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View Full Version : Open utility trailer vs. Enclosed trailer. Whats your thoughts...


driver5
04-12-2009, 12:58 AM
Ive had three utility trailers.. Love em.. endless ways to set um up... But im craving the idea of having an enclosed... Having a portable garage.... Craving the thought of not having to unload my stuff every day.. and keeping it out of the rain.

problem is .. is that I dont have a diesel to pull it. I have a Chevy WT with a six cylinder.


Anyways. Just curious on your thoughts.


Thanks,

Scott

Mowbizz
04-12-2009, 01:08 AM
Ive had three utility trailers.. Love em.. endless ways to set um up... But im craving the idea of having an enclosed... Having a portable garage.... Craving the thought of not having to unload my stuff every day.. and keeping it out of the rain.

problem is .. is that I dont have a diesel to pull it. I have a Chevy WT with a six cylinder.


Anyways. Just curious on your thoughts.


Thanks,

Scott


I have an open trailer and can't imagine not being able to just reach over the side to grab something, or step over the side, etc...I have covers and tarps that cover my equipment and it's locked securely with thick cables and heavy locks. I think it's ideal for my solo operation. I have had covered trailers for cargo and motorcycles and such, but the open trailer is right for me at this point in time. Fairly, lightweight (compared to a box trailer) easy to maneuver with good vision all around, and it doubles as a utility trailer and a tractor hauler...BTW it's a Pequa (very well made) dual axle, 14x7.
Gassing up my machines and cans is an easy task as well. That could be a pain with a closed trailer...Good luck with your decision whatever it may be.

KrayzKajun
04-12-2009, 01:09 AM
thts why i have both!!! but soon to get rid of open and get a 20' enclosed!

its all really about personal preference!

driver5
04-12-2009, 01:10 AM
I have an open trailer and can't imagine not being able to just reach over the side to grab something, or step over the side, etc...I have covers and tarps that cover my equipment and it's locked securely with thick cables and heavy locks. I think it's ideal for my solo operation. I have had covered trailers for cargo and motorcycles and such, but the open trailer is right for me at this point in time. Fairly, lightweight (compared to a box trailer) easy to maneuver with good vision all around, and it doubles as a utility trailer and a tractor hauler...BTW it's a Pequa (very well made) dual axle, 14x7.
Gassing up my machines and cans is an easy task as well. That could be a pain with a closed trailer...Good luck with your decision whatever it may be.


it never occured to me till just now that fueling would sux with an enclosed..

DuallyVette
04-12-2009, 01:14 AM
it never occured to me till just now that fueling would sux with an enclosed..

You can fill the mowers from cans, or put a small door(s)in a position to slide the gas hose through.

I love my enclosed....do a search for more opinions.

KrayzKajun
04-12-2009, 01:15 AM
it never occured to me till just now that fueling would sux with an enclosed..

some enclosed come with fuel doors on the side! i just fuel up the equipment ouside the trailer!:cool2:

Mowbizz
04-12-2009, 01:29 AM
some enclosed come with fuel doors on the side! i just fuel up the equipment ouside the trailer!:cool2:

I've seen guys take their machines out of the enclosed trailers and drive/push the mowers up to the pumps to fuel up...NO THANKS! Filling a ZTR with a gas can can be a time consuming proposition too...especially with the slow gurgling cans we have today.
Fuel doors are one solution but you have to put the hose thru the door then climb in to the closed trailer and pick up the hose and start gassing...if you have a few mowers inside, it may be a pain traversing thru the mowers with a gas hose in hand...also fuel doors add to the cost of your enclosed trailed and you'd probably want them on both sides for better access. Just some of my personal reasons not to go enclosed...:drinkup:
(it's also been proven that enclosed trailers are no more secure from theft than open trailers) bolt cutters will slice thru a lock like butter. I think the only positive point is keeping stuff out of the weather...for me anyway

