12 Tips for Loading Heavy Equipment on a Trailer

Loading heavy equipment on a trailer is a responsible job and requires detailed planning and careful coordination. This consideration is necessary to minimize collision or injury.

Despite being quite an undertaking, it’s not exactly rocket science. No matter how big and heavy your construction equipment is, there’s always a way to load it on a trailer and drive it to a new location.

This article discusses twelve essential tips to follow while preparing to load heavy equipment on a trailer.

1. Don’t Lift With Your Back

Even if you use specialized gear to load heavy equipment on a trailer, you still have to put in some raw muscle power.

But some people, even experienced contractors, and workers use their backs more than they should.

Back injuries can be easily avoided if you lift heavy equipment with your legs. Exercise proper technique and leverage to prevent injuries.

2.  Inspect the Trailer

It doesn’t matter if you’re using a moving company specialized in handling heavy equipment cargo. You should always inspect the trailer.

Know its weight and towing capacity to ensure it can handle your equipment. Check maintenance records if possible.

Look at the tires and suspension system. Check the trailer’s brakes and the structural integrity of the tie-down points.

3. Choose Low Deck Height Trailers

A low deck height is often ideal for hauling heavy machinery. These trailers make loading much easier and have a lower center of gravity.

This translates to better stability on the road and helps your equipment comply with more height restrictions.

4. Get Permits

Not every piece of heavy construction equipment can be strapped to a trailer and relocated wherever you need it. At least not without checking some boxes.

In some cases, your machinery can be considered oversized.

If that’s the case, you may need to obtain a permit before moving the equipment. But A-1 Auto Transport heavy equipment shipping services can help you here.

5. Check Loading Guidelines

Almost every piece of heavy construction equipment has instructions covering proper loading techniques and various requirements.

When in doubt about how to transport something on a trailer, check those guidelines.

The manufacturers create them to minimize damage to sensitive components and guarantee maximum stability during hauling.

For example, your equipment might need special handling for transmission gears, brakes, outriggers, etc.

6. Consider the Positioning on the Trailer

Depending on the size and weight of your heavy equipment and the trailer’s capacity, weight distribution can be an issue.

However, loading and positioning machines closer to the vehicle structure is best.

If the trailer’s weight distribution permits, you’ll be able to reduce the risk of forwarding shifting and swaying during transit.

7. Have a Variety of Wedges Available

Transporting heavy equipment is no walk in the park, even for the most experienced shippers and trailer operators.

Road conditions, weight distribution, weather, and other factors can make the ride more difficult.

Stability and minimal equipment movement are mandatory to ensure a safe ride.

Therefore, you’ll want to have a good variety of wedges, chocks, and other accessories to lock the equipment in place.

This is also important for your safety, especially when loading multiple pieces of equipment on the same trailer. Once you load something, do everything you can to immobilize it before loading other machinery.

8. Don’t Forget Your PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory on construction sites to minimize the risk of injuries.

Loading heavy equipment can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than operating it.

Before moving something onto a trailer, ensure everyone is wearing PPE. You might be liable if someone gets injured while not properly protected.

Besides, it will make handling some equipment easier, especially when lifting or strapping it to tie-down points.

9. Chains Are Good

As most shipping companies will tell you, you never want chains to secure a luxury vehicle on a trailer. Friction can cause damage, and if the chain snaps, it can make big dents in the bodywork.

You can’t say the same for heavy equipment.

Unlike a luxury car, this is heavy-duty machinery made for rough environments. Additionally, heavy equipment is huge and can put a lot of pressure on your standard nylon straps.

Heavy-duty Loading and Hauling Chains
Image Credits: www.hardworkingtrucks.com

Always use heavy-duty loading and hauling chains when possible for tie-downs to prevent the equipment from rolling off and sustaining damage. Bad equipment can prevent you from doing a good job, and that won’t always be covered by CPL insurance.

10. Get Your Quote From the Right Shippers

Not every shipping company can handle moving heavy equipment from worksite to worksite or out of state.

While it’s tempting to pick your shippers based on the cheapest quotes, you’ll want to pick them based on expertise.

Professional heavy equipment movers have the necessary gear, manpower, and experience with handling heavy machinery.

They also have trailers that can support the massive weight of your construction equipment and can help you with permits.

Find the right moving company before you even consider loading your heavy equipment.

11. Be Extra Careful of Some Components and Areas

Some aspects of loading heavy equipment onto a trailer are more dangerous and challenging than others.

Understanding what they are will help you load your equipment safely and ensure a smooth ride.

Examples of this include brake hoses and hydraulic systems. Despite being made for heavy-duty activities, they can be fragile if not handled properly, especially when working with the trailer attachment system or tie-downs.

You should also be careful around pinch points like jacks, hitches, ramps, suspension systems, lids, doors, etc.

12. Use Common Sense and Expert Guidance

Loading heavy equipment on a trailer involves following a few general rules. In some cases, you’ll need expert assistance from professional movers.

But a bit of common sense will also go a long way toward efficient equipment loading, unloading, and shipping between worksites.

If you want to learn more about proper contracting and civil engineering practices, check out more guides here.

Also Read: Construction Equipment- Standard Equipment and Special Equipment

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