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#1 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2011 - 04:24 PM

I'm kind of looking for a utility/landscape trailer. I've been using a 10-foot that started life as a truck, then was an 8-foot truck-box trailer, then was converted into a flat deck. Then I got it, due to it's excellent price (24 beer).

It's done okay, not great, but it's definitely seen better days. It needs a new deck, new tires, and the lighting harness fixed. The frame is looking pretty rusty too. Might have a busted tail-light too...my BIL mentioned something like that when he brought it back last fall. It also doesn't have brakes, so it gets a little challenging when I load it right up. Of course it's a pretty high deck too, given it's half-ton heritage.

So I've been keeping an eye out for a utility or light landscape trailer. There doesn't seem to be much on the used market though. Plenty of new ones out there with a single 3500 lb. axle, low sides and a tailgate that doubles as a ramp though. It looks like configuration that should work for me, although I'd prefer drop down or removable sides. Home Depot has a model, Canadian Tire has a model, and 3 or 4 local builders have models. They all look more or less the same to me.

I generally haul a small lawn tractor (guess that'll be the heavier JD 420 now that I bought it) and a two-wheeled hydraulic post hole auger, as well the usual crushed rock, topsoil, and building supplies.

Is there really any difference between these, beyond the obvious fit and finish indicating build quality? All look like they'll suit my purposes. All cost about the same new (I'm still looking for a used one...I don't need a trailer until spring), so I'm assuming used prices will be about the same too. Is there anything I should look out for besides price?

#2 poncho62 ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2011 - 07:27 PM

I think that most of those Walmart, Home Depot, CTC type trailers are pretty light duty....Put a load of topsoil in one and it wouldnt handle it....You might want to go to a trailer builder, but you are going to spend more.

What I did was find an old house trailer, strip off the house and use the frame asa base to build your own. I advertised in the Freecycle website and got one given to me.....After shortening it and adding a floor, I had under $400 invested....it has dual axles and brakes.

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#3 Pa Plow Day OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2011 - 07:30 PM

well, take it from a guy that owns 4 trailers, and i've already sold that many more in the past. Where you buy it means a lot to me. I purchased my first from tractor supply, just like lowes or home depot would have. If you plan on using it once a year and keep it covered, should be good. If you plan on using it, plan on replacing it too. I have bought my last 2 flatbeds from a local shop, they're fantastic, well built, and best of all powder coated. The one trailer sat out 100% of the time, it saw every weather condition, and it ran 5 days a week 8 months a year loaded. That trailer still looked great when i sold it.

The other big change i made after my tsc trailer was tandem axles, and electric brakes. The ride is so much better for both the cargo and the vehicle with the extra axle. Also check out the gates. If they're expanded metal, or mesh type gates, make sure they have some good support in them. Those types of gates are famous at breaking the mesh due to lack of support.

Your going to find that if its used and looks good, you will pay for it like a new one. Most trailers that hit the used market here are junk, or they're expensive. The only 2 trailer i ever bought used were enclosed, and i paid enough for them without going new.

good luck with your search, but get good paint, whether its powder coated or not, get something good or it will be a rust bomb in no time.
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#4 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2011 - 08:54 PM

As the previous posters have said. Look at local dealers. I was looking at tractor supply as that was where I saw trailers. Home Depot had a few also. When I did an internet search, I found a site for a business that I had passed by for more than 20 years and never knew they sold what I was interested in. I called them and they explained to me why I should by theirs over a TSC or other trailer. I did not know most of what the salesman told me. He was patient and informative. He added that the trailers were made in NY State. A plus for me as I live in NY. When it came down to it, I paid twice what I had planned to and was glad I did. I got more of a trailer than I thought I needed and filled it up pretty good on my first and second Craig's list finds. I got a 14' single axle landscaping trailer. With a spare tire, I paid almost two grand. It has been worth it.20100807_IMG_0032.jpg

It works for me. It was much more than I anticipated on spending. That's not a new experience in the hobby I chose.

