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Been thinking about buying a 18-20 foot dual axle utility trailer. Every time I search on line a place called SLE equipment near Nashville pops up. The trailers look ok in the pictures and they always seem to have the lowest prices. But I know that doesn’t mean much. Does anyone have any experience with this place? Good or bad? Trailer quality? I live in Michigan but go back and forth to Florida a few times a year. I don’t usually go that way but I could if it was worth my while.
 

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In my opinion.....with trailers you get what you pay for. Shop price and you will get a cheap trailer.

However it looks like trailers made in the southeast seem cheaper by comparison - maybe there are more outlets and competition down there?
 

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Been thinking about buying a 18-20 foot dual axle utility trailer. Every time I search on line a place called SLE equipment near Nashville pops up. The trailers look ok in the pictures and they always seem to have the lowest prices. But I know that doesn’t mean much. Does anyone have any experience with this place? Good or bad? Trailer quality? I live in Michigan but go back and forth to Florida a few times a year. I don’t usually go that way but I could if it was worth my while.
I noticed the same thing. They must have a good search engine listing service as they are always popping up.

I looked at the SLE trailers and went to their website this morning. I encourage you to do the same. Notice things such as the way the trailer tongues are constructed compared to others. A "V shaped" frame with no cross members, and to me, the size of the frame tubing looks small compared to others. No additional gussets or reinforcement around the hitch head. If they cut corners where its very obvious you can only imagine what goes on in other areas of the product.

I owned a trailer dealership for years and I toured all of the factories of companies I considered for representing their products. There are some very vast standards in the trailer industry. From two guys in a garage to very automated and sophisticated lines building products.

Many trailers will reinforce their tongues as after all, they carry the bulk of the critical load. Personally, I have seen far too many trailers which were built inexpensively and later caused trouble. To be honest, being in Michigan, you are closer to the Utility trailer and RV capital of the Universe, Elkhart Indiana and surrounding area. If you are seriously shopping for a trailer, make the trip to the Elkhart area and there are dozens of companies making the trailers right in that area.

Forrest River is the largest builder of trailers and RV 's in the world and they are headquartered in Northern Indiana. In fact, they are a Warren Buffet / Berkshire Hathaway company if that's important to you......(Buffet generally doesn't own companies which don't produce good products and also make money....) Forrest River has $5 Billion in annual sales and 85 different manufacturing plants. They do things right, but they also have entry level products, so make sure to consider several of their products and brands.

I understand when people tell me "I don't use the trailer often so I don't want to have a lot of money tied up in it." But you also don't want something which will fail or cause you trouble down the road. High quality trailers are easy to sell resale to those who know and recognize quality. My number one suggestion for anyone shopping for a trailer is DON'T buy it from a Big Box store as they tend to sell the lowest quality trailers. Look underneath. Often, they aren't even painted. Seriously. Or you see the bare wires running through rough steel holes in the angle iron frame rails. If you see electrical "Scotch Locks" used on the wiring harness by the manufacturer, RUN as they are a problem waiting to happen when used in outside, road environments. You get what you pay for and trailers are no different.

Dexter Axles are the brand standard in the industry. If the trailer is using Dexter axles, that's a good thing. If they aren't, research the brand because AXLES are the number one area of failure on most trailers. Either axle bearings, axle mounts, hubs, brake assemblies and perches and even springs in some cases all take a beating on all trailers especially with Michigan's pot hole surfaces with roads around them.

Based upon what I can see in the brochures and from my knowledge about trailers, which I would consider "pretty significant", I wouldn't own an SLE trailer. There are too many better made units out there for a little more money.

Also, I made this point in another thread and i hope people pay attention to it. Most trailers which have lift gates are rated for loads of 2,500 pounds and less. Some lift gates are rated to 1,500 pounds. You should NEVER drive a SCUT or CUT with attachments up and down the mesh style lift gates of MOST trailers. Get a trailer with ramps, a tilt deck or similar.

I have had people ask me. "Why do they make a trailer with a GVWR of 7,000lbs if the lift gate can only carry 2,500lbs safely?" Because most trailers with lift gates are used by commercial mowing companies and they are running zero turn mowers up and down the lift gates and other equipment. While they may end up with 2 or 3 zero turn mowers and other equipment on the trailer, only one is going up and down the lift gate at a time........So be careful, We used to replace and repair lift gates weekly at the dealership.

And no, you can't drive a car up and down a lift gate either, unless its a Yugo. :laugh:
 

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SLE is right down the road from me. Good outfit, great customer service. I bought my Ferris from them. Excellent prices as well. However...... if you buy locally, you will have to pay Davidson county sales tax plus TN sales tax. It’s about 9.5% combined. I’m not sure if buying on the internet bypasses that still or not. Food for thought.

If your serious about a certain trailer they have, send me a link here and I’ll go for a ride when I can and check it out for you.

SLE is a pretty good place. I do recommend them.


In fact, need to order a filter from them....
 
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