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Have a great invention to help with gardening? Are you the self-reliant type that prefers Building It Yourself vs. buying it? Share and discuss your ideas and projects with other members.

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Old March 29, 2016   #1
imp
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Default Plants, produce and pick up trucks

I had asked BVV how he got all those flats to market and it evolved to more questions and thoughts, and I had a brain fart.

Here is the thread jack I did by accident- stuff just pops in my head and it comes out willy nilly at times. See what poor Rob has had to put up with?!!

Please tell me what you think about the idea.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigVanVader
Imp you can use cinder blocks and a sheet of plywood to add a 2nd tier but the plywood needs to be tight so the wheel wells in the bed keep it from collapsing.then bungee the cinder blocks in the 4 corners so the don't move. Still an iffy setup but I have used it before in a pinch.
You made me have another brain toot...

What if, big IF ( and if I ever got really into selling plants or produce) i "glued" two cinder blocks together, solid side to solid side x 4 pairs to give a lift of about 16 inches more or less, one in each corner of the bed, a plywood sheet cut to fit; cut the plywood sheet in half and be able to make it into a market sign with hinges that are /have wing nuts on one side ( so they can come apart and be the bed shelf). It would be supported by the cinder blocks and the wheel wells.

Maybe like a paint, blackboard paint? so it can be written on? When being in the PU bed, place the "blackboard painted" side down towards the plants underneath so it doesn't get scuffed or scraped? So one gets more use than just as a sign or shelf.

Could maybe use the cinder blocks as a support at the market table for a shelf or to tie to a pop up tent /cover?

I am sure, since it is in my head, that there is several major flaws with this idea. Guys, Tell where I am messing up, please?
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Old March 29, 2016   #2
BigVanVader
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Sounds like an excellent idea to me. Just be mindful how heavy the 4 cinder blocks would be glued together. Maybe use 4 inch square post cut into cubes and nailed together if that is an issue, if not carry on. Luckily my tent came with these parachute cords so I just tie my tent to the tailgate of the truck and that has worked so far. I will likely make some diy pvc weights if I ever do have any lift issues. I usually don't go to market anyway if high winds are expected b/c hardly any customers come out.
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Old March 29, 2016   #3
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I think the 4 inch blocks would be better, you are right. Not so heavy.

I like to get multiple uses out of things when I can, LOL. Since I would have to remove the temporary shelf to get at the plants or produce below it, might as well make it keep working for me at the market. And being in 2 pieces would also be lighter to move them about.
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Old March 29, 2016   #4
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I love the idea of a sign that serves a dual purpose in transport, and custom fit to the truck.

But one thing about sales setups, over many years I learned that the lighter they are to handle, and the faster to set up and take down, the better I like them. You might use the cinder blocks, unload em and reload em after, I'm guessing that would last for the first two markets. After that you'll leave em in the truck.
So best advice, don't design anything in your display around the cinder block, that won't work unless you have it.
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Old March 29, 2016   #5
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I love the idea of a sign that serves a dual purpose in transport, and custom fit to the truck.

But one thing about sales setups, over many years I learned that the lighter they are to handle, and the faster to set up and take down, the better I like them. You might use the cinder blocks, unload em and reload em after, I'm guessing that would last for the first two markets. After that you'll leave em in the truck.
So best advice, don't design anything in your display around the cinder block, that won't work unless you have it.
You're right- too heavy will end up left in the truck and not re-used. Wood blocks would be much lighter.

That's why I was thinking of the shelf/sign thing, since I would have to move it in then out, then in again to go home and out at home again, I wanted to make it lighter via halving it, and get use from it while at market.

Any other thoughts, improvements or ???? I am open to suggestions.
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Old March 30, 2016   #6
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It's easy to make shelves in the bed of a truck. There are a lot of variations. My grandparent's truck has a topper shell on it. I built a sliding shelf to hold more plants, over the bed, but under the topper. It's wire mesh over 2x3s.

My best going-to-market invention was building a shelf for the tables to slide underneath. It's a rookie mistake to put your table on the bottom of the truck, then put your goods on top of it. When you set up, you can't get to your table, so you have to move everything to the ground, get the table, then move everything back to the table. I ran two 2x10 boards down the bed, and then decked over it with plywood. The tables slide under it, and I can stack plants or whatever on top. When I get to market, I can still get to my tables right away.
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Old March 30, 2016   #7
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Yeah, that's excellent advice about the order of unpacking. - and packing up, if you have anything left. If it's well planned to begin with, you'll save yourself many headaches and hours of dealing with the mess that happens.

