In our opinion every trailer should be wrapped in Line-X. In fact Line-X is sprayed on a number of different brands of trailers right at the manufacturing plants as OE Spec (original equipment specifications). The reason is flying gravel, and lots of it. Being pulled behind a truck that has four or six tires all kicking up gravel, that gravel, road sand, salt, or whatever it is it is constantly hitting your trailer and can, after time, strip the paint right off. The same flying gravel has no effect on Line-X and literally bounces right off. A trailer wrapped in Line-X can be drug down gravel roads for years and still wash up looking brand new.
We recently had booths at several winter trade shows displaying a boat trailer that was half sprayed. We talked to many people about their trailers and the problems they had with the paint. What we heard from them were things like: "I only pulled my boat down a few miles of gravel, and in a few weeks I had rust”, "I've re-painted the darn thing three times", and “It’s only a year old and I have rock chips all over". After they took a look at our half sprayed boat trailer what we heard the most was: "What a Great Idea!”
More often than not boat trailers come to us in pretty bad shape and we are taking part in complete trailer restorations. The boat is stored elsewhere (if you need assistance with this let us know), the trailer is stripped of its lights, wiring, rollers, carpeted skids, etc. Then it is sandblasted, and sprayed from top to bottom and often underneath. Finally, it is put back together, usually with a few new parts such as the winch or jack. We are happy to take care of the entire project, but as mentioned above we are often only taking part in the restoration.
Occasionally we will have customers that are interested in covering and/or preventing rock chips in their "near new" boat trailers. By spraying only the leading edges; the fenders, the tongue, the axle, etc., rock chips are greatly reduced. The color can be closely matched to the trailer or could be done as an accent color. Often this can be done with the boat still on the trailer. However, the "Line-X for Your Buck" is reduced because of the extra work involved in masking off only those areas.
Boat Trailer Pricing:
Just to give a point of reference, a standard restoration (sandblasted, rewired, etc.) on a standard boat trailer that carries an 18' boat would be in the neighborhood of $1200. Preventative leading edge coverage color matched would be between $300 and $600.
Open Flatbed and Utility Trailers:
Usually - not all the time - but usually, the paint on these trailers, even brand new, is not suitable for spraying over. Although we can get the Line-X to stick well to the cheap implement paint, the problem is that the paint is not stuck very well to the trailer. At the time it is manufactured, the paint is often sprayed right over the welding slag, and the greasy new metal without primer. Therefore, even on brand new trailers, if you want the best results we suggest having it sandblasted first.
The number of ways we have sprayed these trailers is almost infinite. We've sprayed just the metal deck, just the wood deck, just the frame, just the bottom, just the fenders and the tongue, just the ramps, etc... We are willing to start and stop where ever you want us to, but for complete satisfaction we always suggest that we start and never stop, that is to say that we spray the whole thing. Yes, spraying the wood is a good idea and yes, it sticks like crazy. The wood decks are probably the most popular application on the heavy machinery hauling flatbeds. Replacing the wood decks is time consuming and expensive in itself. We are able to dramatically increase the life expectancy of the wood, while adding much better traction at the same time. We have several utility companies that have had us spray all their wood decks as they replaced them. On new green treated lumber it is necessary to allow the 2X8's or 10's to dry out, usually for a period of 3 months or so before we spray them. If you happen to have a situation where you have the blade of a trencher or something similar tearing up the wood deck of your trailer, ask us about it as we have the perfect solution. The pulled steel mesh that is often on light utility trailers can also be sprayed without even one drip, and still looks like pulled steel afterwards. This would not be possible if Line-X didn't dry in 10 seconds. We have also come up with a method for effectively replacing the Reflector Strips, very necessary to keep your trailer DOT legal.
Open Flatbed and Utility Trailer Pricing:
It is the opinion of some that light duty utility trailers are disposable, not meant to last more that 5 years or so. As they come brand new I would have to agree that after 5 years they look pretty much shot. Again, the argument could be made that had they been wrapped in Line-X they would last twice as long or longer. What I'm working up to here is this: the quote you receive from us to correctly sandblast and spray a small utility trailer may very well be an amount equal to the original cost of the trailer itself. Determining whether there is value in doubling the cost of the trailer to preserve it and its appearance, or whether the trailer itself is worth twice as much at that point is up to you to decide.
As for the heavy duty 25' tandem, backhoe hauling, car hauling, directional bore rig hauling trailers you're talking $2500 + to sandblast and completely wrap one in Line-X. Just spraying the wood deck alone would be upwards of $1200. Considering how much of an asset they are, and how expensive they are to begin with, there is no doubt in my mind when calculating resale value you would get your money back on these trailers. The older and beefier ones are getting more valuable all the time. But again, the value is for you to determine.
Start by stating that the fronts, the tongue, and the wheel wells can be sprayed for rock chip protection, but the most desired application is the floor on the inside. Short ones, long ones, economy models and the custom built models can all be greatly improved by having us spray the inside. We usually spray them in our standard grey color. Not only does it "lighten it up" on the inside, it’s a great color for not showing foot prints. We used to offer it as an option, but now it is pretty much standard for us to caulk all the screw heads and seams between the plywood as well as any gaps in the corners. Doing so gives it a much cleaner look, and lets us achieve a full seal as far as any moisture making its way to the plywood under the Line-X. The other great benefit is the traction gained on the ramp door. With a bare plywood ramp, a little rain or mud on your boots can make it rather difficult to walk up. This is not the case with Line-X on it. We always spray both sides of the hinged ramp on the door. The extra weight of the Line-X on the door can make it necessary to adjust the tension on the door spring, but this is easily done. The customers that have had us spray the inside of their trailers absolutely love it.
Enclosed Trailer Pricing:
Figuring $6.50 a square foot will get you extremely close.
A note on spraying wood: Wood soaks up the humidity in the air. Spraying hot Line-X on moist wood has a negative reaction. Consequently, spraying wood during a thunderstorm is not an option and it has previously been the case that these kinds of projects have had to be re-scheduled due to weather.
An Explanation of Cost:
The best durability is achieved when the best adhesion is achieved. Spraying over the poor quality, poorly prepped original paint is something we try to avoid. A thorough sandblast is always the very best option, providing the best adhesion. Sandblasting is anything but inexpensive and could account for as much as $500 of the cost of the project. Another reason these projects are fairly spendy is the amount of material they can consume. We generally "spare-no-expense" when it comes to the amount of material we spray on projects considered "light industrial". Whether it be making sure to get into all the "cracks and crevasses" twice, or building thickness on areas we predetermine to be "high wear areas", the amount of material used quickly adds up. Instead of cutting corners to make profit margins rise, we would rather quote the job high enough to allow us to make sure it is done right.