Our animal feed needs are fairly modest. We have goats & chickens, a dog and some barn cats. No horses. No llamas. No iguanas. Most serious farm-types end up needing lots of hay, and will often have a truckful delivered and stored for the season. That’s not the case for us. Our goats don’t eat all that much hay. In fact, having had horses in the past, we were a little surprised by how little hay we go through on a weekly basis. That said, we do occasionally need hay, and we need easy hay transport.
So every 6 weeks or so, I will swing by the farm & feed store to resupply, which mostly means:
- Pellets for the goat stall
- Straw for the chicken coop
- Bags of chicken feed, scratch, or cat food
- Hay for the goats to eat
I can get almost all of this stuff into the back of the Ol’ Marmot Machine (aka Crumpy aka Martha aka the old Land Rover) as long as no one else was with me, but honestly, transporting hay inside the vehicle was a total pain in the tushie. Hay would get EVERYWHERE and then I would have to spend 30 minutes vacuuming out the car.
We considered purchasing a large, traditional, tow-behind utility trailer since we moved to the Farm, but honestly haven’t really had an occasion to really have to prioritize that purchase above some of our other wants and needs. The only occasions we wished for it was for our mulch and garden soil, which we simply had delivered.
Another reason is my regular commute. I work in downtown Seattle, so it’s often most convenient to stop by the farm & feed store on my way home, so I don’t have to make a special trip. So even if I owned a nice trailer, towing that monstrosity into and then parking it in the city would be impossible.
Solution: The Cargo Tray
I bought this little beastie last fall for $130, and I have to admit it works a treat. It’s 5’ wide by 2’ deep, and rated to carry up to 500 pounds. It fits into a standard 2” hitch, and it’s light enough that I can easily put it on ad take it off on my own. I can reliably stack up to 3 bales of hay on it, and with a few bungee cords I can lash them securely down for the trip back home.
I can then back the Ol’ Marmot Machine right into the barn and BOOM – unload straight into the feed room. No vacuuming required. I’ll pop off the tray and store it for next time.
I also like buying tools that are multi-purpose, and I like that I have this for extra transport when needed. It’s great for camping and road trips, transporting heavy tools, isolating a misbehaving teenager, or any other transport need where a giant trailer might be overkill.