How do you haul large items (lumber, appliances, cabinets, etc) to and from your properties?

63 Replies

I'm not at the point where I think purchasing a truck/van to haul supplies (-ie, lumber, cabinets, water heaters, etc) is justified.  However, I do need to find a way to haul large items from Lowe's/Home Depot to my property(s).  How do you haul items to and from your properties?

I have a truck.  I don't know that I could make do without it, and I have only three SFRs.  It is also my primary vehicle, so maybe you need to look at that.

in the meantime, my local Home Depots all rent trucks for $19 an hour for local use.

Thanks for the suggestion @Richard C.  

  Although rules vary store by store, the Home Depot, I frequent limits use of their truck to people who purchase items in store.  Ultimately, I'm going to have to purchase a truck myself, just trying to delay the acquisition as long as possible.

I've rented a truck from the Depot without having to purchase anything, but like you say each store can impose its own rules.  If that was the case, I would rent the truck and then buy a 2x4 to throw in it.

I own a 1997 astro van only for hauling larger things which I really like. Got it very cheap and it serves my needs exactly. Before that I used to rent from HD but it became a headache when they didn't have any rentals in stock.

rent a trailer. cheap

Thanks for the suggestions guys.  I'm also, considering using a trailer to haul stuff.  Something similar to this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/1195-lb-capacity-48-inch-x-96-inch-heavy-duty-foldable-utility-trailer-with-12-inch-wheels-90154.html

Just not sure if my little Nissan Versa would be capable of hauling much. I already have a 1 1/4  trailer hitch installed to transport my bikes.

@Rick L.  

 The best and cheapest way to go is a utilty trailer. You do not have to insure it and any small suv can pull it. It costs a fraction over a truck and depending on the size can haul much more. Brand new ones start around $600 and can go several thousand.

@Rick L.  

 I saw you posted a harbor frt trariler...they are pretty cheap. Go to a trailer place for a small one there. More money but far better. The harbor one will do but very light duty. Your Versa will pull it but think stopping. Its the main thing. Take it easy and account for more stopping distance.

Originally posted by @Rick L.:

Thanks for the suggestion @Richard C.  

  Although rules vary store by store, the Home Depot, I frequent limits use of their truck to people who purchase items in store.  Ultimately, I'm going to have to purchase a truck myself, just trying to delay the acquisition as long as possible.

 If you are hauling something from Home Depot, did you not indeed purchase it in store?

Minivan has moved lots of stuff as we can remove the seats and a pull behind open tow trailer we borrow sometimes. We have also used uhaul trucks and trailers.   If you get a deal on cabinets a uhaul can be used to do this one time job without damaging the cabinets and local rates are reasonable.  If you aren't going to be doing it at lot at this point it is not worth changing your vehicle. However if you have a tow hitch a used trailer might be the ticket if you car can pull it.

My 2000 Nissan Xterra and the crummiest utility trailer you ever saw.  Smaller things can go inside the Xterra.  The trailer is a home built one I bought used after owning two smaller utility trailers.  One I sold when I didn't have space for it and one was stolen.  This one is big enough for sheet goods, has a solid floor and sides for hauling dirt or landscaping materials but the sides come off for hauling big items.

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

I debated getting rid of my truck but I ended up getting a new 2014 Ram 1500 instead.  It is very nice to be able to haul stuff at a moments notice. 

I have a 16x8 trailer with a fold down ramp. $600 used.

Pickup trucks are too high for heavy appliances etc & we can dolly most things off the trailer easily. With makeshift 4x8 OSB sides we even used it to haul roofing tile scrap to the dump. But I haul it with my large truck so you need to watch the load weight with a smaller vehicle.

& I always remove the plate when the trailer has to be parked in some areas.

F-150 Ford van with a hitch. Rent either open or closed trailers at U-Haul about $19 for 24 hours.

Have rented a moving truck for large loads to the dump.

about 10 years ago I bought a 2000 F-150 in an auction from the DFW airport board, it  was one of those pickups you see running around the airport.  It was and is a natural gas vehicle,,I paid about $5k for it,,it had about 30k miles, today it has 36k miles, and runs like new.  I have to fuel it at special CNG stations, but i'm paying what is equivilant to $2.00 a gallon for gas,,,but you don't want to run it, it would have to be towed to the CNG station.

I daughter thought it was really fancy the first time she rode in it (she was about 3), she had never seen a vehicle with those fancy 'roll up' windows!!

I also bought a utility trailer for larger items,,,the truck and trailer have paid for themselves many times over again

@Rick L.  Also remember that is you do end up purchasing a truck for the long term it will be considered a business expense and tax write off! (btw I'm not an accountant, CPA, or tax pro, I've just seen this done personally).

I used to own a trailer similar to the one you listed at harbor freight.  It was a fold up kind, although mine had sides and flooring that limited it from being folder anymore.  I used it daily for a long time when i was younger and mowed yards.  I pulled it for 1000s of miles.  It worked well.  I don't think it would work for really heavy stuff like a ton of cement but for most stuff it worked well.  I think for hauling most of the stuff you mentioned it would work well.  I'd also check out uhaul for their trailers you can rent. you don't have to worry about  storing it etc.  the size i typically used was $19/day.  They will limit  you to what you can rent from them based on your pull vehicle.

Originally posted by @Mark Severino:

@Rick L.  Also remember that is you do end up purchasing a truck for the long term it will be considered a business expense and tax write off! (btw I'm not an accountant, CPA, or tax pro, I've just seen this done personally).

Yes each truck we bought was a very nice 100% sect 179 write-off against income.

But the max is now down to $25,000. But I did just buy a farm & the deductions for equipment is simply amazing.

We used to use our SUV we had.  Then we bought a (used) truck a couple years ago after my car got totaled and our SUV was nearing the end of its useful life.  If it's a serious amount of material, we have it delivered.  For example, several thousand pounds of gravel - cheaper to have it delivered by a materials company than to buy bags of gravel at Home Depot and haul it ourselves.

One thing a lot of people don't seem to know about, regarding getting rid of stuff, is that your local trash company may already do large pick-ups of junk as part of your trash service (included in what you already pay).  We have had some old broken furniture picked up, just called the trash company ahead of time and they told us when/where to leave it out.  They also will do that for old appliances.  Just try calling them to see what's included in the trash service already.

I think trailer is the way to go. If you are just concerned with the size of the stuf you are hauling I think you will be OK, depending how much weight you are trying to move you may want to search some of the classified sites and look for a used flatbed trailer. I have one like the one you posted which I bent the axel on from putting too much weight in it; I then bought a dual axel flatbed trailer I can haul around 7k lbs. Anything more than that I might think about hiring someone.

I use to have a truck, but found it too expensive to operate for my needs.

I'm now in the "crummy utility trailer" camp ... though my trailer was something 20 years ago (8' x 5', 18" deep, top rail for tie-downs, ramps gate and manual dump body), it is starting to look its age.   

I hang this trailer on the back of my 2006 TDi and can haul anything from 3/4 yard of gravel to 3-fridges and 2-laundry sets. Sheets of plywood and drywall fit wonderfully.

Medium greenapartmenthires 1024x1024Roy N., Louer Louer Ltd. | 1.506.471.4126

If you buy the Harbor Freight trailer then how long before you start hauling heavier and heavier loads? As you drive around look at other trailers and you will notice some with the wheels sticking out at an angle on each side. Those are examples of 'I think it will be ok' loads. Overloaded trailers (and trucks) are hazardous to you and the people around you. 

Another option is to have the items delivered. 

Good luck!