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View Full Version : Enclosed trailer thoughts, decisions


Martsmth
12-26-2009, 09:48 PM
We are thinking about buying an 7x16 enclosed trailer....I'm looking for your thoughts, concerns, etc. given our situation:


My business partner and I are in a position now where our major storage area (his garage) is going to no longer be available (he's moving from his place to another, with no garage).

We are a small operation, my partner and I both have other jobs...we work/manage this operation and our one employee (and one part time helper) does a fair bit of the day to day work. We have one pickup truck (dodge 1500, 5.8l) and a 6x10 open trailer which we do most of our work out of. Our day to day crew consists of one zero turn (that's all our company has right now), and a whacker or two. We are planning on buying a new mower in the next month or two and are hoping to increase in size by early next summer by another truck, trailer, and another mower.

We are thinking about buying an enclosed trailer, a haulmark 7x16 enclosed...dual axles, brakes on all 4 wheels.


We know we are going to have to find a permanent location before snow season next year, but in the mean time are thinking about the trailer as our "storage unit". We have a couple secure places to park it, so that is not much of a concern. Given our realistic (at least to us!) hopes to expand next year, this trailer would seem to be a good choice for a "second trailer". Also, a good billboard (after it's lettered). Another positive, even if we rented a place for 6 months....around here that would easily be 200 bucks a month, 1/4 the price of a new 7x16!

Our concerns:

Can we realistically fit two mid-sized zero turns in a 16 footer, with other day to day gear? (this is thinking down the road, we have several neighborhoods with more than one account, and are hoping to have two mowers hitting the same 'hood at once)

Is a 16 footer too much for our dodge 1500 to pull around day in day out if it came to that? It is an 8 foot bed, regular cab pickup with the 5.8l and factory tow package...for whatever that's worth. I believe the truck is rated for pulling 8000 pounds, but I like trailering with trucks that don't even know they have a trailer....at an old job, I used to pull a 26' enclosed construction trailer with a strong dodge 3500. What do you think the loaded 16 footer will feel like?

Sorry for the long winded question post....I don't really know if we're missing anything or not, and appreciate the advice of those with much more experience.

Plus we're probably gonna buy it next week ;)

Springmeadows
12-26-2009, 09:59 PM
I don't really know how your truck will do with such a large trailer. However, I wouldn't buy a smaller trailer. I think the loaded enclosed trailer is gonna weight your truck a little more than I would be comfortable with.

The area you work in, is it flat? Engine power is one factor, but braking is another. Make sure you have a trailer brake controller that works your trailer brakes. Also, is your trailer going to have dual brake axles or just one?

I have a 2500HD Duramax and a 16' open trailer w/ skidsteer or two walkers. I have no problems with power or braking, but I have a diesel. My area is very mountainous. When my skidsteer is on the trailer, I do know it's there.

Martsmth
12-26-2009, 10:30 PM
The trailer we quoted was with 2 axles and brakes on all 4 wheels....also quoted with the brake controller installed....our area really is not too hilly or mountainous, we have some rollers though.

Appreciate your comments...keep em coming

chris@perfectlawncare
12-26-2009, 10:50 PM
The trailer we quoted was with 2 axles and brakes on all 4 wheels....also quoted with the brake controller installed....our area really is not too hilly or mountainous, we have some rollers though.

Appreciate your comments...keep em coming

Seems wide enough, but I think it will be a tight fit length wise. Using a trailer as a storage space seems very efficient, though... good thinking

mowerbrad
12-27-2009, 12:37 AM
I would start looking at the dimensions of the mowers you will be keeping in the trailer. A 16ft trailer will be able to fit the mowers length wise with minimal room to spare, especially if you will have bagging systems on the mowers. Otherwise, you should be able to buy some racks for the trailer to hold your trimmers, blowers, etc. So most of your tools should be with you. And as far as your truck goes, you should be able to tow that without too much of a problm, just make sure you have the brakes all wired up.

unkownfl
12-27-2009, 12:42 AM
I easily fit a 36inch walk behind and a toro z400 in my 6x12 Haulmark. Only problem I ran into is it was hard to get the the hand held equipment on the wall. I only had less then a foot to walk through from the back.

Richard Martin
12-27-2009, 04:44 AM
I like to be the guy that always looks ahead. Before you commit to a big, heavy 16 foot enclosed trailer try to remember that we are only one financial crisis or one disaster away from $5 a gallon gas. Everybody here at Lawnsite was crying the blues when gas hit $3.50 and $4.00 a gallon. Well the truth is we're not far from that price now. Expensive gas is not an "if" at this point. It's a matter of when.

scagman52
12-27-2009, 08:48 AM
Have you thought about keeping what you have and rent a space in one of those storage facilitys?

