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Railroad Equipment Haulers

What's in this article?
  1. What Are Railroad Equipment Haulers?
  2. What Types Of Oversized Freight Equipment Can Be Shipped Using Railroad Logistics?
  3. Types Of Equipment Used In Railroad Logistics
  4. Automotive Racks
  5. Boxcars 
  6. Counter Beams 
  7. Covered Hoppers 
  8. Coil Cars 
  9. Flat Cars 
  10. Gondolas 
  11. Refrigerated Boxcars 
  12. Open Top Hoppers 
  13. Tank Cars 
  14. Specialized Rail Equipment 
  15. How Does Shipping Oversized Equipment By Rail Work?
  16. How Long Does It Take To Ship Oversized Equipment By Railroad Logistics?
  17. Top Reasons To Ship Heavy Equipment By Rail
  18. The Potential Cost Of Shipping Heavy Equipment [The Factors Determining The Final Cost Of Rail Transportation]
  19. Weight And Dimensions 
  20. How Do You Transport Large Equipment? 
  21. Securing Your Oversized Equipment While Shipping Through Railroad Equipment Haulers 
  22. Conclusion 
Railroad Equipment Haulers

Every day tons and thousands of oversized pieces of equipment are moved to their destination by railroad equipment hauling services. But, if you haven't tried your hands on railroad equipment shipping yet, they might be a mystery for you.

So, here we are, spilling all the beans. Suppose you're interested in shipping oversized equipment by rail. You've come to the right place.

This article aims to raise awareness about railroad equipment haulers and all the basics you must know before shipping your heavy equipment by railroad logistics.

Let's dig into it! 

What are Railroad Equipment Haulers?

First, you must know what Railroad equipment haulers are, starting with the basics!

Railroad equipment haulers are the shippers that specialize in oversized shipping types of equipment and heavy machinery shipment to the desired location. 

Railroad equipment shippers are experts in moving outsized gear along the fast-moving tracks, highways, urban streets, and remote areas.

Moreover, the railroad equipment haulers are often double-insured and well-equipped to load and unload your heavy equipment and give you the peace of mind you need to relocate your oversized gear.

What Types of Oversized Freight Equipment Can Be Shipped Using Railroad Logistics?

You can ship every type of heavy equipment using railroad logistics. No matter how large or extra-large your equipment is, railroad equipment haulers have the right amount of experience at their hands, and they'll handle it all!

Below we have enlisted the different types of heavy freight that you can ship using railroad logistics.

  • Military EquipmentTanks, Humvees, HEMTT Wreckers, and M88 Hercules Recovery Vehicles
  • Heavy Construction Machine: Excavators, Backhoes, and Loaders
  • Farm Equipment: Tractors and Combine Harvesters 
  • Industrial Parts: Heat Exchangers, Bridge Girders, and Rails for Railroad Tracks 

Types of Equipment Used in Railroad Logistics:

It requires multiple types of equipment of varying natures to ensure the shipment of heavy freight. Heavy loads need concrete machinery to get transported safely. So here in this section, you will learn about the pieces of equipment through which transportation gets ensured.

Automotive Racks

Automotive racks are responsible for ensuring the shipment's safety. Engineers have specifically manufactured it for carrying heavy materials such as cars, loaders, and buses. These racks differ from those designed for passengers.

A train does not rely on only one automotive rack at one time. Instead, it has many racks that move smoothly with the help of special tires. There are connections among the frames to keep them connected. 


Boxcars resemble automotive racks, but they differ in functioning. The train has separate sections for transporting different things. Sometimes, a customer wants to deliver large boxes containing paper bundles in bulk from one location to another. Boxcars are considered proficient for such kinds of transportation. 

Counter Beams 

Counter beams are designed to ensure the smooth transportation of construction material. The material sometimes includes sensitive and expensive gadgets. So, a separate section in the centre beam is for storing the sensitive material effectively. 

Covered Hoppers 

You can avail not only the delivery of solid material but also soft material present in dry form. Such material usually expands freely on the surface, and it requires high care and administration to transport the material in dry form. The shape and properties of covered hoppers differ highly from those mentioned above. 

Coil Cars 

As the name shows, customers avail it for transporting different kinds of ores extracted from the soil and other substances. Moreover, rigid substances made of steel and steel in the spiral form get delivered to different places in coil cars. Such equipment contains material to avoid flames. 

