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Thread: Bee Truck

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    oneida ny usa
    Posts
    128

    Default Bee Truck

    I would like to know what others use for a bee truck and what they would like different (if anything) on the next truck. Also number of hives that are hauled at a time on it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,800

    Default Subaru Baja

    My Baja is the perfect bee truck. Bed is low to the ground, mileage is fair (22+/-), all wheel drive, fits about 25 empty mediums, maybe 15 full, six hives, room in the back seat for my bee bag. I should add some rope hooks. It will get replaced eventually with a Toyota Tacoma w/aluminum flatbed, or similar if there is something better on the market a that time.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,527

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    Frank,
    It looks like that only holds enough supers for one hive!

    I've got a 2002 GMC 3500 w/ 12 ft. flatbed. It will haul 360(60 to a pallet 10 high) empty 6 5/8 shallows easily. I can easily haul 80 1 1/2 story colonies plus pull my trailer with bobcat/mast. I can put on tank with 700 gal hfcs but that is pushing it. I wish I had a diesel for fuel milage but engine parts are cheaper and easier for me to fix on a gas( my 8.1 L/(almost 500 ci) gets 10 mpg loaded or empty). For the few times I get stuck each year I wished it was 4 wheel drive but with this years poor crop I'm glad I didn't go all out.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    I love my dodge flatbed truck. It is a one ton dually with side boxes under the bed for straps and such. it is also a 4x4 diesel. Great milage but the 4x4 is locking hubs so you have to get out and lock them. I wish I had a open box for the smoker and a water jug.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,555

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    I've a 1990 Dodge RAM350 Cummins Turbo Diesel. It's a 11 foot steel flatbed dually with boxes under the sides behind the cab and a box in the rear. I run 8 frame deeps and can haul 18 4 hive pallets double stacked. I've never done it, but it'll work and is why I bought the truck. I'm no longer wishing to be so big into bees, but the truck is a great farm truck!

    I always had mini trucks in my life, and since having this truck, one thing I've learned is go with a flat bed. I would never have another truck with the standard box bed again, they are useless for me now that I've experienced the loads this truck can haul and the ease of loading and unloading.

    OK, back to bees.... I also have a small kubota tractor that has forklift mast in rear and forks on arms in front, can pull it behind the load for loading and unloading the pallets. I don't run pallets any more but when I do need to move a hive, it's very easy to slip it up onto the flatbed. I still need to get me a bee lift made out of a hand truck with garage door tracks with a cable and hand crank for lifting and moving hives from the stands to my truckbed, as I get time for to do it.

    The only thing different I might wish for my truck is that it was a dump bed, but that's just for using it as a farm truck, it would not be such a good way to unload beehives I'm thinking!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,154

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    F-450 Super Duty Deisel, 16,000lb GVW, w/ a bed long enough to put 5 rows of 4-way pallets down the length. This allows me to carry 80 two story hives. I also have a trailer behind that carrys my skidsteer loader. It is a flat bed trailer, so I can carry hives or equipment on it too.

    I run between 400 and 800 colonies, when I get back up to that number. This size truck suits my operation just fine.

    When i need to move alot of hives at once i hire a semi and driver.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    here's a link to my pictures.

    http://s248.photobucket.com/albums/gg169/52crewguy/

    My truck is an FL-80 with an 18' bed. It has a gvwr of 30,000. I also have a 27' trailer that's rated for 34,000. I love the truck it gets 12 mpg and will go anywhere.
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    Dbest...tell me you are not cutting the funny powder in this pic.

    http://s248.photobucket.com/albums/g...Florida012.jpg
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    1992 250 dodge ram desiel with a gooseneck cattle trailer and a homemade ramp. Can haul supers 6-7 high. The trailer is about 16-18 ft long, not including the nose. For loading full supers, a power cart or wheeler.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    That's acutally my friend C J making candy for queen cages

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    Dbest...tell me you are not cutting the funny powder in this pic.

    http://s248.photobucket.com/albums/g...Florida012.jpg
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Burke, SD, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    Here is a pic of the 1-ton. It's a 2004 Dodge 3500 and will haul 64 eight-frame double deeps and 180 deep supers. It has an extension that will allow for another row that we use sometimes.

    http://s594.photobucket.com/albums/t...92552_5409.jpg

    Our big truck is a 1993 Volvo FE. It has a 20' bed that will haul 128 hives and 300 supers. We bought this used from another beekeeper and he has it set up specifically for beekeeping. It is very handy with lots of power.

