Muck Boots 'n' Slickers - Life of a Livestock Hauler

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Cattleman84, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. Cattleman84

    Cattleman84 Road Train Member

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    So having noticed a thread a few months old again come to the top of the pile, I decided to start this thread and see where I goes.

    Anyone who does, or has, hauled livestock... Please join the conversation with stories, advise, qualifications, regulations, or anything else specific to hauling livestock. Those who havent been in this segment of the industry are welcome to comment and ask questions. But, please, let's not piss off or belittle each other.

    I no longer haul livestock, but have in the past. I really enjoyed it and would go back to it if I could find the right outfit. As many have said before, it takes a whole different skill set to haul livestock... You have to know how to load your own trailer, which may at times mean being able to guesstimate the weight of animals by sight.

    You also must know how to handle livestock... How they will react to your posture and movements. But more importantly how to recognize a dangerous animal, and then how to avoid getting hurt, or hurting the animal.

    All livestock is not created equal... Pigs require vastly different care during transport than cattle. One must consider the time of year and weather to decide what time of day may be best to make the haul... If it is 100° you may need to run all through the night, or make plans with facilities to off load the livestock so they can be watered. If there is a major weather event that suddenly shuts down the roads its not as simple as just parking the truck and waiting, you may need to find facilities where the livestock can be off loaded for multiple days.

    Livestock is the only frieght I know of that can, and does, actively decide it wants to kill you. I have been mucked out in a bullrack more than once... And I can tell you it aint fun. You get kicked in the head and see stars, then you shake it off and boogie down the road. I once completed a run with 2 broken ribs after one pissed off bovine decided to repeatedly smash me against the wall of my trailer. Have had many other close calls and had to retreat to the dog-house.

    Many livestock haulers dont just haul livestock. They may also haul other agricultural products like grains, corn, fertilizer, and many other things depending on time of year amd location.

    Well I'll step out now and let y'all have at it. Please feel free to tag others and invite them to join the conversation.
     
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  3. wore out

    wore out Numbered Classic

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    CHASIN THE DEVIL'S HERD
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    I have always bought a new pair of boots before needed and kept the others to load in. It’s nice to be comfortable if you have to move in a hurry.


    Summer especially I just load in the same set of clothes all week then change after I pull off the chute. Ya it’s a lot of trouble but I hate driving in wet clothes so it seems to save on laundry but who knows.


    I have noticed a lot of younger guys getting in. A lot of the places that we go are small family operations, their house is right by the chute. Keep your Jake off, not everyone likes hearing it especially at 3am. Turn your headlights off pulling in to keep them out of the house. Also don’t be hooping hollering and cussin to get them off.
     
  4. w9l

    w9l Light Load Member

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    In the last year or so I have began wearing Tingley lightweight knee boots. Made out of some material like crocs. Weigh probably half of what the old rubber ones do. Makes me feel 10 years younger every time I blast up the ramp...
     
  5. Cattleman84

    Cattleman84 Road Train Member

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    I used to where a long smock... Like the ones you see workers at kill plants wearing. To keep my jeans clean I wore an old pair of shotgun chaps. And slip on over boots. It was far from a perfect setup... But most days, after shedding the smock, chaps, and over boots I could climb back into the cab without getting muck all over everything.
     
  6. Studebaker Hawk

    Studebaker Hawk Road Train Member

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    The closest I ever got to being a cattle hauler was parking next to him in a truckstop, or delivering a brand new trailer. (nice piece of equipment before they get used) I always refrained from complaining about it because I like a good steak dinner or a side of bacon with breakfast. A close friend of mine was in and out of the business for several years, and has answered many of my questions about this unique end of trucking.
    Those of you who do it have my utmost respect. I am glad you folks like your job, and I am sure you shake your head when you hear stories of mine delivering office furniture for 20 + years to NYC and lower Manhattan, where the bull is just a symbol.
    Thanks.
     
  7. mustang190

    mustang190 Road Train Member

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    I use to hate putting the eye goggles on the cows. But it had to be done cause those 80 plus mph winds can be brutal.
     
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  8. Isafarmboy

    Isafarmboy Road Train Member

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    Been wearing them for a while now. Only drawback is they dont come in steel toe. Sows and boars are hard on toes. As far as unloading clothes go we get a set of disposable coveralls that get tossed every load. Biosecurity isn't lax like it was years ago.
     
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  9. WesternPlains

    WesternPlains Road Train Member

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    Does running pneumatic tanker out of Dodge City count? :)
    I know all about the bovine slamming me against the wall. Gotta be more careful going into bars. :cool:
     
  10. kwswan

    kwswan Road Train Member

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    I used to wear a pair of carhartt overalls to load in. They have a pair of non insulated ones that have a zipper up to the hip that are easy to put on and remove.
     
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  11. w9l

    w9l Light Load Member

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    As far as loading and unloading garb , most of mine come from a local military surplus/ prepper's store. I got a few sets of old scrubs- top and bottoms- I can jerk on quick. Also, have a couple of long lab smocks for hot weather and a couple of pair of key short sleeve jumpsuits like the vets wear and a uninsulated military flight suit. Something on the head is a good plan too. My wife says green hair is not becoming of me.
     
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