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View Full Version : Exmark 48" Turf Tracer on Pick-up?


Darryl G
04-01-2002, 10:45 PM
Well, after humping around a 21 inch mower last year, you guys have convinced me to take a big step up. I just looked at a 48" Turf Tracer HP hydro with the ECS, electric start and 17 HP Kaw. Seems like a real nice machine. The dealer quoted $4,900 ($300 off list). I would be loading it onto my truck bed with alloy ramps ($200) to start. I'm a little worried about dropping it off the truck (a 3/4 ton Chevy). Do any of you haul your mowers in the truck bed? If so, any problems? Should I just break down and buy a small trailer and a 52 inch mower? Also, does this price seem high?

Thanks in advance.

Trauma
04-01-2002, 11:09 PM
You're gonna get real tired of humping that big mower up and down the ramps into your truck bed. Get a trailer with a drop gate. You can never go wrong with a good trailer for all your equipment.

Greenstar Services
04-01-2002, 11:28 PM
Invest in a solid trailer with a drop gate. Make sure it is big enough for any other machinary you may have. If the trailer is enclosed than all you need to do in the morning is hook up and go and at the end of the day unhook and lock up.Its just that easy.

Darryl G
04-02-2002, 12:22 AM
gardengod - Thanks for the input. I'm just wondering if the gasoline fumes from the equiment gather in the trailer. Also, how's the access? Isn't it a pain to have to carry the trimmers and other equipment out instead of just grabbing it?

Thanks

Darryl G
04-02-2002, 12:31 AM
I should have mentioned the other part of my dilema. I also have a compact utility tractor. I've been just driving that to close jobs and renting a trailer for further ones, but both are a pain in the you-know-what. I plan to buy a dedicated 4 ton trailer for the tractor (I was leaning toward a Cross Contry 16 foot). I can't see hauling mowing equipment on that, and I can't see hauling my tractor on a landscape trailer. I know that some of the landscape trailers 18 foot and up are rated for 4 plus tons, but are the decking and ramps tough enough for a 2 ton tractor plus some additional implements? This is my first year full time and I can't afford to be shelling out $ for a new mower, new blower and 2 trailers. I've looked at used trailers but can't find a deal I like.

What would you guys do?

Greenstar Services
04-02-2002, 02:25 AM
Thats a dilema. So here is the solution if possible. Instead of putting out all that cash on new machinery and trailers ,look at leasing the equipment that is needed. Leasing is a right off and does not drain that bank account all at once. Instead of using your cash that you would of used for the purchase put in an account to use to pay the leases until your cash flow is healthy. Make sure that the leases are able to be paid in full early.Thats how I've operated for over 10 years.
As for the fumes, trailers do have venting available.Also there are side doors on a lot of models.I hope this is a help.

PaulJ
04-02-2002, 11:48 AM
To start out I got a light duty 5X8 trailer with a split ramp. I can haul my 36 and a 21 side by side or a 52 with a 21 accross the back. I also have a trimmer trap on one side a tool box on the oppisite fender and a divider in the front for a space for gas cans and blowers. It all fits pretty good in a nice light package and I can just back the whole thing in to my 10 X 20 storage unit at night. One nice thing about my tralier is if it's empty , the ramps fold down onto the bed so theres no wind resistance.
When I get a socond WB or a rider I will probably step up to a 6 X 18 tandem but this works great for now.

Darryl G
04-13-2002, 01:01 AM
I just wanted to thank you guys for your input. I pick up my custom built 6 1/2 by 12 trailer on the 22nd. I was having nightmares about dropping my shiny red mower from a height of 3 feet. I didn't realize that a trailer fabrication shop had moved into town. Their trailers are sturdier and cheaper than the big name brands and if I crack a weld, he's right down the road. Cost me $1,400 with the trimmer rack. It's a tubular steel single axle 3,500 lb gross (2,900 load) with 2 x 6 PT floor. No brakes.

MuskTurfKing
04-13-2002, 04:04 AM
Good deal, you'd get tired of loading that big ol' mower up into a truck bed, a trailer will make it MUCH easier.

