Hauling 12 Foot Lumber In SUV: Steps To Do & Safe Options

I frequently visit Lowe’s to pick up small items for our home improvement projects, but I always end up in the lumber aisle having to bring wood home. I would begin hauling 12 foot lumber in SUV before remembering I had an SUV and no truck. After making a few brief excursions back and forth, I discovered the ideal method to make the most of my hauling adventure in my SUV.

I’ve mastered the art of moving timber without a truck. Anyone can transport wood efficiently in a car other than a truck. This is essential when planning out the majority of house improvements. So, how do you transport wood from the store without a truck? To move wood without a truck, follow these steps:

  • Prepare your car
  • Know your vehicle’s dimensions
  • Organize your trip to the shop.
  • Select the sort of wood you plan to transport.
  • Use good tie-downs.

Hauling 12 foot lumber in SUV is completely possible. If you follow these instructions, your trip to the shop to get the supplies for your home renovation tasks will be successful.

Hauling 12 Foot Lumber In SUV: Steps To Do

Here is how you can take 12 foot lumber in your SUV:

Prepare The Vehicle For The Lumber Delivery

hauling 12 foot lumber in suv

Hauling 12 foot lumber In SUV is mostly possible. To achieve this, just remove the rear seats from the car and position the wood so that it rests on the center console. I have discovered a few strategies and methods to help you succeed so that you may make the most of your excursions to the lumber yard and keep your car inside clean.

There are some essentials to remember to prevent damaging your car:

  • Make sure a towel or towels are positioned to cover your center console. No thin covering or sheets. Usually, the fabric will be snagged by the wood, which will then snag your lovely leather console. On the other hand, towels will work well, especially if you use many towels for increased thickness. 
  • There must be nothing in the rear of the car! Putting the lumber in the back of the car is difficult. This section is easy. Remove the items from your car, so you have space to move around and won’t damage the vehicle or items in the rear.
  • More towels, tablecloths, etc. should be used to cover the floor beneath your folded back seats. It will often be “car carpet,” but it’s helpful to cover it so you can clean up fast.

Maximize Your Store Visit

If you’re anything like me, your goal for your project is to carry as much as possible to reduce the number of visits to the shop. Making repeated trips to the supermarket is certainly not enjoyable. “I don’t have a truck,” you think as you prepare to go to the supermarket. “How will I obtain all I require?” Therefore, you must be inventive and consider a few crucial elements.

  • Depending on your SUV, the distance between the two front rows with a center console is around 7 to 10 inches. Why am I interested in this? I can carry my boards flat or on their sides to measure their breadth.
  • To make hauling 12 foot lumber in SUVs possible, you need to measure your car’s length. Length of your SUV measured from the front to the back of the liftgate. From the rear to the gear change on my XT5, there are 96 inches. Your dashboard is 10 inches higher once you are over the top of the gear change.
  • Height measured from your shoulder when seated in the front seat to the top of the center console. Without considering the headrest, my shoulder for me is in line with the top of the seat. That equals around 12 inches. The height at which you stacks your wood will depend on this crucial quantity.
hauling 12 foot lumber in suv

Everyone is different. However, you should avoid stacking your wood so high that it blocks your view of the road and your blind areas, as this might cause it to fall directly into the windshield in the event of an emergency stop, which takes us to the topic that will be covered later—securing your cargo in the automobile.

Maximize Your Purchase Of Wood

A nice example to use is the 2×4—the most common kind of wood. They’re 96 inches long, 3.5 inches broad, and 1.5 inches thick. Note: The lengths might vary. It is annoying, but it occurs. I can lay two 2x4s side by side next to one another in my automobile because of its size.

To maintain good road visibility while driving, I would like to stack my boards at the height of 10 inches, which will be 1.5 inches thick, stay below my shoulders, and not surpass the height of the dashboard. I may thus stack two rows of seven boards each, for a total of fourteen.

Tip: Prevent a single back seat from collapsing so you may use it as a support to prevent the wood stack from toppling over when negotiating corners.

Ensure The Wood Load Is Secure

Always secure your load, both inside and outside of your vehicle. Your cargo won’t slide or move while being transported to your home if it is secured. Here are some recommendations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

  • In general, structures of sufficient strength, dunnage (loose materials used to support and protect cargo), dunnage bags (inflatable bags destined to fill the space between the cargo and the vehicle’s wall or between cargo’s articles), shoring bars, tie-downs, or a combination of these are required to immobilize or secure cargo on or within a vehicle firmly.
  • Placement and Restraint of Cargo: To avoid rolling, articles of cargo liable to roll must be confined using chocks, wedges, cradles, or other suitable devices. The mechanism of avoiding rolling cannot mistakenly become free or loosened while the car moves. Articles of cargo positioned next to one another and restrained by transverse tie-downs should be near one another or prohibited from moving in that direction while transported.
  • Two tie-downs are required. At the very least, two tie-downs are required for an 8-foot-long 2×4.

