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This article is about an older version of DF.

Hauling is the process of bringing an object to its designated place. There are several specific types of hauling, based on the type of item(s) to be hauled and determined by designating the specific labors on indivual dwarves.

Although not a term found in-game, hauler generally refers to a dwarf in fortress mode who has no labors enabled other than hauling. Once the dwarven economy starts, haulers are usually the poorest in the fortress as the hauling task only pays 1☼ per task completed. In large fortresses where there may be great distances for haulers to travel, individual hauling tasks may take a long time to complete, and so very little money is earned. Haulers are good candidates for cross-training to help improve their strength and agility attributes, which are important attributes for moving heavy objects across a fortress quickly.

Many larger fortresses use dedicated dwarves to do much of the hauling so that other, more specialized dwarves will spend more time in their workshops and less time dragging raw materials or finished products to the appropriate stockpile.

Automatic hauling[edit]

Some hauling tasks do not require any hauling labor:

  • A dwarf working at a workshop will gather the raw materials needed to produce wanted goods. However, produced goods require the appropriate hauling labor to be moved out of the workshop in order to avoid clutter. Dwarves producing goods at a workshop tend to keep producing them and will not necessarily clear their own workshops of clutter even when they have the appropriate hauling labor enabled.
  • All adult civilian dwarves, including nobles, will bring goods to the depot.
  • A moody dwarf will gather the raw materials needed for a mysterious construction.
  • A dwarf building something will move the needed materials to the construction site.
    • Before a dwarf will build something, he will need to have the appropriate labor as specified by the task - if the dwarf is building a chair or similar, the dwarf needs furniture hauling. Workshops are usually constructed by any dwarf that can work in that workshop.
  • An herbalist will haul any successfully-gathered plant to a stockpile immediately, if there is space available in one. The same is true of crops harvested from farm plots.
  • Civilian dwarves and guards in the midst of eating will carry their meal to a table; military dwarves will eat directly off of the floor (or from their backpack).
  • Dwarves who have just finished drinking booze will return their barrel to the nearest food stockpile.
  • Filling ponds will be done by all dwarves.

Stone hauling[edit]

Dwarves with the stone hauling labor enabled will haul stones, ores, and gems to the appropriate stockpiles.

Note: Dwarves, being the kind fellows they are, practically insist on hauling one of the farthest stones into your stockpiles. They tend to ignore eligible, nearby stones 'for the greater good of the fortress'. This selfless act often results in terribly long journeys, carrying just one stone. See the section on Stone management for tips on combatting this problem.

Wood hauling[edit]

Dwarves with the wood hauling labor enabled will haul wood logs to the corresponding stockpiles. DeforestationWood production can be sped up a lot by turning off wood hauling on your most skilled woodcutter who will focus exclusively on cutting down trees. This will however expose more of your dwarves as many wood haulers will go outside to retrieve the logs.

Item hauling[edit]

Dwarves with the item hauling labor will haul miscellaneous items like blocks and collect sand for a glass furnace. Finished goods (such as crafted goods) are also considered Items.

Food hauling[edit]

Dwarves with the food hauling labor will haul food and drinks to the appropriate stockpiles.

Refuse hauling[edit]

Dwarves with the refuse hauling labor will haul rotting food and non-dwarf bodyparts to refuse stockpiles. They will also chasm marked items. Refuse hauling are subject to refuse orders (o: Set Orders and Options -> r: Refuse Orders).


Dwarves with the burial labor will haul dwarf and pet corpses and bodyparts to Graveyard stockpiles or coffins.

Furniture hauling[edit]

Dwarves with the furniture hauling labor will haul furniture to the appropriate stockpiles. They will also build simple furniture items (beds, chairs, tables, etc.).

Animal hauling[edit]

Dwarves with the animal hauling labor will haul animal traps and cages to the appropriate stockpiles.

Tips and issues[edit]

In order to minimize hauling trips, stockpiles should be placed with care.

  • Input and ouput stockpiles should be placed near corresponding workshops.
  • Spoils of war: dwarves may haul entire bins full of items, or items individually. However, they are not smart enough to bin items in order to carry them, so this may end in numerous needless trips from deceased enemies to your fortress, each dwarf carrying one item at a time. To counter this:
    • Place a small bin stockpile and a general purpose stockpile near the battlefield.
    • When every spoil has been binned, remove the stockpiles and allow your dwarves to carry the bins inside.
  • Construction preparation: when constructing something big away from your fort (e.g. a road), the dwarf assigned to the construction (or architecture) will have to carry each item from your fort to the construction location, which can take a long time. By putting stockpiles near your construction project, many dwarves may participate in the hauling, thus dramatically increasing construction speed. Note that materials are allocated at the time of building, so be sure the stockpile is filled before placing the construction order, otherwise the materials will still have to come from afar.
  • Consider specializing your haulers if possible - food haulers that orbit around the kitchen/dining room/farm area, stone haulers that orbit around the mines and furnaces, and (if possible/needed) wood haulers that do likewise with the carpenter shop. Turn off refuse hauling if that dwarf isn't going to be near areas likely to have refuse. This keeps the mine hauler from deciding to walk aaaallll the way over to the kitchens for one load, and then out to the forest for one, and then back to the smelters, and so on.
  • Furthermore, you can handpick your specialized hauler, selecting them by their attributes. An item hauler might be chosen because of his agility, since most goods are fairly lightweight. A stone or wood hauler, on the other hand, might be chosen because of his strength so that he can pick up and carry heavy stones and logs more quickly.
  • The Grower profession can have a huge impact on hauling - see farming for a discussion.


To ensure that high-priority hauling tasks (like food, to clean up after get done quickly, you should employ a large number of haulers, and specialize them by having only one or two hauling labors enabled. This is most important for food hauling, where prepared meals in the kitchen often rot while your dwarves are hauling individual seeds left behind after someone eats a plump helmet, or if your hunters bring a herd of animals in for your butchers all at once.

The backlog problem is exacerbated by the fact that the hauling job queue is tied to how many haulers of each type you have; if 100 dwarves have food hauling enabled, up to 100 food hauling tasks can be in the queue, even if those dwarves are busy hauling stone, doing workshop tasks, sleeping, or doing anything else.[Verify] This is why hauling specialization is so important.

Two stockpiles are better than one[edit]

For stockpiles that use bins or barrels, it is usually better to cut one large stockpile into a handful of smaller ones. This is because only one empty bin or barrel will be assigned to a stockpile at a time, and it may take a while before an item is placed into said container and another empty container is allocated for the stockpile. By using several smaller stockpiles, haulers can retrieve and fill multiple bins or barrels simultaneously.