Heavy equipment hauling tips

Best Heavy Equipment Shipping Tips In 2024

Heavy equipment shipping in an incorrect way may be dangerous. Follow these suggestions to prepare for your heavy equipment shipment in order to transfer construction, agricultural, manufacturing, and other types of heavy equipment effectively. These suggestions will keep your equipment safe during shipment and save you money on the extra expenses connected with transporting heavy machinery.

#1. Stay away from wide-load designations.

Crawler dozers, wheel loaders, motor graders, and scrapers may be categorized as a wide load in your state or municipality, requiring you to pay a hauling business more and get additional permits. This may be avoided by transporting your equipment carefully.
Height. Consider retracting or removing a large or tall boom or bucket while transporting a crane, excavator, or any other piece of equipment. This could be enough to keep the load from being classified as large. Sometimes to avoid wide-load classification, it’s best to send two shipments separately.
Weight. Depending on the state, any weight above 40,000 pounds is considered an oversize load. Taking off attachments from the equipment and carrying them separately can help you save weight and money.
Width. It isn’t much you can do if the item is excessively wide owing to the tracks or body. It is not worthwhile to remove the tracks. If your machinery has tires, removing them may lower the weight and make it narrower, allowing you to avoid the wide-load classification.
Length. Most states allow a load of 53 feet in length, which is more than enough for most construction equipment that can be hauled with a typical tractor-trailer.

When you can’t avoid an oversize or wide-load classification, just remember to budget extra money for the oversize load regulations and additional permits. Also needed are safety flags, lights and signs, and maybe an escort truck or two, depending on where your shipment is heading. Consult with your shipping company.

#2. Get your heavy equipment ready.

Things like strapping down the load and safely securing it can be handled by a heavy-equipment transportation service. However, it is not responsible for preparing the equipment for the relocation. This must be handled by the client to ensure that no equipment is harmed during the relocation.
Specific instructions for prepping the equipment for shipping may be found in the owner’s handbook or service manual. Special measures, such as immobilizing the excavator arm or other moving elements, may be necessary.
These recommendations will help you prepare for pickup and guarantee that your equipment is in good condition and ready to move when your transportation service arrives:

Check the interior of the operating cab for anything that might move around and harm any knobs, levers, or buttons. Wrap fragile inner components with bubble wrap for better protection.
Cover the exhaust stack to prevent dust, debris, or road grit from entering the exhaust system.
Disconnect the battery to guarantee that alarm systems are turned off and to keep the battery from depleting during shipment.
Clean the machine and take photos. A cleaned machine will make finding handholds and tie-down places simpler. Photos help detect any damage that the transportation provider may have caused to the equipment.

For delicate or oversized equipment, consider professional industrial crating services. These experts custom-build wooden crates specifically designed to protect your machinery during transport. They use high-quality materials, specialized cushioning, and secure fastening techniques to ensure your equipment arrives in pristine condition.

These suggestions will assist you in preparing for pickup and ensuring that your equipment is in good condition and ready to move when your shipping company arrives.

#3. Transportation logistics

Do you want one of your own drivers to upload the equipment onto the trailer and secure it, or will you delegate this responsibility to the transportation company? Do you have adequate space on your job site to load your equipment? Have you secured all of the necessary permits, or has your logistics provider?

Before setting the pickup time, work out the difficulties of the equipment pickup. Otherwise, the shipping company may levy additional costs and fees for being late.

#4. Select a competent transportation company.

Keep an eye out for the following:

Expertise in the subject. Although a newer logistics or transportation business may offer a lower rate, knowledge is required when moving heavy equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ask for a recommendation. Inquire with a couple of other industry professionals about the services they’ve used and how their experience was.
A proven track record. Researching a potential transportation partner online might be beneficial. Look for consumer feedback to discover if their services are dependable.
Proper license and insurance are required. Never work with a shipping company that cannot produce sufficient license and insurance documentation. Inquire with any possible partner about the insurance it carries, as well as its state and federal licensure.

In conclusion, mastering the nuances of heavy equipment shipping is crucial for anyone in the logistics or construction industry. Whether you’re transporting heavy machinery across state lines or navigating oversize load regulations, understanding these guidelines ensures your equipment arrives safely and cost-effectively.

Remember, each state may have its own set of rules, so it’s vital to be well-informed about regional differences. By adhering to these tips and keeping abreast of the latest industry practices, you can minimize risks and maximize efficiency in your heavy equipment transportation endeavors. For more detailed information on state-specific oversize load regulations, you can refer to the Federal Highway Administration’s website.

And when in doubt or looking for the best shipping rates, TruckSpot Logistics is here to guide you every step of the way. Safe hauling, America!


What is considered an oversize load when shipping heavy equipment?

An oversize load is any shipment that exceeds the standard legal size and/or weight limits for transportation on the road. Typically, any load wider than 8.5 feet, higher than 13.5 feet, and heavier than 80,000 pounds is considered oversize, but these limits can vary by state. It’s important to check the specific oversize load regulations for each state through which your shipment will travel.

Do I need to obtain special permits for transporting heavy machinery across different states?

Yes, if you’re transporting heavy machinery that’s classified as an oversize load, you’ll need to obtain special permits for each state you’ll be traveling through. The requirements for these permits can differ from state to state, and it’s crucial to secure them in advance to avoid legal issues and delays.

Can the transportation company handle the permitting process for oversize loads?

Many heavy equipment shipping companies offer to manage the permitting process as part of their services. They are familiar with the varying requirements and can ensure all necessary permits are obtained for your shipment. It’s advisable to confirm this service with your provider to ensure a smooth transportation process.

What are the risks of not complying with oversize load regulations when shipping heavy equipment?

Non-compliance with oversize load regulations can result in significant fines, legal repercussions, and safety hazards. It can also cause damage to infrastructure, such as bridges and roads, and potentially lead to accidents. Complying with regulations ensures the safety of the transport crew, the public, and your equipment.

Are there any additional safety precautions that need to be taken when transporting an oversize load?

Yes, additional safety precautions include using pilot cars, safety flags, banners, lights, and ensuring that the load is properly secured and balanced. These measures help to ensure the safety of the transport and alert other road users to the presence of an oversize load. Always refer to the state-specific guidelines for detailed safety requirements.

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