How to Prepare for Heavy Equipment Transport and Shipping
Preparing for heavy equipment transport and shipping is indeed an intimidating task and you will have to guardedly take several steps to make the process smooth and simple. It is a formidable challenge transporting gigantic industrial machines, heavy bulldozers, large cranes, construction equipment, agricultural tractors, farm equipment, generators, saws, printing machinery etc.
Being well prepared will help minimize the risks and reduce the stress involved with heavy equipment shipping. There are heavy equipment transporters who are experienced experts and possess advanced, heavy-duty equipment for doing the job with ease. The heavy equipment must be packed meticulously to avoid transit damages – as quite a few of them may be valuable and repairs costly.
Read carefully the manufacturer’s manual and scrupulously adhere to the instructions contained therein – when packing the equipment. If you do not have the manual you can visit the manufacturer’s website to ferret out the details. The manual may advise you to take certain precautionary measures like disconnecting the batteries, emptying engine fluids, or securing some loose parts.
You will need lot of open space at the pickup as well as the drop-off points for loading and unloading your equipment. You may also need implements for convenient loading and unloading - such as loading docks, cranes or ramps.
The FMCSA has prescribed certain specific guidelines for securing and moving heavy equipment. Oversized equipment and overweight loads require permits for plying on the road. For instance, large equipment mounted on a trailer may be dangerously heavy and tall and damage power lines, strain weak bridges, or impair certain ill-laid roads. You should ask the transporter to secure the necessary permits well in time to prevent delays or legal complications.
Another important aspect is your equipment may be hauled in the open air and exposed to the elements. The onus is on you to properly cover any parts that will be vulnerable to rain and gales. You may be required to protect equipment against heat, storms and gusty winds.
Most equipment to be shipped needs a flatbed or standard trailer and for larger or non-moving equipment, you will need a specialized trailer like a Step deck or a Double Drop deck.
When selecting a flatbed hauler, make sure that the truck transport company will be able to handle the weight of your equipment and that the tools necessary to load and unload it are available.
For short distances towing your equipment may be an option. Make sure that you know which preparations need to be made to safely tow your machinery. Towing companies will have different tow trucks to handle all types and sizes of equipment.
When shipping your heavy equipment overseas the usual method is roll-on/roll-off. Your equipment will be driven on and off the transport vessel via ramps.
Please check if your transporter is licensed and verify your transporter for their credentials. Seek references and study customers' reviews of the transporter. It will be a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau. This will let you know the quality of service and level of safety that you can expect from the transporter.
Haulers are required to have a certain amount of insurance. If you need extra coverage, your transporter may help you purchase more insurance, or you can obtain it through a third party.