Lazer_Z
04-12-2009, 10:43 AM
I've seen guys take their machines out of the enclosed trailers and drive/push the mowers up to the pumps to fuel up...NO THANKS! Filling a ZTR with a gas can can be a time consuming proposition too...especially with the slow gurgling cans we have today.
Fuel doors are one solution but you have to put the hose thru the door then climb in to the closed trailer and pick up the hose and start gassing...if you have a few mowers inside, it may be a pain traversing thru the mowers with a gas hose in hand...also fuel doors add to the cost of your enclosed trailed and you'd probably want them on both sides for better access. Just some of my personal reasons not to go enclosed...:drinkup:
(it's also been proven that enclosed trailers are no more secure from theft than open trailers) bolt cutters will slice thru a lock like butter. I think the only positive point is keeping stuff out of the weather...for me anyway An enclosed trailer has more positive points than just "keeping stuff out of the weather". With an enclosed you have everything in one place, nothing in the bed of your truck, a rolling bill board and yes your equipment is dry as well. Now, about your comment on locks, try cutting through these with your bolt cutters http://www.etrailer.com/pc-L~DT40122.htm

The only pita with an enclosed is getting it set up the way you want, after that you're good to go.

kaferhaus
04-12-2009, 11:24 AM
Enclosed trailers are time killers.

They're much more expensive, heavier and use more fuel to tow.

In the summer they become ovens inside.

You can put signs on the sides and ramps of open trailers.

Before we had a large drive through building, we tarped and cable locked everything and parked it all behind the house I had at the time which was fenced in. Never had a thing stolen and the equpment stayed dry.

ALC-GregH
04-12-2009, 11:35 AM
I like the open trailers. I can easily fuel up the truck and the mower all from the same pump. I keep everything in my garage at night unless I'm starting early the next day. Then I cover it up with a tarp to keep the dew off. If someone came on my property at any given time, my boy Logan will go crazy. They would get nowhere fast with him around.

freshcut419
04-12-2009, 11:44 AM
An enclosed trailer has more positive points than just "keeping stuff out of the weather". With an enclosed you have everything in one place, nothing in the bed of your truck, a rolling bill board and yes your equipment is dry as well. Now, about your comment on locks, try cutting through these with your bolt cutters http://www.etrailer.com/pc-L~DT40122.htm

The only pita with an enclosed is getting it set up the way you want, after that you're good to go.

I have used those locks before, It take less then 90 seconds to break in to one. I lost my keys and I drilled out the lock keys hole and it sled right open as i was drilling. I was shocked how easy it was it get off. Go ahead and try it

freshcut419
04-12-2009, 11:50 AM
Driver 5 I am pulling a 24 foot enclosed trailer with a 2008 half ton small v8. It does okay but Iam getting 9 miles per gallon with it hooked up. I like enclose trailer because i have had 500 blowers walk off on the job site plus I think they make you look like you are serious and not some joe blow with a truck and mower calling your self a lawn crew.

joshco84
04-12-2009, 12:00 PM
Driver 5 I am pulling a 24 foot enclosed trailer with a 2008 half ton small v8. It does okay but Iam getting 9 miles per gallon with it hooked up. I like enclose trailer because i have had 500 blowers walk off on the job site plus I think they make you look like you are serious and not some joe blow with a truck and mower calling your self a lawn crew.

So even though i have 12 years experience i am just a joe blow with a lawn service because i have an open trailer.

It never ceases to amaze me what some people say one here.

ALC-GregH
04-12-2009, 12:03 PM
Driver 5 I am pulling a 24 foot enclosed trailer with a 2008 half ton small v8. It does okay but Iam getting 9 miles per gallon with it hooked up. I like enclose trailer because i have had 500 blowers walk off on the job site plus I think they make you look like you are serious and not some joe blow with a truck and mower calling your self a lawn crew.

WOW, 500 blowers stolen? How long have you been in business? If you've been doing it for 20 years, that's 25 blowers a year. If your mowing 9 months out of the year, that's close to 3 a month, every month. I'm calling your bluff. Now if it's true, then you or your workers are not doing a very good job of watching over your livelihood.

So your thought is, if you have a small operation and use a smaller open trailer, your a Joe blow? Just because you have a "big" trailer doesn't mean anything in my book. It's the end result or quality of the work you preform that makes you stand out from the others.

kaferhaus
04-12-2009, 12:10 PM
So even though i have 12 years experience i am just a joe blow with a lawn service because i have an open trailer.

