Livestock Hauling For Specialized Truckers | Livestock

When most people think of livestock transport they imagine those huge, smelly trailers driving down the road full of cattle, often also full of manure, that are so common on the highways and byways of rural America. While this is one type of livestock hauling, there are other options to consider as well.Traditional or typical livestock hauling is more than just a driving a truck. You will be responsible for assisting with loading and unloading and also making sure that animals are not overcrowded in the truck. When in the truck on the road you have to keep the weather conditions in mind as very hot and very cold conditions can obviously lead to serious health issues for the load. Cattle arriving dead or in poor condition at delivery is not only inhuman but also a very negative strike against you with the customer. Packing plants and auctions will only accept live animals, which leaves you having to dispose of a carcass once you get it off your truck.Livestock hauling also means long hours, often early in the morning, to be at the farm, feedlot or auction to load or unload. This may mean loading in the dark to be at the auction, packing plant or abattoir to unload as soon as the business opens. While this is not always the case, trucking in the livestock industry usually means shorter runs for slaughter bound cattle.But, there are a lot of different livestock hauling options out there other than just hauling cattle for slaughter or short transport. Tapping into these markets and finding your specialization can create a very unique target market with very limited competition. In these specialized types of businesses your name and your personal reputation as a safe, efficient and humane hauler can propel you to the top of the list of truckers within that industry.Hauling HorsesUnless you were raised in and around the “horsey” community you may not realize just how many larger breeding, showing and competitive haulers there are out there. These rigs are not at all like traditional livestock hauling and include transporting horse trailers that may hold as many as 15 plus horses. These trailers will use a standard trailer hookup and may be complete with temperature control, storage compartments and rear and side loading ramps.Hauling horses requires a keen ability to work with both the animals and the owners. These horses are typically competitive or show animals and, considering their value, may be one of the most significant loads you could imagine hauling. As the trucker you will need to check the horses on a regular basis, provide feed and water, and, depending on the contract, you may be required to stop, unload, rest and reload the horses.For this type of specialized livestock hauling it is essential to know about horses and to have experience in hauling these animals. They do move and cause the trailer to shift, which will require top driving skills.Often these customers are very particular about their horses. Any sign of stress or distress, an animal that was injured in the trailer, or any type of concern about your ability to care for the animals and keep them safe will impact your ability to market your services. On the flip side, a highly recommended driver will find there are always loads of horses to take to show, race and competitions both nationally and internationally. Once established drivers in this specialized livestock hauling niche are rarely left without all the work they want.Hauling Show and Purebred Cattle, Goats and PigsLike show horses and competitive horses, show cattle and purebred cattle for breeding programs are not moved in the same types of trucks that cattle for slaughter or basic transport are hauled in. These elite of the bovine world travel in modified horse trailers or in semi or fully closed stock trailers.This type of hauling is in highest demand during the rodeo and show season. In most areas of the United States and Canada this is during the summer and fall months, but in various areas it may be year round. Breeding stock, which may include bulls or cows, typically is steady year round with the heaviest workload in the spring, summer and fall.Larger breeders of goats and pigs may also require a commercial trucker for hauling show animals or breeding stock. This is not as common as cattle and horses, but also requires a much smaller trailer. These hauls can be short distance hauls or can be cross-country trips. Feeding, watering and checking the pigs and goats will be included as part of your tasks as the driver.Overall ConsiderationsHauling livestock requires hard work, a willingness to help in handling the animals, and an understanding of animal health and safety issues. Keeping equipment clean and disinfected, staying on schedule and ensuring top of the line service to each and every customer will certainly go a long way in this very specialized part of the trucking industry.

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