18' or 20' trailer for mowing??

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Durabird02, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    That 20' trailer can be used for a lot more than mowing. Especially with the 5200# axles.
  2. jones68

    jones68 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    BrunoT i would have agreed with you a few months back but now i have to disagree with you on this issue. my father runs an enclosed with 5200lb axles and i bought an enclosed with 3500lb axles. both trailers have a similar load in them weight wise and his trailer handles the load much much better. both have torsion suspension also. i can tell you my next trailer will have at least 5200lb axles. if the trailer can handle 7000 that is a maximum no need to run at maximum weight all the time
  3. Durabird02

    Durabird02 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 153

    It has nothing to do with "size issues". I have a 61" ferris, a 48" quik trac JD, and we are going to have a 36" walk behind on this trailer. Plus the front 2 feet of the trailer will be taken up by the storage box. Also, I will not be using this trailer just for mowing, we do landscaping and need the capabilities to haul a bobcat or utility tractor. I do not want two trailers if i don't need two trailers, and if i can add heavy axles to this trailer, i won't NEED two trailers. It's about only investing in one trailer that can do multiple things.

    My truck was about $20,000 when i bought it 6 years ago. I don't know where you are getting this $45,000 number from.

    Two 3500# axles might work for you, but I do not want to be limited by my trailer.
  4. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    Oh well, let me expound.

    If you're running a landscaping outfit with it by all means get the right size. But I didn't see that in your post. You mentioned the mowing setup you used and I pointed out that 3500's would be fine and the length was adequate. I have done this a while and know your mowers would require about 15.5 feet of trailer length with a side gate (32" mounted sideways to roll off the side ramp).

    Your mowers and gear plus a couple of trim mowers etc weigh around 3,000 lbs. With the trailer weight that's about 4,500 lbs tops. So I assume 7,000 lbs of axles would do. But bigger axles isn't what I meant, as they have little penalty.

    Length (and actually width too, and eventually weight) is the real issue. I see crews hopping curbs, backing down streets they can't turn around in, running accross the grass because they can't fit in a tight driveway, blocking multiple driveways, taking out signs, all because they have a huge trailer and truck combo with only the typical ZTR and wb on board that even a single axle trailer towed by a Ranger could handle. If they want to stop for a meal they have to find a place with 10 open spaces during lunch rush or circle the block while someone runs in to get the food.

    Trailers are about the cheapest thing we buy per year of use. Initial cost doesn't even matter much. But a longer trailer is simply harder to maneuver sometimes. Toss another 4' onto the rear of your rig and there will be times you will regret it eventually.

    $45,000 is what some spend on a NEW diesel crew cab type truck with some options on it. If you got a $20K diesel it probably wasn't new. I'm just saying "size" can lead to a cascade of expenses. Whether it's going from $15K to $20K on a used model or $35k to $45k on a new one, it costs more to haul more, all other things considered. 4500 lbs of mowers/machines/trailer is something even compact trucks can handle ok, and a light duty full size can do with ease. Keep stacking on weight and size and braking capacity needed and yes, you can need to go up a class in truck.

    This time last year you could drive a new Ram 1500 quad cab Hemi express (20" wheels, tow pkg, power stuff, etc) off the lot for $25,000. I know I'd rather have a new light duty truck with 5 years of powertrain coverage than an older high mileage HD diesel if it otherwise met my needs. The ride and noise factor alone would tip the deal.

    My HD chevy transmission died just under warranty and would have been an $8,000 repair a month later. My new F150 hauls fine and drives a ton better. If you need to haul a big tractor or heavy materials, go for the gusto. Just realize there are trade-offs.

    When I say "size issues" I was speaking of the advice given. It's typically "bigger" here no matter what the question is. I'm mentally picturing the ridiculous setups I see all the time out there, where a 20' monstrosity built to carry construction equipment, towed by a 3500 dually, has got a couple of 600 lb gear drive wb's and 2 21"'s on it, struggling to get 10mpg. All because once a year they use it to haul a couple pallets of sod at once instead of just one. Here, for $50 delivery fee a supplier brings sod to your door from 2.5 hours away, free if you order a half truckload or more. So I skip the jiggly bumpy ride.

    Do lawn maintenance day-in-day-out and the little conveniences matter. Not having to sweat tight turns in traffic, or being able to get gas at the same pump your mowers get fuel from. Or not having to wait for the one diesel pump in yuppietown to clear. Or not having your rig parked on a busy street at the crest of a hill instead of a safe driveway because it's too long to fit. Hell, even being able to fit in a drive thru when it's 100 degrees out and you are in a hurry. Keeping size/weight down is part of that.

    Then again, maybe everyone here on lawnsite lives in Montana and has a huge turnaround at their shop and at every jobsite.
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    That's a very good post, I started out with a ranger hauling all my gear in the bed, then I bought 5x10 had a the usual stash of trimmers and stuff and a troy built 44" mower, Then I bought my first commercial mower a grandstand, then another 21" if which had to go in the bed of the truck, my poor lil ranger was struggling though, the 3.0 V-6 wasn't cutting it. I found a great deal on an 05 F-150 loaded for 10K so I went for it, it was like going from a VW to a cadilac, I now have a 6.5 x 12 trailer which now has two Standers two 21" and all the usual crap, Sometimes I hate even having this size of setup, wish I was back to my ranger and 5x10, I could zip around and not worry about all the stuff you talked about. I couldn't even imagine going to a 7x16 or bigger, what a pain that would be.
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,253

    I'm like you in that I've been working off of a 7x16 open with a half ton pulling it and want to go with a 6x12 enclosed for mowing and use the open trailer for landscaping. What's funny is that I find it easier to drive a tractor trailer on the highway than to deal with my current setup on the small residential areas that I go to. I think my biggest hangup is the wheels stick out about a foot wider on each side of the truck.
  7. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    Apple, oranges,, he said landscape trailer not enclosed.
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    As would a 16 foot trailer. I used to load 2 60" Dixies and a 36" walk behind onto mine. I see no reason that a person couldn't get 2 walk behinds and a rider on a 16 foot trailer.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    The basket can be cantilevered out over the tongue. You didn't say you would use the trailer for towing tractors and stuff. You said you needed a mowing trailer.
  10. GQLL

    GQLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 846

    I would be out of business if i relied on one trailer to haul my mowers one day, haul my bobcat another, and then load mulch or derbies on it. We have a 18 foot open landscape trailer. would have like a 16 but dealer screwed up the order and cut a good price on it. Were hauling a walker a 52 stander x and a 36 stander and a 21 Honda i still have 3 feet of room on the trailer.

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