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View Full Version : 18' or 20' trailer for mowing??


Durabird02
01-14-2013, 03:49 PM
This topic has been discussed before, i'm sure. I am going either this week or next to order my new mowing trailer. I am getting atleast an 18' "Landscape" trailer with front side gate, and 2' expanded metal equipment basket on the front and 2-3500# axles. We currently have a 61" 4500z ferris rider and a 48" quik trac JD, and we will be getting a 32-36" walk behind.

Should I upgrade to the 20'? or will 18' be enough? Waiting on a quote for the extra 2 feet and heavier axles. What would you do?:cool2:

LandFakers
01-14-2013, 03:54 PM
Go big or go home. 20 footer
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gallihergreen
01-14-2013, 04:59 PM
Just go with the 20'. You'll be suprised how quickly you fill it up.
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branchoutshrub
01-14-2013, 05:59 PM
20 footer. You will find a way to fill it up!

Southern Elegance
01-14-2013, 08:24 PM
20 ft with at least 5000lb axles

beano
01-14-2013, 09:42 PM
I Have a 18ft enclosed with a 60in rider, 48in rider and a 36in walk behind. It fits fine with about 1ft of room on the back but the mowers only go in one way. If you switch up the order the mowers go in, they wont fit. The 20ft would make life easier but the 18 will get the job done.

wegomow
01-14-2013, 09:46 PM
I was advised when I bought my trailer, "always buy the next biggest size than you think you will need, you won't regret it". It was good advice for me.

Durabird02
01-14-2013, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, bigger it is!

BrunoT
01-16-2013, 10:19 PM
Some of you have "size issues".

It's a mowing rig. No wonder you need $45,000 diesel trucks to tow them around. Two 3500 lb. axles would be more than enough for most.

knox gsl
01-16-2013, 10:24 PM
Some of you have "size issues".

It's a mowing rig. No wonder you need $45,000 diesel trucks to tow them around. Two 3500 lb. axles would be more than enough for most.

Yes 3,500lb axles will support the load technically. The issue is that a 5,200lb axle will last much longer under daily use and be more versatile for other uses like a small tractor, or large load of mulch. This could also be easily towed by a used 3/4 ton gas truck bought for less than $10K.

LandFakers
01-16-2013, 10:41 PM
That 20' trailer can be used for a lot more than mowing. Especially with the 5200# axles.

jones68
01-17-2013, 09:47 AM
BrunoT i would have agreed with you a few months back but now i have to disagree with you on this issue. my father runs an enclosed with 5200lb axles and i bought an enclosed with 3500lb axles. both trailers have a similar load in them weight wise and his trailer handles the load much much better. both have torsion suspension also. i can tell you my next trailer will have at least 5200lb axles. if the trailer can handle 7000 that is a maximum no need to run at maximum weight all the time

Durabird02
01-17-2013, 11:44 AM
Some of you have "size issues".

It's a mowing rig. No wonder you need $45,000 diesel trucks to tow them around. Two 3500 lb. axles would be more than enough for most.

It has nothing to do with "size issues". I have a 61" ferris, a 48" quik trac JD, and we are going to have a 36" walk behind on this trailer. Plus the front 2 feet of the trailer will be taken up by the storage box. Also, I will not be using this trailer just for mowing, we do landscaping and need the capabilities to haul a bobcat or utility tractor. I do not want two trailers if i don't need two trailers, and if i can add heavy axles to this trailer, i won't NEED two trailers. It's about only investing in one trailer that can do multiple things.

My truck was about $20,000 when i bought it 6 years ago. I don't know where you are getting this $45,000 number from.

Two 3500# axles might work for you, but I do not want to be limited by my trailer.

BrunoT
01-19-2013, 02:09 AM
It has nothing to do with "size issues". I have a 61" ferris, a 48" quik trac JD, and we are going to have a 36" walk behind on this trailer. Plus the front 2 feet of the trailer will be taken up by the storage box. Also, I will not be using this trailer just for mowing, we do landscaping and need the capabilities to haul a bobcat or utility tractor. I do not want two trailers if i don't need two trailers, and if i can add heavy axles to this trailer, i won't NEED two trailers. It's about only investing in one trailer that can do multiple things.

My truck was about $20,000 when i bought it 6 years ago. I don't know where you are getting this $45,000 number from.

Two 3500# axles might work for you, but I do not want to be limited by my trailer.

