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New Holland B95b backhoe fits on a step-deck trailer

Three Steps for Shipping Construction Equipment

How to Ship Your Construction Equipment

When you need to transport construction equipment, you want to make sure it’s done right. You want your machinery delivered safely and on time, so you can get back to work. At Heavy Haulers, we understand that the construction equipment is essential to your livelihood, so we put together a few tips to help you out.

Whether you’re transporting a bulldozer, forklift, crane, backhoe, or any other type of construction equipment, these tips will help you get ready for shipping. Plus, if you call one of our logistic specialists they’ll answer any questions you have and guide you through every step of the shipping process.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of hauling step deck trailers is that you can tow a wide variety of equipment using the same trailer type. The design of the step deck enables tandem step deck trailers to haul a range of equipment as part of the same shipment.

Construction equipment, especially, is well suited to step deck trailer shipping methods, as even the most awkwardly shaped machinery can often safely fit onto the trailer, and multiple different types can be shipped in tandem.

Step 1: Determine Your Construction Equipment Dimensions

In order to ensure you’re construction equipment is paired with the best trailer type, you need to know the exact dimensions. Measure the width, height and length of your machinery. While you might be tempted to just look up the manufacturer specs, it’s better to go ahead and measure the equipment yourself. This gives more precise results for a better transport experience. Generally, your equipment must remain within the following dimensions for transport.

Height. 13 feet 6 inches is standard. Only a couple of states allow more height. Step-deck trailers sit lower to the road than flatbed trailers. RGN trailers travel even lower than step decks, providing increased clearance.

Width. 8 feet 6 inches is standard. It’s difficult to overcome an overwidth piece of equipment. Sometimes you can remove the wheels or tires to make width, like on a farm combine or extra-large wheel loader.

Length. In general, between 48 feet and 65 feet maximum. Most states say 65 feet, but check it. Your trailer is either 48-feet long or 53 feet long, because those are the dominant length restrictions among states.

Weight. 80,00 gross vehicle weight (GVW). Usually, truck and trailer weigh about 40,000 pounds. That leaves about half the GVW available to you for your equipment. After that, you’re paying oversize permits and fees.

For the weight of your machinery, use the manufacturer’s specs. Add the weight of any attachments. Your transport representative can help you determine whether the dimensions of your equipment are within the regulations of the states in which you will travel.

Now that you’ve determined the precise dimensions for your construction equipment, it’s time choose the best trailer to haul it. Based on the information, your Heavy Haulers logistics specialist will determine the best trailer, truck, and driver to move your machinery.

Your trailer can be too big for your equipment, but it can’t be too small. A trailer that’s too small means failure.

Here are three questions to discuss with your transportation specialist.

Is your construction equipment oversize? Maybe you can remove attachments, or let air out of the tires to fit within state rules for transporting cargo. Cargo that exceeds state dimensional limits requires special handling.

Is dismantling your equipment an option? Sometimes you can ship an unattached bulldozer blade on the same trailer as the machine. Think about breaking down your equipment into loads that fit on a trailer.

Do you need help loading and unloading? Flatbeds don’t tilt, so you need a dock or other method of loading/unloading. Step decks use ramps, while RGNs drop to the ground. Ask your rep for guidance.


Step 3: Prepare Your Construction Equipment
for Transport

Preparing your construction equipment for transport ensures that there’s no delay when the truck shows up to load. The better prepared you are, the smoother the shipment will go.

An important step is making sure to wash your construction machinery. Equipment caked with mud adds weight to the haul, which costs your driver more in fuel. Your driver is responsible for anything that flies off his trailer, including rocks and debris. If your equipment is dirty when the driver arrives, you’ll probably have to wash it before you can load it. This is more cost-efficient and safer for transport.

Because each construction machine is different, it’s best to check your manufacturer’s manual. It often has specific instructions on preparing your construction equipment for transport.

Most will suggest disconnecting batteries and latching doors closed. This is an added safety measure to make sure your equipment doesn’t have any issues during the shipping process.

Other tips on how to prepare your machine for transport include:

Select a level loading spot. Choose a loading spot where the truck-and-trailer can sit level while you load. Also, make sure there’s enough overhead space to load. You’ll need a level spot to unload.

Pose the machine for travel. Adjust booms and hoists to meet height regulations. Excavators get knuckled under, dozer blades positioned properly. In some states, blades must be detached.

Cover the stacks. Depending upon the weather, it might be a good idea to cover the smokestacks on your equipment. Secure the covering tightly, you don’t want it to blow off while in transit.

By following these tips we hope you’ll have a quality construction equipment transport experience. However, speaking to one of our logistics specialists is the best way to get ready for transport. With over a decade of experience, Heavy Haulers has the most highly trained logistics team in the industry. We’re here to make sure that shipping your construction equipment is a quality experience. Give us a call today and let’s get started. (800) 908-6206

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