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Semi truck use

There are more and more semis showing up on farms. I'm curious to know if you have purchased a semi in the last five years or so. Did you buy it new or used? How many do you own? Why did you decide to invest in a semi? What do you like most about owning a semi? What do you least like? What would you do differently the next time you purchased a semi?


Other thoughts?


Laurie Bedord

Deputy Machinery Editor

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5 Replies
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Semi truck use

This topic should be interesting---

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Re: Semi truck use

    I have not bought a semi nor do I intend to.  They are the latest status symbol.   Another popular grain hauling option I see is a 500 bushel or so straight truck pulling a 500 bushel or so wagon.   Maybe if I didn't have any more than 7 or 8 miles to haul grain no matter where the field is I would feel differently.

   With this spring being so wet it's not hard to see where semi's where parked at the end of a field last fall.  The end will have water standing  water whereas the rest of the field is relatively standing water-free, just wet.   I have even seen some fields that the end where the semi sat was deep ripped and water is still standing where it was ripped.

   I expect permanent "parking spaces" to be left at the end instead of trying to farm those areas.

   Another note:  It won't be long until somone gets seriously hurt running into the back of a semi parked on a narrow country road after dark waiting to be filled.   Those who do that give us all a bad name.

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Re: Semi truck use

We replaced a couple trucks in the last couple years. We decided to go with triple axle straight trucks.

The reason behind this was, our markets are within 10 miles, grain storage close to farms, & our seasonal help won't need CDL's.

Both trucks are over 10 years old. I think for not much more we could have bought semis, but for us this seemed like the right choice at that time.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Semi truck use

We upgraded from a tandem box truck to a semi this spring. Reasons for it. Our tandem truck was 650 bushel but can only legally hold 450 bushel due to weight restrictions. The box was also so tall that it could make ya nervous. It was also limited in use. Could use it for harvest and that was about it. We went to a tandem semi and 28' trailer. increased our capacity to a little over 800 bushels. Tags and taxes will be compareable. We dont hire people to run anything so CDL's and experience isnt a problem. Decrese trips to town will reduce fuel use, and general wear and tear. The truck is big enough that we could easily upgrade to a 42' trailer and have plenty of power. I was also tired of replacing trannys and just tearing the crap out of pickups pulling hay and cattle trailers. Having the semi gives us more options, we can upgrade to a bigger cattle trailer with out fear of tearing something up and save our pickups, the same for hauling hay. If we every get a self propelled sprayer then we can easily add a sprayer trailer to our arsenol. It will gives a lot of freedom for what we want to do in the future and can easily upgrade. We did all this for just a few thousand more dollars then what i payed for that tandem box grain truck. I really dont think its a status symbol. Perhaps when it was first happening, but after that wore off and farmers started realizing the benefits of having a true semi alot of guys started switching, now its almost hard to find guys who DONT have a semi in our area, wheater its a single axle and 26' trailer or a tandem and a 42' trailer, alot of different combinations to fit peoples needs.

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Re: Semi truck use

Hmm..  Thought I had responded to this but I don't see it anyplace


new or used?  Used


How many do you own?  One

Why did you decide to invest in a semi?  I've asked myself that same question. I was at an auction and a good looking tractor went too cheap.  I bid once and owned it.  I then bought a trailer from a famer on an online classified board.  I have less invested than a comparable tandem.  This replaces a 1974 tandem.  (It's for sale if anyone is interested)

What do you like most about owning a semi?  The status.  When someone is talking about their truck I can brag up mine now. (That's actually a more accurate and honest answer than most guys will give)


What do you least like? License plates fees


What would you do differently the next time you purchased a semi? Shop more.  Next one will probably be bigger.

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