Choosing a Landscape Trailer for Summer
Whether you are a seasoned landscape professional or just getting your business started, you understand how important your utility trailer is for your success. However, with so many options available, which is the best to choose?
The sales professional at your landscape trailer dealer will certainly be helpful, but there are a few things you should already know. Below are what you should start planning so you know you will have the best trailer for your business.
Do You Enclose It or Leave It Open?
When I think about whether to enclose a landscape trailer, I kind of think about the joke of leaving your zipper down. While that is funny, there are a lot of reasons you may want to choose one over the other. Consider the following as you determine which is better for your business right now.
Open Trailer Designs
One of the first reasons why open trailers are the price. Most open trailers are going to cost less than a comparable enclosed trailer (in terms of physical size and weight rating). So these are more feasible for the budget-conscious business.
The open design is also generally easier to load. You have the freedom to lift small equipment over the sides rather than unloading larger equipment when you do not need it. This also makes it easier to remove debris more easily during clean-up projects.
Open trailers may also be safer to operate, allowing you to see more of what is around you. This may help save you money from accidents and lawsuits.
Enclosed Trailer Options
Enclosed trailers afford their own benefits that are hard to argue. For instance, consider the security of the trailer. If you do not want to construct a pole barn or rent storage space, an enclosed trailer can offer you the same security with no additional cost. This is also important for protecting your equipment from storm damage or flying debris while traveling.
These trailers also give you an incredible marketing opportunity that goes beyond the small side of your truck. You can have the side of your trailer either painted or wrapped with large and eye-catching graphics. This means even when you are on a job site or have your trailer parked, you are getting your brand on people’s minds. The increase in business can make this worth the investment alone.
Do You Go Big or Stay Small?
Once you determine whether you want an open or enclosed utility trailer, you now need to consider the size. If you have not yet purchased your equipment, make your decisions about what you will acquire first. It is easier to fit a trailer to your equipment than allow your trailer to determine what equipment you can fit.
Consider all three dimensions, including any differences while loading or unloading your trailer. You want to be sure you have enough room to be able to maneuver around your equipment without getting stuck.
Also, be sure to consider room for growth. Do you plan to upgrade your equipment in the next couple of years? If so, be sure to plan for that expansion as well. Also, be sure to consider any supplies you need to take with you, such as fertilizer or mulch. Be sure you plan for enough room to transport that as well.
However, on the converse side, be careful not to just go for the largest trailer available. If you go too large, this can become dangerous if not loaded properly. Further, the larger the trailer is, the more difficult it becomes as you travel, and the more wear it puts on your tow vehicle.
Consider Your Weight
In addition to the physical size, also consider the weight of your trailer. This actually means a couple of things.
First is, of course, the gross vehicular weight rating of the trailer. You want to be sure you will be able to handle the weight of your equipment.
Next, consider the towing capability of your vehicle. It is amazing to have a trailer with 10,000 lb GVWR. However, if your vehicle can only tow 2,000 lb, then you are severely overburdening your vehicle.
As you consider both the size and weight of your vehicle and trailer, consider whether it will require a commercial driver’s license to operate. This will limit who in your business can drive the vehicle, as well as affect your insurance.
Finally, think about any customizations you may want on your trailer. Common customization options for landscape trailers include:
- Cage to secure small equipment
- Tie-down tracking
- Tongue toolbox
- Gas can rack
- Trimmer and blower racks
- And much more
If you take a little time to plan what you need, you will end up spending less. You will also have a more positive experience shopping for your trailer and then operating your business.