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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
I am a builder in Australia and considering going from a truck with tool boxes to an enclosed trailer to carry my tools. I will still use the truck to tow the trailer but am concerned the the trailer I need approx 3.6m to 4.5m along with the truck 7.5m will be to large to get into the job sites.
My question, are the benefits of a trailer far greater than a truck with a 4.5m tray to carry tools?
Any feed back would be great.
Thanks
Doctor
 

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GC/carpenter
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A lot on here are going to tell you how cool trailers are, however I pack my truck up for job specific tools. I can't stand hauling a trailer. They may have second thoughts if they ever had to deal with the 91 and 405 freeway everyday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mike,
You make a good point with traffic
Trailers seem very popular in america and a lot larger, in Australia the most common tool trailer is either 6 or 8 feet long which is not big enough for my needs. The truck is great but i find that if it breaks down i can't work or I will need to build a service body for it to carry all my tools. I have looked at bigger trucks with 6m trays but they are getting close to $70k to buy then fit out with tool boxes, thats why I was looking at a trailer.
We do a variety of work including commercial & residential refurbishments so you need to carry lots of tools or you find yourself going back to the shed all day.

Regards
Doctor
 

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I used to just use my truck, but got tired of unloading every night and reloading every day. I couldn't imagine not having a trailer with my Super Duty.

I just did the math and you have a 64 square foot bed? Is that like 16 feet by 4 feet? That is huge, as a regular bed is around 5 x 8. With that big of a bed you should have enough room for boxes and carrying most of the tools you need.

I had a slightly larger than normal bed with tall boxes built in and I could carry a lot of stuff. The problem was that I couldn't carry a compressor or a shop vac in the boxes because they were too narrow. I did mostly vinyl siding in those days and didn't need those every day, so it worked for me. No way could I get what is in my trailer in there now.

In some ways I wish I had a larger trailer. I have a 6 x 12 single axle. However, it is easy to get into jobsites and maneuvers well. I got the 6 foot 3 inch headroom model so I can stand up in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks mate,
The truck i have is an iveco daily dual cab with 4.5mx2.4m bed and has plenty of room but it requires me to build more boxes for storage so I don't have to unload every night. I want to carry a table saw, thicknesser and shop vac etc that i don't carry now. Have you seen Ron Paulks ultimate tool trailer on youtube? Thats about how much stuff I need to carry to site.
Thanks for all the feedback, keep it coming.
Regards
 

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This is subject is how I found this forum.
I have been doing carpentry for over 20 years. I have always had trucks with toolboxes. Now all trucks have utility beds. I started re-evaluating how I was doing business. I purchased 2 trailers. 1 - 7'6" x 14' and 1 - 8' x 18' (i was looking for a 16', but when you buy used you don't get alot of choices)
The majority of our jobs last from 2 weeks to 2 months. If you figure up how much time you spend loading and unloading tools, you will be amazed at how much time you spend not making money. Not to mention the times you need a tool you either forgot to load or ended up needing.
We still have the utuilty trucks with enough tools to do most things. (Old habits die hard) We leave the trailers on the job. This can be a risk. We just take the best precautions we can to secure the trailer. A the end of the day we can throw everything in the trailer pretty quick. The next morning we don't have to load anything up because it is already on the job.
For us, trailers have increased our productivity by having everything we need, on site.
Hauling a trailer around, especially the 18', is not that convenient. Also if we leave the trailer hooked to the truck we will have to unhitch if we need to run get materials.
We use the 14' trailer for concrete tools. When we show up we have everything we need. It has worked out great.
The truck maintenance is another aspect. I have had times when my work truck is in the shop for over a week. One truck had to have the transmission replaced twice. During those times it probably would have been easier to take a vacation than try to work out of my personal truck.
Now with our trailer, if a work truck goes in for service, I can drive my personal vehicle to the job and all the tools I need are there. I can also pull the trailer with my personal truck.
Sorry for such a long post. I have put alot of thought into this subject and could go on about the pros and cons for pages.
 

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I work with several people who have trailers. I have considered it many times, but the cons out weigh the pros for me. I have a one ton extended van and very rarely is it completely loaded. We utilize a gang box or two on framing sites, lock up our ladders with chains and cables, and generally stay pretty well organized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks mate,
Thats great feed back mate, i have been thinking about this for 12 months and was getting no where. There are some very valid points in favour of the trailer.
Cheers
 

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Stonemason
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Most of our jobs are at least a few weeks in duration, many stretch to months or even years.

For this reason, I prefer a trailer. All our tools and equipment stay on the job. No repeated loading and unloading of the truck. If I'm off meeting a client or running some other errand, the guys have access to everything they need without having to wait for me to show up with the truck load of tools. in the event we have to squeeze in a smaller gig, the job site with the trailer becomes our 'shop' where we can grab what we need and move on to the smaller job.

If I had to haul the trailer around on a daily basis I'd probably be thinking seriously about a cargo van of some sort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Buildit guy,
Sounds like you do similar work to me with the concrete gear, thanks for taking the time to send me some great feed back, i know how valuable your time is when you run a buisness. Its great to talk to like minded people from around the world because it sounds like we all have the same issues.
Cheers
 

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As both pointed out some important things to consider.

Can your vehicle handle the trailer?
Can you get the trailer into job sites and get space to park it?
Can it be left on site?
Dual or single axles?
Whats are the roads like for Torsion axles or leaf springs?
Barn or ramp doors?
Walk on roof or no walk on roof?

If you can answer them questions you should be set for what to go for. Around my parts you can't hear having a trailer. 90% of the tools I own are with me on site at all times. Never know what I'm gonna come across so its nice having almost everything you may need. I can leave the trailer and go grab bits without packing everything up and it keeps my fuel cost low leaving it on site.
 

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We have been weighing up the pros/cons of truck vs trailer. Most of our jobs last 1-2 months, and our customers don't always like it if we use the garage for storage (90% of the homes we work on are vacation homes and are empty). We're looking into getting an old u-haul style box truck and fitting it out for a mobile tool truck. For the amount of storage space you get compared to price, it works out much cheaper than a similarly sized trailer.
We can get a 14'x8' (I think) box truck for less than $2k. They have a lot of miles but the truck would be doing at most a 40 mile round trip every month or two. Plus with it being mobile we can back the truck against the building to stop any would be thieves being able to access the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks BC Construction,
Good points, I have had a smaller trailer 6 years ago and didn't like at the time but i am finding it more frustrating not having the tools onsite when we need them. As you guys would know when you are renovating you never know what tools you may need. I think I will need at least a 14 foot trailer (4.5m) to fit the tools I require.
Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Wakonako,
You should check out Ron Paulk youtube site "mobile wood shop" it has been setup in a box truck and is pretty awesome but the getting in and out seems like a bastard.
Cheers
 

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Doctor said:
Thanks BC Construction,
Good points, I have had a smaller trailer 6 years ago and didn't like at the time but i am finding it more frustrating not having the tools onsite when we need them. As you guys would know when you are renovating you never know what tools you may need. I think I will need at least a 14 foot trailer (4.5m) to fit the tools I require.
Regards
I decided in a 14x7 and at the time it felt massive. Feels much smaller now but I have managed to get a lot of tools into a fairly small place. A 16' would have been nicer but I would have struggled to get that into 90% of my jobs and no doubt if I got a 16' I would have thought why didn't I get a 18' lol.

Be cleaver with the layout and you will be surprised at what will fit in a 7x14 trailer
 
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