Industrial Machinery Movers – Properly Transporting Oversize Loads
More often than not, industrial machinery is big and, when it comes time to move it, you’re looking at hauling an oversize load. These require the appropriate trailer to accommodate the load and an operator experienced in hauling oversize loads. In addition to understanding how to safely load, transport and unload oversize loads, there are permits and regulations involved, many of which vary from state to state. Whether you need to move construction equipment from one job site to another or need to dismantle and relocate an entire factory, the safest and most efficient way to get the job done is to hire professional industrial machinery movers. They will be able to quickly determine the appropriate equipment and permits necessary as well as understanding the various regulations that will require compliance.
When preparing to transport an oversize load, it’s important to know the exact dimensions and weight of the load to choose the proper equipment and make the delivery according to customer expectations. In the US, an oversize or wide load exceeds the height of 8’ 6”. The legal length of a trailer is between 48 to 53 feet with a maximum weight of 46,000 pounds, although certain trucks may be able to scale heavier. These specifications may vary by state. To ensure a successful transport, it critical to be aware of what each state requires to legally transport your load through their jurisdiction.
Choosing the Appropriate Trailer
Once it is determined that your load is oversized, industrial machinery movers will then determine which type of trailer is appropriate to safely transport your load. While there is a multitude of different types of trailers, here are some of the most common ones used to haul oversize loads.
Drop Deck Trailers — This type of trailer is built with a drop in deck height. The upper part of the deck drops in height as soon as it clears the back of the driving unit and sits on the back of the tractor unit.
Extendable Drop Deck Trailer — There is one main difference between this type of trailer and the regular drop deck trailer. The extendable drop deck trailer has the capability to extend its body for longer loads that require the support of the trailer under the entire load, as it cannot extend over the back end of the trailer.
Gooseneck Trailer — This type of trailer connects to the hauling unit by a permanently attached, modifiable bar that is affixed to the bed. There are many types of gooseneck trailers. These include, but are not limited to hydraulic, mechanical, fixed, and removable versions.
Lowboy Trailers — A lowboy trailer has two height drops in the deck. This allows it to sit very low to the ground and carry a maximum capacity of up to 12 feet in height.
After choosing the right trailer for the load, there is still a lot to do before hitting the road.
Map Out the Route in Advance
To ensure the safe transport of an oversize load and remain on schedule, industrial machinery movers map out the route ahead of time. This involves more than just using GPS to choose the best route. The forecasted weather conditions, construction detours and other roadway obstructions such as low bridges or power lines can cause delays or require the load to be transported via an alternative route. Google Escort Live Radar or other route mapping software is normally used to plan the route. If it is a local route, a pilot vehicle may actually drive the route to determine the presence of any obstacles first hand.
Understand the State Laws
Once a route has been established, it’s time to obtain the permits for each state the load will travel through, as well as learn their individual regulations. Most states require a pilot vehicle for oversize loads to alert the transport vehicle of potential roadway obstructions such as heavy traffic, unexpected construction delay or traffic accidents. The pilot vehicles also alert the public to the presence of an oversize load.
It is also common in most states for an oversize load to only be on the road from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, Monday through Friday. Many states restrict or prohibit the transport of oversize loads during holidays or weekends. The US Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration has an online resource that can be utilized to help make sure the transport is in compliance with these regulations.
The size and type of load being shipped will determine if certain flags, banners, or lights are necessary on your truck and trailer. Pilot vehicles will also be required to display similar markers. As with all other regulatory requirements, this may vary from state to state.
Ensure Load is Secure
Before hitting the road, it is of the utmost importance that the load is loaded and secured properly to the trailer The weight of the load should be distributed evenly, all equipment accessories such as a crane arm must be lowered, and all tie-downs must be properly secured. Many oversize loads fall under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulatory requirements when being transported from state-to-state.
Why Hire Experienced Industrial Machinery Movers?
The guidelines laid out here are truly just the tip of the iceberg. Moving an oversize load and complying with all regulatory requirements is complicated. Successfully loading, transporting and unloading oversize loads requires the skill and knowledge only an experienced team of industrial machinery movers can provide.
Heritage Industrial Services is a turn-key operation with the experience to handle every aspect of transporting your valuable cargo. We offer everything from rigging, trucking, and warehousing to the dismantling and reinstallation of large industrial machinery.
Heritage Industrial Services is an expert in the transportation industry as attributed to years of experience coupled with a team of conscientious and creative professionals. We have a full line of state-of-the-art logistics equipment to accommodate all of your trucking and warehousing needs. Contact us today and we’ll get your oversize load on the trailer and ready to hit the road toward its next destination.