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View Full Version : What is the best size trailer to start with


green-pa
06-11-2007, 08:31 PM
Wondering what the best size trailer is to start out with. I have a ram 1500.
It seems like a good sized truck; much larger than an s10 or ranger or something. A 5x6 doesn't look big enough to haul much more than a 36wb is it? I would like something that would fit a 36-48 in wb or Z and also one 21 in. Would a 4x6 or 5x6 do this or would I need a 6x8 or larger? Also, do u guys have to move these much when u are in small subdivisions where the driveways are right next to each other, so that people and postmen can get through? And how much is it for those racks that secure your trimmer/s? And do they really protect them or lock them in or would they still be prone to get stolen? I'm looking for something under $700 so I may have to find a used one. If anyone has one for sale in the Indiana area I'd like to know, if it's a good price and in good shape.

ExecutiveLawns
06-11-2007, 08:41 PM
It really all depends on how far you wanna go with you biz. you can start out with a 5x6 or what ever but that will maybe hold one mower and you need to check the weight rating as far as carrying a zero turn cause i know mine weigh around 1500 to 1600 each. I would start out with at least a 7x12 or 14 that way you can have more than one mower on you trailer and the extra room comes in really handy if you need to haul off any debris.

oak1787
06-11-2007, 08:51 PM
I have a 6x10 works great...

Lynden-Jeff
06-11-2007, 08:52 PM
I started 6 X 12. Thought it would be tons! Now I have a 6.5 X 16 and wish I had a 6.5 by 18 or 20 for 2 z's and a walk behind. Go big or go home.

Cheers
Jeff

bohiaa
06-11-2007, 08:54 PM
Get the bigest you can afford.....

dont be like me and a few others, you will out grow it in a few short months.
I started with a 5 x 10, with-in 3 weeks I needed a 6 x 12,

this is one of the 1st mistakes we as LCO's make...

read the post at the top of the page.... tips do's and donts for the new guy

howardsells2000
06-11-2007, 08:54 PM
I think a 5X10 or a 5X12 will be big enough for you to start out with. I have a 5X12 and I carry my 52" Ferris WB, 36" Ferris WB and my 21" on my trailer. I also built a shelf that I carry my wheelbarrow, gas cans and a grass gobbler. I added racks for my blower, weed wackers and rakes and shovels. I also put a large tool chest on the tongue. The nice thing about the 5' wide trailer is that I can fit down small alleys and can park it easier.

I recommend the racks. I had my weedwacker, blower and some other misc stuff stolen last year. At that time I didn't have any racks and was unable to secure my stuff. Now I can lock my equipment on the trailer. It is much safer.

green-pa
06-11-2007, 08:55 PM
I started 6 X 12. Thought it would be tons! Now I have a 6.5 X 16 and wish I had a 6.5 by 18 or 20 for 2 z's and a walk behind. Go big or go home.

Cheers
Jeff

So if all I can afford is a 6x8 I should quit? Or what do u mean "Go big or go home"? I've done pretty well with my 21 and no trailer thus far. And the only time I went home was when the jobs were done and I was paid:laugh:

KS_Grasscutter
06-11-2007, 08:56 PM
I have a 6.5x12, it is PERFECT for one 50" ZTR, one 33" WB and one 21". I will probably add a 16' or 18' in a couple years, but keep the 12' for landscaping and fertilizing.

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/KS_Grasscutter/lawnrig4-14004.jpg
http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r253/KS_Grasscutter/lawnrig4-14001.jpg

Grits
06-11-2007, 09:07 PM
I have a 6x12 and it fits my mowing needs. That is the smallest I recommend.
I need to get a dump trailer, too.

bohiaa
06-11-2007, 09:10 PM
So if all I can afford is a 6x8 I should quit? Or what do u mean "Go big or go home"? I've done pretty well with my 21 and no trailer thus far. And the only time I went home was when the jobs were done and I was paid:laugh:

Come-onnnn..... you just posted about a walkbehind......

make up your mind dude.......

Lynden-Jeff
06-11-2007, 09:15 PM
So if all I can afford is a 6x8 I should quit? Or what do u mean "Go big or go home"? I've done pretty well with my 21 and no trailer thus far. And the only time I went home was when the jobs were done and I was paid:laugh:

Im saying eventually you will want bigger, so get as big as you can afford.

Grits
06-11-2007, 09:16 PM
Come-onnnn..... you just posted about a walkbehind......

make up your mind dude.......

