The Ultimate Guide to Roll-Off Trailers: Choosing the Right Size Open Top

Pro-Tainer’s Roll Off trailers work great for house clean-outs, new construction, remodels, and even regular garbage.  They can be used for heavier things like roof shingles and mulch if you know how much the materials weigh and keep the weight under what the trailer can legally & safely haul.

A 20-yard open top can hold about 120 – 33-gallon trash bags.  Household garbage is pretty light compared to other materials you can haul.  A 20-yard full of garbage will weigh roughly 2,500lbs.

House clean-outs are a little heavier than garbage. Twenty yards of house clean-outs average about 2,900lbs.  This might include furniture and couches that take up space but aren’t overly heavy. That’s still very easy for a trailer to haul.

Coming in a bit heavier is a 20 yard open top container of new construction material.  This tends to be a lot of packaging for building materials.  These containers will be full of boxes, banding, plastic wrap and scrap pieces of wood and drywall.  A 20-yard container like this will weigh around 4,400lbs. on average.

Remodel dumpsters tend to weigh somewhere between 5,000lbs. – 6,000lbs.  This weight depends on materials such as floor tiles and plaster.  Remodel dumpsters can get heavy.  It is important to ask potential customers what they will be disposing of. 

Roll Off trailers can be used for roofing shingles and dirt, but the hauler must be very careful about how much gets put into the container.  Many of our customers only offer 10-yard open tops for shingles.  If you give a customer a 20-yard dumpster and tell them to only fill it halfway, you could end up with a 20-yard dumpster full of shingles. Not only would this be unsafe, but it is also illegal if overweight.

Tile, brick, concrete, rock, and dirt weigh around one ton per yard so even five yards will weigh around 10,000lbs.  It’s easy to put too much in a container and end up with an overweight ticket from DOT. Not to mention the wear and tear on your equipment.

By carefully considering your needs, assessing available options, and prioritizing safety and functionality, you can choose the right roll-off trailer and container for your business or project. Remember to invest in quality equipment with industry standard rails that will withstand the demands of your workload and contribute to your efficiency and success.

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