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Shipping Machinery: What You Need to Know

Last Modified: November 23, 2020
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Ask Truckload
April 28, 2020
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Shipping machinery is a vital step in numerous critical supply chains. Manufacturing and construction, in particular, rely on various machinery and equipment to successfully run their operations. If a shipment containing essential machinery and equipment doesn’t arrive as expected, production and infrastructure can be negatively affected. 

For businesses involved in integral operations, it’s important to know the ins and outs of shipping machinery. Shipping typically occurs on flatbed trailers thanks to their flexibility of loading and unloading. In many cases, shipments qualify as oversized which means DOT regulations must be followed. It’s important to work with an experienced and knowledgeable shipping partner. 

R+L Global Logistics moves machinery shipments everyday for our shipping partners. Our reliable transportation and world-class customer service make us a leader in shipping machinery. When you need heavy haul shipping, we’ll get the job done safely and quickly for you. 

There are many details to consider when shipping machinery. Our comprehensive guide below gives you everything you need to know when it comes to all of these details. 

Looking for a solution for heavy or oversize freight? Leave heavy haul trucking to the experts at R+L Global Logistics.

How is Machinery Shipped?

How is Machinery Shipped?

Before you ship large machinery or equipment, it’s worthwhile to understand how it’s shipped. Freight trucks move these massive machines all across the U.S. each and every day. Speed and safety are the top priorities and trucks satisfy both of these needs. 

Whether shipped in a dry van or on a flatbed trailer, machines are able to get the protection they need. Most often, machines are securely strapped and palletized before being loaded onto a truck. Palletizing heavy machinery makes it easier to load and unload the shipment. This is due to the fact that standard equipment including a forklift can then pick up and move the machinery. 

Of course, this depends on the machinery being able to fit on a pallet. There are some special pallets designed to accommodate freight that won’t fit on a standard pallet. Unfortunately, even these pallets can’t get the job done in many situations. Because of this, some machines are loaded directly onto a truck using special lift equipment. 

Another important consideration to think about is the internal components of the machine. Some equipment will have internal mechanisms and materials that require it to stay in an upright position. Failure to do this can cause irreversible damage to the machinery resulting in a significant financial loss.

Examples of machinery with internal components that require careful balancing include:

  • Hydraulic press
  • X-ray machines
  • MRI devices
  • Industrial dishwashers
  • Elevators
  • Aircraft parts
  • Amusement Park Rides

Be aware of the balancing needs of your machinery and clearly communicate this when seeking quotes from shipping companies. 

R+L Global Logistics isn’t new to moving sensitive freight. We handle and safely transport challenging freight everyday. Your valuable machinery is handled with the proper care and attention that it needs when you ship with us. From shipping industrial sewing machines to making sense of wind turbine transportation, we can help move all kinds of machinery.

Dry Van vs Flatbed For Shipping Machinery

Dry Van vs Flatbed for Shipping Machinery

There are two main options for shipping machinery on a truck; dry van or flatbed. Both choices offer distinct features that make them suitable for your machinery. Most shipping companies will choose the best one based on the dimensions of your machinery. However, it’s helpful to know the differences should you need to make the decision.

A dry van trailer can handle the majority of easy-to-move machinery. Since a dry van is enclosed, the equipment being shipped can’t exceed the enclosed area. In a dry van, you’re also limited in terms of loading and unloading options. Your equipment will have to enter and exit through the rear of the vehicle with standard equipment (forklift or pallet jack). In terms of protection, a dry van certainly gets the job done with coverage for the machinery on all sides.

Flatbed trailers are undoubtedly more accommodating when shipping machinery. Shipments that don’t fit inside of a dry van trailer can easily be hauled on a flatbed. Many types of machinery fall into the oversized category, whether by weight, height, length, or width. When this is the case, a flatbed trailer must be used. A flatbed also has an advantage in terms of loading and unloading options. 

