Author Topic: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)  (Read 4555 times)

Offline T Kehl

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Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« on: January 11, 2009, 08:22:19 AM »
I have saved a ton of money with my little trailer. 



It's great for:

1.  Hauling compost and mulch for my garden.
2.  Bringing home remodeling stuff from home centers.  (landscape timbers, stone, and insulation so far)
3.  Moving.  From between houses or just picking up appliances/furniture at garage sales.
4.  Taking limbs to the cities chipper.  ( we don't have a live Christmas tree or would use for that)
5.  Metal to the scrapyard.
6.  Debris to the landfill.  ( used it like a rolloff container for some demolition work )
7.  Anything else to big or dirty to fit in your daily driver.
8.  Firewood carrier/labor reducer.  My parents have three pickup bed trailers.  We fill them with firewood, tarp, and back them up to the outdoor wood furnace.  We use as needed off the trailers and in the spring time hitch up the trailers and put them in the barn to regain lawn space.

Benifits:

1.  Cheap initial investment.  (Got this pickup bed trailer free on craigslist, I just had to dispose of the trash in it.  Enough bragging though, they are around $100 if you look around to a few hundred with nice paint and maybe a toolbox.
2.  No inspection, license, or insurance required.  (This is true in Missouri, check your local jurisdiction before taking as gospel.)
3.  No new vehicle to buy.

It cost $125 to install a hitch on my wife's GEO Prizm.  People laugh, but the little gas sipper will pull a cubic yard of compost or 800 Lbs of rock (not on the highway and maybe under the speed limit).  Any car bigger than a Prizm should work as well or better.  This allows us to avoid initial cost, tax, tag, liscence, and insurance of a truck.  We even list the trailer on our property assesment and they assess it for $10. 

Way cheaper than buying a truck, and overall break even with renting one twice, plus you have a item of value paid for.

Tommy Jefferson

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 09:33:06 AM »
Got this pickup bed trailer free on craigslist, I just had to dispose of the trash in it.

Cool beans!

Allerion

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 09:41:50 AM »
Everything he says is true, but I have a word of warning to add.  People park these things for months or years and then load them up and take them down the highway.  They have wheel bearing failures right and left every spring, most while on the road hauling something.  This is caused by having them sit all winter with moisture and/or salt where I live getting into the hubs.  I've also seen fatal accidents involving these trailers including one where a refridgerator fell off the trailer on an interstate.  This applies tenfold to checking boat trailers.

If the hubs are sealed properly you don't need to worry too much about this, but it is worth checking and bearing kits for these trailers were only $6-$12 back when I was a mechanic.  Just a word of caution, especially if you just bought one used and you don't know how long it has sat for.

Offline T Kehl

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2009, 12:50:37 PM »
Excellent warning Allerion.  I frequently check the bearing hub to make sure it is not getting hot.  This should be part of a standard hauling procedure including checking straps and chains for tightness and balancing loads.

With that said, here is my latest score on my Frugal Transporter.




Troy Bilt Pony in the back that I picked up for $150 on craigslist.  Will pay for itself by avoiding rental tillers for three years, plus will help out the tiny but developing garden co-op amongst my friends.  Please take note, as this may be the first GEO Prizm with a trailer hitch.   :D

Offline Strangersolz

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 01:24:29 PM »
I bought a pickup bed trailor from a co-worker for $50. They are really useful and are overlooked alot of times by people looking into buying a trailor.

I plan on building mine up for camping and possible bugging out.

Brand

Offline dudekrtr

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 03:31:30 PM »
I have one these utility trailers, too. It's about 20 years old now, and IT IS SHOT, just like Alerion said. On mine, the wheels and tires are actually OK, it's the frame itself that's gone. I had my brother-in-law weld a crack in one of the frame members, and when we got underneath it, almost all the cross members were rusted...badly. Make sure you check them out if your looking at one that's not new. It certainly paid for itself, though. I found that one of the advantages of using a small car was that I could drag the thing all over the yard, tip it,  and drop loads exactly where they needed to be [I'm inherently lazy :)],. So, it's time for another one!   

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 08:01:29 PM »
I have been thinking about getting a trailer for all those reasons.

I recently moved from Alberta to Toronto (huge financial mistake). The trip was about 4500 km (or about 2800 mi). I towed a 5x8 Uhaul trailer behind my Chevy Optra5 (same thing as a Suzuki Reno). When the trailer was loaded it weighed about 2500 pounds, and I had 1500 lbs in the car and on the roof. Worked great! I actually had more trouble with headwinds across the prairies than the mountains in nothern Ontario. I was able to maintain highway speeds up hill, even if I had to put it in 3rd and give it 5000 rpm (it's eaiser on the engine to use high rpm at 80% torque than medium rpm at 100% torque). A 120 hp engine moved 8,000 lbs just fine. Note that I would not attempt doing that with an automatic transmission.

Offline khristopher23

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 09:16:49 AM »
My dad's trailer


He has made it fine on his place for over 10 years with no truck. He has this trailer and a 16' commercially made one that he uses to haul a small Kubota tractor on longer lumber. As for vehicles, he has about a 10 year old Ford Explorer that just about looks the way it did when it rolled off the dealership lot, and until recently a '79 CJ5 that he sold shortly after buying a Kawisaki Mule 610, which now does most of the "running up to the woodshed" or down to the garden.


Offline product85

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2009, 02:39:00 PM »
just for the savings in gardening it is amazing how quickly one of these things will pay off. $45 to $120 for delivery of mulch or topsoil from a landscape supplier  but for that cost you can buy 2 or 3 or more yards of what you were after and instead of having it dumped in one place you can just haul it where its needed with your tractor.... Definitely rivals a truck in this aspect.

Offline Stormchaser

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Re: Buy a trailer instead of a truck (or renting a truck)
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2010, 08:24:50 PM »
Excellent warning Allerion.  I frequently check the bearing hub to make sure it is not getting hot.  This should be part of a standard hauling procedure including checking straps and chains for tightness and balancing loads.

With that said, here is my latest score on my Frugal Transporter.




Troy Bilt Pony in the back that I picked up for $150 on craigslist.  Will pay for itself by avoiding rental tillers for three years, plus will help out the tiny but developing garden co-op amongst my friends.  Please take note, as this may be the first GEO Prizm with a trailer hitch.   :D


Hey! Is that a pickup truck behind the small trailer in the one pic? You've been busted, man, lol.