1T bulk bags top dress / soil handling

Does anyone have a method of safely removing 1T bulk bags of material from the back of a van quickly with resorting to shovels / barrows.

It's at customers sites, so no fork trucks etc. Just wondering as we've quite a few large top dress jobs coming up and trying to weigh up the best approach

to get material on site. Bulk delivery via lorry and drop off in most cases not an option.

In the past we've got round by using 25kg bags and man handling - just wondering if there is a better way.

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  • PRO

    Andrew, from experience you are unlikely to be able to drag a 1T bag out of van. We have this problem regularly for business park planting (if fact, we were doing this exact thing yesterday).

    If it's mulch, then you can ( we do ) by using two upturned shovels from the back of the bumper to the ground (like a slide). Two people can normally accomplish this.

    We often have to double handle soil, we have a couple of pallets of 42 bags in the yard, so has to be handballed from pallet into van and out again at site. If you can get 4 or 6 pallets dropped shipped at your yard, the costs starts to become viable.

    There is a manual pump pallet truck around (~£700) that works (if the 1T bag is placed on a pallet first and then fork lifted in to van at/by supplier). The problem with the pallet truck are the small wheels - you need a good, solid smooth surface to use it :(

  • Hi Andrew,
    It sounds like a shovel full at a time job from the bulk bag in the van to another empty bulk bag outside the van. I know bulk bags are a pain to fill and keep tidy at the same time so this new foldaway tool will come in handy. Check out
    Good luck Andrew
  • Tie one end of a ratchet strap to the bag and other to a lamp post then simply drive away. Just joking but did have this suggested to me once. 

  • PRO

    Gary, would that pallet truck lift out of the van?

    • PRO

      Yes, the business next door had one we used once or twice (they've now gone :( ) but I'll try to find a picture of similar.

      They used to have delivery vans back right up to their loading door and used it to take stuff out of the vans into their Unit - but the pallet in the van needed to by right by the van door as it had little horizontal extension capability

  • PRO

    Found this:

    High Lift Pallet Truck HS0809 | Pallet Trucks UK
    900mm Lift Height - High Lift Pallet Truck
    • PRO

      Yes looks similar (don't go for a scissor lift version).

      This looks even more similar and is not badly priced

      Robur Hand Operated Fork Lift Pallet Stacker Truck 1Ton 1000KG 1500mm Look!! | eBay
      Robur Hand Operated Fork Lift Pallet Stacker Truck 1Ton 1000KG 1500mm Hand operated hydraulics NOT ELECTRIC!! very good if you don't have a forklift.…
  • PRO

    you'd need something to get that in and out of a van!

    • PRO

      That's part of the catch-22 problem.....

      The solution works at the Yard, but not on site!

  • How far from the van do they need to be taken? What equipment are you spreading the top dressing with?

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