What Should I Know About Mobile Offices?
The mobile office industry is booming. That means you can find a good deal for a trailer that fits your specific needs. Before shopping for a mobile office trailer, inform yourself about the product and all of the options available. Find out what most customers in the market for a mobile office trailer are asking, and how those questions and answers can affect your decision-making process.
What is a mobile office trailer?
A mobile office trailer (MO) is a self-contained, above-ground portable structure that provides temporary office and storage space. Read more: Ground Level Office vs. Mobile Office: What’s the Difference?
Why use a mobile office?
It’s great for that ‘in-between’ time when your business is waiting for a more permanent solution to office needs. MOs are great for anyone with short-term office and storage space needs. Read more: Do I Need a Mobile Office or a Modular Building?
Who uses them?
Anyone. The most common industries include construction, retail, energy and power, medical, government, and religious.
How long can you use a mobile office?
The typical length of use can range from several weeks to a few months. They have a life expectancy of 1-5 years.
Should I rent or buy?
It depends on how long you need the trailer. If it’s 24 months or less, renting is more cost-effective. If you need the trailer for more than 24 months, consider buying. Depending on the supplier, the break even number to lease vs. purchase is usually around 24-36 months. Some suppliers even offer a lease-to-purchase option. Ask around.
Should I buy new or used?
If you want to save money, buying used is the way to go. Just because a mobile office is used doesn’t mean the trailer is in bad shape. The condition of used trailers can vary widely, depending on how well the previous owner maintained it. If you want to maximize the trailer’s life expectancy, you should buy new.
How much does a mobile office cost?
The price to purchase an office trailer ranges anywhere from $15,000 to $45,000. The price to rent a mobile office trailer ranges from $200 to $900 per month.
How long is a typical rental contract?
Rental contracts usually last 3 to 6 months, but some are as short as two months and as long as 2 years. It depends on the supplier and their specific contract terms.
Can I go month to month?
Yes. Most suppliers offer a month to month contract with a 30-day termination notice.
How long does delivery take?
It usually takes around 7 to 10 days todeliver an office trailer. Depending on your area, some suppliers can get it to you in as quickly as 24 hours.
How much does delivery cost?
Most suppliers charge a flat fee for delivery within a certain mile radius plus an additional fee for every mile traveled outside that radius. TIP: save money by choosing a supplier near you!
Is site prep required?
Some basic site prep is usually needed. You want the area to be flat, dry and free of debris or rocks. Additional things to consider: can a flatbed truck and trailer fit through the gate/entrance to your property? Are there any low-hanging branches that will affect delivery? Is your site prone to flooding? Any details like these should be communicated to the supplier before delivery is arranged.
Do I need a permit?
In most cases, NO. Because mobile office trailers are considered temporary structures, you do not usually need a permit to keep the unit on your property for a brief amount of time. However, these rules can vary by area. A general rule of thumb: property that is in an urban, highly trafficked, or residential area will have stricter permit requirements than property in a rural or low traffic area. Contact your local authorities to determine specific requirements. What you don’t want is to be slapped with a fine because you didn’t ask.
What sizes are available?
The three main standard sizes for office trailers include:
- Single-wide: 14’ wide or less, 300-800 sq ft
- Double-wide: 24’ wide, 800+ sq ft
- Triple-wide: 42’ wide, 800+ sq ft
How do I know what size I need?
Generally speaking, you need about 100-150 square feet of space per person.
What floor plans can I choose from?
Commonfloor plans options include:
- Single-wide (less 400 sq ft): 1 office plus open area for storage or smaller office
- Single-wide (400-800 sq ft): 1-2 offices plus open area for storage or smaller office
- Double or triple-wide (800+ sq ft): Up to 4 offices plus large open area, possibly kitchen or break area
What custom features are available?
The majority of mobile office trailer suppliers include the following amenities in a standard package: HVAC, plumbing, electricity, windows, doors, roofing and vinyl siding. Custom features may include: high-security locking mechanisms, security bars on windows, decking, ramps, stairs, under-skirting, awnings and interior furnishings. Read More: Mobile Offices: A Buyer’s Guide.
Can I get insurance for theft or damage?
Some suppliers offer a liability waiver for an additional fee. If this is something you’re interested in, be sure to ask this upfront.
How weather-proof are the units?
It will depend on your site. Some office trailers can be placed flat on the ground with no additional securing needed. This works well for flat, level sites that are not prone to flooding or movement. But if your site is hilly, soft or prone to flooding, you may need additional stability features such as tie-downs, concrete foundation, or in-ground installation to prevent sliding or movement. Read More: Site Prep for a Mobile Office Trailer.
How do I choose a supplier?
Carefully. Read reviews, ratings and testimonials about the supplier. Look for hidden fees: delivery, add-ons, liability waivers, etc. Ask lots of questions.