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View Full Version : Enclosed trailer vs. open trailer for mowing


willyy87
01-16-2011, 11:13 PM
Hi all,
I am adding mowing this year to our business. I need to buy a trailer soon. I am wondering how mowing businesses that use enclosed trucks, or trailers deal with the issue of having space for lawn clippings, or debris created during work.

I am going to make some calls this week to see if any of the enclosed trailer manufactures can leave about 3' of space in front of the trailer for a grass cage. I really like the idea of having an enclosed trailer for many reasons including security, protection from the elements, better advertising space etc. I think that if you had an enclosed trailer with a cage in the front, that would be the best of both worlds.

The open trailers also have many advantages to consider. They are less expensive, more versitile, you can load them from the top.

What advise do you all have for me to make my decision.

Thanks much!

TNGrassCutter
01-16-2011, 11:22 PM
Search open vs enclosed and read for a few days.lol
Posted via Mobile Device

Lugnut
01-16-2011, 11:25 PM
I have an enclosed mowing trailer mainly bcause I store my mowers in their as well. If I had more shop space to unload my equipment, or to back the trailer into, I would go with an open because I think they are more efficient when out on the route.

dhardin53
01-17-2011, 12:19 AM
I have a open 16'er and love it, but there are many draw backs as you have mentioned. But one positive you for got to mention on a open trailer is a clear view across the trailer when turning and backing. Even with the great set of extension mirrors on your truck the enclosed trailer has a super amount of blind spots. I would think if you have a lot of driving in your day to day use in any heavy traffic one would appreciate a open trailer over a long blind spot behind you.

I have pulled a travel trailer (camper) so i have a comparison to judge from.

Don't get me wrong Id would love to have a enclosed trailer. But I have also seen a lot of dinks and small fender benders in the sides and back of enclosed trailers from just the smallest backing and "OOPs I did not see that there". Plus if something comes loose inside a enclosed trailer you wont know it till you stop and see a huge crease in the side or front of the siding. On a open trailer yes its still bad to have equipment come loose or banging around but you can see if moving in the rear view mirror and stop before it get worse.

Just my opinion and observations.

mowerbrad
01-17-2011, 12:31 AM
I was toying with the idea of an enclosed trailer when I was trailer shopping last year. I ended up choosing an open trailer for a few reasons, but it just fit me better.

Enclosed trailers are awesome. They keep your stuff out of the weather and gives you some added security. It is really nice that you don't have to unload everything at the end of the day, just keep it all in the trailer. Enclosed trailers also can act as a mobile shop, you can carry a bunch of tools with you and be able to work on things should they break down in the middle of a job. I really like the fact that I could have used one as a mobile shop, could make life very easy.

Honestly, an open trailer fit me much better. They are priced significantly lower than enclosed trailers. Open trailers also don't cause so much drag while towing, thus helping fuel economy. I can also haul debris much easier with open trailers. I was very picky about the trailer I wanted, so I ended up having one custom built.

Custom building is the way to go I think. This way you don't really need to compromise what you get with what you want.

If you have the ability to haul debris in the tow vehicle, like a dump truck or pickup, then an enclosed trailer is great. But if you don't have much room for debris in the tow vehicle, then an open trailer is definately much better.

dhardin53
01-17-2011, 01:11 AM
I added this to my open 16"er it has generated a lot of income this fall. I like the term "multifunction" when you spending this kind of money on equipment.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=332236

yardguy28
01-17-2011, 09:56 AM
i currently have a 12' x 6' enclosed trailer. before that i ran with a 12' x 6' open trailer.

when i had the open trailer i never put debris or lawn clippings on the trailer. i always have used the truck bed. thats a large part why we use trucks in this industry.

i prefer enclsoed for a number of reasons. the main reason being to keep my equipment out of the elements. i don't have to worry about my equipment getting soaked when it decides to down pour while i'm out working. just the piece i'm currently using gets wet.

enclosed trailers also offer a bit of security. much harder to see whats available to steal. can't check it out just by driving by. you can also lock the doors and ramps on the trailers. i do this ever evening once i park for the night and if i stop while i'm out for lunch.

i don't know what the guys that use those enclosed trucks do. i personally would never use or recommend those kind.

PLS-Tx
01-17-2011, 11:02 AM
I have used both a 16' open and now a 8.5X20 enclosed for the past 5 years.

I would never want to go back to an open trailer, just to many advantages to an enclosed.

