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Transporting lumber home without a truck

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  • #16
    Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

    DP,

    Thanks!

    For your area, I quite imagine you are prepared to probably make a long haul between your home and the local lumber yard or Home Depot too. A trailer or truck would surely be an everyday part of life. Probably more so than our rural areas here in NY or PA.

    For a guy like me, such trips are relatively short and seldom. My local HD is just across the river here in Painted Post, not even a 10 minute drive. My local lumber yard can be reached in less than 15 minutes. Believe it or not, down in Binghamton, NY, at the future home, which is right in the city, the best lumber dealer is only three blocks away... AND, they deliver free. Can't beat that, even though their prices are a bit more.

    The info that you posted is appreciated and I wasn't trying to be a smart *ss or anything. Sometimes people don't think these things out and it's good to have both sides of the subject represented.

    Thanks again,

    CWS

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    • #17
      Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

      I dont have a truck but manage to transport a lot. I have a 4 door Accord and when I get 10 ft boards I fold down the reas seat and also recline the front passenger seat all the way back (removing the head rest). I can fit a fair amount of 10 ft boards and still close the trunk. When it comes to plywood I have HD cut it down to manageable size on thier panel saw. The added benefit of that its much easier for me to further reduce to size since I dont have to try cut a full sheet of plywood with either a TS or circular saw.

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      • #18
        Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

        Originally posted by milehigh6080 View Post
        I have a BMW 330Ci, it actually has built in mounting points for a roof rack and Thule makes one that goes on and off of the car pretty quickly. I had actually pretty much ruled out a roof rack because I was thinking that with the car being pretty small, the boards would overhang so far at both ends as to make it awkward and unstable. The sentra is definitely smaller than my car, so if it worked for you, I'm sure it would work for me too. I may look more seriously into that. A utility trailer would give me a bit more flexibility in the types of items that I could carry, but it does sound like a roof rack is better suited to actually carrying lumber which would be one of my primary uses for it. Thanks for the tips guys.
        I buy mostly 3/4" or 1/2" plywood so can use that as a "base". With only about 2.5" ft. between the racks on the Mazda those are stiff enough. If you're getting a 1/4" sheet you would need to cut it in half first (or put a 1/2" under it) to get appropriate rigidity.

        This is probably the biggest thing I've done with the roof rack:

        The ladder is 14' long and I had it attached to the frame both in front and back (plus the roof rack) so that it wouldn't flop around.

        I only had to go about 5 miles with the ladder (HD), but I've had a shorter 6' ladder on there for 50 miles and it is actually better than having it in the back since things up there get so well secured. I've also had plywood on the top a bunch of times for about 20 miles (lumber yard to home) without any problems.

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        • #19
          Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

          First post in the Rigid Forums.

          (SewerRatz's posts reminded me of this) There is an image of my truck loaded (overloaded) with trusses that I made in my garage in the city (Milwaukee) and transported clear across the state ---Trussload

          But back before I had a truck, I would just put some padding on the roof and strap down the lumber through the open doors using cheap nylon cargo straps. I then just shut the doors on the straps. Works like a charm if you have four doors and use at least two straps.

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          • #20
            Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

            I don't have a truck so my next lumber transport will be with a rental. Just like some posters here I tried saving the $50 or so it costs to rent and I used my car. Seat folded down and about 6 feet of lumber sticking out of the trunk. I did 100 bf a trip.

            Long story short - it cost my about $800 to fix broken rear suspension parts and associated costs which would have bought me about 400bf of kiln dried cherry or walnut, more if I bought hard maple or oak.
            In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

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            • #21
              Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

              I love my 5' by 8' Utility trailer. It has a fold up ramp so when hauling longer stock I just cheat it forward a little or run it to the side, around the tailgate. Then it doens't matter what kind of car you drive and you don't have to have lumber in your Mustang. I can't imagine life without a small trailer.

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              • #22
                Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                Aside from drooling about what "others" are doing I present you with two suggestions:

                1. Cut to fit..yep cut your lumber purchase to fit inside your vehicle then re-glue to original length as needed!

                2. Seriously....get some roof racks that you can install and remove easily. Learn how to tie proper knots [that's not nots but knots] You should be able to carry reasonably safely 4x8 plywood. Just drive a bit slower so the wind won't lift them, maybe use your 4-way flashers etc.