Oh well, let me expound.

If you're running a landscaping outfit with it by all means get the right size. But I didn't see that in your post. You mentioned the mowing setup you used and I pointed out that 3500's would be fine and the length was adequate. I have done this a while and know your mowers would require about 15.5 feet of trailer length with a side gate (32" mounted sideways to roll off the side ramp).

Your mowers and gear plus a couple of trim mowers etc weigh around 3,000 lbs. With the trailer weight that's about 4,500 lbs tops. So I assume 7,000 lbs of axles would do. But bigger axles isn't what I meant, as they have little penalty.

Length (and actually width too, and eventually weight) is the real issue. I see crews hopping curbs, backing down streets they can't turn around in, running accross the grass because they can't fit in a tight driveway, blocking multiple driveways, taking out signs, all because they have a huge trailer and truck combo with only the typical ZTR and wb on board that even a single axle trailer towed by a Ranger could handle. If they want to stop for a meal they have to find a place with 10 open spaces during lunch rush or circle the block while someone runs in to get the food.

Trailers are about the cheapest thing we buy per year of use. Initial cost doesn't even matter much. But a longer trailer is simply harder to maneuver sometimes. Toss another 4' onto the rear of your rig and there will be times you will regret it eventually.

$45,000 is what some spend on a NEW diesel crew cab type truck with some options on it. If you got a $20K diesel it probably wasn't new. I'm just saying "size" can lead to a cascade of expenses. Whether it's going from $15K to $20K on a used model or $35k to $45k on a new one, it costs more to haul more, all other things considered. 4500 lbs of mowers/machines/trailer is something even compact trucks can handle ok, and a light duty full size can do with ease. Keep stacking on weight and size and braking capacity needed and yes, you can need to go up a class in truck.

This time last year you could drive a new Ram 1500 quad cab Hemi express (20" wheels, tow pkg, power stuff, etc) off the lot for $25,000. I know I'd rather have a new light duty truck with 5 years of powertrain coverage than an older high mileage HD diesel if it otherwise met my needs. The ride and noise factor alone would tip the deal.

My HD chevy transmission died just under warranty and would have been an $8,000 repair a month later. My new F150 hauls fine and drives a ton better. If you need to haul a big tractor or heavy materials, go for the gusto. Just realize there are trade-offs.

When I say "size issues" I was speaking of the advice given. It's typically "bigger" here no matter what the question is. I'm mentally picturing the ridiculous setups I see all the time out there, where a 20' monstrosity built to carry construction equipment, towed by a 3500 dually, has got a couple of 600 lb gear drive wb's and 2 21"'s on it, struggling to get 10mpg. All because once a year they use it to haul a couple pallets of sod at once instead of just one. Here, for $50 delivery fee a supplier brings sod to your door from 2.5 hours away, free if you order a half truckload or more. So I skip the jiggly bumpy ride.

Do lawn maintenance day-in-day-out and the little conveniences matter. Not having to sweat tight turns in traffic, or being able to get gas at the same pump your mowers get fuel from. Or not having to wait for the one diesel pump in yuppietown to clear. Or not having your rig parked on a busy street at the crest of a hill instead of a safe driveway because it's too long to fit. Hell, even being able to fit in a drive thru when it's 100 degrees out and you are in a hurry. Keeping size/weight down is part of that.

Then again, maybe everyone here on lawnsite lives in Montana and has a huge turnaround at their shop and at every jobsite.

cpllawncare
01-19-2013, 12:56 PM
Bruno
That's a very good post, I started out with a ranger hauling all my gear in the bed, then I bought 5x10 had a the usual stash of trimmers and stuff and a troy built 44" mower, Then I bought my first commercial mower a grandstand, then another 21" if which had to go in the bed of the truck, my poor lil ranger was struggling though, the 3.0 V-6 wasn't cutting it. I found a great deal on an 05 F-150 loaded for 10K so I went for it, it was like going from a VW to a cadilac, I now have a 6.5 x 12 trailer which now has two Standers two 21" and all the usual crap, Sometimes I hate even having this size of setup, wish I was back to my ranger and 5x10, I could zip around and not worry about all the stuff you talked about. I couldn't even imagine going to a 7x16 or bigger, what a pain that would be.

