You’ve seen the ride along cars warning commuters that a tractor trailer with a heavy load is behind it. You may have wondered where that load was going or how much it costs to ship something that big from point A to point B. Let’s face it, you may have even been annoyed that your commute intersected with this load because frequently, those tractor trailers slow down the traffic around them in the interest of safety. Have you wondered about the logistics of moving these wide loads, though? It’s more difficult than you think.
When you’re an operator of heavy machinery moving equipment, the attention to detail it takes to ensure all your ducks are in a row comes as second nature to you. The general public, however, has no idea of everything that has to be in place before the rubber meets the road in transporting those heavy machines. There are different Department of Transportation regulations that vary from state to state and movers have to know all of them. There are permits for which to apply and documentation to provide. The routes have to be analyzed to make sure that bridges and overpasses can handle the combined weight of the transport and the equipment being transported. Don’t forget, the overpasses under which the caravan will pass have to be height checked. It’s a pretty catastrophic event to try to pass under an overpass only to have the equipment you’re hauling destroyed by all that concrete.
The equipment for transport itself has to be checked prior to loading. If there are moving parts, those have to be secured. If those pieces are removable, sometimes it’s smart to remove those parts and ship those separately. If there are parts that will stick out past the flatbed on which everything’s loaded, those need to be flagged so other motorists won’t run into them.
Prior to shipping, the destination has to be prepared, too. It’s no good for a piece of heavy equipment to arrive at its journey’s end only for that terminus point to be unable to accommodate said equipment.
The logistics of moving boats overland is similar. The biggest difference between moving heavy equipment by tractor trailer and shipping boats the same way is who’s requesting the moving. Clients for boats tend to be private citizens rather than the companies who own the heavy equipment. Both types of companies have to have excellent reputations, talented drivers and adequate insurance.
The process of shipping large objects overland is more complicated than you think.