Whether you’re just starting in lawn care and are looking for your first trailer, or already have an established business & simply need another trailer, you’ll want to make sure you choose a trailer that’s best for your needs. Both open and enclosed trailers are commonly used in lawn care, so which type should you choose?
They each have their own advantages. Open trailers are cheaper, provide better visibility, and weigh less than their enclosed counterparts. Enclosed trailers offer more security, protect your tools from the weather, and can be fitted with custom wraps to help increase your brand recognition. But which type of trailer is better? Read on to find out!
Truck/Trailer Vs. Box Truck
Before you even consider getting a trailer, you’ll need to figure out if you’ll be running a truck-and-trailer setup or using a box truck. Much like open vs. enclosed trailers, each has its own advantages, so here are a few things to consider before choosing your setup.
- Breakdowns won’t be an issue. If your truck needs repairs, you can simply hook up your trailer to another vehicle & keep working!
- A nicer interior. Pickup trucks usually have adjustable seats, A/C in the front/back, and comfortable seating. These features are often lacking in box trucks.
- Unless you buy the largest trailer available, a truck/trailer setup will be a lot cheaper than purchasing a box truck.
- Backing up may be an issue, especially if you have an enclosed trailer (limited visibility) or aren’t used to driving with a trailer.
- You’ll have to reconsider your route. Truck/trailers can’t make tight turns (so some areas will be impassable), you will have to master backing up with a trailer, and you’ll need to find long open spaces to park in.
- Registration. You’ll have to pay a little bit more each year because your truck & trailer will have to be registered separately.
- All of your equipment & tools are safely stored in one place.
- You don’t have to deal with hooking up to and pulling a trailer.
- A box truck is an excellent opportunity for free advertising!
- A box truck will cost you more than a truck/trailer setup.
- If your truck breaks down or needs repairs, you’ll either have to wait to work or transfer all of your equipment over to a new vehicle.
- Since box trucks are both long & tall, you may have trouble finding a suitable place to park.
Open Vs. Enclosed Trailer
If you’ve decided to go with a truck/trailer setup over a box truck, you’ll soon be faced with the choice between an open & a closed trailer. We’ll go over some of the pros & cons of both, so you can decide which is best for your business.
- It’s easier to back up with an open trailer because you’ll have better visibility of what’s behind you.
- You’ll get better gas mileage because open trailers have less drag & weigh less than their enclosed counterparts.
- Open trailers cost less than their enclosed versions.
- Your tools won’t be protected from the elements.
- Thieves are more likely to steal tools from an open trailer, so you’ll have to take extra precautions to ensure the security of your equipment.
- If it starts raining, you’ll have to take shelter under a tree or in the truck; an open trailer won’t keep you dry.
- All of your equipment is kept safe from thieves in your locked, enclosed trailer.
- The side of your trailer can be used to advertise your business as you drive around.
- You won’t have to worry about your tools being exposed to the elements.
- The enclosed trailer will make backing up hard since you won’t see what’s behind you.
- Enclosed trailers create drag & weigh more, so your vehicle’s gas mileage may suffer.
- These trailers are more expensive than open versions.
Each type of trailer has its place. If you’re just beginning your lawn care business, then an open trailer will be cheaper and should be adequate for your business. However, as your company starts to grow, we recommend upgrading to an enclosed trailer so you can benefit from free advertising while keeping your equipment safe from thieves and the elements.
Lawn Care Trailer Setup
There are a lot of optional upgrades and tools you may want to get for your trailer. Here are a few of the common ones and what they are used for!
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This type of rack is used to store line trimmers, edgers, and hedge trimmers. They’re an essential accessory because they help keep the floor space clean & your tools organized.
These are optional. Not all trailers will have one, but getting a blower rack will further help keep the floor of your trailer clean.
Another way to keep the floor clean (and prevent dirt from getting into the cooler spout) is to get a water cooler rack for your trailer. These are usually mounted at the front of the trailer near the fork. They keep your water clean and secure while ensuring easy access to cold water.
When you buy string for your string trimmer, the line will most likely come in a string holder. Keep the line in here until it runs out; line trimmer string will easily tangle if it gets out of the holder!
You will definitely need gas cans! The most common sizes used in lawn care are 2.5-gallon and 5-gallon cans. Most companies have separate cans for regular gas & mixed gas, so make sure they’re clearly labeled! The rack, while optional, is another way to help keep the floor clean.
Most enclosed trailers will have a shelf at the front of the trailer. However, it can be easy to misplace small tools up there, so you might want to consider getting a dedicated hand tools holder.
Trash Can and Trash Bags
If you’re going to be raking leaves or cleaning up debris, a trash can with trash bags is a must! Even if you don’t plan on doing any cleanups, you should keep a trash can in your trailer anyway, so you have somewhere to throw your waste (empty packages, empty bottles, used line trimmer string, etc.).
