View Full Version : What type of trailer should I buy?

02-28-2011, 10:57 PM
This will be my fourth year in business now and I have outgrown the little 5x8 trailer I started with. I am looking to get a 6x12. It's big enough for the equipment I have and then some and it's still small enough and light enough I can tow it with my Ford Ranger. My question to you guys is should I go with an open or enclosed trailer? I don't have a shop, and there is enough room in my dad's shed for my handheld stuff, but my ztr is in my back yard under a tarp. So, what type of trailer do you guys prefer and why?


03-01-2011, 12:30 AM
i have a 5x10 open trailer...i prefer it since it's the same width as my truck...so if my truck is in the lane then so is the trailer...a 6x12 would be a little wider than my truck...it's a little thing but just something i prefer...my dad has a huge trailer and that thing is like wide as the lanes of the road lol....i hate using it cause sometimes you have to get one side of the wheels off the road in order to not hit an oncoming car...very annoying and dangerous...it all depends on how much room you need and how big your business is....i only carry one 48" mower and a 21" pushmower on my trailer so i have plenty of room...could even fit a 54" mower on a 5x10...if you have or plan to get a 60" or wider mower then you need a 6' wide trailer for sure...they also make 5x12 trailers...so just decide if you need the extra width or not...i don't like the enclosed trailers...i just unload my trailer at the end of each day and put them in the garage or if you have space in your garage you can back the trailer into it and leave your mowers on the trailer

03-01-2011, 01:16 AM
I have a 48" Tiger Cub and a 21" push mower plus handhelds. Plan on getting a trac vac or similar eventually. I made 2' sides out of 2x4's on the trailer I have now and it's tight with the 48. Total inside width is like 57". I'm not worried about the driving part. I am pretty sure a 6x12 will be the best size for me, just whether it's open or closed is the question. Just trying to see what everyone else likes.

03-01-2011, 02:32 AM
can we get pics of the 5x8? im looking at starting with one like that. Thans

03-01-2011, 08:00 AM
I'll try, never posted pics on here but I'll give it a shot.

Cape Atlantic Landscaping
03-01-2011, 07:57 PM
I would say what ever you do get for larger than you think and get Dual Axel.
The dual axle will make it much easier to back up. We have enclosed trailers because we don't have a shop to put stuff away. I like them also because you can keep your stuff out of the elements

03-01-2011, 08:44 PM
I can't go much bigger than a 6x10 or 6x12 for a bunch of reasons. Price, driveway space, plus my Ranger is only rated for 5800 lbs, so a 7000 or 10000 dual axle 20' trailer won't work for a lot of reasons. Size wise I know what I am going to get, it's just whether it's open or enclosed.

03-01-2011, 09:13 PM
Get an open inmo for smaller size trailer a open will be more productive. because you can build sides for the truck for debris but if you get a large job with alot of debris you will have to load that trailer. with some sides and a tarp your all set.

03-01-2011, 11:37 PM
If storage is an issue, an enclosed trailer will be your best option. You can use your truck for debris. Plus everything can be locked up in an enclosed, no unloading at the end of the day.

03-02-2011, 12:06 AM
This is not a jab or anything but a ranger is not going to hold the deberis like a 150 or 250 would the oppen would prevent un neccissary runs to the dump

03-02-2011, 08:48 AM
I had a 4x6 starting out (no riders), then a 5x8 with a JD 48 in rider which worked well, but after about a year of towing with my RANGER... I lost a lot of power towing because I was forcing my truck to max out every day... that was a 5x8 from tractor supply. Because of the way it sat on the trailer the trailer started to crack. It was then that I realized I should be working with heavier equipment. So I bought a 6x10 enclosed haulmark trailer and a 1/2 ton chevy. This set up was great until I wanted to plow, then I blew the 1/2 tranny because you need a 3/4 ton to plow heavy wet snow. So I bought a 3/4 ton truck with a plow.

Short story get heavier duty stuff and get a trailer with a dual axle if you want, but more importantly the design of the neck. Tractor supply is putting out some stuff that is engineered somewhat dumb... They make trailers for guys to do a dump run once and a while. Don't buy anything like that. Get a V neck instead of a single bar, but you are getting 6x10-12 anyway. I don't think they make them that crappy. Totally disagree with towing with a ranger. the 5x8 after a while was tough.

