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Flat Bed versus Van Trailer--Pro's and Con's

Flat Trailer Bed storage unloading small bales hay safety

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#1 Zooshox69

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 01:51 PM

Currently have delivered a full size van trailer of small bales of coastal hay (not on pallets) to my locations.  Stacked all the way to the top.  What is the best way to unload the trailer?  Is it easier to unload by hand from flat bed versus van trailer.  What is the pro's and con's of having either trailer delivered to your location.  We don't have a barn, thus why we use a van trailer.  With a flat bed, wouldn't a tarp be a hassle?

 

Any thoughts, ideas, feedback?



#2 bbos2

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:13 PM

Van trailers pros
Easier to load
No tarps and keeps product dry
No straps
Never worry about shifting loads
Easier back hauls

Flat bed pros
Can haul more bales
Easier to unload

Easiest way is just unload by hand. I know there is some grabbers made to go into a van to pull them out but then you need access to a load dock.

#3 Teslan

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 04:41 PM

Some truck drivers hate tarps.   Had one put a tarp on last summer and it took about 45 minutes to put the tarp on.   Had another that took 3 hours.  I'm not sure why.



#4 slowzuki

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:47 PM

Lots of truck drivers here hate tarps especially if they are on their own.  I have to admit, the good ones are really friggin heavy especially for an older driver.  We have a couple of used ones around meant for short trailers and they just are difficult to deal with.


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#5 PaCustomBaler

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 06:16 AM

Used to haul small square loads on stepdeck flatbeds but just ended up being a pain.  if it wasn't getting tarped, had to work around the weather for loading and delivering, or find a place to keep it under cover until it could be hauled.  Tarping was just a huge PITA.

 

Since then, have been using van trailers and is much easier.  Our driver and I were chewing on throwing some doors on the sides of the trailer to make unloading at various farms easier, but just haven't had a chance yet to do so.  



#6 PaMike

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 11:38 AM

Anyone ever stack hay in a walking floor trailer? Wonder if it would work? Trailer is probably way to expensive to justify hauling hay...



#7 PaCustomBaler

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 01:12 PM

Works great.  Walks off fine.



#8 slowzuki

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 03:07 PM

There is a video on youtube unloading small squares from a walking floor, looked great!

 



#9 Teslan

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 04:42 PM

Can those walking floors go back wards? If so I would think it would be great for battle baron or bale bandit bale bundles. Or big squares even.

#10 slowzuki

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 05:35 PM

I think they can, the one I've had here delivering lime was just hydraulics running it.



#11 SVFHAY

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 07:27 PM

Walkers are great and work both ways, thicker side walls, thicker floors and lower side walls on most units really eat into cubic capacity and tare weight compared to a van.

To the O.P., if the length of haul is any distance at all the rate on vans should be the best. It may make up for inconvenience of unloading.

#12 Zooshox69

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:01 PM

Any concerns with bales getting bad with a tarp on a flat bed trailer?



#13 SVFHAY

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:10 PM

Yup, kinda depends on driver competency, condition of tarps and weather. I delivered for 18 years with flats and I am sure you could find damp bales on every load that saw rain in transport. Don't think many actually went bad from being soaked, we would stack damp edge out in storage.

#14 bbos2

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 02:58 PM

This has been debated on here b4 but in our climate here in ohio you have to be careful storing hay inside a van too long. It doesn't matter if it's bone dry it can still draw mosture from the steel walls in a van trailer and mold. Some people claim it won't tho. But it might be because of climate differences. But it has happened to me and other experienced hay makers in my area
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#15 panhandle9400

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 05:36 PM

Wanna bet how bales will fit on a 50 to 53' cow pot ? I have sent several 100's of loads of alfalfa down to Florida and a few of the others on the gulf side . A pot can carry more bales than a dry van trailer . van will keep it dry as where a pot has to cleaned out 1st then we will line it top to bottom and front to back with heavy clear plastic , string it from left to right so you want to get the widest roll so it makes it faster lining. See I am giving way trade secrets , when trucks roll into destination that horse farm /feed dealer wants it dry ! They will deduct all wet bales. In that case you either find you a awning to park under or keep both feet flat on the floor and truck'em up, after running through tropical storms  and hurricanes  you know how to keep it dry, which is hard to do with a pot  even if it is lined , I dont see me or any of my drivers putting in punch hole plugs on every hole  to haul a load of hay , not lazy but we dont have time for that s*** .   Stay with VAN trailers  imO where we unload there are always guys dropping a van on the lot full of hay from somewhere.  edit  btw we always had a couple of crews of black boys  that unloaded us at Ocala / Summerfield areas , otherwise it could be a cuban, mexican or some inked up white boy. Oh can I tell you some stories about white boys an black boys workin to gether in north Miami / Davy  Fl.  raddled long enough for now.


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#16 panhandle9400

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 05:48 PM

There is a video on youtube unloading small squares from a walking floor, looked great!

 

 It makes a mess with a live bottom unless it is rigged up to pull the hay out in a STACK , cool trailers .



#17 bbos2

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 05:49 PM

Wanna bet how bales will fit on a 50 to 53' cow pot ? I have sent several 100's of loads of alfalfa down to Florida and a few of the others on the gulf side . A pot can carry more bales than a dry van trailer . van will keep it dry as where a pot has to cleaned out 1st then we will line it top to bottom and front to back with heavy clear plastic , string it from left to right so you want to get the widest roll so it makes it faster lining. See I am giving way trade secrets , when trucks roll into destination that horse farm /feed dealer wants it dry ! They will deduct all wet bales. In that case you either find you a awning to park under or keep both feet flat on the floor and truck'em up, after running through tropical storms  and hurricanes  you know how to keep it dry, which is hard to do with a pot  even if it is lined , I dont see me or any of my drivers putting in punch hole plugs on every hole  to haul a load of hay , not lazy but we dont have time for that s*** .   Stay with VAN trailers  imO where we unload there are always guys dropping a van on the lot full of hay from somewhere.


I've never heard anyone doing that but I think that's pretty interesting. A little more time consumed but a good way to get some more use out of your cattle pot!

#18 panhandle9400

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:12 PM

You would be surprised how many loads of alfalfa goes down there in a cow pot. 40 to 50 loads a week ? Be a close figure , knowing the number of trucks that run out of there weekly, the outside trucks that only do it a few times a year have a hard time to get any of the loads due to those hay buyers down there want to keep the loads for the steady trucks that run out west . My run would consist of loading here at my place  leaving on the weekend for either a Monday or Tuesday unload date, then drop down to south Florida to reload back to here or 27miles from here with stocker calves /feeders , 1st time I ever unloaded my own hay at 12.00 a bale , blew me away how much they pay for #1 alfalfa plus pay me 75.00 per ton freight down, I am sure they are paying more these days, got burnt up doing that after several years of it.  Run a 3450 mile trip up to 42 weeks a year, not me  but my trucks , I had the best of both worlds for me , I could truck or I could stay on the farm. I have hauled many things in a pot potatos, onions, center pivot equipment most of the time it would walk on walk off you hoped so anyways. Oh btw  you earn it if you have to load hay into a pot , my drivers refused to do it and I would not ask them anyway, I tried to hire a team of school boys to do it , it sucks really but you do whatever makes you a buck.


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#19 panhandle9400

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:15 PM

Can those walking floors go back wards? If so I would think it would be great for battle baron or bale bandit bale bundles. Or big squares even.

 A shuffle floor or walking floor goes both ways , works great on the strapped cubes ..............



#20 SVFHAY

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:55 PM

Do any pots have side doors? All hand labor in that Ocala heat out the back? Good times....





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