Originally Posted by brunot
some of you guys need to realize that there's more out there than your personal experiences and needs before you disparage different approaches.
There are full width, 1200- 2000 lb capacity steel ramps of varying lengths (much like trailer ramps) that attach to pickups and are supported in a variety of ways that do not involve putting weight on the tailgate (often the tailgate is removed). Some mount so that you can use the tailgate as additional load space, supporting the load via the trailer hitch, others allow you to drive mowers onto a platform in the bed which the ramp is slide up into, so that you can retain the tailgate via a system that removes any load from it also. There are other designs that become the tailgate when folded up. None are cheap. They take well less than a minute to deploy.
Used with a long bed hd pickup that has a load capacity of 3,000 lbs or more, you've got a quite stable, compact rough equivalent of a 5x8 or even 5x10 trailer depending on the ramp design. With trimmer racks like shown in the photos, plus a "headache rack" that can also be used to safety and securely hang items like blowers, etc, you have plenty of room for:
... An up to 50" wide ztr, stand-on, or walk behind ,
...a 21" mower,
... And even a 32/36" bop quick mower if you should want one.
...you can fit two midsize wb's in the back of a safe-t-ramp equipped 8' bed truck, including one over 52" if you wheelie up one mower to clear the wheel wells a bit and put it in the right spot. Or two standers of the right brand.
With the loadout of a ztr and a 21" only, there's room for a large bagger, a ladder, a pole hedge pruner, an edger, a trimmer, a blower, gas, trimmer line spool, a second blower, and collection barrels for modest amounts of clippings/debris w/o anything being piled on anything else.
Why would someone waste their time doing this?
1. Better fuel economy. (about 17%)
2. Ease of parking in front of homes on tiny lots and in short driveways on busy streets.
3. Easier to drive in traffic and tight urban areas.
4. Easier to maneuver on dead end streets
5. Safer and easier backing out into traffic
6. Feels safer than trailering. Stops a lot faster than even trailer-brake equipped trailers. No unintended curb-hopping if unattentive, etc.
7. Easy to park in a shop garage and forget. No loading/unloading required. Truck and gear have protection from elements and prying eyes w/o unloading.
8. You still have a trailer available when you need one.
9. If you mulch clippings and rarely have to haul off pruned cuttings, don't tarp leaves, don't bring in your own mulch to install while also mowing lawns the same day, etc, you don't miss the bed space.
10. Last, and most importantly, you can get in drive thrus easier!
I've run trailers for many many years and just prefer not having a trailer behind me when conditions allow it. It's more forgiving of inattention, i feel more in control, and it's easier to park. I've backed 40' trailers through crowded parking lots before as part of my work in the past, but that doesn't mean it's enjoyable.