03-02-2011, 10:00 AM
As far as the truck goes I don't really have a choice, so I need to work with what I have. I don't see why it couldn't handle a 3000lb gvw trailer towing one or two days a week. Hopefully there's a super duty in my future but for now the Ranger's gonna have to do.

03-02-2011, 10:02 AM
BTW I bought the truck before I even thought about doing any type of landscape work, so I didn't buy it with the intention of using it for a business.

03-02-2011, 10:31 AM
I understand. My Elantra lasted 80kmi before selling at 30% of new cost with delivering pizza and towing a uhaul from AZ to NY... along with towing around the 4x6. You can make it work, but I'd suggest banking as much as possible for a down payment if the ranger decides to die.

03-06-2011, 02:11 AM
Imo go with an open. It's easer to load/unload u can see Ur equipment while driving so u know its not moving around u have a wider range of applications (much, stone, tall things) and because of Ur truck it will weigh less allowing u to carry more and the cost will be lower. Hope this helps
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03-08-2011, 10:43 AM
I am assuming you have a 4.0 ltr ranger with the tow package, if not, I would work on getting a used ˝ ton full size truck atleast. The 3.0 ltr will not last towing and thhe 4cly will not do anything! I bought new a 99 4.0 auto ext cab with the factory tow package that would tow anything, it would pull better than my wife’s v8 98 1500 Z71.

I say you go with an enclosed trailer no matter what. Keep that mower out of the rain, keep all your equipment together, more secure on site, and you do not have to unload/load every day, if you do not have inside storage this will save you time and make for a cleaner area. You can get a single axle 6x12 and put brakes on the axle at the least (that was what I had when I first started). If you can,, go with a 6x12 or 7x12 dual axle with brakes (brakes will make the brakes on your ranger last MUCH longer, all you need is a controller for your truck). Ofcourse get the ramp rear door. They have a 7000# capacity, but you do not need to fully load it, but you have it if you need it. Get a quality trailer, I like Wells Cargo myself, they are VERY STRONG, have torsion axles, great brakes, universal type parts. New they can cost you, but look used. I also like the v nose, as in the wells cargo it adds space, and you can tell the difference when towing a v front compared to a flat front. I added a 2008 7x12 for $2800 and a 2005 6x12 for $1900 this year, both found on craigslist. Both were great when I got them, I did put new bearing and seals on the wheels and one had a missing lug bolt I had to replace, but compared to new I got 2 for one and I will not get mad if the get dented or scratched up (which they will)

Plus, the big flat sides and back are great for advertising your business!

03-08-2011, 09:44 PM
Yes I have an 05 with the 4.0 and it does have the factory tow package. The more I look I am thinking I'm going to go with an open mostly because of cost.

Puddle of Oil
03-08-2011, 10:52 PM
buy an enclosed if you can. if you need to transport debris then go rent an open/dump trailer from your local dealer.

03-09-2011, 03:17 PM
Ahh forgot to mention i have the 3.0 6 cyl felx fuel version. so 4.0 would be a step up...

03-09-2011, 06:32 PM
Ok i will add this if you want a cheaper option . We use alot of 3.0 rangers and they will pull a 5x8 daily a 6x12 all day we even have used a 6.5x14 dual axel in the falls with no problems . now we all know a open is cheaper and a enclosed keeps them dry but it also adds weight to the ranger what we do is we stand plywood on edge and build a 4' wall around the trailer with the 4' gate in the rear . and we paint it . this takes a few 2''x4'' 4' long to brace the walls we put one in the front back and in the center . and then we get exterior paint at wally world and we are done . you can letter them like an enclosed you can haul more debris then an open due to the depth . and at night you simply cover the walls with a tarp and its dry . to add the walls and paint it cost us about 120.00 more then the trailer and it will last years . we have never repaired one and have run them 8 years. just an option.

03-12-2011, 02:22 PM
You are right, it would be cheaper to have the open trailer. But I know I had lots of little stuff go missing off open trailers. I bet over a year I lost a few hundred bucks of little stuff. Does not happen with the enclosed. Plus, let me tell you, resale of a used open trailer and enclosed, you get more money back on the enclosed. The 12x6 single axle, I paid 1500, put about 500 in it (brakes and some other stuff), when i sold it I got over 2k, so it was a win,win,win.

