How to Ship Heavy Equipment

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How to Ship Heavy Equipment
How to Ship Heavy Equipment

Heavy equipment is used in several different industries. From factories to farms to construction, these large pieces of equipment have to get to where they need to go safely and efficiently. How are you supposed to get heavy equipment where it needs to go? It isn’t like you can drive it across the country and on the interstate, considering most don’t reach the high speeds needed for these roads.

Different types of heavy equipment that may be found on the open road include excavators, bulldozers, backhoes, dump trucks, tractors, and more. Large pieces of equipment require special care when being transported, and A1 Auto Transport handles every aspect of these shipments for you. How do you ship these heavy pieces of equipment safely and efficiently?

1

Find a Reputable Shipping Company for Transport

Find a Reputable Shipping Company for Transport

Before you can ship a piece of heavy equipment, you have to find someone who has the ability to do so. Not every auto transport company offers this kind of service, so finding one with the credentials to do so becomes imperative. You have to be able to identify the characteristics of a reputable shipping company if you want to move heavy equipment safely.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Is the company registered, bonded, and insured?
  • Do they meet my budget and exceed my expectations?
  • How much experience does this company have transporting heavy equipment?
  • How does the company accept payment?
  • Is this company too good to be true?
  • Are my needs met with exceptional customer service and all of my questions answered?

Once you find the right shipping company to transport your heavy equipment, you need to make sure to compare the pricing for the best deal with the highest safety protocols. The best way to choose a company is to get quotes from several using all of the required factors.


2

Choose a Method of Shipment

Choose a Method of Shipment

There are many different types of shipment methods for vehicles – but only a few are ideally suited for heavy equipment shipping. In fact, there are four methods that are used most frequently by heavy equipment transport companies:

  • Container Shipping – Containers are box-like structures that surround the heavy equipment on all four sides and easily stack on top of one another. This method is preferable to others because it protects the equipment from the elements. Shipping containers come in many sizes, which make it possible to accommodate heavy equipment in them. This is one of the more expensive methods of shipment.
  • Lift-on/Lift-off – Lift-on/Lift-off is also referred to as LoLo and is used when the shipment has no ability to be driven or “rolled” into position. LoLo requires the use of a crane to lift the equipment on and off of the platform or trailer it is being shipped on.
  • Roll-on/Roll-off – Roll-on/Roll-off is also referred to as RoRo. It is one of the simplest ways to load and ship a vehicle, especially heavy equipment. Using RoRo for equipment is a cheaper form of transport.
  • Flat Rack Shipping – Flat rack shipping solves the problems that can exist in trailer and space capacity for heavy equipment. Flat racks make it possible to stack equipment without being limited by the space surrounding it.

You can also assume that most of these use a flat trailer in some aspect. You have likely seen the “wide load” or “oversized load” trucks on the interstate – these are often found carrying heavy equipment transports.


3

Safely Loading and Transporting Heavy Equipment

Loading heavy equipment onto a trailer or into a container safely is not an easy task. It may require additional equipment or knowledge to load and unload it. If this is necessary, it might require that the shipping company have additional certification or insurance coverages. Safety should take priority when transporting heavy equipment.

The first step of being safe is preparing for the shipment. Shipments require inspections, including inspecting the equipment before and after transport. The shipping company will provide a document called a Bill of Lading which serves as the receipt of the shipment – a contract, so to speak.


4

Distance of the Transport

Once you have narrowed it down to a few transport companies and decided which way you plan to ship your heavy equipment, you must discuss the distance with the transport company. In most circumstances, the distance of the transport will play a large role in the price you pay. Short distances tend to be more expensive per mile than longer distances. 

Not all transport companies work with long-distance transports. If you find yourself in need of shipping heavy equipment long distances, you should discuss with your shipping company of choice if they are able to accommodate your request.


5

Determine the Price of Transport

Determine the Price of Transport

In addition to finding the right shipping company, comparing the price of transport is the next step of the process. Each company will likely offer different pricing options and discounts. Several factors may influence the price you pay for a vehicle shipment. Some of these may include the time of year, the weight of the shipment, the type of trailer used, the day of the week, and the distance of the transport.

The weight and the size of the equipment play the largest role in the shipment, though. Most heavy shipments are priced per mile. Depending on the distance, you could be looking at a shipment that costs $500 to $5,000, and the more miles, the lower price per mile. 

Shipping during the off season is one of the most price-efficient times to ship any type of vehicle or equipment. When the schedule is not overcrowded, you are more likely to get a better rate. The same applies to choosing a day in the middle of the week for shipping versus the weekend when most people plan their transports. Many transport companies even offer incentives for shipping during these times to help even out their demand.


6

Pick Up and Drop Off Procedures

Once you have determined what companies to quote for shipping your heavy equipment, the method you plan to ship it with, the distance, and the pricing options, it is time to make a decision on which company you want to use. When you choose the company, they will work with you, discussing where pickup and drop off of the heavy equipment will occur. 

At pickup, the shipping company representative will do an inspection with you, noting all the information on the Bill of Lading. This document serves as a legal contract between you and the company. The same inspection will be completed after the shipment is completed, ensuring that no damage was caused during the shipment. 

There are some circumstances where shipments may qualify for door-to-door shipping. This type of shipping is when the company picks up your heavy equipment from its current location and then drops it off at the location of your choice, like the job site you need it at. Not all companies have the ability to offer this type of service, but A1 Auto Transport is proud to be a full-service transport company.

When you work with A1 Auto Transport to ship your heavy equipment, we take the highest safety precautions necessary to ensure your heavy equipment makes it to its destination on time. We provide you with the best rates and the highest quality of service, getting your equipment where you need it without high prices or inefficiency. Shipping your heavy equipment doesn’t have to be complicated, not when you have the best on your side.

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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.


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Testimonial
Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Testimonial
Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
★★★★★

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

Testimonial
David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
★★★★★

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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NO. 018191NF
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Boca Raton, FL 33431
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FMC 22206
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Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
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6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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