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View Full Version : Best way to haul 'lots' of hay...



TheHotSensitiveType
Jul. 23, 2012, 12:59 PM
The details... I found an awesome local hay grower last year, and I want to buy enough hay for my horse for the year (they do not store, just sell until it is all gone). I have a wonderful friend who lets me use her full size pickup to get hay.

So the question, I need ~150 bales of hay and would like to get it all in one trip. Is that even possible? I was considering renting a flatbed trailer (do not know where to rent one) and even renting the biggest size u-haul... Would either of those work? Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

WildBlue
Jul. 23, 2012, 01:24 PM
50# bales is 7,500 lbs total, 60# bales ups it to 9,000 lbs. Do you know how to stack hay tightly and correctly for transport? If not, get the farmer to show you.

Does your friend's truck have a brake controller? You're going to need a big flatbed trailer with brakes for that much hay, probably stout tie-downs as well. Ours is 18' long, and that'd be pushing the max load.

One idea is to talk to small local contractors, guys with earth-moving equipment they haul around, and see if you can hire delivery (I'd be surprised if anyone will rent their trailer, but stranger things have happened). That might end up being cheaper than cobbling something together.

If you're fairly close, you could also see about borrowing a hay wagon from the farmer. You have to drive very, very slowly (hence being "fairly close"), but I've done it several times.

JB
Jul. 23, 2012, 01:25 PM
150 bales in a pickup? Not going to happen. You will need at least a large heavy duty flat bed.

To put it in perspective, my long bed (ie 8') easily holds 20 bales (typical 45lb or so squares) and could probably get another 10-15 stacked on if it was held down very securely.

Is there anyone you know with a flatbed you could borrow?

A large u-haul would probably work, but look at the cost of it plus gas, and see if you would be better off driving the pickup over there (ie the miles of gas it would use) a few times.

SuckerForHorses
Jul. 23, 2012, 01:27 PM
Rent a U-Haul box truck for the day.

SuckerForHorses
Jul. 23, 2012, 01:28 PM
To put it in perspective, my long bed (ie 8') easily holds 20 bales (typical 45lb or so squares) and could probably get another 10-15 stacked on if it was held down very securely.

I have an F-150, with a 6' bed, and we stacked 62 bales on it and traveled 20 miles to deliver it. They were the same size bales (45 or so lbs.)

If you have someone who can really stack those suckers tight, you can fit quite a few on a pickup.

Mosey_2003
Jul. 23, 2012, 01:34 PM
Find a farmer with a flatbed :yes:

Equibrit
Jul. 23, 2012, 01:37 PM
Go to a construction equipment type place and rent a trailer used for hauling skid steers and such(tandem axle). About 14-16 ft long should carry 150 bales without a problem. Make sure you have suitable tie downs (long enough)and the correct size tow ball.
Example; http://www.sunbeltrentals.com/search/default.aspx?s=trailer&type=eq

wsmoak
Jul. 23, 2012, 01:38 PM
The biggest truck on the U-Haul site is 26' and can handle 7400 lbs. That *might* work. Figure $40 per day plus $0.79 per mile, plus the fuel. I'd be surprised if it got more than 7 mpg! http://www.uhaul.com/Reservations/EquipmentDetail.aspx?model=JH

Definitely a job for a big flat bed trailer.

buck22
Jul. 23, 2012, 01:45 PM
I can easily stack 20 on a full size pick up bed, I could do a third layer for 30 if I knew what I was doing and knew how to tie it down good, but I don't so I don't try.... I have nightmares of causing an accident with a fallen bale in traffic.

A man I used to buy hay from used to deliver 50 squares on his full sized F150 with the tailgate down. Bales were mighty small though and lucky if they weighed 35#. I could carry one in each hand.

I am in the same situation as the OP and every year I rent a Uhaul. Its idiot-proof stacking and you're protected from the rain or possibility of loosing a bale. Also handy if something comes up and you can't get them unloaded in the time you thought, you can just extend the rental and come back the next day to finish up, no worry about weather.

