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Enclosed trailer as billboard as advertising?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by roscioli, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    Have any of you actually calculated out the number of leads gained by enclosed trailers that are properlylettered up (like a billboard)? I have been thinking about going this route, and know someone who will letter cheaply for me, but want to know if I will get my return for dollar anything close to what I would get simply sending fliers or mailings?
    Say I spend $4000 for a new trailer, vs. $4000 in advertising over 5 years time (assuming the trailer will last me 5 years). $800 in advertising will get me about 16 new maintenance customers from my precise calculations. How much will this trailer get me if done correctly?
    Please, no opinions from those who dont really know, and dont have anything productive to offer. Also, I have already calculated how much it will save me as far as convenience, storage space, weather protection, and theft prevention. To me these combined will be worth about $200/year.
    $800/year allocated costs
    -$200/year in added convenience
    -$XXX/year in advertising
    =??? profit or loss compared to advertising traditionally
  2. stevo22

    stevo22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 344

    why wouldn't the trailer last more than 5yrs...should last much longer than that as long as it is not involved in a wreck..
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I know of a few companies who use their trailers for advertising purposes. For that matter I know of many guys who put up signs on their equipment trailers too -LOL!!!

    If you figure that the average account generates a minimum of approximately $800 in our area, I would have to say that if you didnt generate at least $16,000(20 clients) in new business that you have done something wrong with your design/layout.

    I know that the few mowers who letter their trailers specifiaclly for landscape lighting, say that they have an overflow of work. Im guessing thats from a professional looking set-up whoich part of that is a continuously rolling billboard around town.

    I think worst case scenario -- its a definite break even the first season and watch it take off from there the next!!!
  4. Shadetree Ltd

    Shadetree Ltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    A trailer that looks professional will do more for your name recognition than generate leads IMO. It might not generate the phone call the day the see it, but when you and/or another form of advertising crosses their path your odds are greatly increased. I personally think the cost of an enclosed trailer outweighs an open one anyway.

  5. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    as soon as I can afford to go this route I will . I think the pro's out weight the con's . I think if you put some eye catching grafics on your trailer with your name and number people will notice you for sure
  6. etwman

    etwman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,466

    To help answer your questions:

    1. Depends on where its located during the day. Is it in a visible area? Will people be forced to read it as they turn into a site.

    2. Spend the money on lettering. We spent about $1200 to letter it. And yes it has paid. We attribute that trailer as a "foot in the door" to a $250,000 contract that we just signed.

    3. In a heartbeat I would do the trailer over yellow pages. WIth the trailer people can put an image with the company name. In the yellow pages your just another company that's going to have to give an estimate.

    4. Have you considered the money you could save by not having to store equipment somewhere and rent commercial space?

    5. The security issue is a big plus as well. Everything is locked down. No theft.

    6. You can stock everything you need in there. Backup, hitchup, and go. What does it cost you to unload, reload everyday? And then really have everything you need on a flatbed?

    I would strongly reccommend an enclosed trailer, but this is just my opinion.

    Here's a pic. of ours.


  7. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    An enclosed trailer is much more than just advertising... so your $800/year price comparison is apples/oranges.

    Besides an enclosed trailer will COST far less than $800/year, even with insurance, maintenance and depreciation.
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I would do the trailer before the Yellow Pages as well. Yellow pages is a monthly cost, and it goes to areas you might not want to cover. Your trailer cost's you one time and only advertises where you go.

    Less pesky calls from neighborhoods you don't want to work in.
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    It really seems at times that any form of advertising is hit or miss. I've had results all over the board with many different avenues or places of advertising. The lettering on the trailer will definately help, why wouldn't it? As far as it being worthy of the investment, I think so. I like the image it portrays. If you need or want an enclosed trailer, it would be foolish not to letter it. If you are deciding on the purchase of the trailer JUST for advertising, that may be another story. That would then be an expensive route. Take $5000 or $6000 for the trailer all lettered up and ready to roll. That's a big chunk of money. I spend $6000 a year in the yellow pages. I also have a $6000 enclosed and lettered trailer. Without a shred of doubt the yellow pages touch more people, alot more. Our yellow page books are dedicated to certain areas also. Meaning we have multiple yellow page books and a main large book. I advertise in two of the smaller area books. Each book covers the areas I service so it works well and I know the phone calls I receive are definately areas I'll pursue. It's just one of the tough decisions you have to decide upon and what happens happens. I've put $500 monthly adds in local papers and received no response also. That's not to say if I did it again it wouldn't yield better results.
    Hopefully, next season the business will be closer to my anticipated and expected goals and I can drop the yellow page advertising considerably down per month. I would never eliminate it, but definately scale it down. Obviously referrals will continue to do work for me. :)
  10. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    Thanks guys...
    My 5 year life span was being pessimistic, taking the conservative route.
    Kent- apples to oranges.. not really, because I already factored in the other savings.
    I also won't have to rent space to store my equip either way, my family owns quite a bit of land here and there to use anytime.
    Loading/Unloading every day, I don't do it, just park it in my yard, toss a tarp over it, and leave it hooked to the truck. Now, if I were to use my trailer as an investment, I would probably park it somewhere else, on some commercial roadside property that my family owns.
    This year I will spend just over $1600 in the yellow pages, and thats my first year in. A small ad compared to competitors, but that cost will go down next year, even if I keep the same size ad, which I probably wont.
    Now the question is, can I get an enclosed trailer that could also haul my (soon to be purchased) tractor? I would love to sell my midget 6X12 and go this route, because I won't have to spend $1800 on an equipment trailer to sit alongside my (too small) 6X12. Sorry for babbling.

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