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View Full Version : On the hunt for a new mowing trailer.


Jason Rose
02-18-2010, 11:17 AM
After getting some prices for an enclosed, and having to be picked upoff the floor when I found out that a 8.5 x 20 enclosed with an extra side door, heavier 5,200 lb axles and 3/4" plywood on the walls was going to be around 10 grand... I'm back to thinking that an open trailer is going to be my option. I just can't understand why enclosed trailers are sooooo damn expensive here when I read on LS abut guys buying similar trailers in other states for 5 to 6 thousand...

My current open trailer is a 20' and quite frankly, it's shot. The frame is getting more and more tweaked each year and even sitting empty it sits all twisted and contorted. It's just not right... The axles have always been to light and I eat through brakes and tires like they were candy. It's time for something more solid! Unfortunately, finding a place that builds a good trailer is though. There's sooooo many places that "sell" those junk trailers... Looked at a place Tuesday that had probably 150 trailers on the lot, and other than the gooseneck 28' ALL of the other utility trailers had 3500 lb axles and only brakes on one axle. Ramp gates were too short, etc. What a bunch of crap...

Wish me luck, I'm fueling up the truck and have 4 or 5 places to hit to find a good QUALITY 83" x 20' trailer with heavier axles, long ramp or beavertail, and so on...

DirtRider
02-18-2010, 11:25 AM
Good luck. I was looking at enclosed trailers as well and my ticker skipped a couple beats after the quotes. You would think they were gold plated.

Maple Wood
02-18-2010, 11:35 AM
Jason, I just bought 2 new enclosed trailers from sharp MFG. http://www.sharpmanufacturing.com/
They are made in Blue Rapids Kansas. If you call there you can get a hold of the owner. They build my trailers just how I wanted them and did not charge me an arm and a leg. They are smooth skinned and nice looking well built trailers. I really could not brag on them enough. They are very similar to the H&H trailers.

DoetschOutdoor
02-18-2010, 01:38 PM
Rose, you afraid of a little drive down south a few hours? What kinda price were you getting for the enclosed around here?

MikeKle
02-18-2010, 02:22 PM
There is many trailer builders in Missouri and most will build any thing you want, and you can pick and choose what you want on it, their prices are pretty good too. If you are hauling mowers around, what do you need the heavier axles for, when the tandem 3500lb axles have always worked fine for what we haul anyway? Im guessing you haul other things with it as well?

Cummins343
02-18-2010, 02:27 PM
There is many trailer builders in Missouri and most will build any thing you want, and you can pick and choose what you want on it, their prices are pretty good too. If you are hauling mowers around, what do you need the heavier axles for, when the tandem 3500lb axles have always worked fine for what we haul anyway? Im guessing you haul other things with it as well?I know what ya mean! That's where I got my trailer, in missouri, custom made and built to last! Great quality and it's always good to support the local business's.

Jason Rose
02-18-2010, 02:39 PM
After several hours of driving and wasted time on the phone I've found out that everyone in this state sells nothing but Big Tex and PJ trailers. Both= Junk.

3500lb axles are what's on the trailer I have now, and no, they are NOT heavy enough. They hit the bottom of the trailer when I go thru a dip and they bend, and they eat through brakes and tires every year because I haul about 7,000lbs in equipment, not counting the weight of the trailer. If the new one dosn't have 5,200lb axles and brakes on both, it's not considered. A 20' open or enclosed with 2-3500 lb axles is stupid. An open trailer that size weighs nearly 2,500lbs, that leaves you with enough capacity to haul about 2 zero turn mowers. and you are maxed out, which destroys those axles, brakes, and tires. Enclosed is even worse.

I called 2 "custom" trailer builders and both told me that they wouldn't build me one because what I wanted wasn't "custom enough". What??? You can't buy what I want off the lot, so what I want IS custom. I have a specific list of needs and specific needs for where the side gate is placed, the kind of expanded metal used on the gates, gate assist springs, Length of the rear gate 5' instead of the standard 4', expanded metal on the sides to keep things IN the trailer.... Yet what I want isn't "custom"?

