Transporting livestock by truck, whether you need to hire a one-horse trailer or a cattle truck, requires planning, coordination, and sometimes, professional help.
Hauling livestock by truck is a proposition that often involves independent livestock shippers. If you'd rather leave the details to someone with more experience, however, livestock trucking can be handled by professionals who serve as a sort of travel agent for four-legged inventory. To determine how far you'll need to go to get your commodity moved quickly and safely, begin planning livestock trucking at least 2 months in advance.
Consider the following details of your load to determine how you'll start planning, and whether you need the help of a livestock transportation service:
1. Number and type of animals to be moved by livestock haulers.
2. Season in which animals will be transported and weather conditions.
3. Distance from origin to destination.
4. Medical history and general health of all animals to be carried by livestock shippers.
Complete vaccinations and veterinary inspections no more than 30 days before transporting livestockIf you're shipping within the 48 contiguous states, regulations for livestock transport may differ. While your state may not require that 2-year-old heifers have Brucellosis vaccinations as long as there's a record that they had the vaccination when they were calves, another state may require the vaccine or a Bangs test. Although you can get vaccinations and appropriate paperwork handled quickly, testing sometimes has a longer turnaround time. Also, if you need a veterinarian to make a ranch call, you may be looking at considerable lead time.
APHIS transport form with your load. You may also need a state or federal health certificate from your veterinarian.
Ask potential livestock shippers about their commitment to safetyAnyone who ships livestock should be licensed with the USDA under the Animal Protection Act. Reputable livestock haulers make humane shipping methods and animal safety their top priorities and they know their death rates. Ask about those rates. As you make industry contacts, interview the shippers as you would any potential employee to whom you would entrust your livelihood. Get references (preferably satisfied clients), and actually verify them.
Hire independent livestock trucks to save moneySome websites offer listing services to bring shippers and haulers together, like Livestock Haulers classifieds.
- Your best source for finding a cattle truck could be your neighbor or your veterinarian. Ask around for references before you get started on a full web search.
- Feedlot operators and auction barn owners often dabble in transporting livestock by truck. At the very least, they have contact information for livestock trucking services.