We have created this section in order to provide a quick response to the most frequently asked questions we receive. It is not an attempt to take the human element out of our website – but in some cases we realise that people who contact us need information quicker than we can sometimes respond in person.
Please continue to contact us direct – especially with your huts needs or new hut information for our archive. Also try and let us know how you get on with your quest, in the meantime please see if any of the following helps:
Q I am looking for a set of original Axles and Wheels for a hut I am restoring, or planning to build, where can I find some?
A Start off by checking out Agricultural scrap or Architectural salvage dealers in your
area. Try and get the stub axles as well. They are normally rusted into the wheel hubs. Make sure you get a larger and smaller diameter pair to avoid issues with the swivel axle causing a foul on the chassis. Early fixed axle huts had all four wheels the same size. Huts are heavy, so consider the size and robustness of wheels before making your purchase.
Q I have tried to find original Axles and Wheels in my area without luck. Are new ones available?
A Thankfully yes – try Richard King at Thurgarton iron works has access to some nice cast iron
mould sets which he uses to cast wheels and axles in Norfolk. Richard can also provide turn tables, steady bars, draw bars, in fact a whole set all machined and ready to go. Richard also offers an axle refurbish service. Bridport foundry Bridport also cast entire wheel sets including stub axles and a turntable. A more cost effective service maybe fabricated wheels; contact Nigel Barnett at Fransham Forge whose metalwork is superb.
Q I need some curved corrugated iron for my hut, where can I buy it?
A First of all try contacting a Pig Ark specialist if you have one in your area, or contact your
local Agricultural Engineers and ask their advice. Flat corrugated sheet is easier and comes in various colours. To roll the sheet and add a curve you need specialist equipment however. Drop curved corrugated iron into a web search engine or contact L.F & H.F Harrisons who we always recommend Harrisons agricultural. Remember, add two corrugations overlap for each joint, you need the total width of the tin span (edge to edge) and you will need to provide the internal radii
of the bend to the underside of the corrugations. Add a spare sheet if you can afford it – just in case!
Q Do you buy or sell Shepherd huts?
A No we do not buy or sell huts, we do however have a list of people that want an original hut, and are happy to put those in touch with anyone who contacts us with one to sell. We play no part in the sale but are happy to offer advice to anyone who requests it. Bizarrely we do this for fun – not profit.
Q I have a hut or have found a hut and want an idea of its value, can you help?
A Yes we are happy to provide an impartial estimate of its likely value given some basic information, including photographs. It is always down to the buyer or seller to determine its actual value however – we definitely do not provide estimates or act as an expert reference or providence providers for auctions of any type.
Q We have a hut, can you give me an idea of its likely manufacturer?
A Probably yes, please send a few photos and also have a good look around the hut for any maker’s identification. We are constantly discovering new manufacturers all the time.
Q I am thinking of buying a hut but haven’t a clue how to move it, get it home or how to get it repaired, can you help?
A Glad too! We have made a lot of good contacts since we found our first hut over 10 years ago. We have helped dozens of people realise their aspiration in finding an original hut. We are happy to provide contacts of those who can either move a hut, restore one, provide bits for you to renovate or just offer good old fashioned advice
Q I have found a hut and I know of someone who can help move it, are there any precautions we should take before moving it?
A Definitely yes! We are aware of a hut which we visited that was subsequently hurriedly moved by its owner using a forklift – I think both halves are now reunited together. So a few simple precautions are:
- Plan the rescue, get advice, get physical help using specialists where needed, please take your time and take care!
2. It’s obvious, but these things are heavy. Most professional restorers
offer a recovery service, but if you like a sense of adventure the rescue is
one of the best bits .
3. Unless proven otherwise, old wheels are probably seized or worse partly buried with roots growing through the spokes. Any attempt to drag a hut out of a hedge may result in broken wheels, a damaged hut or towing vehicle. .
4. It is sometimes possible to hire a flat bed truck with an arm lift; however old shepherd huts tend to survive because they are off the beaten track, so access may be an issue. A stand-alone crane may cost you as much as your hut! .
5. If the hut is on a farm ask if anyone locally has a teleporter (Farm equivalent of a forklift) with fork extensions. These should only be used if the woodwork on the chassis is considered strong enough to stand the lift. You may need to reinforce the chassis rails before you lift with timber nailed to the inside to add extra strength, Either way, to avoid damage to the chassis, nail a piece of 4 inch wide batten under area where the forks will contact the chassis – fork extensions must support on both sides of the hut during the lift.
6. Check the general condition of the timber frame, we recommend always
cross bracing the hut inside before the rescue regardless of method, as the
rescue and subsequent travel back home will subject the wooden frame to
considerable stress. .
7. If the hut cannot be lifted using a teleporter, it may be possible to
build a lifting frame as used by hut recovery specialist Richard King. This
method isn’t for the faint hearted – so if you can get in a teleporter or lift
arm and drop it (controlled drop that is) onto a flat bed truck or substantial
trailer, that’s preferable..
8. If using a crane, nail a horizontal wooden strip along the length of the
hut, just under the tin roof edge so as to avoid damaging the edge with the
straps when lifting – expert help is not just essential but critical when using machinery, crane arms or heavy lift equipment.
9. Use packing blocks under the axles and chassis to support the hut weight on the trailer or flat bed. Tired axles may look stronger than they are and may not hold the huts weight on the way home. Tie down the hut well with plenty of ratchet straps but use new wood where the strap contacts the hut to avoid crush damage..
10. If all else fails, deconstruct the huts on-site into manageable chunks – but this really is a last resort where access is virtually impossible by other means.
The above is meant as a guide only; recovering a hut is great fun but can be dangerous. Always seek expert advice and never attempt a recovery on your own – an extra set of eyes is great at helping see danger sometimes overlooked either in haste or the excitement of the recovery.
Teleporter with fork extensions Deconstruction = Desperation Lift frame Crane or lifting arm
Q I have a business / I am involved in a project and wonder if I may use images or text from your site?
A Generally we are very happy to discuss cooperation with third parties – please contact us direct to discuss your requirements prior to use. It is far better to use high resolution images which we can provide, rather than low-res images off our site. Note all images are water marked on our site to avoid dispute of copyright.
Q Do you allow visits to view your hut or view archive material?
A Yes, but strictly by prior appointment. Contact details on our front page.