One bit of advice, since you're going to the trouble of making a sign in the first place (which is a great idea), also pick a name for your business and put it on the sign. Not only it will help you with the repeat business, you'll get new customers by word of mouth. So much easier to say "I got these delicious maters at the market from "Imp's Heirlooms" , than it is to explain, "... the lady with the red truck... or whatever. Descriptions don't cut it, someone looking for your stand will be confused especially if there are lots of tables with similar things going on and no signs.

One thing I've used for bringing plants to market, is to carry them in a container that I can flip over and use as a stand on top of the table. Not technically necessary, but if the size is right (stackable and not adding much weight) it does add visual appeal to have more than one level and will make that product stand out. Actually the ones I got are cat trays from the dollar store. Sorry, no cats around to get the wrong idea.
Also when the market is under way you'll see which way the traffic is flowing. Make sure your sign is placed so it doesn't block line of sight to your product in the oncoming flow. Sometimes the setup needs to be tweaked so that people are drawn in to your table. It's pretty amazing what a big difference that makes. Since I'm kinda hyper anyway I'm grateful to have something to do if I'm not busy with a customer so I'm always fixing up the display. i never sit, always stand by my display. Sitting sucks the life out of me. You lose your upbeat energy and that is bad for sales. That's my excuse, anyway.
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Old March 30, 2016   #8
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Wow, great ideas! I just love thinking outside the box things!

Tables can come with the stall at the local flea market here- with cover overhead and tables ( wooden ones, some better than others) it was $25.00 per day, with electricity at some spots. The open gravel area was a bring your own cover and tables for $20.00 per day.

Like the 2 x 10 shelf, and the wire style shelf.

Yes, traffic flow is important to watch and try to use.
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Old March 30, 2016   #9
Fred Hempel
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Hi wholeheartedly agree with the statement that lighter is better. Avoid cinder blocks. Most all market growers I see use light plastic folding tables for a reason. They pack well too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
I love the idea of a sign that serves a dual purpose in transport, and custom fit to the truck.

But one thing about sales setups, over many years I learned that the lighter they are to handle, and the faster to set up and take down, the better I like them. You might use the cinder blocks, unload em and reload em after, I'm guessing that would last for the first two markets. After that you'll leave em in the truck.
So best advice, don't design anything in your display around the cinder block, that won't work unless you have it.
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Old March 31, 2016   #10
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But one thing about sales setups, over many years I learned that the lighter they are to handle, and the faster to set up and take down, the better I like them.

OMG that is so true. With over 30 years of market experience I can say, the easier the better. When I use a smaller vehicle like a mini van I put the flats in those hard black crates that are seen at most markets. I can stack the crates 3 or 4 high. I'll put plants that are too tall on the top, or in some other crates I have that are taller.

But usually I have a bigger truck, like a 12-16 ft box truck. We used to do about 75 varieties of chiles and about 50 varieties of tomatoes. We had 2x12 planks on rails bolted to the sides of the truck. 3 layers high. The planks became the "tables" on saw horses. It would take 4 of us 2 hours to get set up. PITA. Now I do about 150 varieties of tomatoes and some chiles and herbs. I couldn't find a pic of our stand at the market but the pic is of the racks in our driveway where we have a self-serve between markets.

Then I got several of the restaurant type wire racks on wheels. 1 of our trucks had a lift gate and for the other we built 2 "ramps" out of 3 2x4s nailed together. Now 2 of us can get set up in about 15 minutes. When I needed more racks I got the green racks that are meant for plants with an edge that keeps the flats from sliding off.

Yes the racks were a bit pricey at about $200 each but I saved that in labor the first season.

Carol
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Old March 31, 2016   #11
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Those rolling racks look great!
15 minute setup is the Nirvana.
Getting a setup with table and cover provided, for an extra $5, is the kind of thing I would go for myself. Knowing that bringing and setting up my own is going to cost me more than that in time and effort, including I have to break it down and take it away afterwards too.
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Old April 6, 2016   #12
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Well last week it got really windy and my tarp held but it barely did, so I started thinking I needed a better solution. I am thinking of something like this now and thought you might like to see it. You can easily modify to fit any truck bed.
http://www.mysporttrac.com/MySportTr...nneauCover.htm
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Old April 6, 2016   #13
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I would just get a topper shell for the truck. The aluminum ones are cheap. They're also a lot easier to take off and on because they are so light.
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Old April 8, 2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
Well last week it got really windy and my tarp held but it barely did, so I started thinking I needed a better solution. I am thinking of something like this now and thought you might like to see it. You can easily modify to fit any truck bed.
http://www.mysporttrac.com/MySportTr...nneauCover.htm
Very interesting and thanks for the link. I have been trying to decide what to do when I go get plug trays. Some stuff I just dont do well with from seed. So plug trays are the best for me with those items. The wholesaler is 1.5 hours away, and my F150 doesn't have a bed cover of any kind. Kind gets cramped trying to figure out every which way to put them in the cab.
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