It never ceases to amaze me what some people say one here.

Yep I have over 20yrs.... one of the biggest operaters within 200 miles but I guess we're just a "jack leg" operation with our measly 800K annual revenue.

Most of the guys I see pulling enclosed trailers are either solo or two man operations. Not a single multi crew operation that I know of is using enclosed trailers. Time = money and as I said in the prior post enclosed trailers are time killers.

Further, like most service industries, this is a Price/quality driven business with good quality at low prices getting the majority of the business. My business is 70% commercial... you really think my customers give a damn about what kind of trailer we use? And a residential customer.... they see a long billboard expensive enclosed trailer.... what's their reaction? "I'm paying for this stuff" is what it is.

joshco84
04-12-2009, 12:52 PM
I was probably a little short with my answer and let me add to it.

Having an enclosed trailer does have its ups. Saves a ton of garage space if you are limited, keeps things out of the rain, a little more theft proof, and the advertising is a plus.

However unless you have a bulk fuel tank on your truck to fill mowers throughout the day, they are a waste of time. I really dont think they look any more professional than a well kept open trailer.

DuallyVette
04-12-2009, 12:53 PM
After I switched to an insulated - enclosed 20 foot trailer in 1989, I , have been a happy boy. Several LCO friends made cracks about me pulling my house around, their employees would tear it up etc. There are now many enclosed trailers running around here, including some big operators(Brinkman)

People driving in heavy traffic and much more respectful of my space. They yield, smile, and wave, instead of shake their fist and blow the horn at the hillbilly rig.

Enclose trailers are not for everyone...but I can't see why.

Mowbizz
04-12-2009, 12:56 PM
An enclosed trailer has more positive points than just "keeping stuff out of the weather". With an enclosed you have everything in one place, nothing in the bed of your truck, a rolling bill board and yes your equipment is dry as well. Now, about your comment on locks, try cutting through these with your bolt cutters http://www.etrailer.com/pc-L~DT40122.htm

The only pita with an enclosed is getting it set up the way you want, after that you're good to go.

Good points...! This is a post about my thoughts as asked by the OP. Your thoughts are welcomed too...don't single me out because you disagree with my thoughts. Dare me to cut though a lock? LOL... Any serious thief can cut through or break any lock ever made.

ALC-GregH
04-12-2009, 12:56 PM
So now guys with open trailers are Joe blow hillbillies? Man it's getting worse with every post.

Mowbizz
04-12-2009, 01:07 PM
So now guys with open trailers are Joe blow hillbillies? Man it's getting worse with every post.

LOL..ain't it true? Some guys are just "aching" to jump down the back of someone that disagrees with "their system" it's unbelievable...:hammerhead:
The ORIGINAL POSTER asked for our thoughts on OPEN vs ENCLOSED TRAILERS.
Now continue on with YOUR THOUGHTS!! :drinkup:

TONTAGE
04-12-2009, 01:42 PM
Ive had three utility trailers.. Love em.. endless ways to set um up... But im craving the idea of having an enclosed... Having a portable garage.... Craving the thought of not having to unload my stuff every day.. and keeping it out of the rain.
problem is .. is that I dont have a diesel to pull it. I have a Chevy WT with a six cylinder.
Anyways. Just curious on your thoughts.
Thanks,
Scott

why would you need a diesel to pull the trailer??
im in the same boat...thinking whether open or enclosed.im leaning toward an enclosed.i do not wish to have my equipment sitting open in the elements.
just my .02

Lazer_Z
04-12-2009, 02:59 PM
Yep I have over 20yrs.... one of the biggest operaters within 200 miles but I guess we're just a "jack leg" operation with our measly 800K annual revenue.

Most of the guys I see pulling enclosed trailers are either solo or two man operations. Not a single multi crew operation that I know of is using enclosed trailers. Time = money and as I said in the prior post enclosed trailers are time killers.

