1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Enclosed or Open trailer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Duncan IN, Nov 12, 2000.

  1. Duncan IN

    Duncan IN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Enclosed or Open trailer, gooseneck or standard? What is really the best to go with? What do most of the cutters PREFFER to use? Right now I have a 16 open and it seems like I can always use the extra room. What is the Ideal setup for a trailer. Just some questions I have been wondering about.

    Levi Duncan
    Lone Tree Lawn Care
  2. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,354

    The Ideal set up is http://www.superlawntruck.com or http://www.superlawntrucks.com they are like $30,000 but you can find used ones for as little as $5,000 which then you can use for storage at off season. If we can find a Isuzu or simular with a 18' van body for a good cost I would go that route. Otherwise keep your open trailer, we looked at enclosed trailers after selling ours and for the price of a new one we can build a 26 by 26 garage! Im sure used ones are priced good but a scarce up here. They are nice but seem to be alot of money but some do like them. I sold my 16 Haulmark Enclosed for a 16' open for hauling bobcats and others my enclosed coudnt.
  3. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    ive got a enclosed trailer that i made myself from a boat trailer .but when i do bye my new trailer definately enclosed .one every1 steals equiptment from eachother in longisland ..two is when im done from working hard all day i can sleep sound nowing my stuff is locked away the only one is gona be using it is me.the equiptment cost to much go for the extra money get enclosed .but im just a new guy so maybe im wrong .........
  4. little green guy

    little green guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 955

    I think it depeneds on your situation, if you have a big shop to keep eqipment in open might be easier. You also have to take a look at you accounts to see if it's easier, some accounts might be harder to acsess with an enclosed.

    I have a 14' open trailer know. I can fit most of my stuff on it but I am going to get a 20' enclosed next year. I realy want the extra room and protection. I an going to buy a new lazer this winter too so I will need a bigger trailer. I also think that an enclosed just looks more professional. Oh yah I think the standard hitch is better than a gooseneck because you don't have to dedicate a truck to the trailer you can swap truck easier and stuff.
  5. Duncan IN

    Duncan IN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    How much harder is it to maneuver an enclosed? I have some Places that I pull in that i have to back out onto the Highway to leave. To compound the problem I have a 70 C30 Chevy that doesn't have a very good steering radius. I also find that with the open trailer and my truck I find myself always getting the flatbed corner into the trailer when backing up. It's not because I am bad at backing up, I feel I do an excellant job. It's just that there is not much room between the ball and the bed of the trailer. Do the enclosed trailers have a longer tounge for turning so you won't put a big dent in the trailer?

    Levi Duncan
    Lone Tree Lawn Care

    [Edited by Duncan IN on 11-13-2000 at 03:24 AM]
  6. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    I started with a 10' open, then went to a 14' open tandem. I went two years ago to trade that one in and was going to get an enclosed trailer. The dealer was giving me almost full price on my trade as what I paid for it three years earlier.

    I wanted a 20' enclosed with a 4' side ramp door and a 4' cargo door on the other side. The standard cargo trailer went from about 3,500 to 5,500 when I was done.

    I thought long and hard about how I was use to just throwing stuff on and off the open trailer anywhere. I watched other crews around here and I noticed how they would have everything pulled out of the trailer just to get to one mower. It always looked like alot of extra work. I had rented a few bobcats, loaders, etc that would never fit

    I have always used a pickup with a camper shell on it. I really do not see why more companies do not, since must of us do not bag grass anymore. I have always carried everything with me to do all maintenance work in the shell with little more than just orginazation problems.

    So, I went with another bigger open trailer with a side gate and a split heavy duty rear gate. I just cover the entire trailer, mowers and all, with a tarp at the end of the day. It takes 5 minutes.

    The only reason I really wanted a enclosed trailer, to be honest, was just so I could put my name on the side and look like a big outfit! No denying that they make a great traveling billboard and they are a great image booster.

    You are right about backing. It's just like a semi, sometimes you have to back blind and that eventually will end up hitting something someday. Most I have noticed also, tend to sit much lower, which means you bottom out alot more on small dips and grades.
  7. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Enclosed. I have both, the open is my spraying rig and the enclosed is for mowing, the enclosed has gotten me as much business as my phone book ad at a much lower cost. I have a large truck and a 16' trailer, only have one neighborhood where turning is a issue. Remember, a tandem axle will turn around much better than a single axle!

    Theft- is a big problem, per local police stats, lawn equipment is the #1 stolen item here. My equipment is always under lock and key.

    Image- the enclosed trailer gives a clean, professional look. When working in nice areas it looks good to have a soild, clean unit without having rakes, shovels, and other stuff hanging off the side.

    Advertising- Best advertising money you can spend. Rolling billboard.

    Equipment- All equipment stays inside, protected from rais, snow, or whatever. Mowers are 4 years old now with not a spot of rust.

    Time- At the end of the day just park, lock-up, and go inside. No unloading equipment or storage issues.

    Miscellaneous- Great for shelter during a rain storm, good spot for a pee break, wall space for storing hand tools, coats, chemicals, sprayers, and more.


    [Edited by KirbysLawn on 11-13-2000 at 09:07 AM]
  8. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876


    I have a 72 C30 so I feel your pain. I too had the problem of the truck binding with the trailer on tight turns or backing and turning because my trailer has a short tongue and the truck bed extends out slightly farther than the hitch. I did find a solution. It may sound cheeeesy, but I bought a hitch extension from JC Whitney. They have a 12 and 18inch extension (around $60). It is a solid 2" piece of steel (like 50lbs) that fits into your receiver and the other end accepts the drop and ball. The only thing is that it lowers the capacity of your hitch by 30%. 5000lb hitch is now 3500lbs capacity. 500 tongue weight is now 350lbs, so you do have to be conscious of your weight. I pull a 12 foot trailer with sides and an open top, total weight is about 3300lbs loaded and have had no problems since I started the setup 2 years ago. With the extension the trailer can't touch the truck (misses the racks by 2") so I can turn as tight as I need.
    As far as an enclosed handling better, I don' think so. The longer the wheelbase (length) the easier it will be to drive though.
    Hope this helps. What kind of bed is on your truck ? Got any pics ?
    Were you able to get a hitch, or get a custom made ?

  9. excel25

    excel25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 393

    Have a 20x8 enclosed, also an open. the open gets moved 3 or 4 times a season LOVE the enclosed. Ditto KIRBYS comments
  10. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 695

    We have open trailers. Although bought a 26' enclosed for the race car.. Hmmmmm thats a big billboard :) The open are nice to throw stuff off and on but the enclosed do give a more professional appearance. So the next ones will be enclosed.


Share This Page