02/13/2023 by Mark Mastroianna
Whether owning or renting, heavy equipment is a big investment in your business – and you don’t want to take unnecessary risks that can lead to loss or damage during transportation. Heavy equipment shipping can be challenging, but it’s not as complicated as it appears when you have the right provider. To help you ship your heavy equipment safely, here’s some additional information you may need.
Heavy equipment can be a broad term, but it usually consists of a piece of large machinery or equipment of at least 40,000 pounds or more. Due to its size and weight heavy equipment is often loaded and unloaded by a crane if it cannot be driven on/off the trailer. Often, these kinds of shipments can be oversized and/or overweight, requiring permits, escorts, route surveys, and an experienced motor carrier with specialized trailers to transport your equipment safely and effectively.
When it comes to heavy equipment shipping, you should have knowledge of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) rules, regulations, and restrictions. Overlooking DOT regulations and restrictions surrounding OD/OW transportation can be both costly and time-consuming.
Heavy equipment shipping is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the U.S. DOT, and state governments. Each state varies its rules, regulations, and restrictions for permitting OD/OW travel. Be sure to double-check state regulations before transporting your equipment. Or work with an expert in the field of over-dimensional shipping.
Looking for one place to find all you need to know about oversized shipment regulations?Download our free over-dimensional shipping guide!
Looking for one place to find all you need to know about oversized shipment regulations?
Overweight and oversized shipments can be more comprehensive as, besides the permits, you may need oversized banners, flashing lights, civilian escorts, police escorts, route surveys, bucket trucks, or even a road closure. It’s important that you always take the time to double-check that you’re in compliance with DOT rules and regulations when transporting your heavy equipment.
Need help with your oversized shipping? We have experts ready to help you.Request a Shipping Quote with Trinity logistics.
Need help with your oversized shipping? We have experts ready to help you.
Heavy equipment shipping is made possible by the various types of flatbed and specialized trailers available.
Flatbed trailers allow for easy loading and unloading and can carry up to 48,000 pounds. When choosing your flatbed carrier, make sure to confirm that the trailer will be able to haul the weight of your equipment. Trailer dimensions are approximate: 48’ L x 102’’ W x 58’’ H
Step-decks or Drop-deck trailers can only accommodate around 46,500 pounds and can legally haul taller products, up to 10’6’’ tall, and can be fitted with permanent or removable ramps to drive equipment on and off the trailer. Trailer dimensions range approximate: 48’ or 53’ L x 102’’ W x 36’’ to 42’’ H
Due to the size, some heavy equipment may need a specialized trailer to accommodate its transportation.
Double-drops and Removable gooseneck (RGN) trailers are ideal for heavier machinery and equipment that needs easy loading and unloading or drive-on drive-off capabilities, and they are great for freight exceeding the legal height and weight maximums.
You’re ready to get started with heavy equipment shipping. What should you be prepared to answer when looking for a provider?
Size matters. The equipment’s dimensions and weight will help determine what kind of trailer the carrier will need to transport your freight and if any permits, escorts, or other accessorial charges are required that will ultimately determine the total shipping costs.
Does your equipment need to be taken apart to ship and then reconstructed upon delivery? Can your equipment be crated or boxed? Is it more effective to break down your equipment into smaller components for shipping? If shipping in one piece, what are the things that need to be done before shipping, such as having any fluids discharged or batteries removed? These are all important questions you should know so all parties involved know what is to be expected throughout the entire shipping process.
This is very important information that is needed for your shipment. Do you need a ramp, forklift, or crane to load and unload your equipment? Do you have the required equipment ready to unload and load your freight? Or can the equipment be driven on and off of the trailer?
It’s important you know what is covered by your provider’s insurance, so you know whether you will need to buy any supplementary insurance to make sure your heavy equipment is fully protected in case of any issues.
While we’d love to give you exact numbers, there can be quite a few factors involved that make each quote unique, such as:
The larger or more oddly shaped your piece of equipment means it may need specialized trailers, permits, or routing requirements, likely raising your shipping price.
If you need your equipment delivered at a specific time, this will likely raise the shipping price as well.
The further distance your equipment must travel, the higher it will cost you. Additionally, more congestion (think cities) in or around your pick-up or delivery location can increase your shipping costs.
Adverse weather conditions, such as during the snowy and icy winter months or hurricane season, can affect your pricing if certain routes are shut off, making your equipment’s journey longer. There’s also flatbed peak shipping season, which ranges from April to October, which increases flatbed demand – and rates.
The more fuel costs motor carriers, the higher your shipping cost will be.
When transporting heavy equipment, oversize or overweight permits may be required. Costs can vary by state and province, and some states may take longer to issue permits due to each state’s unique regulations and infrastructure.
Escorts will increase your shipping costs as they need to be paid too! When freight is over 12ft wide or tall, it’s a good idea to check routing to see if escort cars are required.
You’ve got your quote and provider selected. What’s next? Here are the steps you should take to ensure your equipment remains safe and secure during shipping.
You’ll want to ensure all required documentation and permits are sorted and ready before pick up. Make sure to confirm with your shipping provider what permits are required and that they are in place to limit the chance of any shipping delays or fines.
Planning your route is necessary if your shipment is considered Oversized. Depending on the dimensions of your equipment, you may need to have your provider avoid bridges with low clearances, sharp turns, or even roads of a particular width.
Just as car rental services do before lending their vehicles, inspect your equipment, and take photos before shipping, so, should anything happen during the transportation process, you have it documented.
You don’t want to lose anything important during the transportation of your equipment!
Your equipment will likely be hauled through open air, facing the wind and other elements. Covering any vulnerable or important parts is a great way to ensure that your equipment stays safe and functional.
The manufacturer’s manual is a great resource for getting your equipment ready for shipping. It will help you determine exactly what steps you need to take before pick-up.
If you’re unsure, ask your provider how you can help make your equipment’s transportation a smooth process. Based on their experience and expertise, they can give you tips and advice and will appreciate you taking this extra step to work together as a team so your equipment can be delivered safely.
What if you need to ship your heavy equipment internationally? There can be many challenges to overcome, which you may find incredibly difficult to do alone. In this case, it makes the most sense to hire an expert to help you. While it can be costly, it’s the most stress-free way to safely transport your heavy equipment internationally.
Here are some tips to ensure your international heavy equipment shipping is successful.
You have many options for selecting a provider to help you with your heavy equipment shipping needs. Though too many options can feel overwhelming. How do you know you’re making the best choice for your company and freight?
Here are some qualities you should consider when looking for a provider.
You’ll want to look for a company that has been in business for a long time, has the experience transporting the heavy equipment you’re shipping, and has a good reputation. This is a great opportunity to ask for references and contact them for their feedback.
Do you need help with prepping your equipment for shipping, obtaining any necessary permits, or any other specialized services? Make sure the provider you’re considering has all the solutions you may need.
You want to make sure your heavy equipment is protected should anything happen during the shipping process. Verify that the provider you’re considering has the appropriate insurance to cover your equipment and enough liability insurance should anything else occur.
It’s easy to see that heavy equipment shipping has the potential to be a complicated process. If you’re looking for a provider that can help simplify your shipping, saving you time and stress, please consider working with Trinity Logistics.
Trinity Logistics is an industry-leading third-party logistics company with expert knowledge, ready to help you with your oversized, heavy haul, or any other flatbed shipments. We do this by providing our best-in-class People-Centric service and building strong relationships with skilled and experienced motor carriers.
We have the experience you’re looking for and the reliable carrier relationships you need to move your heavy equipment safely, securely, and on time.
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