Document Type


Publication Date



Agricultural Economics Department

Circular Number



Motor, Truck, Transportation, West River, Trucking, Commodities, Agricultural Economics, Hauling, Crops, Farm Management


Motor truck transportation has sprung into prominence with great rapidity during the past few years. Likewise the problems of this type of transportation of agricultural commodities have taken on increasing importance during this period. This report deals with only one phase of the problem of transportation of agricultural commodities in the state of South Dakota. The report logically divides itself into three parts. The first deals with the increasing use of motor trucks in the area covered by the study. The second part deals with a somewhat detailed study of the hauling of crops in the trade territory of one of our typical western South Dakota market centers. Here we get an idea of the distance that grain must move and the proportions hauled by various agencies engaged in the hauling of grain. The third part deals with some of the problems of commercial hauling or trucking in this same area. The area covered by the first and third parts of this study consists of nine counties located west of the Missouri river, namely: Butte, Haakon, Harding, Jackson, Jones, Mellette, Perkins, Tripp and Ziebach. Figure 1 will show the location of these counties. They were chosen to represent the various combinations of grazing and farming enterprises which are Common in this territory. These vary all the way from much grazing and little farming in the northwest counties to much farming and relatively little grazing in the southeast counties. For the second part the centrally located town of Philip, Haakon County was chosen. The reasons for choosing Philip were partly because of this central location in the area, it appearing to be a more or less "typical" town, and partly because of the fact that material for study was to be found in an unusually accessible form. The material for the section dealing with the growth of trucking was gathered largely from the records of the South Dakota Motor Vehicle department. These were supplemented by material gathered from the county treasurers of most of the nine counties involved. Material for the portion dealing with commercial hauling was obtained from the records of the South Dakota Railroad commission. The material for the study of the Philip market area was obtained from records made accessible by the Farmers Union Marketing association of that city. These records gave detailed information concerning every load of grain hauled into the elevator for the crop year 1929-1930. A number of other elevators in the larger area also gave valuable data for their own market areas.










South Dakota State State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station