 40 percent of leased owner-operators.

While leased operators don’t have the pressing need to provide a trailer that most independents do, they often find trailer ownership comes with added earning potential. The Market Behavior Report notes an average 6 percent uptick in revenue, $10,000 annually, for leased owner-operators who own their own trailer. They keep more than half that. Among all owner-operators, trailer ownership brings a $6,000 gain in yearly net income.

Even with the additional costs of operating your own trailer, the average added earning potential in flatbed, dry van and reefer segments returns the investment within three years. But for a leased operator, the real results require consideration of the carrier’s operations and yours.

Following are potential return-on-investment scenarios when a leased operator buys a new trailer.

FLATBED, 48′, STEEL/ALUMINUM COMPOSITE, SPREAD AXLES

AVERAGE PRICE: $25,500

ADDITIONAL GROSS REVENUE $1,187/MONTH
ADDITIONAL OPERATIONAL COSTS -$160/MONTH
ADDITIONAL NET INCOME $1,027/MONTH
$25,500

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