OK, I’m not a farmer but I do have a tiny bit of land that has killed off two roto-tillers and a mower in a few short years. I decided to move upscale… Here’s the ship that will move my “pedestrian-controlled tractor”, rotary tiller and plough from China to Canada:
|Â© Michael Schindler|
It’s huge, almost 300m long and able to carry 6,350 20′ container equivalents up to 29000 T. It’s been over much of the northern hemisphere carrying piles of containers. My equipment will ship in a wooden crate in a container and enter Canada at Vancouver.
Getting the stuff to Canada was the easy part. Getting it past Canada Customs and shipped to my property is another matter. I checked out UPS’ website and they couldn’t do it. Apparently, getting stuff through Customs and shipping freight are done by two different companies called UPS and they don’t share the website… I only figured that out after hours of poking around the website and spending an hour on phone calls. Further, just getting an estimate required creating an account or running through dozens of pages of print… I found an easier way, a Customs broker. A few clicks, printing, signing and faxing a document and we’re done. All I need to do is get them the Bill of Lading from China. That’s already done. I’ve even found that the machinery will come in duty-free because China is a “most-favoured nation”. The last bit is to hire a trucking company to move the crate to my property. That’s a bit more difficult but once the stuff is on the ship and cleared Customs, it’s just a matter of sending the information to a freight-forwarder and paying the bill. The end result will be a durable machine for half the cost of similar equipment locally. No kidding. Small tractors with tiller/plough are ~$5-$7K or more. My specs are 18 HP Diesel, weight 600KG, 2200 rpm engine, and it has a seat… The cost to get the stuff delivered to Canada fully paid will be less than half that. I’m almost, but not quite, laughing at the trucking cost… The ocean-freight is trivial in comparison. Ships are very efficient. 24 crew run that ship while moving thousands of containers thousands of miles.
The upper limit to the trucking freight is what it would cost me to take the bus to Vancouver, rent a truck and drive it back or buy/rent a trailer, drive to Vancouver and drive it back myself… Heck, I can build a trailer with a capacity of 1000KG for less than $600 and have the use of it afterward. Fuel costs would be about $300 for a round trip with my own vehicle. I wanted the shipment to be made to Thunder Bay, only 400 miles away, but the supplier wouldn’t do it. They are used to shipping to Vancouver which is an all-weather port and it’s 1500miles away.
Here’s my estimate on what it would cost to build a handy trailer to cart the beast:
|Trailer Bill of Materials||SKU||Wt-lb||Price||QTY||Cost||Total Wt|
|3500 lb axle assembly||8186710||50||$210||1||$210||50|
|1750 lb 4-Leaf Double-Eye Trailer Spring||2080032||10.9||$35||2||$70||21.8|
|Single Trailer Axle Leaf Spring Hanger Kit||2080025||6.7||$25||1||$25||6.7|
|2 pc 3500 lb Trailer Axle Mounting Kit||2080027||5.78||$20||1||$20||5.78|
|12V Trailer Light Kit||8467466||2.74||$20||1||$20||2.74|
|Class III 2 x 3/4 in. Ball Mount Kit 2" ball and key included||8308777||11.28||$27||1||$27||11.28|
|Class III 2 x 3 in. Trailer Coupler||8144875||5.08||$13||1||$13||5.08|
|ST175/80 D13 Trailer Tire Assembly||8387342||29.46||$100||2||$200||58.92|
|Steel Chassis made from scrap||0||1||150|
Here’s a guy making a trailer. I don’t particularly like his design (no springs, way too much steel for the strength of it – I would use springs and two main beams more or less over the wheels where the load is applied and cross-pieces between. There’s no need to give the load leverage on the suspension…) but it will work for low speeds on smooth roads…
Here’s another, but it’s too flimsy for my purpose. I will use 3″ beams for my build if I do it and it will be more compact. This guy uses tiny angles like he was moving pillows around town… At least he has springs properly mounted.
After a bit of searching, I got a quote for delivery to my driveway. This is still preliminary because they don’t have the actual Bill of Lading in hand, just my summary of it, but here’s the bottom line:
So, I don’t need to build the trailer this year. I can do it next year. It will be useful a few times a year for hauling trash, landscaping, hunting etc. when stuff is just too much for the car. The machinery will outlast 10 Sears tillers, be more useful, be faster and it’s diesel, my first diesel engine… It’s my way to make the world a better place and to foster international peace. 😉 The productivity of my yard may increase so much I might be forced to donate to family/friends/community/food-banks.
The ship has arrived in port in Vancouver. My little darling will be offloaded today or tomorrow and could be rolling my way in a few days. The voyage was interesting. As the ship approached Canadian waters, it turned back and headed into the wind for a whole day before entering the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I guess with a tail-wind they were early and needed to kill time. They couldn’t just anchor anywhere and had to respect the wind/waves. I guess the port is a Just In Time facility. I’ve read truckers have to make appointments to pick up and drop off freight. Chuckle. Whatever works as long as the cost is reasonable. Efficiency is the name of the game with these containers. I guess Christmas delivery is doubtful but December is a definite possibility. No one wants to store this stuff. They want to keep it moving.
YAY! We’ve cleared Canada Customs. Although there was no importation duty, there was GST (Gouge and S___ Tax, our federal VAT/sales tax). Ouch! Now there’s nothing but trucks and 1500 miles of highway between me and my darling tractor.