Transporting Rough Cut Lumber in Rain

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Forum topic by grimesbum posted 910 days ago 1969 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 948 days

910 days ago


I’ve searched the forums here for the answer to my question & haven’t found it yet. I am pretty new to woodworking & am planning on picking up a couple hundred bdf of rough cut lumber this Saturday. It is supposed to rain pretty hard & I will be hauling the wood in the rain for about 1.5 hours. Will this damage the wood or will it dry out just fine when I get it home? I am assuming it will dry just fine but you know what they say when you assume…..

Thanks & sorry for the newbie question.


22 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1599 posts in 2093 days

#1 posted 910 days ago

When you say rough cut, freshly cut or cut and dried?

If it still wet, just let it ride it out, its gonna take some time to dry out anyway. If it is air or kiln dried I would elevate it off the trailer or truck bed on 4×4’s, stack it just like you found it with stickers between the boards and cover it with a tarp or plastic. I think the best solution would be to use an enclosed trailer then all of the headaches of the rain are a non issue

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View grimesbum's profile


7 posts in 948 days

#2 posted 910 days ago

It is cut & dried. Been stored in a barn for years. They are 10-ft boards so in the past I would push them all the way forward & then lean one end on the top of the tailgate with the tailgate closed.

View interpim's profile


1131 posts in 2089 days

#3 posted 910 days ago

I saw a bag being discussed here a while back that would fit into a truck bed, and enclose your materials for transport. I don’t recall what it was called, but basically it was a tarp bag with a zipper at one end. I think you could get away with covering it with a tarp, as long as you elevate it a bit to keep the water that pools in the bed from sitting on the wood for to long.

Also, if you get the wood in a dry place fairly quickly, you shouldn’t have any issues with the wood once it completely dries out.

-- San Diego, CA

View Loren's profile


7422 posts in 2279 days

#4 posted 910 days ago

I would get it elevated and tarp it on principle, but
really there’s not much chance of damage. The wood
will get surface-wet if exposed but that will dry out
relatively quick.

Sustained exposure to wet/dry cycles of dry wood left
outdoors causes surface checking.


View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3409 posts in 2591 days

#5 posted 910 days ago

I was gonna say “DRIVE REALLY FAST”, but I won’t.
You’ll be ok. Just don’t let the wood get in any pooled water.
Are the ends sealed?
200 bf? That’s a bunch. Good haul (no pun there).


View dbray45's profile


2488 posts in 1408 days

#6 posted 910 days ago

Let me think, its a tree.
What I do—-
If it is a wide open grain like red oak, I might put something over the end grain and tie it down. When you get it home, sticker it in the garage and run a dehumidifier until the water collection starts going down – about a week, depending upon how dry the wood is, maybe 2 weeks.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View grimesbum's profile


7 posts in 948 days

#7 posted 910 days ago

It is quartersawn white oak. I generally store it in my pole barn but I will plan on covering it with a tarp and if it does get wet I will just put it in my basement with a dehumidifier for a while. Thanks for the advice!


View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1600 days

#8 posted 910 days ago

Tarpaulin or collect it when it’s not raining.

I just wouldn’t take a chance on it getting water stained.

View dbray45's profile


2488 posts in 1408 days

#9 posted 910 days ago

White oak is water proof – all is good

I still dry everything a week or two after I get it anyway – it is also harder to dry in the first palce

-- David in Damascus, MD

View poopiekat's profile


3595 posts in 2365 days

#10 posted 909 days ago

As much as I hesitate to recommend this guy, he is a lumberjock and from time to time shamelessly self-promotes his wares. The Kerry-All pouch:

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View peterrum's profile


135 posts in 1310 days

#11 posted 909 days ago

I have had to drive home 5 hours with kiln dried slabs in the back of my truck or trailer. I tarp them well, usually wrapping it completely around the wood, folding the ends over and duct tape the heck out of it. Duct tape is so wonderful…

-- Carpe Diem

View Lilskip's profile


20 posts in 909 days

#12 posted 909 days ago

I bring several hundred BF of lumber down from TN several times a year to SC, roughly 9h drive. Like the others said you can’t really beat a good tarp. I normally lay one down on the trailer and then stack it with stickers in between and then put another tarp over the top with straps and bungies to keep it tight so water doesn’t pool up. The only part I hate is unloading it when i get home. but I haven’t had a problem with doing it that way.


View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5536 posts in 2060 days

#13 posted 909 days ago

I use a 10’ open trailer. Tarp laid down first, then stickers. Tarp is usually wide enough to wrap and cover. Lots of bungees, rope, and duct tape.
Just brought 300 bf from TN to AZ. Hit lot’s of rain but, it was dry when unloaded.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View grimesbum's profile


7 posts in 948 days

#14 posted 909 days ago

I appreciate all the comments guys, thank you. I will just tarp it well and hope for the best.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2111 days

#15 posted 909 days ago

I think you would be best to cover the wood with a tarp. I never try to haul wood in the rain or snow if I can help it. You always take the chance of having it warp, or even get stained. I got caught in a rain a few years ago hauling a piece of plywood. It only rained hard about 10 minutes. When I got home I hauled the wood into my shop, let it dry out and it had water stains on the surface that I just couldnt get out. I wondered if it was from the road spray.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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