Money is tight, but if you insure your equipment, you might find the ins. is much less if you use the enclosed trailer, it is about 25% on my thieft ins, and that pays off every year!!!

Whatever you get, take care of it, lube it and be safe!!!

03-12-2011, 08:29 PM
Dude you really need to get a bigger truck if you want people to take you seriously. Imagine is everything to rapidly expand. If you wanna stay small then keep the setup you have. Get a 5x14 and you can fit two 48'' machines and couple 21". If you decide to get into the big leaugues than you will need at least a full size truck and a tandem axil trailer 16-20' long.

03-12-2011, 08:58 PM
Dude you really need to get a bigger truck if you want people to take you seriously. Imagine is everything to rapidly expand. If you wanna stay small then keep the setup you have. Get a 5x14 and you can fit two 48'' machines and couple 21". If you decide to get into the big leaugues than you will need at least a full size truck and a tandem axil trailer 16-20' long.

That has to be some of the worst advise I have heard in a long time. So anyone who runs trucks the size of rangers are a joke?...how aren't they being taken seriously? I see guys who run very professional lawn care businesses with 6x12 trailers, they do it full time too.

If you do "in town"/city type lots, you really don't need a full size truck with a 16'+ trailer, especially if you only plan on have one 36-48" mower and maybe a 21" on the trailer. Have you tried parking a 3/4 ton truck with an 83"x18' in the city?...I have, its not easy all the time and if most of my work were those city type lots, I would be getting a smaller truck and trailer. Just because you may need a 20' trailer and a full-size truck to run your business, doesn't mean that everybody needs that same set up.

If you really think that people who run smaller pick-ups and smaller trailer can't be taken seriously or run a lawn care business full time...you have to be an idiot.

03-12-2011, 10:32 PM
I have to agree with Mowerbrad...

Grassesguy, I doubt any homeowner judges their landscaper by their truck. If it is clean, they show up, do a good job, that is what matters!!! Going for large commercial jobs, yea, image can play a part. But if your doing 1/2 to 1/2 acre standard homes, you do not need a 16 foot trailer. There is a company here that runs 2 man crews, I think about a 6x12 open trailer and rangers, std cabs!!!! I do not think it matters. Very few of us need 1 tons for all of our work. I think buying new the F150 is a better buy as it can be had with a v8 and tow package in a work truck configuration, for less than the ranger, but I do not think you need to buy an image. 90 % of what we do could be done with a ranger. Now, field work, or large clean ups, a ranger will not do it. But for std weekly service, I bet a ranger would do fine. I would recommend this young man to not go into debt to try to impress people!!! I say he build his image by building a great company.

03-13-2011, 10:18 AM
To those of you that have offered me CONSTRUCTIVE advice, Thank You. To those of you that said get a bigger truck, Sorry I wish it was an option. There are too many of you almighty guys on this site that like to rag on the new or smaller guys on here. Grassesguy comes to mind since you posted on this thread but there are plenty of others. If you need to run your mouth on the internet like that to make you feel better about yourself then you're nothing better than the scumbags you guys complain about. I guess I'll NEVER be taken seriously because I bought a USED mower either, right? Or because of my 8 year old MTD pro push mower? Anyway say what you want to man I need a good laugh once in a while.

ANYWAY, I found a great deal on an open 6x12 with 2' metal sides for $1250 brand new so I think I'm going to go with that one. It's normally $1700 but it's on clearance. But, I guess it doesn't matter since I'll never be taken seriously haha.

03-16-2011, 10:35 PM
Bdconsoli good deal man dont worry about the big guys with big debts your only going to be as big as your work quality allows you remember be on time do what they ask and price appropriatly and you will be big league with a rig getting 18 + mpg and in todays fuel wars its a winner. If you dont care post pics of your setup when you get it fitted thanks

03-16-2011, 11:28 PM
Keep the truck you have now, last thing you need is to finance or spend money for a full size truck when you currently have one that is working. Just make sure you keep up to date with the maintenance. Keep in mind you will put more wear and tear on the tranny once you start pulling a bigger load. I do my own so I save $$. i use a 2000 Nissan Frontier crew cab pulling a 5x8 open trailer. Now with a 36" vride I can not have my 33" & 36" on the same trailer. (Some gates will not allow the 36" through) Worked around it though, rescheduled lawn service by size of mower to be used that day. I would love to go with a larger trailer but but most subdivision I do have short curb space between neighbors. Last thing I need to do is park my truck and trailer 4-6 houses down from where I am working.