It's pretty sad that the bent up old trailer I have is just as nice as the NEW ones they sell today. The gates on mine are 1,000 times better than what's out there for sure.

rstan2010
02-18-2010, 03:59 PM
After several hours of driving and wasted time on the phone I've found out that everyone in this state sells nothing but Big Tex and PJ trailers. Both= Junk.

3500lb axles are what's on the trailer I have now, and no, they are NOT heavy enough. They hit the bottom of the trailer when I go thru a dip and they bend, and they eat through brakes and tires every year because I haul about 7,000lbs in equipment, not counting the weight of the trailer. If the new one dosn't have 5,200lb axles and brakes on both, it's not considered. A 20' open or enclosed with 2-3500 lb axles is stupid. An open trailer that size weighs nearly 2,500lbs, that leaves you with enough capacity to haul about 2 zero turn mowers. and you are maxed out, which destroys those axles, brakes, and tires. Enclosed is even worse.

I called 2 "custom" trailer builders and both told me that they wouldn't build me one because what I wanted wasn't "custom enough". What??? You can't buy what I want off the lot, so what I want IS custom. I have a specific list of needs and specific needs for where the side gate is placed, the kind of expanded metal used on the gates, gate assist springs, Length of the rear gate 5' instead of the standard 4', expanded metal on the sides to keep things IN the trailer.... Yet what I want isn't "custom"?

It's pretty sad that the bent up old trailer I have is just as nice as the NEW ones they sell today. The gates on mine are 1,000 times better than what's out there for sure.

PJ and Bigtex are really well built trailers not junk

Kennedy Landscaping
02-18-2010, 04:57 PM
Go with Trail Master. Very good quality IMO....I've been very happy with mine.

MikeKle
02-18-2010, 05:23 PM
Well, if you cant find anyone to build the trailer the way you want it, just go buy the best built trailer you can find and then swap out the axles for bigger ones, and have a fabricator do the custom things you want done to it. This may the best way to go, and you can just sell the un-used 3500lb axles. I could easily do all the custom steel work you have mentioned, so just about any fabricator could too. That is hard to believe the trailer builders do not think your trailer is custom enough.. I was under the impression they would build whatever their customers wanted, who cares how custom it is anyway, work is work?!!

Jason Rose
02-18-2010, 07:41 PM
PJ and Bigtex are really well built trailers not junk

The Big Tex trailers I've seen on the lots are pretty crappy. They use that super light weight expanded metal for the gates and a shoddy system to old the gate closed. The PJ trailers are the same way. With their "removeable" sides that rattle and you can't put racks on to their gate with latches that were out in a year or two. Their side gates are even worse. I can add doolittle to this list of crap as well.

I know you can "special order" heavier built trailers and I can almost get what I'm looking for with a special order from PJ. But the models they have on the lots, the utility or "landscaper" models are a joke. It's pretty sad really. Most trailers are built for the family that has a couple 4 wheelers to use once a month or so, they will last forever with use like that. But people that need a trailer to WORK with, that will be towing it 6 days a week and using the ramp a couple dozen times a day, there's just nothing out on the market. All the smaller independent companies that actually built these good trailers have gone under because they can't compete with trailers made in mexico, or south texas by mexican labor.

Sadly I may have to end up with a mexico built PJ trailer, simply because they are the only one I've found that can come close to being able to build it how I want it set up, which isn't all that fancy, I just want it the same as my old one, just heavier frame and axles...

stroker51
02-18-2010, 09:16 PM
If you dont mind a drive to Lawrence contact Eagle Trailers. They are a small company up here that will build any trailer you want. For the trailer you're wanting it might cost you a little coin, but it will be very well built. Their website kind of sucks but www.usatrailers.com, it will at least get you some more contact info. I would seriously look into it if I was you though, I have had two or three of their trailers and they are top notch. That is almost all that is used around here.

