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DFW Area Landscaper
11-19-2004, 10:36 AM
I've always kept my steel trailer parked in an enclosed storage unit. However, for next year, I'm thinking of leaving it parked outside in the weather.

Good idea or bad? How bad do these things rust when left out in the weather?

Here is a picture of the very front of my trailer:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=60650&page=2&pp=10

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

drsogr
11-19-2004, 10:43 AM
You have a really nice setup and from the look of it your big thing it image. Looking good. If you keep your trailer outside it will rust, just try it one winter and you will see. The paint will get faded as well. All of your equipment will get weathered, its just not a good thing. If you can afford to keep the trailer sheltered it would be worth it.

cward
11-19-2004, 10:47 AM
DFW,
I'm with drsogr, if you have the facility, why leave it outside? You have a nice rig and prolonged exposure to the elements will really show next spring. I'd leave it inside.
Happy Mowing.

65hoss
11-19-2004, 11:30 AM
If you want it looking perfect and show quality, keep it in. If you have a place great. To me, its one of the tools. We use them to make money. Pretty clean and nice is good, but shinny and perfect tells some people you don't have enough work or you are new. I lost a job once because one mower and an employee were dropped off at a job before I met with a church committee. Guess what was on the trailer...a day old mower that was still almost perfect and clean. The statement was made that I must be really new at this and not have much work because my equipment was too clean and new. I didn't get the job.

Smithers
11-19-2004, 11:41 AM
keep the equipment indoors.....

65hoss,

I have to dissagree....i have gotten almost all of my clients becuase my equipment looks spotless. They are very impressed that i take good care of it. This is also valid for the look of the operators as well.

About your losing a church contract......i agree, you should have been there to "defend" your new purchase. You dont want to deal with churches, anyway. no loss there.

Lux Lawn
11-19-2004, 11:45 AM
My trailers sit outside in the snow over the winter.

65hoss
11-19-2004, 12:14 PM
keep the equipment indoors.....

65hoss,

I have to dissagree....i have gotten almost all of my clients becuase my equipment looks spotless. They are very impressed that i take good care of it. This is also valid for the look of the operators as well.

About your losing a church contract......i agree, you should have been there to "defend" your new purchase. You dont want to deal with churches, anyway. no loss there.

Feel free to disagree. As stated, its my opinion. But your profile says you have been in biz for only 1 year, so all your customers have been based on you starting out. Sure there are people that like nice new looking stuff and will comment on that. Its real easy to keep everything spotless the first few years in business, but once you get those really good customers built up, time for all that spotless cleaning will go away. Then it becomes a choice of spending non billable time washing or billable time working. Look at the larger companies in your area that get the good contracts. Most are larger companies that do good maintenance but the mowers are not all shinny. They keep them blown off, but not washed all the time. They get these good contracts by keeping the machinery in the field working not at the shop cleaning them.

Yes, there are some companies that sell their look, image and clean equipment. That will sell some things, but not all. To be competitive in pricing on the really good stuff you have to be efficient not shinny clean. Efficient is not washing equipment all the time, its keeping them well maintained so that you reduce downtime. Its keeping them running as much as possible. The more they run the more you spread your overhead/fixed cost out. The better your competitive pricing will be. The more you spend on non billable time the less you can spread your overhead/fixed out.

Oh, to the churches issue. I've had very good experiences with churches over the years. Sure a few can be problems, but I would take a complete customer list of churches and leave everything else alone if I could.

geogunn
11-19-2004, 12:19 PM
years of weather will kill the good looks of that trailer.

guess what I worked on this AM--my trailer...the wood and wires and paint don't do as well being stored outside as in.