I can get appx 75 bales (appx 45#) in a 14', and around 120 if I cram them in in a 20' truck. Big truck is pricey though, rental fee advertised is the least of it, mileage and gas usage adds up fast. A "$29.99" rental costs me around $150 at the end of the day and I don't go but 60 miles all totaled. Takes me about 9 hours to load up, drive home, then stack 100 bales of hay solo. Last year bales from one field were large but light, I made two trips in one day for a total of 135.

I usually make 3 trips per year.

I have considered renting a tag-along flat bed trailer, but then its mileage and wear and tear on my SUV and then none of the weather benefits or idiot-proof stacking.

Most economical thing would be to borrow someones truck and stock trailer and make several trips. Small stock trailer can hold about 65 bales (45-50# ish) carefully stacked. Each year a friend offers me use of her stock trailer, but I don't want to put those kinds of miles on my SUV, and I don't like taking the chance with someone else's property. Save that kindness for an emergency (G-d forbid).

goodhors
Jul. 23, 2012, 02:59 PM
We can get 100 bales in a stock trailer, 6ft wide, 7ft tall inside dimensions, with 18ft on the ground surface. Stacked pretty tight, 60# bales. Got any friends with a stock trailer you can rent? Even doing two trips, loading and unloading at both ends, should only be a day's work. You don't have to worry about losing any bales on the road with the enclosed trailer.

If your friend had a BIGGER trailer, you could even get more on in each load. Maybe then fill your own truck with the left overs. 60 bales on a pickup with an 8ft bed, tailgate down, binder straps, is a good load if bales have any weight to them. Don't kill the truck.

Maybe you could hire friend, a local kid, to help with loading and unloading to speed things up. Have to say the cost is WORTH the money, because you are hating the job by the end of the last bale.

We used to haul ALL the hay home in the stock trailer, so we handled every bale twice, times 1200 bales. Had to use what you have to move hay. We have a semi truck flatbed and I love it. 600 bales to a load. Still handling it twice, but it sure goes faster with the semi. Helps having hired a couple kids to work too! We are HALF done, with only one truck load and one trip!

If you do an open trailer, have enough binder straps to be legal. On our semi, the LAW says every 10ft of the load needs a strap. Every location is different, and you sure don't want to lose bales, get a ticket or cause an accident if the load falls off. Hay will shift in transit. So over strapping the load is FINE, safer for all. TSC sells the flat, wide straps, with the big rachets for a reasonable price. Make sure the clip or hook ends you buy will work on your truck or trailer sides. Might be helpful to put strap ends on FIRST, then run the strap end thru the rachet to tighten after load is on. Any overhanging bale parts don't cover your attachement points, so you can't get them hooked on. I always do that on the pickup bed, since sideways bales overhang the bed sides when loaded.

Gosh 150 bales sounds like a piece of cake. Sure that is enough for winter?

saje
Jul. 23, 2012, 03:15 PM
If the bales are well baled, nice and tight and even, and are not stupidly heavy, I can get 60+ on my F250s 8' bed. I make sure to cross stack them, and do a careful strapping job. Its a bitch to do alone, but I've done it, quite a few times.

GoForAGallop
Jul. 23, 2012, 03:30 PM
Anyone getting just 20 bales on a long bed pickup truck doesn't know how to stack hay. ;) Like other posters, 40 bales on the back of my SHORT bed is normal, if I really don't feel like making multiple trips.

A couple people have suggested it, but do you have a horse trailer? I can fit 80-100 50# bales in my two horse. I pull out all the dividers and everything, of course. Can stuff another 10-15 in the dressing room. I put up about 600 bales of hay, get about 300 off property, so I take a few trips with the trailer every year.

It's a super pain, vs. getting it delivered, but my hay guy isn't interested in delivering. Lucky for me, he's 15 minutes down the road, and the quality/price make it irresistible.