Flat Cars 

You can book these cars for carrying a heavy amount of freight irrespective of the type. They have many safe storage rooms built inside, and you can store multiple commodities in flat cars. 


They are huge in shape but relatively safe to carry coals and bulk material like unrefined metallic substances. You can collectively accumulate lumbering products as they offer greater security. 

Refrigerated Boxcars 

They resemble standard boxcars, but they have the option of adjustable temperature. You can adjust the temperature inside the boxes according to the material being transported. It's mainly for carrying different kinds of fruits, vegetables, medicines, and drinks. 

Open Top Hoppers 

The shipment with enough stability against outdoor elements gets transported by such hoppers. Such material gets stored on the top and discharged from the pathways present below the section. 

Tank Cars 

Such cars have been manufactured with efficient materials to provide the shipment with excellent safety. Chemicals and sensitive liquids in medicines and experiments get shipped through these cars. 

Specialized Rail Equipment 

Some companies are prone to transfer their material through advanced and unique equipment. So, Specialized Rail Equipment is for them, and it costs comparably high prices. 

How Does Shipping Oversized Equipment By Rail Work?

The rail carrier transports the vehicle to the freight station and then loads it onto the train. Afterwards, it is shipped to your location. Depending on the final destination of your shipment, you may also need a flatbed truck for last-mile shipping from the rail freight station.

Typically boxcars are used to fit in the oversized equipment in railroad logistics.

Flatcars are best suited for too large loads to fit in standard boxcars, also known as dimensional loads. 

Dimensional loads are items that are too large to fit inside standard rail cars. They're generally shipped in flatcars, which have a flat, horizontal floor mounted on a pair of trucks. Flatcars are open to the elements, unlike other rail cars with sides or a roof.

Because they don't contain any walls or a lid, flatcars tend to be easier to ship freight of varying shapes and sizes. You can also secure freight in several ways, including strapping it down with chains or ropes or attaching metal braces and form-fitting sideboards to the car's sides. They're commonly used for hauling oversized vehicles such as construction equipment or heavy machinery like steel coils and transformers.


How Long Does It Take to Ship Oversized Equipment By Railroad Logistics?

You should know that other factors are also involved in equipment delivery timelines, irrespective of their size. People usually do not hire local companies to ensure the shipment of large-sized material. Because it is something local trucks and freight can not handle. So, rail service seems an efficient option to go. 

As far as the question is concerned, moving oversized material from point A to B usually takes a long time.

You should not book railroad haulers if you have simple machinery to transport. Transportation trains have specific schedules, and you need to deliver your material timely to the station to get loaded with exceptional care. The train has determined stops present at different locations. So, it would help if you kept in mind that it will only discharge the material on the station. 

In short, the transportation process through rails consumes more time than the time taken through local trucks. So, trains are the best option if you are not tightly bound in time boundaries. 

Top Reasons to Ship Heavy Equipment by Rail

Railroad equipment hauling is considered one of the most efficient ways to transport freight. Shipping oversized equipment by rail is a great way to get your large, heavy cargo to its destination. 

Have you ever wondered why it's better to ship heavy equipment by rail? Well, we're glad you asked. Let's look at a few reasons that make railroad logistics the best choice for your business.

  • Market Reach: You may have heard that the most crucial part of any business is making sure you can reach your market. The best way to ship heavy equipment is by rail: it helps you get more places reliably and affordably. You can easily reach markets distant from your warehouse when you ship by rail. Just drop the shipment off at the nearest train stop, and you can get it to any destination in the country without worrying about maintenance or transportation costs.
  • Scalability: No matter how much product you have to move, there's a train that can handle it. Trains with more than 100 cars are pretty standard, and since they offer door-to-door service, there's no need to worry about whether or not your shipment will reach its destination safely.
  • Reliability: Trains are reliable in all kinds of weather conditions. You don't have to worry about snowstorms or black ice slowing down your shipment when it's on rails—trains run on time, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at them.
  • Sustainability: Trains are environmentally friendly and low-cost compared to other modes of transportation. If you're looking for an option that supports your company's goals and helps you opt for a sustainable approach, railroad logistics is your way!
  • Affordability: Railroad logistics are cost-saving, especially for long-haul shipments.

There are many other advantages to rail shipping, including fewer stops, lower fuel consumption, and shipping between countries that don't have the exact customs requirements.

The Potential Cost of Shipping Heavy Equipment [The Factors Determining the Final Cost of Rail Transportation]

Transporting heavy machinery and equipment via rail to a destination can be more cost-effective than shipping it in a truck. 

