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When to Use a Double Drop Deck Trailer

Double drop trailers play a very important role in the heavy haul industry. They’re similar to drop deck trailers, but have some very important differences. The portion of the trailer upon which the load sets drop below the trailer axels, not just below the level of the truck axels.

Double Drop Deck Trailer

A double drop trailer works to create a well or space between the first trailer axle and the gooseneck. They also have a removable gooseneck that enables wheeled and tracked machinery and equipment to be driven onto the trailer.

Often referred to as a lowboy trailer or RGN, they’re an excellent choice for tall loads. A drop deck trailer can bring the bottom of the trailer to as little as 18 inches off the ground. That can provide up to 3 ft. to the clearance level of the cargo height and can prevent the need for specialized permits to save individuals money. The trailers also have a lower center of gravity making them a safer choice.

Double drop trailers accommodate loads that are very large and/or very heavy, along with those that have a larger weight, height or width. They’re equally applicable for equipment, machinery and awkwardly-shaped cargo that must be loaded by crane.

For cargos that aren’t affected by prolonged exposure to the elements, a double drop trailer is a good option. However, the cargo can also be tarped if desired. Tarps usually aren’t utilized since tarps can fray, rip and have the potential of coming off, simply due to the action of the wind at high speeds.

There are also enclosed drop deck trailers. They’re typically used for transporting large items that must be protected from the weather or shipments on pallets.

The weight, height and width dimensions that designate an oversized load varies widely from state to state. Utilizing a double drop trailer ensures that drivers are always in compliance no matter what state they find themselves traveling through.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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5 Safety Checks Before Your Heavy Haul Hits the Road

There are numerous checks that drivers must make before they hit the road with their heavy haul load. They’re designed to ensure your cargo arrives at its destination safely and securely. According to the American Automobile Association, more than 200,000 crashes were the result of loose loads or debris. Those accidents resulted in 39,000 injuries and 500 fatalities.

5 Safety Checks

Trailers

There are multiple types of trailers for hauling heavy loads and choosing the right trailer for the job is imperative. It has to be able to haul the weight of the cargo safely. Always ensure that the trailer has been properly secured to the tractor and is right for the load being transported.

Rules and Regulations

Each state has its own set of rules and regulations that must be met, along with Department of Transportation mandates. Depending on those and other variables, you may require an escort vehicle to accompany the load. You may also need special signage, lights, and emergency equipment, and be limited in the time you can drive – such as sunup to sundown.

Size Matters

Be sure to measure the width, height and length to ensure its within specified parameters. Never make assumptions. You may have hauled similar loads in the past, but even simple differences such as tracks or tire size can create complications that must be remedied before embarking on the delivery.

Clean and Secure

Every load should be washed down and be clear of debris before leaving to ensure dirt clods or other items don’t fall off the trailer. A secured load is a safe load. There are specific rules for tying down different types of loads to which drivers must conform. Those regulations ensure that the load doesn’t become loose, roll off the trailer, or tip. If a machine must be partially disassembled to fit dimension requirements, it must also be secured.

Maintaining Contact

Always maintain communication with your home base. Road construction, storms or natural disasters can require taking an alternate route. The company needs to know that so they can accurately map an appropriate alternative course that doesn’t place you or the load in jeopardy.

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Do You Need a Broker to Rent a Heavy Hauler

Many people choose to engage the services of a broker to arrange for a heavy hauler to transport their load, but it’s not absolutely necessary, depending on the heavy haul company. You can also go straight to a heavy haul company to arrange transportation of your load.

Ensuring your load arrives in a timely manner and in a safe condition is a paramount concern. While it is possible to arrange for a heavy hauler to transport your load, it can be easier to work through a broker if it’s the first time you’ve shipped. Some heavy haul companies will only take jobs arranged through a broker.

Heavy Hauler

Freight Broker

A broker essentially connects clients with heavy haulers. The broker arranges for the transport and tracking of your load by a commercial heavy haul company. Their task is to locate quality, reliable and qualified carriers to move a load. They negotiate with trucking companies on your behalf. The broker will also be responsible for obtaining the required permits and other types of paperwork.

