Best Heavy Equipment Hauling 2023

Want to move your heavy equipment without worrying about problems? Read our article where we will tell you about all the pitfalls that may arise during transportation.

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best heavy equipment transportation service

Heavy hauling may be difficult at times, especially if you are a newbie buying some new equipment and only start your own construction business or a farm, for example. That is why we prepared a piece of useful information about heavy hauling that includes the following topics:

What is heavy hauling?
How to ship heavy equipment? Cross country transportation & Overseas hauling
The list of heavy hauling services we offer
Trailer types that are used for heavy hauling
How much does it cost to move heavy loads?
Average heavy equipment hauling rates
Heavy equipment shipping preparation tips
heavy equipment hauling

What Is A Heavy Hauling?

In transportation services “Heavy hauling” means a shipment of the non-standard load that is larger than regular guidelines for legal dimensions.  Any cargo that exceeds the following dimensions requires heavy haul service:

Weight: 80 000 lbs (gross)

Length: 48-53 ft

Height: 13.6 ft

Width: 8.6 ft.

what is heavy equipment shipping

How To Ship Heavy Equipment?

Cross Country Shipping Heavy Machinery

cross country heavy machinery shipping

Cross country shipping is a very easy process but when it comes to shipping heavy equipment it becomes more complicated ad there are much more details that a company has to take care of. Shipping a regular pickup doesn’t require the knowledge of the bridges’ height or the weight permitted on the route. Besides that, there is no need to hire an escort service that warns the driver of the trailer about the road conditions and so on.

But when you hire a good company, you can be sure they will do everything that is required for safe transportation. Here in Compare the Carrier, we can help you find such a company as we work with top US transportation companies. You only need to request a quote at our website and then choose the company that you like the most. The quotes you receive are from the most experienced carriers, so you can be sure of the choice you make.

So once the company is chosen, you need to contact its shipping agent and submit an order providing the addresses for pick-up and drop-off and detailed information on the equipment you are shipping.  The exact year, make, model, size, and modifications (if any) are required. After that, you will receive the paperwork that needs to be signed to finalize the order and the company will start working on scheduling the driver and arranging the details.

A day or two before the shipping date you will receive the driver’s information and all the shipping details and preparation tips. The driver will also call you to negotiate the exact time for loading, so when he comes the equipment should be ready for shipping. Once the equipment is loaded and properly fixed on a trailer, the transportation procession will leave (the trailer itself and the escort vehicles if they were required).

If the equipment is being shipped for a long distance that will take a few days of transportation, the driver will also call to negotiate the delivery time. Once the equipment is loaded off the trailer, you need to make sure that all details are present and nothing was damaged. In case it happens, make sure to note it down in the Condition report and take some photos. Your shipping agent will help you submit a claim to the insurance company.

If everything went great, pay the carrier (if you are paying cash and didn’t pay upfront, of course), and don’t forget to leave a review to help other customers make the right choice.

Overseas Heavy Equipment Hauling

Whether you are moving your equipment to our overseas territories or internationally,  there are only 3 main methods of shipping it on a vessel:  Roll-on/Roll-off, Container transportation, and Flat-rack.

Let’s take a closer look at each method:

Roll-on/Roll-off method

Ro-Ro Heavy Hauling. Heavy equipment overseas transportation

This is the most affordable and frequently used method. It can be used for shipping any kind of equipment that has wheels or treads and is lower than 15 ft as sometimes shipping companies have height restrictions. When this method is used, the vehicle is simply driven on and off the vessel. When the machine is driven onto the ship, it is fixed to the deck with special straps to ensure its immobility and safety.

Container transportation

Container Heavy Hauling. Heavy equipment overseas hauling

It is not a very popular method like the previous one as it can only be used if the equipment can fit in an enclosed container. They may be of different sizes: 20 ft long, 8 ft wide, 7 ft high; 40 or 45 ft long, 9 ft wide, 8 ft high. The container shipping method is mostly used for shipping regular vehicles or different kinds of things (like furniture, for example). The containers are loaded and unloaded with a crane, being stacked onto the vessel until delivered to the destination port.

Besides the size limits, this method also has another disadvantage: before the equipment is shipped, the customer has to disassemble it into separate parts that will fit in a container and properly fix all the parts. And of course, when the equipment arrives, the customer has to put the equipment back together.

Flat-rack transportation

Flat-rack Heavy Hauling. Heavy equipment overseas shipping

This one is mostly used when the equipment cannot be driven onto the vessel on its own (if it’s inoperable or does not have wheels). In such cases, the equipment is loaded onto a special rack that is stacked on the deck of the vessel using special loading equipment.

The List Of Heavy Hauling Services We Can Offer

The heavy hauling process demands great attention to all details, and it is important to work with a shipping company that is experienced in heavy hauling and knows all the requirements, permits, and equipment that are needed for loading and unloading.

List of heavy hauling services we are offering

Our company has been in business for quite a long time and we are working with a number of professional carriers specializing in heavy hauling. We can help you with moving any type of oversize cargo from tractors to all kinds of bulldozers or other construction or farm equipment. 

Here are some of the equipment and oversize cargo we have transported before:

combine harvesters;
dump trucks;
commercial trucks;
ripper machines;
tractors and so on;
pile drivers and trenchers.

If you haven’t seen the type of vehicle you want to ship, do not hesitate – request the quote at Compare The Carrier and we will be happy to assist you.

