5 of the Most Common Heavy Equipment Hauling Rate Factors
You’ve got a big piece of equipment that needs to be shipped across the country. The clock is ticking, you’re running out of time to complete the project, and the frustration is mounting.
Relax, heavy equipment shipping is easy.
It isn’t that hard to ship your heavy equipment across the country.
Of course, the process is a little more challenging if you have to ship it internationally, but now if you work with a reputable auto shipping company.
But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is Heavy Equipment Hauling?
Domestic hauling is the act of placing heavy equipment, like a crane or cement mixer, on a low loader flatbed truck and driving it from once place to another.
For international shipments, the process is similar and typically involves loading the heavy equipment using the “roll-on, roll-off” method, crane loading, or disassembling the equipment and loading it.
Hauling can be used alone, or in conjunction with another form of transportation like a train service to transport heavy equipment. The more modes of transportation you add to a shipping itinerary for a heavy equipment transport company, the more expensive the shipment will be.
Let’s get a few things straight
By understanding some of the common factors that will affect your hauling rate, you can gain a better understanding of why your rate is what it is, and how you can lower it.
Doing so will help you keep within budget when contracting to have your heavy equipment hauled. In addition, you will be able to pre-plan the transportation of your heavy equipment by knowing what the general costs of your specific itinerary will be beforehand, allowing you to avoid going over budget.
Trust us, hauling heavy equipment doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.
Speed of Service
Your rate will fluctuate depending on how fast you need a transport company to ship your heavy equipment. If you need expedited service, expect to pay more than the market rate.
If you can wait a while, expect to pay a standard rate, if not less. This is all due to supply and demand.
The sooner you need your heavy equipment shipped, the more effort a transport company needs to expend in order to ship your equipment. They may need to pay their driver a premium in order to complete the shipment. This increased effort will affect your rate since the transport company has other customers they have to service at the same time they are shipping your equipment.
It is no different than mailing a letter. Overnight service costs more than mailing a letter that will arrive at its destination in a week. You pay for the service you require. More expedient service results in a higher rate.
Extra Handling Needed
If you need extra accommodations in order to ship your heavy equipment, your rates will rise accordingly.
How much your rates rise depends on the level of accommodations you need. Here are some examples of extra accommodations that some clients prefer to pay for:
- Transporting heavy equipment in an enclosed trailer
- Requiring tarps to cover the heavy equipment
- Requiring a specific route that differs from the transport company’s suggested route
For every deviation from normal operating procedure, expect to have your rates rise.
A comparable example is ordering off the menu at a restaurant. Sure, the chef has all the ingredients to make your meal, but doing so will be more expensive than choosing a regular menu item because the chef will have to break his or her routine to make your meal.
With that in mind, your meal will cost more due to the increased effort required.
These same rules apply to the auto shipping industry.
Choice of Transport
Your rates will fluctuate widely depending on the choice of transport for your heavy equipment. Different modes of transport vary in cost, and that cost is passed along to you. If you require a more expensive service, you will pay for this privilege.
These modes of transport, from most expensive to least expensive, are as follows:
“Intermodal” transport simply means more than one form of transport. So, with intermodal transport, you could transport your heavy equipment by rail and by truck, or by truck and by ship, and more.
The cost of using a ship, rail, truck, or other methods will vary depending on the starting location and the final destination of your heavy equipment.
There are going to be some cases where it will be cheaper to ship heavy equipment than it will be to drive it. For example, shipping a tractor from California to Vancouver, versus shipping it by boat (although the difference in rates really depends on the quotes you receive at the time you decide to ship your equipment).
The Type of Heavy Equipment Being Shipped
Transport companies tend to specialize in the heavy equipment they transport. Some companies only transport construction equipment, while others specialize in mining equipment, tractor and farm equipment, and even general equipment (like cranes and forklifts).
It pays to search for a company that specializes in the type of heavy equipment you are looking to ship.
When searching for, and comparing quotes from different heavy equipment transport companies, keep in mind their transport specialization.
If you need your construction equipment shipped, but you are using a mining equipment transport company, expect to pay a higher than usual rate. A mining equipment company may close the sale, even if it has little experience shipping construction equipment.
It is important to consider price, expertise, and the overall reliability of the company when it comes to searching for the right one for your shipment.
The Insurance Being Offered
We’ve mentioned this a lot before, but insurance is really important in the auto shipping industry. This is especially true when it comes to heavy equipment that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
By law, each heavy equipment transport company is required to have insurance. In addition, you can also purchase insurance to protect your heavy equipment while it is being hauled.
If the hauling company you use does not offer insurance, you can purchase it from a third-party insurance provider.
Having more insurance is really only necessary if your heavy equipment is worth more than what the company’s insurance will cover. If not, it is not necessary to purchase additional insurance, at least from a cost coverage perception.
In the case where you need additional insurance, always try and purchase it from the auto shipping company themselves. This will expedite the claims process as everything will be dealt with internally.
Purchasing insurance based on the perks offered regarding coverage is a different matter altogether.
What are Your Next Steps to Having Your Heavy Equipment Hauled?
Now that you have a general understanding of five of the most common factors that affect heavy equipment hauling rates, you are in a better position to shop around with various shipping and transportation companies for rates.
You are also better able to pre-plan the shipment of your heavy equipment beforehand.
Of course, you can alter the rate by changing your itinerary. In general, lessening the risk and effort on the part of the heavy equipment transport company that you use will result in a lower rate. Increasing the risk and effort will increase your rate.
If there is one tip that you should follow, or one piece of information that you should take away from this article it is this: make sure that the company you contract to haul your heavy equipment specializes in hauling equipment like yours. Always choose a specialist over a generalist.
But there’s a better solution…
Just hire A-1 Auto Transport. We’ve been helping people and businesses like you ship their heavy equipment for many years.
We don’t beat around the bush, we just offer you competitive rates and a high-quality service.
Your time is valuable and we get that. Give us a call today and we’ll get you a fair quote and help you get your heavy equipment to its location, on time and in great shape.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.