Hand Cart

Hand Cart

The key to getting the job done and saving your back, hands, arms, shoulders, knees, etc is having the right tools. Levers, incline planes, the wheel and such. This simple hand cart is a big back saver around the farm letting us lug heavy loads up and down the driveway. It gets a lot of use, sometimes out in the field on rough terrain. One of the wheels fell off the other week when it was being used to haul barrels of seed for spreading on the new pastures. Fortunately it was an easy repair. This particular cart is very ruggedly built. I’ve had it for about 16 years and it keeps on going.

The wooden box being carried on the cart is a crate we use for hauling apple pomace. You’ll notice that the back interior of the van is setup to transport livestock. The third door, swung in on the right, lets us load multiple pigs in a session keeping the first ones in while we have the next ones walk up the loading ramp and chute. The heavy duty utility panel and FRP (white wall panels) butt up against the chest cooler that is in the central area of the van. On their journey to the slaughterhouse our pigs get all the same comforts as the driver. Since we take to the butcher year round this is important. I would not want to delivery pigs frozen to the butcher after a three hour trip on the highway. 40°F below at 4 am and 65 mph wind chill would be nasty. Keeping them inside the van with us makes the long trip much more humane, reduces stress and delivers better meat quality.

Outdoors: 59°F/30°F Mostly Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/63°F

Daily Spark: Progress does not advance in leaps and bounds but rather stumbles forward often falling on its face. -WVJ

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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3 Responses to Hand Cart

  1. Walter, are there many restrictions in Vermont about how you transport meat ? We have found very little in Illinois and also transport our chilled carcasses by freezer to our restaurants, The hard part is getting them IN and OUT of the chest freezer. Any tips for my husbands back ?

  2. Our chest cooler in the van has sliding insulated glass doors on top and then a second door that is fully removable that we made ourselves out of foil-bubble-bubble-foil and 4" of pink foam insulation. This means that when we are getting things in and out we have more head room than with a swing door chest freezer. Initially we had put a swing door freezer in the van but the head room was too small. See here for what we have.

    For getting big carcasses out I like having more than one person. It makes a big difference. Mostly we deal in primals and cuts to stores and restaurants but there are sides and roasters too. The butcher helps load the van with big ones and either I or customers help Holly unload when she's making deliveries later that same day. We do meat pickup and drop off all in one trip – it's about 10 to 14 hours. A long day but efficient.

    Lastly, I strongly discourage oversize pigs. For whole pigs that people are going to cut up I recommend they have them cut to sides which are about 90 lbs each. That's manageable. For any pig or side over 100 lbs which we must pickup we have an $50 overweight charge to pay for our backs. I explain the issue to people and they're very understanding. If they want to lift it they save the overweight charge.

  3. Shelly says:

    You certainly do deserve a round of applause for your post and your blog in general. Very very high quality articles. Unlike some bloggers who seem to focus on tearing other people down you are presenting real information that I have found useful over the years. I like your positive attitude and sharing of what works for you and what didn’t work. Please keep it up.

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