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 on the Franchising Forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Enclosed or Utility Trailer?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by CraigCowen, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. CraigCowen

    CraigCowen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    I am new to the business and will be buying a trailer for mowing season. I will be carrying a 50-60" deck ZT, a 42" riding mower to get through small gates (lots of them around my area where houses were built in 60's), a push mower, and all the other usual equipment.

    I'm just wondering about the pros and cons of an enclosed over an open utility.

    My list so far is:

    pros:
    security
    looks more professional to customers
    potential to advertise with wraps or vinyl on the sides,
    can be used for other personal purposes like concerts, moving, vacations
    easier to organize equipment inside

    cons:
    hot inside during summers
    cannot haul mulch and other materials
    takes up space during winters
    easier to damage cosmetically (scratches, dents, etc.)

    The obvious thing to me is that you can deal with the heat and it's worth the money to have a more professional look.

    Hope to hear other peoples thoughts, thanks!
     
  2. neilmccauley

    neilmccauley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    You're correct in weighing out your options. There are pros and cons to both type trailers. I have a 7'x16' enclosed trailer to store and transport my equipment. I have a Scag 61" ZTR, and a Scag 36" Walk Behind. I constructed the interior of my trailer to become my rolling shop. All of my trimmers, blower, chain saw, hand tools, grease guns, tools, attachments, fire extinguishers, etc., are mounted on the walls, or shelving in the nose of the trailer. The only thing on the floor are my ZTR and WB.

    I wanted something that I could back into my drive and lock up and not have to worrying about unloading at the end of a long, hot day. I have enough room to carry virtually anything I might possibly need, wherever I go. I had a new customer call two days ago wanting to get his property cleaned up ASAP. I went ahead and took my trailer yesterday while going to determine my estimate. The customer accepted my quote, and I did the work while there. I needed almost everything on my trailer to do everything. That's the advantage my trailer brings for me.

    Each person on here may have a different opinion about open or enclosed trailers. It really all comes down to what you want to target, and how you want to operate. I have my trailer lettered up, equipped, and laid out how it works for me. I wouldn't trade my trailer for anything else, but it's designed and laid out for what I wanted.

    There really isn't a wrong way to go, just decide what works best for what you're wanting to do. Oh, and another reason I like my enclosed trailer....I can close it and lock it while I'm working in my customers yards. (I don't have to worry about anyone walking in my trailer and walking off with anything.)

    Good luck and I hope you do well.
     
  3. CraigCowen

    CraigCowen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    The fact that it allows for more lettering than an open trailer is very enticing to me since it would be relatively free marketing. I also really like the fact that I can lock it, as you mentioned also. My idea is the same as yours and many others with enclosed...set up shop in there and not take up personal garage space until winter storage. I like the idea of just having everything in the trailer at all times even during winter since it will let my garage look less cluttered...I'm a little OCD about organization.
     
  4. yclawncare

    yclawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I have had both an open trailer and now enclosed. I like the enclosed better because on a long day you can come home and not worry about putting tools away. I have actually used it also to haul stuff away to the dump when I have clean up jobs. The only time I wish I had the open trailer is when I am getting the big mower out. And note im a 6'4" guy.
     
  5. STIHL GUY

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 5,225

    I have an enclosed and the only thing I wish i still had my open trailer for is hauling mulch and brush
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. 555fitzy

    555fitzy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I'm new to the site, found it about a week ago.
    GREAT PLACE with tons of info.
    I have been in business since 2000 and have had the same 6X12 galvanized utility trailer and I have had 1 Scag WB and 4 different Exmark ZT's I swore to myself not long after I bought my last new 31 hp 60 inch Exmark mower in 2005 that when I bought my next new mower I was getting an enclosed trailer! Over the years my mowers seemed to always end up left out in the weather all summer and stored in one of our small bays in our garage through Winter. When I started out we would take the mowers, trimmers, blowers etc. off each night but that got old after a long hot day of work.
    I now have grown and don't mow much myself so I have 2 workers and now when I figure the time they spend to load/unload everything it adds up to about an hour a day which is about $30 in labor and then if they forget something and have to come back the cost goes up more.
    I am now looking into buying 2 new Gravely mowers 1) Pro Turn 460 EFI & 1) Pro Stance 52 EFI and there is NO way I won't go enclosed! In fact I now have to decide because last Fall I came across a smoking deal from my father-in-law on a GMC 3500 box truck and after getting that my wife's aunt decided to sell her 8X20 enclosed Wells Cargo trailer to me for another smoking deal. I already have an enclosed 6X12 dual axle trailer that we use as a job trailer for the construction end of our business.
    I really liked the box truck idea but 2 mowers will be a tight fit with all the other stuff and the 8X20 is way too big to get into most of our properties. So I am thinking sell the box truck and 8X20 and I have been looking for a 7X14 or 7X16 but I really want to find one with a side ramp door for the Pro Stance (anyone know of who makes one?)
    I want to set up the trailer to hold it all, mowers, trimmers, blowers, hedgers, blades, filters, fluids, chain saw, hand tools as well as basic tools for repairs and at the end of the day back it in and leave it and at the end of the season the trailer can be set up on jack stands and it will be the storage for winter.
    For some that need to use the open utility for hauling other stuff I can understand but I have a 2007.5 Dodge Cummins 1 ton dump, 2012 GMC Duramax 1 ton dump and a 2012 GMC 6.0 crew cab so for me it's time for the enclosed.
    Good luck with the decision, there are pros & cons to both especially if you need the trailer for other things.
     
  7. redmax fan

    redmax fan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,070

    a downfall of enclosed is vision impaired while driving

    like already said theres good about both types

    for me , without going through all the whys here , i want an open trailer
    which has a large heavy duty compartment at front of it that you can fit all your hand helds in then lock with double pad locks at night
     
  8. 35DollarLawns

    35DollarLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    Enclosed / a bucket is a toilet, never know when it will hit on that 116degree day.
    If you go to bagged mulch you can load far more mulch then a open with no covering, losing it down the highway or ugly looks from passer us who see the dust blowing on their car.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. redmax fan

    redmax fan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,070

    never thought of the enclosed bathroom feature , good point
     
  10. 35DollarLawns

    35DollarLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    We went from box trucks to open to now enclosed.
    You can find so many reasons for each style.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

Share This Page