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Thread: Tool trailers

  1. #1
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    Tool trailers

    Our club is researching purchase of a trailer. Good brands, brands to avoid?
    Good size, cost to purchase, outfit, paint, insure? Any other issues?

    Thanks!
    I try to avoid sexual innuendo, but its hard.

  2. #2
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    We bought an older 10' that we've had for at least 15 years. It's fine and holds enough to outfit @ 75 people, pretty much all of the tools we own. It's much more convienient having a trailer that we can either haul the whole thing to an event, or just stop by and grab what we need. It also allows us to easily loan our tools to other trail orgs.

    Keep in mind what your people will be using to haul it, a smaller trailer is easier to maneuver and harder to make so heavy that you'd need a F350 to drag it around. A Subaru can pull ours if they're careful.

    Hard to see it, but here it is, it's got our logo and sponsors on it, well worth spending the money on that stuff, it's a nice big banner.

    https://www.facebook.com/medicinewhe...type=3&theater

    I think we pay @ $400 a year to insure everything and our liablility? Not my gig, but it's not too much.

  3. #3
    Dirt Monkey
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    Smaller is also better in my experience as well. We have a 6x12 enclosed trailer purchased for $2k. Keep in mind trailers can become a "dump it and forget it" location if there's nobody in charge of managing the stuff in it. We looked into getting ours wrapped, but costs were prohibitive. Large vinyl decals on the sides is a lot cheaper (a couple hundred bucks).

    Also know where it's going to be stored when not in use. At a private individuals house? Commercial storage lot? Security? There can be significant costs if rented storage space is required. And trailers are very easy to break into if you plan on leaving any kind of valuables in it.

  4. #4
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Good advice so far. Keep it as small as you can - it's been said, but it merits saying it again. Sure, you might have one or two guys with big trucks that can pull anything they want, but what if one of those guys has to go get a machine for a project?

    Organization is pretty key. For bulky things there are a lot of, some floor racks can be handy, think in terms of stacking tools vertically on the floor. Obviously other things can potentially be hung on walls, etc. This organization will be a key part of ensuring that a) the trailer is properly weighted so it will tow well behind anything while ensuring b) the tongue weight stays low enough that (as mentioned above) something like a subaru can tow it.

    Wraps and decals are nice - most organizations I've worked with have a member that can either donate, or at least get a massive discount on either wraps or decals. A trailer that proudly proclaims who you are can be a great thing at a trail head in a park where people might be wondering what's going on. Just remember it can be a black eye if one of your people pulls it through town driving like a jackass.

    Speaking of people in your organization - get some good locks. Get keys for the people who should have them. And maybe keep a little can of lube in the trailer to squirt in the locks every so often. Lock the back door, side door if you have one, and there's usually a way to at least lock the trailer to a vehicle, so do that AND get a lock that goes in the tongue so it can be double locked when it's not on a vehicle. The single biggest problem with trailers and trail organizations is they get stolen, and then all your (sometimes expensive) tools go with them. This is not limited to tool trailers. Trailers for other things get stolen too, like min-skidsteer trailers. Sometimes with the skidsteer on them. But I digress. Keep the trailer locked as many ways as you can. One organization does all the above PLUS runs a heavy logging chain through both wheels and locks that.

    Storage - in addition to locking the trailer, consider secure options for storing the trailer, beyond the back yard of a member. Sometimes this will require some planning. For instance, one trailer is stored with a parks department, at their fenced, gated, staffed maintenance facility. It's parked in a corner, out of the way. If it's needed, someone goes and gets it whole the facility is open. Obviously, the staff knows most of the people who pick the trailer up, but they pretty much don't hassle anyone who isn't using bolt cutters to unlock it....

  5. #5
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    We use an alpha numeric padlock on ours with an easy to remember word for the combo, with a spare duplicate lock in the trailer so if you do manage to drive away leaving the lock sitting on the fender, all is not lost. Plus, as mentioned, a hitch lock. When we had padlock with a numeric code, no one could ever remember it, so there was a lot of frantic texting at trailheads......

    Storing it can be a pain at times, ours has lived in all sorts of places. We've only had it broken into once, and they were looking for bikes (it was parked with a bunch of bike company trucks and trailers), so they didn't take anything. Bullet dodged.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info. We're thinking small, <1,500 lbs. GVW, towable with a 4 cylinder car. We'll likely store it in the parking lot of our main riding area, not gated. I'll have to research theft insurance.
    I try to avoid sexual innuendo, but its hard.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    We use an alpha numeric padlock on ours with an easy to remember word for the combo, with a spare duplicate lock in the trailer so if you do manage to drive away leaving the lock sitting on the fender, all is not lost. Plus, as mentioned, a hitch lock. When we had padlock with a numeric code, no one could ever remember it, so there was a lot of frantic texting at trailheads......

    Storing it can be a pain at times, ours has lived in all sorts of places. We've only had it broken into once, and they were looking for bikes (it was parked with a bunch of bike company trucks and trailers), so they didn't take anything. Bullet dodged.
    If you are storing it in a non-gated area you do not want to use a combo lock as described. Any shackle lock is quickly cut in seconds. If you store any power equipment or wheelbarrows they will be gone. {Your digging bar will probably still be left. ;-) though.} Use this type of lock. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Master-Lo...RoCdVoQAvD_BwE
    Just get a bunch of extra spare key's made for those who lead trail work.

    Like wise as was mentioned earlier trailer thefts are very common too. We have this great lock on the hitch itself. https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...BoC0uwQAvD_BwE

  8. #8
    middle ring single track
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    We use an alpha numeric padlock on ours with an easy to remember word for the combo, with a spare duplicate lock in the trailer so if you do manage to drive away leaving the lock sitting on the fender, all is not lost. Plus, as mentioned, a hitch lock. When we had padlock with a numeric code, no one could ever remember it, so there was a lot of frantic texting at trailheads......

    Storing it can be a pain at times, ours has lived in all sorts of places. We've only had it broken into once, and they were looking for bikes (it was parked with a bunch of bike company trucks and trailers), so they didn't take anything. Bullet dodged.
    FWIW wheel combo padlocks are notoriously easy to pick/crack; they're good for keeping honest people honest---and maybe keeping raccoons out.

    If you do a search you'll get about 500 videos showing about 6 different ways to defeat these locks. The following isn't the method I've used (to legitimately determine the combo of gate locks that have been accidentally set wrong) but feeler gauges can be used at least 3 different ways. I even used a strip cut from a soda can once.

    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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