Listed below are seven tips that will help you to move your load safely.
1. Use the proper trailer
There is nothing more important than using a trailer that is best suited to the job.
There are many axle and trailer configuration types, and you must have a thorough understanding of over-dimensional and heavy haul shipping to be able to select the perfect trailer for the job.
Most often, according to Shiphawk.com, heavy haul uses one of the following trailer types:
- Drop Deck trailer – a trailer built with a drop in the deck height. The upper part of the deck drops in height directly after it clears the back of the driving unit and sits atop the back of the tractor unit.
- Gooseneck trailer – connects to the hauling unit by a permanently attached modifiable bar affixed to the bed. There are many alternate types of gooseneck trailers including, but not limited to hydraulic, mechanical, fixed, and removable.
- Extendable Drop Deck trailer – same simple design of a normal drop deck, this trailer’s body can extend for loads that are long, cannot extended over the back end of the trailer, and requires the support of a trailer under its entire body.
- Lowboy trailer – a low-bed trailer that has two height drops in the deck, sits remarkably low to the Earth, and has a maximum capacity of up to 12 feet in height.
- Flatbed trailer – an open platform trailer with no rails or roof, walls, and a flat load-carrying area.
2. Be prepared ahead of time
It is crucial that you intensively prepare for the move and do so in advance. When hiring a wide load shipping company, it is crucial that you ask the right questions in order to know what you are dealing with. Such questions include:
- What are the terms of payment?
- Is the company reputable and how long has it been in business? Have there been any recent injuries or claims? What is its rating?
- How much cargo insurance does this company have and will that cover your shipment? (The law requires $100,000 at bare minimum.) Does the need for greater coverage increase overall costs? If such is the case, by how much?
- Will the transportation equipment be available when you need it?
Upon hiring, it is also very important to conduct a background check on the company you are considering. Two ways to go about this process include the FMCSA carrier database and SaferTool. If this comes back clear, then you will need to get a reliable quote. Essentially, a reliable quote should include the cost of per diems, permits, pilot cars, and other expenses associated with your move. All of this is crucial in order for you to be prepared ahead of time, and will result in a safer heavy haul trucking experience.
3. Use experienced, trained drivers
Limit yourself to only drivers who are experienced in operating the equipment they are hauling, can secure loads safely, and those who have been trained properly.
4. Secure the load
Make sure the load is distributed and secured properly on the trailer prior to leaving the work or yard site.
Securing over-dimensional or super heavy equipment is a vital process that you should not take lightly. Thankfully, issues involving loss of heavy equipment or other improperly secured loads are few and far between; however, they can lead to damage to personal property, severe injuries, or even worse, loss of life when they do happen.
This is not the extent of its problems, as unsecure loads often result in a loss of equipment and harshly impacts the environment if chemical contaminants are used.
Securing equipment such as bulldozers, front-end loaders, excavators, and similar equipment falls under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulatory requirements when transporting from state to state. See www.fmcsa.dot.gov for more information.
5. Recognize regulatory requirements
Be acquainted with regulatory requirements in every state that the load will travel through. Rules can be different across state borders.
Commercial vehicles weighing greater than 10,000 pounds GVWR are subject to federal regulations if involved in interstate commerce. However, if hauling equipment intrastate, local regulations might apply as well.
6. Acquire the appropriate permits
Allow yourself time to acquire all required permits. Any equipment over 102” wide will need an oversize trucking permit before it can travel on state highways or roads. This process can be very time-consuming, which is why it is a smart idea to hire a company like H. Brown, Inc. to handle this for you.
- USDOT Number
It is required that all companies operating commercial vehicles that haul cargo in interstate commerce are registered with the FMCSA and have a USDOT Number, which serves as a unique identifier. This number is used to monitor a company’s safety information.
- Trip and Fuel Permits
With a GVW larger than 26,000 pounds, you will most likely need trip and fuel permits, as well as permits for the states you will pass through. For more information on obtaining heavy haul transportation permits, continue reading here – Obtaining Heavy Haul Transportation Permits.
7. Run routes ahead of time
After you have obtained the proper permits and know which state, federal, and local regulations apply, it is time to map out the most efficient route for your trip. Ideally, you should try to avoid heavily trafficked highways (if possible), toll roads, routes that present others types of delays or interruptions, and roads under construction.
A pilot car might be necessary to accompany you on a few of the routes. Each state has its own regulations for different oversize dimensions.
Follow the seven tips above to make sure that your move goes smoothly, and that you secure the safety of both equipment and people.