Heavy equipment hauling offers a unique set of challenges for construction fleet managers. If you’re considering outsourcing transport for your heavy hauls, these are the factors you need to consider:
Contractors can transport lighter equipment like skid steer loaders, compact track loaders, and compact excavators weighing less than 10,000 pounds using pickup trucks and trailers. However, hauling with a pickup/trailer combo is not recommended for machines that weigh more than 10,000 pounds because of the Combined Gross Vehicle Rating (CGVWR) of the truck trailer and equipment. If the equipment you need to transport is heavy enough that it needs special hauling equipment or a special license, you may want to consider outsourcing, even if you have the equipment needed to complete the job yourself.
To transport loads over 10,000 pounds, heavy hauling equipment is needed. Because of the specialized nature of heavy haul tractors, rental fleets do not typically include this type of equipment, which means they tend to be either leased or owned. Outsourcing is often the only option for smaller construction companies without access to this heavy equipment, and while large construction companies may have the specialized equipment required, there are still scenarios when outsourcing might make the most sense for a particular job. Read on to find out more about additional factors that might influence your decision.
With loads over 26,000 pounds, the driver is required to have a CDL license and medical clearance certificate, while your company must ensure they are enrolled in a drug and alcohol testing program and meet overall DOT recordkeeping responsibilities. Additionally, drivers need to be trained thoroughly on how to secure and distribute loads safely, as well as how to properly load and unload cargo. Heavy hauling is dangerous, and without proper training and meticulous route planning, things can quickly go south. If you do not have an experienced, licensed driver you can trust, we recommend outsourcing the job to a company that does.
While many large construction companies have their own heavy hauling equipment, if the equipment needs to be transported a long distance, it can sometimes make more sense to outsource. In addition to the extra time it takes to transport long distances, different states have different regulations that must be considered when transporting across state lines, as well as complex hours of service rules drivers must be competent in. It is imperative you are not only familiar and compliant with all federal regulatory requirements, but the states you’ll pass through during your transport as well. These regulations can range from differing ideas about what size load classifies as a super load to different rulings on when front and back escorts are needed.
With current economic conditions and the brisk pace of business, heavy haul trucking is in high demand, which means there’s a limited supply of contract haul trucks available at any given time. This can be problematic when you’re transporting heavy equipment a long distance, because these trips take more time and require a larger window of availability. Waiting for truck availability can cause issues with scheduling and can put a project behind schedule, which is why the timeline of your heavy equipment delivery and company availability must factor into any outsourcing decision.
While heavy transport equipment has a high upfront cost, if your company has frequent heavy hauling needs, purchasing or leasing can make the most financial sense. Once the cost of the equipment has been amortized, the per-hour cost of outsourcing far exceeds that of in-house transport. If your company frequently needs to move large equipment long distances, there is a financial advantage to having a heavy haul setup, especially when it comes to flexibility and reliability.
Outsourcing decisions can sometimes come down to the size and scope of your business, which should always be taken into consideration when deciding the best course of action for hauling your heavy equipment to and from job sites.
SMALL TO MEDIUM CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
For small to medium-sized construction companies, outsourcing heavy hauling can eliminate the need to purchase heavy haul tractors and lowbed trailers, which can be expensive. Outsourcing means the company will not have to provide a specialized driver who meets DOT regulations or pay permitting costs, vehicle registration, or liability fees that accompany large equipment hauling.
LARGE CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
While large construction companies often have the equipment needed to transport heavy hauls on their own, there are still situations where it makes the most sense to outsource. If, for example, a company has multiple jobs in multiple locations, they may not have the bandwidth needed to make each transport themselves. By considering the above factors, construction companies can make informed decisions about outsourcing on a case-by-case basis.
Visit your nearest Papé Machinery Construction and Forestry locationin Washington, Oregon, California, or Nevada, where you’ll find plenty of new tow trailers for sale to help get you started.