If you are an owner or a manager of a construction or an agricultural supplies business, you probably have had to handle the transportation of your equipment and know-how complicated the process can be. Hence, transporting heavy equipment requires careful handling, specialized knowledge, and professional experience.
Whether you are shipping a forklift, a conveyor bridge, or a cement mill (domestically or overseas), you will need to find the right shipping company to guarantee economical, efficient, and high-quality service. In this article, we will review some things to consider when shipping construction equipment.
When it comes to shipping your heavy-duty machinery, you want to make sure it’s done right. Potential damage and required repairs can be costly and time-consuming, which is often detrimental to businesses. Below are a few basic tips to help you move your construction gear smoothly and safely.
Measure Your Equipment Size and Dimensions
Determining the right trailer is instrumental in ensuring safe delivery. In order to find the perfect fit, you need to measure the exact dimensions of your equipment. Note the width, height, length, and weight of your gear and pass them on to your shipping representatives. Looking up the specs on manufacturers’ websites or documents seems easy and logical; however, it is advisable to measure the machinery yourself since the precise numbers may vary from model to model especially after prolonged use. The only exception is weight, for which you can use the manufacturer’s specs and include the weight of any add-ons.
There are standard dimensions for machinery. Your shipping company agent will be able to advise whether your equipment’s specs are within regulations of the states and countries in which you will be traveling and help with optimization solutions.
Shipping Trailer for Your Machinery
Now that you have the precise dimensions at hand, you can choose the most suitable trailer. Based on the details you provide, your logistics specialists will help you determine the right trailer type, truck, and driver for your apparatuses. Below are three transportation options to choose from:
- Roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO): if your construction equipment is self-propelled, meaning you can drive onto and off the ship, upon loading and unloading, consider using roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO).
- Flat-rack: if your gear cannot be driven on and off the vessel, it will need to be loaded onto a flat-rack first, which will then be placed onto the ship.
- Container: you can opt for container shipment if your machinery fits into one either whole or dismantled. This option adds extra protection from external damages. Once packed, the container is loaded into a deck of a vessel and unloaded using a crane.
You may have already shipped your equipment and know the best shipping method for your gear. If you are not sure, speak to your shipping representative and provide all the relevant details about your cargo. Can you dismantle some parts, take down attachments, or deflate tires to reduce the overall size and weight? Is your equipment fully operable and will it need assistance during loading and unloading? Are there any other idiosyncrasies and things worth mentioning? Communicate all of this to your logistics specialists to ensure smooth, safe, and efficient delivery.
Risks Involved in Hauling Construction Equipment
As we mentioned, potential damage and required repairs can be expensive, especially if your heavy-duty cargo is delicate. Verify and review the risk management policy of your packing company as it will influence whether your machinery will reach its destination in one piece. If your construction equipment is exceptionally costly, it is recommended to hire an expert surveyor to oversee the loading and unloading processes and assess the accurate value of your machinery on both ends of the shipment. This step is especially significant when acquiring a commercial insurance policy for your cargo.
In addition to trained staff and valid insurance policy, a reliable and professional auto hauling company will have military specifications for transporting high-priced and fragile assets. Such military specifications provide safety guarantees throughout the entire journey. A trusted company will also have a logistics specialist who is well-versed in the field of machinery transportation and will know exactly what to do to minimize all potential risks during offloading at the destination.
Hiring a Professional Shipping Company
Finding the right construction hauling specialist is a key step. When you transport heavy-duty machinery, there is no room for error as you need to get back to work as soon as you can. Professional shipping companies understand the importance of getting your equipment delivered on time. Picking the right people; affordable machinery hauling rates; dependable heavy-duty transport services; suitable and high-quality equipment for your cargo is instrumental for safe and smooth transport.
To make sure you hire the best transporter, establish a budget, and inspect the equipment. Speak to company representatives and find out how the move will be conducted. Inquire about shipping timelines and total expenses. Also, verify you have checked all the required permits for transporting construction machinery in the applicable areas.
Shipping construction gear is not the same as regular freights. The process is, naturally, more complicated, the prices are higher, and more risks are involved. You should familiarize yourself with the details of the procedure, make the necessary arrangements, and prepare for the shipment the best you can to ensure your assets arrive in one piece.
The best guarantee is hiring a trusted professional transportation company that is adept in the area of machinery shipping and is committed to providing excellent service with minimum fuss. At A-1 Auto Transport, we strive to always deliver the best results by offering top-notch expertise, highly trained staff, and good prices.
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.