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In need of trailer info single, double, brakes?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Piedmont Lawn, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. Piedmont Lawn

    Piedmont Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    Hi Gang,

    I’m in the market for a trailer, I am a heavy residential user looking after several family lawns. This year I have updated some of my equipment and guess what a 60’ ZTM will not fit in the back of my truck :) From searching around here the general consensus is buy a little more than you need. It will be kept in the garage most of the time and all winter so I don’t want it to eat up all of my room. I can get by with a 6x8 and haul everything else in the truck bed or a 6x10 would give me room for the plugger and spreader on the trailer. Then I got to looking I can fit a 6x12 in there and still have enough room to work around it so I went looking around and found some single and double axle 6x12’s. My total trailer load will not exceed around 1600lbs as I pick up fert lime and seed and drop it off several days before it’s put out.

    I need somebody that’s not trying to sale me a trailer to give me some pro’s and con’s of single vs. double axle trailer. Will a double back and pull better than a single? I found a double with brakes on it, tow vehicle is a V6 GMC Sonoma (like a Chevy S-10) I don’t think I need trailer brakes? I don’t anticipate adding any other heavy equipment like a commercial WB due to nerve damage in my feet limits my foot mileage.

    So what do you guy’s think single, double, brakes?

    Thanks for any comments you may have.

  2. ScotLawn

    ScotLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    I would get a 6x14 and get the brakes on one axle. trust me when the roads get wet it's hard to stop any trailer with a small tow truck. I to a 5x12 single with my 86 bronco II and it's hard to stop in an emergancy or on wet roads. On the trailer size thing. get one bigger than you need for now. you will probably need the extra size later.

    Singles are lighter and easier on gas to pull but they bounce more and are harder to back up.

    Doubles don't bounce as much pulling down the road and are alot more forgiving to back with a small truck.

    Brakes, IMHO, this is a no brainer for any tandum being pulled with a small truck. They are a MUST. My next trailer will have a brake axle. right now i wish my 5x12 single had them.

    to recap, i'd say either get a 6.6x12 or 14 with one brake axle and drop gate. Incase you have to pull heavier loads the second axle and brakes will help alot using that light truck to pull it with.

  3. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    You have to gauge how your business will grow over the lifespan of the trailer.

    I started my biz with a 6x8 single axle open, within a month I knew it was about 1/2 the size I needed.

    Bought a 7x12 single axle open to replace it when I got t-boned in an intersection and the 5x8 got flipped and totaled.

    I now have a 8x24 tandem enclosed and it's just right. I have to move equipment in and out as I go to different lawns on different days. But I love it. I can just pull up to the curb at night and unhitch and forget about it. I do not have to worry about weather getting on my equipment, vandals, thieves.......:angry:

    I'd advise you to get one bigger than you think you need right now. I would also say get a tandem (2 axles) and a BIG YES to brakes. You start hauling around at or over 1000 lbs regularly and you will kill the brakes on your truck pretty quickly if your trailer does not have brakes.

    Pray about it, God knows.

  4. First remeber to add the traziler weight in.

    A 1600# load with a 800# trailer is.......................2400#'s

    Your S10 is now overloaded.

    So that means trailer brakes, not only for the above reason but for emergancy or panic situations.

    Those trailer brkes can save you from that accident you didn't get into today, and keep you out of one tomarrow.

    Next size, get the biggest you can fit, can never have to much trailer space.

    Single axels 12'-14' would do just great. Tandum means more tires and other parts to maintain, you most likely don't need.

    Signle axels are generaly 3000# GVW springs and lighter.

    Tandums are about 7000# GVW spings and up to............

    Next width, make damn sure you buy one that is 6.5' wide. Don't buy any narrower. A 5' wide trailer sucks to fit a 5' wide mower on. If you get a vac for your 60" deck you will need the full 6.5'..

    Take all this in and write it all down in colums.

    You will see a 6.5' wide X 12'-14' long single axes with brakes will fit your needs best of all.
  5. Piedmont Lawn

    Piedmont Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    Wow! good info, Thanks Guys!