GEO :)

Richard Martin
11-19-2004, 02:54 PM
I repaint my trailer every 2 years so it always looks good. Been sitting outside for 8 seasons now and a guy offered to trade me his virtually brand new 16 footer for my 12 footer and $600. 16 footers go for $2000 here. Since I only paid $1200 for my trailer I figure I actually made $200 above and beyond the original cost on my old trailer. I need the room since I just bought another 60" Dixie.

jt5019
11-19-2004, 03:02 PM
I leave mine outside all winter, never noticed any rust it does fade a bit in time but i repaint it about every two years anyways.

packerbacker
11-19-2004, 03:28 PM
Mine stay outside all year long. If you use the right paint when you paint it then you will never have a problem. Use rust-oleum and put a treatmant on the wood and it will last a very long time

DFW Area Landscaper
11-19-2004, 03:30 PM
I don't plan to leave the equipment on the trailer. I will have a smaller storage unit for that, but the place where I store has just expanded and now they offer 45' parking spaces. I figure if I leave the trailer hooked to the pickup and just unload the equipment every evening, it would save time. It seems like hooking up the trailer and unhooking it every day takes a lot of time. Plus, I sometimes have to spend a lot of time backing the trailer into the storage unit because I've only got about 1 foot of play on either side.

The 45' pakring space is $119.00/mo. For $159.00/mo I could get covered parking. This would keep most of the rain and sun off the trailer and the truck. Worth it?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

nt1
11-19-2004, 03:39 PM
I have had two trailers left outside year round. One for 6 years and the other 3 years. Every year(late winter/early spring) I touch them up with semi-gloss black spray paint(98 cents per can at home depot) and they always look good, not showroom condition but good condition. So at $5 to $10 per year/per trailer they stay in good shape. I also use one of those cheap clip on triggers for spray paint cans to make the process quick and easy.

packerbacker
11-19-2004, 03:42 PM
I don't plan to leave the equipment on the trailer. I will have a smaller storage unit for that, but the place where I store has just expanded and now they offer 45' parking spaces. I figure if I leave the trailer hooked to the pickup and just unload the equipment every evening, it would save time. It seems like hooking up the trailer and unhooking it every day takes a lot of time. Plus, I sometimes have to spend a lot of time backing the trailer into the storage unit because I've only got about 1 foot of play on either side.

The 45' pakring space is $119.00/mo. For $159.00/mo I could get covered parking. This would keep most of the rain and sun off the trailer and the truck. Worth it?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper




I dont think its worth it, and that sounds high to me for a parking spot, i have to 20 ft trailers and i park them both for 50 bucks a monts, maybe its because my buddies dad owns the storage lot though ;)

Sean Adams
11-19-2004, 05:33 PM
This will be the fist year I ever placed a trailer outside. We just bought a new 16' and the garages are full with the trailers and other "things", plus we extended our office space so a bit less storage space. We redid the trailer - sanded down a few places, painted it, checked the boards, the EZ Gate, the gate itself, stained/treated the wood, and covered that bad boy from head to toe with tarps. Have wood underneath holding up tarp so snow does not weigh it down. Locked up with a chain to a post in our parking lot blocked in by our vans and trucks....I guess we will see.

Metro Lawn
11-19-2004, 05:58 PM
Our trailers have always been outside. We repaint them every spring. Now we are using mostly enclosed units, so it doesn't really matter. If you have concerns about fading ect, I would suggest getting a large tarp and covering it. This will keep it dry and out of the sun.

walker-talker
11-19-2004, 06:15 PM
My trailer stays outside 24/7 365 days a week. In the winter I cover it with a tarp to keep the snow off. I put a coat of water seal on it once a year. My equipment comes in the garage over winter, but stays outside during the active season....about 8 months. Yes, they will fade. I keep them fairly clean, but not anal about it. I would like to have a place to store them all season and that will come in time.

out4now
11-19-2004, 06:15 PM
If you moved to AZ you'd be mowing all year round. I would imagine the snow and cold can't be good for your equip. You've made an investment. Tey to find some shelter for it somewhere. Maybe put equipment in a rental ocean conatiner and see if you can't find a way to house the trailer?