That is probably why he is asking about trailers, so he can put his "not yet bought" walkbehind on it. He is just making plans, no need to fnck with him.
But, he has been on this board long enough to know that everyone says get the biggest trailer you can.

sildoc
06-11-2007, 10:22 PM
My recomendation would be 6.5x12 or larger. I had a 5x10 and still use it for one time one machine jobs but sits most the time. I have a 6.5 x 12 and barely fits my 52" z a 36" walk, a 21 and 26. I wish I had a 7x 16. Next year maybe.
If all you can afford is a 5x10 then get that but go as big as you can.

lifetree
06-11-2007, 10:45 PM
... you will out grow it in a few short months.
I started with a 5 x 10, with-in 3 weeks I needed a 6 x 12, this is one of the 1st mistakes we as LCO's make ...

I agree ... a 6 x 12 trailer is pretty much the standard size for LCO's, some have larger but very few have smaller !!

green-pa
06-12-2007, 01:28 AM
That is probably why he is asking about trailers, so he can put his "not yet bought" walkbehind on it. He is just making plans, no need to fnck with him.
But, he has been on this board long enough to know that everyone says get the biggest trailer you can.

Exactly! Just want to make the best choice. It would be silly to me to have a 6x16 ft trailer with only my 21 and a 36 wb on it! I think 6x10 or 12 may be plenty for now according to what u guys are saying.

fiveoboy01
06-12-2007, 01:51 AM
A 16' trailer is no longer silly when you suddenly have a ton of brush or grass clippings to dump on it in addition to all your equipment that's on there, or if you need something to haul a few yards of mulch.

Buy the biggest that A) you can afford, and B) your truck can haul.

SHADESOFGREENLAWNCARE
06-12-2007, 12:15 PM
As soon as you decide to purchase a zero turn mower you will find the 6x10 or 6x12 too small. If the smaller trailer is all you can afford then buy one. Just realize that if your business takes off when you purchase the larger equipment you will need a larger trailer. It took me 6 months to out grow my 6x12 enclosed trailer. I did not listen when I was told to purchase the largest trailer I could afford. It is probably not a bad idea to go used.

Jim

green-pa
06-12-2007, 12:31 PM
As soon as you decide to purchase a zero turn mower you will find the 6x10 or 6x12 too small. If the smaller trailer is all you can afford then buy one. Just realize that if your business takes off when you purchase the larger equipment you will need a larger trailer. It took me 6 months to out grow my 6x12 enclosed trailer. I did not listen when I was told to purchase the largest trailer I could afford. It is probably not a bad idea to go used.

Jim

I'm not sure how much my Ram can pull. ANy of u guys know? I'm not going with enclosed, that's too much $ for me now in my first year. But I'm thinking that 6x12 may be good for this year and next. Would a 6x12 hold 2 36wb's and a couple 21's or 1 36 wb and a Z? Even if I get one and it's too small, couldn't I sell it without much loss?

fiveoboy01
06-12-2007, 01:08 PM
I'll assume the Ram is a V-8?

I pulled my 16' trailer with 1200# of mowers, a push mower, several trimmers, etc with my '97 F150 part of last year, it had the 4.6 V-8 and didn't do too bad, didn't take off like a rocket ship, but was able to pull the load pretty well.

I'd think that your truck should be able to tow somewhere around 4-6 thousand pounds max, which would be plenty of capacity.

green-pa
06-12-2007, 01:13 PM
I'll assume the Ram is a V-8?

I pulled my 16' trailer with 1200# of mowers, a push mower, several trimmers, etc with my '97 F150 part of last year, it had the 4.6 V-8 and didn't do too bad, didn't take off like a rocket ship, but was able to pull the load pretty well.

I'd think that your truck should be able to tow somewhere around 4-6 thousand pounds max, which would be plenty of capacity.

Wow, I didn't know my truck was THAT capable! I wonder if I did get a trailer that is 12 or 16 ft long, how would I go about parking it if it blocks someones driveway? Also, how do u secure it when u are done for the day? I see some guys just put it on blocks. And others put it behind their truck so it's kinda blocked in the driveway at home.

Pitbull05
06-12-2007, 01:13 PM
9 out of 10 times when you sell used equipment you are going to take a loss if you look at what you paid vs what you sold it for. The best way to look at it is depreciation and how much money it helped you make. This is what I do and makes it a little easier to digest. Also look at the good side that your business is growing if you are upgrading. With that said, it is ALWAYS better to go as big as your budget allows.

KS_Grasscutter
06-12-2007, 01:16 PM
I'm not sure how much my Ram can pull. ANy of u guys know? I'm not going with enclosed, that's too much $ for me now in my first year. But I'm thinking that 6x12 may be good for this year and next. Would a 6x12 hold 2 36wb's and a couple 21's or 1 36 wb and a Z? Even if I get one and it's too small, couldn't I sell it without much loss?

