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    Trailer dilemma

    Hi guys,

    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?

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    Just based on my own previous experience running a business - let the business dictate what you spend money on. I wouldn't buy either trailer new. I would seriously consider buying BOTH types USED.

    Get in as cheap as you can and let the business grow if people are willing to pay you for hauling mulch, gravel, tree branches, etc... then invest what you earn back into a new trailer to handle those chores. They they don't, you aren't sitting on an expensive piece of equipment that you aren't using.

    One of the advantages of doing this with trailers is that if you buy one use, the original owner already took the hit on depreciation. Around my area, a decent 16' landscape trailer rated for 10,000lbs runs in the $2,000 range. And it really doesn't drop from that unless you turn it into total junk.

    So let's say you buy a 16' landscape trailer for $2,000. You use it for 2 or 3 years and. provided you do basic maintenance, you can resell it again for $1800. You lose almost nothing on that but you got to earn money off of it for 2 or 3 years. You take that money you earned (Plus the $1800 you get for the sale) and go buy a new trailer.
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    Been in a similar business for 25+ years (on the side).

    While a dump trailer is very nice to have it is kind of a specialty thing. I think you will be very sorry if you are going to use it regularly for transporting your tractor for mowing jobs. The ramps are likely too short to be safe plus with only 12' to work with you are going to be out of space quickly if hauling anything with your tractor (like the bush hog or loader installed).

    If the gravel/dirt business was going to be 75%+ of your business then yes but it sounds like most of your business will be the mowing/bush hogging and light landscaping.

    See if you can find a smaller contractor in the area who has a single axle dump truck that you can hire out for aggregate deliveries. You can do the shopping for the materials yourself then hire the truck/driver to do the deliveries.

    For smaller amounts of material you can use the landscape trailer. I made temporary sides for the front and sides of my trailer (16' tandem axle). I would deliver my tractor to the job then take the trailer to get the materials. I would then unload it with the loader going up the ramp onto the deck of the trailer. This worked great for bulk mulch and smaller amounts of #2 stone.
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    Good points have been made already. I have a trailer similar to the first picture. The end gate will need to be reinforced to keep it from eventually bending. Here you can rent a dump trailer for about $40 for 24 hours. That might be a good way to start.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    Just based on my own previous experience running a business - let the business dictate what you spend money on. I wouldn't buy either trailer new. I would seriously consider buying BOTH types USED.

    Get in as cheap as you can and let the business grow if people are willing to pay you for hauling mulch, gravel, tree branches, etc... then invest what you earn back into a new trailer to handle those chores. They they don't, you aren't sitting on an expensive piece of equipment that you aren't using.

    One of the advantages of doing this with trailers is that if you buy one use, the original owner already took the hit on depreciation. Around my area, a decent 16' landscape trailer rated for 10,000lbs runs in the $2,000 range. And it really doesn't drop from that unless you turn it into total junk.

    So let's say you buy a 16' landscape trailer for $2,000. You use it for 2 or 3 years and. provided you do basic maintenance, you can resell it again for $1800. You lose almost nothing on that but you got to earn money off of it for 2 or 3 years. You take that money you earned (Plus the $1800 you get for the sale) and go buy a new trailer.
    I hear ya... I was thinking about going used too, but prices are just out of this world... Anything that isn't beat up and falling apart is easily 70% + of initial price, even after 8-10 years. It's ridiculous. Financing is also VERY cheap here in Canada currently. Interests rates are lowest they have ever been. So taking into consideration the almost non-existent depreciation and lowest interests rates of all time, new trailers seemed a better choice (no problems and minimal maintenance costs). But yeah, I'm still looking online daily, hoping to get a good deal on used one, that would be ideal.

    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Been in a similar business for 25+ years (on the side).

    While a dump trailer is very nice to have it is kind of a specialty thing. I think you will be very sorry if you are going to use it regularly for transporting your tractor for mowing jobs. The ramps are likely too short to be safe plus with only 12' to work with you are going to be out of space quickly if hauling anything with your tractor (like the bush hog or loader installed).

    If the gravel/dirt business was going to be 75%+ of your business then yes but it sounds like most of your business will be the mowing/bush hogging and light landscaping.

    See if you can find a smaller contractor in the area who has a single axle dump truck that you can hire out for aggregate deliveries. You can do the shopping for the materials yourself then hire the truck/driver to do the deliveries.

    For smaller amounts of material you can use the landscape trailer. I made temporary sides for the front and sides of my trailer (16' tandem axle). I would deliver my tractor to the job then take the trailer to get the materials. I would then unload it with the loader going up the ramp onto the deck of the trailer. This worked great for bulk mulch and smaller amounts of #2 stone.
    Yes!!! Very good idea!!
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    Awesome advise so far!! ^^^

    The 16' landscape trailer is a must for what your doing.. I hope you done your homework on if 16' will be plenty long enough and not " oh it will do". If "it will do" is the answer, get a 18'er. I mow yards to, and my first trailer was a utility like one pictured with the rails, and I will never have another., All my others since have been flat bed/ car hauler types.. You can make your own side boards that you can remove, more versatile IMO. Also, get brakes on BOTH axles if you can, but if only one axle make sure they are on the rear..