You’ll pay a broker a specific amount. The difference between what you paid the broker and what the freight company charges will go to the broker. Part of a broker’s job is as a logistic provider to keep tabs on the load and track it throughout its journey.

Heavy Haul Company

You can also work directly with a heavy haul company that provides a one-stop resource that offers all the services of a broker. The heavy haul company has the equipment to haul the load and the advanced logistics technology to track it. The company will obtain needed permits and have extensive experience in the supply chain.

It’s important to understand that not all heavy haul trucking companies offer those services or have the capabilities that come with advanced technology. That’s especially important if you’re shipping to another country. When you hire a heavy haul company directly, be sure to obtain a full list of services it offers.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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Why Consider Load Distribution

Drivers have dozens of details to consider when preparing a heavy haul load to depart. Safety checks are conducted and equally important is ensuring the proper weight distribution on the trailer. When transporting a heavy haul load, balance is a key element. Proper weight distribution provides better vehicle control, improves towing ability, and reduces the potential for accidents.

Load Distribution

Fifth-Wheels and Tandems

The trucking company will typically make the decision about the type of tractor and trailer to be used, depending on the height, weight and length requirements of the cargo. It’s important to know that sliding fifth wheels and tandem trailers will alter the center of gravity when loading.

Flat Bed and Step Decks

Heavy equipment, machinery, dense, and oddly-shaped items can make loading a heavy hauler difficult, as it can be hard to determine exactly where the heaviest point of the item is located. All loads must be secured in ways that meet specific regulations and its especially important with heavy haul loads.

Weight Distribution Influences

The trailer’s empty weight and the weight of the load are critical points. It will provide the driver with an idea of what the gross weight will be. That will help the driver know how to configure weight distribution in a safe manner and secure it appropriately.

Heavy haul tractors are designed and built to different specifications, enabling them to move heavy loads and get up to speed. Triaxle or split tandem trailers can carry more weight, but that doesn’t mean the tractor can move it efficiently, nor does it increase the gross weight allowed.

The destination will also be a factor. Each state has its own set of rules that must be met. There are also federal requirements to consider. Axel requirements will vary widely and drivers will need to know their destination to ensure compliance.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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Why Heavy Haul Trucks Run on Diesel

The simplest answer is that diesel fuel produces more power. It requires a significant amount of energy to move a heavy haul load and traditional gas engines just aren’t up to the task. It all comes down to a matter of torque, not horsepower.

Diesel

Compression and Torque

An ordinary passenger vehicle relies on a spark plug to ignite a fuel and air mixture in the engine’s cylinders. Diesel engines are different. They take in air and compress it until it reaches a high temperature. When the air is hot enough, its injected into the cylinder and the fuel ignites.

The energy from diesel fuel is measured by twisting force, known as torque, that’s exerted on the engine. Torque provides more power than simple horsepower. It’s torque that’s required for diesel engines to be able to move the tractor, trailer and load. It also enables trucks to attain a normal driving speed and maintain it while hauling cargo.

Heavy haulers may be required to traverse a wide range of road conditions, including mountainous terrain. The torque and energy provided by diesel fuel enable drivers to climb any hills and mountains they may encounter on their route, even while fully loaded. Low-end torque is a critical factor in the heavy haul industry.

Cost Effective

Diesel fuel is more expensive than traditional gas even at the best of times. It also produces more energy for the money. It’s more cost effective, despite the higher pricing, to produce the energy needed for hauling heavy loads.

Fuel Efficiency

Diesel engines are more fuel efficient than their gas-powered counterparts. The engines are designed for power, which they produce in abundance. They may take longer to get up to speed than the average passenger vehicle, but they’re well able to pull the heavy loads that are required of them. Diesel engines have a higher thermal efficiency rating than cars and they also produce fewer emissions than a traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Less Maintenance

The specifications to which diesel engines are designed and built are different than a gas engine. They’re more durable, reliable, and therefore require less maintenance and upkeep.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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Driving Limits Keep Roads Safer for Everyone

Anyone that’s ever embarked on a long road trip knows how monotonous driving can become after the first flush of excitement has cooled. It lowers a driver’s alertness level, slows reaction times, and leads to fatigue that causes accidents. This is why there are driving limits.

