Thinking about renting a semi-trailer? In this guide, we are going to introduce you to some of the top recommended trailer rental companies so you can compare their features, pros and cons.
But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what your reasons might be for renting a tractor trailer, and how doing so can benefit your business.
Why Rent A Tractor Trailer?
Renting a tractor trailer is an alternative to buying one. Here are a few reasons you might be thinking about doing this:
- Save money in the short run (renting is often more affordable than buying for those just starting their freight businesses, for example).
- Temporarily scale up your fleet to take on more or bigger jobs.
- Rent trailers for seasonal work instead of spending more to purchase trailers you will not be using the rest of the year.
- Avoid the time and costs associated with maintaining your own trailer.
- Many companies that let you rent trailers provide handy benefits like roadside assistance as part of your agreement.
- Sometimes you might find yourself with an emergency need. Perhaps one of your own trailers is out of commission for repairs, and you just need to rent something for a couple days or weeks to fill in the gap.
- Maximize your flexibility all around.
When you rent a semi-trailer, you need to pay a security deposit and sign a contract. The costs associated with maintenance are generally included in what you pay to rent the trailer.
Top Semi-Trailer Rental Companies
Now that you know a little bit more about the benefits of renting a trailer, let’s take a look at some of the best semi-trailer rental companies.
1. Mckinney Trailer Rentals
Mckinney Trailer Rentals is a company that has more than 35,000 trailers for lease or rent. The company has been in business for more than three decades, and focuses its services in the western states.
This business has well-established relationships with professional organizations such as the California Trucking Association, the Utah Trucking Association, the Washington Trucking Association, Women in Logistics, and others.
- Fully customize your rental of a trailer from Mckinney, choosing a time period that suits you.
- Full-service maintenance ensures that all vehicles and equipment are in excellent working condition.
- If you are in California, Mckinney is an especially good choice since they offer California-compliant trailers.
- Mckinney puts an emphasis on rapid response times, so they may be especially ideal if you are in an emergency situation and you need a rental fast.
Best For: We suggest Mckinney Trailer Rentals to freight businesses in the western US, especially in California.
Also consider them for short-term rentals and fast turnaround times.
2. Great Western Trailer
This is a company that got its start in 1997 in Salt Lake City, UT. Over the past couple of decades, it has risen to prominence as one of the top trailer rental companies in the West and Midwest.
Great Western Trailer partners with key companies such as Fontaine and Fontaine Heavy Haul, Transcraft Corporation, Wilson Trailer Company, CPS Trailers, Aurora and others.
- Great Western Trailer offers a huge selection of rentals including flatbeds, drop decks, lowboys, heavy haul, side dumps, end dumps, bottom dumps, tank trailers, grain hoppers and dry vans.
- This company is willing to order and customize trailers for customers if what they require is not immediately on hand. You can also customize existing trailers you want to rent.
- You can receive testing and servicing from Great Western Trailer, including brake jobs, body repair, suspension repair and more.
- Need parts? With its many partnerships with top companies, Great Western Trailer is an excellent source.
Best For: Great Western Trailer might be right for you if you want a huge selection of rental types and you want to work with a company that puts an emphasis on customization.
3. Premier Trailer Leasing
One of the newer companies to make our list of recommendations for truck rentals is Premier Trailer Leasing, which formed in 2005. Since then, the company has expanded rapidly, and now boasts a fleet of over 50,000 vehicles along with 36 convenient locations.
Unlike some of the other companies we recommend, Premier Trailer Leasing is more geographically spread out. While they have locations in the western US, they also have numerous locations in the eastern part of the country. Indeed, that is where you will find the majority of their locations.
- At Premier Trailer Leasing, you can rent flatbeds, dry vans, specialized flats, and refrigerated equipment.
- Included with your rental are full-service maintenance, 24-hour roadside assistance, pickup and delivery service, GPS trailer tracking, and a client dashboard and reports.
- There are some additional services that you can purchase from Premier Trailer Leasing if you need them. These include a loss damage waiver and refrigeration monitoring and control equipment.
Best For: If you are looking for a reliable leasing and rental company that focuses its services in the eastern part of the US, Premier Trailer Leasing may suit your requirements. You will also appreciate the excellent services and support they provide for all of their rentals.
Of all of the companies on this list, perhaps the most well-known is Penske, established clear back in 1969. Penske does not just serve a region of the US; it provides truck leasing and rentals around the world. There are about 390,000 vehicles in the Penske fleet. In North America alone, there are 880 locations. So, wherever you are, there is almost certainly a Penske location within close reach.
- Your rental cost includes maintenance such as tires, brakes and more. Everything is stated upfront so you do not have to worry about unexpected charges.
- You can rent dry van trailers, refrigerated trailers, and others.
- Air suspension, rear swing or roll-up doors, and logistics posts or E-track come with each rental.
- Penske uses a system called Dynamic PM® to help them keep up with maintenance. That way, trailers are in great shape, minimizing the need for maintenance while you are renting.
- Make use of the handy Penske Driver™ app while you are on the road.
- Receive the help you need any time of the day or night through 24/7 Roadside Assistance.
