On-Trailer vs. Stand-Alone

The picture says it all. You can build a successful business with either a Stand-Alone or an On-Trailer Axe Throw unit, but it’s important to know the differences between both as well as the strengths & weaknesses of the units.
On-Trailer Unit
The wheeled unit has a ton of benefits. We use these units primarily, and the closed-fencing build out puts fearful minds at ease regarding the wild throw. [You can completely cage your Stand-Alone units- Upper Canada Axe Throwing makes a quality one for instance].
The primary factor here is mobility. Our trailers go to almost every outdoor event, and can setup in a majority of locations. Other advantages:
  • The ‘Road View’ – These units are imposing, and act as a moving billboard if you lay your information out on the side. We get more event inquiries than I can count from the road.
  • Easy Setup – Our trailers are ready to roll in about 15 minutes whereas the Stand-Alones complete at around 1 hour.
  • Size Factor – At many events, you’re going to compete for peoples’ dollar bills. A deck-over trailer (like the one pictured above) sit roughly 2.5 feet above a Stand-Alone unit, and, in many instances, the biggest, flashiest game is the one best attended. At an event where verticality is a player- and that’s most of them!-, it sets you up as a more visible vendor.
  • When Scale Doesn’t Matter – At a majority of our events, the numbers don’t make sense to have any more than 2 throwing lanes available. If you’re only looking at having 50-100 playing through the game in a handful of hours, it’s not going to make sense to add another 2 hours in time for the build and tear down of a Stand-Alone.
Stand-Alone Unit
 These pop-up units are run by a number of mobile axe throw companies as their primary units, and as secondary units by others.
Stand-Alones come in a ton of different of forms, and you’re likely going to find everything from a pop-up target with nothing for safety to a fully enclosed cage unit. Advantages:
  • Cost – This is a big one. These units are less expensive although how big a difference is dependant on how you build both units. This is one of reasons many people get their axe throw company started with low investment Stand-Alone’s.
  • Indoor & Tight Spot Setup – Many events are housed entirely indoors. [While it’s not impossible to get a trailer inside, you generally need a bay door to be able to squeeze in.] Stand-Alone’s can be setup inside, and generally fit in many more tight locations.
So where do you go with that information? Cost plays a factor, absolutely. The degree of how much is going to vary from person to person, and even trailer units are extremely cheap when you’re able to monetize these properly. 
My take is this: A successful company in this industry is likely going to use both.
There are situations where each one of these 2 types of axe throw units makes sense, and even more where you’re going to be able to utilize both at a venue.
A lot of this can be traced back to events- Are there a number of events where space is going to be a problem? Can you lock down 2-4 day fairs & festivals where you’re able to monetize running a trailer plus multiple side lanes? Do your homework.
For Odyssey Axe Throw, we use our Stand-Alone’s primarily as an accessory. Our On-Trailer’s go to the vast majority of our events. The Stand-Alone’s can usually be found at the big events that A) are long enough to make sense with setup time included and B) have a plethora of interested people in throwing some axes.
Next Time: COVID Concerns- Navigating The Mucky Waters of Axe Throwing in a Pandemic

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