Enclosed trailer vs. open trailer for mowing

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by willyy87, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. willyy87

    willyy87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Hi all,
    I am adding mowing this year to our business. I need to buy a trailer soon. I am wondering how mowing businesses that use enclosed trucks, or trailers deal with the issue of having space for lawn clippings, or debris created during work.

    I am going to make some calls this week to see if any of the enclosed trailer manufactures can leave about 3' of space in front of the trailer for a grass cage. I really like the idea of having an enclosed trailer for many reasons including security, protection from the elements, better advertising space etc. I think that if you had an enclosed trailer with a cage in the front, that would be the best of both worlds.

    The open trailers also have many advantages to consider. They are less expensive, more versitile, you can load them from the top.

    What advise do you all have for me to make my decision.

    Thanks much!
  2. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    Search open vs enclosed and read for a few days.lol
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Lugnut

    Lugnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    I have an enclosed mowing trailer mainly bcause I store my mowers in their as well. If I had more shop space to unload my equipment, or to back the trailer into, I would go with an open because I think they are more efficient when out on the route.
  4. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I have a open 16'er and love it, but there are many draw backs as you have mentioned. But one positive you for got to mention on a open trailer is a clear view across the trailer when turning and backing. Even with the great set of extension mirrors on your truck the enclosed trailer has a super amount of blind spots. I would think if you have a lot of driving in your day to day use in any heavy traffic one would appreciate a open trailer over a long blind spot behind you.

    I have pulled a travel trailer (camper) so i have a comparison to judge from.

    Don't get me wrong Id would love to have a enclosed trailer. But I have also seen a lot of dinks and small fender benders in the sides and back of enclosed trailers from just the smallest backing and "OOPs I did not see that there". Plus if something comes loose inside a enclosed trailer you wont know it till you stop and see a huge crease in the side or front of the siding. On a open trailer yes its still bad to have equipment come loose or banging around but you can see if moving in the rear view mirror and stop before it get worse.

    Just my opinion and observations.
    Mr Stripe likes this.
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I was toying with the idea of an enclosed trailer when I was trailer shopping last year. I ended up choosing an open trailer for a few reasons, but it just fit me better.

    Enclosed trailers are awesome. They keep your stuff out of the weather and gives you some added security. It is really nice that you don't have to unload everything at the end of the day, just keep it all in the trailer. Enclosed trailers also can act as a mobile shop, you can carry a bunch of tools with you and be able to work on things should they break down in the middle of a job. I really like the fact that I could have used one as a mobile shop, could make life very easy.

    Honestly, an open trailer fit me much better. They are priced significantly lower than enclosed trailers. Open trailers also don't cause so much drag while towing, thus helping fuel economy. I can also haul debris much easier with open trailers. I was very picky about the trailer I wanted, so I ended up having one custom built.

    Custom building is the way to go I think. This way you don't really need to compromise what you get with what you want.

    If you have the ability to haul debris in the tow vehicle, like a dump truck or pickup, then an enclosed trailer is great. But if you don't have much room for debris in the tow vehicle, then an open trailer is definately much better.
    Mr Stripe likes this.
  6. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

  7. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    i currently have a 12' x 6' enclosed trailer. before that i ran with a 12' x 6' open trailer.

    when i had the open trailer i never put debris or lawn clippings on the trailer. i always have used the truck bed. thats a large part why we use trucks in this industry.

    i prefer enclsoed for a number of reasons. the main reason being to keep my equipment out of the elements. i don't have to worry about my equipment getting soaked when it decides to down pour while i'm out working. just the piece i'm currently using gets wet.

    enclosed trailers also offer a bit of security. much harder to see whats available to steal. can't check it out just by driving by. you can also lock the doors and ramps on the trailers. i do this ever evening once i park for the night and if i stop while i'm out for lunch.

    i don't know what the guys that use those enclosed trucks do. i personally would never use or recommend those kind.
  8. PLS-Tx

    PLS-Tx LawnSite Silver Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 2,383

    I have used both a 16' open and now a 8.5X20 enclosed for the past 5 years.

    I would never want to go back to an open trailer, just to many advantages to an enclosed.

    I was concerned about blind spots, turning around ect. but once you use an enclosed for a while it's no problem at all.
  9. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    OOPs typo 16'er.
  10. travski

    travski LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    I used an open trailer for my first year that I borrowed from my Dad. My second year I bought an enclosed trailer.

    Most advantages/disadvantages have already been listed. I dont have a huge garage/shop so my trailer is my shop. When I am done mowing for the day all I have to do is lock up the trailer. I dont have to add another 20 min in the morning for loading and another 20 min unloading when I am beat from a long day of mowing... I suppose if you have a large shop you can just back an open trailer into it and not unload...

    I gained 2 new clients this year from just the advertising on the side of the trailer.

    I also carry a variety of tools/gas cans/handhelds that stay on the trailer. my truck is designated for grass clippings.

    Its totally up to you to decide what works best for your needs and what your wallet can handle. Just curious, but which way are you leaning and why?

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