How to Ship Heavy Equipment

Published on
Apr 28, 2023
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Getting heavy equipment from point A to point B isn’t an easy task. You have to select the right shipping method, ensure proper packing and loading, carefully plan for the equipment to arrive, and make sure the unloading process has no hiccups. As a shipper, this is no easy feat. And the cost? It’s no secret heavy equipment costs more to ship, making the entire process more nerve-wracking. Even if you want to find the cheapest way to ship heavy equipment, you need to ensure the equipment arrives at its destination intact. Luckily, working with an established, professional carrier can help. Keep reading below as we break down how to ship heavy equipment step by step.

Preparation for heavy equipment shipping

The good news is that with careful planning and execution, preparing heavy machinery for shipment is a breeze. One crucial factor to consider is the density of the equipment, as this will determine the most appropriate freight shipping method to use. The first step is to identify the type and size of machinery you need to transport and gather exact information on its weight and density.Next, you'll need to engage the services of a shipping company with experience in transporting heavy machinery. Flock Freight can connect you with reliable and experienced drivers who can ensure the safe delivery of your equipment, while keeping cost-efficiency in mind. Depending on the density of your machinery, you may need to hire a driver with expertise in shipping specialized equipment.Additionally, you must determine whether you need any special permits or licenses to transport your machinery. Heavy machinery shipping companies and regulatory agencies can assist you in determining the necessary permits for your equipment density.Lastly, it's crucial to obtain the appropriate insurance coverage to protect your valuable equipment during transit. With the right coverage, you can rest assured that any unforeseen accidents or damages will be adequately covered.

Packing heavy machinery for shipping

Before heavy equipment shipping, prepare the machinery by packing it properly. You don’t want to find out the machinery accidentally flew off the back of a flatbed.Not only will this step help the driver ensure the machinery arrives at the destination safely, but it also gives you peace of mind.The actions you’ll need to take depend on the equipment size and type, but some of the common ways to prepare your equipment include the following:

  • Cleaning the machinery of dirt, dust, or debris
  • Draining fluids like oil or fuel that may potentially leak in transport
  • Removing detachable parts, including attachments or accessories, to avoid damage
  • Securing moving parts that could shift during transport
  • Covering the machinery with protective materials to avoid scratches or dents
  • Labeling the machinery with relevant details to ensure drivers take necessary precautions in shipment

Before shipping heavy machinery, it may help to make a checklist of everything you need to do before the carrier takes off as you prepare the equipment for loading.

Loading and transporting heavy machinery

Loading and transporting heavy equipment also requires careful planning. After all, to ensure the machinery arrives at the destination safely, you need to pack it into the carrier correctly or it won’t stand a chance.You first should check that the carrier has appropriate loading equipment, like trailers or forklifts. And when loading onto the carrier for machinery shipping, make sure everyone follows safety protocols and uses proper lifting techniques. Taking these precautions will help prevent damage to the equipment and user accidents.Before the carrier takes off, the machinery needs to be as secure as possible. It shouldn’t shift at all during transport. Straps, chains, or other securement tools may help to keep the equipment in place.You should also verify the route the carrier plans to take beforehand. Avoiding potential hazards or obstacles, like road work, bad weather, or weight restrictions, will be important when selecting the most efficient route.

Unloading heavy machinery

Once your machinery arrives at its destination, you may think the work is done. But unloading is an essential step in the heavy equipment shipping process that shouldn’t go overlooked. Always verify there is a plan in place for unloading before it begins. It’s wise to:

  • Identify the appropriate unloading location.
  • Assess the terrain or ground conditions.
  • Determine the best equipment or tools for the unloading process.

Your carrier may have a plan already, but as the shipper, it’s a good idea to double-check and ask questions about the process.Safety should remain a top priority during unloading after you ship heavy equipment. Just like it’s important in the loading process, taking care of the equipment and using safe practices is essential during unloading to avoid accidents.Finally, once the heavy machinery is out of the carrier, someone on-site should inspect it for damage. During the shipping or unloading processes, dings, scratches, leaks, corrosion, and other types of damage may occur if proper precautions weren’t taken.

Move your heavy machinery with ease

After learning how to ship heavy equipment, you can see it doesn’t have to be overly complex. As long as there is a plan and everyone takes appropriate steps throughout the process, shipping heavy equipment can go off without a hitch.Prepare and pack your heavy machinery before loading it onto a carrier. And don’t forget to ensure you work with the carrier every step of the way. Want some help getting in touch with reliable carriers for shipping heavy equipment? While we currently only service dry van shipping, Flock Freight has your back. Book a demo to see how we can help today.