If you need to haul heavy machinery like a tractor, a bulldozer, a crane, or any other type of heavy farm, construction, or industrial equipment, you may be wondering how much you’ll have to pay to have your equipment shipped to its destination. Is there an average transport cost to haul heavy machinery?
In this guide from A-1 Auto Transport, we’ll discuss the basics and help you learn more about what you can expect when partnering with a shipping company to haul your heavy machinery. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
What Is The Average Transport Cost For Heavy Machinery?
The cost of shipping heavy machinery can be as low as $1.75 per mile for some long-distance shipments, or up to $5.00 per mile or more on short hauls. The factors that influence this cost include the size and weight of your shipment, whether or not it’s an oversized load, whether or not the machinery is self-propelled, and more.
We can take a deeper look at these factors and how they affect the cost of shipping your heavy machinery now.
- Distance of shipment – The distance of your shipment is the primary factor that determines both the per-mile rate, and the overall cost of shipping. The price you pay per mile decreases as the distance grows – for example, a 500-mile trip may be charged at $2 per mile, rather than $4 per mile for a 50-mile trip. However, you will still end up paying more overall for a long haul, as you may expect.
- Weight, size, & type of machinery – The overall size and weight of the machinery are important for determining the cost of shipping your heavy machinery. As a rule, larger and bulkier equipment will be more expensive and complicated to ship, while smaller equipment will tend to be somewhat cheaper.
- Oversized load designation – You will end up paying quite a bit more money if your heavy machinery is especially large and heavy and meets oversized load criteria. You will need to work with your shipping company to get additional permits from state and federal agencies, hire one or more pilot car drivers, and take other such steps to transport your load safely and legally.
- Self-propulsion capabilities – A self-propelled vehicle like a bulldozer or a tractor can usually be driven onto a lowboy flatbed, which makes loading and unloading simple, and allows the freight company to load and unload the vehicle almost anywhere. But if you’re transporting equipment that’s not self-propelled, the logistics of loading and unloading will be more complex and require more equipment.
- Additional insurance – Whenever you work with a heavy equipment shipping company, your shipment will be insured to the extent required by law, but in some cases this may not be enough to fully cover you in the rare event of an accident or serious damage to your equipment.
To protect yourself, it’s a very good idea to consider additional insurance if you’re shipping a very expensive piece of machinery, or a mission-critical piece of equipment that’s essential for the timely completion of a particular job or project.
How Is Heavy Machinery Transported On A Truck?
Typically, heavy machinery is transported on a flatbed trailer such as a lowboy or a step-deck trailer, and is hauled by a semi-truck to its destination. The right type of trailer depends on the equipment you’re shipping. A step-deck, for example, provides more vertical space for your machinery, ensuring you’re less likely to meet oversized load criteria.
It’s usually not possible or desirable to ship heavy machinery in an enclosed trailer. Most types of heavy machinery will not fit into a standard trailer unless they are completely disassembled, which presents a number of additional costs and complexities. Heavy machinery is designed to be exposed to the elements, in most cases, so transporting it on an open-air flatbed trailer is not an issue.
What Should I Look For In A Heavy Machinery Hauling Partner?
You should always look for a company with experience moving similar equipment, that has positive customer referrals, and that offers country-wide service for heavy equipment shipping. Learn more now.
- Experience moving similar equipment – Make sure your partner has experience moving heavy machinery like yours, and has the industry-specific skills required. For example, if you’re moving heavy-duty farm equipment, your selected carrier should have experience moving equipment like tractors, combine harvesters, and other equipment.
- Customer referrals – A reputable carrier will always be happy to refer you to a past customer so that you can ask more questions about their services. If they are not willing to refer you to any previous customers, don’t work with the company, and find a new partner who is willing to let you talk to a previous client.
- Country-wide service – Your carrier should be able to ship your heavy equipment anywhere – whether it’s a 20-mile trip, or you’re shipping a piece of equipment from New York to California. This way, you can choose to work with the same company in the future for all of your jobs – whether they involve shipping machinery locally or across the country.
Can I Ship My Heavy Machinery In One Piece?
Yes. Almost all types of heavy machinery can be transported in a single piece. However, you should note that if your equipment is extremely heavy or bulky, it may meet oversized load criteria, which will incur additional costs and complexities.
However, there are sometimes ways around this. For example, if you can remove the blade of a bulldozer to reduce its width and weight, you may be able to ship it separately and avoid oversized load designation. In some cases, this may save you a lot of money and time, since oversized loads are subject to much more strict regulations and require special permits.
It’s always best to consult with your heavy equipment shipping company to get their advice on the best way to ship your machinery, and to find out if partial disassembly of your equipment may be a good option. In some cases, the time and labor cost of disassembly and reassembly may outweigh the additional cost of leaving your machinery intact.
Need To Haul Heavy Machinery? Contact A-1 Auto Transport Today!
At A-1 Auto Transport, we specialize in helping our customers haul heavy machinery. As a leading transport referral service in the United States, we can help you find a freight company near you, and get the assistance you need to ship construction equipment, farm equipment, industrial equipment, and any other machinery you may need to move.
If you’d like to learn more and get started or get a free heavy equipment shipping quote, we’re always here to help. Contact A-1 Auto Transport online or give us a call at (800) 452-2880. We can help you explore your options for heavy machinery hauling further, and find a freight shipping provider near you for the job.
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.