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Best way to haul 'lots' of hay...

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  • Best way to haul 'lots' of hay...

    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.

  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      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.
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • #4
        Rent a U-Haul box truck for the day.
        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


        • #5
          Originally posted by JB View Post
          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.
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


          • #6
            Find a farmer with a flatbed
            It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


            • #7
              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...railer&type=eq
              ... _. ._ .._. .._


              • #8
                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/Eq....aspx?model=JH

                Definitely a job for a big flat bed trailer.
                ... and Patrick


                • #9
                  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).
                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                  • #10
                    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?


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        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.


                        • #13
                          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
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                          • #14
                            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.


                            • #15
                              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
                              Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                              Member: Incredible Invisbles


                              • #16
                                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.


                                • Original Poster

                                  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 .

                                  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.

                                  Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                  ... 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....


                                  • #18
                                    I haul 100 70# bales in my stock trailer. Its 24x7x7. That is only 4 deep. Could go another row up.


                                    • #19
                                      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.


                                      • #20
                                        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...