I like the advise the others have given about tandem axles and electric brakes. Look around alot before you put down alot of money.

I greased the axle after I got it home for the first time. The grease fitting broke right off like it wasn't there. A quick call to the salesman had me in next time I was in the area. I stood behind a guy who had paid well over thirty thousand for his trailer. I was treated just as good as that man over a broken grease fitting. Look, look, look and then decide. Used might be less, but I was not a trailer guy. I'm not much better now, but I bought at the right place after careful consideration.
Good luck in the search:D

#5 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2011 - 10:27 PM

I think that most of those Walmart, Home Depot, CTC type trailers are pretty light duty....Put a load of topsoil in one and it wouldnt handle it....You might want to go to a trailer builder, but you are going to spend more.


I was wondering about that. They all seem to be rated for about a ton of payload, but I kind of thought the local makers would be building a better product than the big box stores sell. The good news is that the builders aren't charging much more than the big box stores sell.

I really like your trailer, Poncho. Nice work there.


well, take it from a guy that owns 4 trailers, and i've already sold that many more in the past. Where you buy it means a lot to me. I purchased my first from tractor supply, just like lowes or home depot would have. If you plan on using it once a year and keep it covered, should be good. If you plan on using it, plan on replacing it too. I have bought my last 2 flatbeds from a local shop, they're fantastic, well built, and best of all powder coated. The one trailer sat out 100% of the time, it saw every weather condition, and it ran 5 days a week 8 months a year loaded. That trailer still looked great when i sold it.


Well, it's definitely going to live outside, and the last trailer saw use at least a couple days a week all spring, summer and fall. It depends what kind of work I'm doing, but I generally need a trailer. I don't know if I need the extra axle since I seldom need to haul more than a ton, but I would like brakes. I see them as an option the local builders offer even on the single axle models though. I was wondering about those tailgate ramps too. They seem handy, but they are a 5 five-foot span at a minimum. Likely better to go with ramps.

#6 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2011 - 11:33 PM

I agree on the "Built" trailers. My Dad had one built from a local company & apart from the fact I've had to replace every wire connection (DO NOT LET THEM USE CRIMP TYPE SPLICES) it's a beast. I've hauled some awful big stuff on her & it never whined about it.

As for the ramps v tailgate, I agree with separate ramps if you need length, dad had his 3rd ramp (Most of his MH stuff is narrow front) worked into the back area instead of the side and had the ramps made 1' longer with 2 extra cross bars. It's a lot easier to go up without quite so much bump,bump,bump up the ramps. I'd advise against ramps that lift up (like a gate but without the advantages) as they always seem to be in the way. Whatever you do for incline, please make sure it's anti-skid. I've seen a couple guys go off wet ramps with tractors. It's not pretty & even if they don't get hurt, they probably are breaking their toys in the process.

Thankfully I have access to Dad's rig for the bigger stuff, I did buy a little 4x6 tilt from TSC for the GT stuff. Wish I'd bought the 5x8 because of the mower decks, but for the $299 I paid, it's been wonderful having a trailer here too and the 4x6 is nimble enough to use here for garden stuff & etc.

Good luck in your search.

#7 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 01:14 AM

I'll likely just keep using the ramps I have now. They're non-skid (mesh over steel frame) and arced so the mower deck doesn't hang up. One thing I'm not sure of is the weight rating on them...not sure if they'll handle the 420 or not. They'll have a little extra length on a low trailer though, since they're designed for getting things into trucks. Should make for a nice slope.

As for the wiring...has anybody ever made trailer wiring that works? It seems to me that every trailer, from the time I was a kid right up to the stuff I see today, has had wiring problems.

#8 WQDL753 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 11:00 AM

I went with the mobile camper frame like poncho, although I havn't made mine look as nice it's done me well. Almost got it for free, but ended up paying 50 because he found out he could get more for scrap, this was 5 yr ago. I havn't messed with them, but mine has electric brakes on it.
tra_0001_2.jpg
I shortend it some, but the $5 tool box I put on it was probably the best thing I've done to it, the hoist from northern tool has been great too. the side boards were a quickie job to haul gravel and will come off with just a few bolts. I don't know what I've done differant, but I havn't had any wiring problems.

