New Truck, New Haybine

I made a couple of new purchases recently.  The truck is a 98 Dodge with 4-wheel drive.  I bought it specifically for hauling my animals to the butcher.  It does have a cassette player though, so I found my old cassette tapes and have been rerocking the 90’s.

The haybine is a New Holland 488, made in the 80’s.  A friend found it for me on Craig’s List.  It’s in great shape.

I paid $8000 for the truck and $2400 for the haybine.  The truck gets terrible mileage, less than ten miles per gallon when pulling the stock trailer.

Sixty miles round-trip to the butcher with about one load per week equals 3,000 miles, and maybe another 1,000 miles picking up supplies, means I may only drive it 4,000 miles per year.  If I get eight miles per gallon, I’ll use 500 gallons of gas.  At $4 per gallon I’ll spend $2000 annually on gas.

As much as I think grazing animals are part of the solution to global-warming, using this much fuel to get my animals to the butcher leads me to believe I’m not part of the solution.  But alas, I’m part of a system.

I would love to keep all my animals in one herd, schedule a kill date at my butcher, then sort all the animals I want to cull and walk them to the butcher once per year.  This isn’t the world I live in, though.

2 Responses to New Truck, New Haybine

  1. I think trains are going to make a resurgence in the post-oil glut world. While that won’t help you with a 60 mile trip, perhaps a new niche for transport trucks will be a milk run length trip…someone could come pick up your livestock along with a few other farmers in the area all in one go and bring it to the butcher and save you the trip.

  2. curiousfarmer says:

    I don’t understand why we gave up so much of our trains and tracks in the US. We’ve turned the tracks into ATV trails. I guess we’re on our way to becoming a pleasure economy.
    My uncles in LaSalle county, Illinois still use a train to ship their corn to huge cattle feedlots in Texas. My great-uncles used to use the train to ship in western feeder cattle to eat their corn.
    I doubt this is the best use of corn, but at least their transport is effecient!
    Livestock hauling used to be exactly as you described sixty years ago. Farmers didn’t have their own trucks or trailers. You made an appt. with a man with a large straight truck, (the animals ride on a long bed on the truck), and he would pick them up and take them to market. I don’t know why this fell by the wayside.

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