Hauling large trees...?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by CALandscapes, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I'm curious as to what methods y'all use to haul trees to job sites?

    We've been doing a few installs with 10-12 multi-thousand lbs. trees/palms, and it's not always possible to have the nursery deliver straight to the job site (often times, I'll just order a packed 18-wheeler, for example).

    I've been toying around with the idea of buying a 24' gooseneck trailer with tandem 10k lbs. axles.... I hate to spend the $6.5k+, though, that it's going to cost.... For whatever it's worth, I do have several trailers; they're just not all the best access for loading/unload trees with the bobcat (two have 4' sides, the other is the trailer that I prefer to use for the Bobcat, which is only 18' long with a 10.5k lb. gvwr).

    Any input will be appreciated!

  2. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    I would look into a flatbed f450 or f550 if possible. bed length might be too small though.

    a deck over gooseneck would be best though.
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I want to know what kind of bobcat you have that will lift a 12,000lb tree.
    My personal thoughts are that if I was planting this size tree on a regular basis, I would purchase or have built, a trailer specificly for the job, or at least own a large enough flatbed truck so as to not need the trailer. For a once in the while tree planting, I would just rent a flatbed truck, or pay someone to deliver.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Might want to consider a 14,000 pound dump trailer with drop sides, if it's long enough. Then you've got a trailer you don't need a CDL for, and the dump capacity for other projects.

    Use a chain to drag the root ball to the edge of of your existing trailer, and a powered winch at the front to load them. If it has a good, flat steel bottom, it should slide easily.

    That's probably the cheapest I can come up with.
  5. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    10 to 12 trees, at over 1k lbs. each****

    I've thought about getting a larger truck, something like an NPR flatbed, but I'd like to try to keep my overhead down, especially considering that I've recently purchased several new pieces of equipment....

    I do have a 20k lbs. gvwr dump trailer that's 20' long, and it works fine for some trees.. I guess that I should have explained that my biggest concern is hauling of more delicate trees, such as booted Sabal Palmettos...

    More ideas are welcome!

    Thanks again.
  6. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,182

    The last development I did we brought in 80, 12"caliper maples in out of Canada. We could get between 2-3 on a 40' drop deck. The rootballs varied between about 85"-95" and we would move them with a very large CAT telehandler. We would also use a combination of heavy rigging straps and chain to secure and plant with.
  7. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Ever use a crane?

    Or too far to reach?
  8. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    Around here most of the big guys are running something like a F650 flatbed or a tandem dually gooseneck like you described. Keep your overhead low and find a used gooseneck.
  9. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,182

    We only used a crane when setting up some of our large water feature boulders. A CAT TH 560 is perfect for big trees. I will see if I can dig up some photos of us installing with it.


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