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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010

    Default how much weight can a loft hold?

    How can you tell how much a weight (in hay) a hayloft can hold?

    I'm thinking of having timothy/alfalfa hay shipped down from the north (I'm on the gulf coast and hate the coastal bermuda). Right now, I store my hay on the ground, stacked on one half of my barn. I have a rather large loft, but didn't store hay up there because it's an old barn and I'm nervous about how much it can hold. Plus I have room on the ground and I order local (so I don't need to stockpile), so why bother throwing it up top? But if I can ship this stuff down, I'd like to utilize as much space as I can.

    Is there a way to tell without simply testing it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008


    Get a trusted builder or engineer to evaluate it. Lofts can hold different amounts depending on their support structures...some can hold as much as you can stack, others are not safe to hold any significant weight. No one here can you with accuracy.

    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010


    Yes, I suppose my real question was "who do I call to tell me?".
    My neighbor is a contractor; would he know who to call? I just moved to the area and am still building my list of contacts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Triad, North Carolina


    PE (professional engineer) can evaluate your structure and tell you a loading. If he stamps a certificate, he's putting his business on the line.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2002
    Henrico, NC 36 30'50.49" N 77 50'17.47" W


    Call your local building inspector. He will have a list of local engineers that figure floor loads regularly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2005
    Elmwood, Wisconsin


    Just to give you an idea of what a barn loft can hold, we
    have a traditional dairy barn, around 25x50 footprint.
    When we were still doing square bales, we would put
    5000 bales at 40 pounds each into the barn loft. That
    works out to 200,000 pounds or 100 tons. The barn is
    pretty old; our 90 year old neighbor was a young teen
    when he helped the neighbors do a barn raising of
    what is now our dairy barn (he still remembers that it
    was the first time he got to drink beer with the grown
    men <g>).
    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, Wisconsin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Upstate NY


    Yes, find yourself a structural engineer.

    Way too many variables for people on the internet to guess how much your loft can hold (hay or otherwise).

    I will say I have seen some pretty old, not healthy looking barns stand just fine with their upstairs (bank style barn) totally filled to the top with every bale of hay that can be shoved in there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005


    Absolutely depends on the barn. There is no comparison between the old turn of the century dairy barns and those they build now.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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