ElephantNest
12-27-2009, 09:58 AM
I'm looking into a 16 foot enclosed also, but I'm going with 8' wide. The footprint is almost the same as the 7', wheel to wheel width-wise, but much more room inside to move around, and for storage.

topsites
12-27-2009, 10:11 AM
I don't know how these guys do it, I suppose the brakes on the trailer must help some...
But the cost has to be outrageous, for starters you'll probably replace those tires once a season.

As for a truck, I don't see anything less than a full ton (350 / 3500) truly being able to handle it,
you're looking at handling 8 to 10 thousand pounds of weight and even a 3/4 ton's MAX is 10k...
I always say, you want to handle what you're towing then stay well within the truck's limitations.

The next thing is, you'll play a LOT of musical equipment every dang stop you make...
One idea, if you already have a trailer, is to use an enclosed trailer for storage only, leave it parked.

I like to be the guy that always looks ahead. Before you commit to a big, heavy 16 foot enclosed trailer try to remember that we are only one financial crisis or one disaster away from $5 a gallon gas. Everybody here at Lawnsite was crying the blues when gas hit $3.50 and $4.00 a gallon. Well the truth is we're not far from that price now. Expensive gas is not an "if" at this point. It's a matter of when.

Yup, I dare say we'll see $3.50 by next summer, $4 is but 1-2 years away but if I read the news correctly we'll see it by mid-to-late 2011.

Afabiano
12-27-2009, 10:11 AM
Have you thought about keeping what you have and rent a space in one of those storage facilitys?

Hey Folks, I am the partner in this operation. Here is the deal, A storage unit that we would get is approx 300 a month where we live... They make you sign a 6 month lease, which would be more like a year really.
300 + tax and fees X 12 months = $4,000...
New trailer out the door with brake controls = $5100...
Also, we can count in at least an hour for mob demob from the storage unit, let alone inconvenience and any other hassle that comes with it.

We wanted to buy another tailor this summer anyhow, this jump starts that process a little bit. After the $4K we spend on the storage unit in a year we will have no trailer and nothing to show for it except a tax right off at the end of the year for money wasted... am i wrong here?

Springmeadows
12-27-2009, 03:46 PM
The thing about the trailer is the storage. Do you have room at your house and does your neighborhood allow commercial equipment? I am with you on the trailer idea. I have tried to find every way to make it justifiable to buy one. I just don't have the work anymore for it.

Big Wes
12-27-2009, 04:08 PM
I have a 24' Pace Summit with a work bench up front. I carry 1-WB and 2-Z's a 60" and a 52" all trimmers and blowers mounted on the walls. Bagger stored under work bench. 6 gas cans stored under bench also. Various other equip. stored on bench. I pull it with a F250 4x4 crew cab V8. No issues.

I think the trailer you are looking to purchase is to small. Always go bigger than you need because you'll run out of space faster than you think. JMHO

What's nice about enclosed is less theft and gear is out of the weather. Go to lunch and lock it up no worries. Also when your season ends your equipment is already stored away, no need to jockey things around in the garage to put your gear up for the winter months.

jrandallb
12-27-2009, 08:02 PM
I pull a 16 footer with a 1500 Chev with no problems. I have 2 full sized mowers and some other equipment I would never go smaller than 16'. It is nice getting to the job site and having all your equipment with you.

JCPM
12-27-2009, 09:12 PM
You can definitely fit two zturns but no bagger attachments. I always liked the idea of having a storage unit on wheels. Also, remember that it provides awesome advertising with the right lettering down the sides.

unkownfl
12-27-2009, 10:44 PM
You can build a shed for a lot less then 5k

topsites
12-27-2009, 10:49 PM
You can build a shed for a lot less then 5k

That's it!

How I fixed one of my problems, $270 at the time:
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200333893_200333893

They make different sizes, that particular one I used to store one of my cars so it would be out of the weather,
insofar as zoning ordinances it's like they say "out of sight / out of mind," works great.

Granted I hear say the tarp has to be replaced every so many years
but the company that makes these sheds also sells the parts.

motorscot
12-28-2009, 01:00 AM
I would like to get a 7x16 as well. I have the same issues with space. While I do have a shed, I can only get two wb mower inside. I use a large tarp and tie it down but have already got a tear in it from water collecting. I want to be able to park it and leave it no matter where I am. If I have to run into lowe's or home depot (or anywhere else for that matter) I spend 15 minutes locking everything down and then another 15 unlocking everything. Plus, I keep my fuel, tools, and grasscatchers in the bed. This keeps me from being able to carry mulch, etc in the bed. PITA!!

jvanvliet
12-28-2009, 06:54 AM
I dunno know 16 ft seems short for two ZTR's, I got an open 16" footer I started with. It could barely fit my 52" Xmark & my 36" walk behind. My other gear went on the truck.

