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Baymule

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Bigger is often better. There is animal transport insurance where if you have a flat or trouble, supposedly they get there faster because of the animals. In a trailer, they would heat up fast. Maybe an animal transport would be a better idea. How many miles, how many hours, can you drive it straight through?
 

rachels.haven

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How many miles, how many hours, can you drive it straight through?
11 hours, 694 miles, in approximately one month, so not quite summer. The usual plan is to drive all the way through and only stop at Walmarts as needed or for gas as the tank on the GMC canyon is very, very small. The kids will be watched by someone else so just us two. The horse trailer is light but a bigger one for a pair of bigger, taller horses slant loaded. The goats should all fit just fine. I'm planning on test loading everyone once the aprons come in.

I wouldn't mind hiring someone experienced in driving trailers to just drive our horse trailer with their truck straight through. I'd pay pretty good too. I've already got DH asking if anyone does that. I don't know anyone though.

All but a few of the transporters I knew quit during COVID and the ones still doing it are van transporters or they wouldn't have time for a farm move. (There's one transporter that goes coast to coast in a trailer my size packed to the brim with goats on top of each other in big crates that will be very busy right now and I don't like the way they do things and another bigger rig company that mainly does meat animals and is a big company, but they typically charge $600+/head to expose them to stuff and I'm not sure I want to do that either) People tend to stack goats to maximize $/trip. I do not like that.

I'm not experienced with driving a trailer yet either. Just backing it up all over the place to get it where I wanted to keep it out of the rain. We were going to work on that in the next few days going forward and hit the practice hard.
 

SageHill

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11 hours, 694 miles, in approximately one month, so not quite summer. The usual plan is to drive all the way through and only stop at Walmarts as needed or for gas as the tank on the GMC canyon is very, very small. The kids will be watched by someone else so just us two. The horse trailer is light but a bigger one for a pair of bigger, taller horses slant loaded. The goats should all fit just fine. I'm planning on test loading everyone once the aprons come in.

I wouldn't mind hiring someone experienced in driving trailers to just drive our horse trailer with their truck straight through. I'd pay pretty good too. I've already got DH asking if anyone does that. I don't know anyone though.

All but a few of the transporters I knew quit during COVID and the ones still doing it are van transporters or they wouldn't have time for a farm move. (There's one transporter that goes coast to coast in a trailer my size packed to the brim with goats on top of each other in big crates that will be very busy right now and I don't like the way they do things and another bigger rig company that mainly does meat animals and is a big company, but they typically charge $600+/head to expose them to stuff and I'm not sure I want to do that either) People tend to stack goats to maximize $/trip. I do not like that.

I'm not experienced with driving a trailer yet either. Just backing it up all over the place to get it where I wanted to keep it out of the rain. We were going to work on that in the next few days going forward and hit the practice hard.
I had a similar trailer - slant load for two bigger horses plus a tackroom. Drove it back here from OK and had no problems. It didn't take long to get used to. You wouldn't have a problem - you can do it! 👍
 

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Before we bought our 16' stock, we had a little 2 horse Miley. We had to transport animals and milking, grooming, etc. equipment. DH made a platform in the trailer so we could load feed and equipment on top and the animals on the bottom. Because it was a horse trailer, there was no ventilation in the bottom so it got hot. I mostly traveled at night so it was not a big problem and we only had a few goats at the time. By the time I was hauling more goats (and 4-H kids) longer distances to shows we had our stock trailer.

If you leave around 3-4am you should be able to make the 11 hour drive by dark. You want to arrive at the new place before t is dark because they goats will freak in the dark at a new place. Be sure you have a 2 holding pens ready for them - bucks and does. If the goats are out of rutt and the does are not cycling, the aprons will be sufficient.
 

Baymule

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Rachel, the two of you can make it. 11hours is not a bad drive. I’d add 2-3 hours for driving slower, because you’re pulling a trailer. Plus gas/potty stops. If you allow for the extra time, then you won’t be in a rush. Load goats the evening before, then leave at 3 AM.

Start making practice drives on the highway to gain confidence. You can do it. I had a heck of a learning curve when BJ died, and I had to learn real fast. If I can, you can plus you will have your DH as your co-pilot. I have 1,000% faith in you.
 

rachels.haven

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Thanks guys, you've given me lots to think about and plan for that I didn't think of. And thank you Baymule.
Any other advice and stories pertaining to moving stock in the next little while, please feel free to dump it here. Experience is the best teacher and I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from someone else's. I can't follow it all but I can file it away in my brain and you never know when it will help.
 

Baymule

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I had to back the truck up and hitch the stock trailer by myself after BJ died. It took an hour, I kept missing the hitch by inches. I put over 4 miles on my step counter, practically all of it between the drivers door and back bumper. When I finally got the trailer ball perfectly under the bulldog hitch, I just stared stupidly at it in disbelief.

I took a break.

Then I had to back up to a lousy homemade loading chute, 2 1/2 feet wide to match the sliding gate in the end gate on the trailer. That only took 15 minutes.. Then I loaded sheep to go to auction the next morning.

Next morning I took sheep to the auction.
I did it damnit. I did it! And I’m still doing it.

You can too.
 

Ridgetop

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Practice driving the truck and trailer. Go to a Walmart parking lot (or any big shopping center lot) and practice driving and turning. To practice backing up the trailer, use street cones and back between them. The longer the trailer the easier it will be to back up.

LOL I learned to back our trailer up backing down the loooong driveway at my friend's dairy picking up calves. I also learned more backing up at a Fair where they did some screwy camping thing for one year. You had to back in but they didn't tell anyone and had no signs up, so I had to back out a long driveway, back around a corner to the left, then back around another corner to the right, then pull out and back around another corner to back down the driveway back to the campground! Just practice and you will do fine.

Oh yes, stop for gas at truck stops since they usually have a lot of room to maneuver.

As far as moving the goats, just make sure that you have pens ready for them to be unloaded into. If you don't have pens there already, buy portable panels, go to the property, set them up before you bring the livestock in. Make sure you have feeders and water containers ready to fill. BRING A HOSE WITH YOU. There is nothing so annoying as to arrive at the pens and have no way to get water to the animals. Ask me how I know.
:hide:gigThis is why I make sure to carry a hose with me when transporting livestock. Also, if you can get hold of some 5 gallon Sparkletts type bottles, carry those with you to water the animals during the drive. If your goats are still in milk, bring a portable stanchion and milking equipment. Stop at a truck stop and park in the back then you can milk on the road. Dump the milk if you have no way to strain and refrigerate it. Be prepared for the goats to yield less milk for several days after the trip due to stress. (Experience from transporting dairy goats to and from shows all over southern CA.)

Expect the worst and prepare for it. If you are prepared for everything, in my experience everything will go perfectly!
 

farmerjan

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It would not pay me to drive all the way to TN to then drive you back to MD... although the trip home from there for me would be closer... been thinking on how to make it practical but it just isn't... I could drive the truck/trailer... use my father's 3/4 ton p.u. that I brought home from NH and just had serviced while waiting on DS to get the title switched over...
Sorry, just thinking of possibilities...
 

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