How to Choose the Best Trailers That Suits Your Nursery

Author: Aaron Chen  Date Posted:3 February 2020 

Whether you are a plant nursery owner, production manager or a purchasing officer, choosing the right nursery equipment for your production nursery is an important decision. The equipment used by staff, if fully utilised and accepted can make a difference to the overall productivity of your business.


More specifically, choosing the right nursery trailer can help your staff work more efficiently and effectively, helping your nursery to grow.

But HOW?

Being one of the most commonly used items in nurseries, used daily for many varied tasks, nursery trailers have been know to be used to transport potted green life, materials such as potting medium, nursery pots, trays, weeds, chemicals, building materials and tools to various locations. Trailers can also be used as a potting benches or for storage depending on ones immediate needs.

The following is a guide on the types of nursery trailers in the market and some important facts to consider on how to choose the ideal trailer for your application.

Types of trailers being used in nurseries

Below are different types of trailers that are used in the nursery industry. Each of them can be utilised under specific situations and can solve particular nursery problems.

If you have a spacious nursery area and road ways, you can use 'potting trailers" to carry and transport potting medium and do your potting where you want to grow your plants. Minimises double handling and movement of filled pots.

The "potting trailer" can be used where normal box trailers cannot gain access. They can also be used as a potting bench for either trays, pots or tubes.

Plant transport trailers are designed to transport a large volume of plant trays to remote building sites (e.g. for planting out in new subdivisions). This type of trailer is road registered and used specially for moving or delivering nursery product to destinations using workers utes, saving on the need for additional delivery trucks and drivers. The trailer can be reverted back to a normal box trailer for general use.

Is a nursery trailer with four (4) wheels that all turn together and the following trailers, follow in the same wheel track, hence, a self tracking wheel system. Self-tracking trailers are ideal for gardens or nurseries with narrow road ways and isles. Self-tracking trailer follows the path of the tractor or tug without cutting corners and hitting objects or knocking over your plants.

Low loader self-tracking trailer is a special type of self-tracking trailer. It has an ergonomic design that is used to carry and move large pots (e.g. pots with tall trees). The low loader self-tracking trailer can also be customised and used to transport passengers to different sites within a large nursery.

Garbage bin trailers are used to carry and transport all those different coloured garbage bins to the footpath for the garbage truck to pickup and empty. This trailer is specifically made for large nurseries, aged care facilities and sporting complexes to minimise collection time and trips required in gathering garbage bins from around the site.

A nursery trailer that is designed to be used for general use and towed behind ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles), tractors, lawn mowers and motorbikes. This type of nursery trailer is used in gardens because of its easy tipping operation with its pivoting and removable tailgate.

All the above types of trailers are known to be very useful. But, why are they useful and valuable to your nurseries?

How can nursery trailers help you with productivity and efficiency?

Nursery trailers can transport or move several plant trays or even other nursery equipment to a destination that is some distance away. For instance, a typical walking speed of a nursery worker is 1.2 meters per second. A nurseryman needs to move 24 pots to the dispatch area which is 120 meters away. It will take the nurseryman about 100 seconds to transport the pots and another 100 seconds to return (totally about 3 minutes and 20 seconds per trip). 4 trips are required if carrying 3 pots in each hand. Totaling 13 minutes and 20 seconds.

This example above shows that utilising nursery trailers and moving pots in less trips can improve the production of your nursery. Your staff accomplish their work faster due to the  design of the nursery trailers and workers are happier.

You may already know this and are thinking of buying a nursery trailer for your nursery. But what are the things you must consider before purchasing a nursery trailer?

Factors to consider before buying any nursery trailers

According to the book “Nursery Management” by John Mason, these are quite a few factors to consider if you are planning to buy a piece of equipment for your nursery (e.g. nursery trailers).

  • Whether it will do the required job
  • Initial outlay – how much it costs to buy
  • Ongoing costs – this includes maintenance, parts, fuel and insurance
  • Longevity – how long it will last
  • Safety of use
  • Availability of parts and servicing

Other aspects such as the design and layout of your nursery along with the size of your nursery must also be considered. From the types of trailers mentioned above, you can evaluate what your nursery actually needs.

Thereafter, you can start to look for a vendor who will provide the best trailer that will suit your nursery.

How to choose a nursery trailer vendor?

In order to make a good decision, the first thing you must do is to research thoroughly. You can inquire with different vendors and ask them questions about their nursery trailers. They must have extensive knowledge about nursery trailers and able to answer most of your nursery questions.

Below are some tips and suggestions to help you choose a good nursery trailer vendor:

  1. Communication is always the key– keeping a solid communication can build a good rapport between you and your supplier. Always be attentive and responsive with each other. You should ask as many questions as you can to make sure that you are picking the right nursery trailer and the vendor is the best supplier
  1. Ask if they can manufacture custom-made trailers– some vendors may have the ability to custom-made nursery trailers based on your requirements. The trailer that suits your nursery is the best trailer
  1. Obtain references and reviews from previous customers – before choosing a trailer vendor, try to learn everything about their company. You can also do a reference check by asking their previous customers about the nursery trailers. Longevity in business generally guarantees good support.
  1. Ask quotes from various suppliers– you can ask for quotes from different suppliers and maybe you can choose the one with the best price, but don’t forget “you pay for what you get” and sometimes product life along with customer service should always be the priority consideration.
  1. Consider the price before placing an order - Ask them questions and be clear on what you will get for your money. Also, you can try to negotiate the trailer prices with the vendor if you purchase a volume of trailers at once. Consider networking with your peers and get together a large order in order to save money.

There are several nursery trailers vendors (both local manufacturers and importers) in the market place nowadays. It may be difficult for you to choose, but always remember to go for the best and most reliable vendor that can supply diverse and innovative trailer solutions to your nursery.


Horticultural and nursery equipment such as trailers can reduce labour costs and improve working efficiency. Trailers have proven very useful in the horticultural and nursery industry today.

If you are planning to get your own nursery trailer, you should decide what type of trailer you need first, do your research and then pick a good vendor. For your convenience, you can check C-Mac’s variety of trailers and specifications to help you choose the best trailer that may suit your nursery.

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