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Cattle Haulage

  • 20-01-2023 12:41pm
    Registered Users Posts: 24,322 ✭✭✭✭

    Should have started this thread rather than go into the main discussion but anyways.

    Thinking of going into the cattle haulage over the winter months as I've abit of wiggle room for more work.

    Main thoughts around here are the jobs are about 10 finished cattle per load or there abouts. So just thinking on people's thoughts and experiences on trailer sizes for that amount of cattle. I know better is better but some small tight yards around here where a 33ft trailer wouldn't get in off the road if ya get my meaning.

    All thoughts welcome



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,823 ✭✭✭✭Say my name

    There's a dearth of haulage contractors in this part of the world.

    But does depend on where you're hauling to to. The factory have an agent that has a lorry that collects. Although seemingly he's a free agent.

    The mart not sure which way officially have close contacts that are available for sheep, cattle, calves. Guys there have jeeps and trailers. Paid in yard by farmer.

    Then there's a completely free agent with a Ford 7610 and 18 or 20ft trailer that draws all over Carlow, Wexford for farmers to marts or farms. Not sure what he brings but he's in great demand.

    It sounds like you've your figure thought of what the minimum amount of animals you want to make it worth your while and how much you want to charge per animal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,823 ✭✭✭✭Say my name

    If you think the work is there and you have the tractor for it probably 24ft is the sweet spot.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,322 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    Not really lad. Just there is a fella here that does most of it with a truck but he's hitting 70 and health troubles now. Still going but hearing now its sometimes hard to get him to collect cattle so I'm thinking he might be slowing down abit.

    I like my downtime in the winter too but was asked to move cattle one day where no one could be got to run cattle to the mart and it got me thinking is all.

    Most lads milking to early Dec here so I do about 2 short days a week in closed season with wash tanks till about first week of Dec with no panic on them.

    Was thinking them the other 5 days you could do 1 or 2 runs maybe and wouldnt be killing yourself.

    The 10 finished cattle thing is thats roughly the patch size lads would sent to the mart each week around here. Like everything else it would fluctuate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,322 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    Was thinking that myself. Most secondhand non wrecked trailers are 20ft on DD so that had me thinking that they might be too small and are being upgraded

  • Registered Users Posts: 264 ✭✭smallbeef

    Could you become an agent for a local factory? Could be worth it then I'd say. When sending cattle to the factory the agents are also hauliers and carry them around here.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,181 ✭✭✭Dozer1

    IF you are doing marts Reggie one thing most of the lads hauling around here have is a good "relationship" with the person in charge of point you rocking up with someones cattle the mart is half empty and you're 150 lots in...

    Some marts are no hassle as they are booked in but still plenty are numbers on the day just something to bear in mind.

    Also if it were me I'd be getting one of these, a few lads here have em with not too many issues, means you have a bale + cattle trailer

  • Registered Users Posts: 721 ✭✭✭French Toast

    24ft single axle is the one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭DBK1

    I’d be slow enough to go into cattle haulage, I think it’s a thankless enough job. It’s all grand if you’ve a full load coming from a yard but more often than not you’ll be collecting half loads or a few in one yard and a few in another. Get to the mart or factory then and wait in the queue, unload them, check them in, wash the trailer and head for home. You could be 3 hours gone from the yard for €150 to €200 and take diesel, machinery costs and overheads out of that.

    There’ll be factory runs that’ll have to be done late nights or early mornings. When you’re busy at other jobs in summer lads will still want cattle moved and if you let them down then because you’re busy at silage or slurry they won’t ask you in the winter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,322 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    This is one side I'm thinking off. Most cattle here are moved back end as still mainly beef and the dairy culling isnt till that time but I take your note on board.

    On the numbers thing most farmers have to book in themselves. Most big marts now in the midlands you have to book a week in advance but as you said its handy to be in yhe know.

    Not looking to go at it full whack but I said thst about the spraying aswell and looked what happened

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭DBK1

    You will get caught different times where a lad only has a bull or a couple of culls or something like that and you’ll end up doing trips with only 1,2 or 3 cattle in the trailer. That same man might have got you to bring 4 or 5 full loads in the few weeks or months before that so when he rings in a panic to say the stock bull is lame and he’s not far off factory fit so he wants to send him on instead of messing with injections you can’t really turn him down.

    Yea Tullamore used to be a disaster, lads queueing outside at 5am when the gates wouldn’t be open until 8 and cattle only starting to sell at 11, it used to be a long day on both man and beast. At least booking them in now has stopped that messing.

    As regards going at it full whack, there’s no other option really! If you’re at it you’re at it and you can’t turn down one lad today because it doesn’t suit you and then go to his neighbour tomorrow or you end up falling out with lads. I assume you’ve a good customer base built up from the slurry, reseeding and silage work so you can’t really say no to any of them when they ring either or you risk losing some of your other business.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,896 ✭✭✭funkey_monkey

    Not sure I'd go as long as 24' on a single axle. Lynch goes up to 22' on single but I'd be on tandem before then.