Useful Tie-Down Types

hauling 12 foot lumber in suv

Several different kinds of tie-downs may be used in this situation. A pair that will effectively tighten and stay on the wood when fastened is what you desire. To prevent the wood pile from separating during shipment, you should secure both the front and rear. Some instances:

  • Rope
  • Smart Straps with/without ratchets
  • Bungy Cords

It’s a good idea to tie your package to your automobile. Tying it to the rear seat you left upright is a suitable anchor because you are now inside the vehicle.

How To Use A Truck To Move Lumber

A relatively frequent material that has to be carried is lumber. Lumber can be challenging to transport at times due to its length. But it’s not that tough if you have the necessary information and take the proper safety measures. So it seems to sense that many individuals ask me how to move timber or transport wood. Everything you require to know about moving lumber is provided here.

How To Transport Wood In A Pickup

How to move long timber in a truck is perhaps the most frequent question I get when it comes to moving lumber. The most frequent means of transportation for most people is a pickup truck. However, the lumber will frequently be longer than the truck’s bed, which might be an issue.

Figure out the weight of the cargo as a first step. You may leave the tailgate up if the weight is under 250 lbs. and is quite light. Strap your timber at ends to hold it together and prevent excessive movement. By attaching it to a ladder, you may offer further support. The timber should be laid in the bed of your vehicle, with one end up against the cabin and the other lying on the tailgate.

You’ll need to drop your tailgate if your cargo exceeds 250 lbs. This does two things. If you want to increase the length of your bed even more, you might consider using a tailgate extender. It first lengthens the bed of your truck, adding to the stability of the lumber. It also protects your tailgate because it wasn’t made to support a weight that hefty.

What To Tie Down Before Transporting Lumber

hauling 12 foot lumber in suv

You must understand how to secure timber in a pickup truck after your load is in the truck bed. Take the time to make sure you do things correctly since you will be held responsible if any of your load escapes during transit and damages another vehicle.

You must have the appropriate tools to get started. Avoid using ropes or bungee cords since they weren’t designed to withstand that force and might break under pressure. Ratchet straps with a 1000 lb load limit and a 3000 lb break strength are the best method for safeguarding your timber. Additionally, you’ll need some sturdy anchor points for your straps to be attached to.

You won’t need to do anything challenging if you only have a modest amount of lumber. Lay a ratchet strap across the ends of the package to the rear anchor on the opposite side of the bed, and attach it to the rear anchor point on the other side. After that, tighten the strap to hold the burden in place.

Lay the first ratchet strap on the tailgate and the second on the truck bed floor if you’re transporting a heavy load of timber with the tailgate. The second strap should be placed around a foot behind the front anchors, and the first strap should be placed roughly a foot behind the rear anchors. Over the ratchet straps, place your load.

The straps should be wrapped around the timber before being fastened to the anchor points on the truck’s opposing sides. To hold the boards in position and secure them, tighten the straps. Your straps should drag the weight toward the front of the vehicle if you position them a foot behind the anchors.

How Much Space Can Lumber Dangle From A Truck

hauling 12 foot lumber in suv

How to load 12-foot timber or transport 16-foot lumber The method is the same regardless of the sort of timber you’re moving timber. You must be mindful of how far your cargo protrudes from your car. Even if all packing and marking procedures complied with the rules, you would still likely be liable for carelessness if an accident occurred.

According to DOT standards, lumber may hang out 3 feet in front of your car, 4 inches to the side, and 4 feet behind your vehicle. The lumber must be appropriately tagged to alert other cars if it extends beyond this point. It is far preferable to designate any timber that protrudes from your truck in any direction using red flags and other markings to prevent any lumber from protruding sideways.

Remember that even if you fully adhere to the rules, you might still receive a fine if the timber shifts during shipment. Any cargo that is heavier than what is allowed by law must have red marker lamps painted along the side. The front and back of the car each have one of these lamps affixed to the side, lighting the sides and allowing people to view the whole vehicle’s length.

Additionally, the vehicle must have two lamps at the back that illuminate the furthest point of the overhang and two red reflectors that indicate the maximum width of the rear. If you have any questions, it is best to contact the State Police. If you deliver a sizable consignment, you might consider hiring a truck or working with a professional with complete liability coverage.

Again, even if everything is perfectly legal, you would be responsible for any accidents. Commercial trucks transporting timber that exceeds the limitations must additionally designate the length of the load with red or orange fluorescent flags.

To Sum Up

Making a wonderful trip to the furniture store requires careful consideration of several elements. If you make good plans, you can make hauling 12 foot lumber in SUV other than trucks possible, whether you’re building a deck, built-ins, or furniture. Even without a truck, if you apply these instructions, you will have a good trip to the store.

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