Shipping heavy items like large equipment, machinery, or auto parts can be quite challenging. Before diving into the heavy equipment shipping process, you should understand the intricacies of shipping heavy equipment. Whether you’re shipping auto parts to another state, or regularly transport heavy commercial equipment, it is crucial to choose the right transportation mode, find a proper shipping partner, choose convenient freight insurance, and apply the best practices for a smooth shipping experience.
What qualifies as a heavy shipment?
A heavy shipment is any shipment that exceeds size limits and requires dimensional flexibility. Usually, such loads are transported with flatbed trucks. In the United States, a wide or oversize freight is a load that is wider than 8’6” (2.59 m). The maximum permissible load width is 8.5 feet (102 inches), the max allowed height is 102 inches, and the legal length is usually 48 to 53 feet. If a load weighs more than 46,000 pounds, it is considered oversized, too. Speaking of machinery and equipment, cars, motorcycles, trucks, tractors, cranes, forklifts, large auto parts, and similar items all fall under the category of equipment and machinery. In addition, you can check out the full list of legal permits for oversized loads in this DOT resource.
Heavy equipment transport
There is a limited amount of opportunities for heavy shipments when it comes to transportation modes. Most machinery and heavy equipment qualify as oversized freight and are shipped via flatbed trucks or flatbeds which is an open trailer, without a roof and walls, created specifically for oversized shipments.
There are different types of flatbeds:
- Step Deck
- Double Drop
- Side Kit
- Hot Shot
These trailers can handle up to 48,000 pounds and are one of the most suitable modes for equipment and machinery transportation. Use this mode when your items are extremely large, or require complicated loading.
How to ship heavy equipment?
Proper organization and safety are top priorities of shipping heavy equipment. When planning to move large items, it is necessary to count several basic factors.
Collecting accurate information
Giving accurate information about your shipment is a crucial part of any transportation process, especially regarding large equipment shipping. Precise examining your freight will help you choose the right transportation mode, freight carrier, and accurate pricing. Moreover, you’ll manage to avoid unwanted charges and fines. In addition, it is much faster and easier to navigate through the freight shipping process with all the necessary information.
Packing and protection
It is important to know that flatbed shipping doesn’t protect freight from weather conditions. If your freight is perishable or vulnerable to external factors like rain, wind, or snow, flatbed shipping won’t likely serve your needs. Properly packing your shipment is critical for safe transit. When choosing reliable protection, you drastically decrease your chances of shipment damage. You will need special packaging for equipment and machinery. Usually, you would choose crates. Some items may require anti-corrosion protection like vapor barriers or other types of advanced packaging. Get to know the safety requirements for your freight to pack it accordingly. Additionally, if you don’t know how to pack your freight, don’t hesitate to consult with your shipping partner.
Finding the right shipping partner
When it comes to shipping equipment, finding the right carrier for your freight is the key to a successful shipping process. The best option is to choose an experienced platform that has a variety of professional flatbed carriers and provides high-quality service for your shipping needs. GoShip online platform lets you instantly compare offerings from multiple carriers and choose the most suitable option.
Do I need freight insurance to ship heavy equipment?
There is a default carrier coverage liability for all shipments. However, it is highly recommended to purchase additional, full-value freight insurance to have peace of mind. Most of the equipment shipments are successful, but errors do happen. To be fully protected and confident about your shipment, adding freight insurance is the best precaution to take.