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The Crucial Tips for Finding Heavy Machinery Transportation Companies

What's in this article?
  1. Heavy Machinery Transportation Insurance
  2. Heavy Machinery Transport Gear And Handling Process
  3. Equipment To Consider
  4. The Correct Permits
  5. Guidance
  6. Get Reliable Machine Transport Services Near Me
  7. Heavy Machinery Freight Transport Overseas Experience
  8. Heavy Machinery Transport Specialization
  9. Driver Experience
  10. Qualifications And Licenses
  11. Compare Machinery Shipping Quotes
  12. Always Go With An Experienced Heavy Machinery Transportation Company
The Crucial Tips for Finding Heavy Machinery Transportation Companies

It’s best to have a thoughtful approach to picking a shipping company. But few shipping requirements demand more thorough research and an eye for detail as heavy machinery transportation. When you’re dealing with expensive cargo weighing well over 5,000 pounds, you’ll want to work with the best in the industry.

Anything short of that can put your equipment and business in danger if something goes wrong.

Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can search for to determine if you’re looking at the right companies or not. Better still, you don’t even have to do much leg work. Most of it can be accomplished by asking the right questions about crucial topics.

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Heavy Machinery Transportation Insurance

Machinery transporters must have good insurance to handle oversized loads. It’s necessary to ensure the cargo is safer to transport in bad weather, poor road conditions, etc. But here’s the issue for customers.

It’s hard to determine if a heavy machinery transportation company is insured. Granted, they should be in order to be legally allowed to operate in the industry. That’s why communication is key. Asking a machine delivery service provider for proof of insurance is standard practice for anyone moving heavy equipment regularly.

Shipping companies should at least have the legally-mandated minimum insurance in their state. Likewise, they should have no problem sharing that information when requested. Companies refusing to discuss insurance matters might not be operating in good faith.

Another aspect you may want to consider is whether the shipper can offer additional insurance. Given the price of some heavy machinery, you might want extra protection in case an accident happens or bad weather damages your cargo.

Heavy Machinery Transport Gear and Handling Process

Unlike hauling cars, machinery transportation requires highly specialized equipment. First, trailers are much larger and more powerful. Secondly, the trailers’ trucks need specific configurations and power to support heavier loads.

For that reason, not all shipping companies can handle a wide range of heavy machine transport. Some specialize in a couple of industries, while others cast a wider net. But it all comes down to what equipment they have.

When you’re looking for heavy machinery transportation, you should ensure that shipping company representatives can help you pick the correct trailer for your cargo. Likewise, they must guarantee the proper system for loading, securing, and unloading heavy machinery. Using incompatible equipment can be dangerous for the movers, other cars, and your cargo.

Here are some best industry practices to look for:

  • Using extra straps and chains
  • Sufficient covers to protect against the elements
  • Double checking chains and straps after securing them
  • Assessing and locking hoods, lids, and other moving parts
  • Reinforced blocking equipment
  • Using the correct ramp and pulley system for the load
  • Rechecking the weight and size calculations
  • Stopping every 100 miles or so to recheck the cargo and equipment

These are some of the most common practices used by the top machinery delivery services when shipping heavy equipment via trailers.

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Equipment to Consider

There are many ways to ship heavy equipment. Some companies will offer more options and will be ready to fulfill orders of different weight classes.

For example, flatbed trailers can carry loads up to 48,000 pounds and accommodate a 48-foot cargo load. Specific machinery like small forklifts, excavators, trenchers, and backhoe loaders can sit comfortably on flatbed trailers.

But step-deck trailers are more versatile. They can haul similar loads but have the benefit of being closer to the ground. This makes it easier to load various types of machinery with ramps. The lower ground clearance also allows the shipping of taller machinery. Flatbed trailers can’t accommodate anything over 8.5 feet tall. Step-deck trailers are used in machinery transportation of cargo up to 10 feet tall.

Gooseneck and removable gooseneck trailers are sometimes preferred. A standard gooseneck trailer can’t carry more than 42,000 pounds. However, you can increase the cargo capacity to 150,000 pounds by transferring the weight onto a specialized secondary trailer.

This can be enough to transport full-sized excavators, trenchers, and even articulated trucks. Not to mention that you get another foot and a half of height clearance over step-deck trailers.

The more options a heavy machinery transportation company offers, the easier it is to ensure the safest conditions for your cargo.

The Correct Permits

The logistics of machinery transportation are far more complex than shipping standard passenger vehicles, bikes, SUVs, and other vehicles. Machines used on construction sites, agriculture, and other areas are heavy, long, and wide, and their transport on the open road is heavily regulated.

For example, each state may have its own acceptable dimensions and legal weights. Shipping companies may have to manage shipments between specific time windows and seasons and choose particular routes.

In addition, every haul may require the company to acquire new permits. That’s not always the case, but it depends on the pickup and delivery destinations.

You don’t want to work with an average shipping company in this area. You’ll want a heavy machinery transportation company with the know-how to get the correct permits on time. No matter your request, machinery transporters should already know what permits to apply for, where to get them, and how much they cost.

That way, you avoid delayed departures and arrival times.

Guidance

There are two ways to get your heavy machinery ready for transport. You can do all the prep work yourself before machinery transporters pick it up. Alternatively, you can have experienced shippers assist or at least guide you to eliminate delays and ensure safe transport.