                There are a number of clever homeowner type lumber hauling devices do a Google search.

                Cactus Man

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                • #23
                  Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                  Originally posted by milehigh6080 View Post
                  Hi guys,

                  I'm just getting into woodworking more seriously as a hobby now that I'm a homeowner and have room for a shop. Right now, it seems like one of the bigger hurdles for me is actually getting lumber back to my house. I have all the time in the world to actually spend working in the shop, but that doesn't get me very far without a truck. What do most of you do if you don't have a truck? The options I've considered so far are 1- borrow a friend's truck, but i hate to put people out, 2- rent a truck, 3 - have it delivered, 4 - install a trailer hitch on my car and devise some type of rack system to support sheet goods and longer lumber, 5 - buy a truck.

                  It gets old asking people for help every time I need some lumber, and renting a truck every time can get pricey. I'd rather not buy one, so I'm sort of leaning towards a hitch and a small utility trailer for my car. For those of you who do it that way, can you share some tips on racks that work for you and how big of a trailer I'd need to carry man made sheet goods along with some 10' boards?

                  Thanks for the tips.
                  Your in MAINE man, go talk to your neighbor. Build him the shelf his wife has been wanting for years over the washing machine and you've got a lumber picking up friend for life.

                  Seriously though, being a pilot in Brunswick (BNAS?), I assume your from away. Go talk to your neighbor or stop some guy with no teeth and a beat up truck. I'm sure either would be willing to help you out, and I'd be surprised if they asked for anything more then the cost of their fuel.
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                  • #24
                    Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                    Many years ago I had to transport a 40 foot extension ladder. I took the 2 sections apart, slid them under my 1956 Mercury and tied them up to the bumpers
                    Jim S.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                      Originally posted by Jim S. View Post
                      Many years ago I had to transport a 40 foot extension ladder. I took the 2 sections apart, slid them under my 1956 Mercury and tied them up to the bumpers



                      lol, that's one way of doing I guess.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                        Jim S,

                        Hey, a 1956 Mercury Monteray was my very first car! It was the family vehicle and I bought it from my Dad for $70. Drove that beast for a couple of years, what a vehicle! Mine had the 292 "Turnpike Cruiser" engine... burned oil like it was a quarter a quart! (But wait, back then it was a $0.25 a quart!)



                        CWS

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                        • #27
                          Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                          And gas was .19 a gallon.
                          Charles

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                          • #28
                            Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                            I have the same problem as the OP. My parents have a SUV. I'm thinking of talking them into buying a trailer hitch. *hehe* Seriously, I am leaning toward the trailer hitch and trailer idea myself. It will save cost in the long run.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                              I'll say, I have little use for plywood, but when I do it's a nightmare to get home in my 2002 Suzuki Vitara. I usually plan ahead and have them cut it at the store to some usuable length that I can transport the 2 miles back home from either my local HD or Lowes. I have on occasion strapped with locking ratchet ties to the roof rails (within OEM limits of course). Other than that, I've transported "tons" of 8' lumber, bags of landscaping rocks, snowthrowers, lawnmowers, and tools to and from the store in the safe comfort inside with the windows up. If I had my way though, I would get a pickup truck wide enought to accomodate 4x8 sheet goods without a problem, that would take care of the most difficult things. I always joke that the only projects I ever take on are limited to ones that I can take home in my vehicle.
                              Steve

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                              • #30
                                Re: Transporting lumber home without a truck

                                First, go find out the tow rating for your car. You should be able to tow about 1000lbs.

                                Check out the FOLDING trailers from Harbor Frieght or Northern Tool. They usually cost a couple hundred bucks and can be folded up for strorage in your garage or a shed.

                                For the hitch, google "hidden hitch" and see if they make one for your car. Make sure that the trailer you get can be used with the hitch. You'll also need a wiring harness for the trailer lights.

                                The trailers usually weight about 300 lbs so you can get a pretty decent amount of plywood back to your home, depending on the tow capacity.

                                NEVER exceed that towing capacity. You'll damage your car.

                                The only other option I can think of is to buy a junker pickup truck and use that just for trips to the hardware store. Frankly, that is probably a better option than towing.

                                Something else. Check out Woodfinder.com. There might be other suppliers that are closer to you..

                                Hope this helps..

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