I recently bought a house that's going to need some fairly major updating,
remodeling, etc. I'm not concerned about being able to do the various tasks
involved, most of which I have done before, but this will be the 1st time
I'll need to transport fairly large quantities of materials (like maybe 5-6
interior doors at once, 8+ sheets of drywall, 4x8 sheets of plywood, maybe
some French doors to replace the sliders I want to remove, etc.) & we don't
own a truck. I'm trying to decide between a trailer (to be pulled by my
wife's auto trannied Subaru Impreza) or a beater pickup/van. Up sides of
the trailer would probably be cost & insurance. Downside is I've never
pulled one & would need to learn that. I don't know much about selecting a
truck. Obviously to lay 4x8 sheets flat (not that that's essential, I
guess) , you need 4' between the wheel wells, so we're talking a bigger
model. For a truck I'd be looking at something in the 2-3 grand range (less
for a trailer, I hope), if that's doable. I't doesn't have to be PRETTY ;-)
If anyone has any helpful suggestions about this, especially specific
trailer/truck model suggestions, please share them. I know I could have all
the stuff delivered, but I plan to do this over time as time & $$$ allow, so
I'd prefer to just have the ability to go get what I want w/out having to
deal with repeated deliveries, charges, etc. Also we're new here, so I
don't really have anyone whose truck I could borrow, plus I'd kinda hate to
bug somebody repeatedly even if I did...
I have a trailer which is 6X8 works just fine for hauling what I need for my
house. BUT, there is an alternative for you without going to the expense of
purchasing a truck or trailer. My trailer costs almost 700.00. The Big Box
stores offer a rental vehicle @ around 20.00 for 45 min. I believe they also
Thanks for the reply. $700 for a decent trailer seems pretty decent. What
make/model is it? I've seen those renta trucks outside HD etc. Not a bad
alternative, cheaper than delivery & no waiting around.
Around here (Phoenix AZ area) I see a lot of trailers made out of 1/2
of a beater truck. They cut the frame at the front of the pickup bed
and weld on a tongue, using the existing rear wheels of the truck.
Not sure where you would find one of these homebrew trailers, or how
much they cost. My only thought was that it would be the size of a
full-size pickup bed if that's what you started with.
Just a suggestion, sorry I couldn't be more help.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I've seen those too. Probably a good option if
you already have a truck with a shot driveline, & the required welding
skills, both of which I unfortunately am a bit short on ;-)
Thanks for the tip. There's a bunch of these on the local Craig's list.
Seems like a pretty good supply in the $2K range. Is there a preferred
motor/trans? I see 300 CID six's and 351 V8's, also 4X4's. Probably
wouldn't need the 4 wheel drive, one more thing to break. Anything in
particular to look out for on them (problem areas) in the 1985 to 1995 age
range? Judging by the pics, some are even not tooooooo ugly!!!
mine is a '86 with 300 inline six, rear wheel drive. so rusted out
that it actually has decent gas mileage when not hauling (nearly
dont expect any money back(i.e. depreciation) and if you record is
good insurace wont jump that much(mine dropped when i combined it with
the house insurance). rev has some points, but my position is a bit
also, I got mine for $400, limped it over to the auto garage and said
$800 later i said "fix it some more"
then they ran out of stuff to fix, aside from replacing all the body
panels with rust free parts. total cost into it as less than 3k, and i
probably can sell it for $1500 no prob, but i aint. when enough body
panels rust away enough, it'll become a bush truck that i'll use to
pull stumps, tear down old barn foundations, erect a 40x80 workshop,
and other such things you dont want to do with a "good" truck. then if
the motor still runs, I have plans for an experimental airplane that
it might fit into(hey, i can dream!)
oh, when my ford focus finaly gets paid off(in a few months) i'll got
get me a NICE truck. maybe a F150 with an FM radio that works!
I would STRONGLY suggest that you "contract out" the delivery.
BIG BOX stores (Lowe's, HD) will charge a fixed fee (around here it's $70)
and for that they will bring your entire order. Moreover they will place
it where you want/need it. If they drop it, they make it good.