Green Growers
02-18-2010, 11:58 PM
hey jason look up trailerfx.com they are in Independence Mo. It looks like you can customize your own.

slamjamrockinman
02-19-2010, 12:14 AM
Have you looked into a skid steer trailer? Sounds like what you need. Find a nice one and you could probably have a welder fabricate a ramp for you. Look on CL, they are CHEAP and built much more heavy duty than a lawn trailer. You could pick up a decent one for 2k and even if you had to pay a welder, you could still end up with a really nice trailer.

rcslawncare
02-21-2010, 12:51 AM
I like my Trailerman's, and they build to suit, no questions asked.

SNAPPER MAN
02-21-2010, 01:02 AM
I agree with Austin. Trailmaster trailers are where its at. They are quality built trailers.

collegefundms
02-21-2010, 01:06 AM
Have you went to trailer town in Valley Center?

Jason Rose
02-21-2010, 01:20 AM
Have you went to trailer town in Valley Center?

Yes, and after talking to them and sorting over all the options I was able to spec out a PJ trailer that's what I'm looking for in a trailer. Heavier 5" frame, etc.

What I still don't like on the PJ trailers is the side gate. They don't haveany good way to secure them in the "up" position and they hand off the side at an angle when latched up. I have no idea WHY. I wasn't able to see one there on their lot with a side gate to even determine if I could make new latches or what. The rear gate can be reinforced from the factory, and the sides can be welded on, but they only offer solid metal on the 1' sides, no expanded. The soild is only 10ga and would be dented up pretty fast. Expanded is tougher for the sides and dosn't show the dings and scrapes that happen. LED lights from the factory, nice plus, as well as the powdercoat paint. I've also been able to be hands on with the PJ trailers in the various frame sizes and so forth to compare models.

Top Hat is the other brand. However I've only got to know them "on paper" of sorts, as I haven't been able to put my hands on one to really see the gates, tounge design, jack used, etc. The Top Hat will let me have a 5' long gate on the rear, well reinforced, with the 2' dovetail (the PJ is only 4', no other option). The side gate will be "normal" and will close like others and I can get expanded metal on the 1' siderails.

Both have 5" channel frames, 16" crossmembers, 5200lb axles, 7K jacks, 2-5/16 coupler, 2' dovetail.

I'm leaning towards the PJ trailer with the sides being welded from the factory. I don't want to have to weld a bunch on it after I buy it because it IS powdercoated and to weld I'd have to grind it off and then repaint those places, and it would just rust there faster... But my other option is get the PJ with NO gates, side or rear, and get them built the way I want them elsewhere, 5' long, heavier expanded metal, proper latches that aren't a cluster F to use...

I hate decisions, lol.

Moto52
02-21-2010, 11:52 AM
Yes, and after talking to them and sorting over all the options I was able to spec out a PJ trailer that's what I'm looking for in a trailer. Heavier 5" frame, etc.

What I still don't like on the PJ trailers is the side gate. They don't haveany good way to secure them in the "up" position and they hand off the side at an angle when latched up. I have no idea WHY. I wasn't able to see one there on their lot with a side gate to even determine if I could make new latches or what. The rear gate can be reinforced from the factory, and the sides can be welded on, but they only offer solid metal on the 1' sides, no expanded. The soild is only 10ga and would be dented up pretty fast. Expanded is tougher for the sides and dosn't show the dings and scrapes that happen. LED lights from the factory, nice plus, as well as the powdercoat paint. I've also been able to be hands on with the PJ trailers in the various frame sizes and so forth to compare models.

Top Hat is the other brand. However I've only got to know them "on paper" of sorts, as I haven't been able to put my hands on one to really see the gates, tounge design, jack used, etc. The Top Hat will let me have a 5' long gate on the rear, well reinforced, with the 2' dovetail (the PJ is only 4', no other option). The side gate will be "normal" and will close like others and I can get expanded metal on the 1' siderails.

Both have 5" channel frames, 16" crossmembers, 5200lb axles, 7K jacks, 2-5/16 coupler, 2' dovetail.