Hank

yorkpaddy
04-16-2002, 07:22 PM
its easy to put a WB in a pickup, I do it everyday with my 36 exmark, and I have cousins who have been doing it for years with a 48 Deere walkbehind. I'm really triyng to figure out if I can put a 52 in my truck somehow, cause I have no room for a trailer

Turf Technologies
04-16-2002, 07:31 PM
Why do you put big commerical mowers in the back of a truck bed? Wouldnt that ruin your trimmers, Edgers and Blowers? Then how do you haul the debri away from a lawn?

naturescape
04-17-2002, 10:05 AM
On and off for the past 12 years, I have used a truck only. For the past 2 years, I have never used a trailer. I have an F-150 with a custom made folding gate. I will be posting a pic of it on Lawnsite soon (a couple weeks or so). Sure beats hauling a trailer. I mulch all my debris, if I have to take some away, I make a second trip. Still better than hauling a trailer.

And guess what? I just bought an ExM 48 Turf Tracer ECS w/ electric start. fits on the truck perfectly. Also, I have now used it 2 days - best machine I have ever used. You will love it. Only problem is it's a bit hard to change blades on an ExMark. But still the best machine out there.

You do really need the electric start if you are hauling on a truck. Even with a trailer, es is the way to go, easily worth the extra $200.

There is a site on the net that offers folding ramps for a pick-up. Do an internet search, you'll find them.

brucec32
02-13-2003, 02:32 AM
Originally posted by darryl gesner
Well, after humping around a 21 inch mower last year, you guys have convinced me to take a big step up. I just looked at a 48" Turf Tracer HP hydro with the ECS, electric start and 17 HP Kaw. Seems like a real nice machine. The dealer quoted $4,900 ($300 off list). I would be loading it onto my truck bed with alloy ramps ($200) to start. I'm a little worried about dropping it off the truck (a 3/4 ton Chevy). Do any of you haul your mowers in the truck bed? If so, any problems? Should I just break down and buy a small trailer and a 52 inch mower? Also, does this price seem high?

Thanks in advance.

So much for some of the expert opinions, they're always all over the place. You don't have to have a trailer if you don't need the space. I have a 12 ft trailer but often I use a ramp system and I put a 900 lb Lazer Z HP in the back of my truck bed. But it has to be a bear of a ramp to do this safely.

I use a product called SAFE T RAMP. It slides into a class IV hitch on my truck, and has a 7 foot mesh ramp(just like a trailer ramp) that folds and works with your tailgate down, extending your truck bed another couple of feet. IT has a 1200 lb capacity and has worked fine for about a year now. I can carry a lazer hp (not full size lazer, too heavy) , a 21" mower (sideways accross the tailgate) , blower, trimmer, fuel cans, cloth bagger, sprayer, and a trash barrel in a short bed pickup in an organized fashion. It cost about $500-$600. Unlike twin ramps, which are unsafe, it's as wide as the truck is and rock-solid. It can be removed in about a minute by two people, or maybe 5 if you do it yourself and are strong. It could easily handle a walk behind or two. I was worried about damaging the tailgate, but the design distributes the load well and my tailgate cables are holding just fine. If worried, you can have heavier ones made.

But for a walk behind, you can find a cheaper folding ramp that is also full width, but you have to make sure it has a secure method of holding it in place to avoid accidents.

There are a variety of heavy duty ramp systems out there, the Gator Ramp is another one. Do a web search and check them out.

Ramp vs. Trailer pro/con

Ramp advantages:

lighter, less drag, much quicker acceleration with less weight, better mpg. (I saved $300 in fuel the first year)
No trailer tires to replace. Mine last about 1.5 years, max
Truck tires seem to last longer than when towing, brakes should last longer, less wear on vehicle transmission.
shorter rig, easier to park and back out of drives with. I have some jobs that I literally can't exit safely with a trailer. Shorter truck mounted rig means I can turn around and not have to back into traffic or park in busy streets.
Safer than trailer if your truck has proper suspension (HD rear springs, anti-sway bar, good shocks)
Braking distance is MUCH shorter than with a trailer, due to lower weight and better use of rear brakes with heavier rear load.
No fear of taking a turn too tight and hopping a curb.
Allows you to buy a lower HP Truck, saving some cash there. My Tundra V8 pulls away from cars at lights loaded, but a V6 truck would suffice for work use.
Unsecured items less likely to "hop out" than if you hit a big bump with a trailer.
Requires less space at your shop or home. I can just back my truck in the garage and be done with it. No hitching/unhitching.


