I worked on a hay farm over the summers while I was in high school. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it and I got to be outside most of the time. One thing I learned while there is how to properly load a truck with hay bales. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them you can get 50+ bales on a regular 8 foot bed pickup.
Here’s some instructions I came across that shows you how to get 53 bales on a truck if you use a tie down.
We usually loaded 50 bales with the top row be 3 bales in a row the long way on top and didn’t use any straps and in the 3 years I worked there I remember only once did we lose a bale while driving. We never delivered far, maybe 5 miles at most and stayed below 40mph on the drive.
So now you know the answer to “How many bales can you fit on a pickup?” should you ever get asked.