YardPro
11-19-2004, 07:09 PM
mour stay outside 365. also they are in an unprotected area in the front of our shop. we are 4 blocks from the ocean. they really take a pounding.
mu 16' with 2' expanded metal sides is 10 years old.

rusty, but works every day. never have repainted it.
will be sandblasting and painting this spring though.

lqmustang
11-19-2004, 07:14 PM
Keep my trailer outside all the time. 3 years old now and it still looks good, although the boards are getting a bit rough. Gonna replace them with treated lumber sometime over the winter. Also have to keep my walkbehind on it all the time also as I have nowhere to keep it indoors. It gets a good wash and spots touched up before covering for the winter. I also spray a light coat of WD-40 on any bare metal/chrome pieces to keep the moisture off. It's also a good idea if you are covering for a long period of time to use breathable tarps. Plastic will trap moisture underneath.

paponte
11-19-2004, 07:22 PM
Everything we own stays outside, besides equipment. Any rust that occurs gets dealth with and part of a "prep" before we get into that season for that particular piece of equipment. I am working on plows and sanders now, since their time is comming up next. Can you tell this plow and sander are old, and have been sitting outside? Just take care of your stuff and it should always look new :)

http://kidquest0.tripod.com/IMAGES/PICS/F250_plow.jpg

Husky03
11-19-2004, 08:41 PM
I painted my trailer when I first got it last season and left it outside over the winter because I had no place for it. It was rusted and faded in some spots this spring so I repainted it and it has been in the garage since. It will have to go back out again for the winter so the vehicles can come in. This still happened with quality Dutch Boy paint. I guess I will try tarps this winter. What do you think?

Freshcut Lawn Care
11-19-2004, 09:14 PM
Storing indoors is always your best bet! As many of the folks have stated, the ones stored outside will see some rust or fading if not covered properly.

Some trailers are treated with excellent primers prior to painting, while others just seemed to have been painted.

I paid extra for my 18 foot Landscape Trailer as the manufacturer sold me on their construction and their priming techniques. I have now used if for 2 full seasons and it still looks great. I thought he was BS'ing me about the primer, but it turns out he wasn't.

My buddy bought a different brand this year, and his needs a new paint job already! Go figure! We both store our trailers outdoors from April - Dec.

If you store outdoors; try and cover it up at the very least (In the winter months)!

:D

LawnBoy89
11-19-2004, 09:29 PM
What do you guys think about putting tarp over it? I deffinetly wouldn't pay $150/month... Nice looking trailer though. When you think about it, $150/month for 12 month is enough to buy a whole new trailer.

JarrodsDad
11-19-2004, 09:58 PM
Stay with the inside storage if you can or buy into aluminum trailers instead. I would ask if security is an issue, and if your insurance will be effected by outside storage of equipment?

I went aluminum. It is a cleaner look and we get get many compliments about the trailers. All have both side and rear ramps, the wider trailers have stakes for the sides and split rear ramps.

Good luck with the decision.

I really should paint that garage one of these days!! :rolleyes:

Randy Scott
11-19-2004, 11:03 PM
Feel free to disagree. As stated, its my opinion. But your profile says you have been in biz for only 1 year, so all your customers have been based on you starting out. Sure there are people that like nice new looking stuff and will comment on that. Its real easy to keep everything spotless the first few years in business, but once you get those really good customers built up, time for all that spotless cleaning will go away. Then it becomes a choice of spending non billable time washing or billable time working. Look at the larger companies in your area that get the good contracts. Most are larger companies that do good maintenance but the mowers are not all shinny. They keep them blown off, but not washed all the time. They get these good contracts by keeping the machinery in the field working not at the shop cleaning them.

Yes, there are some companies that sell their look, image and clean equipment. That will sell some things, but not all. To be competitive in pricing on the really good stuff you have to be efficient not shinny clean. Efficient is not washing equipment all the time, its keeping them well maintained so that you reduce downtime. Its keeping them running as much as possible. The more they run the more you spread your overhead/fixed cost out. The better your competitive pricing will be. The more you spend on non billable time the less you can spread your overhead/fixed out.


Ding ding ding, we have a knowledgeable businessman here! I don't believe in your image going to crap, but a dirty truck or trailer for a few days or a week won't hurt business. When you turn work down left and right because your head is spinning from being so busy, a dirty trailer plays no role in your business.

Granted, it will help the new guy, but that should be it after a couple seasons if you are any good at this work.

Besides, the thread starter has a lot more issues to deal with to be successful than a rusty trailer.

