Choosing The Right Heavy Haul Trucking Company
Launching a search for heavy haul trucking companies is no easy feat. The market is somewhat saturated and common sense assumes that you would prefer to work with a hauling company that you can trust. A load that requires the use of a heavy hauler is not, by any means, inexpensive.
It’s imperative that heavy haul trucking companies build a trustworthy reputation between clients, old and new. Word of mouth, pristine attention to customer service and client testimonials speak volumes.
You’ll need a heavy haul company that has all the hypothetical bases covered. A-1 Auto Transport stands out among heavy haul trucking companies for many reasons, successfully taking on every worry that you might have about heavy haul trucking, and transporting your vehicle.
What Is Heavy Haul Trucking?
If you’ve found yourself here, you probably have some idea of what heavy haul trucking companies are all about. After all, it’s likely that you’ve got something heavy and you need someone to haul it.
Typically, a heavy haul company is exactly what it sounds like...a trucking company that can transport incredibly heavy loads. Occasionally, a company specializing in oversize loads is called onto the field when a flatbed truck or a conventional closed trailer doesn’t have the size or weight capacity to haul the load. Loads that are extremely heavy will require trailers that are specifically designed to carry the weight safely.
Cars, military equipment, industrial machinery, pre-built homes, and bridge beams are just a few heavy-duty items that fall into the category of a heavy haul.
You may also see an “oversize load” sign on many of the trucks used for heavy hauls. This means that there are federally enforced road restrictions as to where the heavy haul trucking companies can safely travel with the load.
State and federal regulations for travel and hauling oversize loads must be followed by every trucking company. It’s not just about carrying a heavy load from point A to point B.
It’s necessary that every existing heavy haul trucking company comply with all regulations, serving both private and public safety. From perfect weight and math calculations to educated drivers specifically trained to handle anything and everything on the road, heavy haul truck companies are much more than they seem.
What Is Considered A Heavy Or Oversize Load?
Corporations or small businesses with huge loads to haul are the most frequent clients of heavy haul trucking companies. However, it’s not unheard of for a private citizen to enlist the needs of a heavy haul company, especially when automotive or even, a yacht transport is needed.
It all boils down to what you’re having shipped. If your shipment meets the criteria for a heavy haul, then you’re certainly entitled to enlist the help of a hauling company.
The federal government requires each state to set its own rules and regulations for oversize and overweight shipments. While the state rules differ, an oversize haul is generally classified as cargo that exceeds a weight of 80,000 pounds, a height of 13.6 feet, a length of 48 feet a width of 8.6 feet.
In addition to state regulations, federal law states that heavy haul trucking companies must have weight limits set on a per-axle basis. Since these restrictions are federally set, they will not differ from state to state, and they apply to oversize loads.
The restrictions are as follows:
- Single axles are limited to 20,000 pounds
- Drive axles are limited to 34,000 pounds
- Steer axles are limited to 12,000 pounds
- Tandem axles are limited to 34,000 pounds
If the load that you’ve got to move meets any of the above shipping restrictions, then a heavy haul truck company that can pull an overweight/oversize load is exactly what you need.
How Are Oversize Heavy Haulers Different?
The trailers that heavy haul trucking companies use to transport oversize shipments are configured differently than a trailer hauling a “normal” load. They might not look different to the untrained eye, but as a freight load grows in size, a trailer must grow too.
Heavy haul trucking companies have a detailed understanding of the way heavy hauling works. This experience in oversize shipping will allow the company you work with to choose the correct trailer configuration for the haul.
With a range of around 19 different heavy haul configurations, it’s vital to make sure you’ve chosen a company that can assign the correct trailer to your load. An incorrect estimate is extremely hazardous and is likely to result in a disaster.
The logistics of heavy haul transport is incredibly important. All heavy haul trucking companies should have a check system in place when loading up a heavy hall. Simply loading up and hitting the road is not an option.
Every customer haul, whether the equipment is old or new, should be treated like new. Extra straps and chains on the trucks in case of a situation during travel is necessary.
If needed, all customer cargo should be covered and protected from the elements. A double check of every strap, hood, lid, and shield should take place before the start of shipment. Any and all blocking equipment, put in place to keep your haul safe, should also be checked and reinforced.
Once loaded, the haul should be measured and weighed again to make sure all calculations are correct. Drivers should stop 50-100 miles into the trip to check all equipment is in place and secure.
Heavy hauling, for many people, means that they want to ship their car, truck, boat or motorcycle. While these may not reach the requirements for an oversize haul, they definitely need some power to move.
Auto transportation should be separated from the rest because it’s important to choose a company that specializes in auto transport. You do not want a company that typically moves pre-built homes or bulky construction equipment to load up your brand new car and hope they get it to you in one piece.
It’s not to say that it can’t be done, but a great, customer oriented automobile transport company will put forth the best practices to make sure your vehicle reaches the destination shiny and intact. Heavy haul trucking companies like A-1 Auto Transport, deal specifically in vehicles.
The expertise is unmatched.
Safety and Insurance
It should go without saying that heavy haul trucking companies are abundant in safety practices and will have haul insurance in place. Once your load is matched to the appropriate trailer, only drivers who have gone through rigorous schooling and can provide a current certificate of completion will be able to maneuver the rig.
Employment standards will vary from company to company. Some companies require the minimum certification for heavy hauling, and others ask that potential employees seek additional and regular schooling.
Insurance is another story. It’s not uncommon for heavy haul trucking companies to issue insurance to every load for $300,000 - $500,000, and that amount can increase as the trip progresses depending on the nature of the load.
When choosing a company to haul your load, make sure that the insurance coverage is an amount you’re comfortable with, and don’t be hesitant to discuss an increase. A reputable company will consider your needs and work with you to find the right insurance for your haul.
Heavy Hauling Permits
Almost every haul load requires a different new set of permits, depending on where you’re hauling and what you’re shipping. Since dimensions and legal weights vary from state to state, a heavy haul permit is provided for the haul that states what times the haul can actually take place. The route options will be specified as well.
Heavy haul trucking companies specialize in oversize and overweight transport. They know which permits to have in place, as well as the fees that come along with them. Single movement permits, oversize permits and overweight permits (among others, depending on the state) have to be assigned, sorted and in place before you begin the trip.
If reputable, the heavy haul company you choose will obtain the permits before the haul. Each permit differs when it comes to length of validity, so it’s important to focus on time sensitivity when the route is established.
If you have questions regarding permits before you choose a company for hauling, you can contact the state Department of Transportation. Remember, the Federal Government will not supply any heavy haul permit. All regulation is done at a state level.
Making The Right Choice
Organizing any type heavy haul can be stressful. There are steps involved from start to finish that must be properly and thoroughly addressed to ensure the safety of the driver, and everyone else on the road.
Skipping over the necessary precautions, such as proper weighing of the haul or declining to obtain the proper permits, will bring negative results. A-1 Auto Transport will be able to assist you from start to finish with your heavy auto haul. Contact us today for more information.
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.