03-16-2011, 11:51 PM
Flatop have you considered cutting the front rail and building a section out over the tongue to add about 12'' of trailer space to your trailer without adding any length overall also consider if that isnt enough room you can add more length to the rear to total a 10' trailer . its the same axle location on a 8' and a 10' trailer just a few ways to add size without adding alot of $ to your rig. if your not a concern with hauling them togather i was just talking ,hope a good year to ya

03-17-2011, 06:58 PM
Sounds like a good trailer. You do what you need to do. Be safe buddy

03-17-2011, 10:48 PM
The distance from the axle to the gate is the same on the 8 and 10s. They add the length in front of the axle to make it 10'. They add length behind the axle on the 12s.

03-18-2011, 07:28 PM
Flatop have you considered cutting the front rail and building a section out over the tongue to add about 12'' of trailer space to your trailer without adding any length overall also consider if that isnt enough room you can add more length to the rear to total a 10' trailer . its the same axle location on a 8' and a 10' trailer just a few ways to add size without adding alot of $ to your rig. if your not a concern with hauling them togather i was just talking ,hope a good year to ya

Thank you XLS for the assist. I will have to look into that. Would like to have both the wide mowers on the trailer but the way I have the schedule set up I really need only one at a given time. (Love owning a business with flexible work schedule) I am looking into getting maybe the 32"BOP to replace the 33" (have numerous gates that a 36" will not fit into. I understand the 32"BOP's are not as long as regular walkbehind. Again thanks for the info. Hopefully others will see this post and may want to go this route.

03-19-2011, 12:26 AM
Flattop what kind of 33 do you have? The only ones I know of are the cub cadet/troybilt/craftsman 33s with the timed decks. If that's what you have how do you like it? I've been toying with the idea of getting one of those for a few years.

03-19-2011, 01:52 PM
bdconsoli i had a craftsman 33 like your speaking of and i had a crew run it alot and i can tell you this if you are for my oppinion. It was ok for a 1300.00 mower getting what you pay for and all but. the bagger is more like a vaccum cleanner bag and it was a hassle to manage at 4' of length lol holding it open and up and dumping it was a trick after 3 months . as for why we got rid of it ...... it has NO left to right control so you had to pull it around and no reverse so you had to wrestle it alot in tight areas . and in low gear it was to slow and 2nd gear was to fast for the HP of the engine, I did use a sulky on mine because the guys only mowed alot of flat 4000-7000sqft lots and it did fine in low gear , with the sulky off you you will kick the mower as you walk and in 2nd it will make you jog almost , the cut was fine for the unit .... we just mowed in low gear and got done when it got done . with the sulky off we had trouble with the mower hopping when you took off , it wasnt a smooth mower when compairing it to a simple cheap belt drive walk behind and couldnt hold a candle to a sucky hydro belt drive. also consider this the belt for it cost 125.00 from the guy here when we replaced it before selling it

03-20-2011, 11:26 PM
I have the Cub Cadet 33" almost identical to the craftsman 33". I've had it since 2008 and has worked well. The only issue I have are the cables and not a zero turn. I have gone through a couple of the cables to a point I just splice them together rather than buy new. I've used it to knock down 4' (yes, 4 foot) grass at a mobile home on 1/2 acre lot. The likes: the ease of adjusting deck and easy to set for mulch or side discharge.

04-19-2011, 11:54 PM
Well I ended up buying an open trailer. Bought a 6x12 NNT high side trailer yesterday for $1429 (still have to pay the taxes, bought it out of state). Just didn't see the need at this point to drop 3 grand on an enclosed. Thanks for (almost) everyone's advice!!! Will post pics when I get a chance. Newjerseylandscaping I know it's been almost 2 months but do you want pics of my 5x8 still? If you do I'll get them up here too with the Tiger Cub I bought over the winter.