JB
Jul. 23, 2012, 03:48 PM
I DID say it EASILY holds 20 bales. It's not a matter of cramming more on the first layer - they are what they are. I COULD cram more on the subsequent layers and have things higher and wider if I wanted. It was to give perspective on 150 bales vs a pickup truck of any sort ;)

TheRedFox
Jul. 23, 2012, 03:48 PM
I think it all depends on where you live regarding terrain. Down in florida, you might not have a problem hauling that much hay on a trailer...however, if you are in the midst of mountain country and intend to pull a trailer, i would imagine you would probably want a super heavy duty diesel to pull with. The last thing you want to do is drop the transmition of your friend's truck in the middle of the road.

I cant imagine why big uhaul diesel truck wouldnt work.

sk_pacer
Jul. 23, 2012, 04:04 PM
If you know what you are doing, you can stack 65 in a long bed truck and that is a big load, and kinda top heavy but it can be done. You need to know how to stack and have ropes to tie down because it just isn't going to sit there. Hauling that amount in a truck isn't insurmountable if you can make several trips.

We used to haul 900 from the hay flat with an elderly Fargo and in what seemed like 900 trips to a kid :)

PreppyPonies
Jul. 23, 2012, 04:17 PM
One other thing to consider is bale size is different depending on where you are. OP I see you are in the PNW which means your bales might be closer in size to what we have down here, 90-125lb per bale. With those I can comfortably fit 10-15 bales in the back of my F150.

If you are really close to the grower then you could handle all the bale with the pickup but you will be making a lot of trips. If at all possible I'd try to find a trailer you can use to haul more. If you decided to rent then look at construction rental type places. They are more likely to have flatbed trailer that will support more weight than the uhaul ones. Or even better would be to find a friend with a horse trailer you can borrow, preferably one where the dividers can be removed to make it easier to load. Be careful not to overload the truck or it's towing capacity.

TheHotSensitiveType
Jul. 23, 2012, 04:40 PM
Thank you all for the good advice. The bales are ~65lbs (I can actually pick them up and throw then around which means that they are <80lbs) so I am not sure if that weighs into some of your suggestions.

Unfortunately I do not have a friend that owns a stock trailer.... I need to make one :D.

I am leaning toward renting a u-haul as making multiple trips just adds so much time to the whole adventure. And, I scared the bejeezus out of myself last year with losing a few bales of hay off of my friend's truck because I did not know how to stack..... so an enclosed vehicle sounds awesome in that regard. Also, I guess I could stack up her truck (second trip last year I looked up how to stack hay, and we made it back without further incident, but I was white knuckling it the whole way.... I really could have caused a bad accident) and fill the u-haul with hay and be good to go.


... Gosh 150 bales sounds like a piece of cake. Sure that is enough for winter?

Compared to what you are dealing with, 150 would seem like a piece of cake! :) I only have one horse right now who is a fairly easy keeper so a 65lb bale lasts her 3 days. If I get a second horse like I want to, I would need another 100+ bales....

bastnpny5
Jul. 23, 2012, 04:51 PM
I haul 100 70# bales in my stock trailer. Its 24x7x7. That is only 4 deep. Could go another row up.

trubandloki
Jul. 23, 2012, 05:02 PM
My first question when I read the title was 'what do you think lots of hay is'.


The frustrating part about using an enclosed trailer is stacking becomes more tricky.

With someone who knows how to stack safely you can easily get 50 bales on an average truck.

shakeytails
Jul. 23, 2012, 10:43 PM
What about the flat bed trucks you can rent from Home Depot? I would think it would take only two trips. Of course you'd probably have to buy something long from them to be able to rent the truck...:winkgrin:

seabreeze
Jul. 23, 2012, 11:07 PM
If the bales are well baled, nice and tight and even, and are not stupidly heavy, I can get 60+ on my F250s 8' bed. I make sure to cross stack them, and do a careful strapping job. Its a bitch to do alone, but I've done it, quite a few times.

