Re: coming up with the right solution
I have two pollination jobs which are both 100 miles from where I have my hives when thge blueberries or apples need them. I have an F-450 w/ a 14'3" bed, so I can get 20 pallets of 4 Way pallets on the truck and 4 pallets on the trailer, along w/ the Bobcat skidsteer loader. So that's a total of 96 colonies per load.
The blueberry grower will unload for me, so I can take a full load on the trailer if I want to. This past Spring I got a friend w/ a bigger truck to help move bees. We got 6 rows on his truck. That helped.
When I have to move bees from SC to NY (to go into the apples) I contract a semi to haul them for me, but I still load and unload them. I like having a machine like a skidsteer so I can load, unload, and do other things w/ it, like move snow.
Lots to think about. You'll have to figure out for yourself what is doable of course. I spent many years, by myself, loading and unloading two story hives by hand in an evening, driving 100 miles, sleeping in the truck for the night, waking up at 4AM and unloading in an apple orchard and then driving home to do it again until all the orchards had their bees. Don't do it that way anymore. Don't have to.
Mark Berninghausen "To float, upheld, as salt water would hold you, once you dared." Denise Levertov, poet