But the exact price you'll pay for your shipment will vary based on the factors listed below.


Weight and Dimensions: 

Depending on the size of your machinery or equipment, you might need a flatbed rail car—and that means paying for more space. Flatbeds are typically longer than standard rail cars, and they're not nearly as tall, which means they can't hold as much freight. To determine what kind of rail car you'll need to ship your cargo and how much it will cost, you should always get a quote directly from a logistics provider.

Oversized Loads: 

Fees for oversized loads in railroad logistics are not very high, but these shipments do need special equipment—some of which might come with an additional surcharge.


The distance between your origin and destination will also affect the cost of transporting your equipment. The farther away your destination is from your point of origin, the more expensive it will be to ship.

Additional Freight Services: 

The other freight services necessary to transport your equipment to and from its origin might cost you extra money. These services

How Do You Transport Large Equipment? 

You have learned many things in previous sections, and the current section lets you know about the key factors you should keep in mind while transporting extensive material. 

Whenever you purchase any material of machinery of any size, it has a manual containing instructions in it. You should carefully read it as you can learn about how the material in your hands should get transported. 

And what things you will need in advance to ensure a smooth and safe shipment journey. 

It would help if you acted according to the instructions written in the manual. It may include preventive measures and security guidelines for transportation. Further, it will guide you precisely what kind of truck or train hauler you need to book for safe delivery. 

Resultantly, you will not waste your time asking for recommendations from others. 

But before you book a train or truck, you need to get information about the routes. Not all the roads and paths are in good condition. Sometimes, your material may be sensitive to rough routes, so you need to be careful. It will help if you prefer smooth trails, as you might observe that rugged routes usually lead to shortcuts. They save your time but damage the material present inside. So you must know about the ways through which your carriage will get transported. 

Thirdly, you have to look after the shipment while loading and discharging at the arrival point.

Companies send their teams to pack your material, but you should also ensure its safety during loading. You can also appoint someone else in that regard. 

Sometimes, you can separate the parts of your material as they contain quality joints, and this part separation will offer you greater ease while transporting. So, you should avoid getting it loaded in its original shape if it's a more considerable length, width, and taller height. 

You need to keep the storage space in your account while loading. You can have your material assembled once it arrives at the final location. Any mismanagement while loading and discharging may cause you unbearable loss. 

You also need to consider the weather conditions for the safe journey of your shipment through multiple points. 

Remember that sometimes, harsh weather can impact the carriage badly, so you need to be aware of that. 

Pro tip: The manual present with the machinery contains detailed information about the temperature bearing quality of your shipment. So, please read it carefully before loading the cargo. 

Securing Your Oversized Equipment while Shipping Through Railroad Equipment Haulers 

You need to ensure that your heavy equipment is secure when you ship them via railroad equipment haulers. This type of cargo can be challenging to manage, and they are large, heavy, and precious. If you don't secure your cargo properly, it can suffer from damage or tip over and cause a severe accident.

That's why you need to make sure that you follow the proper protocols for securing your heavy equipment as you transport it. Here's how:

  • Know the dimensions and weight of your equipment

First things first…

It would help if you had your vehicle's exact dimensions and weight—not an estimate. That's because these measurements help you in the process of securing your cargo. When you know your load's exact weight and dimension, you can find the appropriate tie-down system to keep it safe and secure as it travels on the railroad.

  • Know whether you need a special permit for shipping oversized goods

Are you carrying a significant piece of heavy construction equipment? You may require a special permit to do so. Check with your local Department of Transportation (DOT) office to learn whether you need a special permit from them before shipping your item via railroad haulers. It's best to check with each state individually because the rules may vary from state to state, even if they're right next. 

This can be a complex process, but it's worth it because getting stopped by authorities can cost you more time and money than getting permits ahead of time.

  • Develop a secure system plan for your vehicle and properly tie down the heavy equipment. 

You must restrain your piece of heavy equipment with at least four tie-downs, although larger vehicles may require more than that—use as many tie-downs as needed to satisfy that requirement.


If you're considering shipping heavy equipment, you should strongly consider rail transport. It's easy to see why—from reaching distant markets with ease to the cost-saving and environmentally friendly benefits of railroad logistics, there are many reasons to choose railroad logistics.

Hence, it would help if you took the advantage of railroad logistics for shipping your heavy equipment to its fullest. 

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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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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.

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!

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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.

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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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Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
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435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
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45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
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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