Talking about hay can sound like a foreign language if you’re not familiar with the right lingo. For those still learning the lingo, here are a few terms, explained with a little detail. If there’s a word I forgot to add to this Hay Lingo List, be sure to let me know so I can add it!
OFF THE WAGON
I often say that we have a great deal on “off the wagon” hay. This refers to hay that has just been baled and stacked on the hay wagon. It has not yet been unloaded and stacked in the barn for storage. Since we don’t have to hire someone to move the hay from the wagon, to the barn, and stack it there, we can offer the hay at a lower price. Once the hay is stacked in the barn, we have invested money into that labor. We also have to invest money into building upkeep, as well as the insurance on the building and its contents. If you can get the hay at off the wagon pricing, it is always going to be the best deal for your wallet. Off the wagon pricing does NOT include tossing the bales off the wagon or any loading/stacking of the hay onto your truck or trailer. These services can be provided if you let us know ahead of time, for a fee. The downside of off the wagon hay? You will have to work around our baling schedule to get the lower pricing, which is all dependent on the weather. We also need those wagons unloaded on days we are baling so we can fill them back up again with more hay. If they’re not unloaded by a customer who takes them off the farm, we hire someone to unload and stack the hay in the barn.
When I advertise hay and the pricing says something like, “$3.50 per bale, delivered,” there are a few things that pricing includes, along with a few things it does not. Delivered pricing includes the hay being safely stacked on the trailer on our farm and strapped down (which takes a minimum of an hour on our end), along with the diesel fuel and vehicle/trailer maintenance costs to transport the hay from our farm to yours. It also includes the time to transport the hay to you, along with removal of straps, boards, and safety equipment at your location (which takes approximately 15-20 minutes). Delivered pricing does NOT included tossing bales off the trailer, unloading of the trailer at your location, carrying of hay from the trailer to your barn or storage area, or stacking of hay in your barn. Those services are available to you, for a fee. Since we need to hire labor to do those things, we need to know in advance. Generally, it takes three people to efficiently unload a trailer loaded with 200 bales of hay, and none of that labor is accounted for in the price of the bale of hay and the delivery.
Sometimes in an add you’ll see a price for “tossing the bales off the trailer” or it’ll be mentioned when you call for a quote. When you are quoted a per bale price to have someone toss the bales off of the delivery truck, this does not include any carrying of hay to the barn, or any stacking of the hay in your storage area. These services can be done, for hire, but will incur additional fees and require advance notice, so we may hire someone to do them.
Some of our customers order hay and either cannot or prefer not to stack it themselves. If you need someone to stack your hay in the barn, we can provide labor to do so if you let us know in advance. Please note that when you receive a quote for stacking, it is in addition tossing the bales and does not include carrying the bales of hay more than 15 feet. If the bales need to be carried further than that in order to stack them, this can be done, but it will require advance notice so additional labor may be hired and you can expect the fee to increase.
OUT OF THE BARN
Pricing for each bale of hay is highly dependent on its location. The basic rule of thumb is this; the more a times a bale of hay is handled, the higher the price will be. Once a bale reaches the barn for storage, pricing changes to “out of the barn” pricing. The added cost per bale reflects the additional handling, building maintenance costs and insurance fees.
When setting up deliveries, we go over the accessibility to get to your location. This is VERY important. If our truck and trailer cannot get to your location, we either cannot deliver or will need to arrange another way to transport the hay. For a delivery of 200 bales or more of hay, we must be able to get our truck and trailer (with a total length of 56 feet) to your address. My husband is an excellent driver and can do amazing things, but he cannot make the loaded trailer fit or turnaround in an area that cannot accommodate it. Please consider this when ordering hay. Alternate methods of delivery may be arranged, but we need to know be able to plan for what approach to take.