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Purchasing a dump trailer and what to look for?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Blink74, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Blink74

    Blink74 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    I need a dump trailer for mulching and debris removal. I will also use it for occasional mowing, bobcat and heavy equipment transportation. I've been looking at low profile 12-14" heavy duty hydro dump trailers with slide out ramps and barn style gate. The local dealer here carries Tilman trailers. What other features should I consider? Any brands you would recommend or avoid?
  2. kps2389

    kps2389 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Take a look at Bri-Mar and Cam Superline dump traillers. They are 2 of the best in my opinion.
  3. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,377

    I have a Bri-Mar and its a great dump. I use it for firewood, my leaf loader, grass, yard waste, rocks, dirt, etc. Its got 14k axles and works great.
  4. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    with the dbl back doors they can be a pain to open when there is a load and has weight against the doors. A lot of dump trailers rust out if you store crap in them. The welds rust and the bottom of the box falls apart.
  5. GWhunter

    GWhunter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Pj is another good brand. As far as hauling keep in mind these trailers empty weight is high. My 12' weighs 4500lbs empty, they are easy to overload. The ramps are heavy so I hope you don't need to haul the equipment too often. Also getting at the tie downs are difficult with the bed walls.

  6. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Test the dump speed. Mine is like waiting for grass to grow watching it dump. SSSLLLLLLOOOOOWWWWWWWW! But it would dump 8 tons if I could fit that much in it. There is a happy medium between being able to dump a lot of weight and dumping in a timely fashion.
    Make sure it is built heavy duty enough for you. I've seen some that have very few bottom supports, from the road the trailer looks great but when you look at the framework, things are lacking. You start pulling lots of weight, or loading/ unloading skids and mini-X's and you soon find out what they are capable of.
    If possible, try before you buy. Some are built so the axles are farther back and more weight is carried on the truck. Good if the truck can handle it, minimizes 'road sway' if your load is back a little in the trailer.
    Check to see if the brakes/ axles, etc. are common. Some NAPA stores and other auto parts stores carry the more common brakes and parts. Some off brand axles are hard to find parts for when you need to service them.
    Someone mentioned the rear gate. Though it is hard to open sometimes, mine has a 3 way gate. Its great, b/c we can open barn-door style to shovel out mulch, or just chain the swinging tailgate to spread gravel, or if carrying long material we put the tailgate down like a p/u truck to give us a little more floor length.
    Make sure the trailer has stake pockets to 'build up' the sides if needed. (Leaf box, taller sides for brush, etc.)
    Definately look into having D rings or similar mounted into the floor if you intend to carry a skid or mini-x. (that was mentioned earlier, too)
    Thats all I can think of right now, hope it helps.
  7. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Forgot to mention, mine is a PJ.
    Very well built, but heavy and dumps sssllllllloooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww.
  8. flairland

    flairland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I have a Bluewater Trailer.. thats what they call them here in Canada, but I believe they are the same as Loadtrail trailers, or PJ trailers. I believe the are one of the top trailers.. I don't know if I would change anything on it! Built real heavy duty, tie down anchors, 3 way gate, hidden slide in ramps, 14k axles, brakes on all 4 wheels... etc etc! I love it! Only down side is that it does dump fairly slow as mentioned earlier.
  9. flairland

    flairland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Oh, and by the sounds of it, you'll definitely need a 7 ton (14k axles) and 12' min in length.
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Have a 14' bri-mar dump trailer. 12k GVWR which gives me an approximate GVWC of about 4ton. I opted for the 4" drop axles and am SOOOOO glad that I did that. First, a lot easier to get larger equipment in it like skid steers, TLB's, mini-x's, and my dingo b/c the approach angles aren't as steep. With that said if its a rainy day we have had trouble getting a tracked mini-x up the ramps cause of the angles...kept slipping on the ramps (located underneath BTW). Second, makes loading the trailer via landscape/carry-all barrels much easier since you aren't lifting as high to toss the debris in. Also, even with a 12" board in the stacke pockets our dingo can still dump a bucket of debris in it.

    We've had a little over 4 ton of stone on it before and it dumps just fine...make sure the battery is fully charged though. Its an '03 and we are now starting to get the floor 'warping' due to all the use and abuse. And one of the pistons is starting to leak. We did a brake job on it last year. Other than adding the occasional oil to the reservoir and installing our 3rd battery this thing is basically no maintenance. Well, actually now that I think aobut we do go through tires every 18 months or so. With that said we use our dump trailer all the time, even through the winter.

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