When most landscapers start up their business, they tend to start with a truck only. Then later they may add an open trailer. At a certain point you may be asking yourself what’s better to have, an open or enclosed trailer and why?
That’s the question one of our new forum members asked and he quite a few responses I think will help you make up your mind as well.
Brandon: “Hi everyone my name is Brandon and I am the president of my own landscape & maintenance corp. I have been in business for 9 years and hope to find continued success long into the future. I was wondering if anyone could provide me with some positive and negative attributes of an enclosed trailer as opposed to an open utility trailer to move lawn care equipment from job to job? I have an open trailer now and I am thinking of making the switch over to an enclosed one.”
Keith: I can think of a few pros and cons of the top of my head.
- Ability to lock.
- Protection from rain.
- Larger area to put name/logo/phone number.
- Looks more professional.
- Possible increased slipstreaming giving better gas milage (offset by weight, I’m sure).
- Ability to put shelves/storage areas.
- Protects cargo from rocks kicked up by your truck.
- Winter storage.
- Increased cost.
- Increased axle and tongue weight.
- Inability to load from top (leaves, mulch, dirt). This is the biggest negative I can think of.
- Doesn’t air out well when mower has wet grass or fuel fumes.
- Reduced freedom of movement when you are quickly grabbing a trimmer, etc.
Chuck: “I run enclosed trailers currently. It is added weight, & it’s like dragging an 8′ wall behind you so fuel economy suffers a bit. But I think the added security, & having a huge billboard behind you all day offsets the negatives.
I have gone to many estimates & when I pull up they say “Oh yeah, I’ve seen you guys all over town… you stay pretty busy huh?” The fact that they recognize the rig & that I’ve been around a while adds instant credibility.
So many guys run trucks with no decals or only little magnets & open trailers. I pass them all day long & they all look the same. So that seems to make a big difference.
The biggest negative I have found is that here in Florida it’s damn hot. So when we run these machines for 8-11 minutes at a time & load them up, drive 2 minutes & repeat all day… they don’t really get to cool down. an open trailer would at least let air blow past them. I have offset this by running full synthetic oil in all my mowers to add some protection against the added heat & we usually end up throwing the trimmers in the back of the trucks between jobs.
I will stay with enclosed trailers & if not I would have my truck professionally wrapped to make it more recognizable.”
I think it depends on where you currently store your trailer. If you park your trailer on your driveway at home and need to unload all of your equipment each night into a garage, that is going to take a big bite of time to load it in the morning and unload it at night. So consider these all of these factors. Constantly strive to make your business more streamlined and profitable.
You can join in on this discussion at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum here.
Listen to this GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Podcast here.
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