Refer back to my post (with pics no less). I have a 21", 33", and a 50" ZTR on it. Of course the Troy Bilt is shorter then any 36" (except BOP Q36). I could also turn a 36" sideways at the front or back, and put the ZTR and 21" side by side (if I didn't have the grass catcher system on my ZTR). To answer your question, a 6x12 would EASILY hold 2 36's and 2 21's, or a 36" and a Z. I don't see why everyone says to buy a trailer bigger then you need. Seems pointless to me. Why not get a smaller one now, then when you expand, move up to a 16' or 20'. Then you could either sell the small one, keep it for a backup, or use it for landscaping or fertilizing.

I might play around with my trailer later and see just what all I can fit on it, I THINK I could get my 2 Zs, 33" wb, and 2 21"s on it...

fiveoboy01
06-12-2007, 03:32 PM
Wow, I didn't know my truck was THAT capable! I wonder if I did get a trailer that is 12 or 16 ft long, how would I go about parking it if it blocks someones driveway? Also, how do u secure it when u are done for the day? I see some guys just put it on blocks. And others put it behind their truck so it's kinda blocked in the driveway at home.

Back in '03, I hauled my race car to a race in Ohio. 2,000# trailer, 3200# car, and probably 500# of misc stuff(generator, toolbox, jack etc). Had no problems making the trip. I hauled the car on many other shorter trips as well. 5 thousand pounds shouldn't be a problem for your truck which is the same size as my F-150 was. Do you have the 318 or the 360 V-8? That will make a difference in towing capacity as well.

If you can't park without blocking someone's driveway you might have to park a house down or something, you could block the customer's driveway, I've done that a few times, but I almost always have a place to park along the curb without blocking anything.

As far as securing the trailer, well I'm in a small, low-crime town. I do lock up the trailer tongue latch when I'm not using it, but that's it. You can get some pretty beefy trailer tongue locks that actually insert into where the ball would go to keep someone from hooking up to it. You can also consider a bar through the wheels with a lock on it to keep the trailer from rolling.

Of course leaving it hooked up to your truck or backing your truck right up to it is another alternative.

fiveoboy01
06-12-2007, 03:36 PM
I don't see why everyone says to buy a trailer bigger then you need. Seems pointless to me. Why not get a smaller one now, then when you expand, move up to a 16' or 20'. Then you could either sell the small one, keep it for a backup, or use it for landscaping or fertilizing.



Just because you can fit everything on a trailer doesn't mean it's safe. It's easy to overload a single-axle trailer and many of them don't have brakes. Tandem axle trailers are more stable, are capable of hauling a lot more weight, and AFAIK all of them have brakes on at least one axle.

WHY would you suggest that someone pay twice for a trailer? If he wants to sell the small one to buy a bigger one, let's say next year, he ends up taking a depreciation hit on it. Maybe not a large loss, but a loss none the less.

I'd recommend nothing less than a 12' tandem axle trailer to start with if a guy can afford it. Preferably a 14 or 16 footer if budget will allow. Who cares what you look like. If you don't have enough equipment to fill the trailer, big deal. If someone's going to look at you and make an assumption about your business by how much(or how little) equipment you're hauling around, then they're an idiot anyways.

Lynden-Jeff
06-12-2007, 03:44 PM
Our ram 1500 with the 5.9 pulls the trailer (2100 lbs) plus a Z and 2 walk behinds (around 1500-1800lbs of equiptment.) I have also towed a 553 bobcat and it didn't have any problems.

Cheers
Jeff

green-pa
06-12-2007, 05:33 PM
Our ram 1500 with the 5.9 pulls the trailer (2100 lbs) plus a Z and 2 walk behinds (around 1500-1800lbs of equiptment.) I have also towed a 553 bobcat and it didn't have any problems.

Cheers
Jeff

Thanks Jeff! tHat's good info to know! At least It sounds like my truck should be good for several years if not more towards my upgrades I hope for.

topsites
06-12-2007, 05:47 PM
My experience with 1/2 ton trucks is they don't last, even the 3/4 tons I have to take it real easy on the gas or it develops a handful of shavings in the pan between trans fluid changes (we're talking every 10k miles here). Perhaps most Lco's are unaware of transmission wear, since most people never change the trans fluid and filter, but it is something that should be done every 10k miles, for those of us who like our stuff to last, it also gives you the opportunity to monitor for shavings.

Depending on the condition of the trans when you bought it, the 1/2 ton will last anywhere from 6 months to a few years, I usually get 4-5 years out of the 3/4 tonnes without further ado, longer if I take it easy / newer trucks.