I can get close to that. It's been a while since I've done it, but...let's see...I lay the tailgate down, get 11 on the bottom, then 12 on each subsequent layer, usually do 5 layers so that would be 59 bales.

Like saje says, the stacking and strapping are key. Also, no whipping in and out of traffic...when you've got a lot of hay on, you're a little top-heavy.

ReSomething
Jul. 23, 2012, 11:16 PM
I like Penske better than U haul and sometimes you can get them with a lift gate which can be helpful. They charge more but use a heavier chassis so if you can fit it in there it's not too likely to overweight the vehicle.

DH towed a tobacco wagon of hay home with the Tacoma once. I'm very very glad I wasn't around. Tobacco wagons here are four wheeled with a wagon type front end and a pole that has a ring on the end. No lights, no turn signals, no registration and NO BRAKES.

We've put hay in the stock trailer too and we have a pretty big flatbed trailer. We've also rented flatbed trailers, often called equipment trailers.

ETA, you mght try asking the hay guy if he knows of a trucking firm that will deliver. Sometimes they know of independent truckers, they just won't make the arrangements for you.

Foxtrot's
Jul. 23, 2012, 11:52 PM
I bring home close to that on a long-bed p/u and double axle car trailer, using a
F250 diesel p/u - aboout 60 # bales. Remember to have lots or rope - lots and lots. It is pretty full and stacked carefully and driven slowly - thinking of the tires, etc.

Rabtfarm
Jul. 24, 2012, 09:12 AM
Loading a flatbed trailer it is a very good idea to cross-cross each layer of bales, so they lock each other on the bed. I am able to haul 100 bales on an 18 foot flatbed car trailer without straps short distances that way. I could go up another layer(fifth one) but mostly that doesn't fit in too many barns and would absolutely need strapping before going over the road.
Ask around, local car clubs often have members with trailers.

tangledweb
Jul. 24, 2012, 11:12 AM
How local? How well do you know the hay guy? 150 bales is about what you fit loosely tossed in a normal size hay wagon. Maybe he has a relatively roadworthy one you could borrow. Keep in mind though, they don't have brakes, so even if you are towing it with a truck instead of a tractor you'll need to travel at tractor-like speeds.

LauraKY
Jul. 24, 2012, 11:23 AM
I can get 36 bales on my short bed pickup, no problem. Stacked right, they don't even need to be tied down (I do anyway).

Trevelyan96
Jul. 24, 2012, 05:44 PM
We can get 100 50# bales in one trip by loading 40 on the pickup's 8' bed and 60 on the 2H BP trailer being pulled by my SUV.

You do have to know how to stack properly on the pickup and have good strong tie-down. Mr. T uses the nylon tiedowns with the ratchets. The trailer is a basic TB sized 2H bumper pull with an extended front.

If I were on my own, I'd probably rent the biggest U-Haul I coud find and load it up. My supplier does do delivery, but its $2/bale. We went that route for this year's first cutting, but I will probably elect to go get it myself when I'm ready to stock up with my winter load.

ACP
Jul. 24, 2012, 11:00 PM
HOW TO STACK HAY - been there, done that, about 1,001 times, it seems like!

If your full sized pickup truck has a regular long bed, you can haul a good bit of hay, provided it is stacked properly. You will be putting in several layers.

Layer 1: Let the tailgate down, and start at the front of the bed, with the hay turned up on its side, so that you can stack four bales like so ||||. Then, between the wheel covers, place another three bales ||| firmly pushed up against the four in the front. In the back part of the bed, extending out onto the tailgate, stack another four bales thus ||||. This puts 11 bales in the bed.

Layer 2: Now stack 12 bales at right angles to the hay in the bed of the truck, with a 'seam' down the middle of the bed, and the ends of the hay sticking out on the sides.

Layer 3: Then stack another 12 bales at right angles to the second tier of hay, so that you have three rows of ||||, one at the front, one in the middle, and one at the back of the bed.

