Pros and Cons of a closed trailer and mower feedback

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by letzgoblues, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. letzgoblues

    letzgoblues LawnSite Member
    from StL
    Messages: 244

    Just wanted to get a feel for wether an enclosed trailer or open trailer is better.
    I would also like some feedback on the best equipment to purchase. I know that there will be a big debate about equipment but there must be some brands that are superior. I need to purchase everything. I have around 10,000 dollars saved up over the last 8 yrs. I am ready to be my own boss and want to do things in the most professional and successful manner. Any info would be great. I have already ordered business cards, secured a location for a trailer, started a website, and purchased a truck. I have about five years experience working for a very large lawncare company when I was younger. Thanks for the info!
  2. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    Personally I believe in closed trailers are the best however we do not run any and here is why. With a in closed trailer your stuff is always safe from a thief and the weather…except wind that blows a in closed trailer all over the road.

    Inclosed trailer…

    The biggest one is the cost. In closed trailers CAN run 4x to 10x as much as a open trailer.

    Lots more lights that you have to keep working so you don’t get pulled over.

    Im a tall guy and don’t like the idea of smacking my head

    Takes more time to walk around trailer to get things you need. Open trailer you can grab and go from almost anywhere on the trailer.

    Employees running mowers into the walls causing damage

    Employees driving and an in closed trailer has lots of blind spots when driving.

    More money to keep it looking nice.

    Lots more but this is getting long….

    Open trailer…

    Fairly cheap

    While driving you can see everything. If someone leaves a job and forgets to put back on trailer you can see it from the drivers seat that something is missing.

    Never bang head

    Easy to work on

    Hope this helps?
  3. mirrorlandscapes

    mirrorlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Sanger makes alot of good points. If you have 10k for start-up you really don't want to use half of that on an enclosed trailer or you'll be hurting to find a decent mower.

    We have enclosed trailers and they are awesome! Your advertising increases tremendously with a moving billboard like that and you have a mobile garage as well, but the cost can be prohibitive. A good new or used enclosed trailer will generally run you 2 to 3x as much as an open trailer.

    Are you planning on having employees in the near future? What kind of mowers will you need? Riders, walk-behind, standers? The amount of money you have to work with will really determine what you can get, but don't go cheap at all on any of your equipment, I've done that and regretted it. (Except for a cheap push mower)
  4. letzgoblues

    letzgoblues LawnSite Member
    from StL
    Messages: 244

    Thanks for the response. I like the idea of the closed trailer because of keeping the equipment protected. I will be storing everything outside at a friends house. It would save me the cost of purchasing storage, which runs about 100 a month. Do you have any input on the best equipment for starting up. I am conflicted on what mower to buy a walk behind or a riding.
  5. letzgoblues

    letzgoblues LawnSite Member
    from StL
    Messages: 244

    Thanks Mirrorlandscapes, What equipment do you suggest. As far as the trailer I did find some new ones for around $3000. I wanted to buy a mower in the price range of $4000 to $6000. Can you suggest one. I already have a trimmer but will still need to purchase one more and a blower. I will be working by myself to start out.
  6. mirrorlandscapes

    mirrorlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Ooo, if you're going to be storing outside DEFINITELY get an enclosed trailer, not just for theft reasons, but you don't want your equipment in the weather all the time either. We have an enclosed trailers that we park at our storage facility and I have to keep everything locked up all the time. We had a snowplow stolen right off one of our trucks and we live in a small quiet town!

    If you can try to get a 16' to 20' dual axle trailer, you'll appreciate the space (and if you find new ones in that price range of $3000 let me know :) ) We're actually looking for one)

    As for equipment, make friends with your nearest dealer of any reputable brand. We run Toro and Dixon, but Exmark, Kubota, and Hustler are all good. I'd stay away from Ferris (too expensive for what you're getting), Simplicity (cheaply made, very cheap), and any off-brand that's less expensive. Alot of guys have their favorite mower that they will swear by but I've appreciated having a dealer close by that takes care of me and knows the brand.

    Mowers in the 4 to 6k range brand new will limit you to walk behinds or a small stander. If you can find a decent demo model or lightly used rider ztr that would be better. For walk behinds, Toro makes an awesome machine. Solidly built and powerful. We've ours for going on 4 years and very very few problems with it.

    Hope this helps. Oh and Stihl and Echo are good trimmer/blower brands.

    Don't buy anything from a big box store (Menards, Lowe's, Home Depot) etc.
  7. letzgoblues

    letzgoblues LawnSite Member
    from StL
    Messages: 244

    Thanks for the info!
  8. jdyardworks

    jdyardworks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I'd BUY an enclosed trailer (3000 on ebay in Georgia). Finance your mowers, I have financed two w/ very low interest charges. You WILL need your cash to operate your business for the first few months until revenue starts coming in, as most companies bill monthly. Then, if you still have $7k in the back in June just pay off your mowers early. I'd get the same mowers you are used to w/ your previous company (if you liked them).
  9. letzgoblues

    letzgoblues LawnSite Member
    from StL
    Messages: 244

    That is also a good idea. I have seen some ads for 0% financing on equipment.

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