Kelly's Landscaping
11-19-2004, 11:19 PM
Long time DFW since I have seen you on. We keep 2 of our trailers out side no choice the space is not there all the equipment other then plows is inside. If I had a building I could park the trailers in I would do so in a second but such is life it does age them faster. This winter I will be sanding and grinding my trailers again in my step dads green houses and repainting them. It is sadly part of the trade as for the floors they seem soild after 2 years I figure they may need replacing after 5-8 years but at that point I would say I got my moneys worth. I am buying 2 more trailers this spring and they too will be out side I think I will be adding my first covered trailer a 20 footer not because I want one covered but because there is no way I will fit 5 ZTRs and 2 WBs in my garage with everything else we have. So it will offer out side storage.

Branching Out
11-19-2004, 11:33 PM
Feel free to disagree. As stated, its my opinion. But your profile says you have been in biz for only 1 year, so all your customers have been based on you starting out. Sure there are people that like nice new looking stuff and will comment on that. Its real easy to keep everything spotless the first few years in business, but once you get those really good customers built up, time for all that spotless cleaning will go away. Then it becomes a choice of spending non billable time washing or billable time working. Look at the larger companies in your area that get the good contracts. Most are larger companies that do good maintenance but the mowers are not all shinny. They keep them blown off, but not washed all the time. They get these good contracts by keeping the machinery in the field working not at the shop cleaning them.

Yes, there are some companies that sell their look, image and clean equipment. That will sell some things, but not all. To be competitive in pricing on the really good stuff you have to be efficient not shinny clean. Efficient is not washing equipment all the time, its keeping them well maintained so that you reduce downtime. Its keeping them running as much as possible. The more they run the more you spread your overhead/fixed cost out. The better your competitive pricing will be. The more you spend on non billable time the less you can spread your overhead/fixed out.
.

I couldn't agree more with this statement 65HOSS.....If you want to keep your equipment in good shape....Spend the money you are using to store it inside, on a enclosed trailer...then have it professionally lettered and striped and painted to make it a rolling bill board....A trailer that looks like that will be sure to get attention and be money well spent...besides....the trailer is one of the backbones of your equipment. It also hides the dirty part of this business which is a reality...

Branching Out
11-19-2004, 11:48 PM
Aponte...Do you plow for John at KP?

twwlawn
11-20-2004, 12:11 AM
Had a 20 footer, within one year setting outside with all the rain, snow and sun, it was rusting and the paint was faded. From that year on, I tarp the trailer's and of course the equipment is always stored inside.

MOlawnman
12-27-2004, 01:01 AM
We have a 22' open trailer that is three years old and besides being a little dirty, looks great. It has never seen inside storage. It is very well built and shows no signs of rust or fading. It really depends on the quality you get when you purchase it. It will never be stored inside. I figure that the equipment and my vehicles are much more expensive and that is what I worry about not a $1600 trailer (yes that is what I paid for it brand new).
I just purchased an 8' x 20' enclosed trailer so that I would have more storage when going from job to job. This trailer will not see inside storage either but it will make my life much, much less complicated.

northmichigan
12-27-2004, 09:10 AM
my trailer lives outside on a side road on my land. i use my dual axle 12 foot trailer to haul stone and gravel and have to repaint it for nicks and scrapes anyway. the outside living will fade the paint but the tires should be off the ground.i put 2x 12's under the tires.
mj

nitrotim
12-27-2004, 12:24 PM
Has anybody used rhino or linex liner on their open trailers. I saw one at dealer where they had sprayed the decking and the metal gate with some sort of poly lining.

Carolina Cutter
12-27-2004, 01:43 PM
I've always kept my steel trailer parked in an enclosed storage unit. However, for next year, I'm thinking of leaving it parked outside in the weather.

Good idea or bad? How bad do these things rust when left out in the weather?

Here is a picture of the very front of my trailer:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=60650&page=2&pp=10

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper


I leave just my trailer outside every day due to no storage. The paint does get weathered but no more than it wil in the summer heat. I repaint the trailer every winter just to have something to do and hopefully improve the image......worn trailers are everywhere...so it always looks new and fresh.

rodfather
12-27-2004, 01:57 PM
11 years of leaving them outside. Each spring time they get a coat of new rustoleum paint...no biggie.