I'm leaning towards the PJ trailer with the sides being welded from the factory. I don't want to have to weld a bunch on it after I buy it because it IS powdercoated and to weld I'd have to grind it off and then repaint those places, and it would just rust there faster... But my other option is get the PJ with NO gates, side or rear, and get them built the way I want them elsewhere, 5' long, heavier expanded metal, proper latches that aren't a cluster F to use...

I hate decisions, lol.

What are you hauling race cars? what do you need such a heavy duty cargo trailer what are you putting in it??

Jason Rose
02-21-2010, 12:00 PM
What are you hauling race cars? what do you need such a heavy duty cargo trailer what are you putting in it??

Race cars are LIGHT, lol. A tractor would be an example of something heavy, or a skid steer :waving:

I want something that will LAST. My current trailer, also a 20' is just FLIMSEY and the frame has bent and tweaked over the years. The lighter axles bottom out on the underside of the trailer. I want a new one that will be straight and true in 10 years as it was the day I bought it. I know that another lightweight utility trailer will end up in the same condition as the one I have now with the mowers I haul on it.

If I drove like grandma all the time and never had to travel roads with dips and potholes, or the damn brick roads we have in some neghiborhoods a light trailer would be fine. If I never had drives to get into that make my trailer bottom out on the rear my frame wouldn't be bent... But sometimes you have to get into those areas, usually business parkin lots, that make the trailer bottom out. A heavier frame isn't going to be as likely to get bent as a light one. If I was looking at a 16' trailer the lighter frame would be fine, but 4 more feet in length really needs more structure.

Moto52
02-21-2010, 12:36 PM
If your hauling bobcats and tractors why don't you just buy a float trailer you can get a good heavy duty one for 4 or 5 grand??

Jason Rose
02-21-2010, 05:28 PM
If your hauling bobcats and tractors why don't you just buy a float trailer you can get a good heavy duty one for 4 or 5 grand??

I'm not. I dont know what a "float" trailer is but if I ever wanted to I woud have the capability with a heavier built traler versus having one that's super light weight and using it and chancing bending it. This trailer will be really only for lawn mowing, but if I wnat to sell it in the future a heavier frame and axles will be a strong selling point as well. More people could use it. But I'm not buying it for them, i'm buying it for me...

Moto52
02-22-2010, 10:29 AM
I'm not. I dont know what a "float" trailer is but if I ever wanted to I woud have the capability with a heavier built traler versus having one that's super light weight and using it and chancing bending it. This trailer will be really only for lawn mowing, but if I wnat to sell it in the future a heavier frame and axles will be a strong selling point as well. More people could use it. But I'm not buying it for them, i'm buying it for me...

I think your making to big of a deal about these heavy duty cargo trailers specially if your using it everyday to haul your mowing stuff they are really hard on the truck and fuel cause there so heavy. I also know for a fact they rate them at 3500lbs as more of a liability thing cause My trailer before was a single axle and the payload was only good for 1700lbs. Bought the trailer new in 01 and that thing was loaded double over what it was suppost to be all the time for 8 years all that ever happened was I would get a blow out on one of the tires every two years. but what i was saying about the float trailer is i mean it's an open deck for floating equipment you can get a 14,000lbs payload trailer for about 5 grand and get the light cargo trailer for 5 grand and then you got two trailers for the price of one of your heavy duty cargo trailers..

Jason Rose
02-22-2010, 11:04 AM
By "cargo" trailr do you mean an enclosed? Because I'm not buying an enclosed I'm buying an open deck trailer with 1' side rails.

Rough prices here:

"standard light duty" open 83" x 20', rear ramp - ~$2400.
"heavy duty" like I'm looking at with my options 83 x 20 rear and side ramps ~ $4,000
Light duty enclosed, rear ramp, curb side door ~ $ 6,500
Heavy enclosed, as I had it specd out ~ $9,000 to 10,000 depending on brand.

I don't need or want a heavy equipment hauler trailer, and around here a 14K trailer would be around $7,000.

I'm towing with a 1 ton dually truck, it gets 6 mpg towing my 6x12 or my 7x20. Weight of the trailer, between one built well and one that's NOT is really not that big of an issue. If I was pulling with a smaller truck or something lifted up that the tow rating has been comprimised, then yes it would benefit to get a light trailer.