Since a flatbed trailer can be loaded and unloaded from all sides, it offers a few distinct advantages:

  1. A loading dock isn’t required. This is in stark contrast to a dry van which is designed specifically for compatibility with loading docks.
  2. Machinery can be unloaded with specialized equipment. If a forklift or pallet jack isn’t available or isn’t able to lift the machinery, something else will need to be used. A flatbed is convenient in this situation as specialized lift equipment can be placed right next to a trailer to easily load and unload. 
  3. More flexibility in terms of where and when to load and unload. This is a side benefit of not needing a loading dock. Often, loading dock schedules can be crowded and require extra coordination and time to manage. This isn’t the case when shipping machinery on flatbeds. These trucks can load and unload in different areas leading to more convenience. 

Whatever the situation, an experienced transportation and logistics company will guide you to the best choice for your machinery shipment. R+L Global Logistics has the knowledge and experience to ensure that your valuable machinery is shipped on the right trailer and handled properly. 

Looking for a solution for heavy or oversize freight? Leave heavy haul trucking to the experts at R+L Global Logistics.

Heavy Haul Machinery Shipments

Heavy Haul Machinery Shipments

When your machinery shipment is classified as oversized, there is much more to consider and plan for. This additional planning comes about as a result of shipping regulations for oversized shipments. Adding even more complexity to this is the fact that each state has their own regulations for shipping oversized equipment. For interstate heavy haul machinery shipments, all details of the shipment will need to be carefully planned out to ensure compliance with these regulations. 

Heavy haul shipping regulations for each state can vary in terms of:

  • Permit requirements- A state-specific permit will be required for each state that the heavy haul shipment travels through. 
  • Escort/pilot vehicle requirements- Once your shipment exceeds a certain threshold in terms of size, a pilot/escort vehicle will be required. Some states even require 2 escort vehicles for all oversized shipments. This will factor into the cost of your shipment.
  • When the shipment can be on the road- Most states don’t allow oversized loads to be on the road from sunset to sunrise. This is in place to reduce the risk of accidents caused by low visibility. There are often holiday restrictions in place as well.
  • Where the shipment can go- When you’re dealing with heavy equipment, it’s not unusual for the dimensions of your machinery freight to dictate the route of the shipment. Your machinery may be too wide, tall, or heavy to travel on certain roads. In these situations, the logistics company must plan accordingly.

As you can see, there’s a lot involved with heavy haul machinery shipments. R+L Global Logistics knows what it takes to safely handle these loads for you. When you’re ready to move your machinery, our team can provide you with quick and transparent heavy haul freight rates

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Heavy Machinery?

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Heavy Machinery

Determining the cost to ship heavy machinery involves weighing a number of factors. The dimensions and weight of the machinery, distance of the shipment, and more are all considered when calculating the cost. Short intrastate shipments (500 miles or less) will typically remain under $1,000. Shipments that cross multiple states and go beyond 500 miles are more likely to be $1,000 and above. It’s worth noting that flatbed trailers will typically cost a few hundred dollars more than dry vans. This isn’t a blanket scenario though and will vary based on demand, truck availability, and more.

Heavy haul shipments will carry an even higher price tag, especially when crossing multiple states. The more resources that are required (pilot vehicles, road closures, etc.) the higher the cost to ship the oversized machinery. 

Machinery Shipping With R+L Global Logistics

When you need to ship machinery, R+L Global Logistics is prepared to get the job done for you. Our experienced and knowledgeable logistics experts ensure that your valuable freight is handled appropriately. Whether you’re transporting construction equipment, machinery, or any other type of freight, we’re up to the task.

You’ll know where your freight is at all times with 24/7 freight visibility. There will be no worries about your machinery arriving on time either thanks to our 99.5% on-time delivery rate. Additionally, our comprehensive 3PL services make us a one-stop shop for all of your supply chain needs. 

To receive a freight shipping quote, contact us today at (866) 353-7178. We’re standing by and ready to handle all of your machinery shipping needs.

Looking for a solution for heavy or oversize freight? Leave heavy haul trucking to the experts at R+L Global Logistics.
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