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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys can you help me out on this. I am looking at buying a flatbed truck to move bees with. I have a Bobcat 843 that I want to pull behind. I was thinking about something the size of a F550 with at least a 12' foot bed maybe a sixteen foot bed. other option is looking at going with a two ton bigger style truck like a freightliner 4700. if i go with F550 approx. how many can i haul at one time. I know bed length will determine the exact number.
 

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There have been some good threads on this if you search. If you go with the 550 size then go with at least a 189" WB and a 14' bed. This allows you to go 5 standard 10 frame pallets back. You could also go with a 200"+ WB in which case you would want a 17' bed to get a 6th pallet on. If you decide to go heavier I would recommend a 220 to 230" WB and a 20' bed to get 7 pallets back. Some like to go all the way to a 240"+ and a 24' bed, to me that seems a little long and can get a bit hard to turn around with a trailer behind. One tip, I really like the functionality of a 550 but without a 4X4 it can be really helpless at times. You will find that the price difference between a 550 4X4 and a 26000 GVW truck isnt too great. In any case if you are going to use it hard it is definitely worth the 2 to 3 thousand dollar extra cost to move up from a 350 to a 450/550.
 

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Unless you are going farm exempt, you should think about the increased fees, insurance and maintenance of the larger truck. Trivial but 4700 is an International model. Freightliner is f60, f70, f120, etc. International is 4 digit. A heavier model will last longer and make longer trips effectively. Larger trucks attract DOT attention. Make sure all your logs and paperwork is in order if you are skirting the line with an f80, f750, 4900 and the likes. Fines are easy money for the government!
 

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Make sure its air ride. THat makes it much better on the bees whether you are going 2 miles or 800. Also with a freightliner get a 9 speed fuller roadranger unless you are local only. With the 6 speed(7 speed has issues I've been told) and low rear end gears your top end is 55 mph but slow and smooth in field. With high end rear gears you go thru field bouncing like a basketball. THe 9 speed gives you both. slow off road and up to as fast as you feel safe on road. WIth a int 4700 get the 6 speed with low hole. THe 9 speed isnt synronized so you will need pratice shifting...gotta match engine/tanny! MY freightliner has air ride...next 350/450 I get will have it. ( I use smaller truck for checking/small jobs and to get into hard spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
you are right that the 4700 is international. I have looked at both. I really like the F550 because i fill i could do more day to day stuff and it would be better to get in and out of the places when i go to sourwood. but want something that will last for a few years. only moving bees around Ga. (north to south) right now. just wandering if it will pull the bobcat and a load at a time if i double stack them.
 

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I haul 80 hives on my F-450 Super Duty Diesel w/ a 14 ft plus bed. That is 5 rows of 4way pallets stacked two high w/ dbl deep hives. Then I pull a trailer which carrys a skidsteer loader and more hives if needed.
 

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You can, but would it be worth the cost. I don't know. And then wouldn't you need a compressor unit?

120 if you go 1 1/2 high or singles.
 
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