I was concerned about blind spots, turning around ect. but once you use an enclosed for a while it's no problem at all.

dhardin53
01-17-2011, 01:02 PM
OOPs typo 16'er.

travski
01-17-2011, 01:03 PM
I used an open trailer for my first year that I borrowed from my Dad. My second year I bought an enclosed trailer.

Most advantages/disadvantages have already been listed. I dont have a huge garage/shop so my trailer is my shop. When I am done mowing for the day all I have to do is lock up the trailer. I dont have to add another 20 min in the morning for loading and another 20 min unloading when I am beat from a long day of mowing... I suppose if you have a large shop you can just back an open trailer into it and not unload...

I gained 2 new clients this year from just the advertising on the side of the trailer.

I also carry a variety of tools/gas cans/handhelds that stay on the trailer. my truck is designated for grass clippings.

Its totally up to you to decide what works best for your needs and what your wallet can handle. Just curious, but which way are you leaning and why?

rain man
01-17-2011, 01:11 PM
You have to get used to sideview mirrors. If you lean a bit when using them you decrease drastically the blind spot. Perfectly comfortable using them alone when needed.

mowerbrad
01-17-2011, 01:30 PM
One of the things that I don't think was mentioned yet is the fact that if you get an enclosed trailer, it should be bigger than the open trailer you would have bought.

For example, if you were going to buy an 83"x16' open trailer but decided on an enclosed, you should go to a bigger size...an 8.5'x18' would be the better choice for an enclosed. It is amazing how much smaller enlcosed trailer seem, when they are the exact same size as an open trailer. So if you get an enclosed trailer, add a couple extra feet over an open trailer.

I'd rather have more space than not enough.

alexschultz1
01-17-2011, 05:22 PM
i like my enclosed because i dont have to worry about people behind me flashing their lights and riding my ass when im going slow on a one way road. i cant see them so they dont exsit, honk your horn and flash your lights, im still driving safe.

Bumpmaster
01-17-2011, 07:00 PM
I like an open trailer. Very easy to fill the gas tanks of the bigger machines on the trailer and easy to grab a push mower from the side of the trailer.

yardguy28
01-18-2011, 04:59 PM
I like an open trailer. Very easy to fill the gas tanks of the bigger machines on the trailer and easy to grab a push mower from the side of the trailer.

if your open trailer has a side ramp. or your willing to man handle it off the side.

as for filling up. i find it just as easy as when i had my open. i just go through the back ramp. the gas hose stretches.

mowerbrad
01-18-2011, 08:07 PM
if your open trailer has a side ramp. or your willing to man handle it off the side.

as for filling up. i find it just as easy as when i had my open. i just go through the back ramp. the gas hose stretches.

Side ramps are something you can't get on enclosed trailers. For me this year, with my new trailer with the side ramp, I'll be able to pull off my 48" mower with out having to move my 54" ztr...all thanks to the side ramp.

As far as the fueling goes, you are talking about a 6x12 enclosed which isn't that big. What about some of us who need 18', 20' or 22'+ trailers to hold our equipment, we wouldn't be able to fuel our equipment.

PLS-Tx
01-19-2011, 02:00 AM
Side ramps are something you can't get on enclosed trailers. For me this year, with my new trailer with the side ramp, I'll be able to pull off my 48" mower with out having to move my 54" ztr...all thanks to the side ramp.

As far as the fueling goes, you are talking about a 6x12 enclosed which isn't that big. What about some of us who need 18', 20' or 22'+ trailers to hold our equipment, we wouldn't be able to fuel our equipment.

Yes you can get a side ramp on an enclosed trailer, I don't have one(don't need it) but I did see them when I was shopping for mine.

As far as fuel, my trailer is 8.5X20 and ordered it with two fuel doors on the drivers side.

Getting fuel is not a problem for us at all.

bolc5150
01-19-2011, 11:01 AM
I started with a 10 then a 16' open. But, I got smart and bought an enclosed. Several reasons. 1) I don't do much mulch anymore 2) Use my truck bed to carry extra 3) Rust, an open trailer will rust and need new paint 4) everyone can see what you have 5) easy to steal from open trailer 6) weather.....nuf said. Having an enclosed also is like having a huge billboard for your business. They are a little hevier but doing this work who really cares about mileage with all the start and stopping that we do. If so, buy a diesel, I did. I get 8 more mpg's in the city than with a 6.0.

yardguy28
01-19-2011, 01:45 PM
Side ramps are something you can't get on enclosed trailers. For me this year, with my new trailer with the side ramp, I'll be able to pull off my 48" mower with out having to move my 54" ztr...all thanks to the side ramp.

