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How to Return A Rental Trailer Fast

When the rush is over and you no longer need the extra capacity of the trailers you rented, don't get stuck with them. Return them!

So how do you return a rental trailer as fast as possible?

  • Locate the rental trailer.
  • Assign a driver to it.
  • Haul it back to your trailer lessor so your rental fee ends.
  • Repeat until all your rentals are returned.

Sounds easy. Then real life happens.


Real-life Trucking Hinders Trailer Returns

How many of these have stood in your way when you tried to return a rental trailer?

  • The trailer doesn’t have a tracking device and you don’t know where the trailer is right now.
  • The trailer doesn’t have a tracking device, but you know the trailer’s general whereabouts. You just can’t spare a driver to look for it at your customer’s enormous DC. It could take hours. Your driver eventually will have to spend some time unproductively searching and won’t be happy about it.
  • The trailer doesn’t have a tracking device, but you think another carrier has it en route from Houston to New Orleans. You’re making phone calls. Lots of phone calls. You hope the trailer doesn’t get damaged along the way.
  • The trailer doesn’t have a tracking device, but you think your largest customer is using the trailer to store stock at their Kissimmee plant. One of your drivers said he saw it there last week. Your rental fee lives on while you try to reach the plant manager.
  • The trailer doesn’t have a tracking device, but you suspect your customer has been using the trailer to shuttle inventory between its two facilities in Phoenix. You left a voicemail with the shipping manager. The last time this happened, it took her a couple days to return your call.
  • Your trailer has a tracking device. You know where it’s parked, but you don’t know if it’s loaded or unloaded. You don’t want to waste your driver’s time by sending him to hook up to a loaded trailer. But your rental fee lives on so you send him anyway, find the trailer is loaded, and use his hours for nothing.

Keeping Your Transportation Costs Down

You’re doing all you can to keep your transportation costs down. But do you apply that effort to your supplemental trailers, too? Do you rent only trailers with tracking?

If you do, great! Your trailer tracking system tells you not only where your rental trailers currently are, but also when they arrived, how long they’ve been there, and where else they’ve been and when.

And your tracking system stands up to hindrances real life throws in the way. It shows you exactly where your driver will find the trailer, if the trailer you need to return is still loaded, whether or not your rented trailer is en route to New Orleans, the number of times your rented trailer left from and arrived at your customer’s two Phoenix facilities, and how long your trailer was motionless at that Kissimmee plant.

You want to return a rental trailer with tracking? Just send a driver for it.

If, on the other hand, you want to return a rental trailer that doesn't have a tracking system, the realities of trucking likely will result in you spending more in rental fees and driver hours on that trailer than you want to.

So the next time you have to rent a trailer, keep in mind how much it cost you this time to return a rental trailer.