Transportation Of Heavy Equipment and Machinery
Check the equipment’s manual
Most of your heavy equipment has specific instructions on how it should be transported, so definitely check the owner’s manual and follow its direction. Manufacturers know precisely which piece of the equipment is more sensitive and needs extra protection, or what should be removed to ensure a safe transfer.
If you don’t have the manual anymore, don’t worry: most manufacturers have them on their website. Even if the hauling team has loads of experience, they might not know all the rules involving a specific piece of machinery or a particular model.
Prepare the route
Most likely, you’d prefer the equipment to arrive at the destination at a specific time and date. As such, you should check the route of the transport to see if any elements may warrant a detour, or could make shipping more difficult, so you can make the necessary arrangements for the equipment to reach its destination on time.
When preparing to move heavy equipment from one location to another, various permits may be required depending on which cities, provinces, roads and highways are being crossed. Because of the shear amount of weight of the machines, roads may be at risk to stress and damage during transportation. Certain bridges and streets may even need to be avoided (this would be taken care of during route planning). Permits need to be applied to ensure that we are able to transport the equipment legally the entire way. Should the load be oversized or wide, additional permits may be required. Wide loads consume additional lanes, which can cause issues with traffic flow in the surrounding area during transportation. Proper planning must go into the move so that traffic is not severely effected. For instance, think about the fact that heavy equipment loaded on a trailer may be too tall to travel on certain roads, cross bridges or even go under power lines, so you’ll have to change the route to continue the transport.
Make arrangements for pickup and drop-off
Hauling companies have teams that can load and unload the cargo, but it’s always best to be present at these times yourself or designate a member of the team to be there.
It’s good to have someone keep an eye on things and make sure everything you need transported is secured and ready to go. At the destination, ensure that there is sufficient space to deliver the machinery. Clear the space for the truck, machinery, and any setup area. The worst situation to be in is to arrive in the yard and struggle with the logistics of delivery and setup. This can be especially frustrating under tight deadlines as hours can be spent figuring out the setup of the equipment. With proper planning you can save time and money on the delivery.
Avoid wide load designation
A wide load, or oversized load, can be a problem particularly for those extremely large pieces of equipment. Most countries have specific regulations regarding the maximum weight or height allowed for safe driving, so it’s important to check what these are (even from province to province) and make sure you don’t go over them. If you do, here’s what you can do to fix the problem:
Overweight and overheight: remove certain parts from the equipment and ship them separately.
Overlength: it’s usually not a problem, since most countries give you plenty of leeway here. But if it’s a more complex system, it can be too dangerous to move it intact, so taking it apart might be the only option.
Overwidth: it’s bad news if this is an issue because there is not much you can do in this case. It means the body of the equipment is too wide for safe transport, though these are pretty rare cases. The most common issue you may face here is with overheight and overweight, which are fixable problems. The other two are less common, even with larger pieces of equipment.
Transporting heavy equipment during winter
Transporting anything in the summer or spring is a piece of cake compared to what goes on in the winter. There are a few extra precautions you have to take at this time to protect your equipment during shipping, and it’s pretty essential that you do.
One of the main things you’ll have to do is empty the machine of fluids to avoid any spills or sloshes. Driving during winter can be a lot bumpier than under normal circumstances, so there’s actually a greater chance of spilling.
Not to mention if the temperatures drop too much the fluids can actually freeze since the equipment won’t be turned on to warm up during transport. If the journey will take several hours to complete it can even burst and cause other more severe damages to the machine.
You have to protect the equipment from the outside elements. Larger equipment also comes in unusual shapes and it’s possible that an open-air shipping vehicle will be the only viable option.
If that’s the case, your equipment is entirely exposed to snow, cold, rain, wind and other elements. You have to cover it using special materials designed to keep the outside from affecting your machine. Take extra care regarding any electronic components that may be affected by low temperatures.
Winter damage is preventable if you just take a few extra minutes to cover your equipment accordingly.
There are two big things people should take into consideration when they are looking for a company to move heavy equipment: insurance and expertise.
In the case of insurance, a lot of countries actually require licensed transport firms to have it, so it’s unlikely you’ll stumble upon one that doesn’t.
However, you do have to pay close attention to the terms of the insurance policy, particularly how much liability will the company assume in case something goes wrong. Accidents can happen, and your equipment is obviously expensive, so it’s important to know how much you’ll get reimbursed in case of an unfortunate incident.
Then there’s the issue of expertise. While it’s perfectly fine to give rookies a shot at stardom, you’ll often be better off hiring a team with extensive knowledge and experience in transporting heavy equipment.
It’s more reassuring for you because those firms have trained staff that know everything there is to know about the job, and there’s an increased chance of getting things done with fewer bumps along the way.
To sum up
When it comes to transporting heavy equipment, you’re better hiring a team of experts to help. At FMi, we can perform all the tasks required from end to end with our team of experts. It’s the most cost-efficient method. Try to imagine for a second how much you’d have to spend to ship a large piece of machinery by yourself. It’s a daunting and expensive task.
Contact FMi today to get excellent services at affordable prices.