Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer?




Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer?

These days, you see a lot of vehicles on the road pulling trailers packed with lawn care equipment. Pulling a trailer all day is hard work, and you must worry about parking or getting in and out of driveways. I have spent years towing a trailer, which is not always the best option.

How do you set up a van or truck for a Lawn Care Business without a Trailer? First, get wool bales for bagging the grass. Place the bagged grass behind the cab or driver’s seat. Have a weed eater, mower, and blower on the back of the vehicle for easy access. If you work full days, you will need to dump the grass daily.

There are some excellent reasons you should use a trailer, but there are just as many reasons not to. It depends on the work you are doing in your business.

Sometimes you can tow a trailer for years when your bottom line could be much better if you swapped to a van or small truck.

The pros and cons of towing a trailer

You would need a trailer for a few reasons, and if you don’t do this kind of work, you could consider lighting your load and increasing your profit without one.

You need a trailer if…

You are doing a lot of tree work – If you are out doing this kind of work every other day, you will need a trailer. Short of mulching, nothing is easier than stacking the trees in your trailer before chainsawing them to make more room.

If you run a two-person crew, you will need a trailer unless you have a large truck. A small truck or a van is just too tight a space for two people to work effectively. (believe me, I have tried)

If you cannot dump daily, if you are going to have grass sitting around, you are much better off using a trailer. One of the only things I miss about my old trailer is not being able to throw the clipping in the back as I worked.

As I see them, here are the benefits and issues of using a trailer.

The pros –

  • More space.
  • There is no need to bag the grass (a real-time saver).
  • Fewer trips to the dump.
  • Room for the dog on the back of the truck (optional). I have found from experience that labradors make the best lawn-mowing buddies. The customers love them, and they attract customers—a win-win.

The cons are –

  • You will use more fuel.
  • It’s hard to get into tighter driveways.
  • You will need to pay to keep the trailer street legal and insured.
  • A trailer is insecure unless covered.
My Knock-around trailer at home.

If you are wondering if a small truck or van might work, read on.

Lawnmowing101 Membership

Untitled design 4 1

Build a six-figure lawn care business

  • How to get customers fast
  • Systemize your business
  • Work less and earn more
  • Build a lifestyle business

Lawn Care Software

Untitled design 5

Get Your Lawn Care Business Running Smoothly

Easier for you and your customers. Jobber helps you quote, schedule, invoice, and get paid—all in one place.

How to set up a small truck or a van.

Whether you want a truck or van, the basic set-up of your passenger seat should include the following –

  • Your clipboard and job sheet.
  • Wet weather gear.
  • Line trimmer cord and bump caps for your weed eater.
  • A small Toolkit.
  • Spare spark plugs and any quick-fix parts you need for your equipment.
  • A first aid kit and some sunblock.
  • A phone charging cord.
  • A tire pump plugs into your cigarette lighter socket.
  • I like to keep a small bin in there as well.
  • And of course your lunch.

How you set up a van differs from something with a tray, such as a truck or a utility vehicle.

When using a small truck, I recommend keeping your mower so it can be pulled directly off the back tray. This will mean that you will also have to unpack the mower to dump it, but it will make it easier when you are working.

I have seen some vehicles with the mower behind the cab. This will make it easier to keep your gear out of the way when you dump and easier to secure. Of course, you will need to have drop sides on your vehicle to do this.

I prefer vans for many reasons, and they are set up a bit differently.

I had five vans on the road without trailers at one stage, which worked well.

Firstly, if you’re looking at vans, make sure you get one with a long wheelbase, as this will make a huge difference. I would set the cab pretty much the same as the truck.

I would keep the gas cans behind the driver’s seat on the floor. I would put the weed eater, mower, and blower beside the gas cans parallel to the front seats.

I prefer vans with doors on each side, but a one-door vehicle will still work. It does pay to put a wedge under the wheel of the mower when traveling, as I’ve had a few broken side windows when someone took a corner and the mower handle hit the window. I usually stack the wool bales of grass in the back of the van, and they get emptied daily.