    When do need to get a licence to haul stock for folk?

    If you get registered with a mart can you not get to skip the queue. Mart near me has a hauliers list and they get to go straight to top of the queue. If only they could get you a good place in the sale.

  • Registered Users Posts: 294 ✭✭Rusheseverywhere

    Yeap you are spot on. Use 2 guys I use for most work both licensed and a lad who "obliges" who would pick up the odd animal or 2 at a mart but he works at the mart! He would draw a few every week for lads think mostly fag money for him

  • Registered Users Posts: 264 ✭✭smallbeef

    Its an awful life alright and a fair dangerous one dealing with unfamiliar stock all the time. Our local lads do savage long hours between late night factory drops and early morning mart collections. They are in 4-5 marts a week. Its a full time job. I reckon they make most of their money on mart/factory commission and also buying a few stock here and there for handy money where they see value. Its kind of an all or nothing gig, unless you can keep it to a small number of customers where the work wouldn't clash with your existed jobs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,516 ✭✭✭Cavanjack

    Buy a hedge cutter for yourself for this time of year and tip away in your own time would be my advice.

    You’ll waste some time queuing in marts and factories. Grand if that’s your only gig but when the summer comes it’ll be hard to refuse regular customers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭Tileman

    I was going to say the same. Get a hedge cutter always work and you can take on as much or as little as u want. Loads of houses in country always want the hedges around house cut too. Nice handy small jobs

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,180 ✭✭✭ruwithme

    Country's polluted with hedge trimmers as it is.the window for that will probably shorten too with the green'll trim a lot of hedge for €60 a hour & be considered dear cause some other ejits doing it up the road for 35.

    As for a cattle trailer, round here all them lads at it, also work in the mart & have the inside track.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,516 ✭✭✭Cavanjack

    Plenty of them about alright but few that can use them without shredding hedges to bits.

    There’ll be a big demand for planting hedges and coppicing next winter if you are into a bit of manual work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,090 ✭✭✭Good loser

    Would strongly advise Reggie against that game - as outlined above by DBK and others. Apart from anything else you're too intelligent for it - the time wasted would be soul destroying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 69 ✭✭Mr..

    How about a jeep and trailer, if u have a jeep,more comfort, also u could go twice with 2 loads of 5, be handier for the one off animals and less worries about tight yards. If the business went well then u could buy a tractor trailer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,976 ✭✭✭davidk1394

    Do a small bit with the jeep and box here for a few local lads but I wouldn't like to do it full time. What about trying to get in on a building site with a dump trailer ? A few people are doing it down here. Money is pretty good too.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,745 ✭✭✭Jjameson

    Drawing with a jeep and trailer is a Codd of a racket. I’d do a bit for a neighbour and I can’t the “per head” nonsense out of his narrative. I measure the distance and time taken and charge for the run whether the box is full or not. So one or two animals is “expensive”🤷‍♂️

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,322 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    I'd be more thinking of just getting a 20ft trailer and doing a few runs for lads.

    Not interested in full time at it really.

    More a thing of telling the customers I have thst I can do it for them if they were culling in the back end or whatever. Do what I can when I can sort of thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,823 ✭✭✭✭Say my name

    Would there be much interest in offering a diet feeder service in the area?

    You'd have the winter downtime aspect covered completely. Moreso completely fulltime in the period.

    If lads were put off by the cost of the feeder and labour maybe there may be an interest in a contractor doing it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,322 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    Hard to knowcreally. Most lads around here don't do it much.

    Would wreck one being on the road the whole time I would think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,976 ✭✭✭✭Water John

    Some of the larger dairy operations look for someone specifically to feed stock indoors during the winter months. That would be regular.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,764 ✭✭✭cute geoge

    ffs this going to keep going around in circles until op is talked out of buying his cattle trailer .,Reggie buy your trailer ,it is a perfect fit for your business ,let it be known you are not interrested hauling one and two's unless you can make up a load between farmers ,get in touch with factory and mart managers and they will give you a turn as well

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭Tileman

    Ah sur we all feel invested in Reggie business since he started out with the mf390. We are only taking Sam interest and ultimately Reggie will do what he thinks best and he has being pretty successful so far and grown the business very well.

    reggie do u have a zero wagon. Allot of demand around here for it especially during autumn.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,322 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    I appreciate all input. Good and bad.

    I prefer many eyes on an idea as one set can see something another cannot.

    There is a fella doing zero around here but that type of work is very strict and time related. Looked at it before and the grazers are alot of money for what they are. Most lads don't do it for long as the machines fall apart.

    Hard to believe where I started. 398 with a 12ft tipping trailer, single rotor rake and 6 rotor tedder

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭Tileman

    What’s all the equipment you have now Reggie ?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,322 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    NH tractor, Powerharrow, discs, bale trailer, tanker, sprayer, greenmaster, dump trailer, tedder, rake, fert spreader, trailed mower.