I'm trying to build a small house on my rural property. I'm trying to use a building kit, which is delivered normally by a series of 18-wheelers. It includes large timbers, such as six 6x8 x 14ft treated posts (over 140 lb each) and dozens of 2x10s 10 feet long and longer. Plus pallets of roofing steel.

And I'm only one person - having someone to help isn't impossible, but it may be difficult.

I'm up a roughly half mile gravel private road and a 250 yard gravel driveway, the latter being kind of hilly, narrow, and winding. There's no chance that the 18-wheeler will go up the driveway, and it may not go down the private road.

My assets include a 4x4 pickup truck with lumber racks and some block and tackle type equipment. I also can potentially rent heavy equipment, though that has difficulties.

I was thinking possibly something like this might be practical: https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200673741_200673741

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    Many farmers have things like telescopic handlers - good at moving, and lifting, things. – Solar Mike May 2 '19 at 5:40
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    I strongly suggest getting someone to help with moving & building. There are so many things - from just getting a large piece positioned properly on a trailer, to holding a post steady while someone else screws it in place, to being able to safely move around individual items that weight > 100 lbs on the job site, where even just one extra able-bodied person can make a world of difference. In my area (Maryland) there are plenty of resources to get such people on very reasonable hourly or daily rates - you do not need to pay a contractor/company overhead cost. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact May 2 '19 at 14:22
  • I'm already strongly considering renting a telehandler for roof construction. Sadly I'm very bad at asking people for help. @manassehkatz what are names of such resources? – ikrase May 3 '19 at 0:15
  • It varies by location. If you have no idea at all then I'd ask at a local home improvement store or on a neighborhood email list. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact May 3 '19 at 0:26

I would get a flatbed trailer. The rig from northern tool is great for logs but your metal roofing won't work with that and usually when I have roofing delivery it is 20' sheets so a pickup is not the best choice either because of the length, however a flatbed trailer can handle both lumber, and the metal roofing. I made side boards for my flatbed and have hauled loads of bark mulch saving delivery costs. As a possible future use for the trailer, or sell it once the house is finished.

  • Conveniently my metal is only about 13 feet long. Of course flatbeds can also be rented reasonably inexpensively... – ikrase May 3 '19 at 0:21

I have move Material just like this for the same reason when building using a truck and trailer are a farm Tractor and trailer, on some jobs I have used a helicopter.


"A series of 18-wheelers" sounds like a significant amount of material to be moved. If you can afford to float the money seriously consider buying some compact equipment such as a skid loader, a regular front-end loader, or a mini excavator. The loaders can be equipped with pallet forks and the mini-ex can be equipped with a thumb or lift objects with a sling. All of these can be used for hauling heavy building materials directly, or they could be used to transfer the materials from the delivery truck to your own trailer and then from your trailer around the construction site.

Equipment pricing varies regionally and seasonally, but you may be able to find something suitable for US$15k-$20k (used). The equipment could be resold when the job is done.. but be prepared that you may fall in love and want to keep it. ;-)

In a rural area it wouldn't be surprising for one of your neighbors to already have such equipment; you might also consider negotiating for their assistance.

  • It's not actually that much material - not even a fraction of an 18-wheeler's worth. It's just because the vendor is using the commercial freight infrastructure where every truck larger than a small box truck is an 18-wheeler. – ikrase May 3 '19 at 0:08

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