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Making my own trailer vs. buying one

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by vball2116, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. vball2116

    vball2116 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Hey everone! I am 17 and slowly starting to get into the lawn care business and I have just outgrown my bed of my truck because I now have a riding lawn mower for now and am moving to a waklbehind next year. So its time for me to get a trailer to meet my needs of hauling my equipment around. I am getting a hitch installed now and have some questions about trailers. I have posted and searched already and I want a 5X10 trailer. I drive a 2000 Ford ranger V6 Automatic transmission so I know my truck could handle the trailer but what is the usual cost of a regular open landscape trailer? My uncle has suggested to me that if it would be cheaper he and I would make our own because he does metal work and has many friends that weld and do things along that line. Did anyone ever design and make their own trailer and how did it turn out? I know that there are some trailer blueprints out there and I would follow their plan but would it be worth it? I know putting the hard work into one and seeing the finish product would be a great success and I could do some of my own ideas already incorporated into trailer like a side gate, but I would just like some imput to see what your personal opinion would be? I know once I got into this project I would never back down from it so what would your personal advice be? I appreciate any help or ideas that you may have for me! Thanks in advance.

  2. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    You can get a new 5X10 for around 600 or 700 if you look around. I would just buy one unless you really have good fabrication skills plus the price of steel is ridiculous right now.
  3. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Dont take this the wrong way, but your idea is that of a 17 yr old. It is all easy in idealogy, but a welder and fabricator capable of building his own (road -safe and to spec) makes a starting wage of $45 hr. working for someone else. The point is this: trailors cost money because you cant simply build one like legos. If your uncle can design and build a good trailor for under the price of a better used one, then go for it. Chances aren't likely to turn out in your favor this route.
  4. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    safety is #1................#2, due to your truck, I would HIGHLY recommend an aluminum to save weight.......#3 should you build your own, careful not to make it too heavy using thicker/diff metal
  5. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    i will tell you this from my experance. i am a trailer freak i buy them and they pile up on me. i have 3 right know that i have built or that are home made. the trailer guys get better deals on steel and they build where they have little or no scrap. they also don't make much on trailers and do it on volume. when you build one you self it has very little resale value and you get stuck with them . the 5x10 you want you will out grow fast, and when you do you will have to either build a new one or buy one. the good bet is trade the 5x10 in on the 7x16 that you will want next when you get off the ground and you get a new powerstroke you will need.
    go ahead and buy one save time, have some resale, and have one you can tag easy

    p.s. i still buy homebuilt trailers but it is just a bad habit of mine
  6. vball2116

    vball2116 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Hey guys I appreciate all the posts. The more thinking I do about this the more work involved it could be and that means a bigger hassle than just buying one. I thought that a 5X10 were around $1000 so I thought that maybe making one could be much cheaper but now that I look into it a bit more the price of me doing everything the way I want could easily be 500 more. So i think I will take the safe route because safety is always the number 1 priority in my book and just buy one and add some things to it myself. I mean my uncle would do most of the fabricating work and he has friend that would do the welding, etc. But in the long run I may only save a 100 at most so I will play is safe and buy one. Would there be a best time to buy one either like the end of this season in the winter or right before the mowing season starts next yr. I want to thank you guys for looking out for safety over a better deal. The extra money will be worth it in the end and quite a few less headaches. Thanks again! :)

  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Yeah man, just buy a trailer. It would more than likely cost you more to build one than it would to buy, that is assuming everything is perfect when it's all done. Even if all the metal work is perfect, you still have to wire the trailer and trailer builders get huge discounts on their lights and wire than you ever will, I'd say it would cost at least $60-$80 to buy all the lights and associated hardware to wire the trailer. So by building a trailer, it's a lot of time spent for something that can be had for $1,000 or less.
  8. rfed32

    rfed32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Hatboro
    Messages: 680

    i would also buy one. u can prob pick up a good used one cheap. then you dont have to go thru the hassel of getting the stuff you need buildin it and you deff dont want to mess up. i would buy one if your gonna get one that size and if you need bigger years down the road you can always build one then...good luck if you deside to build...also i saw your from pa. if you check out trade n times and stuff like that you can find one...where in N/E pa are you??
  9. vball2116

    vball2116 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Hey guys thanks for all the posts...I live by the Wilkes-barre/Scranton Area if your familar with that. Thanks
  10. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    i built mine, and love it because i was able to set it up the way i wanted. cost about 2/3 of what buying one would have with an identical set-up. BUT it was the off season and that weekend i didn't have anything going on. if it was the busy season, i would have bought, no questions asked. i also love to build stuff, so the satisfaction i got from building versus buying figured into the equation also. i also have complete confidence in my welding abilities, but still got another person who does pipe welding to make the main structural welds to be safe.

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