Congrats on the gig man, sounds pretty sweet! I also live in CO and have thought about hauling cattle before. I’m a sucker for strong pretty trucks and once you get a taste it’s hard to go back 😂 You should post some pics of your rig here..we’d love to see it!
Whereabouts do you live in CO? I’m in the Springs and we have a mod on here, Davy, who’s also from CO (I think he’s in the Springs too?) I haul cement powder for a local outfit and I was a little worried when I was reading your other thread about construction slowing down here. We were slammed last year at my gig and now it seems like there’s not enough work to go around. I haven’t been able to tell if the work just slowed down or if we just hired too many new guys. We just acquired dozens of new trucks and expanded significantly this past year but this spring has been weird so far
Operating While Intoxicated
It's definitely interesting to read about. Im In the springs too. (Currently on vacation in Romania and Germany).
I lived in WVA for a while and we managed contract cattle and sheep. I've hauled them and horses around in smaller trailers and they would rock the hell out of the trailer. Do they do the same to the big trailers?
I don’t know if cattle haulers experience bovine “surge “ or not. As Davy wondered. It would be interesting to find out.
I will say that I roam the meat country and I rarely pass a cattle truck. They all drive about 75 and pass me like I’m standing still. Sometimes their driving practices are reckless.
However, I get paid to haul dead cow, so I know somebody has to haul the live ones to their death.
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I orginally came here to post about potentially striking out on my own as an owner/operator. Obviously now more than ever, insurance and new authority are barriers to entry if you're on your own and young, which I am. So I started working for a smaller livestock hauling outfit, roughly 5-10 trucks at any given time out rolling.
These are some of the best folks I've ever worked with. A great mix of understanding the modern environment around animal welfare, driver safety, and balancing a life with a family, but also having that "old school" mentality of getting things done and driving some sharp rigs.
I've been fortunate in the last couple months to get a pretty good mix of everything from long stretches on interstate to picking my way down gravel or two-track road with a load on board. I haven't really left the mid section of the US, but my "web" continues to expand every week, going to a new place or on a different run. I've gotten to run with other trucks and on my own, and enjoy aspects of both.
I will say, 250 miles felt like an awfully long drive on my first week. Today, I made that same run and it felt like a cake walk. So I am hopefully "wearing in" to the groove. Obviously, stock hauling is a little unique in the motor freight world. Once you have a live creature on board, the wheels pretty well need to turn non-stop to the destination. There is a wide array of nuance to this within different routes and different customers. But in general, the goal is getting them there smoothly and rapidly to keep them healthy and avoid "shrink."
Another thing I knew of but hadn't yet partaken in was washing out a full size pot. That is quite a chore depending on the weather and type of stock hauled and for how long. The gist is, I am very thankful to those fellows that don a rain suit and wash out trucks for a living all day long. By and large, they do a really nice job, but I also get my share at the local washout to try and save a dollar where we can.
Sum total, I love doing it. The time away from family hasn't been nearly as tough as we were prepared for, and working out of a central hub where we recently purchased a home, I am able to be home more often than I anticipated. So really, I have to say this is a pretty ideal scenario, and I look forward to what this stage of life and work has to offer, and of course what I can offer to these fine folks and their nationwide customer base.
I feel pretty fortunate to be doing what one fellow driver described as "the top job in trucking," I think referring the legendary history and unique aspects of bull haulers/cow wagons/cattle pots. I don't for a second think of myself as all that and a bag of chips out on the road, but two big chrome stacks and 53' of beef trailing behind does make one feel like he's a part of a long and storied history and helping to write the next chapter.
In any case, it was reccomended I share an update at some point about the specialty aspects of stock hauling, and there's some of it. Not to mention that in spite of our best efforts to load trailers properly and divide stock into proper compartments, your load is alive and moving. So, beware curves and shoulders at your peril. I have two goals on the road, and that is to bring in the truck and trailer right side up and myself and the stock in good health.
Safe travels to all of you out there on the roads and holed up in the sleeper for the night. I fortunately get a hot shower and my own bed this evening, and we'll crack out again on a new adventure tomorrow!
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