Some common prep work includes the following:

  • Disconnecting batteries
  • Emptying machinery of fluids
  • Taking off parts that need separate packaging
  • Locking and securing loose and vulnerable parts
  • Clearing the worksite to allow enough room for loading the equipment
  • Covering parts of the vehicle

Each piece of heavy machinery can have specific packaging and transportation guidelines. The shippers you pick should be familiar with them.

Naturally, the method of transport you choose may influence the prep work. For example, heavy shipping equipment in roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO) containers often needs the equipment to be operational. This is the type of information and assistance you should be able to get via chat, phone call, or during an on-site inspection. It can tell you a lot about the level of experience of a heavy machinery transportcompany.

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Get Reliable Machine Transport Services Near Me

There are thousands of machine delivery service providers across the U.S. But remember that size, weight, special handling needs, and distance factor into machinery shipping quotes. Transporting heavy machinery gets more expensive as the distance is greater.

If you can minimize the distance, you probably should, even if it’s just the pickup distance.

Another reason to consider choosing heavy machinery transportation services with a faster pickup time is convenience. Companies operating closer to you are more likely to offer in-person equipment inspection prior to the pickup.

This makes assessing the shipment requirements more accurate in terms of size and weight calculations. It’s also easier to coordinate with a company near you than with someone based in a neighboring state.

Heavy Machinery Freight Transport Overseas Experience

Not every company or individual needs to ship equipment in the U.S. Plenty of heavy machinery is transported on trailers, railway freight, and cargo ships. But that’s when the logistics get even more complicated.

Overseas machine transport is a complex process that requires the right experience, connections, and equipment. You should ask for a company’s track record and history of international shipments involving heavy loads and machinery.

Some may not have the network of connections to deliver your cargo to a specific country. Others may lack the container sizes to store your cargo. Getting as much information as possible regarding past contracts and the services offered is essential.

Unlike interstate machinery transportation, heavy machinery transportation overseas requires much more paperwork. There are numerous customs laws to abide by on both sides of the border, and only veteran shipping companies know how to navigate the regulations and paperwork.

Ideally, you’ll want a shipper that handles everything for you in terms of documents.

Heavy Machinery Transport Specialization

Many shipping companies will claim they can transport heavy loads and industrial equipment. But there’s a lot of variety out there, and not all heavy machinery has the same shipping requirements.

For instance, it takes different equipment to ship a forklift compared to combines, farming equipment, cranes, bulldozers, etc.

Furthermore, additional restrictions may apply when shipping heavy machinery of various categories or weights. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates this part of the shipping industry more strictly than others.

The Customs and Border Protection Agency may impose specific import and export fees along with other documents. Your shipping partner must be up to date on all the information listed on the government websites to avoid incurring fines or having a shipment canceled and your cargo detained for unlawful shipping.

Driver Experience

It takes a certain individual to drive across state lines hauling thousands of pounds of cargo. Good reflexes, nerves of steel, and knowledge of the area are a few of the qualities you want in your driver.

But none of that happens overnight. It takes years of consistently hauling heavy loads to make experienced drivers. That’s why asking about the drivers is essential when comparing different shipping companies.

They need to understand the requirements of each vehicle, the best strapping procedures, the appropriate driving style, and so much more.

If a machinery transportation company does good work, it shouldn’t hesitate to share driver information with any customer. Its drivers should be top selling points.

Qualifications and Licenses

You’d be surprised how many shipping companies aren’t operating legally or claiming they can do more than they actually can. Not everyone meets the basic qualifications to ship heavy machinery locally, nationally, or internationally.

Even if a company doesn’t make its licenses public, it shouldn’t have a problem showing a copy of the original. Fortunately, these are harder to fake, making it easier to determine if your shipper is legitimate.

The Department of Transportation number allows you to check on a shipping company’s history. Furthermore, you can use it to track down formal complaints made on government websites, fines, accidents, and other facts of interest to you.

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Compare Machinery Shipping Quotes

Always take time to compare quotes after researching a shipping company carefully. The transportation cost shouldn’t be the first factor to consider. Plenty of shippers can give you lowball estimates to reel you in, despite not having enough experience to properly fulfill your order.

Furthermore, you’ll find that hidden costs are a standard industry practice. Shipping companies operating in bad faith often give low estimates and then hit customers with expensive costs. Some may even make you sign a contract before getting all of the details, enabling them to pile on even more expenses.

Learning more about a company gives you enough time to review customer reviews. You can check formal complaints on government websites. Essentially, you’ll be able to tell which company might try to squeeze every dollar out of you.

Therefore, when you start comparing quotes, you’re only looking at the top companies in their field.

Making a top five or even top three list of shippers with a machine delivery service can save time and money. Think of it as limiting your chances of being duped by attractive prices and tactics used by second-hand car salespeople.

Always Go With an Experienced Heavy Machinery Transportation Company

Never let just anyone promise to move your expensive heavy machinery from point A to B. Take some time and ask a couple of key questions to know who you’re dealing with.

Get the details on their qualifications, equipment options, experience, and service package. Remember that each piece of heavy machinery may have distinct requirements. Not everyone will be able to meet them, so don’t let pricing trick you into settling for average or subpar services.

If you need more assistance navigating the complex logistics of heavy machinery transportation don’t hesitate to contact A-1 Auto Transport safa for assistance.

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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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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

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
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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