    http://s594.photobucket.com/albums/t...92526_9462.jpg

    And the real workhorse that got us through many difficult years, Little Miss Suzi. A 1993 GMC (Isuzu) W4500. We can haul 80 colonies on the 12' flatbed. The little 4 cylinder gave us more than service than one should ask with many fully loaded trips to TX. However on a cold February day a couple of years ago some injectors went out. The old gal is still waiting to be fixed.

    http://s594.photobucket.com/albums/t...92585_7017.jpg
    Last edited by beeman; 09-26-2009 at 08:44 PM. Reason: added a truck

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    I like the trailer and forklift. What model is your loader? Do you have any more pictures of those. Also how do you like the cab over design?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeman View Post
    Here is a pic of the 1-ton. It's a 2004 Dodge 3500 and will haul 64 eight-frame double deeps. It has an extension that will allow for another row that we use sometimes.

    http://s594.photobucket.com/albums/t...92552_5409.jpg

    Our big truck is a 1993 Volvo FE. It has a 20' bed that will haul 128 hives. We bought this used from another beekeeper and he has it set up specifically for beekeeping. It is very handy.

    http://s594.photobucket.com/albums/t...92526_9462.jpg
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Burke, SD, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    What model is your loader? Do you have any more pictures of those.
    The loader is a Bobcat 1600 articulating loader that is similar to this one. (maybe in better shape though)

    http://www.machinerytrader.com/listi...599b00646c1ea3

    The beekeeper from California that we take share bees for converted it to a forklift and sold it to us. It is heavier than most lifts but will outlift a Swinger. It has a longer wheelbase than a Swinger so it is not as nimble however. Although we don't have the doors on the cab it still offers some weather/bee protection. The trade-off is some visibility. All in all it is a pretty good lift.

    The trailer is a self-tilting unit that my uncle built. After many years of ramps, I would never go back.

    Also how do you like the cab over design?
    Love it. Don't know how we got around without it. We used to have a 1989 Ford F700 before this truck and this gets in much tighter places. A lot of our yards are relics of the days when they handloaded stuff so they are congested. I can about turn the truck and forklift around on the width of a city street.

    I will scrounge up some more pictures to post of them. I even have a short video of trailer in operation I think.
    Last edited by beeman; 09-26-2009 at 09:17 PM. Reason: added info

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,303

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    Beeman:

    I too have a GMC W4500. It's a great truck, a little underpowered but very fuel efficient. Cabovers are great for turning. The visibility is fantastic. Can't say enough good about it.

    Jean-Marc

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    983

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    1998 dodge 12v 3500 quad cab 9 ft bed. Will carry 48 hives with 16' tag trailer/swinger behind great fuel milage
    Freightliner fl 70 with tag axle(great for big loads and getting me stuck),4' sleeper, 54.000k cummins, 9 speed, air ride 22 ft bed will carry 224 hives with 16' trailer/swinger behind.
    Would love to have a outfit like Paul Sassifield....semi with 24 ft bed with spread axle and 24 ft trailer with spread axle, twin screw(hard to get stuck) which would haul 512 colonies

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,763

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    Also consider that your truck will be pooped on, scraped, propolis stained seats, wax and propolis inside and out.
    A true bee truck is hard to keep clean, so just keep in mind, a bee truck is a work truck. It will get dented
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hughson, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    I am considering buying a Ford F550 diesel 4x4 and will put a bed long enough to fit 6 rows of 10 ten frame equipment (96 total hives). Just interested in hearing people experiences / thoughts. Thanks.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,527

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Beekman View Post
    I am considering buying a Ford F550 diesel 4x4 and will put a bed long enough to fit 6 rows of 10 ten frame equipment (96 total hives). Just interested in hearing people experiences / thoughts. Thanks.
    A beekeeper in FL I know has one and loves it. Plenty off power(7.3L) and rides nice. That is what I was going to buy but I got my 2002 gmc cab and chassis for $4000.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Hammond, NY
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Beekman View Post
    I am considering buying a Ford f550 diesel x and will put a bed long enough to fit 6 rows of 10 ten frame equipment (96 total hives). Just interested in hearing people experiences / thoughts. Thanks.
    Matt; I just bought a 2009 f550 4x 4 crew, just to let you know if you do get the ford integrated brake system it is not stock, I didn't know that and am having it changed out I have a 32ft goose neck with elect/Hy disk brakes

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    983

    Default Re: Bee Truck

    F550 ford is arealy well built truck...but its powerjoke engine leaves you stranded at the dealer shop on occasion. If you put in a cummins then you would have a truck. The freightliner is heavier built, will turn just as tight and gets close to same mpg as a new powerjoke.

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