Draw the dimmensions of your proposed trailer in chalk & lay out your equipment as though. That'll give you an Idea.

Personally I'd go with a bigger trailer & truck. I've never heard anybody say "Gee I should have bought a smaller trailer".

Richard Martin
12-28-2009, 07:27 AM
I dunno know 16 ft seems short for two ZTR's, I got an open 16" footer I started with. It could barely fit my 52" Xmark & my 36" walk behind. My other gear went on the truck.

Are you sure you had a 16 foot trailer? I used to be able to get 2 60" Dixie Choppers on my 12 footer. I can easily get 2 36s and my Dixie on my 16 footer with room for extra stuff like my Little Wonder blower and push mower. Here's a pic of mine. There's a 36, a 21, a grass catcher and my Dixie. There is also about 2-1/2 of open space behind the Dixie if I want to carry even more stuff like my afore mentioned Little Wonder.

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=110193&d=1212138180

jvanvliet
12-28-2009, 08:00 AM
Are you sure you had a 16 foot trailer? I used to be able to get 2 60" Dixie Choppers on my 12 footer. I can easily get 2 36s and my Dixie on my 16 footer with room for extra stuff like my Little Wonder blower and push mower. Here's a pic of mine. There's a 36, a 21, a grass catcher and my Dixie. There is also about 2-1/2 of open space behind the Dixie if I want to carry even more stuff like my afore mentioned Little Wonder.

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=110193&d=1212138180

Will try & remember to take a pic... pretty sure it was 16ft. But it also has 5ft wire mesh enclosure around the sides.

BTW... what's with the wife's breast comment? Seems rude to comment on a man's wifes breast.

jvanvliet
12-28-2009, 08:01 AM
Also.... nice rig.

Richard Martin
12-28-2009, 08:29 AM
BTW... what's with the wife's breast comment? Seems rude to comment on a man's wifes breast.

You'll have to take that up with Topsites. He said it, not me.

Richard Martin
12-28-2009, 08:30 AM
Also.... nice rig.

Thanks. I keep it well maintained.

jlhnumber1
12-28-2009, 12:11 PM
Buying an enclosed trailer for use as a way to transport and store your equipment is definetly a good idea. Keep im mind though the trailers are heavy when empty so this really does play into a factor with the truck that you are using to pull it. I have a 2006 dodge quadcab 1500 with the 5.7 hemi and a Haulin 7x16 enclosed trailer. I have no problems with the power to tow it and with the brake controller set right no problems stoping it, but when I load my trailer with my 727A John Deere ZTR, and hand equipment the ZTR has to be placed just right or there is either to much weight on the truck on not enough. I would say as long as you are hauling one ZTR you will be fine but anymore than that and you will need at least a 1 ton pickup.

Martsmth
12-28-2009, 12:19 PM
Thank you all for your comments and advice.....looks like we're probably gonna make arrangements on one of these (a haulmark 7x16') sometime this week, if things work out. We're currently running one truck, the 1500....our next truck (hopefully before spring) will be a 2500/250 series. If things all come together, the 2500 will pull the enclosed on a regular basis while the 1500 will pull the open trailer. If/when neccessary, our 1500 shouldn't have any problem pulling the enclosed....it just won't get the job of pulling the enclosed around daily.

Thanks again for your input....I'll throw up some pics when we pick her up!

Marty
AA-Estate Maintenance

crhoades68
12-28-2009, 12:39 PM
I think you have made the right decision. The dual axles should make a big difference since the truck will be less stressed versus a single axle trailer (assuming the trailer is loaded properly).

I pull a 7 x 14 enclosed with dual torsion axles and brakes with an '07 Toyota Tacoma V6. I'm only hauling a single ZTR (1200 lbs) and miscellaneous equipment.

I was in the same position of no storage and this has been the ideal solution.

BTW, I bought a used, smaller open trailer to haul mulch. Not always convenient but it works.

johnnybravo8802
12-28-2009, 08:50 PM
I have a 24' Pace Summit with a work bench up front. I carry 1-WB and 2-Z's a 60" and a 52" all trimmers and blowers mounted on the walls. Bagger stored under work bench. 6 gas cans stored under bench also. Various other equip. stored on bench. I pull it with a F250 4x4 crew cab V8. No issues.