It’s known by many names ranging from monotonous driving syndrome and drowsy driving to highway hypnosis and white line fever. Individuals that fall victim to it often traverse great distances without any recollection of having traveled it.

Driving Limits

It’s just one of the reasons that driving limits have been mandated for every driver in the trucking industry. The regulations can be confusing, particularly for drivers new to the road. The rules are designed to keep drivers wide awake, alert and safer on the road. Tractor-trailer rigs require more time to stop and extra room to turn and switch lanes. Drivers must be completely alert to navigate and maneuver a heavy hauler.

Driving Hours

Truck drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours each day after 10 consecutive hours of driving. Drivers must also take regular 30-minute breaks. After a typical run, they’re not allowed to drive past 14 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

The clock never stops ticking for truck drivers and that’s true even when they take a break. Drivers are required to take a 30-minute non-driving break if they’ve been driving for more than 8 cumulative hours. They must log 10 hours off during a 24-hour period. The key to many of the regulations is how many consecutive hours a driver has been behind the wheel.

The maximum time that drivers can be on the road is 14 hours per day and off duty time doesn’t extend the 14-hour limit. However, there are exceptions as with everything. The only time a driver can extend drive times are when he/she encounters adverse driving conditions that encompass ice and snow, heavy rain, and flooded roads.

Working the Week

Regulations also affect the number of hours a driver can work per week. Drivers can work a 60-hour week over 7-days or 70-hours over 8 days. Drivers can restart their work week after they’ve taken 45 or more consecutive hours off duty.

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Why Are Heavy Haul Permits Necessary?

Transporting heavy haul loads is a complicated, complex and risky endeavor. It requires drivers to have specific training and skills to ensure the load arrives safely and to protect the public from potentially hazardous situations.

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation sets safety regulations for all major types of transportation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates and provides safety oversight of commercial carriers. Each state also enacts its own regulations governing the type of permits that are required when trucks pass through its borders.

Permits

Permitting ensures that safe hauling and delivery methods are followed and that specialized precautions are taken with loads that exceed specified weight, height, length and width limitations. Loads that exceed those specifications are considered super loads and proper permitting must be in place before the driver embarks on the job. Depending upon the destination, multiple permits will be needed.

Failure to obtain the appropriate permits will prevent the load from traveling on certain roads or crossing bridges. The road may not be built to sustain the weight or too narrow to traverse. There may be overpasses that are too low for the load to pass under and bridges that don’t have the structural strength to support the weight. There may also be construction projects in progress that can affect routes.

Any of those situations can result in damage to the load, harm to infrastructures, and danger to motorists and pedestrians. Professional heavy haul companies have highly-specialized software to track changes in conditions that may require a change of routes.

Heavy haul companies can supply escort vehicles and proper signage when required. Heavy haul professionals are knowledgeable in the types of permits that are needed to satisfy federal and all state regulations, depending on the load, to ensure that heavy equipment arrives safely and on time without any delays or fines.

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Why Weight Limits are Important When Exporting Heavy Equipment

The importance of weight will immediately present itself when seeking a heavy hauler to transport heavy equipment. It will be a factor in the type of trailer that’s used and the roadways over which the load can travel.

In some instances, a heavy hauler may only be required to deliver the equipment to a dock for shipping overseas or to a railway yard for further transport overland. A heavy haul company can help individuals choose the least expensive and most effective way to haul any piece of heavy equipment when exporting heavy equipment

Exporting Heavy Equipment

Weight Systems

The U.S. is one of the few countries that uses the Imperial system of weights and measures. The weight will have to be converted to the metric system on documents for the destination country.