Layer 4: Repeat layer 2, with 12 bales at right angles to the previous hay. There will be a 'seam' down the middle of the bed.

Layer 5: The cap layer, with 6 bales down the middle of the load, so that these six bales cross the 'seam' down the middle of the bed.

This makes a load of 53 bales.

You could do another 12-bale layer, for a total of 65 bales. I would only do this with a good truck and capable driver.

Rope it Down: You can use a single rather long rope, which you fold in half, and use the folded end to make a loop which you hook over the trailer hitch. Or two ropes with a well tied loop, which come up from the back over the tailgate, up across all the hay, on the 1/3 and 1/3 spots of the cap layer bales, down over the roof of the cab, and the hood to the front bumper. Don't tie this end down. Make a loop in each rope about half way from the front of the cab to the hood. Then take the rest of the rope down and around the front bumper. Bring that end back up and thru the loop. Use the pulley this gives you to really cinch the hay down. Make a half hitch or whatever you call it knot, so you can get it undone.

Hope this helps.

Most farmers/hay dealers will either rope it down for you, or check your work.

Good luck

EventerAJ
Jul. 25, 2012, 12:08 PM
How to move lots of hay: 598 bales (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/Mobile%20Uploads/Photo425.jpg).

150 isn't too much. Like tangled web said, if it's local (less than 20mi) you can haul it on a haywagon using the backroads. Or stack it well in a pickup bed (great how-to above!) and rent a flatbed. Just be sure you do not overload a flatbed and greatly exceed its weight capacity-- the tires will suffer. An acquaintance of mine tried to load 300 bales (at 70+lbs) on a 20' gooseneck flatbed (2 axle, not duals) to travel 3 hours home... and blew three tires within the first 100 miles. Don't do that.

Schatzi09
Jul. 25, 2012, 06:59 PM
I have a dually with 8' bed and can get 76 bales on it. We get 13 bales in the bed, then 2 more rows of 15, then 2 more rows of 12 each, then a top row with 9. We hold it all down with baling twine criss-crossed front to back and another pair of strings across the front row of bales and back row of bales (side to side). Holds well even if we have to haul down the interstate!

ReSomething
Jul. 25, 2012, 07:02 PM
I have a dually with 8' bed and can get 76 bales on it. We get 13 bales in the bed, then 2 more rows of 15, then 2 more rows of 12 each, then a top row with 9. We hold it all down with baling twine criss-crossed front to back and another pair of strings across the front row of bales and back row of bales (side to side). Holds well even if we have to haul down the interstate!

What pattern do you lay them in?

shakeytails
Jul. 26, 2012, 01:39 AM
I have a dually with 8' bed and can get 76 bales on it. We get 13 bales in the bed, then 2 more rows of 15, then 2 more rows of 12 each, then a top row with 9. We hold it all down with baling twine criss-crossed front to back and another pair of strings across the front row of bales and back row of bales (side to side). Holds well even if we have to haul down the interstate!

Damn, you're good! They must be some nice tight bales to stack that well and hold steady.

kathy s.
Jul. 26, 2012, 02:02 AM
Wow! I thought I was doing good with 47 in the bed of my 1 ton dually! The bales weigh 70# and Ole Blue never misses a beat.

TBPNW
Jul. 26, 2012, 05:09 PM
I've passed by accidents caused by falling hay bales, involving multiple vehicles. At the best, that turned into an even more expensive load of hay, and at the worst... Your idea of using an enclosed trailer is a good one, when feasible.

KateWooten
Jul. 26, 2012, 05:30 PM
Your idea of using an enclosed trailer is a good one, when feasible.

Written, I'm guessing by someone who has not hauled their horse trailer up and down Tennessee hay fields in August.

TBPNW
Jul. 26, 2012, 07:50 PM
We bring in more than a thousand square bales to three different farms. Comparatively, moving only 150 bales in a horse or stock trailer seems feasible and safest.