Further, like most service industries, this is a Price/quality driven business with good quality at low prices getting the majority of the business. My business is 70% commercial... you really think my customers give a damn about what kind of trailer we use? And a residential customer.... they see a long billboard expensive enclosed trailer.... what's their reaction? "I'm paying for this stuff" is what it is. Hmm, really?? Well, The last time I noticed Brickman uses enclosed trailers. More well known in the Jersey area is Lipinsky, Moon Site Management, even closer to me is Affordable Lawn Care, hell Ive seen Tru Green's maintenance side of their operation with an enclosed.

You're not talking 2 guys on a Brickman crew either, I've seen 5 & 6 on 1 job with 1 truck and trailer.

If there wasn't a need for enclosed trailers every one would run open trailers, some of us want all of our equipment safe, sound, dry & all in one place. I dealt with a dinky open for 7 seasons and I finally had enough of loading and unloading every damn day. As far as being "ovens" that's why they have roof vents, I've been in an enclosed during 100* temps and it wasn't an "oven".

I don't want to be an ass, but seriously kafer, get off your damn high horse.

mowerbrad
04-12-2009, 04:58 PM
I have been giving some serious thought into buying an enclosed trailer this season. I like the fact that I won't have to load and unload everyday. I spend probably 20+ minutes each morning getting everything on the trailer and making sure that I have all the tools I will need for the day. Then at the end of the day I have to unload everything and put it all back in the shed or garage, so another 10+ minutes. So in the time I spend loading/unloading I could have done another property. Also with an enclosed I will have everything I need for the day and more. If it starts to rain in the middle of the day, I don't have to worry about my equipment getting soaked. And the added security that an enclosed provides is a plus.

However, I will still be keeping my open trailer for clean-ups and times where I will have alot of debri/brush to be hauling.

Gary Campbell
04-12-2009, 06:42 PM
I have had an open 20 ft steel bed trailer for over 20 years, traded this year for an 18 ft aluminum one, I would never get an inclosed trailer for most of the reasons Ive read here...bulky, poor visibility in traffic, hard to fuel, poor gas mileage pulling. Also, I often need to carry trimmings, brush, or whatever the customer might happen to need when I mow., and need an open one for that...why is everyone so worried about a little rain on equipment...do you think grass is dry?....if there is gonna be a downpour, just throw a tarp over them...I wash my mowers anyway, I think they get wet when I do that.

djagusch
04-12-2009, 08:53 PM
For the fueling issues people are talking about. I run an open but have a enclosed on order. I also bought a 100 gallon gas tank for the back of the truck for refueling. I'm guessing this will save me time and money from going to the gas station daily. Saves time obviously but also all the snacks I pick up at the store adds up over the year.

I'm figuring Monday's I'll fill up the tank and truck. Then later in the week I'll need to fill up the truck once also. That is two visits instead of five. I'm solo so the stops are pretty fast but if you have employee's I'm guessing that time adds up pretty fast.

kaferhaus
04-12-2009, 09:17 PM
I've been in an enclosed during 100* temps and it wasn't an "oven".



Yeah I'm real familiar with all those 100 degree 95% humidity days in New Jersey.... at least you guys can brag about your taxes!

None of those companies operate down here. Likely they need the enclosed trailers as they have unsecured places they have to be parked. If I had zero confidence in being able to safety store my equipment I'd likely use an enclosed and back it up against something evernight. But as we don't have criminal gangs down here or even criminals that will go to much trouble to steal anything a good lock is sufficient.

The time you spend in and out of that trailer all day at every stop more than makes up for a few minutes of loading and unloading at the beginning and end of each day if thay's what you do.

And I LIKE MY HIGH HORSE! I worked hard for it, I earned it, so you are free to ignore my posts and refrain from comenting on one simply because you don't like the valid points I make.

Enclosed trailers are not condusive to productivity, neither you or anyone else will ever convince me otherwise. Iv'e been doing this for far too long and have actually done "time studies" which is something most on this board have never even heard of, much less ever performed one and been able to decipher the results in any meaningful way.

djagusch
04-12-2009, 09:45 PM
I would like to see that time study. Going to the back of a trailer (which you need to in either of them), then go mow and you put it back on/in the trailer, now the trimmer rack is facing you unlocked in the enclosed set up walk out and go trim, then you need to walk in the trailer instead of going to the side of it, hang up the trimmer, and grab the blower, go blow put it in the enclosed and raise the ramp. So you gain walking in and out twice with the enclosed but with the open you need to walk around to the other side of the trimmer rack, lock and unlock the rack and then walk to your blower location (on the trailer, pickup bed).