    I will look into a trailer with brakes, I have never pulled a trailer behind my new truck just my old 86 Mazda with a converted motorcycle trailer with a 40” M****y riding mower on it. That short little trailer was a pain to back even in a small truck.

    Green Pastures
    I’m not really looking for my business to grow right now (it’s not a business, yet) I have a full time job working 1st and 2nd shift rotating every week and ever third weekend off for 5 days Friday to Tuesday and my other days off are Wednesday & Thursday. I have a lot of free time during the week and I only look after my family right now 4 yards.

    My reason for going mobile is I have use the family equipment and my portable things trimmer, blower, push mower, what I can load into the back of little truck, well you get the picture, my parents are getting old and I don’t want my Dad (sale his rider) on a mower next year. Some of the new equipment I have purchased is to help keep me off my feet due to foot problems, do things faster and better with less footwork. I get paid with good home cooking, laundry service, full gas can’s, very nice perks and a little $$$. We look after each other and I will get some $$$ help with the trailer.

    I have 6 years till retirement a church just bought 11 acres of land behind me to build on and the neighbor across the road (99 acres farm land) hired a solo lawn care service this year it takes him about 1 1/2 hours to do the yard. I can open my garage door and be at either in under a 30 seconds. So as time goes on I may expand but pick and choose with my limitations......

    Thanks Guy’s!

  6. Alan Bechard

    Alan Bechard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    You are not that far from me, In my area you can get a 16' Tandem, single brake axle, Angle trailer for $750. That is just hard to beat.
    That is what I would reccomend, (and run for the mowing business) but I also run full size trucks. If as you said, you do not travel that much you should be fine, also, the trailer weight difference between that and a tandem 12 is minimal.

    Tandem trailers ride better, float bumps better, are much less susceptible to loading problems, will usually drive home with 1 flat tire, tend not to sway as much or you could say they tend to track better, have generally about twice the load capacity if needed. I would much prefer a tandem over a single axle for my equipment.

    Brake axle's are normally an extra $100 when buying, Money well spent in my opinion. My 16' enclosed (for my motorcycles, er, uh, I mean to haul plants for my wife) has two dexter torflex axle's with brakes on each. NICE.

    Very seldom do you ever hear, Oh, my trailer is too big. It is not that much (if any) harder to manuever a 16' than a 12' and the little single axle 10' get tricky.

    Hope you find somehting you like.

    Al B
  7. fastlane

    fastlane LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    In Pa. both axles must have brakes.Some places don't check.
  8. Piedmont Lawn

    Piedmont Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178


    That is a good price, best I have found here is $850.00 for a 6.5x12 single axle.

    Now when you say angle trailer just what type of trailer is that. I am looking for a landscape with a wood floor and ramp/gate.

    I have till next springs to find one this year is about over for me 2 or 3 more cuts and I will be through.... :blob3:

  9. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    A tandem always pulls better than a single. A single axle always has a slight weave back and forth when pulling. As far as backing, doesn't make any difference. Also, if you have a flat on a single axle, you are out of service until it can be changed with the spare. A flat on a tandem will at least allow enough time to get off of the road to a safe location to change it.

    Another thought, a 12' trailer w/tandem will not allow enough room for a curb/side gate. A single axle will. You could always get a single w/brakes if you need a side gate.

    I think you will need to get a bigger truck with a bigger tow rate to accomodate.

    Just my thoughts.

  10. Piedmont Lawn

    Piedmont Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    Hi GreenMan,

    A full size truck would be nice, I bought the Sonoma new last year so I'm kind of stuck with it for a while, alot of things for me have changed since then.

    I looked at a 6.5x12 single axle with a side gate but it was not wide enough to get the Gravey throught with the grass chute still bolted on, thought of taking it off because it stays pulled up with a bungie cord most of the time. I could keep everything loaded on the trailer (less foot work for me) and when I need to do my yard drop the side gate and go with out having to hook up and pull the trailer out of the garage.

    :confused: So many ways to go but I do have this winter to think about it and shop prices, if the feet's get any worse I may just give up and call one of you guys....... ;)


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