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How is Your Lumber Lashed?
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Seatbelt bungees

Don’t tell me you haven’t done the Wing Window. How about the Car Top? Or maybe you’ve tried the Castrate, the Bedoy-ing, the Lash About or Seatbelt Security (pictured here). These aren’t teenybopper dance routines from the fifties and sixties. Rather they’re the strange ways that people try to carry lumber in or on their cars. The Castrate, by the way, is when you convince your buddy to sit between the seats to hold down the front end of a stack of lumber where the other end is hanging out the back end of your mini van.

"Sometimes I just hope they get it home OK"
- John Main, lumber yard attendant

If you are unfamiliar with any of these techniques you only need to sit in the parking lot of your local home store on a Saturday morning to see these and many other lumber-transport techniques demonstrated. After a while of watching, you might get the idea that transporting lumber is a free for all, but there are laws and some plain common sense rules to go by.

“Don’t stick it out the side.” Says John Main, a Ring’s End Lumber yard attendant in Bethel, Conn. Main says lumber protruding out the side is not the most common mistake, that honor probably belongs to improperly securing the load (like the folks who try to hold the lumber on top of the car with their hand out the window), but it can have the most drastic consequences.

“I’ve seen them almost hit the fence here,” Main says, pointing to the chain-link security fence, “That will drive it right down into the car.”

Not to mention what it might do if it hit something besides a fence.

What to do? “Stick it out the back,” Main says, “we have flags.”

In fact, lumber can protrude up to four feet out the back of a vehicle.  Any more than that and you will have to secure a flag to the end to ensure that other drivers are aware of the hazard. Also, Rings End has a delivery service (as do most lumber yards) with free deliver if your order exceeds $500. Big home stores usually have an additional truck rental service with rates that vary depending on your location and how far you have to drive.

Short of buying a truck just for the purpose of weekend lumber yard trips, there are plenty of examples on the web of how other people have solved this problem (see photo below of a custom roof-top rack).

By Zerega