knox gsl
01-19-2013, 01:37 PM
Bruno
That's a very good post, I started out with a ranger hauling all my gear in the bed, then I bought 5x10 had a the usual stash of trimmers and stuff and a troy built 44" mower, Then I bought my first commercial mower a grandstand, then another 21" if which had to go in the bed of the truck, my poor lil ranger was struggling though, the 3.0 V-6 wasn't cutting it. I found a great deal on an 05 F-150 loaded for 10K so I went for it, it was like going from a VW to a cadilac, I now have a 6.5 x 12 trailer which now has two Standers two 21" and all the usual crap, Sometimes I hate even having this size of setup, wish I was back to my ranger and 5x10, I could zip around and not worry about all the stuff you talked about. I couldn't even imagine going to a 7x16 or bigger, what a pain that would be.

I'm like you in that I've been working off of a 7x16 open with a half ton pulling it and want to go with a 6x12 enclosed for mowing and use the open trailer for landscaping. What's funny is that I find it easier to drive a tractor trailer on the highway than to deal with my current setup on the small residential areas that I go to. I think my biggest hangup is the wheels stick out about a foot wider on each side of the truck.

clydebusa
01-19-2013, 01:44 PM
BrunoT i would have agreed with you a few months back but now i have to disagree with you on this issue. my father runs an enclosed with 5200lb axles and i bought an enclosed with 3500lb axles. both trailers have a similar load in them weight wise and his trailer handles the load much much better. both have torsion suspension also. i can tell you my next trailer will have at least 5200lb axles. if the trailer can handle 7000 that is a maximum no need to run at maximum weight all the time

Apple, oranges,, he said landscape trailer not enclosed.

Richard Martin
01-19-2013, 02:56 PM
Some of you have "size issues".

It's a mowing rig. No wonder you need $45,000 diesel trucks to tow them around. Two 3500 lb. axles would be more than enough for most.

As would a 16 foot trailer. I used to load 2 60" Dixies and a 36" walk behind onto mine. I see no reason that a person couldn't get 2 walk behinds and a rider on a 16 foot trailer.

Richard Martin
01-19-2013, 03:02 PM
It has nothing to do with "size issues". I have a 61" ferris, a 48" quik trac JD, and we are going to have a 36" walk behind on this trailer. Plus the front 2 feet of the trailer will be taken up by the storage box. Also, I will not be using this trailer just for mowing, we do landscaping and need the capabilities to haul a bobcat or utility tractor.

The basket can be cantilevered out over the tongue. You didn't say you would use the trailer for towing tractors and stuff. You said you needed a mowing trailer.

GQLL
01-19-2013, 03:12 PM
I would be out of business if i relied on one trailer to haul my mowers one day, haul my bobcat another, and then load mulch or derbies on it. We have a 18 foot open landscape trailer. would have like a 16 but dealer screwed up the order and cut a good price on it. Were hauling a walker a 52 stander x and a 36 stander and a 21 Honda i still have 3 feet of room on the trailer.

Kelly's Landscaping
01-19-2013, 08:03 PM
I own a 20 footer that I restored and I own a 16 footer from the same custom welding shop that I ordered when I started. The right size for us would be 18ft I got a lot of space on the 20 footer I don't use. What Id like is to lazers with trac vacs on one crew they are 9 feet long with that configuration so 18 feet would fit them perfectly.

The longer your trailer the longer your rig and parking can become and issue which I know all to well. My trucks are 23 ft from the front to the ball hitch and my trailers over all length is 25 feet making me 48 feet long. My short set up again the truck is 23 feet and the trailer is 20 feet making that one 43 feet long. Depends where you work but I got neighborhoods thats no issue at all and others where you are blocking one or even 2 driveways no matter where you park it.

cpllawncare
01-19-2013, 09:21 PM
I thought about this thread today when I saw a Ranger pulling a 7x16 loaded with a walker and two Wb's and at least one 21" maybe two couldn't tell from all the other crap on the trailer, I was like "That poor ranger"

Country Club Lawnscapes
01-22-2013, 09:55 PM
I'd listen to gsl Get a 3/4 ton gas truck and you will not regret the 5000 pound axles. The only issue is when you ride through neighborhood where space is an issue I wouldn't go with anything shorter then 16ft.

Marek
01-22-2013, 10:51 PM
Another push for the 5k axles. We run 20' Pace enclosed trailers with the 5 k axles. Its only a little more up front to buy but you get a heavier tire , larger brakes and more carring capacity.

