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Adair's Landscape
11-01-2008, 11:14 AM
My name is Landon Adair and am the president of Adair's Landscape & Maintenance Corp. We have been in business for 9 years and hope to be long into the future. I was wondering if anyone could provide me with posivtive and negetive attributes of an enclosed trailer as opposed to an open utility trailer to move machenery from job to job? I have an open trailer now and I am thinking of making the switch over to an enclosed one.

Steve
11-01-2008, 11:17 AM
Hi Landon,

Welcome to our forum!

What got you to start your business?

I think one of the benefits of the enclosed trailers is that you can lock everything up nice and secure. How do you currently store your trailer? Outdoors, in a garage? What's making you lean towards getting an enclosed trailer?

StartALawnCareBusiness
11-01-2008, 08:05 PM
I can think of a few pros and cons of the top of my head.

Pros:
Ability to lock.
Protection from rain.
Larger area to put name/logo/phone number.
Looks more professional.
Possible increased slipstreaming giving better gas milage (offset by weight, I'm sure).
Ability to put shelves/storage areas.
Protects cargo from rocks kicked up by your truck.
Winter storage.

Cons:
Increased cost.
Increased axle and tongue weight.
Inability to load from top (leaves, mulch, dirt). This is the biggest negative I can think of.
Doesn't air out well when mower has wet grass or fuel fumes.
Reduced freedom of movement when you are quickly grabbing a trimmer, etc.

Keith
http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

musician/lawnman
11-02-2008, 01:00 PM
Landon,

I run enclosed trailers currently. It is added weight, & it's like dragging an 8' wall behind you so fuel economy suffers a bit. But I think the added security, & having a huge billboard behind you all day offsets the negatives.

I have gone to many estimates & when I pull up they say "Oh yeah, I've seen you guys all over town... you stay pretty busy huh?" The fact that they recognize the rig & that I've been around a while adds instant credibility.

So many guys run trucks with no decals or only little magnets & open trailers. I pass them all day long & they all look the same. So that seems to make a big difference.

The biggest negative I have found is that here in Florida it's damn hot. So when we run these machines for 8-11 minutes at a time & load them up, drive 2 minutes & repeat all day... they don't really get to cool down. an open trailer would at least let air blow past them. I have offset this by running full synthetic oil in all my mowers to add some protection against the added heat & we usually end up throwing the trimmers in the back of the trucks bettween jobs.

I will stay with enclosed trailers & if not I would have my truck proffesionally wrapped to make it more recognizable.

StartALawnCareBusiness
11-03-2008, 12:27 AM
I have offset this by running full synthetic oil in all my mowers to add some protection against the added heat

Chuck:

I've always been a big believer in non-synthetic oil. Trying to decide if my steadfastness needs reexamination. ;)

Can you give me the low-down on what you think about synth?

Have you altered your oil change schedule? Oil filter change schedule?
Noticed any change in engine RPM? Engine noise?

Really interested in this.

Thanks:

Keith

musician/lawnman
11-03-2008, 06:04 AM
Keith,

I still change the oil in the machines every 50 hours & the filter every 100 as suggested by the manufacturer. The oil in the mower gets to dirty, it's the dirt & contaminants that will scratch & wear parts even with synthetic oils. I was in the automotive field for years. I ran an independant shop, & was a service advisor for both a Ford dealership, then a second dealership in which I delt with Dodge, jeep, chrysler, mazda & hyundai. For one, I saw too many cases where a guy would come in with a car or truck pushing 150-200,000 miles, the common denominator in these was always something like "yeah, I've had her since she was new & ran full synthetic since the 2nd oil change.... I've replaced the alternator 3 times & the tranny twice but the engine is still untouched other than tune ups & maintenence etc."

Though it shouldn't happen, mechanics make mistakes from time to time, I've seen many oil plugs left out or times when the wrong oil filter was installed & the end result was a siezed motor after about 5 minutes of driving oil starved. I've seen a few cases where an engine was run out of oil for reasons like this & was fine.... again the vehicles were always run on synthetic oil which coats the parts better & continued to protect even after most was drained out. I know a guy who was a mechanic, changed his own oil in a toyota truck, double gasketed the filter, blew the oil out & didn't notice til the engine siezed about 2 weeks later. He drove that truck 40+ miles to & 40+ back from work everyday, he ran synthetic in it. Most manufacturers will tell you let a new car break in for 3,000-6,000 miles before switching to synthetics as if you do it right off the show room floor the engine will never get a chance to break in! That's some serious lubrication. The best high performance engines in the world require sythetics & even specify brand of oil (Corvette, mercedes, bmw, porche). Even the newer hondas, fords & hyundai require 5w20. This is a light weight oil but it is full synthetic non-the-less, no choice. There is no conventional 5w-20 made.

Hope this helps.

StartALawnCareBusiness
11-03-2008, 10:41 AM
That definately helps. Especially from the perspective you gained running the shop.

The thing that has bothered me most over the years are the claims I've heard that you can run synth in autos for 10,000 to 12,000 miles without changing. This just seems reckless to me since oil collects dirt and particles irrespective of if it's synth or not.

Anyway, end of season oil change is nearing. Will think of giving it a try.

Keith

musician/lawnman
11-03-2008, 05:49 PM
Keith,

I will tell you, with synthetic oils I have found that once you run a car on synthetic for more than 1 or 2 oil change cycles it is more likely to start leaking oil from the seals & gaskets if you ever switch back to conventional oil. I imagine the same may very well hold true in mower engines. So If you switch, stick with it. Even in my vehicles I change the oil at the regular 3, 000 mile interval even with synthetic.

For the extra few dollars per oil change.... It's likely to get you an extra few hundred hours or more from the engines.

Steve
11-04-2008, 08:35 AM
It's likely to get you an extra few hundred hours or more from the engines.

It will be interesting to see how many hours you are able to get on your mowers!