Sometimes, you’ll need to trim a bush that’s too high to reach from the ground. Keep a medium-sized ladder in your trailer for these situations.
This is another optional (but useful) item. A designated sprayer rack can help prevent damage to the sprayer nozzle (from people stepping on it) and reduce the clutter on the floor.
What Size Trailer Should I Get for Lawn Care?
The size of the trailer you purchase will largely depend on the current state of your operations. You want it to be big enough, so it doesn’t need replacing as your business grows, but you also don’t want to buy a trailer that’s way bigger than you’ll ever need.
For example, if your current equipment is limited to a push mower, a string trimmer/edger combo tool, & a handheld blower, you certainly don’t need a 32’ enclosed trailer! In that case, an open 6’ long trailer would be perfect. On the other hand, if you currently have many tools, two zero-turn mowers, and three backpack blowers, the 32’ trailer might be reasonable because it gives you space to grow without needing to replace your trailer. But enough examples – let’s go over some common sizes for lawn care trailers!
When it comes to open trailers, 6’ x 12’ and 7’ x 16’ are the most common sizes. These trailers will work fine for smaller setups with a single large zero-turn mower (or two smaller mowers). If you plan on running a truck with multiple zero-turn mowers, then you’ll want to consider upgrading to an enclosed trailer instead.
The most common widths for enclosed trailers are 6’, 7’, and 8.5’ wide. Before you purchase an enclosed trailer, make sure to measure the width of your equipment to ensure you’ll have adequate space to move around when the trailer is loaded up. Enclosed trailers generally run from 8’ to 32’ in length, so you’ll have a lot of options. If you can’t find the right size for your company, there’s also the option of purchasing a custom-made trailer as well!
What’s the Best Enclosed Lawn Care Trailer Wrap to Use?
There are three main types of trailer wraps to use. They are die-cut vinyl wraps, partial vinyl wraps, and full vinyl wraps. They all serve the same purpose (to provide visual appeal & free advertising for your business), but here’s a quick overview of the different types.
Die-cut Vinyl Wraps
- These cover a minimal amount of your trailer.
- The wrap is cut out, so the vinyl is only a design (or words), with no background.
- They’re the most affordable option.
Partial Vinyl Wraps
- These cover part of your trailer.
- Partial wraps display a logo (or text) over a decorated background.
- These are a mid-priced option.
Full Vinyl Wraps
- These cover your entire trailer.
- Your trailer will look amazing when the whole surface is decorated! Full vinyl is the most eye-catching approach to passive marketing.
- Full vinyl wraps are the most expensive trailer wraps available.
Our Choice for the Best Lawn Care Open Trailer
If you’re looking for a great open trailer for your lawn care business, we recommend the 70TV Tandem Axle Vanguard Trailer by Big Tex. This trailer comes in a variety of sizes (from 83” x 12’ to 83” x 18’), has a GVWR of 7,000 lbs., and has steel sides to help keep your equipment from tumbling into the roadway. It also has many options available, such as a fold-up jack, a drop-leg jack, ramp gates with coil assist, a bolt-on toolbox, & more!
The trailer itself has plenty of standard features as well. It has:
- 4 Tie Down Loops
- 4 Stake Pockets
- A set-back jack
- LED Lighting
- A Break-A-Way System
- And more!
Our Choice for the Best Lawn Care Enclosed Trailer
Our number one choice for an enclosed trailer will set you back $6,725, but it’s well worth it! The trailer is relatively large, at 8.5’ wide and 24’ long. While there are bigger models available, we chose this size as our #1 pick because it’s long enough to carry most equipment but short enough so you won’t have to make 100-point turns to turn around in a cul-de-sac. It has a 4,500 lbs. capacity loading ramp, a 74” rear door, a 36” side door, an interior height of 6.5’, & a 2,000 lb. tongue jack, making it more than sufficient for nearly any lawn care company!
Some other standard features of the Beast 85 x 24 include (but are not limited to!):
- A 12v interior light
- An LED lighting kit
- A Thermo cool ceiling
- Electric brakes on both axles
- Breakaway switch (includes a battery)
- A 5-year warranty
As you can see, there’s no one answer for the ideal truck/trailer setup—it all depends on your individual needs! Generally speaking, though, if your lawn care operation is small and you primarily use hand tools, an open trailer is a worthwhile investment.
If you’re currently expanding your company, then an enclosed trailer will provide the extra space & storage for all of your lawn care equipment. Either way, a trailer is a vital part of any lawn care company, so make sure you get one that will last for years to come!
What do you think?
What’s your favorite lawn care trailer? Let us know in the comments!
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