Once you’ve hitched up a piece of heavy cargo to a trailer, a lot can go wrong. Your equipment has to be properly secured, the operator has to have all the necessary paperwork and you have to think about the other vehicles sharing the highway with your load.
Before shipping heavy equipment, you need to get all your ducks in a row. It starts with hiring a carrier you can trust. Here’s an overview of how to get your job done right and deliver your cargo without problems.
It Starts with the Driver
Most drivers who operate heavy haul equipment have been in the trucking industry for a long time. Not just anybody should get behind the wheel of a half-million-dollar trailer, after all.
Your operator will need a current commercial driving license and current DOT physical to prove medical fitness. Operators may also be required to carry DOT clearance cards. Heavy haul drivers should also have interstate authority CDLs if they will be moving inventory across state lines. The carrier should be aware of any medications or health needs the drivers have.
Read Up on the Carrier
Before shipping with any transportation company, do your research to make sure they can handle your heavy equipment the right way. Ask about the carrier’s history.
Do they have any infractions or revocations? Have any complaints been filed against them? Check the Federal Motor Carrier Association, a database maintained by the Federal Department of Transportation that has lots of useful information about carrier companies operating in the U.S.
Insurance and Paperwork
What is the value of the equipment being transported? Before you ship, make sure your heavy equipment is adequately insured.
The first order of business is getting listed as a “certificate holder” by the carrier’s insurance company. To do this, have the carrier to fax or e-mail you their “package,” which consists of:
- Their federal operating authority
- Form W-9 (W-8 where applicable)
- Insurance certificate (including worker’s compensation coverage)
- Any additional documents or applicable certifications
Call the insurance company and let them know they will need to list you as a certificate holder. Have a fax number ready so they can send you the necessary documentation.
H Brown, Inc, along with other heavy haul trucking companies in Louisiana, is required to carry $100,000 in cargo insurance. You may also decide to seek additional insurance; your carrier can quote you the fees required from their insurance company.
It’s important to find coverage that insures you completely. Types of heavy haul trucking insurance coverages include:
- Liability Coverage pays for others’ property damaged when the carrier is at fault;
- Collision Coverage insures the heavy hauler trailer from damage caused by a collision;
- Comprehensive Coverage is for fire, theft or natural disasters;
- Cargo coverage is for the load itself.
If You Need to File a Claim
If there is an accident during the haul, you’ll need to make a claim for loss or damage to your shipment, and do it promptly. Any delayed reporting could forfeit your right as a customer to a claim.
Every shipment comes with a “bill of lading” that details the contents of the delivery. Before signing it, list any damage on the bill of lading and document the problems with the shipment. Your next step will be to call the carrier’s insurer and start your insurance claim.
If you’re in the market for the right heavy-haul carrier, then look no further than H. Brown. We’re here to help Contact us for an estimate or to learn more about our capabilities.
Remember our motto: If it’s to hook it, jack it, slide it, push it, pull it, roll it, haul it, then we do it!