Hauling lumber without a truck

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Old 04-19-06, 08:53 AM
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Question Hauling lumber without a truck

I am building my own fence around the yard to keep people and their horses off my lawn. I don't have a truck and I need to get some 16' lumber home in or on a mini van. The van has a luggage rack so could I strap the lumber down some how to keep it from sliding around? I thought I would buy a few pieces at a time so I wouldn't have too much to handle all at once. I'm female so I haven't had much experience with jobs such as this. The last time I built a fence, I bought panels and the neighbors helped me so I didn't have to really do much, but write a check. Now I live in a rural area so I'm on my own. This fence will just be to mark the boundaries so it's just posts with two rails. Please don't suggest asking the guys at Lowes for help. I don't have alot of confidence in them. Is this, hauling lumber with a van, possible?
 
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Old 04-19-06, 08:58 AM
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I have a Hyundai Tiburon, a small sports car type thingie with a hatchback. I've hauled 16 foot planks several times. Yea, they hang out a bit (ok, a lot) but I get her done.

I would haul them inside if you can fold or remove the back seats. Just make sure the lumber is secured and the doors are tied so they don't swing around, put a red flag on the end sticking out and drive carefully.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 09:25 AM
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It is possible to haul the lumber with a van. Proper securing of the load is what you have to concentrate on. You have to make sure it won't slide forwards or backwards during acceleration and braking. You also have to keep it from sliding sideways when you turn. A calm day (no or little wind) also helps. I will agree with trying to haul it inside if possible. I also like to use a ratchet strap to tie all the lumber together. I learned this when about 15 2x4's slid out of the open tailgate of my truck.
One thing you may want to check is the bulletin board at wherever you buy the wood. Many people looking to make a few bucks offer hauling for a small fee. Good luck.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 10:05 AM
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"I learned this when about 15 2x4's slid out of the open tailgate of my truck.'

My guess is that you have a bed liner, right? I once had a half dozen sheets of plywood in the back of my PU. I piled 10-12 bags of mulch on top along with a couple of tube sand bags. With all that weight I didn't even bother to tie them down.
I dropped the whole load at a busy 4 lane intersection when I accelerated after the light turned green. Believe it or not, there was a State Trooper right behind me. Fortunately the load landed in front of his cruiser, not on it. Not only did he direct traffic (probably keeping me from getting clipped), he helped me load the stuff back in my truck. All that with no lecture and no ticket!
Now I carry tie downs.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 10:10 AM
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Wayne,
Although I do have a bedliner, the 2x4's slid off the 8 sheets of plywood I had underneath them. I had ropes tied over the top of all the lumber but the 2 bys on the bottom of the pile slid out.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 10:24 AM
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I'm so glad to hear that it can be done. I measured inside from the back of the van to the outside front and 16' went past the front and I was very leary of driving with something sticking out that far. There is always wind so I will find a way to tie the outreaching end down on the outside. I'll take all my ropes and ratchet tie down straps and believe I can do it. Okay , now I'm motivated enough to try this . Thanks guys.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 10:28 AM
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Don't forget red flag for the end. I think its a law in most places, certainly good sense anywhere. I just use a red rag, kept in the trunk for this purpose.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 11:47 AM
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Most lumber yards will supply you with a red plastic flag [with their logo] when you buy lumber. Might check first in case you need to bring your own. I don't know if big box stores do the same.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 12:21 PM
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If there is a homedepot near, they rent trucks for about 20 bucks an hour.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chicago111
If there is a homedepot near, they rent trucks for about 20 bucks an hour.
Yea but its first come, first served, no reservations, and some of them have only one truck. At least that's the way it is here.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 01:48 PM
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How much wood?

How many pieces are you looking at getting? Sure you can make several trips over time like you said but if you need a lot you might save yourself a lot of time and hassle by paying the delivery fee and letting them deliver it all at once. Not sure about Lowes but our Home Depot and Menards charged $50 whether I wanted 1 board or an entire semi load. I needed closer to the semi full so it was worth the $50.

Also not sure how far apart you are going to make the posts - hopefully not 16' otherwise those cross boards will start really sagging - maybe you could buy 8' cross boards - depending on the wood sometimes you can get 2 - 8' boards for less $ than 1 - 16' board.

If you don't need much, we've hauled lots of boards and pipe up to 16' in a mini van like everyone mentioned above - just be careful turning corners the end of the wood will swing out and you can end up side swiping the car parked beside you and careful backing up.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 04:52 PM
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You want things to slide, just put two pieces of OSB slick side to slick side. Chains and binders won't help I don't think.
 
