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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    717

    Default Trailer and lift recommendation

    Hi all,
    I am looking to buy a trailer for hauling beehives and I thought I would ask those who have already went through this before.
    The amount of hives I will have to haul at one time will be 50 BUT I would like to be able to do more if possible . They would be double deeps and I was thinking no more than 2 hives stacked .

    Also I haven't yet purchased a mechanized way to lift the hives off the trailer , I am getting way too many different answers when it comes to what to buy , most of the contractors that I have been talking to about skid steers say they get stuck a lot, and it's very hard to find a rough terrain forklift unless I buy a new one and have it imported from the US . Ezyloaders look nice , but they cost a lot and I am not sure I want to spend all that money on something that has limited use. I was also thinking a smaller tractor with a fork attachment on the front might work , but I don't know if my view would be obstructed with the tractor for picking up the pallets .

    There is some commercial beekeepers around NS that are using a Kubota R310 and other R series loaders with forks on them, but they are hard to find used , and new they start at 40 K from what the Kubota website shows me.

    What would be a good setup for me that won't put me in the poor house for the next 5-10 years LOL

    Thanks
    and I know this is a mixed up thread , it's just hard for me to figure this out on my own .

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,446

    Default Re: Trailer and lift recommendation

    Well expect even more confusion after you hear all the different set ups that folks on here have. If you aren't prepared to spend upwards of 40 grand on an articulated loader and trailer and you don't want to consider an ezy-loader then I think a used skid steer
    probably gives you the best bang for the buck. I have loaded lots of trucks of all sizes with them and they work just fine. The only real downsides are they are a bit awkward to get in and out of and they can be a bit hard on the turf. In the rare instance where I have had one stuck, it took no more to get going again than to use the forks to push or pull your way out. They aren't the perfect bee moving set up but their versatility more than makes up for the shortcomings.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    717

    Default Re: Trailer and lift recommendation

    When getting stuck with a pallet of hives on the skid steer , how can you get unstuck ? I have used front end loaders/tractors but not for moving hives , it was easy for me to just dump the load and use the bucket to get going again. That was my only issue with getting stuck with a skid steer.
    I can see it now ,I am moving hives and uh-oh i'm no longer moving ahead and then i'm toast until i get something to move me LOL

    I tend to research things to death , this is why I don't want to jump into buying something I will regret is all.

    Thanks

    Ben L
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,446

    Default Re: Trailer and lift recommendation

    Ben: I'm not going to say it can't happen only that such a scenario never did happen to me in probably 1,000 plus hours of using one. Get a good set of tires use a little discretion and worry not. Absolute worst case is hook up a chain and pull the sucker out. articulated loaders are awesome, though. Once I started using one I rarely jump on the ole skidder. It's probably around 10 grand more though and it won't be much good (without spending even more to accesorize) for odd jobs like moving dirt and filling the pot holes in your driveway.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    311

    Default Re: Trailer and lift recommendation

    I like over the tire trailers, no wheel fenders to mess with. I have a 20' car trailer and it works for now. It holds 50 hives exactly. I was thinking of some sort of a boom lift mounted on a over the wheel flat bed trailer would in theory work great. You mite have to mount two booms and if the cost was right it wouldn't be to bad.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    717

    Default Re: Trailer and lift recommendation

    Since I am the one that has to make these decisions it is difficult , with limited knowledge on skid steers I only wonder about backing up with them, most of them seem to have poor visuals in the rear , is this a common issue with skid steers ?
    Being a small engine mechanic I do know things about ZTR lawn tractors , but they are a different ball of wax , pardon the pun .

    I would really like to have a swinger loader , there isn't any around to look at where I am.

    The real problem is knowing where to dump the finances, I need increase and a way to move them from place to place (trailer & lift ) plus a building for equipment /storage.
    Next year I hope to get into the Pollination expansion Program through the province , it helps with funding increase to provide more hives available for pollination rental , so I am hoping to get the right tools for the job ahead of time.

    There needs to be a magic wand for these decisions

    What would be really great is if a company could sell a package where they know what you will need to accommodate a certain number of hives and to properly suit your type of operation .
    instead of me or someone else guessing what is the best setup by trial and error .

    But that's life !

    Thanks for reading my rant : )
    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: Trailer and lift recommendation

    It all depends on how you want to do things. An older goose neck horse trailer with the sides and roof removed worked ok for us for a few years, I had to reinforce the frame a bit because the wall and roof were a part of the structural integrity of the trailer . The problem with things like this is there seems to be a natural progression of endless repairs required. 12 years ago I had a company in Indiana USA. Build a very nice all aluminum trailer to our specifications. The tie downs are just the way we like them, and we have a tool box on either side to hold straps, net, and other tools. The front wall of the deck, aid in diverting the wind from the first row of hives. I had a wood deck placed on it, and it is still in good shape. I think it may need replaced in the next 2 years. But in my opinion that is not bad as they did not use treated lumber on it. It can be loaded 3 pallets of 2 deeps high. For a loader we use a John Deere with forks on the front end loader this requires a bit of finesse to operate but the joy stick operation of the John Deere makes it a breeze. You at today’s prices will be in it for around 40K but when you depreciate it over the 20 or so years it will last you, it’s a steal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Trailer and lift recommendation

    Have you considered making a dedicated trailer that you could just take some place and just leave all the hives on it? I know it would a lot in one place.

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