Towing Heavy Equipment

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Towing Heavy Equipment
Towing Heavy Equipment

Everything You Need To Know About Towing Heavy Equipment 

Need to tow heavy equipment near you? Wondering how the process works, or what you can expect when you hire a company for heavy equipment towing

In this guide from A-1 Auto Transport, we’ll discuss all of the basics, including how heavy equipment towing works, whether you can tow inoperable equipment, how far your equipment can be towed, and more. Read on, and get answers to all of your questions.

What Is Heavy Equipment Towing?

In a general sense, heavy equipment towing involves every step of towing, hauling, and shipping heavy equipment. However, this term is more often used to refer to the process of towing broken-down or otherwise immovable equipment short distances. In contrast, the terms “heavy equipment transport” or “heavy equipment shipping” are used to refer to shipping equipment over long distances.

There are two basic types of heavy equipment towing, and they work a bit differently. 

  • Towing wheeled vehicles – Wheeled vehicles like buses, and semi-trucks can be towed without the use of a flatbed. Instead, they can be lifted up and secured to the rear of a heavy-duty tow truck, and then towed just like a car, with one or more sets of wheels on the road. However, this is not practical for most types of heavy equipment.
  • Flatbeds for non-wheeled equipment – Equipment without road-worthy wheels – such as tractors, tracked vehicles like bulldozers cranes, and other equipment – will be towed using a flatbed. Depending on whether the vehicle is self-powered or not, it can either be driven onto the flatbed, or it may need to be hoisted onto the flatbed using a crane. 

    Then, with its wheels or tracks safely off the ground, the equipment can be transported to its destination by the tow truck.

How Much Will I Pay For Towing Heavy Equipment? 

Typically, short-distance towing is charged at an hourly rate. This can be anywhere from $100 an hour to more than $1,000 per hour. The cost of your job depends on a few different factors, including the overall size and weight of your equipment, how far it needs to be towed, whether or not it’s self-powered or in operating condition, and more. 

Let’s take a look at the factors that influence the cost of towing heavy equipment.

  • Size and type of equipment – Smaller equipment is easier to tow, while heavier and bulkier equipment will incur a higher cost.
  • Towing distance – The longer your equipment has to be towed, the longer it will take to do your job, so you’ll pay a higher overall rate.
  • Operability of equipment – Operable, self-powered heavy equipment is cheap to tow. However, broken-down or damaged equipment will be much harder to tow and recover, leading to a higher rate.

Can Inoperable Heavy Equipment Be Towed? 

Yes. However, this will usually require the use of a heavy-duty towing truck with a crane or a heavy-duty winch, and the use of a flatbed trailer. Your equipment may also need to be located on a stable surface, as the truck must extend crane “outriggers” that will help stabilize it while the crane is being used to move your heavy equipment.

In many cases, it may be cheaper to have inoperable heavy equipment repaired on-site, if possible. However, there are some complex issues that may not be repairable by on-site mechanics. If this is the case, hiring a heavy haul trucking company to tow your heavy equipment may be a good choice.

Can Heavy Equipment Be Towed Long Distances?

Yes, but this depends on the type of equipment, and the method of towing. Wheeled vehicles like buses, or semi-trucks, for example, can be towed only short distances with their wheels on the ground. However, any type of heavy equipment can be towed a long distance on a flatbed.

It’s important to note, though, that the costs of towing a vehicle a few miles and transporting a vehicle several hundred miles within your state – or even across multiple states – will vary quite a bit. You’ll be charged per-mile, rather than per hour, which is common with short-distance heavy equipment towing and recovery. 

In addition, most heavy equipment towing and recovery companies do not actually offer long-distance transport services. They will only transport your vehicle to a local destination of your choice – such as a mechanic or a storage area. You will typically need to hire and pay a “heavy haul” transportation carrier separately after your equipment has been towed.

If you want to find out more and learn how much you may pay for towing heavy equipment a long distance, you can get an instant quote from A-1 Auto Transport now.

Need Heavy Equipment Hauling Services? Contact A-1 Auto Transport Today! 

If you’ve had your heavy equipment towed from the site of an accident or breakdown and need to send it out for repairs, A-1 Auto Transport is here to help. We work with the best network of heavy equipment transportation specialists in America.

No matter where your heavy equipment needs to go after being towed, we’re here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 452-2880 to get a quote and get the heavy equipment hauling services you need.

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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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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