Transporting your kit!

One of the biggest issues Black Market had when starting out, was how to get our kit, from A to B.

Sure, the guitarists can, and will look after their kit, as will the drummer, but the PA system is often bigger, bulkier, and is more mission critical than this kit (there are lots of ways around a guitar amp going down – there are not many ways around not having a front of house system!)

So how do you get it from gig to gig, safely and efficiently?  Below are some of the options I considered.

Using current cars, with kit split across the band:  Free + Fuel!

Pros:    
Minimal expenditure
             Cars can be used away from band activities!

Cons:    Cars have glass windows – smashing the window gives access to thieves!
             Car has to be loaded, unloaded, loaded, and unloaded every time you gig!
             Heavy wear and tear on the car interior.
              Possibility of people forgetting kit! 

Buying a Van: £2000 – £20,000! – Running costs of £600 per year + Fuel.

Pros:   Large, dedicated space for band kit.
           Can carry a couple of people as well as kit.
           Warm, dry and reasonably secure – wherever it’s left.
           Not necessarily required to empty after every gig (at your own risk!)

Cons:  Most expensive option – even at the cheapest end.
           Need somewhere to park when not in use (ideally secure!)
           Requires tax, MOT, insurance and maintenance at all times
           Can be a little awkward to park at gigs!

Buying a trailer:  £500 – £3000 + additional fuel

Pros:  Dedicated space for band kit
          Doesn’t need unloading after every gig – just unhook!
          Can be detached and rolled up to the door of most venues
          Retains usage of towing car as family vehicle!  
 
          Additional capacity possible from tow car.

Cons:  Initial outlay can range from a couple of hundred pounds, to many thousands
            Need somewhere dry to store really.
            At least one person, needs to have a tow bar and a suitable vehicle!
            Fuel economy drop is fairly drastic!
            Awkward to manoeuvre, and park (makes the vehicle very long!)
            Needs to be secured if being left for any length of time.

Black Market, weighing up all of these considerations, decided to go for the trailer option.  We bought a second-hand Lynton Loaded, originally manufactured in 1995 ish.  It was in a bit of a state of disrepair, but with a little effort and time, it came up nicely, and is now used for every gig.  It’s stored in a garage, where it stays dry, and it’s simple to hook up and unhitch at the end of the night.  Of course, I’d love a van, and somewhere big enough to store it etc, but the trailer is a great option given that it doesn’t need unloading.  It’s also very flexible – you can drop it at a venue, park the car, and unload – the only real issue we’ve had, is making sure it’s secure – for which we’ve invested in some BIG chains and hitch locks.   It’s big enough to carry all of our rig, and lights, and could even be big enough to take a couple of guitar amps if needed – so it suits our needs very closely!

And here she is….
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Got another way of getting kit to gigs?  We want to hear about it!  Drop a note via the contact page!

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One thought on “Transporting your kit!

  1. Pingback: Transporting your kit! | Live Sound Blog

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