As far as the fueling goes, you are talking about a 6x12 enclosed which isn't that big. What about some of us who need 18', 20' or 22'+ trailers to hold our equipment, we wouldn't be able to fuel our equipment.

yes you can get a enclosed trailer with a side ramp. they aren't as common but they do exist.

as for fueling i suppose it depends on how you load the trailer and which mowers need fueling and where the location of the gas tank is.

i can fuel my 52" grandstand through the back ramp and if i would ever decide to fuel my 36" metro wb. i can do that through the side door. i usually just use gas cans for the metro since i only use it 3 times a week in some backyards.

but even with a 22' trailer i would still think mowers can be accesses through the rear ramp or the side door. you just have to park the trailer next to the pump where the hose will reach.

doubleedge
01-20-2011, 01:05 AM
I like my open trailer.

Pros:
Fuel economy.
Visibility.
Easy to reach things on trailer.
I can climb up and down the sides and have space to maneuver, instead of having to crawl through a crowded trailer.
Easier on tires (less weight).
Easier to tow.
Can keep an eye on the equipment.
Large side gate. I haven't seen a enclosed utility trailer with a side gate around here, and the ones that do have one are probably pretty small.
Can strap mowers in from the outside of trailer (don't have to try to reach around the mowers to get to the tie down point).
Much cheaper.
Less subject to trailer sway.

Cons (relative to the enclosed trailer):
Less secure (but the trailer is always in sight when I stop for food/gas).
Deck is a little wider on most enclosed trailers than most open trailers (except for wheel wells).
Handheld tools and mower bags can blow away if not secured.
Equipment is subject to the elements for longer periods.

rlong97150
01-20-2011, 11:26 AM
For MowerBrad. :rolleyes:

http://i54.tinypic.com/2ry3g9g.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/905zbb.jpg

Just messing with you. :)

Cost me 597.00 and its a 60 inch ramp. They moved the entry door to the drivers side.

Thanks

Bob

yardguy28
01-20-2011, 11:35 AM
very nice, very nice indeed.

i'd love to have a side ramp but the price would probably be to much. it wouldn't be 60" either. my trailer is a 6' x 12'. but i'd love to be able to get the push mower out without having to pulll the 52" off first.

oh well my enclosed trailer and what i think are the pro's will always out way the con's and the pro's you get with an open trailer. i will never switch back to an open trailer.

PLS-Tx
01-20-2011, 12:11 PM
For MowerBrad. :rolleyes:

http://i54.tinypic.com/2ry3g9g.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/905zbb.jpg

Just messing with you. :)

Cost me 597.00 and its a 60 inch ramp. They moved the entry door to the drivers side.

Thanks

Bob

That's nice, what size is your trailer?

ELS LLC
01-20-2011, 12:59 PM
If you are sending a crew out to mow five days a week to mow the route go with an open trailer. They are tougher and more accessable for the guys. Open trailers can take a beating and still look good. We used Wells Cargo enclosed trailers and after one season they were beat. The guys liked them for one reason, they could piss in gatorade bottles throughout the day. Alot of guys tell me they are great for equiptment storage let me tell you this, a couple minutes with a batterey powered sawzall and your equipt. is gone. They are not that safe. Also we unload and service everything at the end of the day then lock them up in our shop which is very secure. If you are mowing solo then you can keep them looking sharp. Try sending two guys out mowing 129 lawns every week and see what it looks like at the end of the season. Also speaking of security my guys would never lock the trailer or even put the ramp up between jobs they just left the ramp down at every job. Just my 2 cents.

rlong97150
01-20-2011, 01:09 PM
PLC,

Its a 2010 Pace Summit 8x20. Works out really well for me as I am a solo and I take care of my stuff.

As to the comments above, I completely agree. Enclosed trailers offer just enough security to keep people honest. If you want in, you are going to get in but you are going to have to tear up the trailer to get into it. I use the Master hockey puck locks so you are going to have to find a way around those.

Mine is mainly for weather and organization. I dont have to worry about rain when I am out and I dont have to put my eq up every night. My shop (48x56) is full enough w/o another truck and trailer having to find a way in there. Plus I am able to carry everything with me (saws, pruner, tools, etc) and not have to worry about forgetting something.

