How to Build a Hay Wagon

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to Build a Hay Wagon
Stacking hay properly and evenly prevents the hay from tipping over in the wagon. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Hay wagons are a useful piece of farm equipment pulled by a tractor or pickup truck. They are generally used by farmers who have to transport square or round hay bales from the field to the barn. A hay wagon is generally tall and long, which allows the user to transport bigger loads through the farm. You can build your own hay wagon with materials found at most hardware stores.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Wagon chassis
  • Tape measure
  • 4-by-8-inch wooden boards
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch carriage bolts and nuts
  • Wrench
  • 4-by-4-inch wooden boards
  • 1/2-by-12-inch carriage bolts and nuts
  • 1/2-by-12-inch rough cut planking
  • 4 Metal strips
  • Bench vice
  • Hammer
  • All-threaded rods (1/2-inch diameter)
  • 1/2-inch nuts
  • 1/2-by-6-inch bolts
  • 1/2-by-14-inch bolts
  • Angle iron

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    Wagon Frame

  1. 1

    Find a workspace large enough to build the wagon. Set the wagon chassis in the location selected. Measure the distance between the bolsters on either end of the wagon chassis to determine the length of the deck for the hay wagon.

  2. 2

    Add an additional four feet to the measurement obtained to determine the stringer length. The stringer length refers to the distance between the bolsters on each end of the chassis and an additional two feet on each end.

  3. 3

    Use a saw to cut two 4-by-8-inch wooden boards to the stringer length determined.

  4. 4

    Place the stringers on the bolster irons. Drill 1/2-inch holes into the stringers and attach the stringers to the bolster irons with 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch carriage bolts and nuts.

  5. 5

    Cut multiple 4-by-4-inch wooden boards to an 8-foot length to form the cross sills for the hay wagon. Determine the amount of cross sills required. Cross sills must be evenly spaced along the entire length of the wagon chassis, between 3 and 4 feet apart, depending on the wagon length.

  6. 6

    Place the cross sills on the wagon chassis so they rest on the stringers horizontally. Drill holes into the cross sills where the stringers are located and use 1/2-by-12-inch carriage bolts and nuts to secure the cross sills to the stringers.

    Wagon Deck

  1. 1

    Determine the amount of 1-by-12-inch wooden boards required to cover the deck floor. Divide the length by 12 to determine the amount required. Cut the boards to the length of the wagon with a saw. Place the planking on the frame by laying it across the sills.

  2. 2

    Insert one metal strip in a bench vice. Use a hammer to bend one end of the metal strips to fit the top and edge of the deck board. The bent end should form a "U" shape that will fit onto the edges of the deck snugly.

  3. 3

    Insert a 1/2-inch drill bit in the drill and drill holes in the end of the metal strip opposite to the bended end. Repeat the procedure for the remaining wooden strip.

  4. 4

    Fit the wooden strips on the edges of deck towards the end of the deck. Insert the ends of an all-threaded rod into the holes in each metal strip. Screw on a 1/2-inch nut on each end of the rod.

  5. 5

    Tighten the nuts on each end of the rod to draw the wooden boards forming the deck closer together. Avoid tightening the deck boards too much, because wood will expand when wet.

  6. 6

    Attach a piece of angle iron across each end of the deck. Drill 1/2-inch holes into the angle iron, deck board and cross sill. Secure the piece to the cross sills with a 1/2-by-6-inch bolt through the angle iron, deck board and cross sill. Attach nuts to the bolts and use a wrench to tighten the nuts.

  7. 7

    Use 1/2-by-6-inch inch bolts and nuts to secure the planks to the cross sills along the exterior edge of the hay wagon. Pre-drill 1/2-inch holes and use 1/2-by-14-inch bolts and nuts where the cross sills intersect the stringers.

  8. 8

    Affix an angle iron to the bottom of the two stringers at the front of the hay wagon to serve as a mount. Use 1/2-by-6-inch bolts to hold the angle iron to the stringers.

Tips and warnings

  • Some hay wagons also have side rails, which allow the user to stack hay bales vertically. Build high sides with wooden planks if desired.

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