    Now the dump is a gift if you can afford one/ have a need for one.. I would love to have one, but I just cant justify buying one for the few times a year I need one.. I am very fortunate to have 2 friends that have a dump trailer that I can borrow whenever I need one.. I have seen guys hauling two mowers in them and using the dump trailer all the time like that, but I think it would be a PITA when it comes to strapping/unstrapping the machines down every stop..
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    yes, all good points about different trailers. I am not in any business. I have a 16ft landscrapper dual axles. it is not long enough for loader, tractor and my brushhog. I have to hang the bucket over the front of the trailer. but I have done the exact same thing as coaltrain did. made some sideboards, and unloaded material off of trailer with tractor then. way better than hand shoveling it off. and I like newt's idea about a car hauler trailer, where their is no sides, I've had to take my gate off a couple times to load skids of pellets, back when we was using them. now I haave them helper springs on gate. it would be a PITA now to take the gate off. that's where the car hauler trailer, or whatever trailer doesn't have factory sides. man u just pull up to side of trailer and set ur skid right down to trailer floor.

    my vote would be for the flat bed trailer, then make some light heavy duty sides for it, and then only use when u need them. u could still make stands to hold ur weed eaters like the land scappers, and then just put them in the stake pockets. would be awfull easy to take on and off. just my 2 cts. good luck and let us know what u buy--ok. big jim
    Last edited by BigJim55; 02-06-2016 at 06:50 PM.
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    I agree completely with Newt.

    I don't like dump trailers. They're way more difficult to work with in tight spaces, more difficult to spread material with, and weigh more than a flatbed even when empty which brings up another point. What're you towing this trailer with? If a 150/1500, you may not have enough towing capacity to pull a 14,000 lb rated dump trailer loaded with a tractor. I would buy the flatbed bar hauler type trailer now, and later on buy a 450/4500+ sized pickup with a dumping flatbed. You can get the pickup sized dumptruck into more places, do a better job spreading material, and take a load of dirt in the bed and tow the tractor right behind it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEWT View Post
    Awesome advise so far!! ^^^

    The 16' landscape trailer is a must for what your doing.. I hope you done your homework on if 16' will be plenty long enough and not " oh it will do". If "it will do" is the answer, get a 18'er. I mow yards to, and my first trailer was a utility like one pictured with the rails, and I will never have another., All my others since have been flat bed/ car hauler types.. You can make your own side boards that you can remove, more versatile IMO. Also, get brakes on BOTH axles if you can, but if only one axle make sure they are on the rear..

    Now the dump is a gift if you can afford one/ have a need for one.. I would love to have one, but I just cant justify buying one for the few times a year I need one.. I am very fortunate to have 2 friends that have a dump trailer that I can borrow whenever I need one.. I have seen guys hauling two mowers in them and using the dump trailer all the time like that, but I think it would be a PITA when it comes to strapping/unstrapping the machines down every stop..
    Yes you are right, 16' is on the short side... Another place wants to sell me a 20' Big Tex. The price is really good but I'm not sure if I'll regret it cause it's REALLY long. But yeah, with 20ft I'm safe haha

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim 55 View Post
    yes, all good points about different trailers. I am not in any business. I have a 16ft landscrapper dual axles. it is not long enough for loader, tractor and my brushhog. I have to hang the bucket over the front of the trailer. but I have done the exact same thing as coaltrain did. made some sideboards, and unloaded material off of trailer with tractor then. way better than hand shoveling it off. and I like newt's idea about a car hauler trailer, where their is no sides, I've had to take my gate off a couple times to load skids of pellets, back when we was using them. now I haave them helper springs on gate. it would be a PITA now to take the gate off. that's where the car hauler trailer, or whatever trailer doesn't have factory sides. man u just pull up to side of trailer and set ur skid right down to trailer floor.

    my vote would be for the flat bed trailer, then make some light heavy duty sides for it, and then only use when u need them. u could still make stands to hold ur weed eaters like the land scappers, and then just put them in the stake pockets. would be awfull easy to take on and off. just my 2 cts. good luck and let us know what u buy--ok. big jim
    Yeah, I'll look into the possibility of a flatbed. And don't worry, I'll post a pic of my new set up as soon as I have it lol!

    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    I agree completely with Newt.

    I don't like dump trailers. They're way more difficult to work with in tight spaces, more difficult to spread material with, and weigh more than a flatbed even when empty which brings up another point. What're you towing this trailer with? If a 150/1500, you may not have enough towing capacity to pull a 14,000 lb rated dump trailer loaded with a tractor. I would buy the flatbed bar hauler type trailer now, and later on buy a 450/4500+ sized pickup with a dumping flatbed. You can get the pickup sized dumptruck into more places, do a better job spreading material, and take a load of dirt in the bed and tow the tractor right behind it.
    For the moment I have a 2006 Chevy 2500hd with the 6 liter, and 1 added spring in the rear. I think it should serve me good for a long time but yeah, an f-550 with a dumpbox is the dream haha...


    Edit: Just for fun... Here's what I was running back in '12-'13:



    Last edited by m_falafel; 02-06-2016 at 07:28 PM.
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    Right there is what you need. 1 ton or say F450 with a dump bed and 18-20" flatbed trailer.. Done deal. No need for a dump trailer, and the truck will pull your flatbed.

    By the way, if your used to towing on a regular basis, a 20'er is a piece of cheese to maneuver..

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