A Cowboy’s Faith: Transitions in moving cattle – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Transitions in moving cattle

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.

Most cattlemen nowadays have large gooseneck livestock trailers they pull with a big powerful pickup.

Others even have semi-tractors to pull single, double, and sometimes triple-decker livestock trailers.

There are still a few cattlemen who have bumper hitch livestock trailers, but trucks with stock racks are almost nonexistent. Quite contrasting to decades ago hauling cattle from one place to another.

Early last century, cattle were driven from horseback or walking behind. There were a few trucks with makeshift cattle hauling racks, but not many. For long distance transportation, railroads had cattle cars, which continued with limited use into the 1950s.

Mom insisted we have hogs to help pay the bills with horse ownership. That bred Hampshire gilt called Susie Q was hauled in the back of the grocery store delivery station wagon. Notably, Susie had twins and one succumbed.

For hauling horses to the fair, floorboard stock racks were built for a trailer pulled by the grocery delivery car. Things looked up when a used pickup was purchased, and wooden stock racks were built to haul livestock.

Memorable time was purchase of a new two-horse trailer pulled by a Ford Galaxy to participate in horse shows.

Hauling cattle in the pickup stock racks for several years, finally a new bumper pull stock trailer was acquired. It simplified the cattle business with easier moving from pasture to pasture and at market time.

A gooseneck four-horse trailer with simple living quarters was bought to make attending horse shows more enjoyable for family.

As cattle operations expanded, the 16-foot stock trailer seemed inadequate as horse show enthusiasm declined. The living quarter horse trailer was replaced with an aluminum gooseneck livestock trailer still in use.

Two bumper pull stock trailers were also used for several years until they both wore out. When another gooseneck livestock trailer came up at auction, it was purchased to make cattle hauling easier.

It is still in use, too, although semi tractor livestock haulers are hired when moving large numbers of cattle.

Other family members have their own gooseneck livestock and horse trailers to help when the need arises.

A 12-foot bumper pull livestock trailer works well for hauling personal horses to shows and work.

Reminded of Second Corinthians 5:17: “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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