Thanks,

Bob

BlackBirdWS.6
01-20-2011, 01:54 PM
I once thought about buying an enclosed trailer until I was talked out of it. The thing about enclosed trailers is they're about twice the weight or more of an empty open trailer plus the wind drag, the tight quarters, being hot in those summer months, and how do you fill up your equipment at a gas station w/o gas cans? But if you don't really have a garage to store your equipment an enclosed would be better as long no one brakes in like ELS said...

yardguy28
01-20-2011, 02:31 PM
If you are sending a crew out to mow five days a week to mow the route go with an open trailer. They are tougher and more accessable for the guys. Open trailers can take a beating and still look good. We used Wells Cargo enclosed trailers and after one season they were beat. The guys liked them for one reason, they could piss in gatorade bottles throughout the day. Alot of guys tell me they are great for equiptment storage let me tell you this, a couple minutes with a batterey powered sawzall and your equipt. is gone. They are not that safe. Also we unload and service everything at the end of the day then lock them up in our shop which is very secure. If you are mowing solo then you can keep them looking sharp. Try sending two guys out mowing 129 lawns every week and see what it looks like at the end of the season. Also speaking of security my guys would never lock the trailer or even put the ramp up between jobs they just left the ramp down at every job. Just my 2 cents.

i think my enclosed trailer has stayed nicer longer than my open ever did. i don't ever piss in bottles inside the trailer unless it's an emergency. i always stop at gas stations.

as for the security. i never put the ramp up or shut and lock the doors. but the security at each job comes from the fact that potential theives can't just walk by or drive by and get a good look at what you have. you almost have to walk right up to the trailer and look inside.

also a sawzall for a couple min. would not cut enough of the trailer away to get anything more than maybe a trimmer or blower off the trailer. and it certainly won't cut the locks if you use the right locks.

i use master locks. it would take quite a while to cut throught them. my trailer is locked up more securely than my firearms and house are. i feel very safe leaving my equipment inside the trailer over night. hell i leave it over winter.

ReddensLawnCare
01-20-2011, 03:33 PM
Heres my question....I have a 6X12 open now...im thinking about getting an enclosed for all the reasons that have been listed above (very informative by the way). What I was not expecting to see was people just saying they throw the debris in their truck bed. I have an 8 foot bed that i fill up constantly, as well as my trailer with 4 foot sides on it. Where do you guys put your debris when you do fall and spring cleanups? I will probably keep my open and get an enclosed anyways, but it still leaves me wondering. I make some good money removing trimming from a property b/c most of my customers are high end and lazy and they dont want to deal with it.

yardguy28
01-20-2011, 08:02 PM
Heres my question....I have a 6X12 open now...im thinking about getting an enclosed for all the reasons that have been listed above (very informative by the way). What I was not expecting to see was people just saying they throw the debris in their truck bed. I have an 8 foot bed that i fill up constantly, as well as my trailer with 4 foot sides on it. Where do you guys put your debris when you do fall and spring cleanups? I will probably keep my open and get an enclosed anyways, but it still leaves me wondering. I make some good money removing trimming from a property b/c most of my customers are high end and lazy and they dont want to deal with it.

i put all the leaves from fall and spring cleans up in the truck bed as well.

the way i do leaves i can get a good 10 clients (a days work for me) in my truck bed until mid fall. then i have to start dumping twice a day.

ReddensLawnCare
01-20-2011, 08:13 PM
I can see the leaf part, but what about trimming up holly's and myrtles...thats a lot of debris...
But I will just continue to use my open for now...it gets the job done and its paid for!

yardguy28
01-20-2011, 08:15 PM
I can see the leaf part, but what about trimming up holly's and myrtles...thats a lot of debris...
But I will just continue to use my open for now...it gets the job done and its paid for!

depends on how many hollys and myrtle your talking about. of course i don't do a lot of that kind of work. but if i am doing a job that would take more than a truck load i either make multipul trips or use my 5' x 10' open trailer with 4' sides.

mowerbrad
01-20-2011, 08:37 PM
For MowerBrad. :rolleyes:

http://i54.tinypic.com/2ry3g9g.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/905zbb.jpg

Just messing with you. :)

Cost me 597.00 and its a 60 inch ramp. They moved the entry door to the drivers side.

Thanks

Bob

Wow, never have I seen an enclosed trailer with a side ramp. When I was looking at trailers, no one gave me the option of having a side ramp door, just the regular access door on the side...though I didn't have too many dealers to choose from around here.

I learn something new every day :waving: