How to Ship Heavy Equipment

Transporting heavy equipment may seem intimidating, but it’s something that most freight companies are going to have to tackle eventually. There is a way to do it, but for a lot of companies, learning exactly how to handle heavy equipment is difficult and stressful, especially if their shipment facilities and vehicles aren’t designed for such a haul.

What’s the Problem?

The thing that makes heavy equipment complicated isn’t just how much it weighs, although that’s definitely something equipment transporters have to account for. Heavy equipment also tends to be very large, as well as oddly shaped, which means it can’t be carried with regular shipments. Additionally, heavy equipment tends to be a type of machinery — anything from assembly line robots to large construction vehicles can count as heavy equipment. This means the heavy equipment category is rather broad, and it’s also full of mechanical parts that need to be kept safe during travel.

Simply put, heavy equipment is more than something that is large and hard to move. It may also be too big for a normal freight truck, so it is going to require a specific sort of shipping method and a team that understands what to do.

Ways to Solve the Problem

Over the years, shipping heavy equipment has become a service that requires a specialized effort by experienced freight companies with the right vehicles and storage methods. As a result, shipping this equipment isn’t impossible at all — the secret to these types of hauls is to understand exactly what the product is, what method works best to ship it, and what circumstances will need to be accounted for along the way.

1. Deconstruction and Reconstruction

One common method for shipping heavy equipment, especially when it comes to certain kinds of machinery, is to take the equipment apart for the storage process and to reassemble it when it’s delivered. This does not work for everything, however. For example, if you are hauling construction equipment, it can hardly be handled in pieces. In other cases, though, breaking down the machinery might be the most efficient way to ship it.

2. Choose the Right Shipping Method

It may initially seem like all shipping methods are the same, but this can’t be further from the truth. When it comes to shipping heavy equipment, choosing the correct vehicles and methods is vital. The methods you can choose from include:

  • Container shipping. This is the most common form of shipping for most objects, but using this method will typically require the item to be deconstructed.
  • Lift on / lift off. Lifting and dropping off the heavy equipment via a crane is a rather simple method, but it requires having such a crane to begin with, as well as a crew capable of handling it properly.
  • Roll-on / roll-off. If the equipment can be rolled, then using roll-on / roll-off shipping is a simple way to handle the shipment. Of course, not all of your heavy equipment will be capable of rolling.
  • Flat rack shipping. A flat rack is a shipping container without walls or a roof. This allows the heavy machinery to sit in a container without having to worry about size and shape constraints. However, the equipment will then be exposed to the elements, so precautions may need to be taken beforehand.

3. Consider Every Variable

There are a lot of other factors that go into properly shipping heavy equipment, and accounting for everything will ensure you do it to the best of your ability. In addition to whether the equipment can be disassembled, and which shipping method will be used, you may need to consider:

  • The overall cost of the service (including insurance)
  • How high of a priority the shipment is
  • Whether you’ll have to deal with long-distance shipping and bad weather
  • Whether the equipment can be packed as well as how it’s packed
  • Who’s doing the carrying, and how experienced and trustworthy they are

Ultimately, shipping heavy equipment is something that freight companies can easily manage if they have the necessary know-how. Understanding the variables will allow you to make informed decisions and ensure the product is always going to be shipped properly, efficiently, and safely.

Have Your Heavy Equipment Shipped

If you have heavy equipment that needs to be shipped and you need a freight company with the experience to do it, then you need Next Exit Logistics. We offer a variety of specialized shipping services, and we’re here to help. Contact us today

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