#9 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 12:07 PM

Not a bad looking little trailer,gets the job done ,right?

#10 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2011 - 02:45 PM

I went with the mobile camper frame like poncho, although I havn't made mine look as nice it's done me well. Almost got it for free, but ended up paying 50 because he found out he could get more for scrap, this was 5 yr ago. I havn't messed with them, but mine has electric brakes on it.
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I shortend it some, but the $5 tool box I put on it was probably the best thing I've done to it, the hoist from northern tool has been great too. the side boards were a quickie job to haul gravel and will come off with just a few bolts. I don't know what I've done differant, but I havn't had any wiring problems.


Oooo....like the hoist. I had one job a few years ago when I was recovering from a back injury and I had so many things to move in and out of the truck myself that I took my engine hoist with me.

I was talking to my BIL last night and told him to keep an eye out for that kind of trailer for me. He sometimes runs across these things. I was thinking about putting an ad on Kijiji, but the last time I did that I advertised for a garden tractor with loader and was offered everything from push mowers to a large Ford field tractor. Anyway, if I find one it, like yours, won't be as pretty as Poncho's, but it will be serviceable.

My present trailer has a custom-built tool box on the front. It looks like a coffin made out of pressure-treated fence boards. It's where I generally keep my shovels, rakes, steel bars and other implements of destruction. Last summer we went to a friend's field (they own nearly a quarter section that they use for nothing but camping and hunting) and had to build a new outhouse and do a bunch of mowing and do some work to the caboose they use as a cabin. I lined the tool box with styrofoam insulation and we used it as a huge beer cooler for the week we were there. One of the best vacations ever.

#11 WQDL753 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2011 - 02:45 AM

The hoist is great, got for 130. all the way in it's good for 1000 lbs, fully extended is 500 lbs. comes with 25' of cable on the crank, we've used it for everything from draging and loading felled trees to making a quick display line for clothes at a yard sale.
as well as installing the new compresserIMG_0380.jpg
and making pulling posts that were sunk 3 1/2' so easy a 5 y.o. could do it.
DSC01663.jpg
And I know I've had 3000 lbs on the trailer and it wasn't squatted at all, and the Bolens could pull it without anyone in the seat. :thumbs:

#12 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2011 - 07:58 PM

Well, I think I bought a trailer today. It's 6x12, dual axle, with a new wood deck. The guy I bought it from knew nothing about it, but he thought the axles were 3500 pounds each. No markings on them that I could see, so I guess we'll find out when I load it up. He put the new deck on it to sell it since the old one was rotted out. It looks pretty good though. The frame is solid etc..

It's a flat deck with pockets to put on a stake-side, which is great because I like removable sides. I'll have to build the sides though. Right now I'm thinking pressure treated 1x6 in sections. That should make them light enough to lift easily, but strong enough to hold in what I have to.

I'll need some new ramps too. Mine aren't heavy enough for the 420 and the trailer doesn't have any.

#13 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2011 - 08:03 PM

That's great Rev! Glad that you finally got one! Hopefully I'll be able to get a truck with my income tax refund...then I might be able to get a trailer next!

#14 grnspot110 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2011 - 10:27 PM

What size are the wheels & how many bolts? Many 3500# axles use 5-bolt, 15" wheels! ~~ grnspot110

#15 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2011 - 11:05 AM

I was hoping for that, Grnspot. I really wanted that matched the old Chevy 5 bolt pattern because I have so many rims and tires from past trucks. No such luck though.

These are the 4 bolt pattern. He's got 13's on it right now, but I have two 14's with the same bolt pattern in the garage. The 13's will do until I find a couple more 14's...it's not like they are rare, they are the Princess Auto specials.




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