Cargo trailers are an investment, especially if it’s for your Michigan business. One of the primary questions asked during the buying process is how well these cargo trailers hold their resale value. Here is what you need to know about trailer values and what you can do to improve it.

Defining Trailer Resale Value

When you think about how well you trailer holds value, you probably think about the resale value. However, the value of the trailer must be extended beyond this simple definition so commonly associated with vehicles.

Rather, let’s expand the definition to actually look at how you’ll use your trailers, and what actually brings value. When you buy a cargo trailer, it is with the intent of hauling things from place to place. The longer it continues to do this job, the longer it retains its value.

Yes, when you are done with your trailer, you’ll want to be able to recoup some monetary investment as well. This happens when someone looking to purchase your trailer believes it will continue to haul their stuff. The longer they believe it will last, the more they will be willing to pay.

So, the question about value really comes down to usability. Do these trailers continue to hold their value, for how long, and how can you improve it?

What Helps Retain Value?

Understand that a simple trailer off the lot will likely lose value relatively quickly if you use it as it comes. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help retain the value to help keep your trailer good for years to come.

First, be sure you opt for a quality undercoating. These protect the bottom of the trailer from salt, rocks, dirt, and even heat, reducing the risk of rusting. You can imagine how important this is, especially when traveling the roads in Michigan over the winter.

Next, consider an upgrade to your trailer’s construction. Popular upgrades include a thicker gauge aluminum for the walls and floor, a premium paint, and 12-inch spacing for the studs in the walls, floor, and ceiling. All of these reinforce the trailer’s structure and make it more resistant to rust.

What Maintenance Does It Need?

When it comes time to sell your trailer, how you maintain it becomes more important than manufacturing upgrades. The right maintenance performed regularly helps separate the trailers that last the average 10-15 years versus those that last 20 years and more.

Just like a car, you want to keep a close eye on your tires, and keep them properly inflated. This affects how your trailer handles, your gas mileage, and the wear on your tires. However, it also affects wear on the axle, and brakes if your trailer has them. Check your tire pressure every time you head out to ensure they are correct.

Your car trailer needs periodic lubrication to keep everything moving freely, just like your tow vehicle. The grease breaks down over time thanks to the heat created by the trailer moving down the road, so it needs replacing. Plan to lubricate the bearing hubs every year or 12,000 miles, whichever happens first. If your trailer’s wheels are commonly submerged, consider lubricating more often.

Finally, keep your trailer’s interior clean and tidy. This makes it more appealing when you’re ready to sell your trailer, but also avoids interior damage. If you commonly have wet or moist things on the floor, you encourage rust to form, quickly reducing your trailer’s value.

Why Design Matters

Your trailer’s design is an important aspect to retaining its value. First, consider the shape of your cargo trailer, and what that means for its use.

For instance, square-front trailers may appear to have more useful room if you’re hauling large equipment like zero-turn mowers. However, square designs also create the most wind resistance, so they exert the most strain on both the trailer and your tow vehicle.

Consider opting for a V-nose trailer to make it more aerodynamic, and reduce the drag it creates. Not only does this reduce wear on your trailer and vehicle, but it also improves handling.

Furthermore, be sure you have stone guards on the front and sides of your trailer to protect it from flying road debris. This prevents chips in the paint, which quickly allows rust to start. Plus, if these get damaged, they are much easier to repair or replace than panels of your trailer.

Finally, consider the manufacturer and do a little research on quality. Yes, price will help you know a little, as low-quality craftsmanship often accompanies market-bottom prices. However, top-of-market prices don’t always correlate to the highest quality. Work with one of the experts at USA Trailer Sales to find the best quality trailer for your application.