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Old 04-20-06, 06:23 AM
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I won't need very many and I drive past the lumber yard almost every day so I don't need to pay for delivery. I never thought about the red flag. Good thing I checked back here this morning. I have thought about the sagging 16' rails and I'm still working on that.
Thanks again. Terry
 
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Old 04-20-06, 10:07 AM
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16' spans...

I would use 3 posts to support a 16' rail. It will really help prevent sagging and if someone happens to lean on the center of 16' span the board will snap pretty easily.

I've never priced it, but have you looked at split rail fencing? It sounds like it would give you the boarder you need and add some aesthetic value too.
 
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Old 04-20-06, 03:29 PM
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Yukon Ok, I was through there three weeks ago. I would have hauled them for you for free. Sorry about that. Good Luck
 
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Old 04-20-06, 03:55 PM
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I have about 600' of split rail. It comes in 10' rail lengths, 2 rails and a post for about $25. The posts are nearly 20 years old. They are locust. The rails are a different wood, I replace 2 or 3 a year. IMO they are a great fence for rural areas.
 
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Old 04-21-06, 08:29 AM
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what you are doing is becoming a stastic. as a truck driver i heavly object to hauling any long lumber or metal within the confines of a vechile cabin ( cargo vans / mini vans and automobiles ). most vans that carry material have some type of headache rack / cage to protect the driver. could you imagine the destruction if some idiot ran in the back of you vechile with 6 ft. of lumber hanging out. forget the damage to the vechile , you would most certianly sustain a life threatening injury . some states limit the amount of overhang you may have most are 6 ft. with any thing over 4ft. must be flagged with a 2ft x 2ft red falg .
 
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Old 05-06-06, 12:38 PM
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Smile Hauling lumber with van

Consider renting a trailer and tow with your van.
Observe all the tie down suggestions above. Good luck.
 
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Old 05-15-06, 08:12 AM
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Hauling Lumber without a truck

It's interesting that you bringh this up. I just gave up a pickup truck for an SUV with a top rack and I will certainly be hauling lumber on top.

You can haul lumber on top of your van if you have a top rack. Here are the suggestions that come to mind.

1. Check your owners manual to see how much weight you can haul and don't overload the top rack. The limit on my vehicle is 125 lbs.

2. You will want to bring your own rope to the party. That twine at the store is just not going to work for you. I suggest good ole Hemp rope. It may be scratchy but the knots will hold better. Nylon rop slips. 1/4" Hemp should be adequate.

3. You will need to prevent the long lengths of wood from swaying from side to side so you will need to run rope from the front end and the back end down to something under the bumper in sort of an inverted V.

4. Just attaching the front and back isn't good enough. Use bungees to fasten the wood down to the top rack bars.

5. Remember, loads always tend to shift forwards. That because you can apply a lot more g-force when you stop than when you accellerate. Keep that in mind when you tie you load down. I would run rope from the top rack forward to something to keep the whole thing from winding up on your hood ( I did that once with a load of plywood).

6. Some sort of red flag is required at the back.

7. Tie real knots. If you don't know how, learn how. It's not that hard.

8. Don't let the extra rope dangle. It tends to catch in things and is just plain untidy.

9. Be mindful of your antenna. those things are expensive.

10. On your first trip, take a friend. If there is a problem, two people are about 10 times better than one.

Finally, drive like your grandmother. You can make up for a lot of crappy knot tying by simply not accellerating your van very fast. By all means, don't slam on the brakes.

If it were me, Here is what I would do:

A. Use bungees in about 4 places to bind the bundle of wood together.

B. Buy 2 C-clamps and clamp one securely to each end of one of the pieces of wood. That's what you tie your rope to at the front and back. Tighten the clamps down good and hard. Since we don't trust anything, use separate small piece of rope as a safety to tie the clamp to the wood bundle. If the clamp were to come loose we don't want it to fall on the hood.

C. Since you are talking about 16' pieces of wood, if you run rope to your bumpers, you shouldn't have much movement fore and aft.

D. Use multiple bungees to tie the load to the top rack. Don't worry too much about side to side. Just tied the load down to the bars that go side to side. At least two bungees in two places. If a bungee comes off you want backups.

E. Attach a red flag to the rear of the bundle.

F. Drive as described above and make at least one stop to check all of the knots.
 
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