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The Small But Critical Details To Remember When Shipping Heavy Equipment

Understandably, most customers want the best rate and service combination possible for shipping heavy equipment. Frequently, the companies that have the most detailed information get the best prices, have the best service and have the most loyal trucker following. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to cause a trucker to want to pass on bidding your freight.

It’s all about the details.

In order for shippers to have a chance to get the best rates and best service, they need to make sure that their heavy equipment freight is as appealing as it can possibly be to the most amount of trucks possible. Having as much information as possible — including the small details that can have a big impact on truckers and shipping — can help make your shipment more appealing and get you the best possible result (PRO TIP: Working with a transportation partner can make a major impact on how truckers view your freight and help you get the best price, service and delivery timeline).

Gather the important but small details about the actual heavy equipment you’re shipping.

When transporting any type of heavy equipment, having as much information as possible is critical to ensure safe and efficient transport. Here is a list of some of the most critical pieces of data to share with your transportation partner (or to review with your transportation partner so that he or she can help you fill in any gaps!):

  • Value of the commodity. Literally, how much is your heavy equipment worth?
  • Make and model number of the equipment. Be sure to know exactly what it is you’re shipping.
  • Any modifications that have been made to the equipment. It’s important to note any information that could alter the basic specs of your shipment.
  • Precise dimensions and weight. Being off by an inch or two could mean your load requires a different truck or different route. This has the potential to create significant cost differences and/or delays. Accurate weight is also important with heavy equipment, which can affect which type of trailer will be needed. Ultimately, dimensions and weight can impact your shipping cost and timeline as well.
  • Packaging. Will your heavy equipment be palletized or crated? Will it need to be tarped?  
  • Photos of your equipment. Photos are a nice reference point to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Relevant names, phone numbers and emails. Having this information on hand at all times prevents scrambling down the line. This information should be gathered for pick up and delivery, as well as customs brokers (along with an account number).  
  • Directions to pick up and delivery. Similarly, having directions on hand keeps everyone on track and sets expectations.
  • Hours and days of operation for pick up and delivery. These details can help prevent a massive headache if a driver arrives with heavy equipment to deliver but the recipient isn’t ready or able to receive it!
  • Customs paperwork. This is especially critical for heavy equipment that will be crossing the border between Canada and the United States.

PRO TIP: If you really want to get ahead of things, consider registering on sites like Dock 411, which can share a great deal of information specific to a shipper’s site.

Don’t forget special handling requirements.

Every detail matters when shipping heavy equipment. Giving your transportation provider all the information you have can help you get the best service and have the best overall experience.

Detailing any special handling requirements up front can help prevent any unnecessary delays in your shipment. Examples of these may include:

  • Machinery that has sharp corners and need special packaging.
  • Sensitive equipment in the load that will need protection from the elements (eg. tarp). Taking the right steps here can prevent rain or other precipitation damage that could cost thousands.
  • Requiring 48 hours notice for unload at its destination. This will need special care to set up in advance.
  • Needing a crane at offload.
  • More than one load delivered at the same time.
  • Oil or gas sites as a final destination, or somewhere else that requires special orientation before delivery.
  • Final destinations that require a special truck with off road capability.

Special handling requirements can require multiple steps and checks to ensure everything is handled properly and things go smoothly. A single point of contact in this instance can mean the difference between a successful, stress-free shipment and pulling your hair out.

Take the stress out of shipping freight.

Gathering all of this information can be incredibly time consuming. If the thought of gathering and organizing all of this information is stressing you out, you may want to consider working with a trusted transportation provider.

The right transportation provider will have a firm understanding and interest in making sure that your shipping experience works without issue for all parties involved. Here at Loadstar, we help clients ship freight across the United States and Canada without missing any details — big or small. We’ll help you transport your freight efficiently while maximizing your budget. Contact us today to learn more.

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