Best For: If you want to rent a trailer from a company with a familiar name and convenient locations just about everywhere, Penske is a good option.
Ryder is a company with a history dating back even further than Penske’s. This company was established in 1933, making it over 85 years old. Now, that is a lot of experience with trailer rentals! Over half of Fortune 500 companies use Ryder, making it a top choice for top businesses.
Ryder boasts a fleet of around 239,000 vehicles, and has more than 800 maintenance facilities.
This trailer rental company puts a big emphasis on sustainable business practices, and releases regular reports for transparency in this area.
- If timeliness is a major concern for you with your trailer rentals, you will be glad to learn that Ryder’s on-time delivery rate is 99%.
- You can rent flatbed trailers, refrigerated trailers and dry van trailers from Ryder.
- When you rent from Ryder, a dedicated account manager will be assigned to you, ensuring smooth and consistent support.
- Receive 24/7 emergency assistance when you need it.
- You can opt for additional service such as physical damage and liability protection, fleet risk services and automatic gap protection.
- Save on fuel at any of Ryder’s over 400 fuel islands.
- One of the best things about Ryder is that the company goes above and beyond to facilitate fast, easy and painless pick-ups and drop-offs. You can get a free ride to the location if necessary, and contactless service when you arrive.
- Ryder claims to be the only trailer rental company that sends vehicle inspection images to customers before they take their rentals out.
Best For: If you are tired of wasting time in line or running into other logistical problems when you go to pick up your rentals or drop them off, Ryder will be a welcome breath of fresh air. This might make them particularly suitable for those who have to pick up or drop off a lot of short-term rentals on a continuous basis. All that time you save is time you can now spend driving and making deliveries.
6. XTRA Lease
Another company that has decades of experience with trailer rentals is XTRA Lease. This business formed in 1957, and is based in St. Louis, MO. The fleet consists of 90,000 vehicles, and the company has around 50 locations. Most of their trailers are quite new with minimal wear; on average, they are under five years old.
- XTRA Lease claims that no other US trailer rental company offers a selection as large as theirs. You can rent flatbeds, chassis, storage trailers, refrigerated trailers and dry vans.
- Daily, weekly and monthly rental agreements are available.
- Get help when you need it through 24/7 Roadwatch® roadside assistance.
- Included with your rental at no extra charge are trailer tracking and cargo sensors.
- There is a pick-up and delivery service you can use at an added cost.
- This company offers a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) that you can choose as a substitute for regular insurance for your rented trailers. Instead of paying lump sum premiums, you pay a monthly fee. Paperwork and settlements are streamlined to keep life simple. Of course, it does not cover absolutely everything.
Best For: If you find regular insurance too expensive and inflexible for your needs, going with XTRA Lease for their CDW alternative might be worthwhile.
What to Look for When Choosing a Trailer Rental Company
What makes a trailer rental company the right one for your needs? Here are some top considerations when you are deciding what rental company to do business with for your fleet.
The first thing to check is whether the rental company has locations in the area where you are operating.
While some trailer rental companies cover the entire US (and sometimes beyond), others focus on serving a specific geographical region.
If you operate mainly on the East Coast, for example, you are not going to want to use a rental company that mostly operates on the West Coast.
2. Types of rentals
What types of trailer rentals does the company offer? At a minimum, most companies offer flat beds, dry van trailers and refrigerated trailers.
But some companies have a much wider range of rentals available such as storage trailers, tank trailers, heavy haul trailers and others.
While you are investigating your options, you should also check on the age of the trailers as well as the company’s standard maintenance protocols. That way, you can be assured of the quality of the trailers.
Finally, you might have highly individual needs that can best be met through the ability to customize the trailers you rent. Find out what customization options are available.
3. Durations of rentals
How long do rental contracts last with the company? Does the rental business focus mainly on customers who need long-term rentals lasting months, or do they do a lot of their work with customers who are just renting their trailers for a few days?
If rental contracts last longer than you need them to, they are going to tack on unnecessary costs and hassles. So, work with a company that will tailor their contracts to the timeframe you require.
A broad range of additional services may be offered by trailer rental companies. Some services may be included with the price of rentals, while others might be optional at an added charge.
- Pick-up and delivery services for trailers.
- Rides to and from service locations.
- Roadside assistance (typically included).
- Maintenance services (some services are typically included at no cost, while others may require a fee).
- Repair services (some services are typically included at no cost, while others may require a fee).
- Tracking and reports.
You might find even more services that are not on this list at some companies.
Remember both to see if the services you want are available and check what they cost. Watch out for hidden fees; some companies are more transparent about their pricing than others.
5. Overall ease of dealing with the company
Finally, while you are investigating the services offered, check to see which of them might make the entire process of renting and returning trailers simpler, faster and less stressful.
As you are doing this, you should test out the customer service team. Ask them some questions about their services and see how they respond. Ideally, they should be easy to reach, knowledgeable and patient with all your questions and requests.
Rent a Semi-Trailer and Grow Your Business Now
You have had a chance now to compare some of the best trailer rental companies. Are you ready to scale up your business flexibly and affordable?