Every year we face the impending day of hauling hay. In the past it was hauling small square bales which were labor intensive. But the lady we buy from sold her equipment and now has the farmer down the road bale it into big round bales for her. He takes the majority of the hay in trade. Last year we rented a large trailer and the farmer loaded it for us in the field. We hauled it with Sean's Jeep that has a decent towing capacity. It wasn't ideal though, the weight of the trailer and hay was pushing the limits of the Jeep. So we started looking for a farm truck to haul stuff around here. Enter the big black F250 we bought back in February. It's main purpose is to haul hay every year...and the occasional milling machine.
We didn't want to keep renting trailers from the rental place like we've been doing for the last 13 years of living here. Heck, we probably could have purchased a trailer with all the rental fees over the years. Oh well. So Sean researched trailers for several months before finding the perfect trailer for us. He wanted something that would be easy to load the skid steer on and found a company that makes car haulers that tilt. We ordered an 18 foot tilt and picked it up the beginning of July. So now we have a tow vehicle, a trailer and a skid steer to load the big round bales. We were set!
I was running out of hay last weekend and we decided to head over and pick up a couple of last years hay since the new hay had yet to be cut. It was also a good dry run for the big day of hay hauling. The skid steer was loaded, strapped down and we were off for the 20 minute drive to the field. I followed in my car with the kids. About half way there Sean pulls into a driveway and pulls open the hood to coolant bubbling everywhere. The serpentine belt was shredded. A quick drive into town and a new belt installed and we were on our way. We were thankful for the big driveway as doing this on the side of the road would not have been fun.
We were able to pick up two of the old bales and get home. The tilt trailer worked great, I would crank it up while Sean drove the skid steer onto the trailer. The I'd release the pressure and let it down.
So that was last weekend. The lady with the hay called Friday and said the farmer was baling the hay and we can come pick up our 20 bales whenever we'd like. So Saturday we headed out. We took our skid steer out again and loaded five bales on the trailer, two side by side in the front, one in the middle and two side by side in the back.
I don't think I mentioned that it was 106 degrees out on Saturday. The heat index was well over that. Miserable would be an understatement. Oh and the air conditioning in the truck decided to break a week ago. The clutch and pulley went out. Sean didn't have time to fix it. So that was fun too (please note the sarcasm). We took turns driving to and from the field which was about a 25 minute drive, the other got to follow with the kids in the Ford Edge (with great air conditioning).
We got three loads home (15 round bales) and went to start the truck and it blew a spark plug. Apparently very common in the v10 engines. That was it for the truck. So we parked it and the Edge and connected the Jeep to the trailer and I followed in the F150. We didn't want to over do it for the Jeep so we did three bales and one in the back of the truck. And then a final load to bring home the skid steer. The final load was brought home at 9pm and all the rearranging of bales was done in the dark. It was the longest day. ever. We escaped with only slight heat exhaustion, one dead truck and a skid steer that is dripping some unknown fluid. So glad this is only once a year.