As we stated in a previous blog article, shipping machinery can be a complicated and detailed process. However, if you follow a few simple rules, you can save yourself and your company thousands of dollars while protecting your new investment. There are nine basic things you need to get together before you call your trucking company or broker to ensure they can give you the best help and most accurate price.

#1: Verify the Pickup Address

This sounds simple enough, but you should always verify the shipping address! This is because, many times, machinery can ship from a different location (or state) than the location of the seller. Also, know that adding a rigger to the mix is important if you’re moving heavy weights that need to be loaded or unloaded by a professional. Many smaller machines and systems will not need a rigger since they are easily loaded by a small forklift located onsite.

#2: Verify the Delivery Address

As important as verifying the pickup address is, you should make sure your delivery address is correct as well. This is especially important considering how many similarly-named streets there are in the U.S.—like N. Patterson Ave vs. just Patterson Ave, for example. This can save valuable time and money if the truck heads to the wrong address. You can also provide a quick screenshot of your Google Map directions to help your trucking company stay on the right path.

#3: Preparing to Meet a Rigger at Loading

As we mentioned previously, riggers are sometimes necessary to load heavy equipment. When a rigger is employed, it’s very important to note that their time is quite valuable (often $350 per hour or more). Therefore, it's imperative that the truck be on time and ready to load when the riggers are. If you’re using a rigger, ensure your trucking company is aware of that and is willing to guarantee the driver is onsite at the expected time.

#4: Preparing to Meet a Rigger at Unloading

The very same precautions should be in place if you’re using a rigger to offload your new equipment and set it in place. Ensure the truck will arrive when you have the rigger scheduled to be onsite in order to avoid costly fees awaiting a slow truck OR fees associated with a truck sitting idle while awaiting a rigger to offload it.

#5: Check the Dimensions of the Load

Ensure you have proper dimensions of all pieces—including the pallets and crates that may be going with your load. By providing the proper dimensions, you may be able to save money by allowing the driver to position the load in a way that saves deck space on the truck for other loads (when shipping partial loads).

Also, be aware that there are limits to a trailer’s load. This includes limits on the height and width. Once a load reaches a height of 9’, the trailer can no longer be a flatbed trailer, but instead needs to be a step-down type trailer (step-deck). Anything under 8’6” wide is a legal load (dimensionally) with no permits required. If you go over 8’6” wide, you will need permits added for each state the truck travels through. If the load width exceeds 11’, you will be adding escort drivers, too.

#6: Check the Number of Pieces

Ensure you have every item accounted for and described on the Bill of Lading to ensure all items are delivered. It is very easy for trucks delivering multiple loads off the same bed to miss one or more pallets of accessories. Your accurate count helps ensure all pieces make the whole trip at the same time.

#7: Provide a Specific and Accurate Description (Pallets/Crates/Loose)

A proper description for each piece is important in ensuring that everything purchased gets loaded AND delivered. For example, describing a “Pallet of controller and cabling” is much better than describing a “Pallet of accessories.” If an item is “loose,” describe the item in detail—such as “Machine tank and table.”

#8: List the Weight of Individual Pieces

Individual piece weights are as important as the total load weight, as it helps to describe the items shipping and allows for the driver to properly plan the load to balance out the truck. Also, note that the maximum weight a non-permitted carrier can load is 45,000 lbs. Although they can be permitted for larger loads, the law requires that if the load can be separated, the shipper must do so into different trucks. So, it’s important to plan ahead should that be the case.

#9: List the Load’s Value

Most carriers in the U.S. are insured for a maximum load value of $100,000. However, you can purchase additional insurance to cover your load should its value exceed that amount. You should always list the value of your load when shipping machinery

Keep in mind these nine simple rules to make moving your machinery simple, safe, and efficient. Here is a quick checklist that you can use next time your shipping a machine:

  • Pickup Address
  • Delivery Address
  • Preparing to Meet a Rigger at Loading
  • Preparing to Meet a Rigger at Unloading
  • Dimensions of All Pieces
  • Number of Pieces
  • Description (Pallets/Crates/Loose):
  • Weights
  • Load Value

Please don't hesitate to call us directly at 813-444-4555 should you need assistance planning your next machinery move.