Durabird02
01-23-2013, 11:24 AM
I thought about this thread today when I saw a Ranger pulling a 7x16 loaded with a walker and two Wb's and at least one 21" maybe two couldn't tell from all the other crap on the trailer, I was like "That poor ranger"

I agree, I don't want to be one of those guys. Sorry for anyone who uses a ranger, but I am looking to be more than just a guy who mows. I run my business as if I were the customer. If some guys pulled up, 3 deep in a ranger pulling a fully loaded 7x16, I would not want them doing work for me. Thank you for all of the opinions, there really isn't much of a difference in price between the 7000# and the 10000# axles, so it's a no brainer for me.

Marek
01-23-2013, 11:58 AM
Buy the right thing the first time and you ll save in the long run . A quality trailer will outlast a cheap one and you wont feel the need to up grade at some point.

cpllawncare
01-24-2013, 12:00 AM
I agree, I don't want to be one of those guys. Sorry for anyone who uses a ranger, but I am looking to be more than just a guy who mows. I run my business as if I were the customer. If some guys pulled up, 3 deep in a ranger pulling a fully loaded 7x16, I would not want them doing work for me. Thank you for all of the opinions, there really isn't much of a difference in price between the 7000# and the 10000# axles, so it's a no brainer for me.

I started with a ranger actually used it the first four seasons the first three were part time year before last was full time, but I only pulled a 5x10 with one grandstand and a 21". This last season I was determined to start the season with a full size truck so I bought a 150 then I traded the 5x10 even for a used 6.5x12, now I want an enclosed it'll have to wait though, I bought another mower instead. Right now we're heavy on the maintenance side but getting started more and more on the design install side.

MJB
01-24-2013, 04:28 PM
Make sure its a heavy duty trailer. If you go 20 ft watch out for the ones that will flex when loading and unloading. I bought one that was to light and the frame cracked all over. Now Im shortening it to 18ft and having it rebuilt. Thats all I need for 2 ztrs and 2 walk behinds and a basket up front. 20 ft also makes it hard to park between driveways in some areas. Get what you need don't go bigger than you need.

vince otoole
01-24-2013, 04:39 PM
Which stand on fertlizer spread is best ?

vince otoole
01-24-2013, 04:46 PM
Which fertilzer spreader is the best ?

Durabird02
01-25-2013, 06:47 AM
Which fertilzer spreader is the best ?

Uhm...cool. This is called the internet, you're on a forum, in a thread...just not the right one.:hammerhead:

slinky
02-27-2013, 07:57 AM
i'm in the trailer buying boat right now and like the original poster I haul three mowers. I haul a Ferris IS2000z, Toro 52" Grandstand and Toro 40" walk behind. Right now on my 16' trailer i have to pull the Z on first, then put the Grandstand tight up to that with the front wheels staggered between the back wheels of the Z then i have to put the walk behind on sideways on the back.
my plan is to move up to an 18'. I'm tossed up between two trailers, one is a demo and one id order in new...the place that has the demo would take my dump trailer in on an even trade, where the new one the company would only give me about 2600 towards a new trailer. Weighing towards the even swap

STIHL GUY
02-27-2013, 08:34 AM
You should be able to fill up the 20 no problem and even if you don't its always nice to have a little extra room to grow
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jones68
02-27-2013, 10:10 AM
I run an 8.5x20 it is a great size trailer. my father runs an 8x16 and it is just too small. After using the 8.5 wide i wouldnt buy an 8 wide. that extra 6" makes a big difference when moving around machines. another thing i would recommend is 5k axles. the weight adds up in these mowing rigs and they get a lot of miles.
here is a rough figure for my set up
8.5x20 - 3,200
56" ztr - 1,200
48" wb - 500
36" wb - 500
21" wb - 100
----------------
thats 5,500lbs in a 7,000 trailer you would have 1,500lbs left but by the time you add in all the weed wackers, blowers, racks, gas, misc. tools, oil, a barrel for grass, fill that barrel with grass, spare parts, ect. you will get that 1,500 no problem. now lets say your still good with your weight coming in at 6,500lbs and want to replace a walk behind with a stander or a ztr your now over weight.

TNGrassCutter
02-27-2013, 10:23 PM
I didn't read all the posts so if no one said it and you haven't bought yet you may want to look at a goose neck. If I were buying a trailer 20'+ lawn trailer I would get a gooseneck to turn much easier in those tight spots.
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