ProMo
12-27-2004, 06:27 PM
when I had an open trailer I went to kmart and bought a 10x20 canopy and just backed the trailer under it, I kept the trailer full of equipment under the canopy for 8 years and never had any rust .

TURF DOCTOR
12-27-2004, 06:38 PM
Weather will take a toll on your equipment,i went with a aluminun tralier here never needs paint plus we get a lot of comments also.plus we run 2 covered haulmarks.We keep the flatbed aluminum for mulch we mow out of it fuel is so high we try to run light.

Turf Medic
12-27-2004, 06:52 PM
I would go with the covered storage, the sun will do most of the fading. As far as the winter months, get an ok tarp from Home Depot, tie it down tight, and don't worry. When it is time to get the trailer out, toss the tarp, or save it for clean-ups, use a new one each winter to cover the trailer.

mtdman
12-27-2004, 11:46 PM
My trailers sit outside in the snow over the winter.

Ditto. You know, you CAN paint them in the spring. You're supposed to paint the axels every year, anyway. Rust isn't a big deal. If I worry about anything, it's the weathering of the tires.

mtdman
12-27-2004, 11:54 PM
11 years of leaving them outside. Each spring time they get a coat of new rustoleum paint...no biggie.

Yeah, what he said.

Garden Panzer
12-28-2004, 12:40 AM
We don't rust... we ROT! The rain gets to everything, anything not being used gets covered with a Northwest favorite decoration: THE BLUE TARP! Lot's of people have something under a tarp here, if something gets WET here, it won't DRY 'till July.... I kid you not. That said anything seeing action during the wet months gets paint, or water seal- HOME DEPOT returns is a great place to find CHEAP wood sealer. Some homeowner who doesn't like the color for their deck and you can pick up a gallon for $5 sometimes less- it's well worth it. Season changes effect your gear, and I do different things as it evolves.


:waving:

Soupy
12-28-2004, 01:06 AM
I take the gate off and lay it on the trailer bed and cover with a old pool cover. I collect used pool covers. They are great for having dumps of mulch dropped on the driveway without staining.

I store the trailer in a corner in the back yard. No body uses their back yard in the winter, so no one even notices it

PMLAWN
12-28-2004, 04:01 AM
Sun is the biggest problem with the paint and if the sun is out the trailer better be out too. Except in June and July the sun stops working before the trailer.
DFW. You said that you dump your stuff each night. Is that really going to be quicker than unhooking the trailer.
If I were you I would base the decision on time and not on the weather. My stuff shows a lot more wear from being used and road rash (stone chips) than from the weather.

smlavin
12-28-2004, 09:44 AM
I like the Bullhide or Duraliner idea but woundn't want that expense. Has anyone every rolled Herculiner on the metal frame of their trailer?

Herculiner
http://www.napaonline.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ExecMacro/NAPAonline/search_results_product_detail.d2w/report?prrfnbr=28484276&prmenbr=5806&usrcommgrpid=

ztoro
12-28-2004, 10:59 AM
I like the Bullhide or Duraliner idea but woundn't want that expense. Has anyone every rolled Herculiner on the metal frame of their trailer?

Herculiner
http://www.napaonline.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ExecMacro/NAPAonline/search_results_product_detail.d2w/report?prrfnbr=28484276&prmenbr=5806&usrcommgrpid=


I saw this stuff at Pep Boys and was wondering the same thing... I want to do the floor of my enclosed trailer with it.....

GrassBustersLawn
12-28-2004, 01:32 PM
I put a new coat of RUSTOLEUM on the floor of my dump trailer each fall when I'm done for the year. This covers up the scratches in the paint accumulated over the season. It ******s rust. Then I leave it outside, along with my other 2 trailers.

Mike

Lux Lawn
12-28-2004, 01:51 PM
my two trailers are outside right now with about two feet of snow and ice.One of the has all the catchers under a tarp on it the other has the wheelbarrows on it.