Gecko Lawns Van Set Up
Lawn Mowing vehicle set up for Gecko Lawns

Thinking about security

The other thing you will need to consider is security. A truck makes it a lot harder to keep your equipment secure. When you are busy mowing behind a house, your weed eater and blower are sitting on the back of your truck and can be easy pickings for someone who feels they need your mower more than you.

I am not a big risk-taker, so would I run a chain to secure the equipment and the fuel. It can be a real pain unlocking your gear every time. With the more minor things like fuel cans, I sometimes wonder if it is worth it.

However, having said that, I have had someone steal all my gas cans from a trailer. I did not notice until I went to fill the mower later that day. I then lost half a day and spent over $100 replacing everything, so do your sums. However, it’s usually not worth it because the excess would kill any benefits anyway.

You could find yourself paying more for insurance with an exposed tray. If you have a $500 excess, taking out insurance on your small equipment may not even be worth it. I tend not to bother with any piece of equipment that’s worth under $1000. I self-insure and save my premiums. If I ever have to fork out a few hundred dollars for a lost blower, I have probably saved that in premiums anyway.

A van is different. There is no need for chains and padlocks. If it has central locking, you press the button as you walk away, and everything is secure. The premiums can also be cheaper depending on the kind of insurance you have.

I have lost equipment from trucks and trailers but never from a van.

Listen to audiobooks while you work.

Untitled design 8 1

With a sixty-day free trial

Discover millions of ebooks, audiobooks, and so much more for just $9.99/month.

  • No limits
  • Titles you love
  • Exclusive originals
  • Tailored for you

The benefits of having a sole operator in a vehicle.

Now, you might think you would prefer to have a trailer to have a sidekick or a two-person team.

Setting up like this can work well.

However, I have found that this doesn’t work for me.

When I ran many vans, I had sole operators in each vehicle. My decision to do this came down to simple economics.

If one person could do twelve lawns (just an example) daily, having two people in the vehicle would get sixteen lawns done. The second worker has just covered their pay when considering running costs, wages, and employment costs. If I had had them in separate vehicles, they would have done 20 lawns. You do the math.

The other bonus of having one van each was that everybody looked after their van. Everything was how they wanted it. They could work through breaks to finish early. Another advantage is that if someone broke a piece of equipment or a customer complained about something, they couldn’t blame the other guy. It encouraged more accountability.

Summing up – Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer?

In closing, you have read the arguments, so you decide.

My thoughts lean towards not using trailers, but that is just my opinion at the end of the day.

The van may be my ideal setup for a push mower, but if you have your heart set on a trailer, by all means, buy one. I have used a trailer for over 25 years and am quite happy, so I’m sure it will work for you if you decide to get one.

20230517 135030 1
On the job.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Best Trailer For A Lawn Care Business

What Equipment Do You Need To Start A Lawn Care Business?

What Safety Equipment Do I Need For A Lawn Care Business?

What is the Best Backup Equipment for a Lawn Care Business?

3 Signs Your Trailer Needs to be Repaired

Grow a six-figure lawn care businessStarting in your spare time

Get tips & tricks on how to grow a profitable lawn care business delivered to you inbox every week. 

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

  • Are Daisies Weeds or Flowers?

    Are Daisies Weeds or Flowers?

    Are Daisies Weeds or Flowers? Daisies look great and can give the lawn a lovely carpet of white flowers with a yellow center come Spring. But are they a weed or a flower? It depends on who is looking at them and where they are. As a lawn care business owner, many customers constantly ask…

    Read more

  • Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer?

    Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer?

    Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer? These days, you see a lot of vehicles on the road pulling trailers packed with lawn care equipment. Pulling a trailer all day is hard work, and you must worry about parking or getting in and out of driveways. I have spent years towing a…

    Read more

  • Dealing with Dogs on Lawns  Lawn Care Business Tips

    Dealing with Dogs on Lawns Lawn Care Business Tips

    Dealing with Dogs on Lawns Keeping safe around dogs on the job. If you own a lawn mowing business, chances are you’ve had to deal with dogs at some point. After all, many homeowners have dogs, and you need to manage dogs while you’re working safely.  This blog post will share our top tips for safely…

    Read more