Buying a Rolloff Trailer – Is Battery-Operated or Engine-Powered Best?

Roll off trailer and dumpster

On the hunt for a rolloff trailer system? With so many options available, making an apples-to-apples comparison between rolloff A and rolloff B is nearly impossible.

And, when comparisons are based on price alone, they can net big, unexpected expenses in the long run.

What should you be thinking about?

The power source for your potential rolloff trailer is something that warrants careful consideration—there’s a big difference between a battery-operated rolloff and one that’s engine-powered.

Here’s what you need to know.

Pros and cons of battery-operated rolloffs

If purchase price is your most important consideration, battery-operated rolloffs deliver immediate cost-savings.

These cost-savings can come at a price, though.

You won’t be able to expect much in the way of performance from a battery-operated model—and that adds a layer of inefficiency to your operation:

  • You’ll get a single pull per day—then you’re done
  • The only juice you can rely on is in the rolloff’s deep cell battery, which requires an overnight charge—you won’t be able to hook up to your vehicle’s alternator for an on-site recharge

Pros and cons of engine-powered rolloffs

When you purchase an engine-powered rolloff, you’re buying a rolloff that can run all day long. And, that means your driver will be empowered to deliver and retrieve containers all day long, too—without ever pausing to recharge.

These rolloff trailers will, however, come with a larger sticker price.

That said, we recommend them without hesitation. While you’ll spend more upfront, your equipment will work harder and last longer—delivering you significantly better ROI.

Evaluate your rolloff trailer engine options

If you’ve weighed the pros and cons, and determined an engine-powered rolloff trailer makes great business sense, how do you then compare the various options available to you?

Not all engines on the market are equal.

Keep in mind that some rolloff manufacturers use cheap, off-brand engines to cut costs. And, that means they can’t deliver as much power or longevity.

So, when assessing your options, we recommend you consider engines that offer at least 13 HP and a 2-stage pump.

These engines:

  • Shift down, giving you more power with each pull
  • Deliver the greatest longevity—and your best ROI

Question your prospective rolloff manufacturer

You’re making an important business investment, so make sure you get the product that best delivers against your business requirements—and budget.

Be sure to ask each potential manufacturer:

  • What brand motor powers your rolloff trailer?
  • Does your motor have an electric start with a back-up pull start in case of failure?
  • What are the terms of your motor’s warranty?

When it comes to rolloff trailers, you get what you pay for

We’ve heard the stories—customers who opted for cheaper systems that not only locked them into a brand, but resulted in higher maintenance and replacement costs.

So, be sure that your ultimate decision delivers the performance you need today—and enables you to scale as your business grows tomorrow.


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