That’s just one of the questions we asked Jeff Weber, vice president of sales and marketing for Ervin Equipment. Ervin is a Toldeo, Ill.-based seller of used vans and trailers, and has recently expanded internationally, giving Weber a unique perspective on the current state of the industry.
Weber says the biggest current trend motivating trailer sales is availability (or a lack thereof). According to Weber, “Customers today are looking at 10 to 12 month backlogs from the OEMs,” which leads the customers to turn to used sellers such as Ervin.
“Composite trailers have for the most part become the standard dry van for most fleets,” Weber added. “This product is offered by most OEMs and gives carriers their best return on investment and cost of ownership.”
Weber was skeptical of the need for aerodynamic add-ons to trailers, saying the market is mostly being built up by government regulations, not any need or perceived benefits of the aerodynamics.
“Feedback from our customers state that most aerodynamic interest is being forced by regulations and not by demand for products. If not regulated by the government carriers wouldn’t spend the revenue,” Weber said, adding that an estimated 30% of trailers sold by Ervin have an aerodynamic add-on.
In terms of the future of the industry, Weber sees 2016 being similar to the current year economically speaking, and adds that “I think the most important question to ask a dealer is what can you do for me in five to ten years when I want to trade my trailers in.”