When hauling away old junk, a power saw will reduce to manageable size most
things and you can just haul them a little at a time to the local landfill.
Thanks for the reply. I didn't know it was that much, I was thinking about
$50. I see your point, but there's also the convenience of just being able
to run over & get stuff. I wonder also, when your getting a delivery, do
you pick out all the items personally or do you just give them a list?
Wouldn't matter with something boxed like a water heater ( I need TWO) but
like with lumber, I'd want to select it myself, not just tell them "15
2x4's", or pre-hung doors, several of which I saw yesterday at HD were
pretty dinged up.
I'll reiterate my suggestion -- forget the box stores for anything
except the plainest of plain run-of-the-mill stuff that's on the
shelves. Lumber, moulding, doors/windows, etc., etc., etc., should
(imo) be bought from a "real" supplier. W/ a good supplier you _can_
tell them you need this and be assured it will show up and be what you
need (and in the rare case it's not, tell them to take it back).
Obviously you have to pre-select window/door styles, etc., but you
won't get picked over stuff nor.
Again, you have to decide what the personal convenience factor is
worth to you.
IMO, YMMV, $0.02, etc., etc., ... :)
The cost analysis is a no-brainer -- it's virtually certain you'll
come out far ahead simply having stuff delivered for the kind of
quantities you're discussing -- and while it may seem fairly
significant, unless you're only talking about the first weekend's
work, this sounds like pretty small project(s). My practical
recommendation would be mirroring others with a small addendum. Plan
the materials for a sizable project well before starting, order them
all at once from a _good_ supplier (the local BORG probably isn't
that) and have it delivered and store it in the garage. Many full-
service lumberyards will deliver at no additional charge and for the
difference in service and quality any perceived savings in cost will
quickly be overshadowed.
OTOH, there's the convenience factor, certainly. There it depends
totally on what that's worth to you, but it can probably never be
justified on a purely economic basis. Again, as you already know, the
pickup will be had and shoulders more expensive than the trailer
alternative, but there may be more overall utility in the truck if you
could use a second vehicle anyway, and sometimes storage of the
trailer is as much or more of a pita than the other vehicle. Driving
w/ a small trailer is basically nothing other than paying some
attention and learning a little about backing it when necessary, but
no real problem. Small car can't handle a lot of weight, obviously,
but you're, again, talking pretty minimal quantities here.
But, you're definition of "beater" and mine are quite a bit
apart...:) I'd call the $2-3k truck a "work" truck--a beater would be
$1k or (probably) less. Any thing that runs will handle what you're
after. It doesn't even need to be long or wide bed -- to lay
sheetrock flat, simply build a small platform to fit between the wheel
wells and use an old sheet of 3/4 or 1" subflooring as a support
platform. 2x and all that sort of stuff can slide in under between.
But, once you have the truck, license and insurance, etc., are
unending. OTOH, if it's a real beater, you can probably keep it for a
couple years or so and get as much or more as you gave as they're to
the point depreciation has essentially ended...
HTH with some viewpoints...
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I agree about the cost vs convenience
factor. Also I'm surprised at the nice trucks I'm seeing on Craig's list
(as a start) in the 2-3 k range. I really didn't know what was available.
I could probably do with less! The trailer is probably the most attractive
alternative, just not sure where I'd put the damned thing. A licensed
vehicle you can park on the street etc. without anyone bitching, an empty
trailer sitting idle for weeks at a time might be another matter.
Some trailers can be folded and carted around. They're usually small
capacity type - 200-300# load range - but the convenience can't be beat.
You fold one half over the other, stand it up, and roll it off on little
If you don't already own a truck, then a trailer will be the most
useful. You can buy a used 16' trailer for less than 1K and you won't
ever have to worry about not having enough space to haul stuff again.
A trailer will burden the transmission on a vehicle that is not meant
to haul one though.
If I interpret your question correctly you are torn between taking a
one time hit ie the purchase of a trailer vs the incremental costs of
multiple deliveries. Its comes down to "own the tool vs, rent the
tool." My solution has usually been to buy it and not have to worry
every time. You'll probably find uses for the trailer you haven't yet
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