How to Safely Load and Transport Heavy Equipment


If you are running a construction business that requires the use of heavy equipment, you have a responsibility to protect your assets. Your business’ assets likely include tools, Wood Chippers, your human resources and any heavy equipment you maintain to get your projects completed. If you own heavy equipment or rent it on an as needed basis, how do you move it from one place to another?

The reality is there’s a science behind moving equipment. You have to concern yourself with how to deliver what’s needed on the job as safely and efficiently as possible. Have you ever used a lowboy trailer to move heavy equipment? If not, maybe you might want to consider doing so.

Different Types of Transport Trailers

Before getting into details about lowboy trailers, a conversation about the different types of transport trailers you might encounter in your travels seems in order. Each type of trailer has a specific purpose with each one designed to make the transport of materials, supplies and equipment as easy as possible. Here a partial list of trailers you might encounter on the road:

  • Flatbed trailers – open container commonly used to transport heavy earth-moving equipment and construction materials like lumber and steel with 10 foot height limitations
  • Dry van trailers – enclosed flatbeds commonly used to move merchandise and food goods for department stores, groceries and restaurants
  • Refrigerator trailers – Much like dry van trailers except refrigerated to prevent spoilage of load
  • Extendable flatbed trailers – Flatbed trailers that can be extended to 80 feet – commonly used to transport steel beams and raw lumber that would extend beyond the length of a regular flatbed
  • Lowboy trailer – flatbed that sits extremely low to the ground – commonly used to transport tall loads that need to pass under overpasses and bridges

Selecting the Right Trailer

When you transport materials and heavy equipment, you have an absolute responsibility to do so while adhering to the rules and regulations that exist in every state. These rules and regulations are in place to make sure safety concerns for life and property are being considered.

The most important rules address things like the weight, height and length of the load, how the load is secured and rules about the actual content of the load. Failure to follow these rules can result in heavy fines.

Moving a load requires much more consideration than throwing something on a truck and moving it from point A to point B. You have to select the proper transport vehicle to ensure you are able to safely move your load while adhering to regulations and safety standards. You’ll need to ensure your trailer is properly maintained and you are buying new trailer parts from like places like TrailerTek. To do that, you’ll have to properly access details about the load, the delivery route that best meets your goals, weather conditions you might encounter along the way and the weight/height/length standards you will encounter.

Reasons to Use Lowboy Trailers

A lowboy trailer is best described as a flatbed that drops from a goose-neck connection to within 18 to 24 inches of the pavement. As a transport vehicle, it is typically used to move heavy equipment that would normally exceed height restrictions. While standard flatbeds are ideally suited to move equipment that stands as high as 8 feet to 10 feet, the drop-off on a lowboy allows for the transport of heavy equipment that sits as high as 12 feet. That could include machinery like a bulldozer, an earth mover and wood-chippers. Depending on the number of axles, loads can range from 40,000 to 80,000 pounds.

As an open container, lowboys can be loaded with a crane. In some cases, it might be just as easy to drive a heavy equipment vehicle up a short ramp. It’s that level of flexibility that makes a lowboy one of the most popular modes of transport in the industrial construction industry.

Remember, you have a responsibility to keep both your load and the road safe when you are moving materials and heavy equipment from one point to the next. If you take the time to properly plan your trip, you’ll realize a lot of time and money savings from not having to deal with awkward loads.

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