It's either the belts or the clutch, 1/2 tons are not designed to haul heavy loads, you really almost need a full ton before you get into double axle 16"... Oh well sure, I can pull a 6x12 with 5 cubic yards of mulch loaded with my 4-cylinder car too, but do this day after day and see what happens, even one time could spell disaster.

The other concern is DOT regulations, you need to know for sure what your state's GVWR rating for a CDL is, buy too big a trailer / truck combo that puts you over the limit and you need a CDL... Some states the limit is so low you about need a CDL regardless, but other states give you some options.

I have a 6x12 single axle with 2-foot solid steel sides, and a 3/4 ton to pull it.
As for equipment, if you want to play musical equipment and waste fuel hauling everything you own around that is up to you, but in my case I can not fit everything I own even if I wanted to, I carry only what I need for the day... I fit a 48" Wb and the 60" Z on my 6x12 easy, but I do have tires that are at least one load rating above what the trailer calls for.

As for brakes, you need to keep a good 6-8 seconds distance from anything in front of you, brakes or not if you get too close you are in dire straights. That's the other thing, a 3/4 ton has heavier duty brakes than the 1/2 ton, but either way you are moving sometimes 6 thousand pounds GVWR, and I don't care how many wheels you are riding on and how many have brakes, it takes longer to stop 6 thousand pounds than 2 thousand, always.

I'd consider a 6x12 with some decent sides, and start looking for a 250 / 2500, this gives you a year or two of time in which to find one.

That's been my experience.

MOWEMJEFF
06-12-2007, 08:09 PM
My experience with 1/2 ton trucks is they don't last, even the 3/4 tons I have to take it real easy on the gas or it develops a handful of shavings in the pan between trans fluid changes (we're talking every 10k miles here). Perhaps most Lco's are unaware of transmission wear, since most people never change the trans fluid and filter, but it is something that should be done every 10k miles, for those of us who like our stuff to last, it also gives you the opportunity to monitor for shavings.

Depending on the condition of the trans when you bought it, the 1/2 ton will last anywhere from 6 months to a few years, I usually get 4-5 years out of the 3/4 tonnes without further ado, longer if I take it easy / newer trucks.

It's either the belts or the clutch, 1/2 tons are not designed to haul heavy loads, you really almost need a full ton before you get into double axle 16"... Oh well sure, I can pull a 6x12 with 5 cubic yards of mulch loaded with my 4-cylinder car too, but do this day after day and see what happens, even one time could spell disaster.

The other concern is DOT regulations, you need to know for sure what your state's GVWR rating for a CDL is, buy too big a trailer / truck combo that puts you over the limit and you need a CDL... Some states the limit is so low you about need a CDL regardless, but other states give you some options.

I have a 6x12 single axle with 2-foot solid steel sides, and a 3/4 ton to pull it.
As for equipment, if you want to play musical equipment and waste fuel hauling everything you own around that is up to you, but in my case I can not fit everything I own even if I wanted to, I carry only what I need for the day... I fit a 48" Wb and the 60" Z on my 6x12 easy, but I do have tires that are at least one load rating above what the trailer calls for.

As for brakes, you need to keep a good 6-8 seconds distance from anything in front of you, brakes or not if you get too close you are in dire straights. That's the other thing, a 3/4 ton has heavier duty brakes than the 1/2 ton, but either way you are moving sometimes 6 thousand pounds GVWR, and I don't care how many wheels you are riding on and how many have brakes, it takes longer to stop 6 thousand pounds than 2 thousand, always.

I'd consider a 6x12 with some decent sides, and start looking for a 250 / 2500, this gives you a year or two of time in which to find one.

That's been my experience.

I will say he has a good point. A 6x12 will hold a ZTR, walk behind, and a push nicely and if you plan on working by yourself or with just one other person I can't see why you'ld ever need more equipment then that. That would be the best way to go but if your really in a pinch for $$ you could probly find an 8x8 tilt trailer preferably with sides, or make them and that'll fit a walk behind and push fine, make some ramps out of 2x6x8s for 30$ and Wa-la, $350 your pulling your equipment and can probly sell the trailer for what you paid for it next spring or close too.

rob7233
06-12-2007, 10:59 PM
I'm not sure how much my Ram can pull. ANy of u guys know? I'm not going with enclosed, that's too much $ for me now in my first year. But I'm thinking that 6x12 may be good for this year and next. Would a 6x12 hold 2 36wb's and a couple 21's or 1 36 wb and a Z? Even if I get one and it's too small, couldn't I sell it without much loss?

