In the freight industry, a heavy haul refers to a shipment that is carrying a larger or heavier load than usual. Oftentimes, special equipment may be necessary to make transport possible and special permits are required.
Because heavy hauls are logistically more complicated than other types of shipments, it pays off to do a little preparation in advance. The following are our top five tips for shipping heavy hauls:
1. Find the right freight company.
Transporting heavy hauls is a specialized task, so one of the first things you should do is make sure that you are working with a reputable freight company that has experience in this area. Spend some time researching the company to make sure it has the proper insurance and that there are no claims against them. You can also check out their reviews online to see how satisfied their previous customers have been.
2. Give yourself time.
The more notice that you are able to provide your freight company of a heavy haul, the better. Sometimes the special equipment that is necessary for shipping these loads is in limited supply so by notifying your shipping company early, you can help ensure that the equipment will be available when it is needed.
3. Provide accurate information.
To get the necessary permits, your shipping company is going to need a lot of information about the shipment. You should know the exact dimensions of your shipment including height, width and length. You should also know the weight. Additionally, you should know the make and model of the item and if possible, the serial number. By providing detailed and accurate information, it will help the permitting process to go more smoothly.
4. Understand jurisdictional differences.
If your shipment is being transported across state or provincial lines, understand that permits must be issued in each of those jurisdictions. Some states even have differences between counties! Usually, the larger your shipment is, the more time it will take to acquire these permits. Also, each jurisdiction will have its travel restrictions such as which routes can be taken and hours that travel is permitted. It is common, for example, for heavy haul travel to be restricted on nights and weekends.
5. Expect the unexpected.
Even with the most diligent of planning, there may be unexpected delays and costs when transporting a heavy haul. Possible hurdles may include:
- Additional support vehicles required – some shipments will require additional vehicles such as pilot and/or chase cars or bucket trucks (these are vehicles that move overhead wires out of the way).
- Construction zones – these may necessitate the planning of alternative routes, resulting in delays.
- Weather – inclement weather is another factor that could delay shipment.
- Train tracks and bridges – in some cases, alterations to road surfaces may be necessary when there is no alternative route.
Being aware of the challenges that accompany heavy hauls can help you prepare for them and ensure that your freight gets where it needs to be on time.
At Royal Canadian Supply Chain, we are experienced with many different shipping scenarios including heavy haul and we would be happy to assist you. Call us today for more information.