Delivery & Installation, Feature, Operations, V5I2

Q&A: Shed Transportation and Delivery

605 Sheds uses extendable trailers to haul as many sheds as possible in one load.

Remember the famous line from the 1989 Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams?

“If you build it, he will come.”

You could say in the shed industry, if you build it, customers will come. Of course, there’s more to selling a shed than that.

There’s also more to the process than just a customer buying a shed—if it’s not built on-site, the shed has to be transported and delivered.

Ray Polfus of 605 Sheds in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has hauled and delivered his fair share of sheds in the Dakotas. He spoke with Shed Builder Magazine about some essential keys to successful shed deliveries, from hauling the structures down the road to maneuvering around yards to working with customers.

Let’s start with hauling the shed down the road. What are essential components of a trailer, in general?

605 Sheds uses all extendable trailers to haul the maximum amount of footage of sheds down the road, because we have a huge coverage area up here in the Dakotas. Another essential is a spot to put a Mule on the trailer.

What are some of the best ways to secure the shed on the trailer so it doesn’t move? 

We run straps over the skids every 8 feet on both sides of the shed. We’ve never had an issue with a shed coming loose on the trailer. 

The trailer you use will dictate if the customer will most likely receive a damaged shed or an undamaged shed. Owning the right equipment is expensive, but it is essential to being able to deliver non-defective sheds to our customers.  

Now let’s talk moving sheds around the lot and around the consumer’s yard. What do you use to load/unload sheds from the trailer? What is your go-to “tool” to maneuver sheds? What if a hauler doesn’t have a Mule?

We use all roller/tilt bed trailers with winches so the sheds unload easy. And we use Mule IV HDs to maneuver sheds around once at the lots and customer locations.

Not having a Mule and the right equipment makes it nearly impossible to deliver sheds in the Midwest where we are located. It can still be done, but it will probably double the amount of time it takes to unload a shed and thus be reflected back to the customer with a price increase. 

If you don’t have a shed mover, just make sure you preplan and visit the delivery site first and have the shed loaded on the trailer the right way to back it into the customer’s spot.

What does a hauler need to be sure of when communicating with a builder (if they don’t build sheds)? How about with the consumer?

Communication is the key. Make sure everything is planned out properly and you communicate with the customer. Things go a lot better that way than if you don’t. 

We love being able to get our customers their buildings as quickly as possible. In the Midwest, delivery can become a bottleneck in the operation. We have done our best to build a great team of drivers that can deliver excellent and quick results to our customers.  

What unexpected elements have you run into, and how did you overcome them?

Snow/cold is a major obstacle up here in the Dakotas. Equipment doesn’t work when it gets too cold, and the snow shuts down a lot of deliveries in the winter. We try to do deliveries on days that are above 10 degrees so the hydraulics work up here, and make sure the customers have snow cleared out. 

In the Midwest, snow and cold can make shed delivery tricky.

Many people are worried about getting their sheds delivered in the snow because of damage/ice/wind and all that we get here. The one thing I can tell customers is that if it isn’t snowing and you have a place to put your shed, we can get it to you. 

However, we even once plowed an individual’s driveway for her so she could get her shed. That was after five inches of snow! 

You probably have quite a few weird-crazy-silly shed delivery stories. Can you share some?

With the increase in our sales, it seems we have a crazy story every day. 

When people think of the Dakotas, they think of flat. However, the Black Hills is one of the more challenging places for us to deliver because of the hills, terrain, and trees. Thankfully nobody has ever been injured and no sheds have ever been damaged to the point where we can’t repair it. 

However, I did have a Mule roll down a large hill while it was stuck in gear, and I had to chase it. Thankfully, it nudged into a tree before gaining too much speed, and I was saved the embarrassment of not being able to deliver the shed, or having to buy a new Mule. I did get a good workout chasing it down the hill, though.  

Although stories like that can be frustrating at the time, I chuckle looking back at all the past successes/failures we’ve had throughout the years. 

What else do you think is essential when it comes to shed transportation and delivery?

As stated above, communication is the key. We get busy, we cover a lot of area, and things outside of our control will happen, such as weather and needed repairs to delivery vehicles. 

We know that the customers want their sheds quickly, and we will always do our best to deliver a high-quality barn. However, if something does happen, we make sure to communicate the best we can with our customers. 

Also, be cautious with oversized loads while driving and going through residential areas, so as to not hit other folks’ property. Sheds nowadays seem to be getting bigger and bigger because people have more expensive toys they want to protect from the harsh elements.

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