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Brad Nelson

In Tales of a Hay Hauler, Brad Nelson shares his unique perspective of the forage industry through his hay-hauling experiences, skillfully woven through storytelling and humor.

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Early on in my career as a hay hauler, I found myself hauling distances that made it impossible to sleep in my own bed at home every night. We were running from southwest Idaho to the Portland, Oregon area. To make matters worse, we often found a back-haul of freight that took us in the general direction of home, if you can count Salt Lake City, Utah or Billings, Montana “in the general direction” of southwest Idaho.

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Old bridges are part of trucking hay or cattle in the backcountry. Leo told of hauling cattle out of a backcountry ranch and questioning the bridge. The usual response from the ranchers was that the bridge had been holding up big loads for all their lives. They had no idea when or why the bridge in question had been posted for a ten-ton load limit.

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A fellow once told me that in the course of hiring a new truck driver he made a point of walking by the man’s personal vehicle and looking inside.

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I mixed business with pleasure one day way back when, and it turned into a rather long day.

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Way back when, a handful of us were eating at one of the roadside park-the-truck-and-take-your-chances places on the east side of Oregon State.

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I think it was the winter after the rabbit plague in the 80s. Leo and his nephew David were hauling fairly steady to the ranches south of Mountain City, Nevada. Lyle and I were doing our best to keep the closer-to-home dairymen happy and in feed.

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