Anyone who has hauled trees and other plants knows it’s a challenging job, so special care is needed if you’re hiring someone to handle the task for you. Cameron Cantrelle, co-founder and CEO of Plantbid, offers the following tips on working with an independent hauler to meet your deadlines while preserving the quality and health of the plant material you’re transporting:
- Keep cool. Be sure the trucks being used are refrigerated during the summer months. To preserve plants’ health, you have to keep them at the proper temperature.
- Protect the load. Load larger, heavier items such as trees first, and follow with lighter plant material. Tree tarps are necessary even for short distances to prevent leaf damage and moisture removal. If using a flatbed trailer, use a “tree bar,” which will help protect the last row of trees. Balled and burlap trees with a wire basket should have a “seat belt” strapped across the top of the root for loading.
- Scheduling is critical. Know the exact pickup and delivery time. An hour’s difference can increase labor costs for no good reason.
- Get the digits. Have the number of your truck driver. And make sure your truck driver has the number of the person who is authorized to take delivery of the material, whether it’s your foreman or another person who will be on site.
- Do the due diligence. Make your freight dollars count. Talk to the nursery if you’re not sure what size truck to order. The supplier will know how much space their plant material will require. Overfilling can damage plant material; underfilling is a waste of money.
Plantbid’s Cantrelle says his company, based in Madisonville, Louisiana, offers landscapers a comprehensive, web-based platform to ensure the plant-sourcing process goes smoothly from start to finish.