Enclosed or Open trailer? with specifics.

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by SClawns, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. SClawns

    SClawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    So im looking into getting a trailer in the 12-14 foot range and i keep going back and forth between open and enclosed. My buddy has both and says he always uses the open because of the ease of access to equiptment and less wind resistance/better mileage.

    My reasons that i still cant decide is the ability to leave equiptment in the trailer and not have to unload it everynight with the enclosed. And my biggest thing is that i see it as a huge billboard once the logo and such are on the trailer. Is the additional advertising worth the gas mileage that you give up with the enclosed trailer? or should i just try to attatch signs on the open trailer.
  2. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    I have an open trailer, and ill tell you advertising has only gotten me 3 calls (people wanting jobs) this year, as i just put a sign on it before growing season this year. The things i like about open trailers is:
    - you can easily load and unload large limbs
    - whatever trash is on the mower deck will fly off
    - equipment stays cooler instead of being closed up in that hot hell hole.
    - more mpg

    The things i dont like:
    - possibility of stolen equipment
    - have to really make sure everything is strapped down good
    - when it rains
    - have to unload it every night

    There are ups and downs to everything, its just i prefer an open trailer. Hope this helps!

  3. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    You have to decide what you truly need the trailer for, do you just need something to haul around mowers and other equipment? Do you have a dump truck or other large vehicle to carry debris, mulch, other material? If you have that go enclosed.

    But if you need this trailer to haul mowers, debris, and easily be able to access and load everything you have? Than you would get an open.

    You also have to decide this, do you feel like unloading equipment every time it rains or to avoid threat of stolen equipment? Can't beat being able to leave your equipment in one spot all year round.

    I bought an 14' open trailer, and am happy I did, you'd be surprised how quick your truck can fill and being able to pack the trailer to can turn 3 trips into 1, can't really do that with an enclosed.
  4. matt25738

    matt25738 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    I'm not sure what zackvbra is talking about in terms of advertising... You certainly can't put anything of decent size on the trailer itself if you go with open. As far as everything else he said, I do agree. Its alot easier to access everything and comes in handy when you have to haul debris.

    Personally though, I prefer my enclosed over my open trailer (I have both). In terms if advertising, your basically driving around a rolling billboard. I can't tell you how many people I've meet that tell me they've seen our trailer around town.

    Why I prefer Enclosed:
    - Enclosed you don't have to deal with unloading everything at the end of the day.
    - You need to go inside somewhere that you can't see your equipment, you just throw a lock on it. Sure beats worrying if someones jacking your stuff (and yes I've heard tons of stories of it happening while people are inside a place for only a few minutes).
    - Your equipment will stay protected from the elements when not in use, thus prolonging life.
    - You can build the inside to accommodate everything you'll need on a daily basis. This way your not having to throw everything inside your truck. Allows for you to carry spare parts and tools safely.

    I can go on and on but that's just a few reasons. As far as gas mileage, I'm not sure what you drive, but I don't notice enough difference between my enclosed and open trailer for that to be a factor. Overall it's your choice, but that's just my two cents.
  5. cuttin-to-the-Max

    cuttin-to-the-Max LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,338

    Yeah You really Need Both... I have both and love it..

    Enclosed trailers are nice for the reasons stated above.
    I have also loaded leaves and tree/ debris in my ENCLOSED trailer before... With my Tractor in it! "You gotta do, what you gotta do!" My open trailer is really just a skidsteer trailer so its really not the best for hauling 8' trees and landscaping debris.

    there is nothing better than:
    -not having to load and unload daily
    -Having a Place to Hide from Annoying customers.. (Shh!)
    -Having a Dry place when its pouring outside
    -Having the Ability to carry extra shovels and hand tools/ Mobile Shop
    -We even have a A/c unit on one of our trailers! (bought the trailer used at a steal)

    There are pro's and con's With everything... I personally think if you can afford to buy a 14' Enclosed trailer you should go that route.. You will never look back. Even with the extra gas milage. This reminds me of when i was 19. I debated on this same topic. I then realized all of the pros overcame the cons.... My first enclosed trailer was a halmark 24' it lasted for 14 years then the back door fell off. Now its used for onsite storage. Costed 300 bucks to letter it and made that money back soooo quickly.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  6. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    I have a almost 5x3 foot 10 guage metal sign on the back gate with huge letters: "ZACKS LAWN CARE (complete lawn care & pressure washing) and number". Its so big i can read it clearly from about 20 yards away. Suprisingly, it doesnt make the gate as heavy as you might think. If anything, it reinforces my gate. But regardless, it hasnt gotten me any client calls. All my new clients get my number from craigslist or the yellow pages or the newspaper ad I run during grow season.
  7. matt25738

    matt25738 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Good idea with the large rear sign on the open trailer. You really don't see many guys around here doing that. I will tell you this, I've got a marketing degree, and if there's one thing they drill in your head in school is the idea of "Brand Awareness". The more people see your signs, the more likely they are to think of you when they need something. That's why I like having the enclosed trailer, fitted with our logo and information on all sides of it.

    But cutting to the max is also right, it's a great place to hide from annoying clients haha. Not to mention it makes a great place to piss. Probably explains why there's always 20 gatorade bottles filled whenever we clean the trailer. If you wanna get real lazy you can do what a buddy of mine did. Cut a hole in the floor and attach a beer funnel to the hole. Homemade urinal.
  8. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    I use an open trailer and store my equipment in it seasonally. In the winter I store the equipment in a shed. While my trailer is parked with the equipment in it, it's in a carport. If I park it outside overnight, I have a heavy tarp I use leftover from my tractor trailer driving days.

    The tow vehicle is the primary advertising tool, not the trailer. As mentioned, you won't get many calls from people seeing you driving around from an add on your truck (or trailer). The calls you do get, you might get one or two a year that actually hire you to perform work.

    If you lived on a large property and could park an enclosed trailer with your company listed on it in a highly populated area, it might be worth while to invest in. Otherwise, I'd stick with an open trailer. There aren't many lawn equipment thefts where I am so theft is far from a concern.
  9. Blades Lawn Maintenance

    Blades Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Montague, NJ
    Messages: 1,239

    Sounds like your leaning more toward the enclosed. I love my enclosed b/c I don't have anywhere at my house to unload my equipment everyday plus if ya get it lettered like u say, it's a huge way to advertise
  10. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,453

    You know those restroom calls in the middle of the day ? how is having an open trailer now ? haha

    I love my enclosed trailer and would never go back to an open.

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