Trailer Types That Are Used For Heavy Hauling

Any detail in the shipping of heavy equipment is very important, but choosing the right trailer is crucial for a safe move.

trailer types that are use for heavy equipment hauling

All in all Heavy equipment can be shipped with the following 4 types of trailers:

big rig truck: a large enclosed trailer that is mostly used for moving forklifts, UTVs, engines and so on;
step deck truck: a trailer with two deck levels (an upper deck of up to 11 ft long and a lower deck of 37 ft long);
flatbed truck: a regular trailer of up to 48 ft long and maximum load height of 8.5 ft;
lowboy truck: probably the most popular tine for heavy hauling. Its deck has very low ground clearance so the equipment may be up to 12 ft high.

If the equipment is more than 12 ft high, special escort service is required. They go before and behind the trailer in order to make sure other vehicles are warned and the road conditions are suitable for transportation. Both the trailer and all escort cars have flashing lights and a special sign “oversize load”.

How Much Does It Cost To Move Heavy Loads?

What Factors Effects The Hauling Cost

Shipping heavy equipment is not something you need to save money on. This job is very responsible and if it’s done by a novice company it may have a number of not-so-good consequences.

To give you an idea of a more or less realistic rate, we advise you to check the factors that the price always depends on:

factors effecting heavy hauling rates

Size of the equipment and type of trailer required for shipping

The larger the vehicle is, the more expensive it is to get it transported. As we mentioned in the previous paragraph the type of trailer required also depends on the size of the equipment. Big rig truck and lowboy are the most expensive type of trailer, while step deck truck and flatbed are cheaper. And if the size of the vehicle exceeds any of the following parameters 80 000 lbs in weight, 48-53 ft in length, 13.6 ft in height, 8.6 ft in width, the escort service is required that will also affect the rate of transportation.

Сondition of the equipment

Another thing you need to pay attention to is the condition of the equipment you are shipping: if it cannot be driven onto the trailer, additional loading equipment is required and it will also add to the total cost.


This factor is quite clear as everyone understands that the longer the route is, the more it affects the price and shipping becomes more expensive.

Dates flexibility

Usually, the dates do not matter when you are shipping heavy equipment, but we still advise you to plan the transportation in advance especially if it is a long-distance move. Heavy haulers usually plan their routes far in advance as they need to be sure they have a job to do and they may ask for extra shipping equipment urgently.  Furthermore, the earlier you plan it, the more time the company will have to schedule a driver for the most reasonable price and you will not have to pay extra.

Cross Country Heavy Hauling Rates

Transportation of any kind of equipment that exceeds regular dimensions requires an individual approach and as we mentioned before, a number of factors affect the total rate.

Below you can see the estimated rate for heavy hauling, but we would highly recommend you to request a quote on our website and we will send you a more precise rate.


Time in transit


Up to 500 mi

1-2 days

$4-5 per mile

500 – 900 mi

3-4 days

$3-4 per mile

900 – 1500 mi

4-5 days

$2.5-3.5 per mile

1500 – 2000 mi

5-7 days

$2-3 per mile

More than 2000 mi

7- 10 days

$1.75 per mile

Overseas Heavy Equipment Transportation Rates

Transportation of heavy equipment overseas may vary from a few thousand dollars (for example, moving drilling equipment from Los Angeles, CA to Honolulu, HI costs $4 700) to hundred thousands of dollars (for example, moving a tower crane from New York, NJ to Germany costs $84 000). That is why if you are planning to move any kind of equipment overseas, we recommend you request a quote and your shipping agent will help you find the best way to transport the equipment overseas and of course, provide you with the total rate (fees included).

Heavy Equipment Shipping Preparation Tips

Heavy equipment shipping is more challenging than shipping a regular cargo as it requires more attention to the special preparation process.

Before shipping the heavy equipment you have to prepare it according to the standards required for its type.  If the equipment is prepared incorrectly, it may result in an accident while shipping and if the carrier’s insurance company proves that equipment was not prepared properly, the claim will be denied.

heavy equipment hauling preparation tips

To avoid such situations we advise you to check the tips below that help you to get the equipment ready:

1) disconnect any alarm systems and batteries;

2) check if the equipment is operational if it has to be driven on the trailer;

3) secure all loose parts before the move and in case the equipment needs to be packaged, you may contact the manufacturer for proper packaging materials;

4) prepare the documents and the permits on time and make sure that driver has enough room to load the equipment.

If you are shipping the equipment overseas, failure to prepare the equipment may cause a serious issue as the equipment can get stuck in port or damage other vehicles on a vessel. Therefore we also advise you to contact the manufacturer of the equipment to get more details on the preparation process.


Should I use an enclosed or open trailer?

We can offer you both of these, but once you speak with a manager who will be working on your order, he\she will determine the best way for shipping your equipment. Depending on the size of the load, enclosed may cost extra.

How non-running vehicles are loaded?

We have contracted loading services all across the 50 states. We use cranes and boom trucks to have your equipment loaded on a trailer. The cost for loading varies but is always added to your overall transportation rate.

How far in advance do I need to schedule the transportation?

The perfect time to start looking for a company is once you know the estimated date. When you have the time frame, the shipping company can check with the drivers and plan accordingly. If you have the exact date, it would be better to plan 1-2 weeks ahead to make sure all shipping services are scheduled and there will be no delay on the route.

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