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Thread: Semis vs truck

  1. #1
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    Default Semis vs truck

    I'm wondering if its as economical or better (expense per hive) to take a semi load of 4-ways or a F250 deisel with a 20-30ft gooseneck flatbed full of 4-ways. Thoughts? For going to almonds, about 1150 miles for me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Legally without a CDL you will only be able to haul 100 doubledeep hives on gooseneck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Dependes on the number of hives you are sending, semi holds 400 to 500 hives , goose neck about 128
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  4. #4
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    Lewistown,Pa,USA
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Any trailer over 10,000# requires a class A no matter what you pull it with, even a pickup.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    In CA "a farmer or employee may also drive any combination of vehicles up to 26,000 gcwr with a class c if used exclusively in ag and not for hire"... DMV

  6. #6
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Here is a link to support Davidsbees statement:
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl648/dl648pt2.htm

    However, as the original poster is in Wyoming, wishing to go to California, multiple other states need to be crossed before one gets to CA.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Here is a link to support Davidsbees statement:
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl648/dl648pt2.htm

    However, as the original poster is in Wyoming, wishing to go to California, multiple other states need to be crossed before one gets to CA.
    Interesting link. A vehicle weighing as little as 4,000 lbs. can legally tow a travel trailer weighing 9,000 lbs. ........if not for hire. Yikes!! Interestingly enough I just had a conversation with a very knowledgable DOT rep yesterday about the oft discussed "Apiarian exception" 391.2. He says it excludes those "engaged in the seasonal transportation of bees" only from the requirements of 391 which are primarily the driver age and health card requirement and not from vehicle inspections or log book requirements. A separate issue is that a CDL is not required by the DOT if driving a vehicle with a gvw of 26,000 or under and pulling a trailer with a gvw of 10,000 or under. I'm not sure if some individual state laws might trump this though.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Just off the top of my head I woudl say the Semi is more economical if you have a full load. Otherwise you would see fleets of Fords pulling goosenecks on the freeways.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Just off the top of my head I woudl say the Semi is more economical if you have a full load. Otherwise you would see fleets of Fords pulling goosenecks on the freeways.
    No question about it. Nothing pulls harder than a netted load of bees but they still get 5 to 6 mpg while hauling up to 48,000 net. A heavy duty pickup pulling a large gooseneck with less than half the carry capacity is probably going to top out around 9mpg.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    May also search under "MAP21"
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  11. #11
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    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    After a couple of times of literally trying to kill myself from too many hours on the road.........nothing but semis for me. In the old days there were always smaller bee trucks broke down with a load of bees along the roads.......there's a reason that 90% of the bees coming to almonds are delivered by semi.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    So regardless of DOT regs...

    I have hauled bees with F250, F450 both on a 20' Gooseneck trailer. You cannot max out carrying room on a 20' goosneck trailer and expect to be able to safely pull it down the road with an F250 less you have large tires on it. Large meaning NOT 16" tires. Plus you have to really beef up brakes and suspension in the rear and you better have the F250s with the full floating axle. F350 duallies and larger trucks are no problem.

    If you dont mind the road time hauling your own bees is rewarding all in itself and generally is a bit cheaper than a semi.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Cheaper than a semi? Let's see. I can get 102 pallets on a semi and 20 pallets on my truck. It's one thousand miles from here to where I go in SC. Taking what I want south would take 5 trips. Each trip w/ my truck costs $1,000.00, plus food and lodging. Two days to get down and unload. A day or two to mess w/ the hives and two days to get home. There's a week gone by.

