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How to best redeck a hay wagon

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#1 Rooster Ridge Farms

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 09:32 AM

Im redecking 3 hay wagons this spring. Again Im new to all this. Ive been been told to use 2x8 on top but some friends say hold them tight together with no spacing and others say space them 1.5 inches apart. any suggestions out there? Im also wanting the lowest price idea with out wishing later I would have built them stronger. thanks
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#2 rjmoses


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Posted 09 January 2011 - 10:04 AM

Here's what I was taught by my late uncle who was a carpenter: it depends!

If the wood is going to be kept or used inside in a shed, out of the weather, then the boards can be tight together. If kept outside, put a gap between the boards to allow water to drain through and air to dry them out. I was taught to use 8 or 10 penny nails between the boards to get the gap right. Another trick I was taught was to give them a coat of primer on the ends, sides and bottoms before putting them down.

These techniques were for any wood used outside.

I've been using the primer trick for wood fence posts and for the floor in a horse trailer--seems to help a lot--even for pressure treated wood. (Pressure treated wood nowadays just doesn't seem to have the same staying power that it use to.)

Hope this helps.

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#3 Mike120


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Posted 09 January 2011 - 10:21 AM

I agree with Ralph but wanted to make a point about pressure treated wood. If you use it make sure you use galvanized hardware and put a good coat of paint on the wagon steel. Pressure treated wood will eat bare steel. Stainless is better but more expensive.
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#4 mlappin


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Posted 09 January 2011 - 10:51 AM

When building a new wagon or redecking an older one, if you're using wood sills, we used to take either plastic or ice and water block (like used on a roof) and lay on top of the sills then lay the deck down. We spaced em about 3/4 to 1 inch apart. Use screws instead of nails, over the years nails will work themselves out from all the twisting a hayrack will encounter in the fields.
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#5 swmnhay


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Posted 09 January 2011 - 12:07 PM

Rooster Ridge,You don't say where you are from.:mad:

Any where near NW Iowa?

There is a sawmill here that rips rail road ties and beams to make flat beds.It's about the same price as the lumber yard but full 2" lumber and much stronger.
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#6 Toyes Hill Angus

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 12:07 PM

mlappin is right, I have a flat rack wagon with nothing wrong with it except for the top of the stringers/sills are rotten because of chaff holding moisture against the wood. The wagon is kept inside and swept off, now I blow them off with compressed air between the deck boards to slow this rot down, but it's too late now for this one it needs new stringers.
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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:35 PM

Hi guys, I have four that are ten to twelve years old, 8'x20' and are still in very good condition. They are on 8-10 ton Horst wagons, 14' wheel base with used 265x16 10ply truck tires. I use rough sawn 2x8's for the top over 4x10 sills from the local sawmill. Before I start to put it together I give the sills and one side of the planks a good coat of old oil. I find that it works better than paint and helps to get rid of old oil. The sills are capped with aluminum or tin befor the top is fastened down. I have never had good luck with screws on hay wagons and still use galvinized ardox nails or bolts. All of this lumber comes from the local sawmill and generally is spruce or better yet hemlock. I try to keep them inside as much as possible but in the summer they are outside when we are pressed for space. Sometimes we end up delivering hay on wet, slushy or snowy roads. They seem to be holding up well. Good luck.



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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:06 PM

I rebuilt 4- 8.5 x 20 wagons last winter. I used 6" channel for the runners with 3" channel as cross members every 24". All the wagons that I rebuilt had wood runners. Now I will never have to worry about them again. I also used 2x6 trated pine for the bed and used stainless screws to secure the boards. I did butt up my boards because they do have shrinkage. I now have a 1/4 " gap between the boards. Mike
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#9 Rodney R

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 06:05 PM

My dad made some about 35-40 years ago like Good Hay has said.... 2 x 8's on top of 10 or 12 inch stringers. One nail to hold the position while assembling, and a couple lags in each to hold them fast. 1/4 inch agle iron around the perimeter to attach posts and such, and to make things look pretty. They never sit out in the rain, and that seems to be a good thing. We had one that used to get used in the summer, rain or shine, and had sweetcorn juice on it, and every 4-5 years the stringers and some of the deck would go bad. Best thing is to keep the wagons dry, no matter how they're built.




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Posted 17 January 2011 - 08:45 PM

I agree with you Rodney that it's nice to have them inside but if I had to have a barn big enough to keep all of my wagons in, I could not justify the costs. That is why I use steel channel runners , crossmembers and deck them with salt treated 2x8 lumber. Even sitting outside, they will last for many years. I can park a total of 8- 9' x 20' wagons in my barn if loaded with hay and the rest have to stay outside with tarps until I can get them unloaded. I am getting ready to add a wing onto each side of my haybarn but that will be for round bales stacked on end. I will also try the asphalt. Waiting on reports for that. Mike

#11 geiselbreth


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Posted 19 September 2011 - 12:56 PM

i like expanded metal for the floor painted of coursr

#12 Hunter Valley Lucerne

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 06:59 PM

Just to be different - A lot of hay farmers here use heavy guage 2" Galvanised Weldmesh. Presume you guys call it the same. Providing there are enough cross members it works great. It allows the hay to breathe on the floor & you never get build up that has to be swept off etc.

Having said that both my trailers (1 x 32' & 1 x 38'6") have solid floors, one timber & one flat sheet metal. The metal one is a pain for leaving fresh hay on as it can sweat if not careful. The timber one has just about seen the end of its time & I will replace that with Weldmesh when the time comes.

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