Hauling Rocks on a Stone Boat, Sled, or Dolly

donrawson(Z 5)December 6, 2009

Hauling Rocks on a Stone Boat, Sled, or Dolly (Part 2)

Now that we've talked about how to move rocks and boulders using a stone bar, what methods can be employed for moving them greater distances?

Wheelbarrows and Wagons

Heavy duty wheelbarrows and wagons with large tires can handle large loads that need to be moved short distances. This one made by Huanya is equipped with a very wide tire, to handle the additional weight without sinking into the ground. Ive hauled many large rocks up to 600-800# in my wheelbarrow. Just make sure you have good footing, and an extra person to help you guide the load. (Tip: get a heavy guage steel wheelbarrow. Even though the rocks will leave dents, a metal one won't split out like a plastic one.)

Wagons with large pneumatic tires can handle even greater loads. TheyÂre very useful, and more stable than a wheelbarrow. This one made by Little Giant is rated to haul loads up to 3000# and is available from Amazon.com for $399.

However, the problem with moving rocks in a wheelbarrow or wagon is that a rock or boulder must be lifted 2 or 3 ft. to get it in. Even rolling a boulder up a plank into a wagon can be tricky. ThatÂs why a stone boat, sled, or dolly (hand truck) is a better choice for moving boulders.

Stone Boats

A stone boat can be built using a variety of materials, but the most common is wood. Constructing a stone boat with hardwood planks from a sawmill, such as oak or maple, are more durable than the pine boards found at a lumberyard. Bolt the planks together securely to make the stone boat as strong as possible.

An old car hood is ideal for a stone boat because the front edge is shaped like a toboggan, and the bottom is smooth and slippery. Once youÂve bolted a chain to the front, youÂre ready to load it up with stones and rig it behind your riding lawnmower or car. YouÂll be surprised how well this works! (Tip: remove the hood ornament before using.)

My own stone boat is constructed from a 3 x 5 length of conveyor belt. IÂve bolted a piece of ¾" plywood to the front and attached a chain. IÂve moved a lot of rocks on it. Of course, the advantage is that I can easily roll rocks onto it, or load a boulder on it using the technique described in the previous posting, i.e. rotating the rock with a stone bar. (If you need a piece of conveyor belt, send me an email.)

In the winter once the ground is frozen, large boulders can be moved without tearing up the lawn.

Stone Sleds

Similar to a stone boat, a stone sled has runners to raise the bed off the ground. While this provides a little ground clearance, the disadvantage is that you'll have to roll a boulder up a ramp to get it onto the sled.

Here are a couple of pics I found on the Internet:

Boulder Carts

Lastly, a boulder cart (aka tree dolly, hand truck) is very handy and well worth the investment if you have a lot of boulders to move. Get one with large pneumatic tires. Some are rated for loads up to 1800#!

You can even get motorized hand dollies, although they aren't rated to haul as much weight.

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Janice

Oh, my ACHING back!!! You're quite *the man* Don, for sure!

Excellent tutorial, again! :o)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 12:39PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Great use for an old Ford hood. Wonderful tutorial, Don. Your photos and illustrations make it look so easy. Where'd you get a piece of such a wide conveyer belt? That would store better then the Ford hood, me thinks.

-Babka

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 1:06PM
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hostamanfred(5 Ohio)

I like the sled idea, it is easy to drag behind a yard tractor. I know it might work easy on snow, but what in the summer time. Are you using some form of rollers underneath.
Manfred

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 3:37PM
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donrawson(Z 5)

"Where'd you get a piece of such a wide conveyer belt? That would store better then the Ford hood, me thinks."

I got a whole bunch of conveyor belt remnants from a local company that manufactures it...various sizes, thicknesses, and colors...great stuff! It doesn't take much space to store my stone boat, I just roll it up and put it on a shelf in the garage.

"I like the sled idea, it is easy to drag behind a yard tractor. I know it might work easy on snow, but what in the summer time. Are you using some form of rollers underneath."

I personally prefer a stone boat rather than a sled because the sled runnners would tear up my lawn. The conveyor belt and car hood slide across the ground easily. I don't use any rollers under them.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 8:12PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

are you part Egyptian??? building pyramids and all .. lol ...

ken

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 9:14AM
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swmogardens(6)

I hope you are around if a car ever falls on me.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 11:23AM
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ford8nn(z4IL)

I use a similar idea-A 12' x 24" piece of steel roofing that I sandwiched 2 24" 2 x 4s on the end with a hole to anchor a chain. I've hauled a lot of stuff with this and a tractor, mainly in the summer, over the lawn, with no damage.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 6:08PM
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donrawson(Z 5)

Countrygarden wrote,

"I'm confused as to what you are doing with them. Do you plan to place them here and there, perhaps in groups, or just as they are? There sure is a lot of potential."

I use rocks in a variety of ways: retaining walls, walkways, as specimens in my flower gardens, etc. In the pics below, I've used them in mass to cover a large area at one end of my house...all of which are 3 ft. and bigger. It required an awful lot of boulders to get the "wow factor", and the project is only about 75% completed after working on it for several years. I still need about 50-75 more big rocks in order to finish it! (As I've said, I find the rocks and haul them all in myself.)

In this pic (which I took today) you can see the end of my house.

The bank of boulders continues outward about 100 ft. and extends the other direction over 200 ft.

I hauled this boulder from a farmer's field about 25 miles away. It's 7 ft. across. (Of course, I didn't move it by hand. I have a front end loader for the really BIG boys.)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 8:13PM
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jerry_br

Don,

That is really good information. I have always wondered how you move those boulders around without heavy equipment. Thanks for the tutioral.

Regards
Jerry

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 3:24PM
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greenguy(Zone 5 OH)

this is what i use - with forks or a bucket

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 1:33PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

wasnt there supposed to be a third post about heavy equipment???

merry Christmas and happy new year don ... and the rest of you

ken

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 1:54PM
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donrawson(Z 5)

Yeah,
I wanted to get a few more pics for the third post on how to load rocks...and then the snow hit! I guess I'll post what I have now, and get some more pics next spring??? Don

PS Merry Christmas to all, and to all a lot of sweet hosta dreams!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 1:12PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

So, Don, aren't you about due for a visit to the East coast? We could use your expertise around here. DH and I envy your hillside and although we could use some boulders that size, reality is we'll never manage it!

Looking forward to more vicarious living when you post again in spring. Happy, happy to all!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 1:29PM
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donrawson(Z 5)

Bump to top.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 2:09PM
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worldlywarren

Don, Thanks again for the piece of conveyor belt. I'm about to start using it here in upstate NY. Two questions. Have you tried "slippery side up and down to determine which side slides better? Also a girlfriend is concerned that once the loaded belt starts to slide, especially on a hill it will be hard to stop with the obvious problem of crashing into things/people/pets. It seems to me there's enough friction in the system but thought I'd ask. Also I'm planning on two attachment points with a 'V' of chain for directional stability. Thanks a third time. Lee

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 3:14PM
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