I often get questioned “Which type of trailer should I buy?” My answer is the one that gets the job done. If you do not have a set customer base on a set schedule it may be beneficial to have a variety of capacity to offer potential customers. It may be the difference between feast or famine. If you are a small carrier the variety of capacity that you offer to your immediate community could put you at the top of the call list. As long as you do the hard work of letting those potential customers know what you have to offer.
But even if you just operate solely off the Spot Market with brokers you could cash in on one of the segments that is hurting for capacity. Study the load to truck ratio of all the segments and historical information available for the area you serve. Armed with this information you should be able to make an informed decision on what types of trailer you should have in your fleet. From the data that is available right now Flatbeds and Step-decks are in very high demand all across the country. This segment can also be highly seasonal.
Its often said that variety is the spice of life. But before you take the plunge and buy different trailer than you currently have you may want to go down to the local trailer rental company and sign up to rent the type of trailer you are considering and test the market out. Lots of people have bought reefers and hate it once they have to deliver at their first grocery warehouse or pick up at their first meat processing plant. Take the time to get familiar with all the pros and cons of all the capacity segments first hand.
At the end of the day we are in the service industry. Start where you are. Let the customer demand in your area determine which trailer type should be your first. Many people just run out and buy what they are most comfortable with doing. In business that could be a horrible miscalculation. If you have enough courage to become a Independent Carrier gather that same courage to come out of your comfort zone and find you which side the bread is buttered on.