Although tractors (and lately, ATVs and UTVs) tend to take the spotlight when discussing workaholic farm vehicles, I’ll venture to say that no farm—hobby or otherwise—is truly complete without a tried-and-true, tough-as-nails farm truck to serve your needs.
What exactly is a farm truck? Well, it probably depends on who you ask—the definition is a bit vague, though in my home state of Wisconsin, it’s possible to officially register vehicles as farm trucks for a reduced fee, though restrictions on the vehicles’ usage will then apply.
But setting aside legal technicalities, when I speak of a farm truck, I’m speaking of any automobile that is frequently used in a wide variety of ways to aid with your farming tasks. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a truck, though a truck often is preferable. The only requirements in my mind are that the vehicle must be able to carry a large load in the back (so a truck or a large van is great) and it must be able to pull a trailer. Four-wheel drive is also ideal if you want to get down and dirty in tough conditions.
So how do you put a farm truck to proper use? Of course, there are the obvious ways. You probably won’t drive your tractor 20 miles to pick up a load of lumber or your new goats—your farm truck is obviously the better choice. And with a snow plow attachment, your farm truck can make quick work of plowing your driveway during the winter.
But it’s when you go off road that a farm truck can really excel. During hay season on my farm, we frequently put our four-wheel-drive truck into action, using it to pull a trailer around the fields for the purpose of transporting the fresh bales back to the barn. Even if you’re not baling hay, you might find it simple and convenient to use your truck to carry tools and supplies around the farm, whether you’re constructing a new shed or working on a fencing project in a remote field. If you need to bring home lumber or other supplies, what’s simpler than driving them straight to the site of your project?
Farm trucks with four-wheel drive can also be tremendously valuable in the winter or during wet, muddy weather. Regardless of how much snow or mud is on the ground, farmers must get around and complete their chores. We use our four-wheel-drive truck every winter for the purpose of moving hay from one area of the farm to another, and in the aftermath of major snowstorms, it makes all the difference in allowing us to stay productive despite the tough conditions.
So if you’re farming without a farm truck, by all means, consider getting one. It doesn’t matter if it’s old and rusty—in fact, that might be part of the charm. As long as it’s reliable and ready to handle all your tasks, you’ll soon find it to be an integral and irreplaceable part of your farming operations.