Xtra Lease has ordered some 9,400 new van and reefer trailers  for 2012.  Equipped with fuel-saving  aerodynamic side skirts, the new trailers will replace many older model  trailers that will be re-designated as local cartage or storage trailers, or  sold, said Xtra Lease.Since 2010, Xtra Lease said it has invested heavily in new  trailer orders, making late-model equipment accessible to trucking companies  and shippers via rental and leasing programs.To keep its inventory  updated, the company has ordered nearly 25,000 trailers over the past 2.5  years. In addition, the trailer lessor is refurbishing approximately 1,000  flatbeds to restore them to like-new condition.

“In an economic era in which few companies have the capital  resources to keep fleets updated with high-performance, late-model equipment,  Xtra Lease will continue to offer new trailers through rental and leasing  opportunities,” said Bill Franz, president & CEO. “Shippers haven’t reduced  expectations for on-time deliveries. But completing them with an aging,  over-the-road fleet is risky.

“We plan on helping fleets reduce their risk by making  high-performing equipment available to them,” he added. “Not only will they  reduce chances of mechanical failure and breakdowns, fleets can avoid higher  maintenance costs inherent with older equipment.”

New vans and reefers are due to arrive in Xtra Lease branches  from manufacturers’ plants beginning in February. Production will continue  through August. The company said it will continue to install trailer tracking  units as a standard feature on vans targeted for the rental fleet. 

“There is no other service available on a trailer more  powerful than trailer tracking to help fleets reduce costs,” Franz said. “We’re  committed to providing a service that helps customers locate dormant trailers  faster, enabling them to return under-utilized trailers quickly and save  significant rental costs.”

Fuel-saving aerodynamic side skirts and  low-rolling-resistance tires are now standard features on Xtras Lease trailers.  Side skirts save fleets an estimated 5% in fuel costs, based on EPA verification and depending on the number of miles and speed traveled.  Low-rolling-resistance tires can save an additional 1.5% in fuel, again based  on a carrier’s trucking operation. Combined, the two features can save fleets  6.5% in fuel costs.

  In addition, the new trailers can travel California’s  highways without penalty, as they comply with SmartWay and the state’s  Greenhouse Gas regulations.

Xtra Lease also announced it will continue a program in 2012  to refurbish approximately 1,000 flatbeds. The company is targeting 1999-2001  model-year flatbed units in its fleet to extend the life of each trailer by  about eight years.

Each refurbished flatbed receives:

  •Blasting and painting of all steel parts

  •New  aluminum floors with wood nailing strips (which saves 400 lbs.)

  •New  air and electrical, including lights

  •New  wheels

  •New  brake linings

  •Straightening of rub rails and repairing of all welds

  •New  shocks and airbags (on air-ride suspensions)