I got a rock. Lots of rocks, actually.
April 15, 2014 9:02 PM   Subscribe

So! We bought a house, and it has a yard, and some of the beds are lined with 6-8 inch (15-20" cm) field stone. I would like more, and a friend says she has a lot more that I can have for free! Her land is about an hour from my place. We own cars, not trucks. How do I get the rocks from there to here?

Ok, here are all the relevant details I can think of:

The rocks are field stone, so they will be heavy. Maybe 10-20 lb each?
I don't know how many there are. It's "a pile". I'll take as many as I can without damaging the vehicle.
I need to move them this weekend (she is getting ready to sell the place and doesn't want difficulties with any buyers).
I own a car, she owns a car, we need a truck.
I am going to call Lowe's and Home Depot to see if I can rent a truck from them. I don't want to rent a "nice" truck because I don't want to worry about damages.
I have checked with all our friends who own trucks, and two aren't working (they're old trucks) and the other friend will be out of town.
If I can't rent a truck, do you think I could move them in a small UHaul type truck?
I live in a fairly urban area so I have options.
I am based in the U.S.

What are my options? Google isn't much help, but maybe it's just fail on my part. Thanks for your help!
posted by RogueTech to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
UHaul would do, just be sure to check the load rating for it, so you don't exceed the recommendation. A utility trailer may do. Assuming she has a lot, maybe a landscaper would trade a run or two for you in exchange for one or two for him.
posted by Sophont at 9:12 PM on April 15, 2014

Most U-Hauls rent pickup trucks now too. I'd be surprised if Home Depot, Lowes, AND U-Haul didn't have a pickup truck available, but you could also check local phone listings for truck rentals.

I'd also suggest renting a wheelbarrow or something similar to help you transport the rocks from the truck to where you want them.
posted by erst at 9:23 PM on April 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

If I can't rent a truck, do you think I could move them in a small UHaul type truck?

Absolutely. U-Haul also rents pickups & cargo vans, the other truck rental places (Budget, Ryder, Penske) might too.

Load rating is a consideration, but even the smaller vehicles will be able to carry 1 - 2000 pounds of cargo, which should be more than enough. Truck rentals like this are usually by the day, so even if you need to take two trips you should have plenty of time.

If you're worried about "damages" to a U-Haul kind of truck - HA! Seriously, we rent trucks at work all the time, and y'know, as long as you don't drive into a tree and haven't actually tried to beat a hole in the side of the truck and you've swept/hosed out the back when you're done, you'll probably be returning the truck in better shape than 90% of the other customers. We've opened up some rentals and thought, "We couldn't do this much damage to a truck if we tried." Believe me, the "nice" trucks go to companies leasing a truck for months or years. They expect their daily rentals to get beat up - don't be wildly irresponsible and you'll be fine.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:36 PM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Home Depot rents them by the hour, cheap. Don't destroy your suspension.
posted by tully_monster at 10:29 PM on April 15, 2014

IIRC...pick-up trucks from U-haul are only $20/day...throw down a drop cloth before you start.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:38 PM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I believe Home Depot and lowes charge by the mile - so that maybe makes Budget, Penske, and Uhaul cheaper.

We rent trucks regularly from Budget in LA and have nothing but good reviews on price and reliability. Your local office experience may vary.
posted by jbenben at 11:47 PM on April 15, 2014

Moving these rocks is going to be very hard labour and is going to consume significant financial resources in the form of rental costs, insurance and gas. Before you embark on this you might want to inquire with a couple of aggregate companies on what it would cost to have field stone delivered. You might find your free rock isn't worth the price.

If you do decide to get the rock from her and she lives in a rural area ask if there is anyone around with a front end loader/back hoe/excavator as loading with a machine would save a huge amount of labour.

Be cognizant of the payload capacity of your rental. The typical home depot rental around here is a F150 class truck and they have a payload capacity at best of 2-3000 lbs. You can figure most stone product at around 3000 lbs per cubic yard. A typical long box is 2-2.5 cubic yards. Fill it up and you need a one ton truck to handle the weight.
posted by Mitheral at 12:00 AM on April 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've rented cargo vans from Enterprise - flat fee, no mileage charge. Not all locations have cargo vans.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:25 AM on April 16, 2014

Lowes has a rental agreement with Hertz, they rent by the hour and fuel and insurance are included. It's about $20 per hour.

Go now to sign up, so that on the day you're ready, you don't even have to go into the store. All you do is scan your card, and voila! You're in and ready to roll!

We rented the enormous Mercedes van to move the last of our crap out of our old house. I can't recommend it enough. So easy!

One caveat. They process the charge through Oklahoma. My bank shut down my bank card because they thought it was fraud, so you may want to call your bank to let them know ahead of time.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:46 AM on April 16, 2014

Most of the time, Home Depot and Lowe's will only rent trucks to people who are using them to transport a purchase or large tool rental from that store. Uhaul or another dedicated rental operation will probably be a much better option for you. They have pickups and cargo vans, and the cost will be much lower- the home improvement stores rent by the hour or 75 minute period, rental places charge by the day.
posted by Adridne at 6:31 AM on April 16, 2014

UHaul is definitely the way to go. Get some idea of the size of the pile, get a truck the right size and rent for the day. Sweep it out when you're done.

If you're not super-strong hire a strong young person to come along for both loading and unloading.
posted by mareli at 6:52 AM on April 16, 2014

Forget about renting a truck. You hire a guy from Craigslist to do this. Specify that it's big rocks, and that the job will require a truck.

Offer a set amount, not an hourly amount, and nothing for mileage (though you should offer a fair amount). When we put up a job like this, we estimated how much time we thought it would take, calculated mileage, and then offered a firm amount that we would pay.

If in the middle of the job you can plainly see that it is more work or time than you originally thought, you can always renegotiate / offer more, but don't start off by offering the high end of the spectrum.

You will get plenty of hits on your ad, I guarantee.
posted by vignettist at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2014

Home Depot and Lowe's will only rent trucks to people who are using them to transport a purchase
I believe Home Depot and lowes charge by the mile

I have rented trucks from Home Depot and Menards several times and these two statements do not match my experience. I would rent from HD/Lowes/Menards before going U-Haul or Budget. I have had many bad experiences with the moving van companies between my own moves and helping friends. The only issue I have had with the hardware chains is that the trucks are not always available because you can't reserve them ahead of time.
posted by soelo at 8:33 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wow, you are all the best. You rock! (Get it? Sorry, I couldn't resist). All of the answers were great, and thank you for taking the time to respond. I actually marked Mitheral as one of the best, because I called the local rock supply shops and the cost for a delivered ton is about $100. Figuring that I can get about a ton into a Uhaul of some sort, rental cost + gas is about $140. So, new plan! My friend and I are going to get coffee on Friday and then go haunt the local rock yards to see who has the best stuff.

Thanks again everyone for your help!!
posted by RogueTech at 8:50 AM on April 16, 2014

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