Your truck's owner's manual will have the rating that you are looking for. Also you might want to look at the driver's side door pillar.

green-pa
06-12-2007, 11:07 PM
Refer back to my post (with pics no less). I have a 21", 33", and a 50" ZTR on it. Of course the Troy Bilt is shorter then any 36" (except BOP Q36). I could also turn a 36" sideways at the front or back, and put the ZTR and 21" side by side (if I didn't have the grass catcher system on my ZTR). To answer your question, a 6x12 would EASILY hold 2 36's and 2 21's, or a 36" and a Z. I don't see why everyone says to buy a trailer bigger then you need. Seems pointless to me. Why not get a smaller one now, then when you expand, move up to a 16' or 20'. Then you could either sell the small one, keep it for a backup, or use it for landscaping or fertilizing.

I might play around with my trailer later and see just what all I can fit on it, I THINK I could get my 2 Zs, 33" wb, and 2 21"s on it...

That's interesting. A 6x12 sound plenty for me now. I'll actually only have one 36wb if I decide to soon. Next year I'm hoping to be able to get 2 going so that I can have a helper and really increase my productivity.

How do u guys secure your trailer and/or mowers? Do u put the whole thing in the garage, do u lock everything to the trailer, then attach a security wire with an alarm to alert u if someone is tryting to take it in the night? Or do u take the mowers off the trailer into the garage or barn and then leave the trailer out in the driveway. Maybe I should just save up for an enclosed one, I don't know. I just want to know so much and u guys help me, so I just keep on asking!..lol So how do u secure your stuff when the day is over?

KS_Grasscutter
06-12-2007, 11:14 PM
That's interesting. A 6x12 sound plenty for me now. I'll actually only have one 36wb if I decide to soon. Next year I'm hoping to be able to get 2 going so that I can have a helper and really increase my productivity.

How do u guys secure your trailer and/or mowers? Do u put the whole thing in the garage, do u lock everything to the trailer, then attach a security wire with an alarm to alert u if someone is tryting to take it in the night? Or do u take the mowers off the trailer into the garage or barn and then leave the trailer out in the driveway. Maybe I should just save up for an enclosed one, I don't know. I just want to know so much and u guys help me, so I just keep on asking!..lol So how do u secure your stuff when the day is over?

I have a storage unit where I can back the trailer into. It is locked, and also has a gate/fence around the property. Definitely don't have to worry about it at all. Whether or not it's worth $70 a month, I am not sure...

MOWEMJEFF
06-12-2007, 11:16 PM
Practice Good Karma.

green-pa
06-13-2007, 11:10 AM
Well, I'm thinking they must have a security device for trailers somewhere. Maybe some kind of "Club" like they use for car wheels. If not that, then perhaps some kind of wire alarm.

Also, do u guys cover them up if your mowers are outside at night/day to protect them from rain?

Are these large commercial mowers designed to sit out in the rain or should I cover mine up at night and put in garage or barn if at all possible?

fiveoboy01
06-13-2007, 12:38 PM
Well, if your trailer wheel has holes in it, you can take a piece of round steel that will fit through the wheels. Drill a hole in each end, and you can put a lock on each end of the bar. That will keep the trailer wheels locked up.

I put my mowers inside each night. I don't know if rain will hurt them but I think it would promote corrosion. I have seen a few guys around here put a tarp over the trailer if they don't have anywhere to put them inside.

mc24034
06-13-2007, 03:20 PM
Well, I'm thinking they must have a security device for trailers somewhere. Maybe some kind of "Club" like they use for car wheels. If not that, then perhaps some kind of wire alarm.

Also, do u guys cover them up if your mowers are outside at night/day to protect them from rain?

Are these large commercial mowers designed to sit out in the rain or should I cover mine up at night and put in garage or barn if at all possible?

Ive got a 6x10 Well Cargo enclosed that Im looking to sell. Im def. not selling it for $700 but for safety purposes they are much better than open trailers.

green-pa
06-13-2007, 05:48 PM
Ive got a 6x10 Well Cargo enclosed that Im looking to sell. Im def. not selling it for $700 but for safety purposes they are much better than open trailers.

Sounds nice but a bit outta my price range if over $700. If u are a comic book collector I could trade part cash and part comic..lol

mc24034
06-13-2007, 06:29 PM
Uhh im out. Not a collector. Thanks though.

ke5hbd
06-14-2007, 12:44 AM
I use a 4x8 but put thing in the back of my truck but will soon be upgrading to a 14 or 16 ft with a righthand side gate to load the push mowers and other equipment in the front of the trailer.