I don't see the time savings, what am I missing?

justanotherlawnguy
04-12-2009, 10:11 PM
Jeez this thread got ******ed quick. It really is a pointless topic. It just depends on what your needs are. Which ever side of the fence your on, your gonna favor.
As far as fueling being the issue, that is the most ******ed reason to not get one. Have fun breaking out the tarp when it rains.

This topic is like ford vs chevy or democrat vs republican. Just get one of each and you will be set...

IdealLawnCare
04-12-2009, 10:20 PM
Ive had three utility trailers.. Love em.. endless ways to set um up... But im craving the idea of having an enclosed... Having a portable garage.... Craving the thought of not having to unload my stuff every day.. and keeping it out of the rain.

problem is .. is that I dont have a diesel to pull it. I have a Chevy WT with a six cylinder.


Anyways. Just curious on your thoughts.


Thanks,

Scott
I too am just a part time guy and I use an enclosed trailer. I have it set up to hold all my weekly mowing equipment. I take my my trailer to work with me so I can mow after work. I know it is secure all day and if we get a passing rain it will stay dry too. I also have an open trailer I use for clean-ups, dethatching and aerating. As for fueling up in the enclosed that is simple too. I have a 30 gal. gas caddy with a hose and pump in the front corner of the trailer with a fuel door too. I can either put fuel in the truck, mower or gas caddy from one pump. I can also fuel equipment from outside the fuel doo too. Check out the photos http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=270087 So with a light weight 6x12 trailer I can carry my 52" z and everything else I need.

1wezil
04-12-2009, 10:33 PM
I have had a open trailer for 4 years and ya it worked OK but never had what I needed or if you stopped some place someone had to stay with the trailer so thing didn't walk off . Just bought a use 2002 28ft enclosed trailer SWEET. I now have everything I need with me no matter what job I will need to do . we carry 3 z-turns ,1 walk behind and 1 push mower for the small small jobs & a golf cart to save a lot of walking around at large places . I still have my 16ft open trailer for any clean up and for mulch jobs .

DuallyVette
04-12-2009, 10:52 PM
I would like to see that time study. Going to the back of a trailer (which you need to in either of them), then go mow and you put it back on/in the trailer, now the trimmer rack is facing you unlocked in the enclosed set up walk out and go trim, then you need to walk in the trailer instead of going to the side of it, hang up the trimmer, and grab the blower, go blow put it in the enclosed and raise the ramp. So you gain walking in and out twice with the enclosed but with the open you need to walk around to the other side of the trimmer rack, lock and unlock the rack and then walk to your blower location (on the trailer, pickup bed).

I don't see the time savings, what am I missing?

You'll NEVER convince some open trailer guys. I met a fellow (once upon a time) that would only plow with a mule :) And a family that only used the bathtub for laundry...they were afraid they'd go down the drain if the stopper failed :)

We don't actually go in the trailer to get a trimmer, edger, or blower. They sit in the doorway. Mowers go out the back, or through the curbside ramp door.

justanotherlawnguy
04-13-2009, 02:51 AM
Say you have a 8 x16 enclosed trailer, now you have two 6 x 16 walls to hang trimmer racks, ladders, PVC pipe, hooks to hang stuff, hang cabinets for storage, can make shelves across the front of the trailer, even hang stuff from the ceiling, put big ladders on the roof if you use them.

The storage and organization potential is endless. Far more storage opportunities than you can even imagine.

Before I got the big enclosed I did have a 16 foot open trailer and the mileage is exactly the same, so to say the mpg is worse is garbage.

It's kind of like the walk behind guys that bash guys for using ztr's. Until they get one and realize what an a$$ whooping a wb and sulky really dish out.

