I've been lurking a lot since last fall. I bought a new 1025r filb, and I'm currently in the process of starting a business. Starting this spring, I will offer these services: Lawn mowing, gravel removing with a Stilh mecanical broom (the gravel the snow plows put on the grass and in the driveway), small excavation jobs, small tree and branch cutting jobs, tilling and brush hogging.
It's not my first business, so I'm pretty confident about marketing and business development. I had the opportunity to start slowly at the end of last fall, I did a few jobs for some family friends and neighbours to get used with the 1025r. I just got one last problem to solve, and it's the trailer. I've been looking into this matter since 3 months already, and I still can't decide between a standard utility trailer and a dumper. I hope you guys will be able to share some of your wisdom with me!
I live about 10 minutes away from where they manufacture and sell Laroche trailers. I don't know if they're well known in the USA, but here in Quebec, Canada they are very well know for their durability and overall quality. they definately are one of the best brand around (and I very much like the idea of buying local), so keep in mind I'm going to buy from them. But anyway, feel free to show me what you got, what you do with it and how you like it!
Here are the prices and caracteristics of the 2 choices I have:
First:16 or 18 feet utility trailer with full size ramp and 2x3500 pounds axle and electric brakes of course (something like that but 16 feet and 2 axle, sorry I couldn't find any pics that fits 100%)
+ only 3000-3500$
+ pratical for lawn mowing, I can also put make racks for weed eaters, gaz cans and everything else
+ more place for the 1025r and it's attachments (especially the 4ft+ long bush hog)
- I wouldn't be able to transport any soil, sand, gravel, etc for my jobs
Second: 6x12 dump trailer, 2x7000 pounds axles, electrics brakes, etc.
+ Perfect for small excavation jobs, taking material in and out...
+ Make more money since I'll be able to get jobs delivering small quantities of material for residential clients
- Twice the price... around 7000$
- Will probably have to keep the rear gates open if I want to put the 1025r and it's bush hog attachment on it...
- Not practical at all for Lawn mowing, a lot slower to get the tractor on and off the trailer since it comes with 2 small ramps that I'll have to put by hand each time. Also, no a lot of place for my small push mower, gaz cans and everything else. A solution would be to put them in my pick up truck's bed.
I guess by now your answer is ''It depends what you want to focus your business on''. To keep it short, I had a lawn mowing business for 3 years (2010-2013), and it's easy for me to get lawn mowing jobs since I still have lots of satisfied ex customers that would gladly have me back. So this year I'll probably get as much lawn mowing jobs as I can, but in the long run I'd really like to be able to focus more on the other jobs I'm offering (mini exacavation, tilling, bush hogging).
Do you guys manage to make more money with your dump trailer (is the price difference gonna pay itself)? Is 12ft enough (14ft is about 1000$ more)? Would you start with the smaller trailer and wait to see how it all plays out or go all-out with the dumper right from the start?