Transporting heavy equipment requires careful planning. This includes assessing the condition of your equipment, getting it ready for transport, and setting up a convenient route. That way, you can ensure that your heavy equipment is in good condition before heading out on the road.
Apart from that, some obstacles can affect this process. For instance, heavy haul transport concerns regarding the size and weight of carrying loads on the road. In addition, federal and state laws require haul permits that you must obtain before transporting any heavy equipment. If transport officials catch drivers without a state-regulated break, this is considered a safety violation. Research shows that 1,203 drivers are now out of service for this reason alone.
With this in mind, ensuring the success of safe heavy equipment transportation is essential. This starts with outsourcing a specialized freight management company that can handle all aspects, from negotiating with trucking companies to arranging truck rides for your trailers. You may learn more about this by reading on a website like NextExitLogistics.com to figure out how they can help you transport your equipment.
Here are six best practices in preparing your heavy equipment for transportation:
1. Conduct A Documented Risk Assessment
The number one element in transporting heavy equipment is security. This is because many threats could harm the cargo and the people before leaving the ground. Based on a study, around 100 deaths per year occur during a machinery transport process. This shows that this process can be dangerous and potentially fatal without preparation.
As such, you need to take preventive measures to avoid these hazards. This includes conducting an in-depth risk assessment to identify each threat’s severity level. For instance, loading a boom lift provides collision hazards that might come from blind spots or limited sight distance. If you can determine this risk, you can use a checklist before commencing loading operations to reduce risks and improve safety standards for your facility.
2. Provide PPEs
While loading heavy equipment, there are life-threatening accidents that could happen. For instance, research shows about eighty incidents of ‘struck by object’ out of 4,674 worker fatalities in 2017. This often includes heavy equipment accidents from large trucks, forklifts, and bulldozers. This only shows the danger of being around this type of machinery.
You must provide your workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) as their safety gear. This may include high-visibility safety vests and hats, fall protection when working above six feet, chap’s pants, and a harness lanyard. You can promote workplace safety as your employees work around these heavy machines.
3. Assign Duties
Task assignment is a vital factor as you prepare for heavy equipment transportation. Some tasks you must delegate include signaling the driver and inspecting the equipment before loading it into the vehicle. With proper delegation, you can reduce safety risks and improve the efficiency of the process.
You can do this by assigning specific tasks to employees in your organization who are knowledgeable about heavy equipment safety practices. These employees should be able to inspect your equipment before loading it onto your vehicles. They’ll also ensure that no hazardous material has been left behind during transport. This ensures that each team member knows what’s expected of them throughout the process to minimize errors or bottlenecks.
4. Inspect The Equipment
Heavy equipment inspection is essential as it can distinguish between a safe and successful move. Without it, you might have serious safety violations, leading to costly fines due to equipment crushing a worker. This means that you need to inspect your heavy equipment before transporting it.
You can outsource this by outsourcing a professional inspector who will check the condition of the equipment. This includes checking for cracks, rust, and missing parts. You should also ensure that there are no loose bolts that could cause damage to the equipment during transit. In addition, you may get rid of all fluids, fuel, and lubricants before moving them so they don’t leak.
5. Secure The Equipment
After a thorough inspection, it’s time to secure the heavy equipment. This is crucial as it prevents it from causing accidents while in transit. For instance, if it slips, the vehicle might roll over, which could harm your driver or cause a collision with other automobiles. Research shows that out of 2,694 cases of a rollover, 7.5 were fatal. This proves that not securing the equipment is dangerous as it leads to death. If this happens, you’ll have to pay for damages, affecting your brand’s image.
As such, you can ensure the security of the equipment by using custom wood crates or hybrid boxes. These are explicitly designed to hold heavy equipment safely during transport. Additionally, you can use straps and chains to secure the load so that no part falls out of place during transit.
Aside from that, you may cover the equipment with a tarp or shrink wrap to protect sensitive surfaces from debris. That way, you’ll be able to move it without worrying about any damage occurring during transport.
6. Check The Truck And Trailer Before Leaving
Besides the equipment, you must also ensure that the truck is ready for transportation. This is vital as safe vehicles play a crucial role in preventing road crashes, which helps reduce the number of road injuries and deaths.
During vehicle inspection, you can check if the truck has functional brakes, tire pressure, weight, lights, and fuel. You may also need to inspect if there are any leaks or other defects in the vehicle. The last thing you want is for your heavy equipment to break down during transport.
Aside from the truck, you also must check the tractor-trailer before hauling the heavy equipment. This preventive measure allows you to notice issues early on to fix them before they become a safety hazard.
A study reveals that 31% of crashes had defects, and unchecked brakes are the most common type that causes 56% of these incidents. An accident might happen if one of these components fails during transportation, but you can avoid this with proper inspection.
Ultimately, heavy equipment requires a different kind of preparation before transportation. If you don’t prepare, you won’t be able to identify defects in it and the trailer before hauling it. This puts the driver at risk of accidents, which could incur costly damages and legal fines.
On the other hand, if you can prepare for it, your equipment will arrive in good condition and ready for use. You can do this by securing the equipment with proper packaging and chains to prevent it from damaging itself or other objects during transport. That way, you ensure your equipment arrives safely at its destination without any damage.