After taking over an existing , 20-year-old dealership , I realized
I needed to consider renting trailers . I received calls asking if we rented and I hated to answer ,“ No .” So , I talked to MBA Insurance and dealers at the NATDA Trade Show and went for it .
First , we set aside and serviced trade-in trailers . We re-packed the bearings , checked the lights , installed new tires as needed , installed a document holder for registration and insurance paperwork , installed D-Rings and rope rings on the floor and walls and added removable motorcycle wheel chocks . MBA helped with forms we needed . Then , I got them titled and licensed .
We started with two enclosed 5x8s , two enclosed 6x12s and one 5x8 open utility in mid-2012 . By the end of the year , we had $ 3,117 in rental sales . In 2013 , we did $ 11,400 . We swapped out trailers over the years for newer models and added our logo . Now , the customer is paying me to drive around and advertise ! Now , we have one 5x8 , three 6x12s , one 7x16 , one 8.5x20 – all enclosed , one open car hauler and one open 7x16 landscape style trailer . I project 2017 rental sales at $ 40,000 .
All trailers are given a number . I used R-101 first . Now , our highest number is R-116 . We take reservations on Google calendar , list the trailer number , customer name , phone number and block out dates . I don ’ t charge for cancellations or no shows . Rental income isn ’ t the focus for our dealership .
Customers fill out rental agreements while we make copies of their driver ’ s license , current proof of insurance , and credit card info . We watch the customer hook up the trailer and go through a check-out procedure .
The biggest concern we ’ ve had is inoperable lights . We attempt a quick fix and if that doesn ’ t work , the customer can ’ t take the trailer . We have $ 25 minimum for repairs but rarely charge the customer if it ’ s a quick fuse . The checkin procedure is simple : one lap around the trailer , a look inside , then the customer signs off and unhooks the trailer . Customers rent from us instead of chain companies because we make it easy .
We ’ ve had minimal damage and breakdowns . For most , customers have owned up and paid for repairs . We refuse rentals if we ’ re unsure of a customer or their history . We have customers we will not rent to because of past problems .
Renting has been great for us . It ’ s easy to create cash for little work . We took an old , used Haulmark on trade for $ 1,700 . After 25 months of renting , it sold for $ 2,000 . In 2 + years , it generated $ 9,053 in sales . With expenses , the net profit was over $ 8,000 . Not a bad ROI !