Trailer advantages:

hold more stuff, which allows more variety in mower selection to fit the job, holds heavier riding mowers too. And of course multi man crews need more stuff than a pickup bed can hold.

somewhat quicker to load/unload

Safety concerns with ramps if you have an accident and load is not secured properly. (I use steel plastic coated cables with quick releases). But you should secure trailers too.

More space for hauling clippings if you do a lot of that.

A ramp may be too steep for a rider if you drive a really jacked up 4x4 or heavy duty truck. But walk behinds can still be loaded fairly safely if they have good tires.

So, some times of the year, I need 3 mowers (ztr, wb, 21") and use the trailer. But at other times, I love the Safe T Ramp. I drive 70-80 miles per day, often in dicey traffic, so it matters more to me than someone who makes just a couple of stops around town.

Just don't buy the "one solution fits all" talk you may hear around here. Bigger isn't always better.

As for damaging trimmers...lol...you put them in AFTER you've loaded the mower. They fit quite snuggly beside the ZTR, and the blower and other items are bungeed in place against the ramp on the tailgate. An 8 foot longbed truck with a Safe T Ramp would have over 10 feet of useable "floor space". Not bad.

A picture is worth 1000 words, I'll try to get one of my rig. Here's a link to some pics http://www.usaramp.com/saftramp.html

Phishook
02-13-2003, 04:00 AM
Hey Bruce, I'd say he made his decision last spring when he was asking for advise.

Darryl G
02-13-2003, 07:31 PM
Yeah, I bought a 6.5 x 12 trailer as discussed above. I ended up leaving the trimmer rack off. It has a leaf box on the front 2/3 for now. I'll take that off after spring clean-up.

I'm looking at getting a 5 ton low profile dump trailer now to haul materials and the tractor. A good set of aluminum ramps for the truck is still on the wish list for getting tillers, snowblowers and mowers on the truck when needed.

Here's a pic of the trailer with box.

edward hedrick
02-13-2003, 09:44 PM
good looking trailer. I made my own gate lifter. Similiar to ballard

I used to have a nissan Long bed. Made a platform 6" off the floor

used 2x12 for ramps. Ramps fit under deck. My 52 Lesco fit in the truck. Could use Merrit prkwy without trailer. Ed

jsr2741
02-13-2003, 10:08 PM
You can get a 61/2 x 10 trailer for about $700, half that if its used. I would never spend my day loading/offloading a mower out of the back of a truck.

Buy a trailer.

Shuter
02-13-2003, 10:32 PM
I was in the market for a trailer to get away from hauling the mower in the back of my pick-up truck, so I decided to go with a dump trailer. One day you can haul equipment, the next use it as a dump truck. Two uses in one.

Darryl G
02-13-2003, 11:08 PM
I haven't found the need for a gate assist, although a couple of handles on the gate would be nice. I can lift it with one hand without straining.

I did have to have the gate mesh tacked on better and the bottom of the mesh peened over to keep from catching the mower deck. It was bigger than I needed but I can add a ZTR without upgrading.

Here's the trailer without the box, on the job early last fall.

brucec32
02-14-2003, 02:08 AM
Originally posted by Phishook
Hey Bruce, I'd say he made his decision last spring when he was asking for advise.

Yeah, I answer these anyway for general knowledge purposes....kinda like I'm a radio talk show host answering individuals' questions, but really for mass consumption.

brucec32
02-14-2003, 02:14 AM
Originally posted by jsr2741
You can get a 61/2 x 10 trailer for about $700, half that if its used. I would never spend my day loading/offloading a mower out of the back of a truck.

Buy a trailer.

You don't spend your day loading/unloading. A good ramp system like mine....you can have a lazer z hp 48" off the truck bed and running in less than a minute once you get used to it. And there's no effort involved other than walking up the ramp to get the mower. You just drive it off and on.

Btw, a $700 trailer that size is not going to be on the upper end in quality and durability. angle irons vs. tubular components, lighter axle, inferior flooring, spot welds instead of continuous on mesh, "foot" instead of wheel, or no foot at all, smaller tires, etc, etc. With $10,000 of mowers on it, I would get the best I could afford.

Turfcutters Plus
05-29-2006, 07:26 PM
I use both trailor AND usa ramps pick-up folding gate.It's great to have options!