Equipment

trailer-w-dirt

As silly as it feels I wanted to get some topsoil for the green house, so I bought some. It doesn’t look like much but it’s 4 cubic yards of top soil. The big point here is that if you are planning on doing much around your homestead regardless of your size think very hard about your equipment. This trailer is a 5000 lb trailer and it’s really to small, it handles hay ok, I’ve had  140 square bails on it but had to pry the fenders off the tires. I didn’t think about the topsoil in anyway other than volume, after I started driving I questioned it’s  weight. At home I looked up the weight of topsoil, what was on the trailer was probably between 7 and 8000 lbs. My truck did fine but that is another story.

I used to do landscaping, most of the trucks we had were 1 ton trucks, I had two personal trucks during that time, one was a Toyota 4×4 and the other an F100. Both of my trucks were 1/2 ton and there was absolutely no comparison, at one point I carried 16,000 lbs of stone on an F350, it was overloaded but it did it, over 1000 lbs my trucks had serious problems, I think I had 1 ton in my Toyota once but it was a short distance. After a side job with my F100 I couldn’t keep it on the road with the load and had to find a place to dump the brush and soil I had put in the bed, two days later a tire shredded.

Several years ago I had a Volvo station wagon and the F100, both died on me so I had to find another vehicle. My thought process was similar to this; I have some what of a farm, I could spend $15-20,000 on another car, I could get a 1/2 ton truck for around that as well, but none of those would be able to do very much. I ended up finding an F350 diesel for $16,000. Some 1/2 ton trucks have a good towing capacity but they don’t always have the weight or the breaks to back it up. If you lived in flat land it may not matter but I have to constantly change elevation 17000 ft. It is exceptionally scary to have your trailer push you where ever it wants you to go. My F350 handled it fine but I could tell the trailer was sloppy and coming down one of the ridges my brakes got used a lot, by brakes are much bigger than what would be on a 1/2 ton and the truck weighs around 7,000 lbs, they breaks  cost more than what would be on a smaller truck but I would rather have control that be pushed off of a cliff.

The message here is always get bigger than you think if there is any possibility you will be moving much, I need a bigger trailer but it isn’t so important I’m going to rush out and get one. There are times in our lives when it is convenient to upgrade, and when you have that opportunity do what you can to make it happen. It may be moving to a 3/4 or 1 ton truck or buying a house with 2 acres instead of a standard yard ( my 55 acres cost less than $30,000 with the sacrifice of going farther out of town where 10 acres were going for $750,000), when we have those opportunities it is a good idea to take them, if we do it at the right time it may not cost us very much.

(P.S., a 3/4 ton truck is much better than a 1/2 ton, don’t let the numbers fool you!)

Author: millcreekhomestead

Just a stay at home Dad trying to become more self sufficient in a world getting more dependent. It’s easy to get lost in all the things of the world, sometimes the best therapy is getting your hands dirty and growing something good!

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