The Best Trailer for a Lawn Care Business
Table of Contents
What kind of business do you operate?
When you start a lawn care business, you must make several important decisions.
Am I going to use a trailer? And If so, what kind of trailer will best suit my needs?
The Best Trailer for a Lawn Care Business
A small 6 x 8 ft trailer with a mower tray will suit most small lawn care businesses using push mowers. They will easily carry a few days’ worth of grass and be cheap to run. Being a single axle, they are easier to reverse. However, if you intend to carry more than a ton or take a lawn tractor or zero-turn mower, you need something substantial.
Here is a poll run on the lawn site forum
Your trailer must suit your business.
You must consider how you plan to grow your business when getting a trailer.
If you run a push mower business, a small trailer with high sides will work as long as your vehicle can tow a full load. Some people even run lawn care businesses without a trailer.
If you are going to tow a larger trailer carrying zero turn mowers etc., you will want something around 6 x 15 ft or larger that can hold up to 1.5 Tons or more. At this point, you will have to look at things like a duel axle and breaking on the trailer.
The vehicle you are using to tow with will become more relevant as well.
You could look at something like a pickup or small truck. Engine size and torque also become deciding factors.
I could write an entire article about what vehicle can tow what trailer, but that is not really in my wheelhouse; you can go to a site like this one to find out more about that.
If you are unsure what your vehicle will tow, you could hunt out the manual for your vehicle. It will take you there. Ensure you also check the tow bar, which may have a stamp with a maximum tow weight.
Should you get an open or enclosed trailer?
An open trailer will be a lot easier to use.
A few of the benefits are –
- It is lighter.
- It is cheaper.
- You can carry more.
- It is easier to fill up and empty.
The major downside of an open trailer is that it is not secure.
You could secure your trailer by building a secure area to hold your weed eaters, gas cans and blowers.
If you tow a small trailer, you could also use a van or a pickup with a canopy and keep the smaller pieces of equipment in the back of the vehicle.
The benefits of an enclosed trailer are –
- It is more secure.
- It will keep the contents dry.
Tipping or non-tipping.
Another thing you should consider is if you want a tipping trailer or not.
My last trailer tipped, and it was great being able to pull up, dump my grass and go. The other option of pitchforking the grass out for around 20 minutes to half an hour would be a good workout but wasn’t appealing.
When looking at tip trailers, there are a few options.
Using a hydraulic system
These are great — the Rolls Royce of tipping. The only real downside is the cost. They don’t come cheap.
Use an electric winch.
This is an excellent second option. Make sure you get one that is big enough to do the job. I bought a winch that was too small before, which was a real pain.
You can get two different types. One plugs into your trailer socket on your vehicle, but most times, you will need to get an auto electrician to wire this up for you.
The other option is to have a separate battery on the trailer. If you are using a battery, remember to pull it out now and then to charge it, or your tipper may not work when you need it.
A Manual winch
This is the cheapest option; turning the winch handle takes a bit of manual work. You will never have to worry about the battery going flat. It will take a little longer and require more work than the other methods.
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Things you will need to consider when buying a trailer.
Here is a list of what to look for when out examining trailers.
High-sided or low sides? – If you carry grass, is it removable? Are they caged? How big is the gap in the cage?
A large grid can have grass blow out behind you while driving so it keeps your weight down however its not a good look and is possibly illegal.
What kind of tailgate does it have?
- Is it high or low?
- Can it be used as a ramp?
- Can you drive a mower up the ramp?
- Can the tailgate be removed if needed?
Will the trailer fit your ramp?
How high is the tailgate off the ground? The higher it is, the steeper ramp you will need, and where will you store that?
What kind of wheels has it got?
- Are they going to be expensive to replace?
- Where is the spare tire kept?
- What is the condition are the wheel hubs?
- Are they easy to grease?
- Are they high or low-profile tires?
I had low-profile tires on my last trailer, and they were great because I could throw grass into the trailer without climbing the side. That was a real time saver. However, the downside was that the rim was really close to the ground, so about once a year, I would catch the rim coming off a verge, and it would dent. Because the tires were tubeless, this meant that the tire would go flat and be unfixable. I had to replace a tyre and rim a few times on my trailer.
Is the deck steel?
If you have a steel deck, you want some kind of anti-slip pattern. These can get slippery in the wet. Also, How thick is the steel and has it been treated?
Is the deck wood?
- Has the wood on the deck been treated?
- Is it painted or plain?
- How thick is the deck?
Has the trailer got side rails or cover hooks?
Something often overlooked is the hooks. You need good solid side rails, and they need plenty of tie points. It is annoying when you’re doing tree work, and you need to cover the top and realise that the trailer has side rails but only a couple of tie points on each side.
You need the choice of at least four tie points on each side to secure a load well.
Is the trailer painted?
- Was it undercoated?
- How durable is the paint job?
A lawn trailer gets knocked around a bit, so this is important.
Is the trailer steel or aluminum?
If it is steel, is it galvanised? Non-galvanised or unpainted steel can rust. Damaged paint can deteriorate.
Has the trailer got a custom mower tray over the front drawbar?
A mower tray on the front can be a real bonus. If you can store your mower on the front of the trailer, you can use the whole cage, giving you even more space. It will save you from keeping the mower on the back with the grass.
A high-sided trailer that I use for small jobs.
Are you buying new or second-hand?
We all know a new trailer is best, but sometimes the budget won’t stretch that far.
If you buy a secondhand, you should check a few things.
- Is it road-legal?
- Do the electronics work?
- How are the wheel bearings?
- How are the tires?
- Are the safety chains in good condition?
Lastly, one thing that I would definitely recommend and it will make your work life a bit better is to put on a good audiobook while you work. These are great because while you are working with your wet weather gear on while listening to a good story, it’s like you are somewhere else. I use Scribd for this, the a less the half the price of Amazon and you get unlimited audiobooks. Go here for a free two-month trial.
Happy trailer hunting. I hope this article has helped.
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