I think the trailer you are looking to purchase is to small. Always go bigger than you need because you'll run out of space faster than you think. JMHO

What's nice about enclosed is less theft and gear is out of the weather. Go to lunch and lock it up no worries. Also when your season ends your equipment is already stored away, no need to jockey things around in the garage to put your gear up for the winter months.
How do you like that 24' trailer. I know Brickman uses all 24' trailers but that seems like so much trailer to lug around every day. I may get an enclosed down the road and am considering either a 20' or a 24'. My biggest concern would be getting it into tight areas and into residential yards. I would hate to park it in the road all the time and cause traffic jams. I have some jobs that I don't even think I could get an enclose trailer on, especially a 24'.

Big Wes
12-29-2009, 08:52 AM
The trailer is great. It's a non issue as far as parking in the street while working. I really don't care about making cars slow down or stop to let someone thru. People tend to drive to fast in the neighborhood anyway.

Culdersac's can be an issue if they tight. I have one that so tight, I opt to back down the road. Otherwise the security of everything out of view / weather, and being able to lock things up is great.

I can only suggest to buy bigger than you think you need, you'll thank yourself later.

TXNSLighting
12-29-2009, 03:15 PM
I don't know how these guys do it, I suppose the brakes on the trailer must help some...
But the cost has to be outrageous, for starters you'll probably replace those tires once a season.

As for a truck, I don't see anything less than a full ton (350 / 3500) truly being able to handle it,
you're looking at handling 8 to 10 thousand pounds of weight and even a 3/4 ton's MAX is 10k...
I always say, you want to handle what you're towing then stay well within the truck's limitations.

The next thing is, you'll play a LOT of musical equipment every dang stop you make...
One idea, if you already have a trailer, is to use an enclosed trailer for storage only, leave it parked.



Yup, I dare say we'll see $3.50 by next summer, $4 is but 1-2 years away but if I read the news correctly we'll see it by mid-to-late 2011.

Wow Topsites...lots of incorrect info in this post!

Kustom Kutz
01-01-2010, 07:29 PM
I have used every size and type of trailer there is at one time or another. The trailer that I try to keep hooked to my truck (2002 Chevy 1500HD) at all times is a 18' CargoMate enclsed. I have every tool that I might possibly need at my disposal on every job. Everything has a place on the trailer, stays dry and secure. I bought my trailer because I live in a condo with no storage, but I think they are the only way to go now. Make the investment and purchase a trailer. You won't know how you lived without one. There are ways to do all of your equipment racks like mine and save ALOT of money. Tires and brakes aren't a "issue" they are "maintanence" which as long as you are making money will be no big deal. My tailer empty weighs around 3200# with the boxes and racks and the only thing I would change is I wish it were bigger.

Omran&Turbo
01-01-2010, 07:50 PM
I have used every size and type of trailer there is at one time or another. The trailer that I try to keep hooked to my truck (2002 Chevy 1500HD) at all times is a 18' CargoMate enclsed. I have every tool that I might possibly need at my disposal on every job. Everything has a place on the trailer, stays dry and secure. I bought my trailer because I live in a condo with no storage, but I think they are the only way to go now. Make the investment and purchase a trailer. You won't know how you lived without one. There are ways to do all of your equipment racks like mine and save ALOT of money. Tires and brakes aren't a "issue" they are "maintanence" which as long as you are making money will be no big deal. My tailer empty weighs around 3200# with the boxes and racks and the only thing I would change is I wish it were bigger.

I could not say it any better than you Mr Kutz, and infact that what am planning to do buyingan enclosed trailer.

Lazer Cut
01-05-2010, 12:02 AM
I have been contemplating buying a 16ft enclosed but my only concern is hauling mulch. I do a lot of mulching in the spring. I have a 16ft trailer with 3ft walls now and mulch is cake work. If I got an enclosed I'd like to keep the open for cleanups and what not but don't know if money allows both.
Posted via Mobile Device

Lazer Cut
01-05-2010, 12:03 AM
Tell me how guys that do mulching manage this
Posted via Mobile Device

DoetschOutdoor
01-05-2010, 03:58 PM
Lazer, the only options are get the mulch delivered, keep your open trailer, or get a dump insert for the small jobs. I run an enclosed trailer and get most of the mulch delivered or will do 2-3 yard runs with the truck but that gets old quick. Going to pick up an open trailer this spring for around a grand and be done with it.

Kustom Kutz
01-05-2010, 04:12 PM
I have been contemplating buying a 16ft enclosed but my only concern is hauling mulch. I do a lot of mulching in the spring. I have a 16ft trailer with 3ft walls now and mulch is cake work. If I got an enclosed I'd like to keep the open for cleanups and what not but don't know if money allows both.
Posted via Mobile Device I have 4 trailer 3 open (6.5x12, 7x16 and a 8x18HD) It will only be logical to kkep a open trailer if you can't afford both. Delivery is a option, but for what you'll pay for delivery fees over a year you could by yourself a debris trailer as I call them. If you ever buy a enclosed you will be in love.