So, armed with measurements and ideas we approached our friend and neighbor, Red, to see if he could weld up what we needed - a sturdy crate that would fit into the truck with the cap on. Of course he could.
Custom transport crate by Red
The crate completely comes apart into 5 flat panels for easy storage when not being used. It weighs maybe 70 lbs assembled, so two people can lift and slide it into the truck bed with no problem. And in a clever stroke of innovation, there are NO separate pins, rods or clips used to assemble it so you can't. lose. parts. Very important, at least for me!
Sliding door, mounted on rollers inside frame to prevent pushing out
Door latch pin attached by short length of light chain
Pins attached to crate top fit down into cylinders welded to back and side panel corners
Side, front and back panels also have pin and cylinder arrangement
A single larger chain link welded to the front and back corners of the side panels give a place to attach a tie to the tie-down points in the truck bed so there will be no sliding of the crate during transport. If any sheep get rambunctious while we're driving we don't need to have the crate move around and hit the cap window and break it.
This will be a great piece of equipment and I'll probably use it lots more than I think. If anyone needs some custom welding done, I know just the guy to help you!
Now we just have to figure out a ramp of some kind to get big sheep up into the truck.......