As all shippers will confirm, the shipment of heavy equipment can raise quite some difficulties, especially if not managed properly. Therefore, it is essential that a number of aspects be considered in advance in order for the whole process to be as efficient as possible. Typically, it is the size and weight of the cargo that cause the biggest issues with this kind of shipping. However, heavy equipment shippers tend to have both the material resources and the expertise needed to provide effective solutions.
Your job, on the other hand, starts at checking whether your shipper has all the necessary permits for shipping your heavy equipment and help them to obtain them in case they have not managed to do so just yet. You should also make sure your cargo has been prepped properly, so do not hesitate to ask them about that aspect as well. Their experience in the field should be most relevant. They might recommend bubble wrapping the fragile parts or zip tying the doors, for instance, so that they do not suffer any damage during transportation. Here are some of the most common recommendations on heavy equipment transportation.
First of all, you need to make sure you have the manufacturer's manual at hand for it may contain a range of very useful instructions as to the shipment of such cargo. You may have to remove batteries or engine fluids or secure certain parts in advance. Whether you have it in print as provided by the manufacturer upon purchase of the equipment or you download it from the manufacturer's website is less relevant. Just make sure you have it.
Second of all, you need to do your research properly in terms of paperwork and authorizations required for this kind of operations. Make sure you are familiar with the regulations formulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). Upon doing so, you will learn that overweight and oversized shipments are subject to special provisions, among others. You will also have to check whether the heavy equipment you intend to have shipped on a trailer fits under all the power lines and bridges along the route of your choice or whether it can travel those particular roads. Working together with the shipper on obtaining the necessary permits prior to the pickup date will eliminate the risk of meeting with delays or various legal issues.
Also, your heavy equipment is most likely to be exposed to the weather at some point during transportation. Therefore, all vulnerable parts should be protected against the rain, wind, sun, cold or heat. This takes you back to the first recommendation, such instructions usually being available in the manufacturer's manual.
Last but not least, in order for the shipping process to be highly efficient, you need to make arrangements for both the pickup and the drop-off of your cargo. These include finding suitable open locations for the two operations as well as setting up any necessary additional equipment at those locations such as loading docks, cranes, ramps and the like.
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