A how-to for transporting heavy equipment

You can find plenty of hauling companies with the right tools and vehicles for successful transport.

A1 Auto Transport explains a few best practices for transporting heavy equipment

Transporting heavy equipment can be a pretty tricky task. There are a lot of things that go into it, from preparing the equipment and figuring out the best way to move it to hiring people to help load and unload the machine.

And that’s just the stuff at the surface. When you dive deeper into the subject, you may find a lot of surprising elements that go into this process.

Thankfully, there are options out there. You can find plenty of hauling companies with the right tools and vehicles for successful transport. Still, it’s always best to know everything about the process, should any surprises make an appearance. Let’s take a closer look at what it actually means to transport heavy equipment from one place to another.

What you need to do

Even if you hire a professional to take care of transportation, there are still a few things you should do in order to prepare for the haul:

Check the owner’s manual

Most of your heavy equipment has specific instructions on how it should be transported, so definitely check the owner’s manual and follow its direction. Manufacturers know precisely which piece of the equipment is more sensitive and needs extra protection, or what should be removed to ensure a safe transfer.

If you don’t have the manual anymore, don’t worry: most manufacturers have them on their website. Even if the hauling team has loads of experience, they might not know all the rules involving a specific piece of machinery or a particular model.

Check the route

Most likely, you’d prefer the equipment to arrive at the destination at a specific time and date. As such, you should check the route of the transport to see if any elements may warrant a detour, or could make shipping more difficult, so you can make the necessary arrangements for the equipment to reach its destination on time.

For instance, think about the fact that heavy equipment loaded on a trailer may be too tall to travel on certain roads, cross bridges or even go under power lines, so you’ll have to change the route to continue the transport. The hauling company can certainly help you in this aspect, but you should also check, so you have sufficient time for preparations.

Make arrangements for pickup and drop-off

Hauling companies have teams that can load and unload the cargo, but it’s always best to be present at these times yourself or designate a member of the team to be there.

It’s good to have someone keep an eye on things and make sure everything you need transported is secured and ready to go. Plus, someone’s going to have to sign off on transport, as well. Double check the route with the driver, as well as the estimated time of arrival at the pickup time.

Avoid wide load designation

A wide load, or oversized load, can be a problem particularly for those extremely large pieces of equipment. Most countries have specific regulations regarding the maximum weight or height allowed for safe driving, so it’s important to check what these are (even from province to province) and make sure you don’t go over them.

If you do, here’s what you can do to fix the problem:

Overweight and overheight: remove certain parts from the equipment and ship them separately.

Overlength: it’s usually not a problem, since most countries give you plenty of leeway here. But if it’s a more complex system, it can be too dangerous to move it intact, so taking it apart might be the only option.

Overwidth: it’s bad news if this is an issue because there is not much you can do in this case. It means the body of the equipment is too wide for safe transport, though these are pretty rare cases.

The most common issue you may face here is with overheight and overweight, which are fixable problems. The other two are less common, even with larger pieces of equipment.

Transporting heavy equipment during winter

Transporting anything in the summer or spring is a piece of cake compared to what goes on in the winter. There are a few extra precautions you have to take at this time to protect your equipment during shipping, and it’s pretty essential that you do:

One of the main things you’ll have to do is empty the machine of fluids to avoid any spills or sloshes. Driving during winter can be a lot bumpier than under normal circumstances, so there’s actually a greater chance of spilling.

Not to mention, if the temperatures drop too much, the fluids can actually freeze, since the equipment won’t be turned on to warm up during transport. And, if the journey will take several hours to complete, it can even burst and cause other, more severe damages to the machine.

Then, you’ll have to protect the equipment from the outside elements. Larger equipment also comes in unusual shapes, and it’s possible that an open-air shipping vehicle will be the only viable option.

If that’s the case, your equipment is entirely exposed to snow, cold, rain, wind and other elements. You have to cover it using special materials designed to keep the outside from affecting your machine. Take extra care regarding any electronic components that may be affected by low temperatures.

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Winter damage is preventable if you just take a few extra minutes to cover your equipment accordingly.

According to A1 Auto Transport, there are two big things people should take into consideration when they are looking for a company to move heavy equipment: insurance and expertise.

In the case of insurance, a lot of countries actually require licensed transport firms to have it, so it’s unlikely you’ll stumble upon one that doesn’t.

However, you do have to pay close attention to the terms of the insurance policy, particularly how much liability will the company assume in case something goes wrong. Accidents can happen, and your equipment is obviously expensive, so it’s important to know how much you’ll get reimbursed in case of an unfortunate incident.

Then, there’s the issue of expertise. While it’s perfectly fine to give rookies a shot at stardom, you’ll often be better off hiring a team with extensive knowledge and experience in transporting heavy equipment.

It’s more reassuring for you, because those firms have trained staff that know everything there is to know about the job, and there’s an increased chance of getting things done with fewer bumps along the way.

To sum up

When it comes to transporting heavy equipment, you’re better off bringing in a team of experts to help. In the end, it’s even the most cost-efficient method. Try to imagine for a second how much you’d have to spend to ship a large piece of machinery by yourself.

Yeah, it’s not a pretty figure.