Moto52
02-22-2010, 11:15 AM
By "cargo" trailr do you mean an enclosed? Because I'm not buying an enclosed I'm buying an open deck trailer with 1' side rails.

Rough prices here:

"standard light duty" open 83" x 20', rear ramp - ~$2400.
"heavy duty" like I'm looking at with my options 83 x 20 rear and side ramps ~ $4,000
Light duty enclosed, rear ramp, curb side door ~ $ 6,500
Heavy enclosed, as I had it specd out ~ $9,000 to 10,000 depending on brand.

I don't need or want a heavy equipment hauler trailer, and around here a 14K trailer would be around $7,000.

I'm towing with a 1 ton dually truck, it gets 6 mpg towing my 6x12 or my 7x20. Weight of the trailer, between one built well and one that's NOT is really not that big of an issue. If I was pulling with a smaller truck or something lifted up that the tow rating has been comprimised, then yes it would benefit to get a light trailer.

oh ok I thought you were talking about buying an enclosed (cargo) trailer

6mpg? holy thats brutal is it a newer diesel with a DPF??

Jason Rose
02-22-2010, 11:19 AM
oh ok I thought you were talking about buying an enclosed (cargo) trailer

6mpg? holy thats brutal is it a newer diesel with a DPF??

it's a 1995 with a 454. Yeah... I went from a 460 ford, to a V-10 dodge, and now this truck with the 454... I guess I like supporting the fuel companies. It's just the work truck though and has a 12' dump bed and tommy gate. The truck alone weighs nearly 10,000 empty. It has LOW miles, that's why I bought it.

I wish it was a diesel, newer of course, not a '95 chevy diesel, lol.

Moto52
02-22-2010, 11:29 AM
A 14 litre tractor trailer engine pulling 80,000lbs and can get better fuel mileage then your truck hahaha. but even if you bought a new diesel 07 and up with DPF's on them they get brutal mileage to so you wouldn't really save much money.

stroker51
02-23-2010, 03:07 AM
Jason, I would seriously talk to Eagle if I was you, you can get a custom trailer, with like 5250 axles built the way you want.....5" channel frame standard man. They build em right and they are built in Kansas, it'd be worth talking to them.

KrayzKajun
02-23-2010, 03:10 AM
the price yall pay for trailers up north is crazy!

i just ordered my new enclosed. 8.5'x18' with V-nose, 5200lb axles, a bunch of extras $5400 made by Diamond Cargo Trailers

Jason Rose
02-23-2010, 10:12 AM
the price yall pay for trailers up north is crazy!

i just ordered my new enclosed. 8.5'x18' with V-nose, 5200lb axles, a bunch of extras $5400 made by Diamond Cargo Trailers

We used to pay the "south prices" on trailers here too, since there's so many being built in KS, OK, and MO. But I guess the north prices crept south...


I've just decided to hold off a few months on buying one. I have a guy locally that can do the add ons I want onto a store bought trailer, of just build the whole trailer, but it's usually cheaper to buy one and add to it.

I'm going to get a PJ trailer, 5" frame and 2' dovetail, but with no sides or ramp gates. Then have him build the sides and ramps exactly how I want them. That's the best option I can come up with, and that's better than buying one with the side rails and then having to try to weld expanded metal on them and have to grind off the powdercoat and burn off the other side... I also want a 5' long ramp gate in the rear and PJ only offers 4'. Top hat has a 5' gate but dumbass pins to hold them up.

Point is I didn't find any that would build it the way I want, so I'm going hybrid... The reason for the PJ trailer is that they are the ONLY mfg. out there that builds utility trailers with sides that are removeable and don't NEED to be there for structure. All the other brands use the side rails as part of the trailer frame, and if you want to cut an opening for a side gate or watever, you have comprimised the frame structure and you have to reinforce it under the trailer.

Plus, in a few months I may decide to just go ahead and find an enclosed... I'll have to raise my carport to make one fit, but I have time to decide about all that...