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Tips for Transporting Heavy Equipment

Updated: Mar 8

Tips for Transporting Heavy Equipment Moving heavy equipment comes with a unique set of challenges that must be addressed to successfully get these expensive pieces of machinery from one point to another. Without the proper information at hand, accidents and problems can arise that can end up costing thousands of dollars and potentially injure or kill someone. Quality shipping contractors, well thought out plans and communication is the key to making these moves, so we put together the best tips we could think of to help you move these mega machines. Proper Planning Just like in moving a home, moving heavy equipment requires a plan that is concise, detailed, informative and makes sure that all the best practices are followed. Consider these key factors when making your plan:

  1. Will the piece of equipment meet oversized load standards? If so, contact the proper authorities and find out what permits you will need, if the transport will require an escort vehicle, and if there are any road restrictions that need to be followed along the way.

  2. Determine where the equipment will be loaded and where it will be unloaded. Make sure both places have adequate areas for this job and that the ground is suitable for such equipment.

  3. Check the extended forecast. While you can’t always plan around the weather, try to avoid moving heavy equipment in heavy rains, snowfall and especially icy conditions. Finding a Qualified Transporter Finding the right person for the job is the most important part of planning. Sites such as A1 Auto Transport can provide a list of nationwide transporters who are qualified and knowledgeable in heavy equipment moving. When vetting a potential transporter, ask them the following questions:

  4. Are they set up for heavy equipment? Proper trucks and trailers, ramps, securing equipment etc. If they are not, can they procure it? If not, find someone else.

  5. Are they aware of loading guidelines for hauling heavy equipment? If they seem confused here, they may not be the right pick for this job. Find someone who is knowledgeable and prepared to tackle the project.

  6. Do they acquire the permit’s, or will that be your responsibility?

  7. Do they procure an escort vehicle, or do you have to?

  8. Are the drivers qualified to operate the machinery that will be moved? Or will you have to have someone present at both locations to do so? Prepping for Loading Now that the plan is in place and all the contractors have been lined up, it’s time to get ready to move. Prepping the equipment for transport makes things easier on everyone involved and can ensure that nothing is damaged or lost during the move.

  9. Get rid of any excessive aggregate, debris, dirt, or any other substances that may fall or reduce friction during transit. These falling pieces can cause damage to cars on the road and possibly shift the load during transport.

  10. If the equipment that needs to be hauled has tires made of rubber, verify the tire pressure. Low pressure may result in the loosening of the tiedowns. Consult the transporter for their opinion and what they would like done to the tires before their arrival.

  11. Determine whether friction devices are necessary as in scenarios where there will be friction between the transport vehicle (like metal crawler tracks on a metal deck) and the equipment. This information should be gathered early so that the proper devices can be acquired prior to the transporter’s arrival.

  12. Make sure the area where the loading will occur is free of obstruction, composed of solid ground and is easily accessible by tractor and trailer. If they are unable to get to the load, this could cost thousands in cancellations and re-books.

  13. Remove any personal effects or other addons that will not be going with the equipment. It will be embarrassing to have the receiver UPS your rabbit’s feet and old CDs back to you. During the Load Once the truck has arrived and you’re ready to get your equipment on board, safety now takes the top priority.

  14. Do not operate and load equipment until you've ensured that you understand how to do so safely. If necessary, contact another company that can provide an operator for the loading process.

  15. Rest the equipment alongside some sort of vehicle structure to prevent it from moving forward. This will not always be possible, given securement considerations or weight distribution.

  16. Attaching devices to secure the load may cause damage to cylinders or brake or hydraulic hoses, so be cautious whenever attaching to these. Hydraulic fluid leaks and spills can require considerable time, money and resources to properly clean up.

  17. Do exactly what the manufacturer recommends and use the manufacturer’s indicated attachment spots. Contacting a certified technician who specializes in that equipment can provide a wealth of knowledge on this subject.

  18. Attachment points of uncertain strength or suitability should never be used. If you, or anyone else has questions or reservations about a certain attachment point, choose another one, it’s not worth the risk.

  19. Tie down machinery and heavy equipment with chain whenever possible. Make sure to use chain that is rated for the weight and is locked down in the proper method. A snapping chain can be a deadly object.

  20. When possible, use direct tie-downs. Remember, this will utilize more tiedowns than indirect methods. To prevent the rolling of wheeled vehicles, use cradles, wedges, chocks or other means against the wheels, and secure. Communication If you have hired a transporter for the equipment, make sure that you can stay in touch with them throughout the move. The equipment will remain your responsibility, so don’t forget about it once it leaves your lot. Ask the driver to check in with you as frequently as they can. Updating you on location, eta and any problems that have arose since they departed. You can pass this info onto the receiving location so that they are prepared for the arrival. Keep all the contact information for the firm or brokerage that may have provided the transporter themselves. If something goes awry, they’ll need to be contacted immediately, especially for insurance purposes. Bringing it Home Moving mega machines is a task that a lot of business owners must deal with on a daily basis. While it’s a necessity, it’s not always a fun proposition. Taking the time to create an adequate plan and acquire all the needed resources can make the difference between a successful move and a costly move. Remember that safety is paramount throughout the job and should never be sacrificed regardless of what is going on. Jeopardizing yourself, the transporter or the equipment is never justifiable. Verify that the load made it to the destination and that everything is satisfactory before releasing payment to the transporter. If something has been damaged or lost, have the receiver take pictures and send them to you so that you can address it with the hauler.

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