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Dump Trailer Options

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by mtdman, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I am renting a dump trailer for leaf cleanup this year, which is making things very easy on me for dropping off leaves at the compost center in town. The problem is it's costing a bit for the trailer rental. Not crazy $$ but enough that over time will make more sense to buy a dump trailer of my own. Problem is, I will never have a need to use a dump trailer for the majority of the year. I don't do more than 2 or 3 mulch jobs a year, and don't do landscaping where I'd need a dump trailer to transport dirt or other supplies. If I used it as a mower trailer, it would drive up fuel costs. And I really don't want to get into the whole renting out a trailer business on the side. I know that over the course of a couple years the trailer will pay for itself, but I'm having a hard time justifying the purchase of a trailer that's going to sit around collecting dust 5 out of 7 months per year.

    So I need alternatives. A dump truck right now isn't feasible either, so I don't want to put a dump bed on a truck. The best solution, imo, would be a dump frame without the body. I could use it as a regular trailer for lawns and then build the sides for leaf season. We don't usually go over 2000 lbs or so per load so I don't really need solid metal sides (or even a floor). I've found kits for adding a frame and hydro lift on a trailer, and that's a possibility. But really it would be best if I could find a flat bed dump trailer that I could build off of, or a dump trailer frame (with hydraulics) to build off of.

    So the question is, does anyone know of a company that builds something like that? Or does anyone have any suggestions for my situation?

  2. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Are you looking at used dump trailers or just new? They aren't cheap either way but used can cut that cost. I've seen used ones for less than $2500 but some look pretty beat, but that could be exactly what you need. Maybe with the added trailer you'll acquire more work you couldnt handle before? Although don't buy equipment hoping it will bring work.

    I'm not sure what the rental cost you but around here it's $110/day, $400 for 7 days, and $1000 for the month from a business, not just some guy renting his stuff. If you only needed it for the week it would take 6 years to pay for a $2500 dump, although I'm sure it could be paid for sooner. I'd hate to give my money to someone else. Lets say you used it for 1 year and decided you didn't need it and figured you'd pay $400 for a rental anyway you could easily sell it and recover the cost. Also maybe it can save some time and your back if you need to dump stuff you'd normally shovel out of your truck.

    Now if you only use it 1 day then renting could be best.

    Fabrication isn't always cheap even if you're the one doing it.

    With regard to trailer weight, some people buy those massive enclosed trailers that nearly weigh the same as a small dump trailer and if I needed one multi-purpose unit, it would be the dump. But make no mistake they are indeed heavy.
  3. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    For leaf season we usually work about 6 weeks, and rent at about $400 a week. So over 2 years I'm already at the cost of the trailer to buy new. Like I wrote earlier, I don't do anything that I'd need the dump trailer for during the rest of the year, so it would sit for the rest of the season. That's what bugs me the most, I guess. If I could get a trailer that was usable for both doing leaves and pulling mowers the rest of the year I'd be happier. But I don't want to pull a trailer that's 2X heavier just for mowers.
  4. Nick's Lawn Care

    Nick's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Heck for $400 a week i would be finding a used dump trailer!
  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    $2400 per year and you're not going to own one!!! I mean if the cost for one was $100,000 sure, but man they go for $2400-5000 used. You would be making an extra $2400/yr buying a used one :hammerhead: You really need to look at this. And who cares if it sits, your making an additional $2400 per year by not renting!!! You'll find uses for it.
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,022

    I agree with this, your not using it year round now because of cost to rent one. Once you own it you will find many uses then.
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    My 7 x 12 low profile dump trailer is probably the best purchase I've made for my business and it sits most of the time. But man will it swallow brush (I used to sub out brush chipping but just haul it myself now) and I can haul 8 yards of mulch with it. I've used it with a leaf loader and box before but for the accounts I have now I just bring my Lazer with bagger and dump the leaves up front and mower ramped into the back. I also use it for hauling my compact utility tractor, firewood, topsoil, crushed stone. I agree that if you had it you'd probably use it more than you think. I paid right around $6k for mine new so you'd be looking at a payoff period of 2.5 years based on your rental fees...that's pretty fast.
  8. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,009

    Yes there is a company in Texas that builds dump inserts that go in a regular trailer. I've seen the YouTube video before. It still probably costs a lot of money.

    I didn't really need a dump trailer either. It was more of a want. I decided to either go big or stay home. I went with a PJ 20' tandem dually gooseneck.
  9. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Yeah, that's probably what I'm going to do in the end. It just kills me to have it sit most of the year. But when you think about it, the leaf loader I bought cost me $3k and it sits most of the year. The snow blowers sit around most of the lawn season, and the mowers don't do anything in the winter. I know one thing for sure, I can't keep renting one every year.
  10. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,009

    When I purchased my 20' dump trailer PJ has some financing options through Sheffield. I put down some greenback and financed the rest at 8%. For me the price was so close between a 16' & a 20' that the bigger trailer gave me better bang for the buck. Less trips to the disposal place means time saved and less fuel used.

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