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Do’s and Don’ts of Loading and Transporting Heavy Equipment

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Loading and transporting heavy equipment can be dangerous both to your equipment and workers if carried out incorrectly. Safety should always come first to prevent accidents resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. Proper and safe lifting techniques in the workplace are necessary to avoid costly damage to mechanical parts. Before loading and transporting machinery, take some time to prepare it.

It’s best practice to establish and adhere to set protocols and safe lifting weight guidelines when moving heavy pieces of equipment. Know what to do and what not to do to protect your assets.

Loading Heavy Equipment

Strictly follow forklift loading capacity for smooth operations

Loading heavy equipment poses unique challenges. You have to strictly follow proper lifting techniques at work to ensure effective and hassle-free transportation. Also, you may have to check the forklift’s capability to ensure that it does not exceed the maximum lifting load.

Hiring the services of a machinery mover company helps take off some burden, but there are some things you can do to prepare for the haul.

  • DO’S
    • Check the owner’s manual
      Knowing more about your machine allows you to take care of its various needs. Review the vehicle manual for instructions on how to transport it safely. Some types of heavy equipment contain extremely sensitive parts that require extra care. Other components may need to be removed prior to transport.In case you no longer have the manual, search for the manufacturer’s website and look for information about your equipment or send them a message requesting a copy.
    • Prepare the trailer
      Keep the loading and unloading area clear to prevent accidents and delays
      Clear the trailer and the ramp before loading heavy equipment. Remove debris, such as rocks, rags, leaves, to free the path from obstruction. Wipe lubricant and oil off the surface of the ramp. The smoother the transition from the ground to the trailer bed, the safer and more straightforward the process will be.
    • Cover the vulnerable
      Transporting heavy equipment on an open container exposes its mechanical parts to the weather.  It would be unfortunate to successfully deliver a machine, only to realize that certain mechanical parts are damaged due to exposure to the elements.To keep this from happening, cover vulnerable parts to protect them from wind, rain, or snow. If you are transporting your machinery in the summer, protect it from overheating. On the other hand, use an insulator to protect mechanical parts from the freezing in winter temperature. Check it as soon as you can and do not ignore any warning signs in machines.
  • DON’TS
    • Forgetting to immobilize equipment wheel component
      Taking a little extra time to apply the parking brake of the equipment as well as using wedges, chocks, or cradles against equipment wheels, helps secure the equipment in place and prevent it from moving. It also increases its defences against weight-distribution forces that can occur during transportation. `
    • Not securing the equipment
      Failure to fasten the equipment properly can be costly
      Once your heavy equipment is in place, choose your tie-down points and use direct tie-downs when possible. For equipment weighing 5,000 pounds and more, the standard mandate for tie-down points is 4. Using extra straps provides added security to the cargo.The driver of the specialized heavy transportation vehicle should load and secure the machine following the Canadian Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. When the cargo reaches its destination, only then you can remove safeguards on the machine.

Transporting Heavy Equipment

  • DOS:
    • Plan in advance
      Proper planning can ensure your equipment gets to their destination safely. Get to know all the hauling requirements, gather all the required permits, and know the pick-up and drop-off locations. Organize everything a few days before the move.
    • Apply for a transportation permit
      Secure a transportation permit for oversized or overweight equipment
      A transportation permit is essential, especially if you are transporting equipment that qualifies as oversized or overwidth. Heavy construction equipment, such as dump trucks, dozers, and excavators, carry added heavy equipment liability. Make sure to apply for a transportation permit from the onset.
    • Check the route
      It is essential that your equipment arrives on time. Coordinate with the machinery mover firm when making an arrangement. Check the transportation route of your equipment for any elements that may warrant a detour or cause shipping difficulties.If, for instance, your heavy equipment may be too large to travel on certain roads, cross bridges, or even under a power line. You will have to change routes to reach its destination.
    • Open Communication
      Staying in touch with your hired equipment transporter throughout the move ensure smooth delivery. Even during transportation, the equipment is still your responsibility.Ask the driver to contact you as often as they can. Request for location updates, estimated time of arrival, and other issues that they encountered
  • DON’TS
    • Underestimating safety precautions
      Safety precautions are critical, especially when dealing with large machines. Handling large equipment and machinery can be seriously dangerous. When choosing machinery moving services, ask about their safety protocols. You can use it as a gauge when choosing if they are the right people for the job.
    • Hiring an uninsured company
      Hiring a company with insurance ensures added protection to your equipment. In case the equipment gets damaged during the transit, the company will shoulder all the costs of damage.Damaged equipment could mean a substantial loss of profit for your business. Choose a company with the right insurance to protect you and your heavy equipment from loss.
    • Not being present during pickup and drop-off
      Supervising pickup and drop-off decreases the chances of a mishap
      Make sure you or a member of your team is there during pickup and drop-off to supervise. Having someone to keep an eye on the cargo during transfer allows you to get your equipment through this procedure safely.

Choosing the Right Machinery Moving Company

The right machinery movers will deliver your equipment in the same condition it left the factory

Find a qualified professional to do the job well. When searching for a machinery moving company, do not forget to ask the following questions:

  • Are they qualified in heavy equipment moving?
  • Are they fully equipped? Do they have trucks and trailers, ramps, securing equipment, etc.? If they do not, can they obtain it? If not, find another company.
  • Do they know the loading and transporting of heavy equipment guidelines by heart? If they seem unfamiliar with it, they may not be the right people you can trust with your machine. Find someone who has the working knowledge to tackle the project.
  • Is acquiring the transportation permit their responsibility or yours?
  • Is it your responsibility to procure an escort vehicle or theirs?
  • Are their drivers qualified to operate the machinery? Or is there someone else with the right qualifications present at both locations to do so?

Ready Machinery understands the challenges that come with loading and transporting heavy equipment. Our team of professional machinery movers is here to deliver the job efficiently without causing any delays in your operations. Give us a call today at (905) 875-1990 or 1-800-211-2500.

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