Heavy haul trucking is not the same as hauling tractor-trailer loads of goods over highways to various destinations. There are a great many more considerations involved in heavy haul trucking, due to the oversized or overweight characteristics of the machinery or equipment being transported. The size and weight alone call for additional considerations, simply because the equipment is difficult to move, and because it can be very dangerous to any crew members working on it. That means special knowledge and experience is required in the heavy haul trucking industry, in order to safely transport heavy machinery, and ensure that it arrives on time at its intended destination.
What is Heavy Haul Trucking?
In essence, heavy haul trucking involves moving over-sized items such as military equipment or industrial machinery which exceeds legal limitations imposed on the transport of freight over our nation’s roadways. This being the case, the federal government has mandated that all states must establish their own requirements regarding shipments that are either overweight or oversized.
That’s because special handling is always required for such shipments, especially since they may not even be able to travel on some roadways because of their weight or size. It will generally be necessary to obtain special permits from the appropriate agencies when moving oversize or overweight shipments across any given state, and if the route calls for crossing several states, it will be necessary to obtain permits from all those states.
While limitations can be different from one state to the next, there are some general guidelines which apply to most oversized or overweight loads. For instance, any shipment which exceeds a gross weight of 80,000 pounds would require a special permit, as would a shipment longer than 53 feet, or one which exceeds a height of 13.6 feet, or a width of 8.6 feet.
How Can You Transport Heavy Machinery?
Because of the size and weight involved in heavy haul trucking shipments, it is necessary to observe some standard protocols for loading, transporting, and unloading, because a dangerous situation can quickly develop if safety precautions are not followed. Historically, just about half of all the injuries which have ever occurred when moving heavy equipment, happen either during the loading or unloading processes, so keeping safety in mind is critical.
That’s one reason why it’s a good practice to prepare a risk assessment before embarking on the transport of any heavy equipment. It helps to know beforehand exactly what type of dangers are involved and when they might occur, so that the team involved in the transport can be better prepared. Safety begins with equipping all crew members with personal protective equipment, so that all those involved can have at least minimal protection from accidents which might occur.
Next, an inspection of the trailer which will be doing the transporting should be performed. This means assessing the status of lights, breaks, tie-down points, tires, and its load-bearing capabilities. During the loading process, all crew members should have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and their functions, so there’s no confusion.
The ramp and the trailer itself need to be clear and free of all debris, so there are no obstructions to loading, and you should pick a location for loading which can adequately bear the weight of both the trailer and the heavy machinery. Each state has laws regarding how heavy equipment is to be secured to a trailer, but in general it will be necessary to have tight, secure chains, as well as properly located tie-down points.
There should be no slack in the chains, and they should be fastened in a linear manner with downward force, with there being at least four chains in use. If there are wheels on the heavy equipment being transported, they should be secured, and the parking brake should be applied. A route should be carefully chosen, especially if interstate travel will be necessary, so that roads can be selected which are capable of handling the oversized or overweight status of the machinery. Lastly, all necessary permits should be obtained from the appropriate state agencies well before travel begins.
How Much Does Heavy Haul Trucking Typically Cost?
The cost of transporting any heavy equipment will always depend on what type of machinery is being moved. The cost per mile will go down as the mileage itself increases, so that for instance, a trip covering 500 miles might cost you $1.75 per mile, whereas distances of less than 100 miles might cost as much as $5.00 per mile or more. Included in the cost of transporting heavy equipment will be such factors as fuel cost, the price of obtaining permits from state agencies, and on longer trips, expenses for the crew members who are doing the transporting.
Can you Make Good Money as a Heavy Haul Trucker?
On average, a heavy haul truck driver in this country can expect to make somewhere around $29.54 per hour, which over the course of a longer trip, can amount to a considerable payday. This information is fairly current, and has been obtained by surveying a number of professionals in the field over the past three years, and averaging out those numbers.
Obviously, some trucking firms will pay more or less than others, and it could also be that specific jobs will pay a higher rate than others. However, as a general rule it can be expected for a heavy haul trucker to earn a significant amount of money on the job. This high pay rate is commensurate with the responsibilities involved, and it assumes a certain level of experience on the part of the trucker or crew member.
Do You Need to Work With a Reliable Heavy Haul Trucking Company?
It takes a knowledgeable and experienced crew to safely transport heavy equipment on the roadways of this country, and it also requires trucks or trailers which are capable of safely performing the task. When you need any kind of heavy equipment or machinery transported locally or across states, you should contact Osage Specialized Transport to do the job. Our crew members have a thorough understanding of all safety protocols and best practices involved in heavy haul trucking, and you can count on your machinery arriving at its destination unharmed, and in its original good working order.