Weedas_Lawn_Care
04-13-2009, 06:32 PM
god im not even giving my .02 just because the next post is giong to be someone talking bad about my oppinon as for the OP driver5 if you know someone that has an enclosed see if they will let you try it out obviously some people on here are to busy arguing with eachothers high horse. But my cousin also is in the biz. and he has an s10 with a 6 cyl. and he has never had any trouble and he also has the same size open trailer (6x12) which would prob. be a good size for a 6cyl. but needless to say u just need to try one out yourself and see how it work and a trailer dealer may let you try one out for a half a day just look into it. I also head a good point in one of these post and that is that an open trailer is good for hauling limbs, bushes, and whatever else thats bulky. Hope this helps

ferdinand711
04-13-2009, 07:11 PM
There are positive and negative side on either one of them. I bought a 7 x 16 enclosed last year and just got 8 x 16 enclosed last week to replace my 7 x 14 open not because I prefer one over the other, but because I don't have that much space to store my equipments. bottom line is It really depends on whatever serves you best or should I say, "whatever floats your boat".

sslopok
04-13-2009, 07:27 PM
I had a hard time choosing between the 2. I am not a "REAL" lawn guy to some of you because I only do this on the side though. I went with an enclosed so that I didn't have to pull the trailer into the garage all the time, because I refuse to left my stuff sit out and rot. The enclosed also lets me keep a bunch of stuff in it in the winter. I like my back garage free of a bunch of crap in the winter because that is where I go to get away from the 3 girls in my house. Also, if I need to haul something nice, I won't have to wait until the weather is nice to do so. I don't care if anyone agrees with this post, an enclosed just works better for me.
sslopok

driver5
04-14-2009, 02:25 AM
wow. fellas..... great posts... helps a lot.

i just have a lot of decisions to make.

regardless. both ways has pros and cons... open.. equalls more options..

enclosed equalls more security and more home storage..


anyways. keep the posts and stories coming.

TheC-Master
05-04-2009, 09:43 PM
I myself want an enclosed, I got caught in a bad storm and it made me want one more. I get two fuel tanks inside and I'm good to go. I spend time hiding my stuff in the back yard to be safe and lifting my push mower on and off when I could just use a trailer and keep it in there.

EVM
05-08-2009, 10:15 PM
I like my enclosed trailer. I can carry the mowers etc, plus hang some irrigation pipe inside, all the hand tools/parts for on-site repairs, sprinkler heads, umm, just about everything and anything.

As far as gasing the mowers goes, some gas stations have long hoses, we usually stop at the same station and just pull the side door up to the pump. We also keep two 14 gallon duramax gas tanks in the trailer for 2 cycle stuff.

Everything stays out of the weather and when it rains hard you can just go inside the trailer and wait for it to stop, maybe fix something too.

There are cons like size/weight but I still like it.

pawatch
05-09-2009, 12:15 AM
Next thing... will be one of those work and play trailers. With the living space and cargo area.:weightlifter:

IdealLawnCare
05-09-2009, 09:17 PM
The bottom line is only you can choose what will work best for you. Each has is pros and cons but IMO you already chose what you in your mind when you started this thread. Unloading and loading daily would suck.

1wezil
05-09-2009, 10:08 PM
The bottom line is only you can choose what will work best for you. Each has is pros and cons but IMO you already chose what you in your mind when you started this thread. Unloading and loading daily would suck.

Don't you have to load and unload your trailer no matter what kind of trailer you have .....:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

IdealLawnCare
05-09-2009, 10:12 PM
Don't you have to load and unload your trailer no matter what kind of trailer you have .....:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

OK you got me on that so you get a:drinkup: but because you said that you get:hammerhead:

1wezil
05-09-2009, 10:35 PM
OK you got me on that so you get a:drinkup: but because you said that you get:hammerhead:

WELL? ? ? :laugh::laugh::laugh:?

harleyfree66
05-11-2009, 02:57 PM
Does any one have a simple proposal form. I deal primarily with senior citizens and often they get over whelmed with the commercial bids.

AVLC
05-13-2009, 11:55 PM
i understand why some people need an enclosed trailer mainly a guy working out of his house but they are just harder to drive because of visibility, heavier, and more money.

So i would go open and theres no problem with a mower getting wet we have mowers about 20 yrs old out side all season no cover and no problem.