    The semi costs me $3,000.00. I can travel w/ the semi, hauling a load on my truck and pulling the Bobcat and then spend a cpl days working the bees and head home. Hauling them all myself is not what I would call fun. Sure would not do that across the country to almonds.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Agreed Mark. If you have only a single "gooseneck load" it works but any scenario that has you "deadheading" very far just dosent work with $4.00 fuel unless you are willing to try to do backhauls and that's another story entirely. It's much more than just fuel costs, though. Depreciation on a vehicle can be .20+ cents per mile and a drivers time is worth at least that much more just to name a couple of the major expenses. Even with good equipment things can break down. I prefer to load a semi to the max and let them worry about getting to the destination.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    I tried to figure out what it costs me per mile to run my own truck and trailer one time. I have a 2005 F-450 Superduty Diesel w/ a 14'3" bed. It costs me around $1.90 per mile. I think that was back when fuel was pushing up towards $5.00/gallon. So maybe it's not quite that much now. Compared to $2.90 or $3.05 for a truck that can handle 5 times the load. No comparison.

    I don't have all of my maintenance receipts and repair receipts, but I do have all of my fuel records. I could, w/ some work, figure out what fuel has cost me over the last 8 years. It hasn't been cheap, that's for sure.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Compared to $2.90 or $3.05 for a truck that can handle 5 times the load. No comparison.
    On your truck sure. My gooseneck trailer holds 144 DD colonies with barely enough room to walk on the back. So for the 400ish I can send on a semi it comes out to 3 trips with enough room to run my extra gear down. Being a frugal person that I am, I pack my food with me from the house for the entire trip down and back and might spend an extra 20 bucks on crap food for whole trip. It costs me roughly $700.00 per round trip in fuel and I have been sleeping in cab of truck (which I have been considering hotels these days for comfort). So my 3 trips cost me roughly $2200.00 providing all goes smooth. That gets all my bees and NUCs or extra equipment for $1100 less than it would to hire. All milage on truck is a tax right off. Im not sure why someone wouldn't haul their own stuff if they did beekeeping fulltime less they have 10 semi loads or more.

    Now granted I am frugal to the point I have set places to fuel at that I know are the cheapest. I talked with a buddy of mine (professional truck driver) not so long ago and he estimates about $1.70 per mile goes into his truck between all maintenance, fuel and taxes. Now many of us dont worry about the tax part as we dont have to deal with IFTA. His truck is averaging (550HP) about 5 MPG.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    You definitely have a more fuel efficient truck than I do. It costs me around $500.00 to go 1,000 miles. Which, yes, is deductible. As is sleeping in a Motel. Sleeping in my truck, especially w/out my C-PAP machine, is something I gave up long ago. I hate sleeping on those seatbelt parts and halfway sitting up. Maybe you have a bench seat.

    I have driven all the way through w/out sleeping overnight. But was almost useless the next day and felt terrible. So gave that up to. I'm not racing anybody.

    We all have to do what suits us.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    BMAC, Power to you but I would like to look at your choice from a different angle. I assume you are hauling from NY and require 3 days one way. 3 days back for a total of 18 days to save $1100. I have made better money as a janitor. And that was years ago. You woudl have to more than double that to make it profitable for me given I also work a full time job that pays that much better.

    Have you looked into finding loads to haul back? if so what has been your experience with that? If you are going to be on the road you might as well be getting paid for it.

    I am also curious if your return trips afford you the ability to keep a better eye on your colonies? I am only 2 hours or less from the almonds. If I where to send my bees there. I would be a royal pain in the butt cause I would be their every weekend. I would not place my hives without having unlimited access to inspect them.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    I run 990 miles one way. 990 miles can be done in a day and a half. The extra trips does afford an opportunity to better watch over my bees. As far as back hauling, I have not done it, but I am not opposed to it. I have zero experience with back hauling for other folks.

    It truly is all in perspective and personal preference.
    Whats time if you are building a stronger better business for the future?
    If we are absolutely worried about making as much money as possible, then why the heck are we keeping bees?
    So maybe when I build up to 800 colonies I will buy a semi and still haul my bees myself.

    Would it be a waste of money and time for me to do that?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Semis vs truck

    I have never tried to set up any back haul work. I'm not licensed to haul for hire. I have been along when a friend of mine hauled pine bark mulch north and another trip south he hauled stone from NY to SC. He has a 10 wheeler Freightliner. He doesn't do that anymore.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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