Vessels

When shipping internationally to countries overseas, the weight will be an element in the type of vessel upon which the equipment is conveyed. Different types of ships are equipped to transport certain types of cargo, but not others. Ships also have limits on the weight they can safely carry. Breaking equipment down when possible and placing it in a container can have the advantage of maximizing space vs shipping costs.

If the equipment is confined in a standard cargo container, the maximum gross weight of an individual container can’t exceed 67,000 pounds – but different container sizes carry different payload capacities. Whether the equipment is carried on deck or in a container, the weight is an important factor in how overall weight is distributed across the ship when exporting heavy equipment.

Railway

Shipping overland by rail can be an alternative, depending on the destination country. Heavy equipment shippers will still need a heavy hauler to get the equipment to the railway pickup point. The equipment will typically be shipped on a flatbed railcar and may or may not be placed in a container. Some flatbed cars can handle gross weights up to 315,000 lbs.

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Why do Bigger Trucks Take Diesel Gas?

Heavy haulers are required to transport items that are extremely heavy and that can include over hilly or mountainous terrain. Unlike passenger vehicles, tractor-trailer rigs don’t use regular gas. They require diesel fuel for a very good reason. Diesel gas has higher compressive resistance than regular fuel and releases more energy. The more energy that’s released, the greater the torque, which means more power to move the truck along.

Diesel Gas

Compression Rate

Car engines have spark plugs that ignites a mixture of fuel and air in the cylinder. Diesel engines rely on a high rate of compression. Diesel engines compress the air until it attains a high temperature so fuel ignites as soon as it’s injected into the cylinder.

Cost

While diesel fuel is typically more expensive than regular gas, it packs a bigger punch in terms of the energy it produces. That makes it more cost effective for heavy haulers that transport heavier loads.

Torque

The energy produced by diesel fuel is known as torque and is measured by the twisting force exerted on the engine. Torque is required for the force behind the engine. An engine may have a significant amount of horsepower, but without torque, it won’t have the power needed to get up to speed, maintain a steady speed, or pull a trailer and cargo.

Less Maintenance

Diesel engines are built to tougher specifications than gas engines. The engines are more reliable and require less maintenance than an ordinary gas engine.

Fuel Efficient

Diesel engines are actually more fuel efficient than the average passenger vehicle, relatively speaking. A fast car is rated in horsepower and is able to attain higher speeds in less time. Diesel engines are designed to produce enormous amounts of power to haul the heavy loads that heavy haulers are required to transport, while being able to maintain steady speeds.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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How to Calculate a Safe Speed with Your Heavy Haul

You often see heavy haulers on interstate highways and the speed at which they’re traveling can be a mystery for other drivers. Some drive the speed limit or more, while others are driving at a more sedate speed. There are actually calculations that are used to determine the speed that a heavy hauler travels.

Safe Speed

Rule of Seconds

Tractor-trailer loads require more time to stop than other vehicles and use the “rule of seconds” in terms of time to govern their speed. If you’re moving at 40 mph, you need to maintain at least 1 second of distance for every 10 ft. of your vehicle length. If you’re driving over 40 mph, you need to add at least 2 seconds and the seconds increase depending upon the length of your vehicle. For instance, a 60 ft. tractor-trailer traveling at over 40 mph should add 7 seconds of distance for every 10 ft. of vehicle length.

Application of the Rule

It can be difficult to judge speeds of other vehicles, particularly on interstate highways. To calculate following distance, watch the vehicle ahead of you when it passes a fixed point such as a specific mile marker, sign, fence, or overpass. Count how many seconds it takes you to reach the same fixed point. Reaching the same point before the applicable number of seconds means you’re following too closely.

Hazardous Conditions

When driving in hazardous conditions such as rain, snow, ice or even high winds, you’ll need to expand the rule of seconds. Depending on road conditions you may have to expand the rule anywhere between 4 and 10 seconds. If you need to come to a full stop in any of those conditions, it will take significantly longer. Your reaction time and braking distance will need to be factored into those situations.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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