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Enclosed trailer thoughts, decisions

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Martsmth, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Martsmth

    Martsmth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    We are thinking about buying an 7x16 enclosed trailer....I'm looking for your thoughts, concerns, etc. given our situation:

    My business partner and I are in a position now where our major storage area (his garage) is going to no longer be available (he's moving from his place to another, with no garage).

    We are a small operation, my partner and I both have other jobs...we work/manage this operation and our one employee (and one part time helper) does a fair bit of the day to day work. We have one pickup truck (dodge 1500, 5.8l) and a 6x10 open trailer which we do most of our work out of. Our day to day crew consists of one zero turn (that's all our company has right now), and a whacker or two. We are planning on buying a new mower in the next month or two and are hoping to increase in size by early next summer by another truck, trailer, and another mower.

    We are thinking about buying an enclosed trailer, a haulmark 7x16 enclosed...dual axles, brakes on all 4 wheels.

    We know we are going to have to find a permanent location before snow season next year, but in the mean time are thinking about the trailer as our "storage unit". We have a couple secure places to park it, so that is not much of a concern. Given our realistic (at least to us!) hopes to expand next year, this trailer would seem to be a good choice for a "second trailer". Also, a good billboard (after it's lettered). Another positive, even if we rented a place for 6 months....around here that would easily be 200 bucks a month, 1/4 the price of a new 7x16!

    Our concerns:

    Can we realistically fit two mid-sized zero turns in a 16 footer, with other day to day gear? (this is thinking down the road, we have several neighborhoods with more than one account, and are hoping to have two mowers hitting the same 'hood at once)

    Is a 16 footer too much for our dodge 1500 to pull around day in day out if it came to that? It is an 8 foot bed, regular cab pickup with the 5.8l and factory tow package...for whatever that's worth. I believe the truck is rated for pulling 8000 pounds, but I like trailering with trucks that don't even know they have a trailer....at an old job, I used to pull a 26' enclosed construction trailer with a strong dodge 3500. What do you think the loaded 16 footer will feel like?

    Sorry for the long winded question post....I don't really know if we're missing anything or not, and appreciate the advice of those with much more experience.

    Plus we're probably gonna buy it next week ;)
  2. Springmeadows

    Springmeadows LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I don't really know how your truck will do with such a large trailer. However, I wouldn't buy a smaller trailer. I think the loaded enclosed trailer is gonna weight your truck a little more than I would be comfortable with.

    The area you work in, is it flat? Engine power is one factor, but braking is another. Make sure you have a trailer brake controller that works your trailer brakes. Also, is your trailer going to have dual brake axles or just one?

    I have a 2500HD Duramax and a 16' open trailer w/ skidsteer or two walkers. I have no problems with power or braking, but I have a diesel. My area is very mountainous. When my skidsteer is on the trailer, I do know it's there.
  3. Martsmth

    Martsmth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    The trailer we quoted was with 2 axles and brakes on all 4 wheels....also quoted with the brake controller installed....our area really is not too hilly or mountainous, we have some rollers though.

    Appreciate your comments...keep em coming
  4. chris@perfectlawncare

    chris@perfectlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 198

    Seems wide enough, but I think it will be a tight fit length wise. Using a trailer as a storage space seems very efficient, though... good thinking
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I would start looking at the dimensions of the mowers you will be keeping in the trailer. A 16ft trailer will be able to fit the mowers length wise with minimal room to spare, especially if you will have bagging systems on the mowers. Otherwise, you should be able to buy some racks for the trailer to hold your trimmers, blowers, etc. So most of your tools should be with you. And as far as your truck goes, you should be able to tow that without too much of a problm, just make sure you have the brakes all wired up.
  6. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    I easily fit a 36inch walk behind and a toro z400 in my 6x12 Haulmark. Only problem I ran into is it was hard to get the the hand held equipment on the wall. I only had less then a foot to walk through from the back.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I like to be the guy that always looks ahead. Before you commit to a big, heavy 16 foot enclosed trailer try to remember that we are only one financial crisis or one disaster away from $5 a gallon gas. Everybody here at Lawnsite was crying the blues when gas hit $3.50 and $4.00 a gallon. Well the truth is we're not far from that price now. Expensive gas is not an "if" at this point. It's a matter of when.
  8. scagman52

    scagman52 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 402

    Have you thought about keeping what you have and rent a space in one of those storage facilitys?
  9. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Messages: 1,878

    I'm looking into a 16 foot enclosed also, but I'm going with 8' wide. The footprint is almost the same as the 7', wheel to wheel width-wise, but much more room inside to move around, and for storage.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I don't know how these guys do it, I suppose the brakes on the trailer must help some...
    But the cost has to be outrageous, for starters you'll probably replace those tires once a season.

    As for a truck, I don't see anything less than a full ton (350 / 3500) truly being able to handle it,
    you're looking at handling 8 to 10 thousand pounds of weight and even a 3/4 ton's MAX is 10k...
    I always say, you want to handle what you're towing then stay well within the truck's limitations.

    The next thing is, you'll play a LOT of musical equipment every dang stop you make...
    One idea, if you already have a trailer, is to use an enclosed trailer for storage only, leave it parked.

    Yup, I dare say we'll see $3.50 by next summer, $4 is but 1-2 years away but if I read the news correctly we'll see it by mid-to-late 2011.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009

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