Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hauling Hay

Not much quilting going on around here this week.  My hubby and I have been hauling hay.

Yes, my other car is a Peterbilt--with 70 feet of trailer behind me.

I drive the truck and hubby runs the telehandler--that's this fun little gizmo. It's like a cross between a forklift and a crane. It can telescope out about 20 feet (hence the name). Another handy feature is crab steering, so it can turn on almost a zero radius-and rear wheels can turn independently of the front wheels for getting in and out of tight spaces.
Each bale weighs approximately a ton (2,000 lbs.) and we haul 34 at a time.

Here, the last pair are being pushed onto the very back of the trailer You might notice in this particular photo, the front trailer has stacks of 3 bales, they just come out of a different brand of baler.  But a stack of 3 bales equal a stack of 2 bales in volume and weight.

This is a pretty common sight around Southern Idaho, there are lots of mega dairies within a 100 mile radius. Most of the alfalfa hay raised is trucked to the dairies. I do not use the term mega-dairies loosely, they are 30,000 to 50,000 cow dairies, miking 23 hrs a day with one hour to clean.  
Then out to the stack yard.  It takes about an hour to load the truck, unload at the stack and return to the field. We have radios so we can communicate, otherwise it would be very difficult to know when to stop, when to move, turn left, turn right, "I need 6 more bales," or "it's time for dinner!"

When it is sold, we head up onto the scales to weigh the truck. The light weight of the truck is already in the scale house computer, so it automatically calculates the weight of only the hay, the driver and the level of fuel.  This scale is accurate to 20 pounds and we keep it certified, so we know it is accurate--important when you travel through ports of entry. 
This photo was a few years ago, but is my all time favorite picture of the bales in the field.
Well that's my past week in a nutshell, but it's probably way more than you wanted to know!


  1. No, not way more than I wanted to know. I thought it very interesting, thanks for sharing.

  2. Fun stuff to know! I bet you never get tired of that view. Beautiful!

  3. I'm familiar with how hectic life gets at haying time: everything else is put on hold until the bales are in the stack yard. I love the photo of the bales in the field.

    Just the thought of driving a big rig makes my knees weak, so I am very impressed with your ever-growing list of talents!

  4. hmm...I don't think I'd want that scale to know how much 'this' driver weighs. I remember bailing hay for my grandfather when I was a kid (35+ years ago). There were only the small, rectangle bails back then. I usually drove the truck while the men tossed the bails, since I couldn't quite lift the bails by myself. Boy was it HOT!

  5. Love seeing the non-quilting side of life--especially on the farm!! So do you have a CDL--or just drive it in the field?? Good for you--I can work the animals--but stay away from equipment--so far anyway!!

  6. Now this was interesting...NOT more than I wanted to know. In fact, I wondered what holds the bales it wire....and if so how many strands. Do you know if you have any other photos on your blog of baling this size hay bales?

    I really enjoyed this.

  7. What a beautiful place to live. Makes me want to get in my car and drive there right away.. :-) Paulette Haggan ( Greeley, Colo)



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