Self Storage facilities throughout the country are increasingly looking to utilize on-site truck rentals as a source of revenue. This offers an excellent opportunity to generate additional income with little cost to the operator.

Rental trucks can be seen at many self storage facilities nationwide. Approximately 20% of self storage users also require a rental truck, which makes having onsite truck rentals an added convenience for both prospective and existing customers. Onsite truck rentals also cater to local traffic and in turn can serve as advertising to those who may also need to rent a self storage unit.

Maintaining a competitive business model is also a benefit to the operator who adds on-site truck rentals to their revenue stream. With other companies offering this dual service, a customer can potentially be drawn to that business instead of one that only offers the self storage side.

Storage operators with heavy traffic locations can display trucks along the main road as a way of advertisement for both the truck rental and the storage company itself. Lining trucks up according to size allows for high visibility and for customers to visualize a side-by-side comparison and this can potentially be an effective method for marketing such services.

Available sizes can range from a pick-up truck to a 26-foot long, full-size truck. For facilities with limited parking, truck rentals are still a valid option for added revenue. With one extra parking spot, some storage locations can add this service with a simple pick-up truck or cargo van rental. This can also help avoid any conflicts with zoning regulations for large truck parking. For these operators, being listed on the truck rental facilities website can help create self storage interest and increase traffic to their location.

Tom Kardys is the Program Manager for U-Haul Dealer Business Development. U-Haul offers self-storage operators the ability to add truck and trailer rentals to existing facilities with no start-up costs. Tom reported that on average, the self-storage operator will benefit from 20% of the revenue generated by truck rentals. The U-Haul district manager generally oversees the truck rental operation and handles repairs, maintenance and vehicle washing. It’s the customer’s responsibility to refuel just like with a typical car rental. U-Haul will reimburse the self storage operator for the labor cost associated with refueling if the customer does not refuel before returning the vehicle. The fuel charge is then billed to the customer.

Reputation management is an important factor to consider when adding services such as truck rentals. If customers are unhappy with rental truck policies and procedures that are out of the direct control of the self storage facility operator, this can reflect negatively on the storage business online reviews. Truck rental is considered in many ways to be a turnkey side business. It encourages customers to utilize online self-service for bookings, however, it does take effort to check in customers and refuel. These are smaller considerations compared to the potential overall growth of your business.

Combining these two businesses can definitely be a win-win for the customer and the self storage operator. With efficient management and marketing, the pros outweigh the cons. At the end of the day, your customers will save time and your bottom line will benefit.


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Lance Ponton

Lance Ponton is currently a Valuation Specialist in the Tampa office of Colliers International Valuation & Advisory Services. Mr. Ponton has been actively engaged in real estate valuation and counseling since 2001. He has prepared appraisal reports for a wide variety of clients. His experience includes analysis and appraisal of all types of real estate, including residential, retail, office, agricultural, industrial, and special purpose properties, among others.